Aphids. Dang nabbit.
I've got em bad.
I was out today spritzing my trees and tomato plants with a solution of soap, water and olive oil and with every compression of the nozzle I felt my attitude towards the little creeps get nastier and nastier. It totally got personal and I think by the time my little spray bottle was empty I may just have been cackling evily at them... I'm not totally sure, I think I blanked a little.
Anyway I've got 70+ tomatoes coming right along on the otherwise splendid tomato plants and I go out more than once a day to cup some of them in the palm of my hand and hem and haw over whether I should pluck them to ripen inside the house and give the little babies among them a chance to fatten up.
I was out the other day pruning back and lopping the leafy heads off the plants so that they might cease and desist sprouting new greenery and might work instead on turning their fruit red and juicy.
Can you tell I am ridiculously proud of them?
In other garden notes; The compost bin has been in use now for a good two weeks and in that time we have cut back considerably on what actually ends up being put in a garbage bag.
Along with the recycling system we've got going on in the garage, what mostly comes to rest in our black garbage bags is diapers and kitty litter which leads me to confusion why of all the garbage waiting for the truck at the end of everyone's driveways all the magpies in town wanted a piece of mine.
A friend on her way to visit me the other day said as she drove up she was thinking, "oh, who is that poor person who's garbage is getting all ripped to shreds...oh wait, that's Ashley's."
Even Ava Grace has been popping her head out the front door to yell "Haaaaa!" at them, and while the birds have paid no heed... I think she may be affecting her chances of being picked up for street hockey with the neighborhood kids years from now, or at the very least she's improving her lung capacity.
Anyway... where was I?
Oh yes, the garden... in particular the compost bin.
When she's not defending the garbage at the front of the house, Ava Grace has been given the job of emptying all of our kitchen scraps into the wooden crate-like compost pen Kevin built behind the house.
Last week when I came home from a day of painting, she was very excited to take me out to the yard and show me the pen which she claimed is where her imaginary family of pigs now lives.
She feeds them the slops from the kitchen pail and calls out to them while she does it.
"Sup Sup! Piggy Piggy!" she calls as she has seen done on different movie versions of Charlotte's Web. She has named them Kenny, Henny, Benny and Penny and the baby comes along when it is feeding time and stands there doing and excited stomping-type dance, clapping his hands on his thighs and chanting "pigs, oh pigs! Oh pigs!"
It's a beautiful thing, really.