Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A beginning

Full of morning ambition, I went to the porch to fetch my collection of 2-litre milk cartons, and found that they were gone!

I bounded back up the steps, through the kitchen, around the corner and into the aptly-named living room. In some homes it would be a sitting room, but in ours most of the sitting happens in bedrooms because the living room is just too full of living. There is a sewing machine on a small desk jutting out in the middle, but the room is dominated by an electronic church organ in one corner and a gadget-laden computer desk diagonally opposite. There sat my spouse, unsuspecting, with his back to me.

"Whadja do wi' my milk cartons?"

He turned slightly, and said matter-of-factly, with just a trace of puzzlement, "I threw them out."

At my small gasp, he turned a little farther, gestured out the window and said something about the mild weather these days, and how they wouldn't be doing that ice castle thing now. (The Grade 7 class, that is, wouldn't be using milk cartons as molds for freezing ice blocks.)

At my incredulously disappointed look, he apparently did a bit more thinking and realized that I had been saving this last batch of cartons for starting seedlings for the garden.

He gestured to the almost-never-used front entrance: "They're in the recycling. . . I flattened them."

He flattens things differently than I do - less meticulously, and with more force.

Nevertheless, working meticulously, I was able to unflatten most of them. With the opened ends taped shut again, and a panel cut out of the side of each, they became flats for onions and peppers. I experimented with making dividers from the cut-out panels, plus some pieces salvaged from the severely crumpled cartons. I'm hoping they will make it easier to separate the roots come transplanting time. When Garth came into the kitchen just before lunch time, I quickly assured him that, although I was still carving up and notching milk carton panels, I hadn't spent the whole morning at it.

I now have one flat with three rows of onion seeds planted - I figure there must be 150 seeds in there - and three flats divided into eight cells each, planted mostly to peppers. Parsley seeds are soaking overnight. Next week I will do tomatoes and basil.

Ruth's windowsill just won't be enough for the transplants I have planned for this year. We checked out B's porch across the street, and it was bright and surprisingly warm on this sunny day. There is some work to do taping holes in window panes and chinking some large gaps around window frames - or maybe we'll just tent some poly over a table by the south windows and heat the little tent instead of the whole porch. Meanwhile I still have a worship service to prepare for Sunday, and lots of music to practise. The next few days are going to be busy.


Madcap said...

Can you post of your milk cartons with the "window"? I'm not quite understanding what that panel cut-out is. Sounds like a good idea for starting seeds.

Deb said...

I would have the same reaction, absolutely. Nobody messes with my seed starting stuff!

I have not started any seeds yet, though I'm getting the itch. My cook shed has a south facing window, and there's a fluorescent shop light hanging from the ceiling, so I have about two shelve's worth of space. Never enough.