10 on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday is fun! You should play too! Go over to the Chronicles of Marla and sign up, okay?  Okay.

1. I got to play Easter Bunny not once, not twice, but thrice on Sunday for my nieces and nephew.  First at my in-laws' for my adorable little blondie nieces, and twice at my parents' house for my equally adorable brunette nieces and nephew.  We had to have two at my parents' house because my 8 year old nephew found 9 out of the 12 eggs, and his 7 year old sister was in tears after finding only one of them.  Luckily my 14 year old niece had the genius idea of assigning each of the three little kids one of the three colors of eggs (I think my mom's getting tired of dying Easter eggs, she's really starting to slack), and they could only hunt for the color they were assigned to.  Worked like a charm!  And even my little 2 year old niece studiously avoided picking up any pink or blue eggs, just the yellow ones.  What a bunch of geniuses in my family!
2. Our veggie garden now has THREE sprouts!!  I maintain that they are all three zucchini, but Hubs insists on arguing with me that one is a cucumber.  Did I mention I'm the one who planted the seeds while he was nowhere to be found?

3. Last week I switched up my bowling technique a little bit because of a sore knee.  For some reason I've always stepped off on my right foot, even though I'm right-handed.  Well, it was my right knee that was hurting so I tried stepping off on my left foot instead (like a normal person would to begin with) and lo and behold I'm suddenly playing a lot more consistently!  Who knew?  *Update: I wrote this part yesterday, and last night I thoroughly SUCKED at bowling.  So now I know I have no excuses, I'm just bad at it.

4. Hubs and I went to a wedding on Saturday and it was just beautiful.  Plus, we got to sit with some awesome friends of ours that we don't spend nearly enough time with, and we all had a lot of fun.  I managed to be a tad overdressed for a garden wedding, but whatever, I looked hawt!  (The bride looked good too.)

5. I love Spring, but I hate this time of year because my house is absolutely COVERED in hair.  Atticus is shedding like nobody's business and it's really disgusting.  My brother and SIL have two cats (three up until a month or so ago) and their shedding situation doesn't hold a candle to Atticus's.  I did not foresee this problem when I adopted him.  I just thought he was soft and fluffy and would be a good cuddle-buddy.  Well, he is very soft and fluffy, but he's not much for cuddling.  I should have gotten a hairless cat.

6. How many pairs of shoes do you own?  I'm not sure how many I have, I've never counted.  But last week I overheard a conversation between two coworkers, one asked the other how many pairs of shoes she had, and she answered, "Around forty."  The first coworker said, "That's it?"  My eyes about popped out of my head!  I probably have more shoes than I think, but forty seems like a LOT to me.  Sheesh.

7. I get to have lunch with my friend Tracy today (she comments here pretty regularly, so you sort of know her)!  We're going out for pizza in about 25 minutes.  I LOVE working near my friends, it makes work a little more bearable.  I work near Hubs too, and we go to lunch together ocasionally as well.

8. I had this great plan to call in sick on Thursday, seeing as it's Hubs's day off and last week was hellacious so I figured I earned it.  But now one of my employees is actually sick (well, she appears to have a cold), so I feel kinda guilty.  I mean, I'm still pretty sure I'm going to do it, but now I'm going to have to come up with a really good excuse.

9. I've been slacking on my book.  I'm supposed to write something every day, but I haven't written anything in days.  I just know I'm going to get about halfway through it and decide I can't stand it.  I need to get over these ridiculous fears, don't I?

10. I may have mentioned that I'm reading "Committed" right now, by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Well, I read a section of it last night that really spoke to me, and now I'm finding myself with some seriously life-altering things to think about.  I'll definitely be sharing more with you when I start getting my thoughts sorted out!  Should be soon...


Putting myself in check

As per my usual Monday outlook, this morning I was feeling pretty blue.  I read through a few blogs and felt even more blue.  I realized I'm feeling a little out of place in the IF blogging community, since I'm not exactly working towards building my family at this time, and I'm not doing much to help the IF community either.  Meanwhile my bloggy buddies continue to TTC and graduate into pregnancy and parenthood, Bust Myths for NIAW, and support one another with enthusiasm.  I questioned my reasons for continuing to blog here, and wondered whether it was time to close up shop.  Then I read Mel's awesome post about the IF divide, and I realized how self-centered I've been.

In my women's group we talk quite a bit about being generous rather than judgmental in our thoughts, approaching people with an attitude of compassion and kindness, and generally making an effort to think the best of others.  But, my friends, I haven't been doing a very good job of that. 

Those of you who are pregnant may have noticed I rarely comment on your blogs nowadays.  I've even stopped following some bloggers because I couldn't handle the content of their posts.  On FB, I regularly block friends for sharing (okay, yes sometimes oversharing) about their pregnancies, babies and children.  Even my IF friends.  True, I need to do what's best for my emotional and mental well-being, but I also don't want to be that person.  The one who completely ditches the people who've supported me through my darkest hours just because I have days where I don't have the emotional fortitude to look at baby bump photos or read about fetal heart rates.

In her post, Mel explains that the women lucky enough to have made it across the chasm that divides the IFers still waiting for their miracle from those who've held their babies in their arms truly haven't forgotten the pain and longing that the rest of us still endure.  In my bitterness I've built this imaginary wall between "us" (the childless) and "them" (the lucky moms).  I built the wall because I didn't want to see their happiness for fear it would increase my own sadness, but I realize now that's completely backwards.  Once upon a time I almost made it to the other side myself, and for a few weeks I had a taste of the feelings that grads experience.  It was something like equal parts joy, guilt, gratitude, and a deep desire for everyone else still waiting in the wings to have their turn to feel that exhilaration.  I wanted nothing more than to be able to take everyone else by the hand who were still waiting, and pull them across that chasm to the other side with me.  The truth is, I'm the one who forgot what that felt like.

Who am I to believe I know how easy it is for those on the other side of the IF divide to forget their struggle to get there?  And who am I to begrudge them of their joy over making it to the other side?  Acting and thinking negatively only encourages more negativity in myself, and separating myself from others' happiness doesn't increase my own happiness, it decreases it.  I'm not saying I should ignore my own needs and well-being and force myself to be happy when I'd really rather curl up under the covers and cry.  I'm certainly entitled to my bad days.  But if I want to be a happier, less judgmental person (and I do), I need to practice being understanding and compassionate in my actions, words and thoughts more often than I practice bitterness.

I suppose in a way I'm busting a myth that's personal to me for NIAW - the one that says I have to be a Bitter Infertile.  I'm ready to make the effort to remove the word "bitter" from that title.  I'm sorry I let my own hang-ups keep me from being as supportive to some of you as you've been to me.


Happy Easter!

In celebration of the upcoming holiday, I give you one of my all-time favorite classic Easter images.  Nothing quite captures the true meaning of Easter like Peeps engaging in unsavory (pun intended! Because Peeps are sweet, not savory, duh) behavior.  Am I right or am I right?

Well anyway, I think it's funny.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a beautiful Easter!


10 on Tuesday

Join in the Ten on Tuesday fun by going over to the Chronicles of Marla and adding your blog to the list!

1. I started writing my book!  So far I think it's terrible, but hey I just started, how great can I expect it to be?  I finally decided to toss my insecurities aside and just buckle down and go for it, so that's what I did last night.  And what I need to do every night until it's finished!

2. Hubs and I have been mulling over an idea to start our own business.  We finally came to an agreement on what type of business we think we'd both enjoy running, now we have to figure out if it's something we can actually do.  Our plan of attack is to talk to everyone we can think of that might have some good advice for us, then figure out the money situation.  I really hope we can afford it!

3. We have sprouts!  Our veggie garden is far from thriving, but two of our seeds sprouted (zucchini, yum!) and have the most adorable little leaves.  (Yes, my crops are cute.)  I don't think the others are going to make it, so we'll probably have to re-plant those soon.  It's just as well, we haven't planted tomatoes yet at all, and that was my whole reason for wanting a vegetable garden.

4. The auditors are here at work, but they haven't started asking me questions yet.  I suspect that will start today.  In my big-boss's (my boss's boss) words they're "a couple of young pricks," meaning they're new to auditing and therefore go above and beyond to try to find problems with our work.  Because of that and the fact that they're both men around my age I suggested that all the ladies in my department wear their skirts, cleavage tops and four inch heels all week, y'know, to distract them.  Hey, might as well do whatever it takes, right? 

5. The weather was absolutely glorious this past weekend, and in true Kit fashion I got overly excited about the sunshine and spent way too much time in it without sunscreen.  Oops.  Now my chest is lobster red in the shape of the sundress I was wearing on Sunday, and double oops, I'm going to a wedding this weekend.  Rats!  I hate it when I have nasty tan lines (or sunburn lines as the case may be).

6. In three short (read: long) weeks I have a four day weekend to look forward to!  However, I'm thinking I might need a mental health day sometime before then.  Maybe if I wish for it hard enough, it will just happen to coincide with Hubs's next day off.  Wouldn't that be something?  I'll let you know if it works out.

7. The reason Hubs and I are taking a four day weekend next month is to celebrate our fourth anniversary.  We're not planning on going out of town or anything, but we are going out to a special dinner.  You know Fabio from Top Chef?  His restaurant is in our county and we've been meaning to go forever, so that's where we're headed.  It's supposed to be yum-a-licious, I'm pretty excited to try it.

8. Speaking of (not) going out of town, we actually are going to be getting out of town sometime in the next year.  My cancelled trip to Austin actually worked out to my advantage; not only did the bank reimburse me for Hubs's and my plane tickets, but since they were non-refundable we're getting vouchers from the airline too!  We're still arguing over figuring out where it is we want to go, but we have a handful of options for flights that would be totally covered.

9. Taxes and termites are making me poor.  Termites in particular are making a smorgasbord out of my window frames!  But we got good news from the exterminator that we may not have to tent.  He seems to think it's not too bad and that we can probably get away with the electrical treatment instead of the gas.  I hope he's right.  Packing up the cat, all our stuff, and taking the food out of the cabinets for a weekend sounds like a huge freakin' pain in the arse.  (Can you tell I'm running out of things to talk about?)

10. Okay I'm officially spent.  Today is draaaaaagging and I want nothing more than this whole week to fly by.  But of course, that's the exact reason it's dragging!  Hurry up, clock!


Not just about work

My department is getting audited next week and this morning I was reminded that it's my ass on the line if it doesn't go well.  I've been super stressed about this audit because it's a follow up to the last one - which we actually passed, just one section of it was really bad.  (That didn't stop them from firing one of my employees over it though.)  The past several months we've been doing clean up and now it's time to see if all that work has paid off.  If not, my job could be at stake.  So that's why I woke up with a lead ball in the pit of my stomach this morning.

But logically I shouldn't be worried.  Isn't my goal to get out of this job at any cost?  I should be praying we bomb this audit just so I can finally be free!  I want to turn off the voice in my head telling me that people are going to think less of me if I "fail."  The truth is, I've done everything I can.  I've worked my ass off for a company that I don't respect and that has no respect for its employees, and if that's not enough then I'm done.  So fire me.  I'm BEGGING for it.

In other news, I got to fly with my dad in his plane on Monday.  I had to go out to the desert to help our new department on their first day of processing with our systems, and rather than drive the three hours to get there I decided to ask my dad if he'd fly me out.  He was really excited to take me, considering it was the first time I'd flown with him, and we had a great time.  The work day sucked of course, but that won't be what I remember about that day.  Instead I'll remember navigating the way home by landmarks 5,000 feet below us, seeing how gorgeous Southern California looks from up high, especially my neck of the woods, and spending some quality time alone with my dad.  We don't do that nearly enough.

My women's group is going really well too.  We had a little celebration last Friday to commemorate the end of the first quarter of 2011 and the beginngin of the second, and we had four new women join us!  I'm pretty proud of how quickly we're gaining interest.  The group is really helping me keep things in perspective and sort through the damage that infertility (and to be fair, other factors too) wreaked on my self-confidence over the past few years.  It reminds me to keep looking forward and be grateful for what I have.  It sounds cheesey, but if you're struggling I strongly recommend getting together regularly with your girlfriends to talk and encourage each other.  For me it helps me feel sane knowing I'm not the only one who feels a certain way, and I hear so many insightful things that I never would have thought of on my own.  I posted a link to our group's blog over on the left if you're interested in knowing more about us.

Okay back to work I go, gotta trudge through the end of this wretched week.  I'm super excited to have two whole days off this weekend (at least, I haven't heard that I have to work on Saturday so I'm assuming I don't) and I fully intend to be as lazy as possible on Saturday.  AF will have left town by then and it is sooo going to be ON with the Hubs this weekend!  Rowr.


My 2nd email to PETA

In response to their lame response to my original email, this is what I wrote today:

Thank you for your response, apology, and for removing that verbiage.

However, an organization with class and tact would remove the link and reference to NIAW entirely, as the infertile community is requesting.

I'm not sure who exactly who you're referring to when you say no one should condemn those who choose to avoid pregnancy, because no one I know has said anything to that effect at all. Certainly not me. If you read my email you'd see I in fact said the exact opposite.

PETA is being condemned by the infertile community not for encouraging and assisting with controlling the human population, but for suggesting that infertility is a positive means to that end. You are perpetuating the rampant and misguided belief that somehow those who CAN'T reproduce are, at worst, responsible for the problem of overpopulation, and at best, the ones responsible for fixing it. How backward is that? Furthermore, your generalization about Infertiles spending thousands of dollars to reproduce themselves is just that - a generalization. Infertility does not discriminate, and believe it or not, even those who can't afford fertility treatments (or adoption, for that matter) can be and are afflicted by this disease. Myself included. So please do not condemn those who "feel compelled to reproduce themselves" as if we're all a bunch of irresponsible, baby-hungry people who would stop at nothing to see little versions of ourselves dominating the planet. I GUARANTEE that on average, Infertiles have put a great deal more thought into the prospect of parenthood than the vast majority of people who have no trouble conceiving.

The infertile community works hard to put an end to this kind of ignorance through events like National Infertility Awareness Week. So again, I urge you to show some respect for your fellow man and comply with our request - and the request of Resolve, the organization responsible for instituting NIAW - and remove the link and reference to NIAW from your campaign web page.

I wasn't about to waste my time addressing all the ridiculous things they said in what was obviously a form letter.  I think the best way to go about this is to firmly and politely stick to the point - we want the link and reference to NIAW removed from their website.  (Even Resolve has issued a press release requesting the same.)  Whatever else they say doesn't concern me.  I have never and will never support PETA, and I'll go on living my life in the way that I consider best regardless of whatever claptrap they try to sell me about their "mission" (which IMHO is a load of BS). 

Anyway, I saw I'd gotten some comments on my last update so I wanted to post this for y'all.  I think this will be my last post for today ;)

Sign the Petition!

Email PETA's President!

Oh yeah, and AF showed up, so there's one thing off my list of things to stress about.

Nerves of mush

I hate waking up feeling stressed, and this morning I felt stressed times three.

1. Work stress.  I almost always wake up with butterflies because I dread the workday and today was no exception.  It's the last day before conversion - this weekend we'll be switching the information and processing of one of our newly-acquired institutions over to our bank's systems.  I have a ton to do today, and my department and I will be back at work most of the day tomorrow to finish the conversion.  Next week should be exceptionally crazy, but I'm trying hard to just take this whole thing one day at a time.

2. My women's group.  We're holding an event tonight to celebrate the end of the first quarter of the year and the beginning of the second.  The idea is to look back and celebrate how much we've each accomplished in our lives since the beginning of the year, and to look ahead at what we hope to accomplish over the next three months.  I'm just nervous because as co-founders, A and I are going to be facilitating the first part of the evening (the second part is just socializing), and that kind of thing always makes me nervous!  I know it will be fine, and fun, once it gets underway, but until then - did I mention?  I'm nervous!!

3. Aunt Flo.  Ugh.  I'm not sure what CD I'm on because I forgot to mark last month's visit on my calendar.  And I'm making myself crazy wondering when I'm going to start.  I don't have any pregnancy symptoms, but that's not stopping my mind from sticking more firmly on that thought every day that goes by with nary a spot.  And then last night I was crampy, and I swore it felt like the stretchy, tight cramps I felt right before my positive test last summer.  Ugh.  I'll probably start today, but on the extremely remote chance I don't, I'm not testing until Sunday because ain't no way in hell I'm testing tomorrow morning before coming in to work.

Whew.  Okay I have to buckle down and get some work done.  I've got a long couple of days ahead of me!

More about PETA

On the PETA front, I sent the following letter to Ingrid Newkirk, their president, on Wednesday:

I was disgusted to see PETA's latest campaign - Spay or Neuter your Pet and Win a Free Vasectomy - not because I'm against controlling the pet population (on the contrary, every pet I've ever owned has been fixed) or even because I'm against controlling the human population. A man wants a vasectomy? More power to him. A free one? All the better!

No, I'm disgusted because of your attempt to pass this campaign off as an HONOR to National Infertility Awareness Week. I searched your website (and racked my brain) for some logical link between vasectomies and infertility, but alas, I found none. Consequently, I came to my own conclusion - that PETA has no intention of honoring NIAW at all, but instead intends to ridicule it.

I won't attempt to educate you about the purpose NIAW, or how painful infertility is to those who experience it, or how utterly insulting this campaign is to anyone who's struggled for years to conceive a child. I will only say that from my perspective, and that of most reasonable people, PETA's mission is nothing more than to gain attention and notoriety.

Please remove the link and reference to National Infertility Awareness Week from your campaign page, and if you must insult a cause, find another cause to insult.

In response, I received this email yesterday:

Thank you for contacting PETA about your objections to our contest offering a free vasectomy. We are sorry to have offended you, and we have removed the phrase “in honor of” National Infertility Awareness Week from our website. We understand that this was not a wise choice of words.

Our goal was to focus attention on the tragic suffering and death of homeless dogs and cats. Since the best way to prevent animal companions from having unwanted litters is to spay and neuter them, a kind PETA member offered to cover the cost of a vasectomy for one compassionate man who wants to get himself “snipped” just like his furry friend. Having one’s own child may be a compelling urge for some, but nobody should condemn those who choose to avoid causing pregnancy or any organization that provides them with a means to do so. Many who choose to have a vasectomy consider it a moral conundrum for some of us to be spending thousands of dollars trying to reproduce ourselves when there are homeless children, including some with disabilities, who want for homes, and when the environment is being ravaged as human population increases.

PETA works very hard to prevent the births of puppies and kittens who will end up abandoned in animal shelters or struggling to survive on the streets. Breeding, both purposeful and accidental, is responsible for the euthanasia of millions of these loving companions each year. Sterilization is both the easiest and the most effective means available of ensuring animals’ happiness and safety. Male animals who have been neutered are far less likely to roam far from home or fight. Neutering greatly diminishes and possibly eliminates reproductive urges (which are not the same in dogs as they are in humans). In addition, these animals will never get testicular cancer and run less risk of contracting prostate disease. Female animals who have been spayed avoid the trauma of giving birth and will no longer go into heat.

Consider the fate of the millions of unwanted animals whose parents were never spayed and neutered. Born into a hostile world, they are caged among strangers at animal shelters or, worse, abandoned on the sides of roads. They are run over by cars and attacked by other animals. They are infected with painful, contagious, and deadly diseases. Those unlucky enough to run into cruel humans are often drowned, beaten with baseball bats, suffocated in plastic bags, stabbed, shot, starved, set on fire, used as bait, and tortured in countless other ways. And the saddest tragedy of all is that before they meet some gruesome death, they reproduce, and the cycle of animal suffering continues.

A national organization, SPAY/USA, helps guardians of animal companions who need assistance with the cost of spaying and neutering. You can contact SPAY/USA at the following website and toll-free number:

Well I must have misconstrued their email yesterday (and I didn't bother to revisit their website to see exactly what was changed) because I thought they meant the removed the reference to NIAW.  Nope, this morning I see that the only thing that has been changed is they removed "in honor of" and replaced it with "during."  Sigh... *Facepalm*

If you haven't been keeping up with Keiko at http://www.hannahweptsarahlaughed.blogspot.com/, you can follow along there as this fiasco unfolds. 

It seems to be common knowledge that PETA is out for exactly one "cause" and one cause only: themselves.  My vegan friends do not support them due to their unethical practices, and I was turned off by them years ago when I saw a particularly tasteless video on their website.  In the past they've made a mockery of the Holocaust, so why wouldn't they consider infertility to be fair game?  But the infertile community is a vociferous one, and it's encouraging that PETA has done anything in response to our objections.  So let's keep it up!

If you haven't signed the petition yet I encourage you to do so.

And if you haven't emailed your thoughts to Ingrid Newkirk, please do: ingridn@peta.org

I have many, many thoughts and objections to their email back to me, and I will most likely respond, as fruitless as that may prove to be.  One friend suggested to me that we just ignore them because we're giving them the press that they're after, and they'll never change.  That may be, but I guarantee they'll never change if we ignore them.  They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease and if we want change, it's our responsibility to demand it.


Emotional blabbering

I'm feeling a little emotional today, thanks to the impending arrival of my least favorite aunt.

Last night my family all got together for my mom's birthday and it was a really nice time.  Towards the end of the evening my sister, who is 41 and has 4 children and who I strongly suspect laments the fact that she won't be having any more, starts getting starry-eyed looking at my brother's 6 month old daughter.  Then, as she sometimes does, she began waxing nostalgic about her pregnancies and deliveries and how much weight she gained (a lot).  Sigh.  I'm not proud to tell you that at that point I turned to Hubs, smiled and said so everyone could hear, "I didn't gain any weight during my pregnancy."  Blessedly, my mom and dad laughed and no one seemed offended, but really?  Did I need to say that?  Sure my sister didn't say a single word to me about my miscarriage when it happened or ever after, but that was months ago and I've let it go (uhhh, mostly).  The point is, this is my family and I very much feel like I'm missing out on a huge part of being a happy family because I can't have kids, and no one understands that feeling but me and Hubs.

I know, I know: every family has their issues, and probably a good 50% of society feels like the black sheep of the family.  In fact, I'm 99.9% sure that my three siblings all feel like the black sheep of our family too.  So what the hell am I bitching about?

I guess I'm just trying to muddle through this reality of mine.  A few months ago I wondered when I would accept the fact that I probably won't ever get pregnant and have a baby the old-fashioned way, if at all.  Now I'm almost there.  Or maybe I am there, but it still hurts.  (And it hurts extra when my hormones are a-raging somewhere around day 28 of my cycle.) 

Back in August, in the midst of the shit-storm aftermath of my miscarriage, I had an opportunity to sit down and talk with the mother of my oldest friend in the world - we've literally known each other since we were babies.  My friend had told her mom about my miscarriage, so while I was at her home having her alter one of my bridesmaid dresses, she asked if I had a minute to talk.  As a new bride, 30-something years ago, she'd also discovered she was infertile.  In fact, she had endometriosis so bad that she had to have a hysterectomy at age 25, having never been pregnant.  Eight years after marrying, she and her husband adopted my friend and enjoyed a very happy life.  Then about five years ago her husband got sick.  It took several months to discover he had ALS (Lou Gherig's disease) and a couple years later this once healthy, vibrant man passed away.  After talking about all this, my friend's mom asked me very evenly, "Did you ever think life was going to turn out like this?"

Nope, I never for a single minute expected my life to turn out the way it has, in almost every way.  I suspect that's the case for many, many people.  But I'm learning to accept the disappointments and be extra grateful for the lucky surprises.  Sometimes I guess I just need to remind myself of that.


Infertiles - Spread the word

PETA has announced a new campaign "in honor" of National Infertility Awareness Week - spay or neuter your pet and you could win a free vasectomy!  In true PETA style, they've completely missed the point of NIAW and instead raised the ire of many a struggling Infertile such as myself.  How incredibly tasteless, insulting, and insensitive of them (but from what I've heard of PETA that's par for the course).

Luckily there's something we can do!  Go here to sign the petition like I did, demanding PETA issue an apology and remove the link to NIAW from their campaign.  Last I saw we still need 700+ signatures.  So get busy!  And tell your friends!

Want that link again?  Okay here it is!  Now go, it takes less than a minute.

Oh yeah, and if you want to tell PETA what you think, email Ingrid Newkirk, their president at: ingridn@peta.org.

Thank you to The Barrenness for bringing this to my attention, and a huge thanks to Keiko Zoll for starting the petition.


Backyard bliss

Oh Monday, how I loathe thee.  I especially loathe thee when you're ringing in another six day workweek like you are today.  And particularly when that week is leading up to conversion weekend for one of our new acquisitions.  I have a feeling the crazy around here is going to hit critical mass very soon.

Until then, I'm taking advantage of the relative quiet to tell you about my backyard projects.  You lucky ducks, you.

I'm proud to annouce that Hubs and I are officially farmers now!  Check out our fields - expanding all the way out to the distant horizon:
Okay so it's only a 4'x8' veggie garden, but if you look at it head-on while lying on the ground it goes on as far as the eye can see! 

We followed these instructions by Sunset magazine except for the part where they suggest buying individual bags of soil; instead we went to our local garden shop and got a truckbed full of bulk soil for much cheaper.  You can barely see them in this photo, but there are four holes to attach two arched PVC pipes over the width of the bed, which we then drape with a net to keep the birds and cats out.  We also went a step further and added screws that stick out about 1/4" all around the base to secure the netting. 

With any luck we'll be harvesting our crops in about 2-3 months!  I've been daydreaming about hosting a backyard dinner party featuring veggies from our garden, so hopefully at least some of them will take.  We planted butter lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, green onions, and carrots, and next weekend we're adding a tomato plant.  Should make for a really delicious salad!

For my next trick I'm going to try to get Hubs started on building a pergola to put over/near our fire pit.  Aside from farming and throwing a dinner party, my other backyard dream is to have a sort of outdoor living room complete with pretty furniture and drapes for some privacy.  Ahh... well, a gal can dream, right?  The furniture will probably have to wait since it can be pretty pricey, but building the bones shouldn't be too expensive and we're loving Sunset's straightforward instructions on all these projects we've been wanting to do.

Most of our weekend was spent outside, and in addition to completing the veggie garden I also cleared a boatload of grass from one of my planters.  Super exciting and I discovered what happens after I spend an entire afternoon kneeling on the ground digging in the dirt.  Answer:  I spend the entire evening sitting in the recliner unable to move.  The planter looks about a thousand times better though so I guess in the end it was worth the pain. 

All these backyard projects are making me really excited about warmer weather.  I'm in a little bit of denial that it's still only early April; I keep thinking that by now it should be consistently warmer out than it is!  I'm ready for summer NOW; why can't it just cooperate and show up already?