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I just planted the first part
of our vegetable garden,
and I just paid some bills,
and worked out our budget,
so we can buy the house we're living in.

I've always been a renter,
but now I'm starting
to live my version of
the American dream:
buying a house,
and planting lots of beans and cucumbers and watermelons,
all over the yard.

(Did you ever stop to think,
if your whole yard is a vegetable garden,
you never have to mow it:
no grass!)

More below the divider doodle.

I'm a newlywed,
so my new bride and I
are supposed to buy a house.

Right?

Except my new bride and I are middle aged;
Tonia's had a challenging life,
and never found a good man to settle down with,
until she found me,
after she turned 41,
and I'm an old widower,
my first wife dead five years now,
and I'm creeping up on sixty soon
(I'll be 58 in August.)

We're not an energetic young couple,
breathlessly charging into a new life as adults.

We've been adults a while, already.

But things are falling into place for us:

We are now living in a large house,
five bedrooms,
and,
starting in June,
nearly everyone living here,
Tonia's uncle Randall,
and two of her brothers,
Terrell and Michael,
will each give us $200 per month.

For about a year,
we were paying Michael $400 per month,
renting from him.

Now,
Mark and Tonia are taking over.

I take home about $1,000
(after a great deal is withheld for medical insurance
and a health savings account,
to cover the $6,000 deductible.)

Tonia brings in $400.

That's $2,000 per month
we have to work with.

I think we're going to make it work.

And,
just to put the vegetable icing on the homeowner cake,
I just planted the first 4' x 4' plot of our garden.

I planted cabbage,
and two kinds of green beans,
green beans and yellow wax beans,
and carrots.

I have seven other things to plant:
onion bulbs,
strawberry plants,
and more seeds for:
tomatoes,
watermelons,
cucumbers,
turnip greens,
and green onions.

Very good news about the process of breaking up the yard
to make plots of fine grain soil,
suitable for our seeds:

I did that first 4' x 4' plot
using nothing but an old shovel.

I was pleasantly surprised;
it's been a very long time since I planted a garden.

In fact,
I think I bought that shovel about thirty years ago,
and that's what I bought it for,
to dig up the sod,
and plant turnips and tomatoes.

I have a picture of myself at that time,
holding up a tomato plant,
and the plant was seven feet high.

So,
just a few hours ago,
I took that shovel into the back part of the back yard,
farther back than the dogs we have tied up there.

I found a 2" x 4" board,
exactly four feet long,
and I laid it down,
and started digging along the edge of it,
and went forward four feet,
before I got tired,
and the mosquitoes came out.

My technique was thus:

I dug up a big shovel full of dandelion and crabgrass,
and set it down,
and chopped at it with the shovel,
to break the dirt loose from the roots,
then I reached down,
and grabbed the plants,
and tossed them towards the alley.

No need for a tiller of any kind,
no need for a garden rake of any kind.

I was pleasantly surprised.

I plan to eat much of the veggies
simmered in real butter,
with sour cream,
or maybe just milk and flour.

My back is sore,
and I need to get some sleep.

My wife, Tonia, made me promise
that if I write a diary at this hour,
I tell you that she does not approve.

She actually does approve,
since she knows how much fun I have,
writing about my little joys in life,
and then a few of you read it,
and say,
we're happy for you, bigjac.

We're happy for you.

Thanks for reading.

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