Good ol’ regular dirt and muck

Good ol’ regular dirt and muck

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you imagine digging about in a garden, barefoot?

I confess, I have become a bit of a clean freak.

Not excessively clean, mind you. I’ve heard of a man who can’t stand it if his floor isn’t mopped daily. That would kill me. Absolutely. With all the homeschooling going on, I figure my floors need to be cleaned three times a week, but I can sort of tolerate a twice a week floor job.

Especially when it means less work!

Recently though, after neglecting our veggie patch for a few weeks, I realised I’d gotten used enough to the sterile feeling of indoor flooring to grimace at going barefoot once again in the garden.

Unfortunately I haven’t got to the point of rehabilitation. Yet.

But my kids have. Groovy!

On Tuesday, Sweet Man herded them out into our rather mangled garden patch and they helped him weed almost the entire garden.

Then, while he cut the grassy slope, they transferred lots of soil from one bed to another – Lamb shoveling and Puppy huffing and puffing, carrying buckets of soil across the beds.

Piglet had his own spade and loosened a whole lot of soil.

We finally have a clear patch (instead of an extra bed) where we can plant some grass and have morning and late afternoon picnics in the shade by the wall.

Which reminds me I need to get a nice green wall creeper growing fast.

And thinking already – red and white checkered cloth, tangy icy lemonade, freshly baked cheese rolls. And lots of dark chocolate at some point.

Today, Sweet Man got the kids out again and they did more weeding and composting. They tidied the area surrounding our cherry tomato plants and watered the whole garden.

I came out from the kitchen to watch them. There is something wondrous about kids enjoying work in a garden. Their delight, their tousled hair, their excitement, waiting to take turns with the watering hose.

And their very, very muddy bare feet and legs. Oozing with mud.

Taking turns at the hose
Piglet’s booked his turn

Sweet Man taught them how to tidy up after everything was done, making sure all the containers they’d use to collect upturned weeds were arranged in a corner, upside down, so mosquitoes wouldn’t breed after a rain.

Afterward, the kids went for a romp on the slope beyond and I decided to make the most of the opportunity to squeeze in a shower, smiling to myself and determining I’d join in next time.

When I came out of the shower, I found that Piglet had left some grass and muddy streaks on my freshly changed bed sheets. And we’d just cleaned the floors yesterday.

I opened my mouth to bellow.

Then I paused. And decided, with great difficulty, to shut up.

Now how will I cook that nice, prosperous brinjal?



  • Rorybore
    August 2, 2013 3:12 am

    I love my garden – no veggies, just flowers. and I do usually wear shoes. but my kids love to be out there too. they don’t always just pull weeds – oops – but they are learning. they love to dig for worms too. fighting over who gets to put a found worm in their own little garden. (sorry poor worms that did not survive those battles.) But I always have the plastic pool and garden hose ready!! Everyone in BEFORE you enter my clean house!! LOL
    Rorybore recently posted…WW: Just BeachieMy Profile

  • Jin Ai
    August 2, 2013 5:17 am

    The plastic pool is a fantastic idea. I really need to be more vigilant about getting them cleaned before they come in! We just lay down a wet towel, but obviously that can’t get to upper body areas. Live and learn! 🙂

  • IrishMum
    August 2, 2013 10:33 pm

    I love seeing kids in the garden! On a hot day I get them to hose off, but when it’s too cold for that I make them towel off at the door, then straight into the shower. Yeah, the floor gets a little dirty but it is worth it to me. As your kids get older they will be helping with the cleaning, so it will be a lot easier for you. Don’t stress it now 🙂
    IrishMum recently posted…Why We HomeschoolMy Profile

  • Adrienne
    August 4, 2013 11:19 am

    I’m so impressed with your garden! Good job! And I’m with you on the clean freak thing. Sometimes I have to just let it go. Glad you held your tongue. Sometimes, they just need to have the freedom to be muddy and gross. 😉
    Adrienne recently posted…How Do You Deal with Homeschool Criticism?My Profile

  • Jin Ai
    August 19, 2013 4:00 pm

    The future can only get better, yes! Thanks for that perspective 🙂 Next time, I’ll have to make sure I’m waiting at the door before they come in, not dawdle in my own shower first!

  • Jin Ai
    August 19, 2013 4:02 pm

    I looked at all the joy on their faces and, shucks, how could I rain on their parade? 🙂

    By the way, it’s been 3 weeks now and I’ve still been sleeping on mud stained sheets. Looks like I’m not that much of a clean freak after all, ha!

  • Christine@theAums
    August 20, 2013 12:15 am

    In our neck of the woods (or beach) it’s all about sand…everywhere, all the time. No matter how much I vacuum and mop (I admit, not much), you just can’t get rid of beach sand. And they sure do love their beach adventures, so I’ve learned to live with it. What the heck is a brinjal? Never heard of it before…must google.
    Christine@theAums recently posted…Our Epic Family Adventure + Drazil Kids Tea GiveawayMy Profile

  • shia
    September 10, 2013 8:30 am

    beautiful garden!

  • Jin Ai
    September 12, 2013 5:53 pm

    You can live with beach sand?? I bow to you. I love beach sand but beach sand in the house would drive me nuts!

    A brinjal is the same as eggplant, or aubergine. This white variety is the first and weirdest I’ve seen, but it tastes pretty good!

  • Jin Ai
    September 12, 2013 5:53 pm

    Thanks, Shia! And congrats for your #2!

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