Our foundering cucumber seems to have finally found some solid ground and taken root.
And now, a word about surprise gifts. I recognize and openly admit that I am a difficult person to get a gift for. I am picky, and have distinct ideas about what I like and what I don't. So add to that difficulty the element of surprise and you'd really have yourself in a pickle. But my kindly in-laws took a gamble, although they had a little help from Aaron(who is an amazing gift-giver). Back in April, we went over to Whidbey Island for Easter. Sonia, having conspired with Aaron about where I would want things, sent Tom and Tristan over to our jungle back yard where they proceeded to clear out a long strip of ground along the south side of our house. It was disgusting, having been neglected for years and containing all manor of grass, weeds, flowers, bricks, painted stones and a cornucopia of spiders and other crawly things. We came home from Whidbey and had dinner at Tom and Sonia's, where they presented me with a big basket containing seeds, a watering can, some gardening gloves, and a tiny shovel. Then they told me what I would find when we went home. I almost wish they had told me so that I could have taken "before" pictures(it really was awful), but I'm glad they didn't. I think I was speechless for a full two minutes. So thanks to Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Tristan, we will be enjoying some lovely produce of our own making this summer.