As for the garden, it's all been just trying to get ready for the lack of our presence. One thing I had really wanted to get done was mulch the rye down in the paths. Last year it was a very dry spring, and all of the rye had died and was easy to manage. This year it was getting really out of hand, and starting to strangle garden. But there just wasn't time. So, inspired by this great little video, I picked up my blade and snath, and mowed all the paths.
I won't say I felt great the next day, but I was certainly not as exhausted as after I mulched three paths in one day. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. It was easier than mowing with a regular mower, that's for sure. And it made a huge difference. You can actually see the garden beds now:
I feel like I'm going to have to be wrenched away from my garden. It's such an uncomfortable time to leave all the little, starting plants. I worry for the squash because of the stem-borer moths, and I worry for the tomatoes with the army worms. But it will have to be.
Just to clarify, we are not going on a luxury trip to France where we will be put up in fine hotels and bused around to various tourist attractions in an air-conditioned bus, stopping now and then to gorge on expensive pate and sending bragging postcards home to our less fortunate friends. Get that image out of your head. We're going on a crazy, hellish, what-were-we-thinking backpacking trip with three children, one of them in the difficult age of two years. We will be sleeping in dorm-rooms at youth hostels, except for the days when we will be put up at a dairy sheep farm and working as hard as possible to earn our keep (I've told the kids, it'll be like Cinderella. No whining, just working. We have to earn our bread). If I understood the French properly, I think they had mattresses for us, but we might possibly have to sleep on the floor.
Just yesterday my friend said, "I can't believe you guys are going on an international flight with a 2-year old." Honestly, I can't really believe it either. Ethan is really starting to panic now. For me, it's better. I panicked about it months ago, and now I think I'm in denial. I can't actually believe we will be on a plane to another continent in a few days, GASP!