Yesterday afternoon my dad called to see if I wanted to do the organ and piano duet with him again. I didn't have the music, so we met at the church so he could give me a copy and then we could run through it. Then I came back home and likely drove Richard crazy by playing my part over and over, and doing a lot of swearing under my breath every time I made a mistake. My dad has noted that this isn't so much a duet as it is a piano piece with organ accompaniment; this is merely yet one more reason for me to learn how to play the organ so that the next time we do this, *I* can have the easier part. We played it this morning for the offertory and I managed to get through it with a minimum of (noticeable) mistakes.
We had great plans for getting things accomplished this afternoon - like purchasing and installing a new garbage disposal. Our old one died a week or so ago, and no amount of resetting, turning the blades backwards, or any of the other usual tricks would make it run again. We got it to run very briefly - just long enough for me to run some icky gunk down the drain, but then it died again and even the repair service of Dad and other Dad agreed that it just needed to be replaced.
But instead we came home and took naps, and then Richard ran off to the hardware store to at least purchase the new disposal and I stayed home to wait for his parents, who were coming up to take us out for my birthday dinner. They brought me lovely presents - a box of books and a DVD of Noises Off, which is one of my very favorite movies because if you are not laughing by the end of it there is something very, very wrong with you - and took us out for a delicious dinner.
However, prior to opening presents and going to dinner, Richard was still off getting the new disposal when they arrived, so in order to entertain them, we headed out into the backyard because it's fun to occasionally see how far all the little fledgling plants have come since last time they were up here. For one thing, the blue star thyme creepers are finally starting to take hold around the path stones that surround the raised flowerbed we built, which means at least parts of that little walkway are starting to look a bit overgrown and pretty - just how I'd hoped. The thyme is literally covered in tiny pale blue flowers, and where it's grown the most vigorously, it's starting to creep over the edges of some of the stones, and is doing its job to hold some of the larger and more wobbly ones in place.
Just as we were about to go back inside, however, I noticed something extremely exciting! The pomegranate tree! Has flowers!
The pomegranate tree has, until now, been rather a bit of a disappointment. For one thing, it looks not so much like a tree as like a rather unruly and overgrown bush. And last year it had two little flowers, which promptly fell off and produced not a single pomegranate, and I was starting to get a little antsy. But this year it seems to be making up for the lack of fruit the year before. The whole tree is covered in gorgeous bright red flowers, which I find amazing simply because the outer petals of the flower are thick and leathery, and feel just like the outer shell of the pomegranate fruit itself. Plus, not only were there lots of flowers showing all their color, there were dozens more dark red buds, just waiting to open up and surprise me.
It's rather fun to watch all the little trees slowly coming into their own, now that they've had over a year to establish. The walnut tree is tall and gangly, sort of like an awkward thirteen year old boy who can't figure out what to do with his arms and legs. I have a feeling that I am going to have to go out at some point and give it a rather severe pruning, because experience (in the form of the walnut tree in my parents' backyard) has taught that if I am not willing to prune, it will do its best to try to take over the yard (and then eventually the neighbors' yards, I would imagine). But for now I am leaving it be because I think it is going to give me double the number of walnuts it gave last year - so we might be up to six of them by the end of the summer. We shall see.
I had to cull the white peach tree again this spring because even though we propped it up rather strongly, I still think if I let it produce all the peaches it wanted to produce, most of its tiny little branches would fall off from the weight. But still, this year I've left about a dozen of them on, instead of just a handful, because I think it can handle at least that much. The little tangelo tree won't bloom for another few months, if I remember from last year, and the red grapefruit tree is so very tiny that I will not be surprised if this summer it does not bloom at all. But that's okay - I can be patient for my grapefruit. I think I'm going to have more than enough pomegranates and peaches to keep me happy this summer and fall.