how to get your husband to beg to buy you azalea bushes

Sorry to leave off on such a disparaging note the other day! I hate to give the impression that things are toil and drudgery around here, because real life couldn’t be further from the truth! Yes, it’s stressful, exhausting, scary, busy, and extraordinarily entertaining. But there is a simplicity that is woven throughout each day. Yesterday, while the other kids napped upstairs, I sat in my chair downstairs nursing Evelyn Rose. As she slept a tiny booger at the edge of her nose flitted in and out with the rhythm of her deep breaths. I sat and watched it for a good 15 minutes. And I loved it. I loved that tiny booger and the tiny nose it was stuck to and the fat face that tiny nose was stuck to and the wiggly little body that fat face was attached to. I loved the little crevices in her fingers. I loved her teeny tiny eye lashes.

But this is about how to get your husband to beg to take you on a shopping spree in the garden section isn’t it? Really, we had done that the day before, on St. Patrick’s Day. We started our first family tradition! From now on we will pay homage to [whatever it was he did- we'll learn that next year] with green Peeps and newly purchased green plants. I was having such a good time browsing plants that Charis declared it Mother’s Day. Fine with me! We picked up just a few things…

In fact, I hit “publish” on that last blog and headed out the door for my shopping spree. And then yesterday happened. And this is where you want to pay attention if you hope to get your husband to buy you nice plants for your yard.

  1. You’ll need to sign up for your local Freecyle.
  2. You wil then keep a watchful eye for anyone in your area offering 10 year old azalea bushes for free. (The caveat is that you have to come dig them up.)
  3. Bat your eyelashes and forget to mention that these plants have been in the ground for 10 years when asking for help digging them up on your husband’s day off.
  4. Gather shovels and buckets and head on out.

This is where you’ll see your results.

We drove up to our fellow freecycler’s house with great anticipation. You just never know what you are going to get yourself into when you take the bait of some great sounding goods. Sometimes you get a lemon, and sometimes you get a treasure. But the experience makes it totally worth it.

The car in the driveway had a handicap license plate and a Betty Boop bumper sticker that said, “If you are going to ride my tail, at least pull my hair!”


Next, there was a dog on the path to the front door. A small, stinky looking dog. You know how I feel about dogs. Brent talked me past him and I knocked on the front door. “YEAH?” I heard it. But I wasn’t sure where it came from. Standing very still and small I said, “Ummm. Hello?”

YEAH?” There it was. I looked to my left and saw a door standing wide open. In fact, now that I think of it, I’m not even sure there was a door in that frame. I poked my head in and spotted a big man with no legs sitting on a couch with a laptop computer. I announced our arrival and intentions to dig up his front yard and he gave his approval.

Then we started digging. Now, the poster on freecycle had said that there were four azalea bushes (est. 10 years), “other flowers in the flower bed”, and ” a small oak tree”. I was mildly curious what she meant by that last one. Small oak tree? Umm. What was actually there was a large chunk of land that stood about a foot taller than the rest of the yard. At some point I’m sure it had some kind of wooden box or border around it. At each corner was a ginormous azalea bush and in the middle was an oak tree stump that stood about 3 feet tall and was about 2 feet thick. Yeah, let me just get right on digging that up for ya with my little hand shovel here, ma’am. Brent wrestled about half of an azalea bush out of the ground while I tacked the one flower that I found. It was some kind of bulbed plant and I’d like to call it Buttercup, but I don’t know if that’s the actual name.

Then I attacked the second azalea with the hoe, to try to loosen up the dirt around the roots and give Brent a shot at actually getting the entire plant this time. Did I mention that all of our children were in the van this whole time? Evelyn got hot and started to scream. Then we both tackled the second azalea bush.

It was at this point that Brent started to question ‘xactly how much does a bush from the store cost.

“It’s not free!” Was the best I could do. That was all we could fit in the back of the van anyway.

Plus, we had to get home in time for this.

Which had this inside (the oil drums, not the kids, sassy pants.)

Each drum weighs over 400 pounds. (and yes, we do have a major project up our sleeves. Are we crazy? Probably.)

Now that he had recovered from the morning landscaping, it was time for Brent to get each one of these in the front door. First he rocked it off the pallet and scooted it up onto the porch. Then into the front door and scooted across the living room floor. Finally across the threshold of the soap room and to its final resting place. Three times. 

There was already one in there, so that makes four. That’s over 1600 pounds of oil (Olive, Palm, and Coconut.) And we even managed to get some flowers planted, all in the same day.

This is not a photo from 1995. I bought myself some linen overalls at the thrift store for $3.48 for my gardening this year. I think the neighbors will appreciate it. 

This is not a photo from 1995. I bought myself some linen overalls at the thrift store for $3.48 for my gardening this year. I think the neighbors will appreciate it.