Ok, so if you read this blog you probably know that Hot Jeff and I are very different people. We are wired really, really differently. And I'm not talking a male-female-he's-from-Mars-I'm-from-Venus different I'm talking like crazy opposites-attract-but-shouldn't-breed different. Hot Jeff is like a warm and gentle Spring rain; I am a torrential downpour. When Hot Jeff tells a joke its quiet and hilarious and if you missed it that is just too bad because he's not going to repeat it; when I tell a joke it is never without an audience and microphone and most likely someone else's material.
Our differences carry in to our parenting. When the kids started to walk Hot Jeff considered putting them in helmets. My approach was a little different and I'm certain they both have heard me say, on numerous occasions, "If you fall off the table and break both of your legs don't come running to me".
Jeff is meticulous and thorough and I'm messy and haphazard. Remember the story about the water getting shut off because I forgot to pay the bill and lost the warning notice? Yeah, that kind of stuff doesn't happen to Hot Jeff. Hot Jeff doesn't lose anything, well unless I throw it away.
So it shouldn't surprise you that when it came to making my garden bed our differences shined through. It started simply with Jeff asking me how big I wanted it. I looked at him cluelessly and said, "I dunno". We got online and found some raised bed ideas and went from there.
Off to Lowes we went. I was super excited to get the dirt so we headed to that end of the store first. I had grabbed a little shopping cart to put my bags in and didn't pay much attention to Jeff's snicker as I headed to the aisle filled with every brand of soil, manure and peat moss you could imagine. I quickly realized why Jeff had giggled when I grabbed my little cart because it would NEVER hold all the dirt I needed. Jeff asked how many bags I would need and I told him 6 bags of soil, 3 bags of steer manure and 3 bags of peat moss.
"How do you know that?" Jeff asked. I looked at him incredulously, "Um because I just do", I replied. Jeff leaned over my growing pile of manure bags and said, "You're only supposed to use 1 bag of these per 100 square feet. Since you have less than 20 square feet you should only use about a 1/4 of the bag and even then that would probably be too much".
My heart started to race. Beads of sweat began to form on my nose. Color rushed to my cheeks. "Well if a little manure is good then a lot is better", I told him indignantly (that's my philosophy on Tylenol too, by the way). "Only if you want your vegetables to taste like crap" he quietly said.
Turns out my Mom was a farmer in her past life and concurred with Hot Jeff and if you use too much manure (which gets really hot in the sun) it will cook your veggies. Blah, blah, blah.
Hot Jeff, realizing I was totally retarded and clueless, took matters in to his own hands, did the math in his head and bought the perfect amount AND BLEND right down to the cubic square foot. He loaded the bags on to the huge rolling-platform looking thing that had mysteriously replaced my little bitty shopping cart.
"Now lets go get screws." he said. "Screws?" I questioned. I would have rounded up whatever spare nails I could have found in the garage and hammered that thing together with a high heeled shoe...not Hot Jeff though. 20 MINUTES we stood in the screw aisle while Hot Jeff fingered every screw in every box. Alas it was time to go pick out wood.
"What kind of wood do you want?" Hot Jeff wanted to know. What kind of wood do I want? Has he not been paying attention? I looked at him blankly, searching my brain for the right answer. I pleaded with the dark recesses of mind to come up with something intelligent that would restore Hot Jeff's confidence in me...my brain remembered another moment such as this.
It was our first summer in Alaska. We had only met a month or so earlier and were still in that cute aren't-you-adorable-stage. We were sitting in the dining tent eating and he was inquiring about my day. I excitedly told him that Jami and I had found a bird's nest near the bathrooms and that there were little birds living in it. "What kind of birds?" Jeff asked. "Baby birds" I answered knowingly.
"Cedar" I blurted out, coming back from my reverie. Jeff nodded, "I think so too". Relief.
The rest of the story is filled with boring measurements. A lot of boring measurements and a level. Yes, I said a level. Hot Jeff used a level to place my garden bed on the ground. How friggin' awesome is he? Thankfully I didn't even have to ask him why he was wasting time with a level; he must have seen the glassy look in my eyes because he said, "We don't want your water pooling up". Oh yeah. Duh.
I'm fairly certain Hot Jeff has a secret college degree in raised garden bed building. How else would he know about wood screws?
You. Are. Wel. Come.
Hot Jeff got a little shy with all you women fawning over him and asked that I remove his hotness from the blog. I know, I'm not quite sure what's gotten in to him either. I couldn't just leave you all empty handed though so here's the next best thing to Hot Jeff without a shirt. MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY without a shirt! Hooie.