There: the tomatoes are started. Sixteen of them, along with two pots of Rosa Bianca eggplant (maybe they’ll work this year) and a single Alma paprika pepper because that was all the room that was left in the pan. Tomorrow I’ll do the peppers, cauliflower, and celery. I was planning to cheat and buy Jiffy pots because I just didn’t feel like making my own, but there weren’t any at Kroger yesterday and I also didn’t feel like driving anywhere else, so I made ’em after all. I ran out of newspaper and came up with a viable substitute, old phone book pages. Actually it’s not an old book, it’s the “fake” yellow pages that Eric refuses to use, but either way it worked out quite well. Now I no longer have to beg newspapers from my mother-in-law.

Sixteen tomato plants! I mentioned to Eric the other day that I had to get started on garden work this week, even though I hadn’t figured out where to plant things or how many tomato plants I wanted this year. “Twice as many as last year,” he said, as though it were obvious.

“Twice as many?!” I said.

“Yeah. We barely had enough for salsa, don’t you remember? Not to mention the other things we wanted to do.”

That’s not the way I remember it, but I do know that we wanted more. I planted twelve last year, but the Romas did poorly and the Black from Tula didn’t do at all and the Principe Borgheses molded before they dried, so I subtracted those and multiplied by two and added a couple to account for possible failures this year and came up with sixteen, and he said okay. I’m not totally sure this is wise, since tomatoes are going to come in at just about the same time the baby does, but I suppose it won’t hurt to pretend that we’ll be able to keep some semblance of our previous lives going. And we have friends and relatives who probably wouldn’t mind helping tidy up our yard by taking away fresh tomatoes.