First, thank you to everyone that responded regarding my porch railing dilemma. I appreciate all of your comments and opinions and have filed them away for future reference.
Second, we had a busy weekend around the house; a few fixer-upper projects and the main goal...to get the backyard garden started.
Recently, I notice that our bedframe was becoming very loose. Both the headboard and footboard were extremely wobbly and the side railings were askew. No doubt this occurred because of two little monkeys jumping on our bed! So Daddy, Mary and Ben all donned protetive eye equipment, tool belts, and set to work repairing the splintered footboard/siderail.
Later that same day, the "garden" work began. A few weeks back, Chris built a raised planting bed for Mary's garden. Mary and Daddy have been talking about planting a garden all winter. (Mary loves Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh who is always working in his garden!) After tilling the soil, together they shoveled the earth into their planting bed. They decided on what vegetables to plant, went to several different nurseries and came back with "Mooooo-nure", a Burpee Seed Starting 36-Cell Greenhouse Kit, seeds, and a composter. Yes, my dyed-in-the-wool Republican-husband has decided to become a caretaker of the earth...although not an environmentalist...a conservationist. (Actually, as a former Iowan and grandson of a Danish-Lutheran farmer, he has soil in his blood!)
Neeless to say, Mary was up at the crack of dawn this morning and mightly disappointed that her carrots did not grow. In her words..."maybe this Friday or this Spring."