Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day in the Life of My Garden- May 30, 2009

I had to work all weekend but was able to find a few hours before dinner on Saturday to get out and feel the sunshine- finally.

Here is one of the new bird boxes built & installed by the boyfriend. The swifts & bluebirds have been duking it out for residency in this site. It isn't quite as tony an address as the one which overlooks his garden (good eatin'!) but it offers more privacy as it is removed from the major thoroughfares.

I have been haphazardly doing the edging on all of the beds, which means that whichever garden line irritates me the most gets edged. For me this is a very satisfying chore. It restores order, creates a clear division between lawn and is hard physical labor to help burn off a day's frustrations.

This is my Silver Brocade Artemsia. I thought I had lost it, but it just turns out to be a slow starter like the hostas. I did lose a lot of plants to the harsh winds of winter- some euphorbias, some new violets, the little sedum cauticolium, and some adorable little sedum that looked like bread mold. I purchased most of these plants this past year. I guess I need to cross them off my list. But I also lost an aster (what is hardier than a New England Aster?) and one of three of my new Black Lace Elderberry which is suppose to be safe to Zone 4.

Enough of the whining... One of my favorite sights is the new growth on my Blue Spruce. It is so .... blue! And the way it sheds its little covers like a snake is just too cute. I like to pick them off to uncover the soft little budlets ..... like I don't have more pressing things to do. I suppose once in a while we just need to indulge our indolence.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Photo of one of my favorite little pain-in-the-asskins all set to receive a potentially dangerous smooch in his safety goggles.

I went to a big schmooze event last night to rub elbows with the business community. I do these things periodically to keep my face and name in the public sphere. While it can be fun & enjoyable, it is ultimately work.

After much mingling, noshing and then later, when we were seated at tables, small talk with the people seated on either side of me my mind turned to the home front. The strain of constant mingling is tiring. Oh.... to be with those who elicit more natural responses...... silliness, quietness, grumpiness.

The feeling was too strong to resist. I gathered my things and made my way to the car. My dog must be telepathic because he was sitting in my seat staring right at me as I rounded the corner. I pushed him aside so I could climb in and then spent 5 minutes reassuring him, cuddling, kissing (on his part and mine) and high pitched keening for the heart ache he had endured.

Then the long drive home to my sweetheart, who was, of course, already in bed. He is an early to bed/early to rise kind of guy.

I have been listening to a book on tape to help make my long commutes pass. This time it is David Sedaris' "When You Are Engulfed In Flames." In one story he described the transition in a relationship from gulping down every little detail of your beloved to no longer having anything to discover. Soon you are left breathing heavily through your cell phone because there is nothing to say yet it is comforting to know that someone you love is at the end of the line. I often feel this way about my boyfriend and dog. I don't need to be engaged. It is often enough to know that they are sleeping somewhere nearby.

So I rushed home from a room full of people because I missed a houseful of my favorite sentient beings..... breathing heavily.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Pause to Think

This just in.... if you type in Shaved Puppy with Freckles I come up #7.

I find these sorts of things endlessly amusing. I mean, they are beyond non-sequiturs. Who thinks of these word combinations?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Hurdle That Is My Brain

Camera flaw too.

I have a fatal personality flaw. I see things in black & white... and am unwavering in my opinions about those things. Mostly this boils down to values & morality. I thought this was my cross to bear because I am a Capricorn, but my little sister confirmed that she also suffers from this flaw. She is an Aries.

"It is Dad. We inherited this from him- and he is a Gemini. Mum is nice to everyone. Dad carries grudges."

Ergghh... even when the behavior is self destructive I can't help but stick to my guns. I mean really, would the world stop spinning if I made a choice out of expediency and potential financial gain?

Nevertheless it makes me cranky that I am having my arm twisted to support an organization that is a boys network which does me no good. These people spend very little to no money at my business, so what will I lose? My reputation?

And what is that compared to my self determination?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Day in the Life of My Garden- May 18, 2009

I took a few days off to relax after many straight days of work. I lucked into decent weather so I made time to commune with my garden.

This poor little Spirea bush has been taunting me for a few years now. I love its lime green leaves next to the purple of the Campanula Glomerata. It is a prize winning combination. But the bush has been dying off in bits and pieces each year.

This year was the worst. About 80% of the bush is not leafing out- no amount of pruning will hide this fact. I have always had difficulty in giving up on a plant that is not quite dead. I feel it has a certain right to keep trying.

Unfortunately gardening is about creating beauty. This bush is not beautiful. So I began the terrible task of surgically removing its ugliness from the masses of young Campanula.

I consoled myself with some visions of health & beauty, like the just leafing out Smoke Bush & White Bearded Iris.

Or the electric blue of the almost unwelcome guest of Ajuga.

Or the silvery lamb's ear next to a pink azalea.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lap Dog

Walking through a field with Henry yesterday- he swings his head from side to side licking the dew off of the grass. He must be a lap dog.

I crack myself up.... I think I need to talk to more adults.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

God is in the Detailing

My little car has been ill used recently- what with all the transporting of Sheetrock & lumber to build the new seasonal location for my business. I decided to give my car a good hosing out as I am going to be transporting a rather valuable portrait in it this coming Wednesday.

Out comes the vacuum cleaner, buckets, rags and sponges. Carrying my dog everywhere means his white fur has permeated every crevice. I must have vacuumed for 45 minutes. Next comes the washing of all the surfaces- especially the snotty nose prints on the windows. While doing this thorough scrub I knocked the plastic console cover off its clips- REVELATION! This things comes off.

I have owned this Element for almost 4 years and have loved the lack of rugs and upholstery (no place for dog hair to stick) but have loathed all of the creases and crevices that catch it. If all these plastic covers and tidbits are removable though- my job just became much easier. While the interior doesn't look brand new, it is many steps closer to, at least, not creating a white hair storm every time you roll the windows down.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pause To Think

My town librarian recommended I listen to Studs Terkel's "Voices of Our Times." It is interviews with famous Americans from the 50's to the almost present. I am only into the 1960's but am quite taken by the regional accents that people displayed- especially the "East Coast Patrician" which is so ubiquitous amongst the intellectuals that are his preferred subject in this collection.

I was stopped in my tracks, so to speak, listening to the interview with Dr. Mortimer Adler, a philosopher who taught at several of the most prestigious schools in the nation. The idea he was putting forth to Studs in this brief interview was that intellect is not important, using the brain is. Regardless of the IQ - 90-140 - it is the "duty and moral obligation" of a human being to use their intellect in an ennobling manner.

Since 1850 we have accrued leisure time at an unprecedented rate. We no longer fill every waking hour toiling to make the clothing we wear or growing the food that we eat. His premise is that we owe it (to God? our fore bearers?) to use this leisure time well.

I think of how much leisure time I have and how frequently I feel that goofing off is my prerogative because I have worked so hard. I would hate to see a tally of how much of my free time is spent wastefully. I am not talking about the leisurely rambles with my dog- that serves as both exercise & rejuvenation. I am talking about the time spent playing solitaire on my computer. It serves absolutely no purpose.

Does this mean I need to become a Calvinist and offer all my labors up to the Glory of God? I think I may need to find some middle road so I can screw off a little bit, but I also want to be aware of how much of my life I am wasting.