April 13, 2006


With some encouraging news on the health front temporarily abated, my endorphins are being allowed to come out of temporary shut down and kick my gardening enthusiasm up a notch. Oh, it's been there. Just relegated way down on my priority list these days.

In between doctor visits & tests, I did manage to start some seeds. Not nearly half as many as I would normally have begun at the end of a winter/beginning of a spring season. But, the few I seeded, germinated and are coming along. S-l-0-w-l-y... However. But then...so am I.

So now with those enhanced endorphins I can get back into my "Seed-Starting Chamber" (aka: my writing & craft room) and start those seeds that would be direct seeded this time of year. While I will probably wind up having to direct seed more than I usually do, there are some (if given the opportunity------and I have) I'd just as soon start inside. I can manage them better. Don't have to worry about turning on the hose to water them outside if we don't get adequate rainfall or bemoan the deer tracks galomping and stomping down freshly seeded areas. No...I'm a masochist. I'd rather go through all the trouble babying my little seedlings inside; hardening them off in a safe area (no greenhouse this year, remember?) and then planting them out so the deer can galomp and stomp larger seedlings!

I know these poor little sprouts will sometimes get crushed by numerous hooves because those hooves are only headed toward some plant further back in the border that's already leafed out and just happens to be high on the Bambi Buffet Menu. *Note to self: Maybe if I moved all deer delights up front, they wouldn't have to go so far into the beds and borders to get to the main course?* A thought.

Most of the beds and borders have been cleaned and spruced up. At least things look a little neater. There's some early spring color from the creeping phlox and yellow wood poppy. The old fashioned bleeding heart, which I transplanted a week ago is taking well and is sporting buds. As are the two huge buddleas, a white and a rather unsightly yellow, we moved two weeks ago. I wasn't particularly fond of the yellow. It has a completely different, more open, almost spindly growth habit and much smaller inflorescence. It's positioning was way to prominent, being foolishly originally and naively planted in the border too close to the front of the house and despite seasonal whacking back to the bare ground, still managed to dwarf its neighbors and block a portion of the view of the house. But, the bees and butterflies still liked it (coming in a respectable fourth to the pinks, purples and whites - in that order.) So, as with any plant that doesn't fit the bill for one reason or another, it never haphazardly gets tossed! Just moved to a more suitable location. In the case of the yellow buddleia "Honeycomb", it fell into my plant logic of: "If you make it where I put you, fine. If not...well, c'est la vie!" So far it's pushing new growth and holding its own in between one forty-foot oak and an equally tall pine. It's a duking of the roots for dominance. The best I can hope for it is that won't die. Sounds cold. But, that can be life in the Plant World.

Heck, life in my Human Health World of late has seemed a little merciless at times. But, I'm holding my own and with digging in my roots as well. We don't always work out where or how we intended. Sometimes all we need is a little repositioning and someone - or some Entity - to give us a second chance.

April 09, 2006


I'm beginning to wonder if the reason I've been getting off "fairly" lucky these past few years without any major health issues (aside, of course from the usual arthritis, fleeting and not-so-fleeting bouts of depression and various and sundry accidents that have laid me up and out of action for awhile) is because it's all been accumulating...saving up...to whomp me all at once. For the Chinese, this is supposed to be The Year of The Dog. For this half Italian/half Canadian, 2006 is playing out as The Year of the Bitch all right.

If it were one thing to have thrown my system..my life..my priorities...out of whack, it'd be enough of an upheaval and adjustment. But it's two, two, two-physical ailments in one (as goes the old jingle).

There seems no way to begin at the beginning, because I'm already halfway into the second act and trying to bring any latecomers up to date is a bother. Not the fault of the dear reader. But my personal dislike and impatience at having to synopsize three months of aggravation, fear, anxiety, impatience and still unable to conjur up a more picture. For now, it's a jumble of scattered puzzle pieces that (at times) do seem to fit....only if I whack them hard enough however.

When I'm not crying, or wringing my hands in worry, staring off into space, or staying awake till all hours (like now, at 3:30am)...when I'm not doing any of those, I'm trying my best to keep busy with the whatever I can. "Whatever I can" usually pans out to be the more mundane. That which requires the least amount of grey-matter usage or anxiety which I don't need more of right about now. This is where my gardening and all the precursors that attend it (the seeding, coddling baby seedlings, prepping the soil, etc.) come in. Having been around the gardenig rodeo for over 20 years, much is done by rote, although it's still not easy. The effort I expend is more physical and creative. The physical I can handle if I pace myself and the creativity is like manna for a hungry woman. It's the juice or grease which lubricates the brain gears. Makes the real arduous use of those synapses, electrons and neurons in my system work at optimum speed and agility when I need to kick them up a notch in prep for another test, another bit of blood drawn, another doctor visit and another arduous sretch in yet another hospital outpatient waiting room.

In this particular instance and at this particular place and time in my life, gardening provides a welcome respite in which to lose myself. Albeit temporarily while coddling a cotyledon or weeding a bed for seeding, it gently nudges me and my cares down that garden path and off into another direction.

All I have to do is glance at my calendar and see the week of scheduled appointments ahead of me. But, for today, I'll check my garden calendar and see what seeds best be planted now and which of my temporarily heeled-in perennials in my back "nursery" bed are stretching their reborn arms and crying to be replanted. Gotta go. The "kids" are calling.