Sunday, May 17, 2009


I'm bushed.

Yesterday morning seems like days ago... Mom picked me up and the two of us met my brother and nephew at a church in my hometown for my neice's music recital, which started off with "Fuzzy Wuzzy" followed by "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and only got better from there, with "Jesus Loves Me" squeaked out on violin and "Tomorrow" (from the musical "Annie") sung by a rather unenthusiastic adolescent, culminating in the music teacher playing a medley from The Lord of the Rings on violin, backed by the soundtrack. In spite the fact that she was chewing gum the whole time, my neice's performances were quite good and showed much promise; she faltered a bit on the violin minuets but showed impressive sensitivity to Bach in phrasing and tempo. Her piano piece was particularly well played and was arguably the best of the whole set. There were a few other nice moments, along with several which pushed me to the verge of cracking up, but overall it was good to be at church, with the kids, making music. A sweet time.

Inspired, I spent a few hours at the piano yesterday, working at difficult passages that used to come easily, voice faltering and hands fumbling. I've given up on being frustrated about it; it hurts, but there's nothing to do now but practice. And hate it, and practice more...

It was cold yesterday, and windy as hell, so brutal that the eggplants flopped over and curled up on themselves for protection (they unfolded nicely in the safety of the house). Hard to open the front door, even, against it. Mom and I spent a couple hours weeding the arbor garden in the afternoon and then shared a rather lovely green dinner together: asparagus from the garden sauteed with last year's onion, garlic, chives and garlic chives from the garden, a bit of green pepper and basil, tossed with fat couscous, feta and black pepper; salad of romaine with arugula, horseradish leaves and chervil from the garden, lemon vinaigrette and a bit of parmesan. Quite nice.

Played a bit more, in the evening: Brahms, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, not what it should be but it still felt good. Stayed up late, talking, until 2:30 or so. It was the first time in years, maybe ever, that we've spent any significant time alone together. Something we've been missing.

I lingered in bed until late this morning, watching the light shimmer in White Pines while Grosbeaks and Jays flitted from branch to branch in the trees around the feeder. Coffee, egg sandwich for breakfast with fresh arugula from the garden and then out to tackle the grass. Despite warnings of frost and even snow overnight, it was 50 degrees by noon today, lovely sunny and warm.

The garden beds themselves are amazingly clear of weeds this year, considering what a mess it was a couple seasons ago, but a small amount of grass has taken root in the paths. It's a real pain in the ass to remove because the paths are compacted, so it takes some effort to break them up and get all the snaking roots out, and after that the path is pretty wrecked and has to be re-graded. I spent a good two or three hours with a fork in hand, turning, stooping, picking, throwing, half-stoop stepping and stooping to pull again, to the point that standing up straight put me in enough pain that I had to use the fork as a crutch... also removed quite a few dandelions and various other weeds which I'd really like to identify (need that weed book.).

Transplanted the Lovage over to the center of the turtle garden, where it promptly went from being a robust two-foot beauty to a pile of limp celery, a rather harsh transition but a good move, I think. (It was perking up again by sunset.)

not Lovage, but Rhubarb flowers are really cool

After a sandwich and another mugful of coffee I powered through creating a new garden bed adjacent to the arbor garden, graded the area under the arbor and then all the paths, with the exception of the four shortest (too tired, blisters, time). By "grading" I mean using a garden rake to break up the surface of the compacted soil, pulling and pushing it down the line or into the beds in an effort to smooth and level all the walking paths. It should also aid in turning everything over next weekend, to have the beds clearly delineated.

Hell of a lot of work.

It was good working alone, for the most part. (Mom's still afflicted with poision ivy and wasn't able to do a whole lot.) Moments came and went when I felt a little lonely, a little unappreciated, a little hopeless, but having gotten the beds mostly into shape I was able to end the day with a sense of accomplishment and possibility even though I didn't manage to get the raspberry rows tilled and planted with clover, weed any of the other garden beds, plant lettuces and flowers or pick any of those nice fat dandelions for wine. I did manage to harvest nettles, though, which are sitting on the kitchen counter now, waiting for a trim, wash and dry...

All in all, things are looking pretty good. The new beds around the arbor are just right, and I'm really happy with them and all the rest of it. More than once today I stopped and found myself thinking how much I really love this garden...

It's after midnight, and I've managed to waste two whole hours since I got home. Time for nettles, and then to bed. Hope you've had as good a day as mine.

1 comment:

fremenine said...

Yeah...getting out of my chair just now was a little more difficult than I was anticipating. Does anyone have some good old-fashioned valium?