Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fat Lazy Slobs Love the Weather Channel

Over the past few days we have had some pretty heavy rains. Nothing to write home about or even blog about for that matter, not that I’m going to let that little detail stop me. I wasn’t to worried about it though and what I mean by worry is that special kind of North-Western/Seattle worry that comes when it rains and the temperature isn’t cold enough to freeze you like discount pop-sickle; anything above that and we want to be outside…preferably in shorts. Of course if that means we have to wear wool socks with sandals and fuzzy collared parkas over shorts well, so be it. The important thing is that we’re outside. Sure, we may be the backwater of the fashion world but we do it with giant recycled cups of melted caffeine candy bars from Starbucks and a bunch of funky micro brews, nobody really cares what we do anymore. Besides we can cut off your internet and you all know it.
The reason I wasn’t too worried about one of those agonizingly long stretches of rain usually referred to as “When will it ever stop?” and “I literally can not remember what the sun looks like” is because I have become addicted to looking at satellite weather pictures. No longer am I left to hang on every word of some over puffed, over powdered, goofball on local television telling me everything about absolutely nothing which I could easily see for myself if I bothered to look out a window. He never tells me what I really need to know because A. he doesn’t actually know anything that’s not on the cue card in front of him and B. he’s still bitter that he didn’t get the big gig on CNN where they have real professionals do your hair and makeup. He’s sure he could have really been somebody if he wasn’t stuck doing time in some backwater fashion hell “paying his dues”. Yeah, I’m skipping that guy’s segment now and spending my time looking at the big picture baby!
Well this big picture known to me as “that glorious weather satellite” and offering any pole, hemisphere or land mass, I might wish to look at told me that we are getting this month’s air from the warm and wonderful South Pacific and that nasty little rain pelting was but a brief passerby. I was ready and waiting with my pond-side-sitting gear. Sure I could find some gardening task to do on a nice sunny day, shoot even a not quite so rainy day would do but, that’s not what I watch the satellites for. No, I watch the satellites so I know exactly how much time I really do have to lounge around like a big fat bum before I have to admit I lounged around like a big fat bum and didn’t get stuff done. That bubble headed powder puff with the happy sunshine chip on his shoulder isn’t going to tell me that information now is he? NO. He’s going to tell me that it’s going to be all “sunshine and lollipops for the next five days so grab your gardening clogs friends and head outside.” Then when it’s raining like the end times on a holy roller of package of revenge the next five days he just shrugs his trustworthy looking tweed jacketed shoulders as if to say “See, this is why you need me, Mother Nature is just so unpredictable.” GAAAHH

The is on my desktop and I am not afraid to use it Mr. Untrustworthy Tweed Jacket Man. And seriously, give the rugged dry look hair thing a rest will ya? Everyone knows you haven’t been outside since 1975.

Armed with my trusty eyes on the world satellite information I worried not when the rain poured down after teasing us with sun breaks only the day before. No, I did not whine and whimper with fear of a rainy spring leading into a no summer at all wet fest like we had not so very long ago. I smiled smugly as I sat safely dry on the porch bench sipping my morning latte` and patiently waiting for tomorrow. Yes, I knew. I knew exactly how much time I had to sit around like a lazy bum on holiday with low expectations and nowhere to go. The spring cleanup can wait another day or two, the beds in back can wait till the weekend and the garage has all summer to dry out…I hope it dries out. The porch rails need repainting and the porch floor could use a serious touch up too. The benches need refinishing and the windows desperately need power washing, I might even try sand blasting a few of the really bad ones. But for right now, I’ve got time. Time to slip out to the pond during a sun break and soak up this rare warm spring weather. Time to enjoy the birds in the garden the fishes schooling about in the pond and our new found pond buddies, Praline and Butter Nut. Are those their names? No, not really but I just bought new coffee syrups today and I want to make sure those silly ducks have names so when my hunting machine of a dog eats them I’ll know what to put on their little markers. I know, I know. I thought they would figure it out and not come back but they seem to like it here…so far.

We are at least a month and a half ahead of last year at this time. Everything looks a lot better than it did then because it didn’t have three feet of snow plastering it into oblivion this year. I could have used a little more winter down time but I’m more than happy to map it out on the satellite maps, plan my mini down times by the pond and know that I really don’t have to worry about all that stuff right this minute just because spring got silly and came early. The invitation clearly said April-May. It’s not my fault if I’m still in my scruffies. Pull up a chair, I’m expecting another sun break any minute. May I pour you a fresh cup of coffee while we wait?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nobody asked you!

It was sunny today. Bright beautiful sunny. And I went outside and stayed there until the trees ate the sun away. I spread a blanket out between the waterfalls grabbed a pillow and laid there with the sun on my face and the sound of rushing water from where there should only be rocks. I snapped of a dried twig of catmint and reveled in its warm nostalgic scent. I ignored the weeds and the grass that is sneaking in and just rolled over to look at the fishes now schooling about in the pond. It was a lovely day…and it is the 9th of February. It was an odd day.

We have actually been having a number of these odd days. So much so that everything and I truly do mean everything is sprouting and raring to go. I figure we are at least a month and a half ahead of schedule for even and early spring. Some years, feels like most, we don’t get spring until sometime in May. That’s if we get spring at all that is. Last year we had snow at the end of March and it was snow tire snow, well at least at our elevation it was. This year it’s February and my rose bushes are leafing out.

Now at first I was completely flummoxed by this turn of events. I needed the rest. I have things to do in the house, I have a new writing project to work on, I have to paint and most of all; I just want to sit on my butt and do nothing for a little while. And that would not include being sick with swine flu—twice, thank you very much. Did I mention that the new not leaking water heater is not exactly heating? No? Hmm, can’t imagine how I let that slip. No worries. I’m just going to dust bathing and get on with my life.

The fishes have shown up again along with the frogs. I hadn’t seen them, the fish that is, for…wait let me check the calendar, oh that’s right—five whole minutes. They look plump slimy and happy and apparently ready for lunch. I guess they didn’t sleep long enough to forget where to show up for a meal. They’ve been hovering around the bridge and the little ones are beginning to stalk me. Did I mention that last year, I mean last week, just before putting them to bed I discovered that we had new baby fishes? Sooo cute. I’m calling them chips for the time being. Yes, that’s right. Now we have fish-n-chips. Bwaaahahaa. I really do need a nap.

So with this fine weather I have found myself rushing to do the tasks that I thought I still had a month to do. Now let’s not drag up the past with all that silly bulb talk. I had plenty of time when it all started. I can’t be held responsible for the weather turning on me like that or the fact that my bedroom tried to kill me. They’re in the ground now so we don’t need to talk about that anymore. No, I do not think I over bought bulbs or that it was unreasonable to think anything less than an army could plant 700 bulbs. Perfectly reasonable. Ask anybody, really.

I had to transplant a large-ish gunnera plant. If you don’t know what they are they are commonly referred to as dinosaur plants. You know those giant cement leaves you see in garden stores sold as bird baths and the like? The ones with the leaves are measured in feet? That’s them. They are definitely a statement piece and we have one in the only place we can actually well, have one, at the top of the pond. The only issue is that I had to make a bed for it and that is a lot of freaking dirt my friends! Last year I thought it might have not been enough dirt and was convinced that I needed to dig it up and rebuild the bed with even larger amounts of dirt. I am now also convinced that this should have been done with a track hoe and several hired hands. That was not the choice I made. But hey, 700 bulbs and a giant gunnera plant, why not? It sure made moving the five foot rose bush look like a breeze.
Those are the roots on the right side of this lump.
Speaking of five foot plants…the six foot daisies needed some thinning. The word thinning is cruelly deceptive. Let me just say that when I think of flower gardening rarely do I envision swinging and ax and vehement cursing. I’m telling you what, these daisies are not thugs in the garden their a mafia gangland syndication. After that act of disrespect I’m looking for a horse head in my bed every morning.

So I bet your wondering if I have some particular point or, any point for that matter, to this post. Um, no. No, I don’t. This is just me being a little surprised that it’s apparently spring already and I have the robins to prove it. Of course this could turn ugly and we could be waking up to the white stuff killing all these over eager plants at any time. Except for the daisies of course. Nothing short of Napalm is killing those babies. As a matter of fact I’m planning on setting them loose on that field of evil blackberries out back which the Saint has taken to calling Al Qaeda. Blackberries and Daisies duking it out in a fight to the death. I’m betting on the daisies.

Friday, February 5, 2010

-Insert Clever Title Here-

This is the time when I sit down in front of my computer and realize that I haven’t a single thought in my head. No thought except to wonder what in the world I am going to blog about. I stare at my monitor screen glowing white with a blank document, certain that it is mocking me behind it’s digital mask. No doubt it just is wondering how we humans ever made it to the position that we are currently hold and quietly biding its time till the “Big One” finally takes us out. “Oh yeah? Well, I’m watching you buddy and I know where the plug is! Just you keep that tidy bit of info stored in your evil little data banks. That’s right, I know where the plug is Mister and I’m not afraid to pull it either!”
I’m sorry you had to see that. It’s not pretty I know, but every now and then you just need to let them know whose in charge. I mean, if you don’t lay down the law once in awhile it’s going to be Terminator landscaping all over the place. They start with ruining our finances then move onto deleting family photos and email addresses just to be mean before getting down to the real horrors—crashing You Tube and Twitter! And besides, that evil little cackle was really getting on my nerves.
Speaking of landscaping and segues smooth as sandpaper… I finally got all 700 bulbs planted. Whoo Hoo! When I bought those babies back at the end of Fall I joked that I would be planting them in the middle of December. It was a joke, right? No. The joke was that I wouldn’t even be planting them in the middle of January. I was going to be planting them in February. And yet even that wasn’t humorous enough for the powers that be; powers that happen to be just a little sadistically twisted in a “Oh ha ha, isn’t that cute, you actually thought you knew what you were doing didn’t you?” sort of way.

Well those little packets of future sweetness are finally in the ground and hopefully making velvety petals of color for our viewing pleasure. Please, please, please, be doing that in there.

It is unfortunate that I must report the water heater is still on the questionable list. It doesn’t seem willing to produce the hot water that was promised on the outside of the package. Now I will say that it is doing a far bit better than the ice cold shower it was offering just a short time ago but it is no way near the hot steamy fiesta my winter wimpy self longs for. It is also making some unusual sounds that are most likely some sort of water heater death rattle. Sigh. At some point here I am going to have to make a decision about that blasted thing and either yank it out or learn to live with lukewarm showers and overly dramatic death rattles. Guess we can all see where that one’s going.
Like most things in life this will all pass and just as winter seemed to pass this year with hardly a nod in our direction my memory of this will drift away as uneventfully. I may still flinch a little when I see cold rushing water but as long as it stays out of my shower and my bedroom I’ll be OK with it. Between the 100s of bulbs I planted last year and the 700 I planted this year something will show up and I’ll never be the wiser for what doesn’t. At this time, though I can’t make promises, I don’t plan on counting all of the flowers that actually show up. That is of course unless you think I should?

I started this post by exposing the evil plans of world domination by our modern technology with its Terminator landscaping goals and I couldn’t help thinking of some small tenacious sprout poking up from the ashes. Life is just like that--stubborn.
Our warm weather has me marveling at how the garden has barely finished blooming before it is back up for another round. My entire garden is built on bedrock and gravel and yet there are seedlings sprouted everywhere, the lily pads are already growing up toward the light and rose bushes are flush with new growth. There isn’t a stitch of earth out there that doesn’t have something growing on it. Today I thinned some daisies and had to use an ax to chop through them they were so thick. There are plants that were pulled out of trash bins which are now growing strong and vibrant. This planet absolutely teems with life of such an undeniable power, such unimaginable determination that all you have to do sometimes is look at a tiny speck of green pushing its way up through the dirt, reaching for the sun, to know that we were made to strive. We were made to take a little dirt in the face once in awhile so that we can strengthen our roots as we push up toward the light. Sometimes we need a cold winter to rest in before the warm summer sun calls us out to bloom again.