Shot in the Foot, Again

imageMother's 88 bdayHave you ever seen a happier face?MotherIt was a perfect storm.  I’d made up my mind not to take Mother to the garden center any more this summer, not that I have anything against garden centers.  Mother is addicted to flowers, just like I am.  She just isn’t strong enough to dig holes.  In contrast, I’d never be able to convince anyone I couldn’t dig a hole.  If I tried, they’d hand me a shovel and point me toward China.  Anyway, I’m tired of digging holes.  If all the holes I’ve dug this summer, in my yard and hers, were lined up end to end, they’d reach…..well, you know.

Anyway, one of my meddling sisters called one day last week and invited Mother and me to lunch.  It sounded innocent enough.  At the worst, I would only get stuck with her lunch ticket.  Mother doesn’t believe in paying her own ticket when she dines with her children.  I can’t say I blame her, after all the biscuits and gravy she’s cooked over the years.  Connie’s husband generously treated us all to lunch. I had a wonderful time till somebody shot me in the foot.

“__________ has their plants marked down.  Anybody want to stop by?”

Mother was the first in line.  I was loading my buggy up when I heard Connie ask Mother.

“Is that all you’re getting?  Get whatever you want and I’ll pay for it!”

“Nooooooo!  ………..only if they sell the holes to go with them!”

Mother was deaf to my protests and loaded her cart.  Connie went home proud of herself for being good to her mama.  The checkout lady even gave her a lantana someone had left at the counter because she looked so cute standing behind that cart full of plants.

I took my posthole digger over a couple of days later and spent some time digging holes.  If anyone else buys her any plants this summer, I will have to commit mayhem.

,Garden hint:  Posthole diggers are great for digging holes for your plants!

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Dirty

pig in slopI just get dirty. I don’t mean my shoes have little smudges. I look like I fell in the garbage every day. I don’t understand it. When I worked, I dressed and left the house just like everyone else. By the time I got to work, I had stepped in something, spilled coffee on myself, or rubbed up against something and gotten a spot on my clothes. As the day went on, I was sure to end up with ink spots on my hands and/or clothes and have a few spots. I sponged the worst off, but still got home a mess.
I wear my oldest clothes in the yard and make no effort to stay clean. After a few hours of digging, hauling, moving rocks, and planting, I look like I have been rolling in the mud. That doesn’t bother me in the least. When I am done working, I just drop the clothes in the washer, and get straight in the shower.
My mother and two of my sisters stay crisp and clean. Mother can wear white and work all day and look like she’s dressed for a garden party. My other sister is like me. She looks like she works on a garbage truck. What in the world do people do who stay clean? Is it magic?

Red Wagon War

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Mother and I went to one of our favorite stores the other day, Goodwill. I headed straight for the back to see if I could find a nice piece of cast-iron cookware. I am always on the lookout for cast-iron. En route, I stumbled up on this miracle. They were pulling a red wagon out to the floor. I grabbed it and headed for the front without even checking the price. It was a bargain, no matter what. I ran over a nice middle-aged gentleman on my way up.

“Oh, did you find that here?”

“Yes, I am so thrilled. I’m not even going to shop any more. I’m just going to take it and run.”

“How much was it?”

“I don’t know. I was so excited I forgot to look. Let’s see. Ten dollars! What a deal!” I was dancing a jig for sure,now.

Just about that time Mother walked up. “Oh, you found a red wagon! Did they have any more? I’ve been looking all over for one!”

“I know! When I saw this one I grabbed it!”

Clearly the man thought everything had its price. “My mother has been wanting one forever. Would you let me have it for forty dollars?” Mother looked at him with blood in her eye. She had her eye on that wagon.

“No Sir, If I’m not going to give it to my mother, I’d better not give it to yours.”

Doesn’t she look good pulling it around in my back yard?

I Am Whipped

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Saturday my two sisters and I went over to help Mother a little. She’d gotten a bit behind on her gardening and was starting to stew about it. She had a mess. There were about fifteen plants that were going to die if we didn’t get them in the ground immediately We worked frantically weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, and planting for several hours. By the time we were through, it looked good. I thought we were all done, but As I loaded my stuff in my truck, I stumbled over half a dozen more she had stashed in a front bed. I wanted to cry, but was too tired to dig and plant any more.
I went back over today to finish the planting and cut some small trees that had sprung up in her hedges. It was such a relief to get to a quitting place and have a glass of tea.
As I went to load my truck to go home. I found several flats of annuals sitting in the shade. I KNOW those weren’t there Saturday! She has no shame!

Plant Thieves

Pots of flowersOne day last summer, Mother and I ran by the garden center while we were running errands, as any right-thinking person would.  As I was strolling about, measuring the beauty of the flowers against the high cost of divorce, should I purchase any more this month, a miracle occurred.  One of the vendors walked up to me and asked if I liked flowers.  She cut me off before I really got started.  She lived at ——Jones Street.  She’d collected so many flowers she couldn’t take care of them.  They were all in her yard and on her porch.  Go by and get all I wanted.

“Is this a joke?  What if your neighbors see me loading flowers and call the police?”

“Oh, that’s no problem.  Just take a picture of me and show it to them if they say anything, or tell them to call me.  It will be fine.”  That sounded reasonable.  I snapped her picture making the peace sign and sped to _______Jones Street.  The neighbors were on their doorstep watching us, probably wondering why they hadn’t been offered anything.  I showed them the lady’s picture, telling them she said we could have her plants.  They looked suspicious, but didn’t yell at us.  The plants were gorgeous.  She’d even started a couple of nice pineapples.  I was thrilled to get them when I noticed we were on ______Patterson Street.  We put all the plants back, explained to the neighbors, and took off.

We never did find ________Jones Street, but at least we haven’t been arrested, yet.  I’ll bet that woman in the garden center is still laughing.

I am a slow learner. A few days ago Mother and I made a stop by another plant outlet set up in a parking lot. They had nice plants at great prices, but I forced myself not to buy much, since my beds weren’t ready yet. It as a bit of a challenge loading them since we were in Mother’s car instead of my truck, like usual. We unloaded at my house and Mother headed home with her plants. I didn’t count mine, just put them on the patio till I could get them out.

The next day, she called and told me she’d gotten an extra plant in her bunch and had to go back to pay for it. I’m glad I didn’t have to hear her explanation to the clerk, but she paid for the one she thought was extra and picked up several more while she was there.

When I counted my plants, I realized Mother had kept one of mine, accounting for her “extra.” She’s going back up to see the poor plant lady today to straighten it out. I’d be willing to bet the lady gives her extras in desperation I am glad I don’t have to go.

Beautiful day!

cashmereflowersback flowerbed

Picture 1 is Cashmere Bouquet growing next to my patio strawberry bed.  The hummingbirds prefer it to the hummingbird feeders.  I grow enough strawberries for us and the birds. Picture 2 is what I wish my baskets looked like but never have.  Picture 3 is the flower bed in back that has about half enough flowers, but I did notice eggs on my milkweed plants, so maybe in a few days, I’ll have caterpillars.  The dill, fennel, and garlic are all right there waiting for them.  Oh, it’s so hot!  I have flowers to put out, baskets to fill, flowers to water.  The day is just gorgeous but it’s 95 degrees and the humidity is 80%. I must be really looking hard for something to complain about.  Thank you, God!

 

Don’t Mess with My Caterpiller

imageI was happy to find a nice, healthy looking caterpiller gobbling this yarrow in the gardening center today,  I picked it up for my butterfly garden along with a few other plants.  The young lady in check out must have been brand new.  She picked up my yarrow bumping the caterpiller to the counter.  Before I could stop her, she brushed into her little trash can. Continue reading

Dirt is Good

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Ilove dirt.  This is some great dirt. It is the color and weight of chocolate cake mix, but I haven’t tasted it yet. I am moving a lot of this into the strawberry bed just outside my backdoor.   This particular dirt is from a our four year old compost he heap where we dumped grass, branches, garden and kitchen refuse, bured a few varmints.  Bud has turned this pile 3 to six times a year for the past four years with his garden tractor. It would have broken down much faster if I had left it alone, but I planted Cushaw, Yukon Gold Potatoes. And Sweet Potatoes in it last year, so he couldn’t turn it for a long time.

We have a three-year-old, a two-year-old, and a year old compost heap.

Crows in the Corn

We tangled with the crows last summer and came way out on the losing end. They patiently watched us plow, measure, make rows, and plant, showing special interest in the seeds we’d chosen. From their keen attention, we could see they were partial to sweet corn. They practically drooled when it came out of the bag. Continue reading