Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Outside Beckons . . .
This past sisters' weekend not only served as a great getaway to the Arizona sunshine but also as the perfect transition for moving on to new at-home projects, most of them outdoors and most of which I live for every year.
For the first time in a long time, I put off my usual seed planting, figuring the posies and veggies set out on card tables and in the kitchen garden window would sprout and grow just as fast after Presidents' weekend.
Plus, no plants to water meant fewer chores for Bill who stayed home and took care of dogs, cat and horses.
So, I've hit the ground---maybe not running---but slogging through wet sod and mud puddles.
The list of upcoming outdoor projects and activities is endless. That's precisely the way I like it.
First order of business yesterday, after my return to morning chores, became apparent almost the instant I took the dogs outside to do their morning duty.
For a couple of months, all that snow had either provided high visibility OR had hidden all those deposits, and now a much higher count was showing up, at least in lighted areas.
Get rid of this yucky mine field, I thought while doing my best to step around the piles of surprises almost blending in with the grass. My determination became especially apparent whenever Liam wandered far into the darkness to find a place to do his business.
As Bill and I had expected, when snow banks disappeared, Liam got pretty confused about finding the perfect spot to do No. 2. So, we walked around a lot, and with every step, I prayed that I wasn't walking through squishy extras.
Yesterday morning, Liam could not find a spot to do No. 2, which is highly unusual during that time of the day.
Guess he's gonna have to adjust or get mighty desperate. Bill reported that during the usual "second movement" period, Liam produced.
Later, while scanning the yard with manure picker in hand, I found that my work was cut out for me, eventually completing most of it in two sessions. Later in the afternoon, I discovered in several places where I had missed a pile or two.
Some deposits really stood out in the afternoon daylight.
I'd call 'em canine scrambles as they were multicolored with various-sized fragments of those chew toys that kept Liam so busy during his long winter days. What goes in must go out, and it was evident yesterday that Liam's digestive system is moving along just fine.
Anyway, today I have a few more pickups to do before launching my first "play-in-the-dirt" session. Red geranium seeds have come from Burpee, and they'll get priority. I ordered six packets and should have about 60 seedlings if all goes right today.
Tomatoes, cucumbers and some varieties of lettuce, along with pansies, petunias and marigolds will take up plenty of indoor space once the pots are prepared.
I always love this time of year because every day after that first seed germinates and pops out of the dirt is an adventure like no other. Actually, gardening represents a microcosm of life in general.
Provide the basics for those plants, nurture them, give them freedom to do their thing, help when needed and, if all goes well, they'll blossom into something special. My only regret is that they all have to die or regress every year.
Well, most of them . . . I do have three pots with pansies that never really went to sleep over the winter. Leaves are still green and, in two cases, flowers are blooming.
The trio of living beauty offers a nice start for the gardening season, serving as symbols of what's to come with most of those seeds which hit the soil in the next couple of days.
I also like gardening because it knows no political bounds. All plants are apolitical. They don't talk back, sulk, hate, diss, lie or do any of that stuff that we find so disturbing in the world far away from the soil.
If natural elements don't cause them problems, they do their best to flourish, providing us a wealth of intangible rewards and beauty.
Gardening is a good hobby because it's highly individual, and, while we attend to its various stages like planting, watering, weeding, etc., it helps us sort out most of that exterior stuff that troubles or confuses us in our personal lives.
Considering what we see on our boob tube these days and with other situations, I think I'm gonna really enjoy this year's season of playing in the dirt, which is a big contrast to the dirt we often encounter once we step outside our gardens.