Sunday, July 11, 2004

nitty grit dirt teeth

My teeth are totally gritty right now. I'm pretty sure that I inhaled a couple of mouth fulls of dirt today. That's right, mark your calendars folks, I finally got off my lazy ass and did that planting in the garden that I'd been avoiding.

Around 1 p.m., I went out back and pulled all of my weeding and planting gear out of the shed: wheel barrow, rake, shovel, bucket 'o small tools, plant food, etc., etc. I started raking the area where I would be planting the sunflowers but it was so damned hot that I couldn't do more than a few minutes. It was that hot here today. It wasn't humid and, truth be told, if you could sit in a shady spot and sip a tall cool glass of something, it was a gorgeous summer day. Unfortunately, the ground was baked and it was just too warm for work.

Rather than sit on my duff at home, I headed out to my folks' place for a quick visit and some mending. My mum is the world's best mender / sewer / seamstress. She rocks the Kasbah, totally. Last year, she made Mark a really nice vest for work. It's made of cream coloured cotton and she customized the pockets to hold all of his cab driver gear. A few days ago, part of it just disintegrated. My mum was able to repair it though and it looks fabulous. I could have done an "okay" job on it if my sewing machine had a zig zag but it doesn't. My sewing machine works very well but it's 50 year old technology (I inherited my nana's sewing machine and I wouldn't part with it for anything in the world). I totally expected to have to leave the vest with mum for a few days but she just went into the sewing room and fixed it up while we had a gossip. She rocks!

When I got home, it was still too hot to work so I flaked out on my bed to read back issues of Shape magazine and watch Queer Eye. Inspired by the Fab 5, I got a big bottle of water and went out back to finally tackle this miniscule amount of gardening that needed doing. Miniscule my butt. It took me ages to do it (well, a couple of hours including breaks). My mother is also Queen Gardener Supreme and she had advised me to soak the ground before digging. It worked like a charm. I dug a big hole, ripped up a bunch of sod, and planted these sad little sunflowers that have been thriving on neglect in a pot on our patio. I couldn't believe how pot bound they were. I felt guilty about it but quickly got over it by soaking the living hell out of them and fertilizing them. I know that you're not really supposed to be planting stuff in July but if I keep them really wet over the next couple of weeks it should be okay. I also transplanted some rhubarb that is, I guess, a "heirloom" plant from our family. The original plant was grown in my nana's back garden. My mum has it in her garden, as do my aunt and uncle who live in my mum's home town. My other uncle has planted it in at least 2 other provinces as well so this rhubarb gets around! I hope that it bounces back now that it's been planted. It was looking pretty crappy but I've been assured that if the roots are in tact (which they appear to be), it should be okay. Keep your fingers crossed for me kids, hopefully I haven't abused them too badly and they'll thrive in our clay-like soil.

Right now, I can still feel the dirt in my teeth, and between my toes (word of advice people -- yeah, shut up I know I'm stupid), don't wear sandals to plant in. You'll definitely end up shovelling dirt onto your foot at some point and it won't be pretty. My skin is also crawling from bug bites, again. Here's hoping I don't have west nile, again.

One thing that made me smile today: Mark's dad. He sat out in the back yard while I was gardening this afternoon. Tonight he lit a yahrzeit candle for his mother and was, understandably, a little blue about it all. He really seemed to enjoy sitting outside and watching the birds and laughing at me digging stuff up. We had a nice chat about his mum and dad and about his childhood. We also talked a little about Mark's mum and some of their friends about vacations that they took and stuff that they liked to do. I'd heard most of the stories before but I could tell that he was enjoying telling them again by the way his face lit up when he spoke. Sometimes I know, the three of us can just get on each other's nerves. Today wasn't one of those days though and seeing how well we can all get along when we want to was so nice.

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