Sunday, 26 May 2019

Gardening at a Whole New Level

The garden has been elevated, quite literally, and I'm done except for planting the twelve new asparagus crowns. The beds are in, the plants are planted, and the summer can now officially begin.

I think I will enjoy not having to bend so much. Or weed so much. Or fend off rabbits to the usual extent. I can see the benefits of the beds already. But I sincerely hope I never have to do that big of a project again. When these boards rot and it's time to start over, I will quietly sell the house and move away. My body will never forgive me for what I put it through this week.

At the same time my body is protesting, I do admit a tiny sense of self-satisfaction. I am Boadicea, Joan of Arc -- conquering against all odds! I am warrior woman -- no task can intimidate me! I speak and mountains are moved! (With a little help from a shovel and two buckets.) My husband says he has never met a more stubborn woman. That's not always a good thing, but this week it is a trait that came in handy.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

My husband says I'm God

So my husband and I (poor, long-suffering man!) moved the mountain of soil yesterday, all by ourselves, with one shovel and four buckets, and finished before noon. The wheelbarrow tire developed a leak so was of no use to us. But the sun held out, no rain came, and neither one of us threw our backs out. Even had time to do some weeding, take the pool cover off, and I mowed our yard and the neighbour's. And still had time last night to watch an Australian crime show and eat ice cream. A successful day! But I under-estimated the amount of soil we'd need (I now have eight raised beds to fill!), so I've ordered another 5 cubic yards to be delivered on Tuesday. Which is probably now an over-estimation. Oh well, there's always somewhere to put dirt.

As we laboured together, I cracked that my husband would never need to pay for a gym membership, being married to me. Think of the money he'd save! (Nevermind the $435 spent on soil.) And my husband said solemnly that he thinks I'm God. God gives us challenges to strengthen us and help us grow. And I do indeed challenge him... Tee hee. Thirty-two years of marriage, of me keeping him hopping and guessing and on his toes, and he's still in the trenches with me (literally), scooping dirt. Gotta be love.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Digging Out

The floor loom has sold to a really nice girl I met on Facebook and then in person at the highland games. She's a farmer/forager/craftsperson/earth goddess type who will give the loom a loving home and put it to good use, so I'm content.

The soil arrives on Saturday, and before then I need to move a miniature mountain of compost into the raised beds. I've been chipping away at it, but it has rained nearly constantly since I got back from Utah, which has slowed things down considerably. The compost heap never ceases to amaze me -- how all that muck and waste and cast-offs can become crumbly, sweet earth full of worms. It's like discovering gold in your garbage bin.

We purposely built an extra-wide gate into the fence so that trucks could bring soil straight into the backyard...but then found out that no delivery men are willing to drive over the boulevard to get to the gate. So it means schlepping three cubic yards of earth by bucket and wheelbarrow. I fear Saturday will be a very muddy day, but it's all got to be moved quickly because I can't leave a hill of soil on the boulevard overnight. Even if I can get it all scooped into the backyard and piled in a heap on Saturday, I can then take a bit more time to get it into the beds.

If I had the time and inclination to ponder it, I'd see all this as a metaphor of digging out from the winter's depression, digging out of my inward-looking self, moving out from under bad habits or unhelpful thought patterns, turning over a new leaf, new spring beginnings... but no. It's a literal ton of earth, and it's all mine to move. I may get a little sporadic help from family or volunteers, but in the end, it's going to come down to me, slogging for hours...days... And you know what?

I love it.

I can't wait to dig in, to get my hands into rich soil, even if it's soggy. To smell that indefinable scent of wetness and spring and good things growing. To feel it clump on my boots and work itself into my skin. To pile it into the raised beds and bring out my tender little seedlings (which aren't so little anymore -- I planted them way too early!) and get going on my garden for the season. Now that's a metaphor that rings true for me -- I'm always yearning for the next season of life to begin, instead of being content with where I am. But spring does that to me -- an inner straining to get on with life, to move forward. To grow.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Zipping Along

Wow, it's been a month already since I last posted. My apologies! Life seems to have escaped me lately.

I just got back from a great trip to Utah and Idaho for two family weddings, which were lovely. My sister-in-law Carrie (two of whose kids were getting married) had everything so amazingly organized that it all went smoothly. She remained so calm and serene through it all! Maybe she was like a duck, perfectly still on the surface but legs paddling madly below water---but if so, I couldn't tell. I told my mom I wanted to be like Carrie when I grew up. My sister chimed in,"I'll never be that grown up!" Anyway, it was a heavenly week filled with family, food, fun, and my beautiful, much-missed mountains. And sunshine! Utah is about a month ahead of Toronto in weather.

This past month has also involved turning in a manuscript to the publisher (who rejected it...another post for another day), teaching a gardening workshop, and planting seeds to start under my grow lights. My wonderful husband kindly built me four big raised beds for the garden, so now I need to order soil and get it all in place before planting out at the end of the month. The tomatoes are already about eight inches tall and craning toward the light with great promise. And my lemon is almost ripe.

I have decided I need to concentrate my energy better on the things that are really important to me. My neighbour's husband died recently and I'm going to try to pitch in to help her with her yard in addition to caring for my own. I want to spend more time with my grandkids this summer. And I really need to focus more on my ministering responsibilities at church. Life is short and I need to ensure I'm not neglecting the important stuff. With all that in mind, I have decided---reluctantly---that I need to sell my big floor loom. I don't have space for it, and it's a sort of expensive hobby that takes up a lot of time. Anyone want a 45" countermarche, rather unusual loom? Going cheap.

Other than all that, life continues apace. There is a hint of spring in the air and my spirits are lifted, anticipating warmth and greenery. I am waking up along with the crabapple blossoms.