Finally warm?

After one more dip into Jack Frost’s icy chill last night maybe we are finally in warmer temperatures for the duration. Hard to tell. I remember one Easter weekend seeing snowflakes almost as big as the dogwood petals. April. I hope the cold is over. I have more baby plants than I have dish towels to put over them if it freezes again.

And my avocado tree. I promised it that whenever I moved (this being 3 years ago, in the same pot it’s been in) I would put it in the ground. I know they are happier in more tropical temperatures but I promised. Last year it actually had a few blooms but they did not become avocados. As did my pink lemon but they did not become lemons either. Although this year the lemon tree has a lot more buds on it than before. Maybe I will have a lemon or two. But I don’t know about planting it here. Maybe.

I keep telling myself with each spring planting catalog, or everytime I go to a nursery or Lowe’s that I do not have to replace everything I left at my former house right away. So far I think I’ve found just about everything I had, from hummingbird plants to lamb’s ears to butterfly weed to foxglove. And then some but I won’t put in another Russian sage, probably not a vitex either. Too much pruning, too much work.

I planted the blueberries, too and I know they will do well because I have seen wild blueberries on some of my walks with Lily. Mainly for the birds, though. They ate most of them last year. I brought two fig trees with me but gave one away. I don’t think they need two plants to have figs. I guess I’ll find out.

Anyway, I am sore now. I think I’ll go sit in a more comfortable chair, preferably with a comfortable glass of wine.

Such a little tree….

So this little tree, a bradford pear my neighbor wanted gone because the roots ran over her yard and under my driveway. Well, it is now gone. As are its stump and roots. What is left are uneven, broken root-riddled mounds of sandy soil and somewhere in those depths a mangled and shredded cable.

I called Time Warner Friday when I realized what had happened. Stump-grinder guy did his work while I was away from home, probably doing my volunteering at the library. Anyway, my computer was working fine before I left. Everything showed a strong signal when I got home a couple of hours later but no response.

The cable company said they would send a technician Sunday morning between 7 and 8. He’d call first. Nobody called. I did and learned they had tried to call but did not have the right number. We got this straightened out with a few verbal pyrotechnics on my part and rescheduled. A tech came today and could not even begin to find the shredded cable so he put in a temporary line until the damage could be repaired. Which of course involves more damage: they will have to trench my yard, bore under my driveway and reattach a new line.

All because of a little tree.


There is something about some rainy days that gives the impression it has been raining forever. The solid grayness, the steady rainfall, the stillness at the bird feeders, even the flowers look immobile.

Rain heals. It nourishes, it soaks, saturates, fills a dry earth with softness. It encourages sleep, quiet, thoughts, introspection, and comfort foods like a hot steaming bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

It’s like a day of rest. To find a book, work some puzzles, write, listen to a symphony, call a good friend.

Or bake a pie, muffins, a yeasty warm loaf of bread.

Too many of these days creates boredom. Cabin fever, impatience, a need for sun and fresh air.

I avoid the malls on rainy days. A lot of people go there who just want to get out of their house. Whether they buy anything or not doesn’t matter.

I’m going to go make a sandwich now.

Income taxes, influenza and pine trees

Really, none of these things has anything to do with another, nor are they related in any way. It just happens they each culminated for me at about the same time.

So not having had a flu bug in I have no idea how long, can’t remember, I really thought I was dying. I’d had a flu shot. Why would I have the flu? Because this year they forgot one, or a couple of strains. Whatever, if they did miss one or some I got it or them. I really don’t remember the past 10 days clearly. I do remember my lovely rescue Lily scratching at the bed clothes and whining, and my whichever arm was closest weakly waving her off. I vaguely recall taking my temperature positive I would suffocate before the thing beeped because my nose no longer drew air into my lungs. My son calling, when hearing how muffled I sounded yelling he thought I didn’t get sick as though this was all my fault, and my brother –a doctor– also calling to tell me he’d not played a particularly good afternoon at golf, did I know how terrible I sounded?

Such helpers, my family.

Just as the fog lifted my accountant called with the wonderful news that my taxes were ready (a record), and exactly how much I owed and why. Still being in a more or less ethereal state not really in this universe but the alternate one I’d been inhabiting this did not cause my blood pressure to change one iota. Thankfully.

So the pine trees. Well, I was speaking with some very nice neighbors about our yards, the landscapers and impending spring and they mentioned a wonderful tree man who takes trees out before you know it before your very eyes and did I know he was in the neighborhood? Today? No I didn’t, so he went to find him and ask him to come over and look at a bradford pear I wanted taken out. He did and this morphed into a conversation about the evils of pine trees. I’d always loved these trees. The way they whisper with the wind brushing through them, swaying in a gentle wind (I guess this is actually not a good thing), and my adored grandmother loved them. So now I will not only remove one, medium-small brittle, disease-prone and insect-ridden bradford pear but 8 (read: all) pine trees. I’m not sure I can bear that kind of sun shock. Suddenly my partially-shaded yard will be in the glaring summer sun.

I may need to think on this one a while.