Mother Courage

Many thanks to Julie Ganey, Dorothy Milne, Mary Bowers, Sandra McCollum and Cyn Vargas for their help with this story. Also, big thanks to the 2nd Story staff who helped me tell my story at the Teal Room in Pub 626 this past weekend. Our theme was “Mother Courage: tales of taking a stand.”

I am hoping to publish a longer version of my story somewhere “real” i.e. not just this blog that no one reads (and yes, I have the statistics to prove that. Ok, most of this is my fault. I haven’t been posting regularly.). Anyhow, if no one will take my story, then I’ll publish it here.



Gifts of the Rogue Vine

At the end of summer, after we came back from our family vacation, I noticed a rogue vine in my front flowerbed. With the upheaval of back-to-school shopping, musical practice, and lecture series, I ignored the intruder. Actually, I came to like it with its huge green leaves and big yellow flowers. It rambled on top of the purple asters and stayed away from my fledgling rose bush.

Last week, I had to clean out the flower beds for autumn and tulip planting. The purple asters had bloomed out, so I started cutting them down. As I was ripping out the rogue vine, I saw that it had produced three decorative squash!

spawned from the squatter

The vine must have come from the decorative squash of fall 2015, which I composted into my front flowerbed.

Sometimes being a less than diligent gardener (with respect to weeding) has its rewards!

Sticky Treat

I had been complaining all summer long about the humid weather to anyone who would listen. I felt the humidity was unnatural for our typical dry Northern climate. The humidity ought to disappear after a thunderstorm, but not this year. The storm would roll through and the humidity stayed, making everything sticky and (to me) uncomfortable.

This morning I opened my front door and assessed the humidity level. 10 am and already too sticky for a quick walk. This darn weather. Climate change. Mumble grumble. As I turned back inside, I noticed the fern plant on my front porch.

All winter long I had nursed the sickly fern plant. By May I thought it would die, so I put it out front on the porch and ignored it. Until today.

The fern plant was thriving. It was covered with fresh green leaves. While the humidity had been making my hair frizzy, my clothes cling to me in fetid sweat, and my outside activity level plummet, the excess moisture in the air had done wonders for my invalid fern. It was thriving.

Humidity makes me wilt, but it makes pteridophytes happy.100_2145

Two Dreys!

Squirrels have decided to build not one, but TWO nests (aka dreys) in the rotted out maple tree in our front yard.

squirrel Tree
Top of the tree, about 40 feet from the ground. Dreys look like clumped together leaves.
Squirrel Dreys
Drey close-up, look under the red arrows.
Squirrel Damocles
At least the squirrels built their home ABOVE the sword of Damocles dead branch.

With these dreys, I feel like I have been awarded the “organic garden of excellence award.”

It may actually be “these homeowners do not own a gun” house.

No gun, but we do put henna on our hands. We know how to live on the edge.

What the dandelions don’t know

Dandelions in the bag

I hand pull the dandelions in my lawn and dispose of them in the lawn waste bag. I let the plants accumulate over the course of the week, and inevitably, on the day before trash pick-up, I look in the bag and the yellow flowers have turned into seed heads. Even though I pulled them when they were flowers, if they were fertilized, the dandelions followed through with their coded program despite the fact they have sat in a lawn waste bag in the darkness of my garage!

IMG_0330This reminds me of that old piece of advice, “when anything dreadful happens, think of what you would be doing if nothing had happened, then do that.”