Sunday, March 7, 2010

Favorite Cologne

I had a perfectly glorious day yesterday, and nothing on my 'To Do' list got done.

It was a sunny, warmish spring day and I spent almost the entire time outside. For a former farm girl like me, working 8:30-5 in an office, and one with no windows that I can easily access, is a form of purgatory. I'm not about to impose the same sentence on myself at home!

It started out harmless enough, a stroll through the yard with coffee in one hand and a camera in the other. One of Bryan's flickers has been advertising for a girlfriend, using the furnace chimney as his sounding board - nice loud resonance to that metal pipe - at 7am every morning this week. First time he was at it, I had a fuzzy, not-quite-awake thought: who's using an air wrench at this time of the morning?

Plants are bustin' out everywhere, not as early as the Island and lower mainland, I know, but far earlier than my almost-30 years in the north country has conditioned me to expect!

Curly leaf parsley is coming along nicely.

Likewise, the garlic patch is doing very well indeed.

These little narcissus surprised me. They and the tulips below came from a gift basket of forced spring bulbs that partner Val receive when her husband George died. She gave them to me long after they'd flowered and I just popped them into the end of the vegetable patch.

And the tulips, with a light feathering of frost. Deer snackies.

The bleeding heart, delphinium, hollyhock, iris, columbine, hens & chicks, Jacob's ladder and sedum are also showing new sprouts.

My little seed order arrived on Friday, so I did get to one item on The List. I have three seed trays on the coffee table moved to the front window, sown with salpiglossis ('Painted Tongue'), clarkia, larkspur, marigold, amaranthus ('Love-Lies-Bleeding') and lupin.

Straying from my predetermined path of action yesterday didn't take long. Long enough for one of Bryan's nummy breakfast BLT sandwiches (he's a good cook but a great breakfast cook), more coffee and a few chapters of the current read (I'm on a Maeve Binchy kick these days - there was a whole whack of them at Value Village for 1.99 a copy) before I was back outside.

I raked up all the fir boughs and dead material from the beds. I moved the rocks (more rocks) removed from the veggie patch last week whilst digging it up and made more mini-retaining walls in the bed along the west side of the house.

Then I started moving big rocks. BIG rocks. One at least that required both Bryan and I and the two-wheel truck cart and a strong tie-down strap, some serious muscle work and perhaps a brain cell or two to move. Up hill of course, but not from that far away (ignore Bryan's version of the story).

There's a spot on the retaining wall in front of the house, right adjoining the house, where a rock protrudes enough that Bryan's taken to using it as a short-cut to the lower level of the yard, right in front of the basement patio door. My stubby legs have trouble reaching it going down, although I can clamber up that route.

Yesterday I began action on an idea from last year to build a more accessible set of 'steps' there. I literally carved steps into the wall around on the southeast side two summers ago. How hard could this be?

Ask my back and shoulder muscles this morning. I'm not crippled up by any means, but I ache in places I haven't ached in a long time, with apologies to Leonard Cohen.

It's coming along very well, not finished but showing great promise.

I was at least smart enough to know when to quit, not wanting to be completely incapacitated by pain today. Instead, I took on one of my favorite pastimes: burning stuff in the firepit.

I had the garden trash piled in there, ready for the match. As the fir boughs popped and smoked, I added branches and such from the corner of Kelly's lot that Becca piled up last September. It's not our property, but it's immediately adjacent to our house, and I'm not wanting fire tinder so close. Becca did a fabulous job of piling the material and I've been working away at it everytime I build a fire. Most of the little stuff is now consumed. I have to get at the bigger stuff with the draw saw.

Bryan went for a motorcycle ride to Armstrong. When he arrived back, the sight of me hovering over my fire like some dirt-covered demented crone made him laugh out loud. He's as bad a pyromaniac as me, though. Wasn't long before he was hauling material to feed the flames, snatching the Official Fire Poking Stick from me to prod the thing himself and generally honing in on my party.

That's OK. He snuggled up to me in bed, nose in my hair, inhaled deeply and said, "Ah, Fresh Air and Campfire No. 5, my favorite cologne."


  1. always a good read on your site,your so talented in sooooooooooooooooo many ways.Glad your my sister outlaw xoxox

  2. Yes, I like that cologne, too! Nice to see the new life bursting out of your ground.