Spring has sprung, springing a bit early and catching me by surprise. Say what you want about global warming – I think it is true. This is the second spring in the row where spring has come early and caught me with seeds in hand, gardens unprepared to grow – still ground mulched for winter warming of the plants underneath – now smothering those plants trying to grow . . .
There was no winter this year to speak of. Just a few cold nights that I know. The days were quite warm enough, never less than fifty or so. And the warm weather’s arrived early – and, I suspect, the rains with it. Soon it will become dry.
And that’s the thing: I gotta get my gardens ‘prepared’, new ones opened up and laid in (it’s for the benefit of easier mowing and reduced weed eating down the road – something that tears my back and shoulder up due to my disability, courtesy of the Marine Corps). I’ve got a hundred foot long rose garden – it used to have thirty-two separate varieties of roses – that ran along my frontage – that, and white dogwoods sunk root deep in pink azaleas – some of them eight foot tall (the azaleas, that is). Trouble is the city came along, paved our road – destroyed the azaleas and trees, and uproots anything that grows in that ditch of theirs that now owns the frontage area – impossible to mow and given my disability, a problem with the weed eater because I have to climb in. And the floods that came – fifteen of them in just five years! Flooding my yard with mud . . . killed all my koi fish, ruined my front pond, silt destroyed the pumps – and the city said (get this – at a council meeting no less): “Well, it might be our fault (for allowing the contractor to strip the land, and allowing the civil engineering firm to overlook some very obvious errors and problems) – but YOU have to deal with it since it’s on your land.”
They also told me they were “100 year floods”. I told them if that is so, then I must be fifteen hundred years old – plus some – given those floods. I have abated them . . . so far. A lot of work, building berms, moving mulch, repairing damage . . . this year I cleared out the weeds again along that ancient garden (which still has some roses, by the way – surprisingly so) – and planted marigold, sunflower, and zinnia seed – thick, so hopefully they’ll help choke out the summer weeds that are bound to grow. We do that every year: harvest the seeds in the fall (except for the sunflower, we leave that for the birds) – and plant every spring. We usually get about a shopping bag full of marigold seed, and half as much zinnia – which brings the butterflies in. WE are very into that thing (thinking of Oz Land right now) – the flowers and the daises. BUT . . . that frontage is an eyesore, and every time I plant a seed they come and tear it up ‘out there’ beyond our fence – we’ll see. But it’s not damage I can repair.
Speaking of damage: our dogs “Dig” and “Chew” – I am SO sick of them I am going to get rid of them (I think). I went down to my shop today – and the entrance had all but caved in. They dug a great big pit in the ramp to get in and out the door (you need that) – collapsing a four foot by six foot long retaining wall – and one side of the wisteria arbor – and then picking up and cleaning up the mess (the wall was all a jumble of block) – a block fell on my foot – on the TOP no less, corner first – at a distance of about twelve inches – but on a bared foot top (we were wearing cheap chinese sandals) – it HURTS.
Over a hundred dollars of damage, if not more. Add this to the other $3200 or so in the past three years. I blame them because they are FEMALE. I’ve never owned female dogs before – always male ones. And I’ve had thirteen previous dogs – and NONE of them have been this bad. They keep us up all night (when their names change from “Dig” and “Chew” to “Bark” and “Howl”) – even with our earplugs in sometimes. My other dogs (all male – again, I want you to note that thing) – never had these problems beyond one or two years old. Only these two do. And the only difference I see in them versus any other mutt I’ve adopted is that these two are female – and while more ‘loving’ and affectionate than the males, they are definitely not nearly as aggressive (they bark at us and not at strangers, for instance – wanting attention, you see, LOL’ing!) – and they are useless as alarm dogs. And then there’s the damage sort of thing. We’re hitting it close to four thousand dollars over a period of four years – and we haven’t even repaired all the damage that they’ve done (can’t afford to).
But our garden . . . sighing . . . the reason we can’t have one out back? Ol’ “Dig” and “Chew” – who messed up our garden so bad (this was the one for the vegetables) last year that our wife (a farmer’s daughter) finally called it quits. We didn’t get a thing. The broke down the fence and trompled the garden good – romped through everything, dug great big holes, ruined the watering system – and we’ve been without that ‘fresh food’ in our freezer ever since. I kinda miss that stuff. And the wife? She won’t plant a weed back in there (where there is nothing else growing but a GREAT big hole – really, a huge one, twenty or thirty feet wide) – until the dogs are gone.
Me? I wanna just put a pellet through their head – but then that’d be something else to do. Maybe pound “Dig’s” paws until they are too sore for her to use them anymore . . . and we already have to keep “Chew” in a muzzle (especially at night, when she turns into “Bark Bark Bark All Night Long”). Had their throats ‘cut’ (vocal cords) – but the vet didn’t do it right (the way we did in the animal labs one time – but that was for the Army, a whole different sort of thing – but THAT method worked like a charm and they never grew back in . . .)
sigh . . . we gotta lot of work to do . . . under the deck looks like the dark side of the moon – heavily cratered. Nothing like working in a hunched over position moving dirt . . . I had enough of that as a child – and in the Marines. (Yes, and I MEAN that: as a child . . . humping dirt in a low tunnel. Maybe sometime I’ll tell that old thing . . . sorta sad sometimes about it, tho’ . . . sad thing to be had.)
and still holding them damned seeds.