Free-Unscaped, Yet

Password? I need a password?

Do I have a password? If I was me, what would my password be?

Dagnabit. One try and I bailed on my brain. Just went straight to re-set.

It’s now a minute or so after midnight, and I’m refreshing every 2 seconds waiting for email prompt.

New password secured. Log back in? For the Love of Pete, just let me into the club!

In. Finally. Fully expecting to be ‘sorry’d’ as in, “You’re too late. Supply is gone.”

Data-entry detailed entered. To my surprise, I when I hit the sign-me-up, it actually went through.

My reservation was confirmed at 12:06 AM. Seemed like a long six minutes, to me.

Here are your reservation details: MYSTERY GARDEN PIÑATA KIT, filled with mystery seed bombs and growfetti.
Date: April 15, 2021, Time: 5:00pm to 7:00pm with curbside pickup.

What kinds of gardenly delights did I get? I have no idea, yet.

Here’s why.

Super cute flower box to be smashed. Neighbors. And super iffy Michigan weather.

Mystery had me stymied as to where I should, when I should. My first thought was to whack at it in the empty bed that gets late afternoon/early evening sun at the height of summer. I wondered what kind of disorderly garden would result from a random seed drop. I envisioned the beating, and realized, I couldn’t.

Too many complications. Could I hold the piñata in one hand and whack with the other? That’d required some extra coordination on my part. How much strength is needed to break it? Suppose I missed and thumped the arm holding it? Supposed they’d get a laugh down at urgent-care about that considering my first two closely occurring visits likely put me on the Jeff-kinda-accidents you’re-never-gonna-believe-this list of odd injuries.

Could I put it on the ground and pummel it there? Standing and leaning down or kneeling next to it? Also, not optimal. Dirty knees or butt in the air? And that’s when it occurred to me. “Oh! Neighbors!” Yeah, they’d get an interesting show for sure. So, nixed.

You know, if you inspect packages, you can find directions and suggestions and stuff. The tag touted a web address that would tell you what you were getting. Ok, then, here we go.

Except, nope. Nowhere could I find a description of what would be random-planted when breakage was achieved.

There were very helpful, detailed instructions. But, wouldn’t have been if you just went along with the vague suggestion of destruction. Never would I have conjured any of them on my own. Maybe, it’s the not-a-gardener thing. Maybe, it’s intuitive to folks who don’t need to intuition because they already know what they’re doing.

Anyway, to summarize:

1. Plant outside in early spring. Or start the seeds inside and transplant later. (head tilt)

2. Soak the seed balls and seed paper in water. Overnight. (head tilt the other way)

3. Place the wet seed paper in a planter. (not the ground? what about the seed balls? shoulder hunch)

4. Water well, especially during the first 4 – 6 weeks. (oh, dear. inside, with two cats… head drop)

All right, time to switch gears.

I supposed I could successfully start ’em in the waterless aquarium where I currently grow cat grass. The set-up keeps it safely out of greenery over-eating, paw-sweeping, this would look better on the floor, kitty fur ball reach.

Curiosity was still with me. As I recalled, piñatas have to be filled, right? So, somewhere on the exactly-as-advertised lovely looking novelty, by reason, there’s gotta be a secret latch or patch or something.

Turns out, it was two pieces, easy to press apart. As promised, there were colorful seed balls and fun growfetti. The 4 round orbs were good-sized, and the pile of fluttery stuff was shredded well.

I haven’t soaked or planted, yet. It was 70 degrees on Saturday, and it snowing on Tuesday. Michigan’s sneaky like that. They call it, ‘false spring’ or ‘second winter.’ I don’t fall for that, anymore.

May Day is coming up. I’ll celebrate appropriately.

I’ll let you know what comes up in 6 weeks, if I can figure that out.

Quote for the Week:

ps. Thank you, Lowe’s!

Annual Despise

I didn’t get the windows done.

Instead, I conquered the annual “That Which I Despise.”

In record time due to:

  1. It actually being a bi-annual event.
  2. A lovely friend willing to haul me out some mulch.

I skipped 2020 with absolutely zero guilt. COVID, and none of the box stores who were just beginning delivery were willing to ship soil or mulch. I’m generally not a fan of gardening, unless it bears salsa.

Last fall, I determinedly dug up the interlocking brick border and moved each about 2 inches further in, toward the building, so there’s be future less to tend.  I also took a good number of bulbs from my oft-trampled only true floral bed. The damage really irked me at first. But, what else is a child supposed to do without siblings or much outdoor supervision? Permitting use of the imagination is a much more important investment, anyway. It’s also a convenient  reason not to attempt to weed amongst wreckage.

The other south-side bed has been mulch, weeds and two obnoxious prickerly bushes.  I’ve tried to kill them three times. Seriously. Chopping as mercilessly as the greenery would gladly prick me, I poured multiple helpings of all-natural, safe for pets, liquid weed killer down the stumpy gullets.

The stubborn regrowth hadn’t gotten very far, when the mulch angel stopped by. A little side comment about how much I really dislike those maroon-ish meanies, prompted an immediate, “I’ll take them.”

To which I promptly replied, “Let me go grab you a shovel.”

I also pulled up two white grocery sacks, a pruner, hand rake and gloves. Happy-to see-holes devoid of dangerous thorns inspired a fiendish grin. Then, What I thought were wild-spreading, brightly beautiful purple-flowered weeds were actually flowering bulbs of some sort. A hefty number of those departed, too.

After that, the only thing left to do, was to thickly cover the rest of the space with dark brown clumps of moist wood chips. My precise method?  Dump a bag, smooth it out. Move on.

I did. I dumped a bag and a half into the two split beds leading up to my real front porch. I did take care to kind of paw some away from plants that I know are plants. Yellow daffodils, orange lilies. I also invested a few moments trimming that something-piney half-bare tree-like thing that lives to the right of a living room window. Probably not the right season to prune it, but every time the wind blows, it stretches an awkward, arm-like branch into my couch-view. It’s especially alarming at night.

From there, I rounded the corner to my new-two-years-ago railroad tie garden space that has yet to become one. I did mostly succeed in deceasing an odd, low-low-to-the-ground viny, yellow and green thing. My friend asked what the lone clump of greenery was. I don’t know, but it sort of resembles daffodil sprouts. Only thinner. I mercifully gave them breathing room, and dumped the rest of half bag I was holding.

Hostas are hardy enough that even I can’t accidentally kill them. Even when, say I didn’t forget to clip the tendrils and cut them back before the first Michigan frost. In my defense, the frost came early and I hadn’t been engaged in caring.

“Do you think I need to clear out all the dead stuff?” It was a hopefully inquiry. The hope was that the answer would be, “No.” Unfortunately, I was, as expected, informed that it would be a good idea.  

That was a quick go, too. A couple of handfuls of dry, brittle, bud branches and leftover fall foliage was all it took. Again, I considerately brushed away bits from just sprouting buried shoots. I’m particularly fond of hardly-ever-need-water and ever-expanding Hostas.

So, maybe I do have a little landscaping desire buried deep within. Maybe, I’ll indoor-pot some poblanos next to the already potted cat grass.

Quote for the Week:

practi-procrasti-patience

Spring is that short-lived lovely feeling of sunshine and short-sleeves heralding the sad state of your view and the odd sense of satisfaction you know will be yours once you do what’s gotta be done.

Windows.

Smothered in low nose prints inside, sheeted with right-off-the-tree rained down dirt on the outside.

Lodged remnants of last fall’s floaty yellow helicopter pods are merely mushy brown now, and apparently insanely attractive to egg-laying creepy crawlies.

Ugh.

Don’t know why this year seems so much worse. It’s a good thing I’ve got the Costco-sized double-pack of Q-tips in my possession, along with a super-sized bottle of Dawn and 2 jugs of white vinegar.

I happen to have an unhappy abundance of COVID-panic paper towels Amazon sweetly ‘suggested’ as a substitute for my normal brand. Biodegradable, quite akin to the instantly self-dissolving single-ply ‘I-might-have-just-as-well-used-my-right-hand’ tissues I was not fond of in my youth.

The last time I bought some of those was about 6 years ago. There’s a box or possibly two left in supply. They’re really just for grown-up looks and fancy guests, I guess.  

Lazed in the last of the 6 PM incoming ray, communing with my sun-squinting cats, was when all of this presented itself so nicely. I know it’ll be delightful to have sparkly windows and dispose of those leaf-nested winged-type critters.

Being practical, I wasn’t planning on doing anything just then. Hey, I was planning, not procrastinating. More lounging lead to other conclusions.

I’m not fond of my current living room set-up. Swapping the office and the bedroom left no room for my reading recliner anywhere else, but there. It’s an awkward, bulky, comfy, often-used non-stylish, unmatched chair. I’m ready for the seasonal switch, but it’s not going to be that easy.

Because, I also gained a piece of furniture bought a while back. It’s been living in a friend’s house for a year or so. Grand Prix’s aren’t great bargain-haul haulers.  Now, one of those new mid-size Bronco’s would do. Not just, yet, though. The GP’s still running just fine.

Sitting there contemplating all this, I realized I’m kind of unhappy with my previously too-well-loved to give it up sitting room suite. The familiar urge to change something – fast – swelled into immediate need. Unfortunately, my ultra-regular go-to for a fast, refreshing fix, is a hair-over.

I’ve sort of nixed that nonsense. There’s a lot less than there usually is because I got rid of most of what was left, already.

Considered color – maybe that pretty antique blue (that last time turned out chlorinated pool turquoise green.) Maybe, I should try boxed grey, again. That pretty much did nothing, except add a little shine. Brad Mondo says you’ve gotta bleach first or you’ll end up with a dishwater-dirty mop. Not a verbatim quote. I’m more or less paraphrasing from a conglomerate of 2 AM, I’m not sleeping, hair-color-gone-wrong videos.

You know, if I’ve gotta bleach, maybe I should just… bleach. Of course, I’d have to tackle my brows, too.

Nah, I’m still waiting for the sparkly take-over. They’re coming in. Slowly.

Procrastination I mean, Patience, may pay off.

Quote for the Week:

The Next Warp

Next warp: standing in the sanctuary entry/aisle. I was either second or third in receiving and I have no idea who was first or second or fourth or even how many of us there were. I can’t conjure that tidbit from the obviously buried perhaps happily oblivious depths of my brain.

I tunnel-vision greeted.

: family and friends, and friends of the family and the families of our friends, friends of friends, my current coworkers, Jeff’s ex-workers, store patrons, other mall store owners, BNI networkers, business associates, website builders, marketing coaches, church family, neighbors and I’m sure I’m leaving out some major category.  

I’d requested no flowers, due to allergies. More truthfully, I think I mandated it at the second planning. God, everyone was so accommodating. Maybe everybody else really wanted flowers. I could have taken a Benadryl. I was already fuzzy, fuzzed on caffeine, and sugar-buzzed, because I drank the rest of Jeff’s semi-flat liter of Mt Dew. One more zone wouldn’t have mattered.

One person, an ex-coworker of Jeff’s, didn’t get that restrictive email. That accounted for the wreath, and truly, it would have been horrible without it. He tried to apologize for it. I told him it was beautiful and needed – a lovely medley of warm fall colors.

(I just smiled to myself remembering the end of our 48- hour first date when Jeff asked me what kind of flowers I liked. I explained the situation. The next time he came around, he brought carnations, and a squash in case the carnations were wrong. The time after that, he brought daisies.)

No idea how long we stood there nodding and hugging and shaking. It didn’t feel that long to me. There are only a few crystal-clear encounters in my replay-loop. But, there was still a waiting-line out the front door when Pastor Dave suggested we take our seats so we could get started.

Quote for the Week:

Identity Crisis

The first thing I remember about October 6, 2006 was entering church and seeing one, lone, beautiful flower wreath.

I’m not sure how Jeff’s October 6, 2001 wedding portrait got there. I assume I brought it, since it had been hanging in our home.

In that little space of wall next to the front door, I saw his love every time I left the house for work. Mine was there, too. Jeff saw it every time he left the house for the store.

The placement? Prophetically, romantically poetic now. I left Jeff’s photo on the wall until I moved out of our house, 4 years later. But, I took mine down right away. I wasn’t that person, anymore. I still had the name, but I wasn’t a wife.

After we were married, my father inquired, when I was going to change my email address for work? I tried way before he ever asked. Corporately, it wasn’t allowed. To this day, my maiden name remains in the root. But, I’m not that person anymore, either.

Although, it’s painful to admit, I’ve (more recently than not) typed or scrawled my signature on more than a few communications with my prior surname. Last week, I scribbled a return address on an envelope that way, too.

Why?  Dammed if I know.

Maybe I should carefully consider this. Maybe it means something.

I’ve been undefined for years; unacknowledged and unreasonably delayed. So, I suppose, it’s time to declare:

identity crisis.

Quote for the Week: