Less Than a Gig

Scientifically, you cannot stand next to me and see the exact same thing.

Your angle affects your impression: size, shape, color, shadows.

Your history affects your perception. That’s why memories can be deceiving.

I’m angularly prone; in constant search of surety.

Capturing the view, over and over; each purposefully and slightly askew.

You see, I know what I want to capture.

I also know there’s no point arguing with the glare.

I adjust: move, stretch, lean, bank, zoom-in, zoom-out, in increments, some miniscule.

It is, also, why my memory is usually less than a gig away from full.

Quote for the Week: 2019 07 09 perfection is a liar jakorte

 

 

Pampered Peppers

After Jeff had been off work for a significant length of time, we co-decided he needed something to do. He took to gardening the 4’ x 6’ landing of the staircase leading down to our back yard. This became our first official salsa garden. It was truly amazing how many plants were living on the balcony and hanging off the wooden railing. Tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and cilantro thrived for a few reasons.

First, was the amount of TLC Jeff gave our greens. Second, was the fact that the planters that hung over the edge were really difficult for critters to get at, especially since they were at the top of a 7-foot stair case. Third, was that the bugs didn’t rise that high, either. Fourth, was our Sadie squirrel deterrent. For a little girl, she had an astonishingly loud voice. We saw quite a few early morning varmits take a startled dive over the edge. Jeff would always check, peering over the railing to be sure that the creatures weren’t hurt. There never was one that was.

The garden was awesome but didn’t really keep him as busy as he’d thought. Even with Sadie to take care of, being our designated chef and chief launderer, Jeff was becoming bored. Too many hours of TV and internet surfing lost their luster, so he wanted to find something that would bring in a little extra income. I supported that, too. Jeff was a people person, and the lack of daily socializing depressed him.

I’d been to a few Pampered Chef parties and I always would end up asking Jeff what he’d like me to get for him, because he was the one who’d be using the gadgets. With the help of his sister, Nicole, a consultant herself, and the input of a male friend who had begun consulting himself, Jeff saw an opportunity. He could share his love of cooking with the guys he knew were also cooks. For those who weren’t, he’d be able to give good recommendations as to which gifts his buddies should buy the women in their lives.

The things I remember most about his trial host party are the many men who came, and the constant hilarity and laughter. So much so that Nicole was forced off track numerous times, and ended up laughing so much herself. I didn’t actually attend the show. I don’t remember what the food demonstrations were, at all. I spent most of my time in the kitchen, staying out of the way.

I think  I remember who amongst Jeff’s friends, former co-workers and family came. But the important part is that I love you all for showing up. I still get teary-eyes about it, too. It did so much for his spirits to have personal connections there with him for a little while.

For Jeff, the term ‘friends’ included family and the term ‘family’ included friends. All of Jeff’s friends were close friends, and his close friends included his cousins and siblings, as well.

For me, the best term I can think of now to describe you all is, tribe.

Quote for the Week: (minor apologies for the awkward physical splicing of 18 year old old-fashioned prints.)

2017 09 11 anything can bloom anywhere you plant it jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Pampered: Chef

Social vs: Lonely

Balcony: Garden

[j1]

Weed-ed

Nope, they didn’t. Fit, that is.

I crammed and jammed and endured as much thistle poking as I was willing to, and finally conceded. My weeds could not be contained in my one sad about to split sack.

Sharing an extremely large, porch-privacy providing, completely inaccessible by vehicle, gorgeously manicured, green common space squared away between four buildings is a beautiful thing.

It also wonderful to live in a community that cares about general landscape neatness, floral beauty and keeping up on foliage containment. It’s also exactly why I was so embarrassed to have discovered I had been hosting three jungles of vegetative junk.

But none of that was forefront.  I chose my weeding attire based on three sizes too big and don’t care if I ruin it. So, that’s how I ended up in a pair of size 24 white, black, teal sparkle-accented plaid capris, and one of many oversized completely un-matched red t-shirts, common silicone blue gloves, and a wretched pair of ripped tennies – “kicks” if I wanted to be cool. I obviously didn’t, and didn’t care.

At least, not until an hour and a half later and only 2/3rds done following a straighten-up breather. I was about to bend back over with my saggy plaid derriere pointed towards 3 other buildings when I caught a breeze of laughter.

It seems my colorful conquering coincided with some court-yard neighbors hosting a BBQ or two.  Of course, I’m going to assume the laughter was not related to my trials. Truly, it uprooted my usual stubborn streak, making me all the more stubborn.

At the finished end, all that did not fit in the garden bag went back into the garden.  A myriad of unidentifiable weedy things ended up in a pyramid placed as much out of sight as possible. Call it au natural composting, or whatever. I figure the result will be the same as if the darn things had just died on their own, withering from unusual heights.

The before and after pictures are worth thousands of words, but here are some additional thoughts, anyway.

A garden full of weeds isn’t really a garden. A full bed may seem successfully lush, but insincere effortless encouragement is not the answer.

Spirituality, large professions of faith (growing wild and over each other, free-ranging a variety of competitive tentacles) mean nothing if they are not fruitful, or vegetable-full or even flower-full.

As in life, stripping away the extraneous often reveals not much to work with, shaky ground and results in a lot of standing around with hands on hips trying to decide whether to begin again with an ambitious plan or abandon for the simple pleasure of grass.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 08 weeding even ugly pants jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Officially, it’s Tartan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartan

Officially, Not Compost: http://organicgardening.about.com/od/howtocompost/a/Composting-Weeds.htm

Officially, Baking Soda: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/413064597051138303/

 

Weed-ing

Last weekend I set the 3’s goals again, and promised myself I would wash the garage door and get the weeding done. Small beds wouldn’t take long.

About the garage door, yeah, I know most people don’t spend their weekend washing theirs, but this was another didn’t-do that had been bugging me for a while. A deep layer of dirt and last year’s fall leaves held on in blotches, despite summer’s multiple downpours.

Each time the door went up long sticky strands of debris floated up with it. I was tired of dodging grossness to retrieve groceries.

It was a messy job. Cobwebs and dead bugs, sticky leaves and grass clippings finally gave way. About an hour and a half later, I set out for the other side confident I could do what I had to do quickly and painlessly. I knew what a weed looked like, thanks to years of reluctant experience.

Sometimes, the things our parents made us do were truly for our own good, a boon to our life-coping skills. Sometimes, it was just cheap, get-the-kids-out-of-the-house –labor. I’m still undecided which role weeds played in the development of my character.

Armed with gloves and a paper grocery sack, I took a look and started to form a new impression. It was all weeds, which was actually a good thing. Indiscriminately yanking up shallow rooted plants required no gentleness, and no particular order.

Easy; for about 3 minutes, until one large-fisted grab allowed a million prickers to penetrate my Arbor Brewing Company cloth gloves. Provided for immediate and personal continued use during One Brick Detroit’s tree planting in The Greening of Detroit, the gloves were tremendously helpful and suitable for tree planting; not so much for thorn-bush removal.

I regrouped with a good hand washing, a mug of iced tea, and re-armed with thick silicone painting-stripping protective gloves. I wasn’t about to let weeding become a challenge. The more I picked around the barbs, the more I came to realize, I was probably looking at an ill-kept (as in never pruned) rose-bush of some sort. Also hidden within this bed, were two short, sort-of roundish, stubby evergreen shrubs.

I kept at it, though, eventually losing track of real-time. Finishing the first bed felt good, kind of. I’d been leaning over, imaginably unattractively in my too big bright blue plaid and mega-large diamond-rhinestone capris. A Friday night BBQ got going on across the courtyard. I decided to ignore it, and ripped on.

Working from the back to the front was one of my better non-ideas, as in, I really didn’t have a plan. I’d just walked in and went at it. By the time I got out of (by getting rid of) the deep, I pretty much had to kneel to give my entire-body-lifting thigh muscles a break. When I finally stepped back, I felt I had come close enough to conquering that little bit of mayhem to move on: to the bigger bed.

My make-shift “I surely won’t need something larger than this” Whole Foods re-used refuse (old paper shopping) bag was about 2/3 full. I refused to go back inside to get another one, mostly because I know myself and was pretty sure it would be the hard to talk myself into finishing up tomorrow.

Nope, whatever I was going to pull was going to have to fit.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 01 Determination and Ingenuity jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Glove Deep: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-gardening-gloves/

Serious: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/09/best-garden-gloves-from-consumer-reports/index.htm

Visually: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+store+garden+gloves&sa=X&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS483US483&espv=2&biw=1777&bih=861&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=0CCUQsARqFQoTCLXHoLeD18cCFQV6PgodEo0Bzg&dpr=0.9

 

Weed

Most of my fair-weather, spring-through-summer-into-Fall Saturday-morning youth, was spent weeding.

I’m not complaining, although I did a lot of that in my teens. It didn’t matter much, though. I don’t have much of an idea what was on Saturday morning cartoons, because they didn’t exist at our house.  Saturday mornings were for pitching in. If it wasn’t raining, there was yard work.

I probably had it the easiest being the girl. I suppose it was assumed I’d adore flowers and therefore want to save them from the continual attack of stuff that wasn’t supposed to be there in between the walk-lining Marigolds, beneath manicured bushes or among the Pansies circling the lilac tree.

I didn’t. Love flowers, I mean. I won’t go as far as to say I don’t like them now, either. I enjoy seeing them, in other people’s spaces. I certainly don’t envy the dedication required.

Recent weekend mornings have been challenging.  Intentionally reserved for walking an intense 3 miles each Saturday and Sunday morning, I don’t try and meet my weekly pace. I know I’ll be making stops along the way, and my time will lag a little mainly due to… flowers.

Two weekends ago, I was about to be shorted into arriving home at only 2.97 miles. I wanted the 3, badly enough to circle my building block, twice. The second time around, I noticed something. Something bad.

There had been some interesting tall flower-like thingies bobbing outside the bedroom window for a while, but it never really crossed my mind that those plantings might now be mine. As in, I bought the place and inherited whatever previous strange things the owner did as well as the lack of normal type of things they didn’t do.

This was didn’t-do. That really needed to be done. Sloppily placed decorative border-bricks unevenly announced this was supposed to be a gardened area. I can’t in good conscience say it was actually supposed to be a garden; that would be an unnecessarily grandiose assumption.

Still, there were two of them. One on each side of the partially hidden central air hardware; and they were full. Really full – of stuff. So full it became a 30-second stop and stare. Stunned and stumped,  I reluctantly edged around to the seldom used front entry and figured out the larger lumpish-shapes hiding behind my mammoth weeds were probably unsculpted bushes, kin to the semi-sculpted ones on either side of the door.

I was headed back to the jungle-side when the Map My Walk mile-counter lady pleasantly relayed I had stumbled into three-mile mark. 3.2 and past-goal to be exact. So, I walked away and that was that.

Quote for the Week:

2015 08 25 fastest way to find respect for someone elses work jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Weeds: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/pests/insects-diseases-weeds/types-of-weeds/

Still Not Sure? There’s a Library for That:  http://www.garden.org/weedlibrary/

This Has Been Going On For a While: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardening