Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Daisy Girls

The wind is blowing so hard today that it is snowing sideways. Which seems like a perfect time to hunker down and start preparing for summer.

It's seed planting day. Actually, seed planting should have happened 3 weeks ago but there just aren't enough hours in the days for all the things I need to get done.

Growing perennials from seed is something only weirdos (like me) and nurseries do. Why bother when a healthy, blooming perennial is only $4 at the garden shop? Because $4 can quickly turn into $400* if you have a yard the size of Rhode Island. So, I save my pennies for the exotic plants and start the easy ones by seed.

Come summer, these beauties will join forces with the Shasta Daisies (pictured above) to speckle my backyard with bright color.

36 Coreopsis:

48 Purple Coneflowers:

And, the happiest 'Daisy' of all - 36 Blanket Flowers:

* 120 perennial seedlings, 4 months of easy color, for the low, low price of... $3.57!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

La Dee Duh...

How do you do it?

My Mother used to always ask that of me. Which, I suppose, made sense since she never 'did' anything. Though, in truth, she was a master of all the important things.

She never worked a day in her life. Imagine... going through life without ever having a job.

Sometimes I feel that all I do is work. Everytime I think I'm getting ahead I discover I'm falling farther behind. More than I can handle. Lots more than I can bear.

And this is how I do it. This is my backyard:

The phones are ringing. The emails are flowing in.
Clients are having a nervous breakdown. And, I don't care.

For two precious hours, every day, Bad Dog and I hit the trails. In fact we're so protective of this particular spot that we cover our tracks, when we sneak through the trees, so no one else knows it's there.

Because, honestly, Mom, I don't know how I do it. I know that I want to quit. I know that I can't.

And, I know that sometimes hiding in the woods and breathing the free air is about the only thing that keeps me sane.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Saves the Day

Dan and I have a long standing agreement and it goes like this:

IF we're so pathetic that we can't sucker anyone into marrying us by the time we turn 60, we'll merge our assets and embark upon a marriage of convenience.

I have to promise two things:
1) That I will never ever say that football is a dumb game.

2) If I ever feel like 'talking about the relationship,' I'll go talk about the relationship with one of my girlfriends.

In exchange, on 2/14, I get one of these. :-)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Lovers Always

On my wedding day, my brother gave me a beautiful leather bound vintage book, printed in 1899. It was loaded with sage advice on how to stay happily married forever. It didn't work.

Seems like every year around Valentine's Day I'm in the mood to read it again. Especially on a year when I'm pretty sure I won't be getting any flowers.

Tangled Web:
My ex-boyfriend is in Vail with his new gal and my 2 best friends (aka traitors.) It's a romantic double-date Valentines getaway and I suppose I should be mad about that but I'm not. She's a much better catch than I am. She has a rich Daddy, with a condo in Vail. What could be sweeter for a ski bum?

Where is your anger? My Mother used to ask that of me when I was going through my divorce. She wanted me to throw a fit but I just wanted it to be over.

I get angry sometimes. I just don't get angry in front of other people. On the day my divorce was final I tossed my emerald cut diamond to a homeless guy, put my wedding gown in the Weber grill and set it on fire. So, maybe it's not so much anger that gets me going as it is insanity. And, Rum.

I've always been too monogamous for my own good. If I'd play the field my odds of getting flowers every Valentine's Day would be much better.

My shortest relationship lasted 5 months, 2 weeks and 4 days. I was watching the clock because Anne bet me $100 bucks that I couldn't make it 6 months with a male bimbo. The stakes were high and I can't stand losing.

Plus, Bob was fascinating. I just could not get over how incredibly stupid he was. I was so close to winning, but then he got a stomach ache and I handed him Alka Seltzer. He chewed the tablets without dissolving them in water. I wrote out the check to Anne while he was foaming at the mouth. For awhile, I thought I could look beyond his faults because he always picked me flowers.

There was a woman in my office who got bouquets of flowers all the time. Seemed like she had the greatest guy and I was green with envy. That is, until I met him. I remember thinking if that dude knows what Freesia is I'll be a monkey's uncle. So, I cornered him one day and asked his advice on florists. Turns out he's never called one and she was sending those flowers to herself.

That's the only real problem with flowers.
They're not all that pretty unless they come from someone you love.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Fortune Will Smile Upon You

Fridays I have lunch with Jason. He doesn't know I'm having lunch with him. I just make it a point to show up at this God-awful Chinese place because I know he'll be there. And, the only way I know his name is because they call it out when his Kung Pao Chicken is ready. You might call him an imaginary boyfriend. I call him a welcome diversion on a boring afternoon.

For weeks, now, we've been suffering through the worst weather conditions imaginable: bright blue skies, warm temperatures, gentle breezes, happy sunshine... it is so miserably beautiful around here, I feel like jumping off a cliff.

I live in ski country and we have no snow. I have not called in sick, lying about an illness so I could go skiing, even once this year. (My employers are becoming suspicious of my sudden dedication.)

While the tourists are rejoicing ("oh, it's so warm!") I'm left pondering what this weather pattern will do to my world. High plains deserts get most of their annual moisture from snow. Without it, we'll be deadly dry this summer and that's what sparks the wildfires that can zip across the meadow and gobble up my house.

But, I don't need to worry any longer. After I got tired of staring at Jason, I went home and checked the weather report. My cookie was right. It's gonna snow tomorrow. And, that should save all the wildflower seeds laid bare by this crazy melt.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

All Gussied Up

I even had my nails done. A French manicure. And, only gardeners know how mortifying it is to go into a nail place. Gardeners hands are happier than most, though they’re not very pretty.

When gardeners walk into a nail salon, the first thing they say is: that’s gonna cost extra.

But, it's a new year, a new me and I said I wanted to live different. So, I decided to hang up my overalls and comb my hair. Maybe even put on some lipstick.

My resolution was to start dressing and acting like a legitimate member of the female gender. And, hey, guess what. It works! I got a date in no time.

Apparently, putzing around my garden, hours late for a shower, is not the best way to attract a man. (Who knew?)

Could this be the start of beautiful friendship? We ordered a lovely bottle of wine... oysters on the half shell. Then, one oyster later, I’m violently ill and lying on the bathroom floor of the restaurant, mortified, with no idea how to get out of this mess.

Clearly, oysters and I don't get along. But, I have to say, he was a remarkable gent. He even called me the next day to make sure I was alive.

So, my advice, today, for the gardeners of the world, is to wear gloves and have your nails done. It's amazing what a French manicure can do for your social life.

Tip: Try not to throw up on your date.

* French manicures were invented to hide the dirt underneath your fingernails.
** Cucumbers are 90% water. They look great but a damp cloth has the same effect on puffy eyes.