Friday, June 29, 2007

22 Days...

There is so much to catch up on but I probably wont be able to.

The first sunflower is blooming. I am all a knotted up even though slowlyslowly they are opening. We are still getting a lot of rain and not quite enough sun for a full flower explosion. I am shining as hard as I can.

The giant Grey Striped sunflowers might not bloom till well after the wedding. A few volunteers got a head start but most of the buds are not quite this big just yet.

Edison is doing well. I feed him from the palm of my hand most days foods richer and more varied then the foods I eat. He has good days and bad days and the arc between is dramatic. His bad days make me weak in the knees but then on the upupleap I believe inbetween the seconds that maybe he is getting better. Maybe it was just recalled pet food, indigestion. But the moment passes.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Today I took my last exam ever for the interpreting program. Inside me nothing banged, nothing even whimpered. I just walked away.

I took this picture with my phone to commemorate the moment once it occurred to me there was a moment to commemorate. As I drove away a slow feeling of elation rose in me moment by moment and drifted away like cottonwood.


For the last week I have been giving Willie the silent treatment, cursing, scrubbing the urine soaked carpet on my hands and knees. I swivel my chair to block her and avoid eye contact when I sit at the computer because her favorite place to be is on my lap. She does this when we go out of town, pees on a pile of dirt she digs out of the dracaena. The smell tortures me, the ghost of the smell rattles chains.

Just now while I was writing this Clark came in and asked WHAT IS WITH THE BIRD? I turned to find a small bird laid at my feet, quite dead.

A spook passes through me till it occurs to me quite surely, that this is Willies atonement. I say so. SHES SORRY CAUSE SHE KNOW I HAVE BEEN MAD AT HER. She has only ever left one mouse on the step. She knows I am serious.

Clark just nods. I eye him for a minute trying to decide whats inside. If he is rolling his eyes, if he is going to be magnanimously indulgent. He seems to respect my judgement. His daughter and I, we hold a small funeral under the fern.

Even Willie comes to pay her respects. Maybe now I am laying it on. She thinks probably I am wasting a pretty good snack. Pearls before swine.

As I write this the house is bustling with the packing of bags. I shouldnt even be on the computer. The engine is idling. We are going out of town again for the weekend. I guess we'll see if she really means it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wedding Update

Today was a better day in the garden. A grub, a worm but not a single slug encounter. Over the last two days, with the help of friends and family we put over 5000 of the zinnia starts in the ground with about 3500 more still in seedling trays in the greenhouse.

I have a few before and after photos of the property. The earliest pictures were taken back in January when the garden was still in bed.

This is looking at the yard from the edge of the drive way:

This is taken from the same spot. The garden is in full bloom, with the addition of nearly 30 thousand sunflowers which now stand almost waist high. There are about five main sunflower beds with additional plants seeded at the edge of established flower beds.

This is where the actual ceremony will take place. January...


One of the main sunflower beds freshly seeded and mulched...

Starting to push through...


The zinnias in the the greenhouse, ready to plant...

About halfway through the weekend...

The ceremony site from the apple orchard. April...


The reception site and the apple trees. January...


I still cant believe seeds sprout. It is so stunning and holy. I am breathless to see if they bloom. The first spindly zinnia is already opening. I imagine I will be out here whole weekends deadheading ten thousand plants.

The poppies behind us will die down and leave a big hole in the sunflower bed. We are still trying to predict how the garden will change and what it means for the presentation.

We'll probably still be planting for the next few evenings at least. Most of the invitations went out on Thursday and on Saturday we got the first RSVP. As of tonight there are a total of about 10 people attending, officially.

If I can only keep it all together.

Out to get me

Today was a rather unsettling day for me. All day long we planted flowers from the greenhouse into the ground until my hand was cramped and sore and speckled with dirt polished deep into each pore. I got dirt scrubbed into me because eventually the weave of the glove began to erode my skin and I took them off, lulled into a false sense of security. The sun so hot, the air so dry... I even lay in the grass, right on it! in shorts and a halter top.

that is my knee! in the grass!

When I lived at the beach the lawn was an enemy mine field, even on the hottest and the driest days. On patrol at any given time I could, within moments, spot a fist sized slug curled deep in the tangle of lawn and clover. These lessons are etched deeply in me. I never, ever walk barefoot on grass.

I know!

After hours of hard (sweat sweat) physical labor with a cold beer we took a tour of the garden as it finally stands, as of today. Near the sunflower bed next to the greenhouse I am aware that my foot feels damp.

I slip out of my flipflop and bend my knee so that I can see the bottom of my foot, the left one and there, right in the middle of my arch is a slug (agh) a slug(AGH) about the size of a fingernail clipping (AAGH) and menacing me with its fearsome white belly. I asked Clark to "please, kindly remove the offending gastropod from my foot" but it came out more like GETITOFFMEGETITOFFGETITOFF and then when he failed to respond within 1/4 of a second I began wildly kicking for his shorts because according to my calculations the slug was tucked safely into my arch and while scraping the ground would not save me some basic math formulas indicate that the curve of his thigh was approximate to the curve of my foot. About ten seconds of this life threatening drama elapse before anyone around me clues in and realizes that I am in peril, not just insanely kicking my boyfriend in the balls.

I wont be able to lay in the grass for another few years now and I will accept that I am less soulful for it.

Then tonight Willie came and sat on my lap. I will never forget this how it writhed in her hair. She sat on my lap for like, fifteen minutes while I dug around pulling twigs out of her fur because something felt damp. And then I lifted her booty around and there was a spotted slug rooted in the grassy clover of her long long hair, WRITHING. I ran screaming through the house for Clark. He never woke up, tired from a long day of physical labor so I literally threw the cat out.

She'll have to be shaved tomorrow. This is the second time she has trojanhorsed for the invading slug army.



Edison is still with us. I cant say with certainty how well he is doing. He has good days and days that terrify me. This morning he got ferocious on a horse shaped dog toy my mother sent and tore it from mane to squeaker. Still, you can see in the above photo how his cheek bones jut out. There is so little left of him I touch him gently so he wont crumble away.


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