Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

I needed a break from all the sadness, all the disappointment, all the horror.

I opened Sports Illustrated and saw a picture of a man in a wheelchair, with bloody bones hanging below his kneecaps.  I'm sure I was meant to concentrate on the heroes pushing him and staunching his bleeding, but those missing limbs are imprinted on my brain, two days later, as I type to you.

The barely-30-something EMT from West, Texas, is living in my head, too. 
He "lost everything - "friends, home, everything" - in an explosion in a place with no zoning.
Honestly, would you put a middle school or a care home within spitting distance of a fertilizer factory?
The town's volunteer fire fighters ran toward the burning building.... and then it exploded, taking them with it.
My first cousin is a volunteer firefighter, has been since he was a teenager.  He tells me that I am a hero for taking three bullets and surviving.  I always counter with "But you run into burning buildings - You are the hero."  I've never felt it as strongly as I have this week.

JannyLou and Fast Eddie have been checking in all week, wondering if we are doing any better than they are. I can't say that the answer is clear to me, even now.  I have low-lying anxiety around the edges of my consciousness.  Little Cuter has been checking in a little more frequently.  Big Cuter is posting about my being shot on Facebook.  There is healing, but there is no escape.

What to do?
 I go to the garden.
Now, after last week's disappointments and disasters, I need some peace.

The daminita bloom without much prompting.
Now that I've learned how to prune them, they are regaining their rounded shapes.
TBG notes that they are encroaching on the walkway, but he'll just have to live with it.
I'm still working on getting it to fill in the holes on the top.

The aloes don't need much help, either. 
This one lives on the side of the house, and has irrigation.
 This one lives under the big palo verde, and gets no irrigation at all.
They are different species of the same plant and they both seem to love my desert dirt.
Even better, they send out shoots which can be transplanted.
It's too bad that last winter's freeze killed those babies.
Next year, I will remember to cover them up; I'm saving old sheets for just that occasion.

The hesperaloe are sending up their stalks, again without much help at all.
That cholla to the left is a volunteer which is enjoying the little bit of irrigation that flows to its neighbor.
I love it when a plan comes together, even if it's nature's plan and not mine.

The intermittent but strong storms we had this winter fed the ocotillo and the palo verde.
 Though I like the orange through the yellow, the blossoms are even more spectacular when isolated.

The cacti aren't far behind this season.
I have all sorts of prickly pear colors in the yard.
 The ground squirrels climb up the pads and decapitate the spent pods.
There's a lot of fine dining going on underground these days.
I'm watching them carry the tunas into their holes as I type.

The trichocerus I planted last year is blooming with a vengeance.
This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon.
This is what greeted JannyLou and me this morning.

The bearded iris rhizomes I smuggled in from California have never done anything.....
until this year.  I guess it took them a while to get used to the new dirt.  I'm feeling pretty smug; I managed to plant them right outside my desk window; I see them all day, every day. Now, when Artess tells me the clematis she inherited when I moved is climbing her trellis, I can look at these iris and not feel so bereft.  Gardening in Marin was heavenly.......
and things actually grew.

Long time readers may remember the oleander that would not die... but would not grow, either.
I transplanted it two years ago, and my patience has, finally, been rewarded.
There are small white buds just waiting to burst forth.
Gardening is not for those without faith.

I did some work on the containers, too.  
Pictures of the finished product will follow, once the blooms hit their peak.
For now, I leave you with a chuckle.

Carting my supplies from the car to the courtyard has been an issue since my hip was shattered.  
I've used a dolly (too low), a wheelbarrow (too ungainly to remove from the shed), and Elizibeth's strong back for the last two years, but this week I realized that G'ma's wheelchair, sitting in the corner of the garage while it awaits our next grand adventure, makes the perfect shlepper.
I can even use it as a chair
or as a pouring spout.
Happy Earth Day, Denizens!
Go out and plant a tree!


  1. It's been a helluva week, hasn't it?
    I won't plant a tree today but I'll probably paint one. Does that count?
    Love your shlepper!

    1. Yes, painting counts :) anything that gets you through the drek counts, Sharon!

  2. Ah yes, the magnificence of the trichocerus is truly magnificent. They didn't bloom in the park before we left Tucson this year, which was very disappointing. There is a huge plant there that generally has two blooming cycles that are just a joy to behold. It's been a sad week, so many lives damaged by evil and failure to adhere to safety standards and common sense. Good repurposing of the chair. Happy Earth Day to you.

    1. The blooming cycles are different this year than they have been in the past, it seems. I've given up trying to figure it out and I'm just going with the flow. Common sense, safety, security, disasters.... the fact that the blooms come out,year after year, helps me get through the days. life goes on...

  3. I love Earth Day-wish we didn't even have to have it. Wish everyone respected the Earth and our planet wasn't as sick as it is. BUT... my four year-old was so excited to go to school today. They are celebrating Earth Day by releasing lady bugs. I'm not even certain if he knows what lady bugs are, but I just kept telling him they were going to be releasing them today and that it's a special day.

    I have to look at the positive 'cause otherwise I would sit down and cry. Last week was truly heartbreaking--the death and destruction and then the impending death and destruction from the Senate's lack of courage to fight the NRA. I've been reading editorial quotes today and I leave you with this one. It about sums it up for me.

    “The only group over which the NRA appears to have any influence is the U.S. Congress -- specifically, the vast majority of Republicans and a handful of Democrats who so lust after political office that they would rather risk the deaths of more children than incur the wrath of the National Rifle Association. The American people cannot allow anyone so craven to remain in Congress.”
    – The Baltimore Sun

    Happy Monday!

    Megan xxx

    1. We need a new set of humans in the Senate... ones who actually represent their entire constituencies, not just the ones who paid for their seats.

  4. OOOOH, really good quote, Megan. But so sad! Thanks for the lovely pictures of all your plants! I am just learning how to grow things here in the desert after living in Washington State most of my life, where the problem was the opposite, how to STOP things from growing!

    I have been following the progress/lack of progress with Congress and the latest version of the bill closely. I thought that the visits and calls especially from all the victims and families of victims might soften some hearts. It appears that some will only be softened by hard cash gifts. Well, they will soon be gone. But not soon enough!

    1. Ah, Katie, I remember those riotous, out of control plantings that threatened to take over the whole garden. I remember planting by hand. I remember cool nights and enough water. Those lessons must be unlearned here in the desert. It's possible to create beauty; it just takes time to figure it out.

      Softening hearts didn't seem to happen, and I can't figure out why. Not soon enough, indeed!

  5. Last week sent me into a tailspin like no other. Same thing after Sandy's good to see you inspire by going outside & beautifying your space, lifting you out of the sadness...Thanks for adding so much yellow to our lives. <3

    1. I'm feeling your pain through the ether, Liz. Tailspin is a good word ... I'm in a whirlwind of emotional pain and frustration and, as tomorrow's post (just written) will show you, I'm not doing too good a job of controlling it.

      You're welcome for the yellow.... I hope it helps.

  6. A week ago delivered me personally right into a tailspin such as absolutely no additional. Same task following Exotic Connect.... it is great to determine a person encourage through heading outdoors & decorating your own room, raising a person from the unhappiness... Many thanks with regard to including a lot yellow-colored to the life.

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