Thursday, May. 08, 2008
Dear Diary:

"Fulcrums and levers," said the spousal unit. "It's all in your fulcrums and levers."

The project to completely renew and redo the long perennial border continues. And continues. And continues.

If there is any truth in the saying, "That which does not kill you makes you stronger" then I can now confidently assert that I'm at the point now where I could put a major beatdown on the Incredible Hulk.

With one arm tied behind my back.

It's proving to be even harder than I expected. The bed I opened about 25 years ago only had eensy weensy trees beside it. Now it has a big honking tree. Not only am I wrestling with a new generation of rocks that years of frost have worked up towards the surface, now I have the added joy of tree roots.

Yesterday was just the pits. I put my shovel in the ground. Thunk. The unmistakable sound of shovel metal meeting rock. I moved my shovel over six inches. Thunk again. Oh crap. I went six inches further. Yet another thunk.

Grimly, I started digging until I got the rock uncovered. It was pretty much large enough to produce its own gravitational field.


There's no money in the budget to get a backhoe in here to get that rock out. It was at the back of my border, so the distance between the pond and border wasn't large enough to allow our tractor to squeeze in, assuming that we could even get a rock hook on that rock.

My daffodil meadow is on the other side of the perennial border. There is no way, no how that a tractor is going to squish my pretties into daffodil paste just to get a fricken rock out.

When the spousal unit came home from work, he surveyed the challenge. He figured the rock was somewhere between 200 and 250 pounds.

"Fulcrums and levers," said the spousal unit. "It's all in your fulcrums and levers."

Big Fricken Rock

A man, a woman, two metal prybars, one piece of 2 x 10 and several hours later, just as the sun was going down, the truth of that little observation lay on the board before us.

I'm scoring this one Hewmans 1, Rock 0. You'll note the other rocks in the foreground. This, this is what it is like to garden in this part of the world.

If I had any sense at all, I would have quit this project about a week ago when I was about half way through. A realist would have left the rest for next year, called it good enough.

Oh, but I wanted to walk away from it, I truly did.

Alas, I am my father's daughter. The one thing my father sneered at, the one thing he would never put up with, was quitting.

I left home at 19, which is nearly 40 years ago now. My father has been dead for a decade. And yet � and yet, even when good sense tells me that it is utter stupidity to keep going on, I just can't walk away.

I think I will be done in about two days. I wake up tired, my whole body is sore. I pick up my shovel and keep digging, keep carting away the wheelbarrows full of rocks, weeds and unwanted plants.

You start something, you finish it. I realize now how this has been bred into my very bones.

On a much happier note, my lilies came in on Thursday.

The universe, sensing my extreme joy, immediately launched the Must Squelch Marn Happiness aka The Joy Dampening Field. The Joy Dampening Field can take many forms. On Thursday the universe turned to weather.

Oh, but it was miserable.

The instructions that came with my lilies basically said, "Plant these babies pronto. Yesterday would be good, if at all possible." So, with temperatures just a few degrees above freezing, being pelted intermittently with small ice pellets, I planted my beloved lilies.

Where were those balmy summer temperatures of a few weeks ago when I really, really needed them? Completely squelched by the Joy Dampening Field. The universe is a dark and uncaring place.

Doesn't matter.

The universe tried, but it failed. How can I not be giddy contemplating the fact that I own five bulbs of Allegretto, Black Out, Centerfold, Dot.Cm, Elodie, Petite and Vermeer.? Oh, and as if that wasn't enough, three free bulbs came with the order.

I gave one each to my two friends that went in on the order with me, and kept Garden Pleasure for myself. I GOT A $10 LILY FOR FREE. You might as well have handed me a gold nugget. Seriously. I felt that rich.

I have been gardening here for over 30 years now, and the miracle of growing things never gets old to me. I take these odd, scale-covered white lumps and put them in the earth, and in a few months lilies will rise up and flower. LILIES? How is that possible?

Oh, and don't get me started about seeds.

Last fall when the plant sales were on I picked up three lovely blue globe thistles (echinops ritro to those of you who speak garden).

They were in full bloom. When the seed heads ripened, on a whim I planted them in some bare earth by a big rock. There must be at least 50 seedlings there now. Every few days I squat down on my haunches and look at those little bits of green that have sprung out of those husks planted last fall. I feel as if someone handed me a wand and the power to wave it over the earth and create life.

Magic. It's magic, pure and simple.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 174.11 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2008: 500 miles

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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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