Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2008
Dear Diary:

It's probably a very good thing that they don't sell Acme Home Weapon of Mass Destruction Kits because I was angry enough to do some serious mass destroying.

Gardeners spend a lot of time in anticipation. We plant seeds, bulbs and bits of plants and imagine what is to come. We watch growing stalks, swelling flower buds and see endless, endless promise.

I headed out yesterday morning to weed the nasturtium seedlings which are doing remarkably well despite the fact this part of Canada seems to have developed a monsoon season. I was absentmindedly looking down the walkway when motion to my right caught my eye.

There are no words for the horror.

Lex Luthor and the Joker all rolled up into one package.

A %&^*#@ deer. My archenemy. All that is unholy rolled up in one seemingly cute furry ball.

As I strolled down the walkway I could see that she'd eaten a big hunk of a Sum and Substance hosta leaf. Hosta are like candy for deer, so that didn't surprise me. I scanned the bed in front of her. No damage there. I yelled and waved my arms.

She regarded me with great interest. My gestures and language got considerably more heated. The deer watched me with the sort of zen-like calm normally associated with mystics. It wasn't until I raised my camera and the whir of the zoom startled her that she finally decided to lope back into the woods.

Heart in my mouth, I ventured towards the long bed. The bed I'm re-doing. The one that is remarkably sparse since it only contains plants I love. I couldn't see any damage until I came to my lilies. My new lilies.

She had eaten one of the Vermeer lilies within inches of the ground.


It's not just the loss of this year's flowers that kills me. It's the weakening of the bulb. Lilies, like most bulb plants, gather strength for the coming year through their greenery. By eating most of the bulb's greenery, the deer hurt it considerably. It will take the lily years to come back from this.


Miss Banana and Binky moseyed over to see what all the yelling was about. I fumed to them about the munched lily, which is quite comical considering that cats don't speak human and their interest in gardening is, well, non-existant.

I told them an inspirational story about how my neighbour Michelle used to have a cat that chased deer out of her yard. I pointed out that if they wanted to justify their existences, they could begin chasing deer out of our yard.

Telling them this story was pretty much the equivalent of talking to a stump, but it made me feel better.

Through it all, the cats regarded me with the same zen-like calm the deer exhibited earlier. Nearby, a couple of bluejays landed on the feeder and began calling each other out. The cats sped over to the feeder because hey what's more important? Comforting a human or watching two birds squawk?

Well, clearly, watching two birds squawk wins hands down.


Pretty in Pink.Fortunately, there's always a consolation prize. My Alexander McKenzie rose is coming on, wafting big clouds of perfume towards the house. Beside it is the spousal unit's honeysuckle, which isn't any slouch in the perfume department, either. Oh how I love me the scented plants.

The one thing that has really surprised me this year is the flowering crab apple tree. It has proven a survivor. Even though the spousal unit managed to sheer off at least a third of its branches this spring when he dropped a dying ash tree on it, not only has the crab recovered, but it's beginning new branches to replace the old ones.

Sure, the spousal unit covered all the wounds with grafting wax, but I was concerned that the tree was so grievously hurt that it would succumb to a fungus. This is one tough little tree. It is never going to be the classically beautiful, symmetrical tree I picked to mark the year I turned 55. Never. But oh, man, it's sure going to have character.

I used to walk up the road, turn the corner into our yard and admire the perfection of that tree. Now when I come into the yard I feel quiet affection for its toughness, its resiliency.

I've been trying to tap into toughness and resiliency of my own, but it hasn't been going that well. I'm often the only person at my gym now and I find it excruciatingly hard to discipline myself to do the sort of all out workout I used to do.

Even worse, one of the trainers has confided that if things don't pick up next fall, then the gym's owners are going to put it on the block next May. They have no interest in haemorrhaging money. If there are no buyers, it will close. After that, it would be a 45 minute drive to the next closest gym.

I wish I was one of those people who could arrange their lives to maintain their fitness at home. I'm not. I'm also not going to drive 45 minutes to the next closest gym because that's just too stupidly long a commute.

As the spousal unit points out, there's no point in worrying about this. What will happen will happen and the important thing is to use the resource now while I have it.

Still, when I walk through the door and it's just me � well, it kind of saps my will to live.

Oh well. Time to pack up my gym bag and head out the door. Hopefully it's not just me and a bunch o' tumbleweeds there, eh?


Mileage on the Marnometer: 234.61 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2008: 500 miles

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