August is a BEAST! Tom’s got nothin’ – and I don’t blame him. We had a heavy rain here today and the ragweed count is stupid-high. It’s actually at that ‘alert’ status! I couldn’t smell a perfume if you mainlined it into my sinuses! Not Even Angel.
So Tom bailed and I am jumping in here for another whack at y’all. I’m going to blatherate; having one of those days – my papi used to say ” he’s got what the Good Lord gave the lizard: a rusty ass and a ramblin’ mind”….. my mind may be ramblin’ but my hindquarters, Blessed Be, are rust-free, courtesy of Monica Miller’s Aromatic Healing Balm. I have no idea why but I have the equivalent of diaper rash on ONLY ONE SIDE – and only in one spot (I blame my Hi-Cut Rio briefs – but the one side thing? That’s all me – some weird physical anomaly, I’m sure!) Anyway, I originally got this for El O who has a spot of eczema on his leg (you would’ve fainted laughing – it took me FOUR TRIES to spell ‘eczema’ – Monica spells it xxxema which is way easier…anyway, this stuff? He’ll have to pry it out of my…hands! LOL! (you know I wanted to say ____). I’d been using one of those filthy-smelling diaper rash creams – they work but ew, lordie, do they stink!!! Monica’s balm smells heavenly – and it works, too! I even used it on my poor, busted face. I’m always going to have a jar of this handy. (btw – I bought mine retail, no affiliation, etc…it’s just good stuff y’all need to know about. fwiw you FBers will know her as Perfume Pharmer)
Prairie plants. So….more gardens. My neighbor(ish – she lives on the ‘north’ end of town and I live at the western edge – the whole town is 4miles square so make of that what you will)…Kay has SUCH a garden.
A year ago I glimpsed the kitchen garden and made ‘assumptions’ that the visible space was the entirety and that it was probably ‘just a kitchen garden’. Haw. I walked over to her house and rang the doorbell and this lovely, gracious woman took me on a tour of Paradise. O.M.G. My eyeballs! Dry from bugging out at the beauty! My jaw is sore from constantly hitting the ground. I couldn’t figure out where to look first!!! I thought I hated coleus. O.M.G. (sorry – I …..y’all just don’t know!) she grows these absurdly gorgeous coleus! So I was thinking ‘oh, she’s an Annuals Gal’. I really have to stop doing that, y’know? This is a ‘science-y’ woman, with extensive horticultural experience and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of flora. And she’s successfully integrated local, native plants into her gorgeously designed landscape. She introduced me to Cup Plant, which grows to extreme heights (well over 6′ tall ) – the name comes from the configuration of the leaves, which allows the plant to collect water which is utilized by tiny wildlife (insects/birds)…….around the corner from that huge patch sits a heavenly nicotiana, which self-sows (we LOVE our volunteers!), aromatic fennel (now that I could smell! 😀 ) ….a whole patch of Bells of Ireland, with their lemon-eucalyptus aura…we spent 3 hours wandering through this garden and, had I not had to get back to the shop (and my mama taught me about not overstaying my welcome) I could’ve spent another 3 hours, easily. I hope she doesn’t get sick of me because, honey? I’mo spend a lot of time over there – I have been gardening for over 30 years…and today I just realized: I have a lot to learn.
Speaking of learning: I am Lazy when it comes to learning (stupidly tiny bits of a lot of languages, little bits of arcana and a whole lotta foolishness) and I take for granted what I have learned. I never stopped to think about what a privilege it is to learn. Until yesterday. I was talking with our lead guy – a very, very talented machinist and all-around accomplished person…and we were going over some detailed project notes. I quickly read the notes, then passed on to him…and something unusual happened. He read it aloud, in somewhat halting fashion, really focusing on the paper I’d so casually perused and tossed over to him, he focused, almost with reverence, on the words on that paper. Once finished, he said ‘you know, 5 years ago I couldn’t have done that – I would’ve had to have you read that to me. But I decided that I didn’t want to not be able to read, so I went back to school – and it was hard! But I got my certificate. And now I can read. It’s still a bit tough – I watch you speed through stuff like it’s nothin’ and I wish I could do that – but at least I can read. And that’s somethin’ I didn’t think I would ever be able to do.” He is 62yrs old. And once again I am humbled by the gifts I’ve been given. Reading? pfft! Everybody can read. Guess what, Musette? Not everybody can. Perhaps I’m just slowing down/growing up and really starting to pay attention but all around me are little lessons that force me to stop and reflect on the wonders in my life and the gifts I’ve been given.
Which brings me to part 2 of that story. I am so grateful to you all for your reading suggestions – there have been some incredible gems (I owe Sharon C a HUGE debt for introducing me to Louise Penny’s work; I’m going up to Naperville next week for her book signing and my liver is so aquiver, you’d think I was going to meet The (early) Beatles!)…a few weeks ago one of you mad lot recommended the Flavia de Luce series; I took a gamble and I’m so thrilled I did! It took me a few pages to get into 11yr old mode but once I did, I was hooked. Poison, bicycles, chemistry, mystery, delight. I couldn’t be happier!
So….gratitude. It’s a lovely thing to experience. Gratitude is a divine gift (whatever/however your version of ‘divine’). I am awash in gratitude every day now. Weird as the days can be, I’m determined to be grateful for each and every day! I’m also grateful for all your suggestions and Floyd knows I’m grateful for you!
Oooh! and I’m also grateful for these! Check it OUT! My gurrrrrlz! They is LAYIN’! Wheeee! I opened the laying box this morning and one of the hens was in it! She gave me such a LOOK! I apologized and quickly closed the door. I almost blushed!So what’s got your Gratitude going these days?