Friday, June 3, 2011

Too Long Gone

I stand in the front field composing.  
Put Some Bounce In Your Step.* see below
That'd be a great title.  Yeah, and look at the sight of those geese just above the treetops. I need my camera, but it's in my office. Isn't the sight of that circling hawk amazing?  Did you hear it scream? 

Lately, the work I do gets really messy.  I leave my phone on the kitchen table. Dirt and sweat kinda mess up the 'lectronics.  Notebook?  I'd have to peel wet pages apart.  Lunch is twenty minutes and a quick read of O Pioneers. I nuke last night's leftovers.  I do this willingly. In the early part of summer, I dance the hustle for ten hours straight before I collapse at dusk.  Short term pain for long term benefit.  If you had my baby spinach steamed for lunch with a garlic bread stick you'd know why I do the dance.  The spinach is fork tender and nothing like the canned crap. It makes me strong to the finish, old fart that I is.

When I pull back the tarp over a pile of oak planks and used decking behind a shed, there's three writhing baby bull snakes, maybe three feet long at most, on one side of the pile and a fat mother deer mouse in a fluffy nest on the opposite side.  When I toss the nest aside, beet-red mouse babies fall out. I call Dawn over to view the spectacle. "I wonder why the bull snakes didn't eat the mice?" I ask my wife.  "Too little," she says.  "They'd never get their mouths open that wide."

Spaced evenly around the house are jars of water.  Dual purpose water. 

Today's 93 degree weather worries me.  I spend most of the day, when I'm not promising the counter girl in Cashton farm implement store white potatoes, watering the garden plots. I move in a rotational way, from west to east saving the tomatoes and peppers for last because I have mulched these new plants with cardboard.  The tomatoes thank me for the the attention and cool soil.  The peppers prefer warmer soil, so I hold off with heavy mulch until a drought sets in or worse.The jars of water are for the cat and dog. Keeping them hydrated is important, especially the blue heeler who ignores the sun and heat following me incessantly.  She'll sit in the scorching sun beside some tool I've laid aside giving me that, "Don't worry Dad, I'm watching over your tools."  When I jump on a riding mower, she indicates displeasure by attempting to bite the tires.  I used to think it was a hold off from her early days of living on an Amish farm.  Rubber tires are verboten in Amishland.

Tired of chasing after Pucci, the cat, who has honed his bird catching skills dramatically, I place the water jars in strategic locations to paste him with water.  It's the only way I can get him to release the usually live bird in his jaws.  To him, it's some live cat toy. I don't approve.  The bank swallows fly low over the lawn and road picking up nesting materials.  When I cornered the cat in the breezeway, the terrified swallow was able to fly away. An eastern blue bird wasn't so lucky.

Last week I had to cancel an early morning appointment with Dawn's physician.  My previous doctor and I didn't see eye to eye on homeopathic applications.  His idea of treatment is to throw a medication at the symptom.  I ask about side effects.  "Even water has a side effect," he says.  So I switch to a woman who quit the rat race in the larger town to the north for a saner routine that doesn't involve a revolving door of treatment and patients. This is no easy decision to cancel the appointment.  It is important to me, but the threat of frost on the 26th of May gives me no choice.  I'd never be able to get the gardens uncovered by a nine a.m. scheduled physical.

 Actually it takes me from 4 to 8 pm to cover all plants susceptible to predicted 35 degree over night weather.  In our lowland by the river, frost is a certainty.  The next morning I work from 6 a.m. until 11 repeating the opposite, including folding ground covers and storing plastic jugs and card board boxes in the proper locations. My new doctor is wise enough to reschedule a short visit later at 2:30 to "meet and greet" and check the basics. I think I've chosen a winner.

This warm weather is a freak thing. Tomorrow it'll be back to normal. I 'll go back to the second cycle of planting now that we're in a new moon going on first quarter.  Knock on wood, with the threat of frost over I can complete the process sowing cucumbers, soybeans(edamame) , pole beans, salad greens, dry beans, tender herbs like oregano and tomatillos. 

If we get a day filled with rain, perhaps I can organize my thoughts without rushing out the door.

*Every year we get a hatch of small biting flies. The repellent of choice is real vanilla, but at over $10 a bottle I settle for 40 sheets of Bounce fabric softener under my straw hat.  My manly image suffers greatly wearing an Amish straw hat with Goofy ears of fabric softener. The full beard is not of my choice, rather, six hours of skin cancer surgery at Mayo convinced me that my fair skin cannot be exposed without slathering spf 70 and looking like an Alaskan miner when one is in the sun for extended periods.

I'll be back soon. 



T. Roger Thomas said...

I'm a fan of the whole Western medicine thing. If the issue is important enough for you to see a doctor, it's probably a good idea to try the medication. Just my two cents.

Gavrillo said...

I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to read this and make a comment. My former physician prescribed two medications which only exacerbated the underlying problem,ie. hypertension.The first b.p. pill caused gout due to elevated levels of uric acid. The second raised my blood pressure.Being an excitable boy, I've dealt with high blood all my life. It's a tightrope walk to balance natural applications with mainstream medical world.