Sunday, June 11, 2017

Redeeming Value

I ended up feeling a bit under the (rainy, windy, gloomy, chilly) weather last Monday and Tuesday, so I feel like I've spent the past week playing catch-up. (Again.)

I'm nearing the end of the article on Hiroshima that I had planned to finish, oh, a while ago... but I really do feel like the end is in sight, and I want to say that I'll have it submitted in the next day or two... but I'm afraid to say that (for obvious reasons).

Jinxes happen.

So instead I'll focus on talking about the other things that I accomplished. When I was away from home April, the grill tipped over in my yard and lay there just long enough to kill off a grill-shaped segment of the lawn.

Being me, I did what only I would do.  I installed another planter. (What, you're surprised by that?) Here 'tis.

I put a couple of cherry tomato plants in it, along with some basil. Everything is teeny-tiny in my gardening world right now, because I plant the stuff from seed, so... it takes a while.

BUT, in my defense, I've got a nice variety of things coming up, and the heat wave we're getting right now is giving them the little boost of confidence they need to ... get growing! Right now, the melons, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and potatoes are all looking like they're well on their way.

Fingers crossed.

I'm also pleased because my peonies have finally had the chance to put down solid roots and the blooms this year are quite wonderful. Like so:

They smell wonderful, needless to say.

My understanding is, a lot of people consider peonies an "old fashioned flower" so they don't plant them all that much any more.

I say, that's kinda foolish, because they're all kinds of wonderful.

And I mean what I say: I have no fewer than 5 peony bushes. They make great cut flowers--although once the weather gets hot, they don't hold up very well or for very long.

I planted a new type of perennial as well. I confess, this one was a bit of a mishap. I bought the seeds and planted them, and when they got big enough and I was ready to transplant them, I checked to see when they would be expected to bloom.

Imagine my surprise when it said that they wouldn't bloom at all the first year.


This is why it pays to read the packaging all the way to the end, I suppose.

In any case, I tended them all last year, at a couple points wondering whether I was an idiot for doing so because after all, there was no guarantee they wouldn't just up and die over the winter and never return in the spring... and the seedlings were initially kinda frail, so a couple of them died within moments of being transplanted (yes, I exaggerate, but only slightly).

But good things come to those who wait, apparently, because, without further ado... the latest addition to my garden... Canterbury bells! 

They come in an assortment of colors, but most of mind are bluish-purple.

Which is fine by me, because I like that color, but at the same time, a variety would have been nice.

But we can't have everything, and at this point, I'm just glad that they survived and they look nice. They're quite striking--the stakes are about 3-4 feet high, and as you can see, they need to be staked, and they are generally as tall as the stakes themselves.

So it's a good thing I read the package far enough along to know to put them in back of other plants. They're actually right near my peonies, and I for one am happy with the result.

Speaking of results (or the lack thereof), I'm still on my fitness/weight loss quest. The fitness side of things seems to be progress much better than the weight loss side of things, but that may be because last week I went out for ice cream twice.

Once, to console myself for having not felt well on Monday and Tuesday, and once because, well, I just wanted to and I'd already gone once, so I considered the "weight loss" issue "on hold" for the week, given that I'd had to adjust to accommodate any number of unanticipated problems.

At least, this is how I rationalized it to myself.

But yesterday and today, I took a 20-mile bike ride, so I think I've more than redeemed myself, thank you very much.

And redemption was even sweeter than ice cream. I'll leave you with a glimpse of this morning's view from the bike...

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."