Lady Gaga, Leaf Litter, and Milorganite

L'il Sis just called.  "Are you watching Lady Gaga?" she snipped. "No", I said, "though I heard she's gonna show up at the Grammies in an egg."  "A uterus", she corrected me. "No, Lester Holt just said she was showing up in an EGG", I corrected HER. "Uh, excuuuussssse me....a uterus or pod", she said emphatically, then went on, "and I bet when she comes out on stage she will have some kind of umbilical cord attached." She told me this in her most obstetrical  "I am a health care professional" voice. I then informed HER that I trusted Lester implicitly and that it was an egg.  "No, I don't care what Lester said, I KNOW it is a uterus."  At which point there was no other choice than to  take her bet, at least about the umbilical cord, if not the entry vehicle.  I  suggested that we bet a breakfast tab on it sometime next week, thereby ending the squabble (seeing as I am the older and wiser sister, after all, and am often called upon to demonstrate my greater maturity and level-headedness in such circumstances).

It is hard to be me sometimes.

But you, my darlings, don't want to hear about my sibling bickering. You just want to know what I did in the garden this afternoon. Yes, it may have been -5 degrees two days ago, but today the sun was shining, the snow was melting, it was 66 degrees and gorgeous out, and so I  enthusiastically donned my hat and wellies and 

checked the buds on the azaleas and the tips of my hydrangeas for damage              from the severe cold.  Another season without my beloved hydrangeas could be more than I can bear. At this point, my jury is still out, but I am trying to be optimistic this early in the gardening year.  The ground may look wet, but I know all of that snow translated into precious little moisture, and I'll need to make sure they get enough water.

cleaned up some, but not all of the leaf debris.  I want to expose those tiny hellebore and feverfiew seedlings to the warmth of the air and sun, but not the lorapetalum and ajuga. They may resent it if it gets really cold again and I prematurely remove their blanket.  Some gardening risk, but not too much I hope.

You know what I mean, the risk of too much or too little exposure to potential threats, which, of course, leads me to thinking about my man-boys.  Whether or not I did right by them in this regard....having always been an over-protective kind of mom.  I am reading The Gift of an Ordinary Day about a mother of two sons, who, like me, is a soon-to-be empty nester.  It is a good, very sentimental accounting of this phase in our lives.  A book that would normally sound the alarm:

DANGER   DANGER  Proceed with Caution   

But happily for me, today it is sunny and spring is on the horizon.  I refuse to succumb  to  unsettling thoughts. The sun and my rising melatonin levels are making me uncharacteristically  sanguine about the future.  I find I can continue with my garden clean up and grooming without my usual heavy heart about my looming empty nest.  

groomed the pansies, tucking any that have suffered frost heave back into the soil

dug out the pesky dandelions and grassy weeds that lurk under the leafy carpet

squished  the slugs also lurking under the leafy carpet who had the audacity to survive our sub-zero temperatures

mowed up all the debris blown onto the lawn to keep it from suffocating the fescue

applied Milorganite to kick-start the greening up (fescue being a cool season grass and all...I LOVE this stuff......pellatized, organic goodness with lots of iron and just the right amount of nitrogen....that won't burn....can't be over-applied, and has that wonderful eau de manure smell I love in the spring...)

Experience tells me that after a full day of gardening, and as if on cue, Billie Joel will start singing to me from the radio about making love to his tonic and gin, and, despite drug issues and his falling out with Elton John.....I will decide that this isn't a bad idea, and head inside.

Well, he didn't disappoint.

I love days like this.

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