Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Torpid Tuesday

It's hot. Almost 30C. I'm sure there are those of you for whom that's a pleasant mid-winter's day, but it was only a few short weeks ago that I finally became acclimatized to -30C, and the ricocheting temperatures are giving me climactic whiplash. Uufda.

And there's wind. And fire. Our area is in drought, and there are wildfires burning far too close to our town. A quick windshift is all it would take, and Gawdswallop could be no more. Not that I think about that much, but it's sort of there in the back of the mind, you know? I spent a few shifts at the community hall this weekend, doing meal prep for the 250 provincial fire-fighters who are camped out in the field across from our house. Those guys are amazing. They go full-on from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m., and then crash in tents and do it all over again the next day. Bless their black boots.

I ought to be studying (Of course, but when shouldn't I be studying? I think I'm close to study-coma state. There's simply no study left in me.), but I'm gardening instead. Apparently my head is in a better state than its been for the past few years, because I'm actually thinking about what to plant, and where to plant it, and how to pry up the dirt and get it to accept a few seeds.

The whole gardening thing sort of leapt upon me from behind the shed and rassled me to the ground. Literally two weeks ago it was still snowing. This week there are dust-devils everywhere, and I'm out there with a hoe, busting up clods and spreading the chicken litter from last summer.

No chickens this year. There are several reasons, and I don't really want to go into it. Maybe some meat-rabbits. Apparently they're not all that easy to come by in this region, so I've been tracking them down through the homeschool network. Hopefully I don't find myself traveling more than an hour to gather them into the fold.

Chive took the first two rows of the garden space for potatoes. Last year they were the only thing that survived, so he wasn't going to waste time hoping that lettuce would germinate when he figures he's got a sure bet with potatoes. That leaves two more readied rows for other things. I put some lettuce in this morning, but I can't quite commit to buying a package of something else. Why this is a problem, I cannot say. Must be the lingering after-effects of the lobotomy...

Peas. There you go. Of COURSE we have to have peas to graze on. What's the point of a garden without fresh peas? I shall go anon to the Co-Op and buy myself some pea-seeds. And maybe carrots, though I have to admit that carrots have never done well for me. One of the mysteries of the universe. I thought carrots were a starter-vegetable for the agriculturally inept to sharpen their pitchforks on, but the tines of my fork remain blunt in the carrot patch.

Other than that? We keep hauling old auction-mart garbage to the dump, tearing down disintegrating fences, planning to plant fruit-trees and bushes. This place will supply all my needs for busy-ness for the next decade, if not longer.


shaktimama said...

That's so scary, both the drought and the wildfires! How can you not think about it all the time? I'm a worrier by nature, so I can't imagine. I did live in Reno for quite a few years, though, and I remember there being wildfires nearby, though they never got too close to the city. As for droughts ... global warming is what comes to mind, something I'm a little too scared of, though for good reason.

On another note, we've got our little garden going too (potatoes, onions, lettuce, asparagus, spinach, some herbs), though it's been raining here so much lately that I haven't had a chance to plant some other seedlings I just picked up at Farmers' Market.

Where exactly do you live, by the way?

Madcap said...

We're NE of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Officially the area is listed as "parkland", but it's a lot more like prairie where we are. My husband was doing some research about local weather patterns, and while we're in a drought compared to the last century, it seems that the current state is more like the previous two hundred years to that.

I'm not a specific worrier - I just succumb to completely overwhelming global anxiety every now and then! I guess if the winds start carrying the fire our way, I'll pack up the photo albums and the computer, some clothes and toothbrushes, and away we go... The world's too big for me to worry about it all. For years I got more and more wound up about the overall condition of everything going to hell in a handbasket, but it depressed and terrified me so badly that I nearly stopped breathing. Now I try to ignore everything except my little corner, and maybe one or two other little corners, and call it good enough so that I can still sleep at night.

Thanks for stopping by to chat! I like getting to know new folk, especially people who are spreading their wings in new directions.

Mercutio said...

Goodness! It seems you barely had time to dry out from the mud of the melted snow before drought and wildfire come upon you.
I suppose over the average there's a happy medium in that. It might well have passed you by in the middle of the night while you were asleep. That's the trouble with averages-- they're so transitory. Their appeal is in an illusion of some degree of permanence, or stability at the very least; and yet none of it is to be had at any given time.
Did you ever wonder about sea level? What is sea level, exactly, when the waves rise up and roll out one right after the other, and the tides raise up and recede as well. Sea level is a constantly changing thing. You and I both really have no idea what level the sea is at in this particular moment-- we can only guess according to some second-hand tale-- "Big water, that way (indicating); about this high (holding up the hand with palm parallel to the ground)." But we really don't know. It might be better that way.

I don't know where all of this is going. Really, I was going to mention rutabagas in all of this, so consider them mentioned. Those things grow like wildfire, with the exception of having to get the provincial volunteer force over to stamp them out. Although it is an idea, mind you. Plus, they make your lawnmower smell good if you run over them. Though you likely keep other fragrant plants about for this purpose.

Madcap said...

Good morning, Mercutio!

Funny you should mention sea-level... I've been having a hankering for the Big Wobbly Blue Thing lately. I haven't been further from home than a four-hour drive for about a decade, and haven't been out of province since, um, jeez, it's been more than 20 years! Wow. But I'm thinking that the kids are getting older, and in a couple years maybe we could take a vacation to the West Coast, and I could put my feet in the ocean, see the sequoias and the Haida totems, go to a community acupuncture clinic... ;-)

Now about rutabagas. I tried them once, and here's the problem. They're part of the cabbage family, and because the whole province is carpeted with canola crops, the air is thick with cabbage moths. I've either got to find some physical barrier that works (the sun-cloth we threw over the first try didn't work), or I need a non-poisonous chemical to protect them, and that's outside my ken at this point.

I didn't know they made a good smell when you mowed them, though. Curious that they haven't been introduced as a ground-cover, don't you think that would be attractive?