Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Is Developmentally Delayed

Mid-April, and this is what I see from my back door. Is it any wonder I'm not overcome with gardening inspiration? We had a few warmish days last week, enough to melt it back this far, but this week we're back to fence-sitting at 0C. Yesterday we had snow-flurries. Just a little, but that's all it takes to fling a person into climatic despair. Today the sun is shining, so I'll gird up my cerebral loins and believe that summer will come again.

This year I'm going to try planting some trees again. The deer like them too, so I've got to get more serious about staking my claim. I'm thinking chicken-wire and burlap... I need another northern plum to pair up with the one I've got so they can cross-pollinate, and an apple and maybe an Evans cherry. I've got one saskatoon bush that's doing not too badly, so I'm going to dig a trench and put a bunch more of those in.

The soil is awful here. On the west we have a big stand of golden willow that have taken the garden plot hostage with their roots, and most of the rest of the acreage was used as an impromptu parking lot by the previous owners. Chive's going to mow down the willows, and I'm going to ask around to find a truckload of manure. (Too bad I can't just back up to the local coffee-shop and download some of the B.S. that's thrown around there!)

I'm going to have a fling with haybale gardening too, just on a very small scale to see how it works for me. You can look it up for more information, but the basic idea is to put down a few hay or strawbales, water them to start them rotting a bit, sprinkle them with dirt and fertilizer, and plant right into that. It's pretty arid here, so I don't know how they'll do in the moisture department, but I figure that it's worth a try as a soil-building experiment. If nothing else, it'll break down a bit and I'll have the start of a new garden plot.

Other than that, the cats catch mice, the kids chase each other, and I study. I finished my second mid-term with the physiology a few days ago, which means I'm on the last lap now. And yesterday I submitted my official application to the university in the city, so next year I'll really be on my way to being an acupuncturist. Wootle-ee-doot!

Friday, April 1, 2011

On my bookshelf...

Carpe Jugulum, by Terry Pratchett.

I lurrrvv Terry Pratchett! He's the one who takes me away, puts me in another world, where it's all silly and magic, and yet... more like the world I live in than the one I live in, y'know?

I've only just begun this one, but here's a quote from near the start:

"The wording began: 'You are cordially invited..." ...and was in that posh runny writing that was hard to read but ever so official. Nanny Ogg grinned and tucked the card back on the mantelpiece. She like the idea of 'cordially'. It had a rich, a thick, and above all, an alcoholic sound."

I finished my first go-round with this one last night. In some ways, Susun is a long way from where I'm at, and in others we synch. For myself, and for my clientele, I'm finding that the whole issue of womanhood after age 30 is pretty nebulous territory, disrespected by ourselves and others. Susun writes about shifting cycles, hormone changes and the physical signs that accompany them, herbal remedies using North American plants as well as Chinese Medicine, and spiritual issues surrounding aging. I'm going to try a few of her herbal recommendations and see how it goes. There was a lot to consider in this book. Thanks to CG for recommending it.

Usually this isn't "my kind" of book, but I loved it! It made the rounds of Chive's family, and finally found its way into our house. The author (Director of the British Museum) takes objects from around the world, relates their individual histories, and then weaves them into their place in a global history. Many of the objects are extremely beautiful, or curious, or plain, but his descriptions give them life beyond their material selves. Highly recommended!