Wrapping and planting

This week I wrapped Woody’s birthday gifts even though his birthday isn’t till a third of the way through April.  I have a lot to do next week and wanted them all out of the way so the box of wrapping paper could get out of my office. I also wrapped for Stephen’s Birthday.  Our birthdays are three days apart so we celebrate them together.  Melenie was coming for my  birthday but got the flu.  Woody is roasting prime rib, Dale is making garlic mashed potatoes and a cake, I’m making a veggie.  We’ll have oysters and fancy cheeses for hors d’oeuvres.

I planted arugula, garden cress, two kinds of radishes this week.  I transplanted the salad bowl lettuce I had started inside and then put in six kinds of lettuce from seeds.  This afternoon I plan to transplant the cilantro I started and dig in beet seeds I’ve been soaking since Thursday. If there’s time, I’ll plant parsnips. We’ve been digging the final from last’s years all week. I also planted chervil in a pot and an experiment: what are supposed to be dwarf snow peas. I planted them in a huge softsided pot.  If they work as an experiment, we won’t get many – probably enough for one stir fry – but we can grow more next year. Yesterday Woody went and got new sides for a raised bed that’s falling apart down in the lower garden – the one we share.  We each take care of different raised bed in it. Nothing will get planted there until May.  Pumpkins go in first in one of my beds.  They were started this week and sprouted.  They’re out in the greenhouse now, small but perky.  We seem to be doing the greenhouse right this year as everything looks vigorous and happy.  Yesterday I started two more six packs of cucumbers, two six packs of Genovese basil and four different kinds of marigolds – all in the storeroom. Of course it will be a while before they germinate.

I worked on two poems this week and we sent out various poems to two zines where I’ve been published before. I finished reading CIRCE  by Madeline Miller and enjoyed it very much. She’s has huge scholarship in the Homeric epics and legends that have gathered around them and she writes very well.  I’m going to lend Dale the quarterback book I got bogged down in.  It wasn’t necessary to go through every game the four quarterbacks he’s discussing played in.  I’ll give him the book Monday.  I’m never going to finish it.  It would have been a better book cut by one third.

Much of New England is still under snow, but we had little this winter and none now.  The ground has pretty much all thawed and many perennials are up.  I noticed a number of daylilies had sprouted.  Spring always seems to come from the ground up.  No buds on trees are visible yet.  But the witch hazel continues to bloom as it has since midFebruary.  I love spring and fall better than summer or winter. 

Schwartzie is trying to woo Xena, who puts up with his attentions but without enthusiasm.  He doesn’t understand Xena has two love objects she is fixed on: her elderly kitten Mingus and me, whom she doesn’t like to have out of her sight. I call him her elderly kitten.  Mingus is our smallest and oldest cat.  He’s eleven.  Xena is next in line at seven and is our largest cat by far.  She’s big and very strong. 

My ankle doesn’t hurt at all some days and I leave Das Boot off.  Other times it can hurt like crazy, usually in thevery late afternoon when I have to prepare supper.  Then after we eat, I can sit sideways on a couch and it stops hurting. i don’t understand what makes it get painful, but I think it’s associated with walking around a lot or climbing steps multiple times, as I always do Mondays. Two Monday ago, I counted 36 times I went up and down.

As Woody says, we’re always busy year-round and then in the Spring we add a farm.  It’s that time of year. I still enjoy gardening and wish I could do more, but I need raised beds.  This week I want to plant shallots, parsnips for sure and help Woody transplant the broccoli, bok choi and the red cabbages I started.  I should be able to transplant the Italian and curly parsley as well.

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