Tomato time

I developed what the doctor diagnosed as viral gastroenteritis and had it with high fever.  I could not sleep or eat or read or work.  Gradually, very gradually after a blur of boggy days, I began to heal.  I have been able to go back to work on the mss. I am reading and annotating for my juried intensive poetry workshop in June.  I have also been out in the garden planting the heldback tomatoes to fill in gaps and transplanted hot peppers, summer savory, sweet marjoram.  I shared some extras with Dale.  I have begun planting in pots. Tomorrow I hope to plant marigolds. I started four kinds.  In spite of all the wet weather we have lost very few plants this spring. We have been eating lettuce for a couple of weeks and soon there’s be broccoli.  I’ve made a couple of spinach salads. Probably this coming week, I’ll start freezing spinach.

All the tomatoes are in now, the paste tomatoes in my garden, the maincrops in Woody’s garden and cherry tomatoes on the fence.  Woody transplanted four kinds of peppers, pattypans, Oriental and Italian eggplants and zucchini.  Today we hope to get into the garden.  He found a place for basil I started in his garden. Both upper gardens are now just about full.  Time to get on the lower garden.  Woody has to fix one of the raised beds before I can plant my half. I’ll be transplanting into pots today.  Purple basil and some of the may marigolds I started.

I’m looking forward with moderate interest to the Preakness.  My favorite horses this year are not in it, Omaha Beach and Maximum Security.  There’s no chance of a triple crown.  I only hope the track in Maryland is not as sloppy and dangerous as the Derby was.  This time of year, there’s no other sports I follow. Neither Woody nor I are hockey fans.  He follows the Celtics but they’re out of the playoffs.   Nothing but rumors out of the Pats this time of year.  A lot of players signed who will be shortly dropped.  The usual gossip about rifts. 

The negotiations with CBS for WOMEN ON THE EDGE OF TIME go on and on and on, costing me endless legal fees.  My agent is optimistic.  Me, far less so  I have dealt with media corporations before that were presumably interested in filming one of my novels – what came of all the back and forth and lawyers?  Nada.  Big nothing. We’ll see and hope but Woody and I will hardly hold our breath. I can’t keep myself from quietly hoping.

The wood scyllas are out  in blue– they are one of those plants that constantly spread.  Our two crabapples have never looked better.  The white lilacs are blooming.  We still have some daffodils and a few tulips the wood rats and chipmunks and voles did not gobble down. The pink dogwood that has survived endless torture as when the roofers broke part of it throwing old shingles on it has had a white baby.  They look very pretty together.  The intense blue forget-me-nots are blooming by the turnaround.  The sour cherry is blooming as is the old pear tree.  It is beautiful here in spite of all the areas we have had to give up on.  Today I hope Woody will start on the lower garden.  When it’s ready this week and one of my three raised beds down there is repair, I should get all my winter squash seeds in. The pumpkins I started and planted weeks ago are thriving.

I’m working on only the second poem since I got sick.  May is always a slow month for my own writing as I put all my efforts into the coming workshop – reading mss for each of the 12 poets, working on material for the workshop itself and xeroxing the hundred pages of the handouts, replacing some examples.  And of course, the garden calls. I just finished reading Donna M. Bickford’s book on me, UNDESTANDING MARGE PIERCY. I had put off reading it as I was very busy and besides, I don’t like to read about myself.  There’s something embarrassing about it. She did a good job but rather stinted on the poetry. I don’t know what will survive of the novels when I’m gone, but I feel secure about a fair number of the poems.

I’ve been able to eat again, not as much as I used to but a lot more than I could get in and keep in when I had viral gastro enteritis.  I’ve been cooking again.  I guess like most cooks I prefer my own cooking to anybody else’s or almost all restaurants – I’d exclude those that make cuisines I don’t cook like Chinese or Thai.  W’re finally have sun today after a dreary grey April and May to this point.  We’ve certainly had plenty of rain, far more than we’re used to in spring and for the most part, the plants liked it.  The Thai cilantro Dale gave me is not happy. I hope now that it’s much milder and sunny, that it can revive.

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