May 9th, 2019

Venus

Weekend update

This is actually for last weekend, even though the new one is nearly here...

The big news was being voted Co-Winner of LJ Idol for the Literary Prize Fight mini-season. It still hardly seems real. Sonreir and I are joining a terrifically talented and humbling group of people who have won past rounds, and I'm in awe of all of them. :O

In lesser news, HalfshellHusband and I haven't been out on a weekend date in ages. I've spent the last 5-6 weeks writing Idol entries all weekend (as did HSH, up until 2 weeks ago), and just haven't had the time. Last Saturday, I couldn't commit to anything in case there was another write-off and I had to spend the evening on that!

What I DID do last weekend, besides nearly jump-start an ulcer over the Idol vode, was yard work. We have a TON of bulbs in our yard that the previous owner planted. Most are paperwhites, which flower in the winter. Afterward, the leaves keep growing and growing until they flop over onto the lawn or other plants and block out their sunlight and prevent them from getting watered by the sprinklers. \o?

I usually cut them back around March, and then pull off the dead leaves in June or so. Thanks to Idol and the recurring weekends of late rain that went on forEVER, I didn't start in on that first chore until the end of April. The leaves are about 20" now, so you really have to wrestle with them just to trim them. My equipment for this chore is a cheap serrated knife and a pair of rubber gloves, because these things slime when you cut them. God, do they ever slime. And after about 15 minutes, that sap turns sticky—so you'll be trying to remove weeds between the plants, and then you can't shake the weeds off the gloves. Ook.

I cut back everything along the walkway (the most crucial sprinkler area) two weeks ago, then last weekend I started on the huge circle in the middle of the lawn. 2 1/2 hours of work, and I only finished 3/4ths of it!

I decided last year that I was going to dig up and remove virtually all the paperwhites (and the gazillion clumps of white gladiola bulbs in other parts of the front yard). First, because all the flowers are white, and they're not worth the grief. If they were daffodils, maybe, but no. But what really drove that decision was that these bulbs are what's keeping us from putting down landscape fabric and groundcover. Instead, we have bare dirt everywhere and have to battle epic weeds all year long. I'm sick of it.

Somehow, though, I didn't get that done. Last spring, I removed semi-rotted roots from long-dead trees, added back good dirt, and then put in new plants. Some of which are now dead. :O By the time I was done with that, all of the paperwhite leaves were gone, which makes it hard to find the bulbs. I did dig some of them up (and some gladiolas, too) while planting new things, but there are SO many more to go. I only have about 4-6 weeks left before the leaves are gone again, during which time we'll be gone Memorial Day weekend and then again in Mid-June for our oldest's college graduation. My chances of getting much done are not looking good!

Plus, we fianlly visited the nursery last weekend and got some new plants that need to go in. Not as many as I'd hoped—what's available really varies, even though you definitely want to plant everything no later than... now. SOOOoooooo...

Oh hey, remember my talking about random-juke-box-brain last week? I woke up Monday morning with Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" in my head for no good reason (I'm not really a fan, and I've probably heard it fewer than 10 times). It was on repeat until something HalfshellHusband said kicked off "Start It Up," a song that is high on my Hate list and contains at least 50% more Jagger-mouth than virtually any other Stones song. So I immediately inflicted it on HSH, out of revenge. I mean, it was only fair, right? :O