Monday, June 4, 2018

The Best of Plans

I woke this morning surrounded by cats--four of them, to be exact. The collective opinion expressed seemed to be that it would be nice if humans got out of bed, escorted the felines downstairs and made themselves agreeable--opening doors to the outside, providing companionship.
Jim remarked wryly that the efforts of the cats seemed impartial----either of us would do, both would be preferable.  

The boy cats, Bobbie Mac and Nellie, bounded out the door, hurtling past Sally-the Troll who grumbles dire threats at their audacity. 
Teasel-cat rose on her haunches, grey velvet paws reaching up, letting me know that she needed a cuddle.

Breakfast finished, cats let in, cats let out, I wandered toward the garden, clippers in hand, hoping to find a few roses that hadn't been badly rain damaged. 
I stepped carefully along the path, avoiding muddy soil.

Weeds have flourished in the steamy heat of the past 10 days, encouraged by frequent showers. 
I have declared [to anyone who might be listening] that I am OVER the continual battle against the superior forces of heavy soil and pernicious weeds!
Still, the sight of fresh spirals of bindweed twining triumphantly up the stems of roses, threatening the dwarf Oriental lilies spurred me to defensive action!
Armed with a slender pointy trowel and a stout hand digger, I began work, keeping to the mowed strip below the timber retaining wall, leaning across the wall to pry up short matted grass, gangling stalks of fleabane, the ever-present mugwort. 

Willis joined me, padding along the wall, looking over a tweedy shoulder to be sure that Charlie and Nellie weren't attempting to creep up on him. 
I unwound lengths of bindweed, following the tendrils to the source of the tough stringy roots, used the trowel to dislodge other undesirables which could then be tweaked out..
Coneflower has self-sown prolifically near the parent plants; I gently pulled out bits of grass, giving the seedlings room to grow.
Two seasons ago, several gawky cleomes loomed at the far end of the perennial strip. These are infamous self-seeders, but last year there were none.  Reaching toward the center of the strip, I discovered a small plantation of cleome and decided to allow a few to remain. Cosmos, airy and delicate. emerged here and there from the weeds; Trying to avert my gaze from the weeds which could only be accessed form the other--muddy--side of the strip, I tugged and grubbed.

Willis had camouflaged himself in a tall clump of phlox. As I worked closer to his hiding place, a tweedy paw shot out to prod at my fingers, attack my trowel. 
My shoulders were beginning to ache, but surely I could persevere for another half hour, before quitting.
Lost in thought I was only dimly aware that the roar of the weed whacker had ceased and I jumped a mile when Jim spoke behind me: "I'm going to look at a trailer up on route 70--do you want to go?" 
I glanced at my mud-caked hands and grubby trousers, protested, but I knew I had reached a sensible stopping point. 

My tentative plans for the day hadn't included gardening or venturing off in the truck.
I had, on Friday evening, finished the first part of a family research project, editing and transcribing notes, deciding what was most interesting and useful from weeks of reading.  I was anxious to continue the next section of my 'report' while details were fresh in my mind. 
Still, it is good to be companionable.

Scrubbed and clothed in clean presentable garments, I loaded into the truck for what proved to be a journey along winding back roads---the 'scenic route.'
Home again, a late lunch served, I settled at my desk, began sorting my notes. 
My PC alerted me that several updates needed installing to insure virus protection. The download and installation completed I was presented with a screen of options to choose from. I ticked off boxes, hoping for the simplest choices. 
My computer promptly 'froze.'
45 minutes of fussing with the thing with my rather limited techy skills, didn't resolve the issues.
I am resigned to the fact that a visit to the computer geek in town is required.
Meanwhile, photos from yesterday and this morning, meant to enhance a story, are now inaccessible.
Those posted here are from a hasty tour of the garden at nearly dusk.

I have delayed familiarizing myself with this laptop--Windows 10. I now have opportunity to do so--if I want to finish my project while the desktop PC languishes at the repair shop.
Most of the notes I need are hand-written and the online sources I need are easily accessed. 

I often balk at a learning curve--the time necessary to adjust from the familiar to that which may challenge. Perhaps a good start would be to clear my desk and make a more user-friendly situation for hours with the laptop.  Perching at the end of my sewing table isn't conducive to comfortable work.


  1. Computers - the bane of our life when they go wrong, and source of such helpfulness when we are exploring the past, for example. I hope you can get to grips with Windows 10 and get your computer sorted pronto.

    It's difficult not to press on sometimes, with the weeding which needs to be done, and we push ourselves a bit further than our bodies are happy with. Just as well you had a break when you did.

  2. I think the problem with computers, and the internet, is that everything and everyone is competing for your attention. Most of it is junk, here I am talking about Microsoft, Windows and your security, mine is Mcfee. Do not think once conquered your computer will always be simple, updating goes on for ever!

  3. Your morning starts out on a good note, I think. Cats are always a pleasure to share time with. Teasel cat does look like a bit of a mushball. :)
    I am lucky to have Gary around to get me out of any mess with my computer. When I try to fix something gone wry I just get in a deeper mess.
    And thank you Lorraine for your thoughtful message about Audrey's passing.It all seems like a nightmare to me, nine months of trying to get her health back and then losing her in the end. I miss her every day and I imagine will for a very long time. Wilson is certainly helping to heal the heart, though. :)

  4. You paint vivid pictures with words, so I have no trouble at all in viewing your work on the perennial strip. It seems you are making good progress. Your gardening photos are beautiful!