Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Backyard

On my last post I showed you a photo of me that was taken the only time I “did” drag. I sent it to Steve (my ex) and he sent me back the photo above. It’s me again. I’ve always loved playing with wigs, likely because I’ve been bald since I was twenty-two.
Long long ago, I went for a holiday with my friend, Marion, and her partner, David. We were going through the junk/antique stores of Port Townsend, Washington, and as we emerged from one store, she gave me a wig to wear as a hat. I was cold and had nothing to cover my bald pate.
It was a women’s wig that looked “great” when I wore it backwards. Cut short in the back for the woman who bought it, the short back gave me a nice upper front hairline of bangs, and I had nice long curly hair falling down in the back.
Soon after I’d put it on, we ran into a couple that Marion had met earlier in a in one of the stores. We stopped to talk and Marion introduced her new-found friends to David and I and then we wound up having lunch together.
Mid-way through lunch, I scratched my head and suddenly realized/remembered that I was wearing the wig. I’d truly and completely forgotten about it and I was immediately embarrassed and terribly self-conscious to be wearing it. So, whilst people were talking, I slowly reached up and started slipping it off my head.
The woman whom Marion had met just about choked on her food when she noticed me, and she made a noise that made everyone look at me. Everyone laughed to see me with half a bad head and hair slipping down the back of my neck. I, meanwhile, wanted to die of embarrassment. 
I felt like I’d been perceived as someone who was dissatisfied with their looks and needed to wear a wig out of vanity or pride or whatever, and I was not that guy! But I did not want to explain my discomfort and make a big deal of the whole thing; I wanted to run back to the car and be alone—with my lunch.
I, and perhaps most people, vividly remember the things that embarrass us most.
I actually did things on Tuesday. 
I’ve been in the doldrums since I finished the third and fourth cords of wood last week, but yesterday my mojo was decently functional. I hung my first load of laundry outside and ordered my two last cords of wood before starting on yard work.  
I started clearing my backyard lawns of windfall in advance of mowing them and got rid of the piles of forest detritus I’d built up in the courtyard and on my back deck. Slowly, my yard is coming back to life. I take it easy and so I find the work enjoyable. 
In the past, I’ve always gone at things full tilt. But no more. However, I keep at it and I’m patient; eventually everything gets done. One thing I want to do is “peg” my Hostas and a few other plants so that I know where they are during the cold season when their foliage has all disappeared. This past winter, I had to water the pants it was so dry in February and March, and I forget where some plants are.
I watched Unorthodox last night. Because it’s based on a memoire, it’s frightening, fabulously interesting and thoughtful. Extremist religion of any form is anathema to me, but I respect the rights of those who choose the lifestyle. I also respect the rights and wishes of those who want to leave it. 
The last two cords of wood come this morning, so it’s back to lifting, toting and stacking, but this time there’s no deadline. I can take my time as there are many sunny days ahead and no additional load of wood coming next week. This is the end of this year’s wood order. 
Today my plan is to go into the village to renew my automobile insurance and get some Skimmia plants for my border shade gardens. And to get started on sewing my wildflower mixture amongst my little “grove” of Campion flowers that are native to my yard (see below). This will be my wildflower garden—a specialist, or dedicated, garden like my Fern and vegetable gardens. I want to finish these modest garden goals before I start stacking again.
These photos are all of my backyard, but the vegetable garden is on one side of my house. The front yard is much smaller and is mostly lawn and driveway.

This is taken from the courtyard (the tiles). I loaded in all the soil supporting 
the lawn and seeded it last year. It was a desolate landscape before, but now 
it's a nice place for my morning repasts. (See below.)
This is a Japanese Cherry in a back corner of my backyard.
This is one of four raised beds in my vegetable garden. On the
right hand edge you can see my Garlic crop emerging, and
Raspberries grow up the fence.
This is part of my magnificent Rhododendron. It is the only
plant that was here when I moved in
This is where I spend an hour each morning, having a drink, reading a New
Yorker and/or having a nap. The paved circle was here when I moved in. It
was a fire pit. I removed the rock edge, power washed the bricks and moved in.
This is my Fern garden but it's mostly weeds right now. Eventually, I'll get
to weeding it but I've many more jobs to do first.
This is my "grove" of native Campion. I'll be weeding between the pants, adding
soil and planting more wildflowers between them.
This is the garden I made under the Fir trees you see pounding up through it.
It needs attention; the Hostas are just beginning. But you get the idea now: I
have a lot of different gardens and lawns keeping me busy.
This is my "back forty;" an unfinished area in which I've planted four Apple
trees and a lot of Lavender. I'm likely to leave this wild and, over time, add
lots of easy-to-maintain flora.

This is Climbing Hydrangea. They said it would take a while
to get started, but that once it did it would really grow. Well,
this year, its pace has dramatically picked up. There's also a
Climbing Rose that is already growing all the way to the top
and across the top of the trellis.
This is Ethel (top) and Fred loving their cat scratcher that
I moved to beside my desk and into the sunshine.

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