Friday, May 8, 2020


I worked on the garden under the trees yesterday. I must say, it doesn’t take too much work to make a garden come to life. I’m thrilled with how good the tree garden looks. I’ve done all my gardens now, except two—and the Fern Garden which is covered in weeds.
Anna wrote to say: “Today I’m feeling very weary, so won’t join you on the walk this afternoon.  Actually, I feel like I should stay away for the near future because my conversation seems to put a damper on everyone else and that would never be my intent. Words slip out, and there you have it, can’t put them back in.”
I’ve replied encouraging her to keep coming, but I told her that I’m not going to stop at her house to meet her and walk to the park with her anymore. I’m going directly to the park because I have water for Sheba, now that it’s hot. I’ve told her that I won’t engage with some subjects of conversation, but that I’m fond of her.
When I was being raised by the Tyrells, before Connie lost her marbles, I went to catechism on Wednesdays and Church on Sundays. I knew that I’d come from a Catholic orphanage and my mother suggested I might have to go back if I didn’t accept and practice the faith. So I became the model Catholic boy.
I sang in the choir—soloist even. I was in the Church plays, I went to Church camp, for a while I even went to a private Catholic school. One year I was given a special award that I’ve always called the Catholic Boy Suck Hole of the Year Award. (There was a similar award for a young girl.)
But I was not a good Catholic. 
Besides catechism and church, I also had to go to church on Saturday to go to confession so that I could take communion on Sunday. Well I lied my way through years of confessions, making up sins so I’d have some, and ignoring the real ones.
I feel the same pressure to have “copy” for my mental health nurse. I have to present evidence of insight, of growth. But I can’t BS Cathy. I have to have actual, not sins, but psychological insights. So, I’ve taken to finding help.
For example: I watched Cracked Up, a documentary about Daryll Hammond who was amazing to watch on Saturday Night Live. I did not know about his battles with poor mental health, but watching his doc was amazing because he, too, suffered prolonged child abuse. 
His was much worse than mine; his symptoms are also much worse than mine. But there were similarities in our stories that are profound to me—such as somehow stuffing all memory of bad events away until well into adulthood—the whole repressed memory thing. Seeing the film gave me lots to think about and that leads to things to share with Cathy. 
Mr. X and Gunther were at the park and Mr. X was going on and on about conspiracies. Anna was not there. And when I stood up, at one point, because I was getting a cramp in my leg, he said: “Had enough, eh.” 
He knows I am not a conspiracy theorist and although I do not sense any hostility or anything negative, he always manages to let me know that in spite of not saying anything, that I am the odd one out, a spy in the works.
I always talk about my gardens—plural. It's so I can keep notes about how much sun each one gets on a given day. I don't do that often, but I do with the veggie garden. And I can make notes of plants I want for which area in my yard. So here's most of them (but not all):

This is what I call my Corner Garden. It borders the courtyard and the start
of the boardwalk to the back gate.
This is the terrace; Climbing Hydrangea is making it look
pretty good, and a climbing rose is covering the top.
This is the garden I put  under the trees—the Tree Garden. It gets a lot of hot
sun and the trees drink up all the water, so it's a high maintenance garden.
This is the eastern half of the Tree Garden.
This is the western half.
This is where I have one Japanese Maple, three Apple Trees and several
Lavender plants that I hope get very big. Those are weeds, not lawn and
I'm not seeding this area. I want to fill it with plants. 
This is the Wildflower Garden—right now, mostly Campion.
There are four Roses here. This is part of my Deck Garden. There's a lot more
to the left of this photo.
This is my vegetable garden; its parts are photographed below.
Blueberry bushes and Garlic.
One area for herbs.
Tomatoes and Strawberries.

The second herb area. All the herbs are new this year.
More Strawberries. Yum!
The Raspberry Row.
Garlic (right) and Sweet Peas (invisible on left).
This is my Skimmia Garden. It's the only plant that I can grow here where
there is absolutely no sunshine at all.
This is the front garden that needs rocks lining it in the front. It bakes in the
sun and is exposed to Deer, so it's not an easy garden to grow.

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