Thursday, July 7, 2011

BUSY AS A BEE


I've been busy as a bee lately. Not just regular, everyday busy…BUSY! Actually, Myladylove and I have both been busy. Over the recent Independence Day holiday, when she had three days in a row off, we worked in the yard from just after breakfast until supper time at dusk, with only a short break for lunch and maybe a glass of iced tea every now and then to help us survive in the mid-80s heat. 

Before this shared time off, I'd been working all-day hours alone in the yard for much of the week prior—planting the last of those forty-odd flowers and bushes I recently bought. This necessitated building several new beds. In addition, various plants got moved around. 

Then, during the long Fourth-of-July weekend, I borrowed a neighbor's pole saw/lopper and Myladylove and I got heavily into trimming and eliminating limbs, trees, bushes, and vines. The first real barbering we'd given the place since we moved here. I'd guess we easily lopped and sawed off fifty wheelbarrow's worth of brush and branches. Things look a lot better.

Since the holiday ended, I've been finishing up the yard work—well, it's never really finished, but I've been trying to finish what was started—writing several articles and a couple of columns, and doing some chores inside the house. Other than during my work hours at the word processor, I've barely logged onto the Internet.

I'd like to say the busy days have ended—but they haven't. I have lumber recently purchased and leaning again an outside wall with which I intend to build outdoor furniture, including a couple of chaise lounges, three or four small tables, a bench or two, and who knows what else? In other words, my work is definitely cut out and waiting. Plus there's a stone pathway to finally complete. And more new planting beds to construct. Not to mention that I have a doctor's appointment a couple of hours from now (just my regular semi-annual checkup) and a Community Health Center Board of Directors meeting to attend this evening. Sometime in-between, I need to spend serious time in the grocery store because Mother Hubbard's cupboard is looking mighty bare…and with all the work yet to do, we definitely gotta eat!

Nope, a busy bee has nothing on me!
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22 comments:

Bernie said...

Your yard sounds lovely, I use to love working outside with my husband,enjoy this wonderful season and time Grizz....it really is special.....big hugs:-)

Bonnie said...

What a great photo Grizz. I can almost count the individual hairs!

Sounds like you are accomplishing a lot of good things in your garden, which must give you tremendous satisfaction.

I'll be waiting for my invitation to your garden party when all is ready to present to your admirers! :-)

Scott said...

Geez, I'm tired just reading your list, Grizz. Good for you two. It's so torrid here now that I can't muster the energy to get half as much done outside as you did, though my place needs it as much as yours did.

Grizz………… said...

Bernie…

The yard still needs lots of work—years of work, probably—but it is shady and homey and lovely. A good place. And I understand exactly what you're say re. enjoying the time…I do, we do, and we know it is truly special. Take care…

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

A busy (and hairy) little honeybee on one of my coneflowers. I don't know about accomplishing a lot—with the work needed, seems like we put out huge efforts and not all that much shows. But it is there, and will keep accumulating and eventually pay dividends. Given that, I believe I'd better count on inviting in those admirers—yup, you're on THE LIST—when I'm more like half done, otherwise we'll all be too old to care or party, and a few might even get their walkers stuck in the riverbank mud.

Grizz………… said...

Scott…

It was too hot here, too muggy, and plumb uncomfortable, for sure…but we worked anyway because we're too bullheaded to give up and be sensible. And I can tell you, by the end of every day, we looked and felt incredibly worse for wear—bruised, scratched, sweaty, dirty, and decrepit. We would have had to clean up to become tramps or trolls.

Fact is, we were both overjoyed when Myladylove had to return to work, because we knew we wouldn't have the other one around to push and prod, shame, threaten, and cajole into "one more round" of digging/brush-hauling/rock-moving/etc. I don't think we would have survived another day of joint labor.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-
Oh my, you are SO energetic, well, intended at least - my goodness - huge projects and SO many blessings in each one - for you and your Ladylove to share in such endeavors and to have the 'where-with-all' to do any of it is such a blessing. I know this too because of all we have been doing around here, albeit inside - mostly Skipp but I did my fair share as my stamina allowed. - SPeaking of which - I hoe you get a chance to go and see my last post with pictures of some of our finished projects and new themes for our home.
Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

Yes, the summer months have kept me busy outside too and blogging less but it is nice to look out on a well tended place, isn't it.

The bee shot is amazing, how iridescescent the wings in the sun!

George said...

What a great photo, Grizz! One of your best. As for the labors of Hercules, I'm exhausted from just reading your post. I suspect, however, that your back is in worse shape than my own at this point. Please slow down and take the time to enjoy your creations!

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

You are very right—it is a blessing to not only be able to do such work (not to mention have a home on the river where such work is possible) and to be able to do it together. That's what a shared life together really means, in which we find its greatest joys and rewards, when we share work and pleasure, fun things, leisure time, but also the hard, difficult times, the fears and doubts, hurts and losses, as well as the questions and answers in between. Life is a patchwork quilt, and a life together means wrapping that around the both of you, sharing its warmth and protection.

I will get over and see your post, absolutely.

Take care…

Grizz………… said...

George…

Actually, by whatever miracle, the back has been no worse—which isn't to say it's good, but just that the daily pain hasn't increased. I go to bed feeling awful, but am restored to semi-awful come dawn.

I almost hate to reveal this, but yesterday, I bought maybe a 150 additional new plants. The big catalog nursery nearby had an end-of-spring surplus sale wherein you could could load one of their huge carts or wagons with as many items as you wanted for a flat $25! Some folks piled on upwards of 1000 plants; others did this times three and for $75 loaded pickup trucks with everything from roses to coneflowers. It's an incredible way to acquire a lot of plants for an unbelievable price—and good stuff in good shape, too.

So ask me about my back again in a week or two.

Grizz………… said...

Teri…

I wouldn't go so far as to call this riverbank abode "well-tended," but it is nice to look out and see color and form which you've intended. A lot of work for little more than a moment's view every so often, but worth every drop of sweat and aching muscle.

Alas, the busy little honey bee is no longer common—in numbers—here, nothing like it was when I was growing up and in fact until a few years ago. And the reason, or reasons, why their numbers have to substantially declined, here and across the nation, is complicated and in great part, still something of a mystery. But they're noticeably all but absent.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz - your words back to me are so beautifully and truthfully stated. "thank you".
I will have the lemonade made from scratch waiting for you over here at my place for when you visit.
Love Gail
peace.....

The Weaver of Grass said...

Just hope the back holds out through all this work Grizz.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Well, I've visited, taken the tour, and been suitably impressed. (And the lemonade was excellent!) You and Skipp should be very proud of the work and result; the rooms look great. And I still think that's an awesome bed bear! :D

AfromTO said...

I don't know you just keep showing us closeups of single flowers-never a long shot of hundreds of flowers in a garden-I hear a lot of moaning but no proof of the work visible:)

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

I hope so, too…and so far (knock on wood!) it has…but there's more back challenging work to come.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTO…

You'd think, given all the stuff planted over the years, from seeds to seedlings, there world be these great swathes of color—dozens, even hundreds, of this and that in glorious bloom.

You'd think wrong!

A lot of the plants I've put in are perennials, and a number of the prairie species take a couple of years to get settled before blooming. Ditto for the bushes and shrubs. I have a half-dozen lilacs which were less than a foot high when put into the ground; they're now 4-6 feet tall, but have yet to bloom. I put in a couple of native witch hazel the other day—foot tall whips. They'll probably not bloom late this coming winter, and maybe not for several winters hence.

Right now I have maybe 50 various coneflowers—mostly purple and white—in bloom, and several varieties of bergamot, each with a dozen or so flowers apiece. But the plants and plantings are scattered; daubs rather than a broad brushstroke. The rest of the things now in bloom, twenty or thirty different plants, are located throughout the yards in various beds—so no masses of color there, either.

I tend to like the conglomerate cottage garden look—lots of different things stuffed into a given space. At best I try to put tall plants to the rear, shorter ones to the front, and providing I can remember what's on either side, I make at least a cursory attempt to consider neighboring colors and blooming times.

Perhaps this reflects my life…a bit messy and disorganized, ragged around the edges, haphazard, often spur-of-the moment, filled with variety but uncomfortable as one more indistinguishable cookie in the box. I'd rather bloom on my own than as one of identical hundreds nearby. Statements, whether by word or color (or painting) as best made individually and uniquely. Why be part of the herd?

Bottom line, however…it will be years before I can photographically impress anyone with vast masses of blooms. You'll just have to take my word on the work.

AfromTO said...

I hope your back holds up to see that photographic slendour-
PS you are a kind and helpful man to others thank you.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTO…

To a great extent, when you buy a place such as this and began planting things and shaping the land, putting in walkways and stone terraces, a bed here, a tree there, you're really doing it for a future steward—giving them a head start. I'll probably never see some of the stuff I've put in in bloom, certainly not in they way it will look given a few decades. And that's okay. Life goes on. The earth endures. I try to live in the moment, but take the long view on life.

I was raised and taught by kind and helpful parents, who learned it from their parents, and so on back through the generations. They cared about each other, their friends and neighbors, and would help anyone they could. I never knew a family member—aunt, uncle, or cousin—who wasn't the same. It wasn't until I grew up, grew older, and gained at least a glimmer of wisdom that I realized how richly blessed I'd been to come from such wonderful people. The thing I've discovered is that kindness, helpfulness, humility, honesty, caring…all bring their own rewards. I feel better going to bed at night knowing I've been a good a decent man that day. I treat others like I'd hope they would treat me—and most do. Somewhere along the line we've gotten away from such characteristics, such behavior, such manners. We've ceased being genuine. And it's our loss and shame. I don't want to be that person.

Cicero Sings said...

One almost welcomes winter back after the whirlwind of summer's fun and work! No time to slough off here either!

Great picture. The colours ... kapow!

Grizz………… said...

Cicero Sings…

So far, it does seems like this summer has been especially busy. I think that's partly because spring was so wet and cool, record rains, the river high and muddy for days on end. And my lousy personal timing being what it is, many of the nicer days, when I might have gotten outside, I had to work at the desk. I do feel like I've been playing catch up for weeks, trying to get done not only summer jobs, but things I intended to do in the spring.

Where you live, with your more compressed summer, I suppose such a pronounced pace must be more the norm. But I'll take more summer, and autumn after it, before I'm ready for winter again.

Thank you re. bee photo.