I started my week off in a determined way, if not a nice way. I put on my gardening outfit (heavy denim jeans, old T-shirt, long sleeved denim shirt, mens’ black work socks, old gardening shoes and most importantly, in the last few days, my mosquito helmet/hood. The skeeters are legendary and when they buzz your head and face even though it is covered with mosquito netting, you get the feeling that they are going to pick you up and carry you off to their nesting places, if there is such a place for mosquitos.
My original garden spot (the first of many I have planted over the years) had a jungle-like look about it due to a forest of Canadian thistles….huge, tall, tree-like weeds with roots that go about a mile into the earth once they get a foothold. The soil was too wet for rototilling so I got the bush clipper out and started to clip thistles in the raspberry patch. They were taller than the raspberry plants…. having benefitted greatly from all the recent rains. The raspberries are going to bring forth an abundant crop but so would the thistles if I had not clipped them off…I know I am going to have to do it again and perhaps again before the gardening season ends.(groan)
It is a lovely summer day but when you get into the garden wearing all your skeeter-protective clothing, the sun gives way to making you terribly hot and sweaty. (I took my garden towel along to mop my brow every 10 minutes or so, requiring a lifting of the skeeter net helmet. I was saying my usual mantra at this time of the summer: "Oh why did I plant all those tomatoes? peppers? pumpkins and squash? the raspberry patch? Why,oh Why,did I do it again?" This happens each summer when the weeds overpower the garden plants, the mosquitos have hatched by the zillions, the gnats are ever-present and the summer heat is upon us. Planting the seeds and small plants is one thing…taking care of them in the heat and humidity of July and August is another thing. I did stay with it long enough to clip all the thistle trees in the raspberries. Other parts of the thistle jungle got mowed, waiting for the soil to dry enough for the rototiller to finish the job. Then—if theheavens will allow it, I am finally going to roll out my black garden cloth in the places I do not want to weed again this summer. Rain, rain, stay away—-even for just a few day (s)!!!
Happier Note: I got the nicest gift from our neighbor’s mom and dad. Neighbor Jane is like our daughter and we cluck over her like mother hens, helping her when she needs help and coming to her rescue when things go really bad—like the night she needed to take one of her pets to the 24 hour animal hospital in Fargo. Her parents sent us a wonderful letter plus a gift certificate to our local supermarket. What a thoughtful gift! It led me to think about what one of our sons and his wife are doing with their tax return/rebate. They are sinking the entire amount into a gift card from one of their locally owned grocery chain stores (Cashwise originates in St Cloud). I think that is a marvelous way to use tax rebate monies for American businesses and not use it in a way that will reward foreign companies that do not benefit our economy one bit. When our ship comes in (the tax rebate) we plan to do the same thing—-use it for groceries from a locally owned business. I refuse to pay my rebate American tax dollars for foreign oil products (which we need) but this is a matter of principle…..use the U.S. tax rebate on American products like food that we need on a day to day basis.
Time to recover from the thistles and get enough energy back for some laundry to hang out in the fresh air and light breezes of the day. I like saving the energy an electric dryer takes…especially when the days are so good for drying clothes on clotheslines. Too bad so many have not got clotheslines any longer.