Tuesday, May 12, 2015

An Imperfect Blogger

On Lauren's wonderful blog Wearing History Lauren has posed a challenge for all bloggers - to show the imperfections behind the beautiful images we like to put forward for our readers. Lauren was able to match up images with concurrent events to show the contrast. I'll just pass along a little of my context, mainly because I am having trouble finding the pictures I want from past blog posts.

I don't have an aspirational lifestyle blog with pictures of a perfect life for others to envy,

but I still pick and choose what to show. I choose my angles so as not to show the little gypsy camp around my chair when I am knitting and have everything strewn around. My outdoor pictures do not show the amazing chaos of my neighbor's yard or closeups of the garden beds that are looking bad and that I am not sure what to do with. I'm happy to highlight garden failures that are not my fault and to soft pedal the ones I brought on myself with laziness or ignorance. I don't post pictures of myself looking like a weasel (very often) or pictures that show me looking really tubby.

My knitting is often going awry - things get started and ripped back time after time. I make bad yarn choices and have to start over with different yarn. There are yarns in my stash I should never have purchased. There are finished objects waiting for me to block them that I am too lazy to tackle. There are finished objects that are waiting to be torn out because they are butt-ugly.

Everyone loves beautiful pictures of Cape Cod. I don't show the tatty touristy spots and souvenir stands. I don't show the drug problems, the unemployment, the homelessness, the groundwater issues. You can't tell from the beach pictures that the lovely young things lounging nearby are enjoying a long, loud and vacuous conversation dotted with vulgar language to a background of loud music. Seals bite. Flies bit. We are tick central.

I buy too many books and sometimes read too few of them. I go back to reread old favorites when I could be learning something new. I'm fallible and idle, like everyone else.  My dogs bark when I want to sleep. My "baby angel" get lost in the back yard now and eats cat poo (with gusto). I sometimes want to kill "The Little Woman". My car is unremittingly dirty. It's just life.

Read your favorite blogs, enjoy Pinterest, congratulate your Facebook friends on their book publishing, their family achievements, their new house or car, their new job, their Nobel Prize. Just know they are showing their best selves and are not sharing their hemorrhoids, the stupid fight they had with their kids, the leaky roof, the overdraft charges,  They may suspect their spouse is cheating, they may be hiding abuse, they may be posting the only good thing that happened all week. Be kind. Kindness is always the answer.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Early May 2015 Garden Report

Winter has finally and more or less completely given up its grip. I think the garden is behind where it was last year - I'll know for sure when I compare. In terms of size it's bigger. The bed bordering the front walk is new, and I've started on a perennial border along the back fences behind the veggie garden.

Winter losses - looks like two small lavender gone. My fleabane and sweet william have not come back (yet), and the mountain bluet looked small and weak before something bit it off at the ground. I have only half a dozen tulips, and the single one bud that was ready to open was also bitten off. Tomorrow I am purchasing some Repels-all to pour under the shed and dribble around some of the more attractive plants. I would like to have parsley for the table, not to fatten up groundhogs or other marauders. There was some kind of little creature in the yard yesterday - probably a chipmunk - Mitzi is interested but unless it comes inside the fence she won't get a chance. The cat behind us does come into the yard but I think he is only really interested in birds. I lost one veronica from the new front bed, but everything else made it through the winter there, probably because everything, including the hydrangeas, was completely and totally buried under snow up to my shoulders for two months.

Successes - my "tall veronica" which is really something else but was labeled that way doubled its number of stalks from last year. The Liatris is so enthusiastic I will have to start pulling some of it out. I will use some in other places but I will have more than I need. I thought I had moved my baptisia to the front bed but apparently I did not get all the root because it is coming up well in both places. I thought I was taking a chance because it does not like to be moved, but doubled is good. It gets  more sun in the front yard, so maybe it will bloom better there. My peony is much bigger, and the cosmos has reseeded. I don't know about the four-o-clocks; they come up much later. It's hard to believe they would have given up. The shrub border looks (a little) more like bushes and less like a row of sticks now, but is still not big enough to block my neighbor's piles of stuff. His son had a serious motorcycle accident earlier this year, so I doubt he will be moving along this summer. This means the tarp covered pile of his belongings will have to stay.

These are really boring photos unless you just like looking at little stumps. The next round of garden pictures will be much better, and in June I swear I will make a little video tour of the whole thing looking wonderful, so that you get the full effect.