Moving The Diva and Worrying About The Dog

October 30, 2010

Cool, crisp and just about perfect for moving plants today. It could be a little bit moister, but ah, who’s complaining?

I put the ladder against the honey locust and pressed in the transplanting shovel. The soil here is beautiful – like chocolate cake crumbling in a spoon. I slice and dice the lumps into grainy pills, easily and quickly, then scoop it out with gloved hands to see how big the hole is. Just right, I think.

Griffey whines at the back door and someone puts him on the lead and lets him out. He’s recently been shaved, so he trembles a little in the breeze, but looks at me with a faceful of fretfulness. Lucky, our 13-1/2 year-old poodle, is most definitely not well today. He has always been a bundle of nerves, anxious, jumpy and hyper to the core. Today, he cries, shakes and stares at us pathetically, then snaps when we pet him. It could be just another in his series of mystery illnesses, soon recovered from, but Griffey is not so sure.

I dig up the hydrangea that’s in an inconvenient spot for watering, slicing around in a circle. The dirt is gently shaken from the roots and the plant is carried over and settled into the new hole. I fill in the hole with that coffee-ground dirt, shake milorganite over it and unroll the hose to give it a soak. The hose sputters, chokes, bubbles and then flows onto the hydrangea.

Griffey goes in – and Lucky is holed up in his own cage. I hear a squirrel chit in staccato – they are really masters of the vocal pattern. There is a burst of foxglove, bright pink and spotty. I am so looking forward to this patch next summer. I am anticipating so many flowers, so much color.

I notice buds on the lilac, a promise for spring. I haven’t seen any mice in days – they must have taken the hint of the relocated compost bin; they haven’t shown up in there either. I can see them, packing up their wee mouse suitcases, putting on their little mouse hats, like guests who’ve overstayed and been handed bus tickets out of town, annoyed and self-righteous. “Well,” they grouse under their tiny mouse breath, “If we weren’t welcome, what were all those picnics about? Really, if you’re going to put out a spread like that, we’re going to assume it’s a standing invitation.” They humph and grouch but move along, realizing they are now pariahs, perhaps hanging a “To Let” sign on the door.

I check the hydrangea and see that the water is still being almost instantly absorbed – still thirsty.

There are tiny pearl button mushrooms in the vegetable garden. We will not eat them.

I make a pocket of my sweatshirt and pick the biggest and nicest of the green peppers and bring them into the house. Back to the hydrangea, I press my foot into the soil and it gives moistly. I turn off the water and begin to roll up the hose. It’s in bad shape, this hose, covered with kinks that have popped the vinyl, exposing the black inner layer. I was going to replace it a few weeks ago, but decided that, until it springs an actual leak, it’s still usable, still functioning. It looks like a hillbilly hose, but it still works.

We have an appointment with the vet.

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