April 22nd, 2006


(no subject)

Today, we hemorrhaged money.

The lawn is an atrocious sight. The front "bed" not much better. A circular bark-filled bed, containing the most brutalized Japanese maple I've ever seen...terrible. So we set out to correct these things.

We bought a lawnmower. That was expensive. We went to a nursery. That cost more than the lawnmower, and believe me, that's sayin' something. We got evergreen berrying shrubs (Indian hawthorne. Non-native. I am wracked with guilt, but at least birds like the berries.) to screen the front of the porch, and wild indigo (YES!) and butterfly bush to make the corner pretty and attractive to wildlife. We got flats of annuals--salvia and verbena--and four lantana to fill in the maple bed, while the maple recovers itself. (That will take, at a guess, years. They hacked that poor baby down to a stub. It better have been struck by lightning or hit by a car, because there is otherwise no excuse to do that to an innocent maple.) Meanwhile, the bed is Full Sun for now. We got bee balm to fill part of another bed, and I splurged on foxglove for the backyard and a glorious little heliotrope, which will go in a pot, because I love heliotrope the way I love Mom and apple pie.

Tomorrow, we'll have to buy a wheelbarrow, and an edger, and more money will wander off into the abyss. But que sera, sera...we got our full damage deposit back from the rental place, and that'll just about cover this yard-related spree.

And we have all the various horrific things required to care for the lawn, although I put the kibosh on any notion of herbicide. I don't care if the lawn gets stuff on it, we will use herbicides over my dead body. I feel guilty enough having this depraved monoculture of forgeign monstrosities covering most of the front yard, I'm not pouring poisons in on top of it. The only thing that salves my conscience is that we will tear much of it out next year and put in rock walls or something.

Today's plant discoveries include that a line of Mystery Shrubs on the side of the house are in fact multiple peonies, and one of the Mystery Weeds in the front is invasive lemon balm. I like lemon balm, but I like it in a pot. It will have to die eventually.

There are tiger swallowtail butterflies everywhere these last few weeks. They're the size of small birds, and flitting everywhere. I will eventually have to start IDing the butterflies back here, too. I dunno, though. There's a certain dignity in being a birder. Being a butterflier...well... I dunno about that...

(no subject)

So I went to the doctor, who was understandably fairly concerned about my heart palpitations--too many, too often, for too long a time--and she arranged me to see a cardiologist next week. Since it's hard to catch a palpitation in the office, I'll probably have to get electrode hooked to my chest, and wear a little device for a day, so it can monitor the activity.

And inevitably, without fail, as I'd half suspected it would--it's stopped. I had one in the doctor's office, and haven't had one since.

I was averaging close to twenty episodes of this a DAY. For five days. I tried to take a nap, and it was "daDUM...daDUM...da--THUMP!daDumdaDum..daDum...daDum..." one to ten seconds apart, recurring every few minutes. And now, nada. Not a peep, not a palp. My heart had been doing a pretty convincing imitation of the drummer from Slayer for a week, and now it's as mild mannered as a metronome.

It's as if the world is conspiring to make it appear that I'm a hypochondriac.

However, because I am intimately acquainted with the Imp of the Perverse, I asked the doctor on the way out--"What if it clears up over the weekend?" "Go anyway," she told me. "Your insurance pays for it and I want to know WHY this happened." Wise lady.

I won't swear it wasn't stress, since the other event today was Finally Getting The Hell Out of My Rental Place, but I confess, it's a little galling. I am no martyr, my life is undeservedly fabulous, but I have nevertheless lived through some fairly stressful shit over the years. That fear of my landlady flipping out over the condition of the carpets would drive my heart over the edge is just so...so...undignified.

If my health is going to be wrecked, at least let it be over something worthwhile! I mean, if I'm being held hostage by a deranged madman from the Platypus Liberation Front for six weeks, develop Stockholm Syndrome, and begin screaming whenever I see an omelet--okay, then I will accept and condone the heart palpitations. These things happen. Got off lightly, all in all. But over the landlady? For shame!

So, uh, if anybody ever asks, I first noticed the heart problems while wrangling cassowaries, okay?

Even I Sort've Wonder What Happens Next...

The donkey’s name was Quick.

His front hooves were neat and dexterous and opposable, and his back hooves were the size of dinner plates and had unassuming steel shoes. He had a pale grey hide and pale pink nostrils, and ears like enormous fringed fans, and if you lifted up his cowl far enough, you would find large, slightly worried brown eyes, with the devastatingly long eyelashes reserved for beauty queens and large ungulates. He was a small, neat-footed donkey who kept his elbows tucked in and could vanish into a crowd much more easily than a bipedal donkey wearing a yellow robe with checkerboard edging had any right to do.

He had a goldfish in a plastic bag. She was a small, neat-finned goldfish with kinder eyes than are usual among fish. Quick was only guessing about the “she” pronoun. He wasn’t sure how to tell the difference, or if it mattered one way or the other. Well, it probably mattered to another goldfish. He wasn’t sure if the kindness of the goldfish’s eyes was really there, or if he was starting to go—-well, not crazy, per se, but a little off, the way people get when they haven’t talked to another person in a long time, and the things inside their head start to take up entirely too much space. It had been a stressful few weeks. He wasn’t sure how many weeks, but he was definitely sure they had been stressful.

He wasn’t sure of much else, these days, particularly not how the ripe pear and the assassins fit into the whole situation.
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