Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Lapse

 I can't believe I let my own blog languish for so long, but the title of the last entry says it all.  We still haven't found a bread baker, and have finally resorted to training our new a.m. pastry cook on bread baking.  She keeps protesting that she doesn't have much interest, no experience and is happy where she is, but I'm sorry to have to say too bad!  It's only two days a week--soon to be three--and she'll just have to suck it up!  It's bread!  It's important!  And I can't keep doing it, along with everything else I have to do.  And as you can see, it's kept me from blogging.
  But now you can also see what I've been doing instead!  I've planted the front flower beds with pink, purple and white perennials, and they're doing lovely.  I discovered a wonderful secret:  at the back of Lowe's gardening department are the racks of plants on their last legs, plants that need some TLC and water, but are marked down by 50-75%.  I bought a buggy full a couple of weeks ago, and they are doing just fine.
  A few weeks ago, I had a dream about a yellow and orange garden in the strip of dirt and weeds between the street and the sidewalk in front of my house.  I thought and planned while I baked and kneaded, and last week, I took action.  I scalped the weeds as low as I could, then covered the strip with landscaping cloth.  I filled the space with about 20 bags of top soil and planted seeds of cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds and nasturtiums.  I watered every day, and on Monday this week, noticed the cosmos popping out while I watered.  As I examined them, a man in a florescent vest and hard hat came up and asked me what kind of roses I was growing.  They're Knock Out roses, and they are covered in blooms right now.
  After our rosy chat, he told me they would be digging up my median garden the next day.  He told me they'd pull the landscape fabric back, dig up the sewer line to replace it and put the fabric back.  I was pretty upset, but figured it was only about one-fourth of it, not horrible.
  Except that he lied.  They did pull back the fabric, about as far as he said they would, but then they set all their equipment on the rest of the strip.  They walked on it, they drove their tractors and front loaders onto it, they trampled every square inch of it.  And then they dug away three-quarters of the slope, where my hellebores were having a wonderful time blooming, along with the columbines that were just getting going.   When I saw them digging away under the red maple, I came out to look.  The roots to the maple were exposed and the hellebores and columbines were gone, in a pile of red clay on a tarp on the sidewalk.
  They saw my shocked face and said, "Don't worry!  We'll put it back!"  "Even the hellebores?" I asked.  Blank looks all around.  No, they just meant the dirt.  They'd put the dirt back.  No photos; I was too upset.  At least the weeds are gone, too, and I have a blank slate to plant, which is what I'll do today.  While the rest of the slope is wet from the tons of rain we've received in the last couple of days, I'll go pull weeds and run to the nursery to get shade-loving plants, maybe even some hellebores marked down, since they're past their blooming cycle now.
  As the sewer rebuilders move down the street, disrupting other peoples' lives, I'll be outside renewing my slope in the next few days.  I've taken five days off from work, and will be recharging my batteries before the next onslaught of cooking schools.  Patricia Wells will be at the farm next week, teaching fresh French meals, followed by a huge wedding, which is followed by a very exciting event:  Alain Ducasse is coming to teach a cooking school!  We are all anxious and excited to meet him, and to work with him.  There are some pretty spectacular cooking schools this year, but this is the one we've all been looking forward to.  I'll definitely post photos and news when that happens!
  For now, it's back to the looms, where the turned overshot dog of a warp is now in the trash.  I just couldn't save it!  And the shawl is two motifs in, very exciting!  And I've started to wind the warp for the shag rugs.  The plan is to get one done in time for my son's birthday, and the rest will be for Christmas gifts for the rest of the family.  Gotta get out!  The sun is coming up!  Happy Earth Day!