So what have you been doing?

Filed under: @ 8:54 am

We’ve had a peculiar couple of weeks.

Susan and I spent the vast majority of Friday the 25th at The Northwest Flower & Garden Show which, as I noted before, had opened on the 23rd. This is a yearly pilgrimage for us, an opportunity in the middle of February (usually the show is a week or so earlier, it was late this year) to wander around *smelling* for hours on end. To come away with the reassuring knowledge that spring might JUST be on its way .
The artistry and effort, no small endeavors to be sure, that go into the show gardens aside, the smell is enough to….. Well it’s hard to explain. An intoxicating combination of hyacinth, winter daphne, jasmine, moist earth, sawdust, grass, and damp, exuberant growth. Kinda concentrated spring. I can generally catch the smell of the show blocks away.

This year not so much though. Usually February in Washington is somewhat more laid back about being February, but this year February wanted to show off what February can actually be. There wasn’t really anything between us and the north pole besides (as Susan put it) a stray caribou or two. The wind was off the back side of a glacier and while it was bright and sunny it was only about 15 degrees and the ground was frozen hard under an inch or so of snow. This put somewhat of a damper on our usual enthusiasm at the plant markets because we realized that any living thing we purchased would freeze solid before we had a chance to get it into the ground.

Ooooo YAH, the SHOPPING! I’m not a big shopper. I enjoy going to garage sales with Joan when we’re in Hawaii. However my general misanthropic tendencies and my utter disdain for fashion make going to any shopping event or center, a big, fat, hairy pain. Something to be tolerated for the sake of necessity, but not something to be done as a pleasure.
Make that “any shopping event or center EXCEPT as it relates to gardens and growing things”. Oh, well, and Pike Place, but Pike Place hardly counts as “shopping”. And book stores. I could spend days in some book stores. But besides that……… 🙄
Behind the smell, and the utterly astonishing artistry and effort that go into the show gardens the best part of the show is the market. A bewildering array of vendors of anything from compost to quite astonishing art and everything in between. And one entire convention hall full of plants.
We have a pact. I keep Susan from going crazy go nuts over the lilies and peonies, she keeps me from going berserk with the dahlias. But orchids (I’ve got the kiss of death for orchids so I’m fortunately never tempted) and heathers, and fruits and vegetables, and bulbs, crazy crazy gorgeous bulbs and….. We’re usually not very good at restraining each other.
Generally the weekend after our annual pilgrimage is spent in a frenzied haze of dirt, mulch, and fertilizer while we plant whatever it is that we’ve purchased.
Except this year it was witches’ tits cold outside and, as I said, we realized that any living thing we purchased would freeze solid before we could get it into the ground. Hell, this year anything I purchased might just have frozen solid before I got it home. DAMN that was a cold wind.

So I came home in my annual post show trance only to find that Andrew had gotten The Funk. We both get colds at whatever (way too often for my tastes thank you very much) frequency that people our age are supposed to get colds. Once or twice a year maybe (see the parenthetical note above). But in terms of going down with The Funk, I tend to do so far more often than Andrew does. And this one was a doozy. Andrew almost never runs a fever. He was feverish and coughing, and muscle achy, and weak, and dizzy and……. We spent much of last weekend with him crashed out on the sofa asleep under blankets and cats, and me fussing. I do not take illness on the part of a family member placidly. And Andrew wasn’t half as better as I would have liked him to be before I had to go to work on Monday. Which just meant that I fussed long distance and insisted on calling two or three times per day before I was satisfied that he was actually able to care for himself as well as he does normally.
I really have to be annoying when other people are sick.

Boss lady and I switched Friday and Monday this week so I worked a 5 day week last week. That really is a world class pain in the ass. I’ve only been back on a four day week for about six weeks now and I still don’t understand how I managed to get everything I need to do every week done in the space of a two day weekend.
Despite that I did manage to make a gi-NORMOUS order to Territorial Seed, to put together a basic plan for what gardening stuff needs to be done this spring, and to search out a new wheelbarrow, and a source for the gravel and mulch that I’ll need.

Saturday we made things go kaboom.

We have friends who are gun owners and every so often a trip to a gun range with some sort of festive (often meat related) dinner afterwards is proposed. Saturday was one of those trips.
Andrew had some rifle training during his ROTC days in high school. The last firearm that I was even close to was an air rifle that my grandfather taught me to shoot when I was about twelve. Neither of us had ever handled, let alone fired, a handgun so we figured we’d give it a try.
And outside of being REALLY REALLY LOUD (despite ear plugs) and banging the living bejeezus out of my (somewhat fussy since my massage therapist moved to Reno) wrists and forearms……. It was kinda fun. My aim is somewhere between awful and horrendous, but I did manage to drill holes through the paper target more times than not. And I am a fan of a good solid kaboom. I think I’ll stick with gardening, but shooting a handgun is something that I’m glad I’ve done.

How’s by you?

5 Responses to “So what have you been doing?”

  1. YakBoy Says:

    Once a year or so I think about learning to shoot. I think there would be a certain comedy value in actually becoming a decent shot with a pistol, what with me being the stereotypical hippiecommiefascistpinkoliberal that is destroying America. Also, like you, I enjoy a good kaboom.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    A nine-millimeter or .40 caliber handgun is actually really easy to handle; once you get your head wrapped around the concept that you are holding a device capable of destroying a life, subsequently pointing it at paper targets and making them go away can be a lot of fun.

  3. Caitlin Slattery Says:

    The closest thing to a good ol’ kaboom I’ve ever got was when, some New Years, Uncle David was over.
    We had five jillion fireworks, and were exhausted, being that we had started shooting them off some three hours ago.
    Wanting to go to bed, we threw the rest of them in a metal bucket, lit the biggest one in the center, and backed up a few feet.
    I swear, the one phone call I missed on my cell was the crew on the space station, complaining about the noise.

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    What? I good squiddie like yourself has yet to fire a weapon? We were shooting M-16s on the East Range of Schofield Barracks when I was in ROTC. I even got to fire a Vulcan cannon….albeit loaded with training rounds. 😈

  5. Caitlin Slattery Says:

    You had the GOOD ROTC. 🙁
    Pardon my French, but mine doesn’t do sheet.

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