What the Wind Blew In

I had a lovely surprise today. I went outside as usual to check the weather, though I really didn’t have to — I could hear the strong winds and knew they would be pushing mountain air our way — but I wanted to see what if anything the wind blew into my yard. What I discovered was . . . workers!

I didn’t expect them today. The one worker who lives nearby comes on the weekend if he comes at all, and with the wind, I was sure they’d find a different job rather than battling with the weed blocker fabric that needs to go under the ornamental rock around the house and the breeze pathways.

And yet, here they are!

Apparently, it’s too windy to do any of their other work, especially putting on siding and trimming trees, so they came here to get caught up a bit. One is working outside and the other — lucky fellow! — is working in the basement out of the wind. I’m especially delighted with the work being done on the basement. It’s an old project that was never finished. The cement floor was put in, which I was most concerned about since the old crumbled concrete floor seemed so dangerous and gave the basement a dungeony feel. I haven’t really been concerned about the cracks in the walls being fixed since they are superficial, and more importantly from my standpoint, I won’t be using the basement for storage. If I do need it for storage, I have a much bigger problem than an unfinished project because I should be getting rid of things rather than accumulating more stuff.

I am concerned, though, about having the sump pump put in, which I reminded them about today. The water table here is high, and when there are copious rains, as there occasionally have been, basements get flooded. It’s sort of silly to be concerned about it during a time of great drought, but in my experience, droughts tend to end with huge rainfalls.

Still, whether necessary or not, it would be good to have one project completely finished.

We also talked about what to get to hang my tools, and once those racks are up, the inside of the garage should be completely finished. The gutters would then be the only extant garage project, but installing them is not a project for a windy day.

I am truly delighted with the paths that are going in. Not only will they add to my safety, they will define the yard as well as fill in a lot of the space I would otherwise have to care for. Right now, caring for the yard is not a problem. To be honest, it’s not a problem because I haven’t been doing anything to care for the lawn, but when I do need to start taking better care of my yard, a couple of patches of grass will be about all I can handle. And I do want some grass since it adds to the curb appeal. Besides, what’s the point of having a lawn mower if you never use it?

The paths aren’t far enough along to show in a photo — mostly all you’d see is the gray fabric, so here are photos of the hen and chicks I planted last year. They are doing surprisingly well considering the harsh winter we had.

As you can see, the dandelions are also doing well.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.


There are so many things I just don’t want in my life any more, such as outraged celebrities and millionaire sports figures telling me how put-upon they are and how evil the rest of us are because we don’t see that we are privileged and they are not.

Um. No. Just . . . no.

As much as I struggle learning to garden and take care of a yard, it’s so much . . . cleaner . . . than what’s out there in the rest of the world. No one has ever become so outraged they burned down a city because someone killed a plant. No plant association has ever intimidated people to join political organizations with public agendas that are actually different than the ones they privately espouse. (Well, that’s not exactly true. Although many supposedly earth friendly organizations don’t come after potential members with firepower, they do tend to blackmail folks, telling them if they don’t join, the world’s trees will all die, the bees will all die, and ultimately, we will all die. But at least they do this via mail rather than sticking a fist in our faces or burning down our neighborhoods.)

My property feels like a haven from the insanities of the world, and maybe someday it will even look that way. I’d ordered some live plants that came in today, hoping I will have better luck with them than I did with bulbs and such. These plants are vines that will, ideally, twine up my as yet unfinished gazebo. Unlike with bare root plants, I don’t have to scurry to plant these poor wilted things. It’s okay to leave them in the shade for a few days to let them get acclimated to the area and to recover from their traumatic trip. (The box they came in was smashed up, so much so that I’m surprised it got here at all.)

I have the plants sitting next to my seedling forest for the next few days, hoping all the plants will enjoy one another’s company. (A couple of the Kentucky coffeetree seedlings are having second thoughts about the move and seem to want to fade away.)

My luck with live plants is so-so. Some die, like almost all those I bought last year. Some live, but don’t grow. (Although they were bare root plants rather than in pots, four of the five lilacs I planted are alive but haven’t grown even a fraction of an inch all summer.) Some do well, such as the hen and chick succulents I ordered a couple of months ago.

(Oddly, the free one they sent in case one of those I paid for didn’t do well, is thriving. The others are doing okay so far.)

I still haven’t ordered any Greengage plum trees, but there’s no hurry since they wouldn’t be sent for another few months. (The house where Jeff and I lived had a grove of Greengages, and oh, they were the absolutely best-tasting fruit ever, the sort of things the gods would save for themselves.)

I’m never sure how many of any plant to order. If I order two trees, and one doesn’t grow, then I’m out of luck for another year. If I get three and all three grow, then I would have to remove one, which wouldn’t please me at all. (I should be so lucky to have that problem!)

Problems such as these seem so innocent, considering what is going on in other parts of the country. Although I might not be able to fix gardening problems, at least I can understand them, which is more than I can say for the problems that light up the news. Though even those are understandable to a certain extent. People seem to be addicted to outrage, and the more outrage there is, the more outrage there will be since outrage seems to feed upon itself.

It’s . . . outrageous.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator