An Autumn Pet Peeve

I love a field of autumn corn. The stalks all golden brown, lined up, and waiting to be harvested. It’ll be cut down, chopped, and used for silage to feed cattle during the long winter. (Silage goes in a silo and that’s what most farmers call it. I grew up on a farm very near the Quebec border and never heard the word silage until a few years ago. We used the word “ensilage” exclusively–the French influence, I guess.)

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I even love a field of mown corn. It looks restful, harvest finished, and its sere, muted shades make the surrounding foliage seem all the more radiant.

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But this? This make me peevish. Who does this?

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Who harvests an entire field and leaves one last corn stalk standing? So untidy . . .

(And can you see the blue jay photo bombing the picture?!)

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Re-Entry . . .

Hi.

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I’m Kerry. Remember me?

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It’s been awhile . . .

I’ve been wanting to get back here, to say hello, to say everything is fine.

But what a busy summer it’s been!

Nothing hugely dramatic. Just so busy.

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Doctor appointments, for my mother, my husband, me. Some regularly scheduled, some emergency.

Veterinarian appointments, for our many cats. Some regularly scheduled, some emergency.

We cleaned out my mother’s house. We took care of her possessions, the ones she didn’t take with her to the assisted living facility, and maintained her yard. We sold the house.

We had two enormous garage sales. We sold stuff on Craigslist. My fantasy is to be able to park a car in the garage come winter, for the first time ever.

We had visitors come to stay. We made a trip to Boston.

We participated in a craft show.

And we did our own yard and house chores and summer projects. Don built a fire pit the new pictures windows will be installed in two rooms soon.

I spend at least two or three days a week with my mom.

All summer long, in the early mornings, I have had time to either weave or write a blog post. I’ve chosen the former.

In the evenings, I have had time to either write a blog post or sit by the lake and have a quiet drink with Don. I’ve chosen the latter.

For the last couple weeks, things have been a little less hectic, a tiny bit less scheduled.

I’ve thought several times about writing here.

But like all good, healthy habits, once one stops, it’s very difficult to start again.

And that’s all this post is. A chance to start again. To say hi. And to commit to being back soon.

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Practicing My Aitches

When Eliza Doolittle, the Fair Lady herself, needed to practice her aitches, Professor Higgins gave her the exercise, “In Hertford, Hereford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly happen.”

When I need to practice my aitches, I wander my garden. My litany goes something this:

With hydrangea, hollyhocks, and hostas, hibiscus and honeysuckle happen (and heuchera, tooooo).

How did we end up with so many plants that start with the letter “H”? I only have one A (astilbe), two Bs (begonia and bee balm), and 3 Cs (coneflower, catnip, and chokecherry). 

But I have 6 aitches (or Hs, or even haitches, if you prefer). We used to have a seventh until the hops grew out of control and had to go.

These plants share almost nothing, in spite of starting with an aitch–it seems that letter of the alphabet provides plants for every occasion.

The honeysuckle vines grow up, up, up. They cover the pergola and appeal to ‘ummingbirds.

The heuchera, often called coral bells, come in different colors. It’s all about the foliage.

The hostas, in seemingly infinite variety, glow from the shady spots. They grow large and small, and cover the Pantone range of greens.

The hibiscus is almost sexual in its showiness. It has a high need for attention with blooms the size of a dinner plate.

The hollyhocks are old-fashioned and seem very feminine to me–tall spikes with ruffled skirts in unpredictable colors–some deep and saturated, some so subtle.

And the beloved hydrangeas. I think they are sort of out of favor right now among hip gardeners but I’ve never claimed to be hip. We have huge shrubs of different cultivars, as well as an oak leaf hydrangea, a climbing hydrangea vine, and a tree standard. I love them all.

I get confused about my H-plants on a regular basis. I want to refer to the one that grows on the pergola and I say hollyhock or pause a long time before I can come up with honeysuckle. 

Or I just ask my husband to water the one that starts with an aitch and he says, “That’s ‘ardly ‘elpful.”

Does your garden have a preponderance of plants that begin with an aitch? Or a P, per’aps?

Grousing in the Garden

I didn’t want to write this post. Really, I didn’t. 

I’ve resisted as long as I could and they’ve just worn me down with their whining and nagging and moaning.

My flowers are furious; They look pretty and dainty and harmless . . . don’t be fooled. They are relentless. 

They demand equal time! They point out that everybody else’s flowers have been featured on the internet, that they are every bit as attractive, and, dammit, they want their moment in the spotlight. 

The irises are irate.

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The viburnum are threatening violence.

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The lilies of the valley lament and lament and lament. All those tiny little voices, lamenting. Oy.

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The hostas are downright hostile.

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Catnip is caterwauling, under its protective armor to keep the cats from nipping it down to nothingness.

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Peonies are pouting, again. They’re not at their best yet but they remember a successful protest from years ago, and they are emboldened.

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So, my apologies for a post full of familiar flowers. I don’t even know all their names and it occurs to me that some may be weeds. I simply don’t care anymore. I just want them to stop their belly aching!

 And please, whatever you do, don’t tell them they’re pretty!