All That Matters

I’m always glad to see big, beautiful Mr. Shire lounging around somewhere. He is here frequently and seems to be less skittish of me — approaching him is down to about six feet before he acts like he wants to run away, but locks eyes with me instead for a second or two before he does. It’s not at all uncommon to come upon him unexpectedly, lying in the vinca on the eastmost sidewalk bed or sitting up on a chair under the scraggly tree. I put out food for him routinely. He’s very welcome here. He’s far too independent to think of anything other than letting him be free.

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Monsoon season hasn’t amounted to much yet — but it is impossible to know when there may be a major event. This is really a hard time to figure out watering. I’ve just about concluded to water regardless as it’s so hot — waiting only stresses things too much and, often, what rain does show up isn’t enough.

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The plants tell the weather. Petuny seems to like the heat.

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Even as hot as it is these dog days of summer, I’ve been out working on things every day. I try not to be troubled by the heat because, in the blink of an eye, it will be too cold. I just try to think of it as weather. Actually, I prefer to feel the elements — it seems to make life more real.

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The strawberries that were in the wheelbarrow over in Buster’s yard were all taken out and put into individual one gallon nursery pots to see if I can get them to perk up. So far, so good. It was getting very hard to keep them stable in that metal vessel.

I’ve been doing the hand washing routinely so that things don’t pile up as much. It’s a matter of pure discipline — even if I don’t want to, I do it anyway. The area that has presented itself, finally, as the best place to do it is the eastmost sidewalk area since it has shade all day long and soapy water draining there won’t hurt anything that matters. Vinca is pretty darned hardy. We’ll see how it does. It may like it.

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Under that seat-less, purple metal chair is a round spot where there had been a planter — so it is just dirt right now with a little jungle of vinca growing up around it that Mr. Shire plops down to hide in and rest. That is where I find him almost every morning. He seems to come from the alley, jumping up onto the block wall and makes his way into my yard. He goes out that way, too, when he gets scared of me or bored. I just put the purple chair there today as I was washing and needed a surface to let things drip through. Now that spot will be cooler for tomorrow as well as a little more private for him.

The main goal these days is to get the covered carport organized and some shelves made so that the tools, hardware, parts and gardening stuff that have managed to get heaped up in the covered patio can go over there and make the patio strictly for the clear boxes filled with sewing stuff. The ultimate goal is to clear the studio out so that when the roof falls in, the sewing stuff won’t be in there. Long, long range plan is to make the studio space some kind of greenhouse. It has needed a new roof since I’ve been here — 2003 — but just hasn’t been possible to do or worthy because there is so much else wrong with it overall.

It’s all so much fun to do and witness progress — though likely very hard for anyone else to see.

All that matters is that I know.

I found this old 1940s film about how best to manage hedges between mixed farms at that time in England. It’s immensely enjoyable to see how much more responsibility and actual handiwork was done in days of old. I hope you enjoy it too.

There are still people who take pride in their work and work very hard to realize their dreams. I’m inspired by this young man, Andrew Camarata — he’s absolutely amazing. He’s about 35. Don’t know how he found the time to increase his talent to this extent — though his father was just like him it seems and had Andrew by his side from his beginning. There doesn’t seem to be anything that this young man can’t, or won’t do.

I have no excuse to not, at least, do my laundry and the dishes as they’re needed doing. It seems to be an issue of mind over matter and braving the elements no matter. Andrew doesn’t let anything stop him and he has the brightest, happiest attitude. Did I mention, he loves dogs?

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