Thursday, May 17, 2007

April starts the garden plan. What will the weather be like...too cold to get started? What has died over the winter? Not the weeds, of course. Those pesky things thrive. Can I put in some new plants? By May, the gardener is really into it. This year, I planted a viburnum at the side door. I went to my favorite nursery and asked for one that was really, really fragrant. Actually, I asked for one that stunk to high heaven with perfume . I got a big one...balled and burlap ed. What a chore to get it home. The truck was wonderful. The bush was so big, I know it would not have made it in the car.

OK. The viburnum is home. Now, how do I get it out of the back of the truck? It is way too heavy for me to lift. There is no handy man to press into service. Where are they all hiding? The light bulb goes off. My wagon is placed at the lift gate in the back. I roll the viburnum carefully to the lift gate and shove it off. It lands on the wagon without breaking the root ball. (Taking a break to get my breath back.) It takes me two days to dig the hole...imitating the gardener on This Old House. (What's his name?) I dig the hole, placing the dirt on a tarp. (What lousy dirt. It is mostly sand.) To the dirt, peat moss, soil moist polymer and time release fertilizer is added. The wagon is pulled to the hole. Root ball measured...compared with hole in the ground. I think I got it right. Water is added to the hole while some of the supplements are added. I feel like I am in physics lab, using the law of leverage to get the plant off the wagon onto the ground and into the hole. Mission is accomplished. Success without breaking the root ball. The viburnum sits in the hole at the proper height. It is blooming . The air smells heavenly. That is why I place this plant near the walk to the door. enjoy its fragrance as I walk by. With shears, the burlap is peeled from the roots and discarded. More water goes in the hole. The plant is pivoted and checked to be straight up. Yes, it is. With shovel, the amended dirt goes into the hole. Carefully, air pockets are filled with dirt. The shovel works around the plant so there are no cavities in the soil. By some miracle, all the dirt goes back in the hole. What about the law of displacement? shouldn't I have some left over to equal the volume of the root ball? Go figure. More water. Days later, the plant doesn't know it's been moved. It didn't drop a leaf.

There are still days in May left for more planting. I want everything in the ground before the first of June. By June, the plants will be actively growing. There will be a greater chance they will wilt and die. Don't wait for warm weather. Plant when the plants are still sleeping. I plant a Japanese Ananame for fall flowers. Grass peas are a gift from my Quaker Friend in Syracuse. The peas (seeds) sprout fine. Little grass peas go in the ground, along with four tomato plants and a sweet basil plant. All my geraniums survived the winter on my windowsill. They get repotted, fed and put outside. Three rose bushes were planted last fall. All three are green and thriving. The three asters I planted last fall have made it through the winter. They will be my blue plants for fall. Thyme is planted in a sunny crack between the foundation of the house and the stone walk. On the shady side, Lanium goes in. This plant has silver on its leaves and a pretty pea-like flower. The silver seems to shine in the shade. Around the viburnum, goes pansies.

I've planted flowers where the vegetables used to grow. Now I need a new vegetable bed.


This essay is a little of this and a little of that.

Here's the Rascal report. She went back to her veterinarian for the third time. He's ruled out Lyme disease and fractures. So why is she still very weak in the back end? Don't know. The vet nurse gave me a video on a raw food diet for dogs. I played it yesterday. It seems that canned dog food is pretty "dead", even if all the nutritional components are there. All living things have an electrical / magnetic field around them. Dogs should eat like wolves eat. Wolves eat protein, carbohydrates and fats. They eat raw meat they killed themselves. Rascal is on an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and something for her stomach. In addition, I give her a dog vitamin and another supplement for joints. She also gets something from my own vitamin caddy called hyleronic acid. It is for joint health.

OK. I will continue the supplements and add raw food. The video assures me that dogs have lots of stomach acid and that they can eat raw food. First try: Rascal gets an ox tail...raw. She loves it! She brightens up and gnaws it to the bone. She eats the sinews and part of the bone. Will this more nutritional food supply her with what she needs to heal? All I know is she likes raw meat better than dry dog food. She will need more calcium. Rascal eats Tums.

Rascal has been to the groomers. Mutts don't have any grooming standards, so I told the groomer to wash and cut her fur any way that makes sense. Rascal got a puppy cut. You know: those cute little fuzzy puppys that you can't help picking up and holding? Like that. Her fur is half the length it was in the winter. There will be less fur for the vacuum cleaner to find. She got her nails cut, too.

The other topic on the news: same sex marriage. It seems that a civil union isn't enough for the politically active homosexuals. They want marriage. They say they are being discriminated against. I don't think so. Marriage is defined as a contract between a man and a woman. Any homosexual can marry a person of the opposit sex. They chose not to. That's OK. They can do what they want to do. Just don't change the definition of marriage to accomodate this vocal minority. I am glad they have the benefits of a civil union. If one partner falls ill, than his partner can make medical decisions. Long term partners should be able to trust and support each other in this way. They have made a commitment to each other and now have legal protection. That should be enough. If they choose to have a commitment ceremony, I wish them well.

We have lots of contracts between legal arrangements, child care and education contracts, medical and living wills. Buying and selling contracts. They are all to be respected. Add civil unions to the list and let marriage stay what is always was.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Today is Older American's day, said the man on TV. He's interviewing some people from organization advocating universal health care. They say that America is the only leading country in the world that doesn't have universal health care. Big deal. The other countries have 60% tax rates to pay for it.

When the government gets into it, the average person gets screwed...witness social security and medicare. Social security is a SAVINGS program....not a tax. The government has no right to take my social security contribution out of the SS program and use that money to balance the budget...or to pay bills...or what ever they do. It simply disappears down the sink hole. Social security would not be in trouble if the government would have set aside all those contributions and invested them in treasuries...or whatever. They should start now to separate our social security savings from the federal budget. Keep your paws off.

My concern about universal health care is, I will be paying for other people's irresponsible behavior that results in health problems. On top of this, another layer of bureaucracy is created. This adds to the cost of the program. I am unwilling to pay for bureaucrats.

Have you considered that We all ready have a system that, with a few tweaks, can meet the goal? It is called the Welfare System....or Social Services. This program has eligibility guidelines. Many people can't access the program because they make too much money. All that is needed is to create a category called "medical only". The income guideline is dropped. This means that the candidate can get medical care, but is not eligible for the other components of the program, like food stamps, section 8 housing, and so forth.

No new layer of bureaucrats would be created. Thus, the cost is kept down.

You don't like the idea of walking into a Welfare office? So, change the name to Universal Care Services.