Saturday, August 31, 2013

ivy, dreams, pinball, and true confessions

I woke up at 6:30 which is and isn't normal. On good sleeping nights I wake up early and feel great. On bad sleeping nights I linger in bed until 8:00 or after and feel like crap.

I took on a giant project yesterday. I planted Engelman Ivy on my chain link fence a few years back. In the spring it appears to be quite in control but by this time of the summer, it has become a frightening abomination. It clings to volunteer trees until they are hidden so once you start chopping, there is just no end.

I started hacking some of it down when I saw Regis trying to mow around and under it. Soon I had a giant pile of vines, tree parts, roots, and monster leaves. One of our very kind neighbors offered to tote it to the compost site, thank God. It might have come to life in the night if it hadn't been hauled away.

It's lush and beautiful in the summer, some of the leaves get as big as dinner plates, and the fall colors are gorgeous. But it's scary. I know, if I didn't cut it back severely, it would take over the yard and probably the house. I imagine it to be like kudzu:
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a serious invasive plant in the United States. It has been spreading in the southern U.S. at the rate of 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) annually, "easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually."[1] Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences.[2] This has earned it the nickname, "The vine that ate the South."
I watered all my plants yesterday. I'm usually a believer in the Darwin theory of gardening: survival of the fittest, but this was my best garden in a long time and I didn't want those newly transplanted hostas to croak for lack of water. If it cools off and if we get some rain this fall, I won't have to do it again.

We watched a Lewis Black comedy special last night, In God We Rust. He is a serious hoot. We both laughed out loud many times. I overheard a conversation the other day, two guys talking about how easy it must be to be a comedian. They surmised that if you're funny, you're funny...what's so hard about that? I thought to myself, not wanting to enter into a conversation to which I had not been invited although that hasn't always stopped me in the must be incredibly hard to be a comedian. Words, timing, edgy, not too edgy. I read Steve Martin's book Born Standing Up. Very good book about how he spent years perfecting his acts. Down to the second and down to each facial expression. He made it look easy but he said it was exhausting.

Two things I want to confess this morning. One, I do not like most forms of jazz. I know that probably marks me as a rube, but it sounds like something I could do, and like art, if it's something I could do, it's hard to have any respect. Maybe if I knew more about it, I could appreciate it. It just sounds like random notes to me.

The other thing...wait, I forgot.

Oh, yeah. I play Candy Crush Saga. I never pay money, I don't give or take any lives, I don't share on Facebook that I play it, and I don't care that I might have to play Level 35 forever because I won't do any of those things they demand in order to have access to more levels.

I've decided it's like pinball was in my youth. We went to a small cafe right across the alley from the church after confirmation class on Saturday morning and took turns playing pinball. There was one machine, it cost a quarter to play, and it made the best noises. I don't remember caring a fig what my score was the sensory experience that mattered. The silver ball shooting up the alley, the sound as it hit a paddle, the bells and sirens when you made points, the gentle bump you gave the machine with your hip when you wanted to sway the ball a little, the points adding up on the scoreboard.

The last piece of suture from my port incision came out this morning. Weird to think those foreign things are in my body, working to get to the outside. The runes I've read the last few days have been about clarity and making changes... it makes me think that, like the sutures, the bubbles in my head are fighting to get out, too. Old memories, regrets, sorrows, things for which I can't forgive myself.

I rarely dream and even if I do, I don't remember them. The last few weeks, though, I have had strange, anxiety ridden dreams that are still with me when I wake up. Not so disturbing as they were in my sleep, but there. Mary might say I am processing. The other night I had a dream that Peter was adopted and I couldn't find the pictures at the airport, no paperwork, no mementos. I was frantic because I knew I had all of that for Tiffany. Aren't our minds funny?

We're going to make stuffed peppers on the grill tonight and try freezing some. It's the one taste we really miss in the dead of winter.

Labor Day weekend. Time to start thinking about fall...a few plants to bring into the house, garden art to put away, bird bath to empty, more tree trimming, tidying up the yard areas I have decimated this summer to prepare for grass next spring. Thinking ahead...something I haven't done for a while.

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