We don't do any celebrating of Christmas here, and American Thanksgiving happens on a day that's just a Thursday to everyone else but me. All the general holiday prepping that kicks off in November (or earlier for some people) is nice to watch but doesn't apply to me and mine. 

It will still be snowy white and frigid and bluesky gorgeous, though, and the living room will want a bit of red even if I don't hang stockings, with care or without. So on my list of winter prep, along with waxing my boots, tracking down glove mates, stockpiling ice melter, and picking up a few pairs of fresh thermal leggings, I tentatively wrote: "Amaryllis? Paperwhites? Easy or poss/prob kill?"


Poss kill, yes. Unfort. I have this reputation. But damn it, I bought the bulbs and put a checkmark down. I will give them a good try. It might feel sneakily celebratory here in about eight weeks.

#augustbreak: miss edith speaks out of turn

Miss Edith is sentient, I swear it. And ballsy, and a broad. Earlier this summer, though I had given up all hope of her ever growing again after a dismal showing last year, she went about the business of sending a few canes up into the world. And I noted them, and praised them, and did all the things you’re supposed to do. When the drought hit, the canes crisped up like overcooked bacon and I cut them away. Not exactly the thing you want a prospective buyer to see, even after a brutally hot year.

Then a little rain came. Not much. Not nearly enough, you would have thought. But god damn it, here she goes again. She doesn’t care that there’s not enough time left this summer for her to flower; she just wasn’t going to take that drought—or my presumptuous pruning—lying down. If I had half her gumption there’s no telling what I could do.

(Earlier: Miss Edith after an ice storm; Miss Edith’s only flower ever. Also, I name everything, not just shrubbery, and now you know this about me.)

#augustbreak: kimproof

If you have read me for any amount of time, you know that I cannot grow things in the dirt to save my life. Everything I plant dies. This is partially my own fault, and partially the fault of the clay- and rock-laden fill that the original developer used to create lawns when they built our house. This year I found five of these leafy plants and arranged them in a shady spot near our foundation. They’re astonishing—they’ve quadrupled in size even with the drought, and even I can’t seem to kill them. I noticed them in the city sidewalk planters when I was downtown earlier this week, so they must be known for zombie-like tenacity. So even though I can’t take credit for them thriving, they fill me with pleasure. I’ve been photographing them since they went into the ground.

a double #augustbreak: miracles and dirt

Sunday it rained. It was practically a miracle, after the stifling heat of the summer. And it was one of those bright (if brief) rains, and for just a few minutes everything was better.

Then I got some news about a death in the family back home, and I couldn’t post this picture because nothing was really better after all and I did not care about Things and everything felt dumb and I said it’s a Break, August Break, and no1curr if I do not post a photo today. And we watched NASA do its thing in the middle of the night and I teared up, I did, about everything.

And then there was today and two sets of gardening gloves and a good full-body soreness (just wait until tomorrow…) and I was just glad to be alive and able to take in the world. To see photos from Mars and Myron at the other side of the table are both miracles in their own way.