Category Archives: Personals

On injury and idiocy

So why haven't I posted in weeks? Well, in a way, because I went to Hawaii.

Sunset 3

Early September was taken up with planning, and the rest of the month we were there, and since then it's been all about recovery.

But something else was going on as well.

As I finally realized while talking with my younger son last week, there's just no easy way to write about doing something really stupid, especially when one's stupidity results in major surgery for oneself and major inconvenience for a number of others.

But as my older son pointed out, no one would even know I'd done something dumb if I'd kept my mouth shut. People would just have thought I'd been unlucky. Accidents happen, after all, and cliff-diving isn't a risk-free activity. The dive was not in itself particularly outrageous: the cliff wasn't that high, we'd checked for rocks in the water, and I know how to dive. Ah, but there's the rub: diving badly was really really dumb.

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Gardening should get you dirty

Parseley and cilantro

Let me be clear: I HATE shopping, and will put it off almost forever. Nevertheless, as has been true all too often this spring, I spent most of my gardening time yesterday in the car doing errands. Gardening time! In the car! Ack! More money than I care to admit has gone into the garden in the form of fencing, amendments, row covers, strawberries, and a dozen other items.

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That’s how I roll: slowly

This post was penned by our correspondent somewhere in the airspace between Bozeman, Montana, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It's amazing how much gardening can get done when you're under the gun.

Several weeks back James Alexander-Sinclair (Blogging at Blackpitts Garden) wrote about how everything was suddenly catching up with him at the end of winter, and how it was all his fault. (Ever a slave to logic, he titled that post "Sand On The Toes Of A Wallaby." Go figure.)

I know exactly how he feels, except the part about its being my fault. I don't know whose fault it is, but surely not mine. (Maybe his?)

Take the last post (mine), and the missing final post on soil blocks. The latter was supposed to go before the former, but since it didn't, the latter will have to go after the former. Or, to put it differently, the final potting block post was supposed to go up before the Nature Conservancy post, which was supposed to go up before Earth Day, but, well, not so much. Once I'd fallen behind with the soil blocks posts, the ED post was doomed. Sort of a “for loss of a nail the shoe, the horse, the battle, the kingdom was lost” situation.

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Return of the potato specialist: Abdoulaye of Mali

Ablo w. Eliz

Clap your hands and cheer: Abdoulaye has returned! Yes, my favorite potato specialist from sub-Saharan Africa is back in town. I know I already posted one photo of him dancing with my mother-in-law, but it seems to me a topic worth revisiting.

In the summer of 2005 my husband told me he'd seen a poster on campus: housing was needed for visiting scientists from Mali; did I want to do it? Sure, I said, (thinking, Mali? Mali? Where the heck is Mali?) The kids concurred, so we signed up. I chose a moment when I was alone in the house to get out the atlas: there was Mali, one country inland from Senegal, in Africa's big bulge into the Atlantic, with the Congo–the Congo River!–curving through its southern half and Timbuktu–Timbuktu!!–up there in the north, just south of the Sahara.

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Please welcome–my new knee.

All right, I admit it: I have not been entirely straightforward with you. In the midst of this long hiatus, I had knee surgery. Total joint replacement, in fact, the fringe benefits for which included going to total joint replacement “camp,” a two hour meeting which was, thank goodness, far more useful than its chirpy literature, strewn with exclamation marks. Nothing makes me feel more curmudgeonly than being told that I will be prepared! and that everyone is going to work together to make sure that my experience is top notch! Grrr.

Fortunately, everyone did work together, though when they were all doing so in my room at the same time, most of the work involved pushing through the crowd: the nutritionist, the physical therapist, the occupational therapist, the case manager, the pulmonary expert, the phlebotimist, the anesthesiologist, the hospital nurse, the surgeon’s nurse, the surgeon herself–it’s extraordinary how many people were involved. On several occasions one of them sent others away because the oxygen levels in the room had dropped dangerously due to overcrowding.

All went well, and after four days I came home, where I am strictly forbidden to vacuum or cook. However, no one forbade my turning a compost pile, and the stool I use for showering works great in the greenhouse. So you can guess what I’ve been up to.