Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another Flowery, Cat-y Weekend

Swiss chard amid the wisteria and Indian pinks

When it’s not the weekend, I can’t believe it ever was the weekend, that I really had my own free time. It just seems too marvelous, too wonderful, beyond comprehension.

This weekend was great, of course. I popped popcorn and played with the cats. I got up really early and gardened in the dew. There was so much blooming in the yard, so much to see: native wisteria, Indian pinks, coreopsis, oxeye sunflower, wild indigo, false indigo, coral honeysuckle, the Mutabilis rose. . . .

On Saturday we repainted our picnic table near the pond. We used a nice brick red stain that perfectly matched the Juicy Fruit-scented flowers on the sweetshrub growing by the gate. We were painting when Rob announced, “I’ve come up with a theme song for a new TV show starring Carl as a superhero.” And then he broke into song:

Super Powie, he’s got super powers
Super Powie, he’s got super powers
Super Powie, he’s got super powers
. . . And one of those powers is being cute!

I guess I should explain that Rob calls our cat Carl “Powie” most of the time. I call him “Pops” or “Popper.” We think he is ridiculously, amazingly cute—maddeningly cute. I say he’s as cute as Timothy Olyphant on Justified. Anyway, Rob had developed a great new show to serve as Carl’s star vehicle.

“You see, Carl is a superhero, battling crime,” he said. “And you’re his sidekick. His arch-nemesis is the evil Madame Boobaloo, played by Buntin; she’s always doing things like stealing nuclear warheads just to get attention. Because, of course, Madame Boobaloo is secretly in love with Super Powie, but she’s too proud to admit it.”

(Buntin is our temperamental tortie. She hates every cat in the world except for Carl. She loves Carl and always wants to groom him and give him little love bites, but he will seldom hold still for it.)

Madame Boobaloo

By the time we finished painting, the picnic table looked really sharp—and Rob and I were both singing the Super Powie song. For my next project, I planted six more Indian pinks and four purple coneflowers under the big water oak behind the vegetable garden. And then we planted a huge number of sweet potatoes around the barn and under the bedroom windows—49 Beauregard sweet potatoes and 25 Centennial. We also planted a bunch of black-eyed peas around our bamboo teepees.

We had a wonderfully fatty, carb-y, sugary lunch at Burger King (my meal included a cherry icee), and when we got back we worked on mulching the pond garden again. We’re still not done, but we used up our entire pile of wood mulch, so now I’ll have to order another load. The pond garden is the biggest bed we’ve made thus far. Even though it’s still half empty, it contains dozens of wild azaleas, needle palms, Shi-Shi Gashira sasanquas, and Florida anises.

On Sunday we made a fabulous vegan meal—rosemary drop biscuits, chard pie (with a tofu-cashew crust), pan-fried kale, sweet potato casserole, fried seitan sticks, mashed potatoes, and limeade. It took us hours to make and five seconds to eat. Afterwards, I felt so sleepy. The screen porch always makes me drowsy, with its warm air and yellow sunbeams. The cats were lazing about on the various gliders and rocking chairs, and a light dusting of catnip covered the floor.

Biscuits in the blue-eyed grass

We spent Sunday afternoon mowing, edging, and weeding. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the yard looked when we were finished, the neat grass paths winding through lush, wild beds of sumac and palmettos, coreopsis and mountainmint. There were little bird flutters everywhere, and I saw my first box turtle of the spring.  

I was trying to capture the beauty of our climbing pea plants. I will try again.

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