If your dentist’s office phones you as you’re just pulling out of the parking garage to say that The Dentist is stuck in traffic and you will need to reschedule your 7 a.m. appointment to replace a crown, and if the sun is already warn in the early morning sky, you will probably dance a little jig, and jump back into bed, too.

Of course this means I will have to spend all tomorrow morning on the procedure (they call it a procedure, I call it punishment for a mis-spent childhood.) While Larry gets to be at the farm, working on his Vision.

That’s what he calls it, and you can actually hear the capital letter V when he talks about it. Last post you saw him pushing a rototiller across the designated space. Here’s the next step:


With his rental tractor and attached tiller, he was able to spread 3 inches of this lovely stuff onto the garden and till it into the resident acidic clay. Then came the very hard work of shoveling same into orderly raised beds, with a carefully calculated 24 inch walk between each bed. Good thing this is a Vision, right? We’ll worry later about how to keep weeds out of the walk.

Next comes a visit to the nursery to select the tomato and squash starts which will initiate the plant design. Why do we need 6 tomato plants? There are 7 rows, the outside two set aside for flowers, and He with the Vision wanted to have a tomato plant to punctuate each vegetable row. Wait a minute. Bad math, there. Oh well, easy to get confused when surrounded by the seductive bounty of an early spring nursery.

Time out: Too hard to type with a bandaid on my finger, the result of trying to slice frozen bread. Do not do that.

Okay, I’m back. Found a smaller bandaid and yes, you’re right, it is hard to play my banjo missing the one index finger, too.

Some bad news. While we weren’t looking, one of the cherry trees began to suffer. Suddenly, this:


Back when Peter was still here, I clipped the tip ends of a few branches and took them into Shonnards, another local nursery. “Your tree is just fine,” said the guru there. “Been raining. Lots of trees in the valley are looking like this.” So relieved I didn’t stop to think. It’s been raining? It rains here every year. Seriously?

Obviously our tree is not fine. I took photos and shopped around the other nurseries in town. Got a different diagnosis everywhere, ranging from cancer — trees get cancer? — to borers. “Look under the gummosis and see if there are holes, and if so, you got borers.” Gummosis is the technical term for this:


Larry scraped away, said he didn’t see any holes, but, honestly, how would we know what a borer hole looked like. Nonetheless, he sprayed with something called Serenade, at the recommendation of Shonnards, who admitted that yes, we did have a problem.
It doesn’t look too good for this poor tree. This is the tree which the nearby birds shredded last year, eating every last bright red cherry. We’ll see.

Larry just phoned in to say that at last he has figured out the water-system programming, but can’t yet determine how to water the squash plants. All six of them. Six squash, six tomatoes, two people. Yeah, but, look at our success with the cherries. Maybe we will need all those plants? Anyway, he’s heading out to Block 15 for a well-deserved burger and a beer. Me? I’m going to go sit on the deck with my coffee and read my new book (The Very Marrow of our Bones) until the sun does down.

Which seems a good note on which to end this post.

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