By LYNNE IRONS
Well, I squandered perfectly good advice by giving it away while failing to heed it myself. My ornamental grasses were never cut and now, as a result of the snow and ice, are strewn all over in a jumbled mess still attached to the plant. They are woven into neighboring shrubs and are hindering the just-barely-emerging snowdrops and crocus. I see hours spent on a stool making sense of the debacle. I love the word debacle. It can be used interchangeably with train wreck when describing one’s own garden.
Words and phrases are so interesting — the way they go in and out of style. I remember “far out” being the exclamation of my youth. Now, with mass media, certain expressions get over-used. I have been annoyed of late with interviewees on news shows starting every other sentence response with “absolutely.” Now that I have mentioned it you’ll notice it too. Oh, and how about “at the end of the day.” I want to yell “you mean tonight?”
I am amused by the word gobsmacked. I believe it is English or Welsh in origin. It means speechless, astonished, or completely baffled. Rachel Maddow has used it on occasion to express her amazement at some political tomfoolery.
My friend, Sharlee, uses “walkerjawed,” a Midwestern term meaning crooked. For example, my garden shed is walkerjawed.
I noticed the birds busy building their nests in the pyracantha and ivy on the brick wall at the Vineyard Haven post office. There are emerging daffodils, easily 3 inches tall, along the wall, sadly mulched with cigarette butts.
If you feel the need to send a hand-written note to the new president, the White House zip code is 20500. The codebook is no longer available at the front desk of the post office and standing in line is always a bit problematic. I wrote him about establishing a vegetable garden on the South Lawn as a power of example. Taking back even a small part of our power to raise some food will raise awareness and self-confidence. It will be interesting to see if I receive an acknowledgment, what with Washington being so busy at this time. Will keep you posted.
On Sunday afternoon last week, the monthly meeting of Homegrown took place at the Ag Hall. There were about fifteen of us eager to blab about our favorite subject — home vegetable gardening. We were encouraged by Thalia Scanlon to visit and/or sign up for membership with COMSOG, the community solar greenhouse. She warmed to her subject at once and made a tempting appeal. We stayed on the subject of soil for most of an hour. We discussed the pros and cons of eelgrass as a soil amendment, importance of laying down organic matter this month, and the difference between hard and soft wood chips. Our next meeting will be the third Sunday in March. We still welcome newcomers.
I am delighted to report that the lettuce I’ve planted under one thin layer of plastic with no bottom heat has germinated. It took three weeks but was worth the wait. Spring is rapidly approaching.
I am obsessed with finding peanut seeds. I grew them some 20 years ago. It is a pretty little legume, and as I recall, quite productive. What with the bad news concerning peanuts lately, I want to give them another try. I have yet to find them in any seed catalog.
There is so much irony in our culture. There is always some new material at which to laugh. I know it is a bad example for our children to see Michael Phelps, 14-time Olympic gold medalist, using marijuana, so Kellogg’s takes away its endorsement money. An athlete’s picture on a box of Fruit Loops is a way better example to children who aspire to physical greatness?
And how about the outrage over Alex Rodriguez taking steroids in a supposedly anonymous study several years ago? Meanwhile, he stands at home plate with background advertisements for Viagra. Barry Bonds lied to Congress but so did Alberto Gonzales. Who gets more news coverage?