not so hot and nothing, really
In the picture, the few remaining dried serrano peppers in front of a dusty teapot. These got so much more hot once dried. Even a bit of one will spice up your winter cooking considerably.
Behind the keyboard, one woman, feeling not so hot after mulching the 12′ by 10′ bed that saw the flood damage a week ago. (Check out “a river runs through it” if you have no idea what I’m talking about.)
Three days ago, when the soil was no longer sopping wet, I added compost and soil to the gullies that had formed and reset all the garlic bulbs, amazed at the thriving nests of white roots that had already developed.
Two days ago a little boundary of stones was heaped along the lowest edge of the plot, to try and halt any further washout.
Yesterday, my landlord donated a huge pile of mulch to the cause of saving the Victory Garden, which he no doubt thinks of as his most eccentric tenant’s pet project, and today I distributed it, with shovel and rake, in an area the size of my childhood bedroom.
I then prepared a different area for peas, just in case the flooding continues during our upcoming “major weather event” (i.e. rain, snow, sleet, and ice, a 90 to 100% chance tomorrow evening and continuing all day Saturday), and then mulched that smaller area, too.
And then I practically collapsed on the sofa. I’m exhausted. My arms are no longer “shovel-ready,” but weak, pale stems that struggled to lift the shovel at all there at the end.
When I remember all that I was able to do this past season, and in the heat of a Southern summer, too, I feel bewildered. Where did all that energy and muscle go, not to mention the determination to get up every morning at dawn to work before the heat of the day?
And I was so darned peppy about it, too. It seems like another lifetime.
But it also strengthens my resolve. I’ve just got to toughen up again, that’s all. Sort of like hardening off a tender seedling before one transplants it outside.
I didn’t ask F. to help, by the way, because he seems to be in the toughening up season that marks the final push of the ph.D. He’s been going 48 or more hours without sleep multiple times a week, feverishly working and going over results with his doctoral advisor almost every day, while our strongest home computer runs calculations that take it anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to complete.
If you ask my husband a question, you’re liable to get a blank stare nowadays.
Well, it’s not really a blank stare so much as a theoretical physicist stare. Big things are happening behind that glassy green gaze.
And if you have a ph.D., I owe you an apology. Until now, I’d failed to be suitably impressed by the achievement.
I’d always considered graduate school to be basically an extension of university, with a narrower specialization and perhaps a few more administrative hoops to jump through. Not so. Or at least not for a ph.D. in Physics. It’s an impressive feat of intelligence, endurance, and hard work.
Putting in a little mulch is nothing, really. And actually much more pleasant, even with winter-flabby arm muscles.