Wednesday, March 30, 2011

i never thought of myself as stylish

I’ve been absent from the blogosphere this last month due to work. March not only brings a hint of spring but also the OGTs and the end of the quarter. Every spring students in Ohio come face to face with their mortality in the OGTs. Pass and you can graduate, fail and you get a “thanks for playing card”. You don’t even get the home game version. So, it is a trying time for our school’s population, which is made up of students who have been less than successful in their prior educational endeavors. Needless to say, there has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth these last few weeks. It is mind numbing to see fleeting successes disappear before your eyes. Man, I needed to get my focus elsewhere and that means in the yard. It might be spring by the calendar, but not by the temperatures. It still is in the 20s at night and snow is always in the forecasts. Last weekend was in the low 30s during the day with clear skies. What better time to get 5 yards of Sweet Peet. Nothing makes me forget the world outside our garden better than shoveling a pile of composted zoo poop and leaf humus. After an hour or so of shoveling, I recall the words of the famous Japanese actor and philosopher, Sessue Hayakawa, “Be happy in your work.” I can’t get the cars in the garage till I shovel all the sweet peet and I can’t get the next load till the first load is spread around the yard and we need 3 loads. I shovel and dump while Pat, the real brains of the operation, raked. We cleared the driveway in 5 hours. It is an amazing thing how well Pat and I work together without resorting to sarcasm. It is the strangest thing; in our neighborhood, yard work seems to be a one person job, with no gardening taking place. I would be lonely in the yard without Pat. I know the boys would help if they only could, but they don’t have thumbs and get distracted by squirrels. The Sweet Peet we use is the only fertilizer the planting areas get.

While I was sinking into the numbing black hole of standardized testing, Gloria over at Dakota Garden gave me the Stylish Blogger Award. Wow wee! What a pleasant surprise! I am always tickled that anyone reads my blog. Stylish is not a word our children would associate with their Dad. Gloria and Ted’s yard is proof positive of the use of composted exotic animal manure. Their garden is simply stunning. God bless all husbands who understand that truck loads of the stuff was part of our marriage vows.

Part of the award is a request to tell the world about yourself, so here goes:

1. I can’t pronounce the name of my blog. The blog started out as a class assignment for an edtech class I was taking. I asked the son-in-law to translate the title into Latin for fun and since he is just about the smartest person I know, he did. Maybe I should change the name to Pat and Jim’s Gardening Adventures and leave the title in English. 2. I can’t keep the names of plants straight. Common names are hard enough to remember, let alone Latin names.

3. I believe that copious amounts of Sweet Peet, that fine Ohio product, helps make up for not knowing what I am doing.

4. I have accepted clay as my friend, since that is what our yard has as soil. Adding 15 yards of Sweet Peet to the planting areas every spring makes the clay and plants happy.

5.I rant about our deer all year long, but continue to feed all the critters who visit or live in our yard. I even plant sacrificial hostas in the deer path in the hope the deer will leave the rest alone.

6. It took a long time, but I finally found my dream job, working with at-risk students.

7. I never used a PC till I went back to college at 49. Now I’m the tech guy at school.

I stand in awe of my fellow garden bloggers. Everyone is friendly and helpful and your pictures and posts are a wonder to see and read.

Tag, it’s your turn list will be forthcoming.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Well Jim, I don't know what Sweet Peat is, can't find this around Downers Grove. I am tired of testing these poor young children, done with this for good!

I guess we are headed for doomsday with our teacher pensions, don't know how Ohio sits with this.

Well, back to gardening, it makes everything better or at least liveable.


Shady Gardener said...

You are definitely stylish, Jim. The term should mean "Your own style-stylish!" And that is the best compliment! :-) Looking forward to seeing what my last-year's baby ligularia will do This Year! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, Anyone whose garden includes a stunning plant like "big blue" is definitely stylish -- and what do the kids know about style, anyway! -Jean

Lona said...

Isn't gardening so much fun in our balmy weather. LOL! I knew you and Pat were going to be busy when I saw that pile of Peet.Big Blue and those pumpkins are going to love all of that poo. I cannot believe you are feeding those deer! No wonder they have a path through your garden. LOL!

Barbara said...

Nice post. I agree with you on being at awe about other garden bloggers, including yourself. Gardening can help in any mental crisis!

Kimberly said...

Congratulations, Jim, on your Stylish Blog award!! I, for one, think you have a fantastic style, and I am obviously not alone. Additionally, none of our kids think we're stylish.

LOVED getting to know you better!! As for #1 and #2, LOL!!!

#3 and #4..I understand. I don't have clay...I have something that may be worse...SAND!!! It holds NOTHING - water, nutrients, etc. So I understand all too well about amending the soil and agree that sweet peat would definitely cure many issues. I'm fortunate to have a manure source - and it's already composted!! Giddy up!

#6 - how exciting for you! I was recently let go from my job (construction...need I say more?) and am in a position to find a job that I actually LOVE! I'm envious of you, and am so happy to hear your good fortune, especially in this arena.

Congrats again!!

lifeshighway said...

I want to know what this sweet peat is that you so loving speak. We have clay, clay, clay.

Jim Groble said...

Sweet Peet is composted zoo poop and leaf humus. it is all Pat and I use in the yard.

Ginger said...

#1 is hilarious.

that is awesome about your dream job, and what a noble one it is.