Planting My Tree

I planted a tree the other night…I started about 8 pm and finished sometime after 1 am. I gathered all the tools I needed, got a hose hooked up to the water, and started to dig the hole. Now according to my standards, it was a pretty big tree, about 9 or 10 feet tall with a root ball diameter the size of a very large pizza. The directions for planting said to dig a hole about twice as big as the pot and the pot was twice as big as the root ball. That’s a big hole!

It was a definite challenge. Digging is very difficult for me without putting my “back outta wack”, especially if I have to lift anything from the ground, like big clumps of grass, lots of big clumps of grass, each one holding onto a big heavy clump of soil.

With the help of four breaks-going back up onto the patio, sitting down with my feet up, catching my breath, and about a half gallon of iced tea, I did it. I piled all the grass clumps and all the loose dirt from the hole onto a huge plastic garbage bag laid out beside the hole so I could move it easily after I was finished. HAH!!! Did I ever fool myself… After I put the tree in the hole, filled it in with a mix of dirt and potting soil, tamped it all down and made a little trench around it, I grabbed the edges of the large black plastic bag to drag that big dirt pile away so it wouldn’t get wet and muddy when I watered the tree. That’s when I realized the pile weighed at least ten tons (well… not really, but it may as well have). I could not budge it.

I surveyed the situation and remembered the next morning was garbage day. Bad back or not, I needed to get rid of all that grass and dirt. So I grabbed my shovel and proceeded to scoop it into a large garbage can on wheels that I’d laid on its side next to the dirt pile. I figured if I could get at least part of it into the container then maybe I could drag the rest. I did manage to get about half of it into that can, and with humongous effort lifted it to an upright position. Then, grunting all the way I sort of wheeled and dragged it to the curb out front for pickup the next morning. It was HEAVY!

I still couldn’t lift or drag the other half of the dirt pile, so I rolled the huge City garbage can around back, laid it on its side, and began shoveling the remainder of that dirt pile. I did it the same way I’d done the smaller one, scooping, tugging, and grunting just as before as well. Finally got all the rest of the pile into the big container. Lifting it back to an upright position was considerably more challenging than the smaller one, but once I accomplished that, it wheeled easily out front.

By the time I got all finished and watered my new tree, I was totally spent. My legs were shaky, my back ached as did my arms, knees, ankles, and even my fingers and it was all I could do to clean up and flop into bed. I slept like a baby!

The new tree is a Crataegus Crusader, a type of Hawthorne. In the spring it will be covered with tiny white flowers. Its leaves are rich dark green and shiny. They look a lot like Ivy. Many of the branches hold little clusters of tiny marble shaped berries whose color is light gray-green kind of like Granny Smith Apple’s. When I woke up this morning, it was smiling at me.

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Independence Day & The National Debt

I couldn’t help thinking, while watching the incredible Fireworks on the Hudson presented by Macy’s in NYC, how much money it all cost. Don’t get me wrong…I love the July 4 celebrations and especially the fireworks. But when we have children living on the street and thousands of people living at or below the poverty level in this great country, doesn’t it seem like we might be better serving our American brothers and sisters who could use that money for food and clothing and a decent place to live if our celebrations were done by giving rather than presenting?

Pat of my thinking….to be continued…

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Just Another Day in Paradise

I’d like to write a bit about my day and the joy that comes from accomplishing little tasks, from working on something until success and completion are in your grasp. I know it’s said that the only way to fail is to give up, that if you try…even if you fail to succeed at your intended goal, you haven’t really failed at all, unless you give itup. Another way some people look at this principle is that we fail forward to success. I recently read  that the success of Edison and his lightbulb invention was realized only after he tried over 3,000 filaments. One could say that Thomas Edison “failed” over 3,000 times, but he never gave up. Eventually he became famous all over the world. He was known as The Wizard of Menlo Park, and obtained 1,093 patents in his life. He is still revered worldwide because of all he did to create and facilitate our modern way of living, and is universally thought to be the most influential man of our millennium. It was Edison who said, “Opportunities are missed by most people because they are are dressed in overalls and look like work.” And possibly even more famous are his words, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Accordingly, a  ‘genius’ is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.”

So I had a couple little Edison moments today. First, and this probably seems silly to most people, but I cleaned my toaster! A simple task by most standards, but for me it was a major accomplishment. I did an excellent job which took me nearly 45 minutes. But my toaster is now sparkling again almost like brand new.I felt so good about that when I was finished.

Then, and this is not silly, on my own with a bit of  encouragement from my own self talk, I fixed four sprinkler heads that were not working! Adrian, my oldest son, has spent hours here working on my sprinkler system and teaching me the basics like how to clean the little filter that gets clogged with mud and grit. He’d be the first to tell you that my fixing four sprinkler heads is huge. Each year I get a tiny bit more competent at taking care of myself and this house and my lot of weeds and potential. Anyway, fixing those four sprinkler heads, all of which were merely clogged…fixing them without having to call my son for help was a huge ego booster. I’m still feeling the euphoric effects of that little succession of successes. It’s an incredibly motivating thing and super spirit boosting…kinda like self-therapy.

It was a great day for me…even if it did get up to 106°!!! Success begets success and success comes from trying and not quitting, from stubbornly refusing to quit until that success is yours!

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Finished my First!

Well, so…I’ve written my first blog post. It was easier than I expected, and it’s even been read! Hot dog! This could be a ton of fun for me, and who knows where it might lead.

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My New Goal: Blogging to Learn!

I’m excited this technological tool, this blogging thing, is available to use in practicing the art of creating with the awesome world of words. I’ve wanted to “be a writer” for as long as I can remember…even more so since my dream career-teaching school- turned into a nightmare. Long story. I’ll blog about it one of these days. Writing is one of my true passions…actually communicating effectively and teaching others to do the same is my passion, and I believe excellent writing is one way to do that.

Blogging certainly seems to be the trend in writing these days. I don’t quite get how jotting down a few words about something or writing how you feel can be of that much value to a reader. And I’m clueless about guiding readers to your blog. Well…not entirely clueless. I can see how readers might help you improve your writing skills, and I’m beginning to understand how tags work. In fact, even as I write this blog, I get more excited about the possibility of creating something that might be valuable to others. There’s my passion kicking in.

So…

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