Tag Archives: garden

Fall Back into Momentum: Part 4 (Mood Boosts)

It was raw and gloomy last week, so I haven’t experienced the ballyhooed morning sunshine boost, but I did practice acceptance of minimum expectations while making progress on the Must Dos.* Exterminator came yesterday. Mammogram appt is on Tuesday. The feral cat feeding area has been winterized. Because somehow we are already tangoing with temps in the 20’s. Today I hope to dig in the hundreds of bulbs I impulsively bought (on sale!) because the promise of spring flowers helps drag me through winter.

firststickysnowwinter2018
Click the pic for the Chicago Weather Center’s alarming graphic.  “A wintry weekend’s on tap, more like Jan & Dec—then a windy cold blast hits later Mon/Tues.” Grrr.

This garden task is an example of another important category for the To Do list:

Mental Health: Which projects, while perhaps not-essential, will buoy your spirits? The sky won’t fall if I don’t get these all into the ground, but it will feel less gray if I do. Another example: For better and worse, my level of cheer is tightly linked to the condition our home. If keeping the TP stocked is part of scraping by, keeping the bathroom clean helps preserve my sanity.  When feeling overwhelmed, picking a few spots to hold to high standards allows me to ignore–for now–other messes, literal and figurative. Manicured nails, bright lipstick, seasonal decorations, and blogging also add a bounce to my step. Although frivolous, they help fend off the blues.

Clear surfaces
If we keep these main surfaces clear, I can screen out other clutter, even when it means shoving the clutter from these surfaces somewhere else, such as the small counter under the kitchen window sill or the not-shown hutch behind the table. I am also ignoring our filthy ceiling fan.

Another big bang for the buck mood booster can be to tackle a small, odious project that will make you feel like a bad ass while improving your quality of life. Or as Marie W. wrote: “Will I feel more miserable in the long run if I don’t do the thing??” Congrats to her for last weekend’s deep clean of the cat box area: “including the gross mat that picks up litter.”

Ideally, mood boosting tasks are relatively manageable, like planting 20 instead of 200 bulbs! But in the spirit of forgiveness, if I don’t get them all in, I am just not going to worry. I can always donate what I don’t get to. The ground isn’t going to freeze super soon, is it? Oh, please no! I am not ready.

too many bulbs
What was I thinking? At least I did pack up all of the Halloween decorations. . .

*And bravo to Dena K for taking care of the rain barrels before the freeze. A big job, indeed!

Week 2: Breathing Room

wpid-imag1954.jpgEvery fall, I vow to borrow Karen’s leaf shredder to create fluffy, nutritious mulch for all my garden beds. Every fall, time speeds up. Before a late season rain, I end up frantically dumping out bags of leaves scavenged from the alley; everything needs to be tucked in tightly so the neighbors don’t complain about the leaves they just raked blowing back into their yards. This means that, every spring, I have to pry off slimy blankets to make it easier for little plants to emerge. I’m not sure if these annual rituals do any good, but they are pleasant bookends to the growing season.

wpid-imag1955.jpg
First snowdrop! I’m excited about this addition to the early spring chorus.
wpid-imag1939.jpg
The parkway is also buried by a bunch of construction debris. Not sure what to do about that yet. Current strategy is to ignore.
wpid-imag1934.jpg
The tiny shoots from last week have bloomed.
wpid-imag1945.jpg
This part of the front parkway is not the best showcase for tulips; I love the bright tips against this rock more than the flowers.
wpid-imag1938.jpg
Urban mulch includes garbage.
wpid-imag1962.jpg
Love a plant that emerges early and blooms late. Can’t believe I’m spacing its name.
wpid-imag1951_1.jpg
Until next week. . . .