Friday, May 15, 2009


I’ve been in therapy all day, and I’m exhausted. How could something that’s supposed to help be so painful? My body feels like a wrecking ball, my eyelids like iron curtains.

The results from all this hard work should be worth the effort, though.

Fewer dandelions will poke their little yellow heads through my grass. Freshly planted seeds, blessed with water, time-release food, and sunshine will bring new life, a new perspective, vegetables, and herbs. Yes!

I love gardening and yard work. It’s therapy. Earth has given so much to me; you should see my fingernails and hemorrhoids.

Give me an old knife, a pitchfork, and shovel, and Freddy, look out! Every taproot I hold in my hand is a sign of victory. Auntie over Earth. Auntie loving Earth. Auntie showing Earth what can grow in her yard—and what can’t.

When I first bought this property in 1994, it was riddled with ants, weeds, lumps, and slugs. The former residents were too busy with paying work to work toward the big payoff—a beautiful home and yard.

I’m into the old “pride of ownership” thing. If you’re going to own something, you should take care of it, all the way. The benefits are visible and intrinsic. Guests feel more welcomed when a home is nurtured. My daughter and I feel better, because we’re comfortable and our eyes see loveliness.

In 1994, the ants were having the time of their lives. They owned this property. Being a naturist and naturalist, I wanted to let them know how I felt about their presence, naturally, so I bought bags of oranges, ground them in our blender, and poured pulp and juice over the ants’ primary living area, which was everywhere. Orange juice is supposed to cause their little lives to move toward Ant Hill Heaven.

The ants in our yard, however, must have had scurvy, because they led more productive lives with my generous gifts of vitamin C. They’d lick their little lips, burp, take their little legs and wipe their mouths a few times, burp again, and say, “Thank you, Miss Eartha! We knew living here would be heaven.”

So I bought Diazinon. “Oh, good,” they’d murmur, “here comes Miss Eartha with breakfast.” Yum, yum, croak. Darwin, however, is alive and well, philosophically speaking. Survival of the fittest prevails to this day, and God, are they huge!

The lumps in our yard are clay—not the modeling type. The house moves atop the clay as if it were a boat, not brick, and definitely not good for being pulled on water skis. Cracks in the house open when the ground is dry and close when wet, so they primarily remain open.

I don’t want to fill the cracks, because if I fall into a lot of money before I fall out of this house, I’ll have the house leveled—not razed, but pushed back into place, so the house will sit on the same elevation. Right now the north side is at 6,732, and the south side sits at 6,543. Uneven, but we get a decent workout just going to the bathroom.

And the slugs. They’re those oversize snails sans shells. I tried the natural massacre on them too. Pour beer into a shallow tin, which draws them in (hypothetically), then they drown in beer.

A waste of good barley, but I tried it anyway, ’cause if I were to go naturally, why not drown in beer. That way when I’d pass my final fluffer amongst my sluggish friends, I wouldn’t be alive to experience embarrassment.

But the slugs didn’t like the beer I chose. For me, I like a darker, more expensive brew. When I go to the bathroom, I like to know I had a good brew. For the slugs, as when I was in college, I bought Old Milwaukee. Not a bad beer if you’re broke. Our slugs must have been opulent, livin’ the high life.

“No thanks,” they oozed as they slithered along leaving a slimy film in trails in our yard, “contact us again when you’re serving Black and Tan.”

Eventually, through nurturing and poking holes in our soil, the slugs transmogrified into my former boyfriend, but I kicked his proverbial arse out of my home (slapping hand wipe and a whew!).

So if anyone out there would like a group therapy session, I could use the company…and I have very good beer I will share.

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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  1. Good luck on the therapy, it's really difficult to process, but you will be better for it. You might also incorporate meditation into your routine, especially since you have made the perfect garden to practice in...

    I like red ales, and my current favorite is from Deshutes Brewery in Oregon, I think it's available at Coaltrain...I just can't drink them much anymore due to diabetes.

  2. I know what you mean about the ants. We have them too. It's like we live on a giant ant hill. They seem unaffected by all attempts to remove them. Fortunately they stay outside.

    I got a new weed/dandelion puller that works great. No chemicals and it is way less work than crawling around the yard pulling them by hand.

    I've also been using a homemade organic weed killer. White vinegar and salt. Works great in areas where weed pulling is difficult. Don't use it on the lawn as it sterilizes the ground so grass won't grow.

    I've got many choices for good beers, none of which I would share with slugs.


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