Friday, March 31, 2006


How the hell did it get to be Friday already?

Um, so yeah. It's been a week since I made an appearance. Sorry. Alive. Just seemed to come down with that bug; you know, the one with all the snot. The snot that seems to have replaced all grey matter, making me dulldulldull and want to sleepsleepsleep. (I love the frequent comment of *cough!hack!sneeze!* "Hey, doc, so how do you keep from getting sick?"....Answer: "Um. We don't. Please put your mask back on. Thank you so much."

So. Better now; just snoring at night. Poor, poor Charles. What the man puts up with.

Speaking of putting up with, I just have to share what we did today. (Actually, he said I had to. I think he's trying to make a point, but I don't see it.) See, Charles took off yesterday and today, it being Spring Break and all at his school. (No, administrators don't get things like Spring Break off, they get to use vacation days for such nonsense.) Anyway, yesterday, we chugged up to the Mecca of Madison and that destination of spring, Home Depot. We got this and that, and some topsoil. We were planning to hit one of the nurseries on our way out of town, when I leafed through the thingie of newsprint ads they put in the plastic bag with our baggable purchases and saw that they had TREES. FOR SALE. PRETTY, FLOWERING TREES. BACK THERE. AT THE HOME DEPOT! TREES! ON SALE!!!

Well. You can just guess where we were at 8:23 AM today, in the minivan, with the seats all put down, well, except for Sara's, as it would have probably looked, um....bad, to tie her to the roof. Even for just a little way.

I didn't get my hopes up. No, no, no. I grabbed just one flat-bed cart. But, you see, there were just so many different ones. So we loaded up a second flat-bed cart. One for Charles, one for me. Pity Sara wasn't bigger. She could have manned her own, instead of 'helping' me.

Did I mention that there was a steady 40 mph wind blowing? Adds to the ambiance.

So. $250.62 later, we trundled across the parking lot with our 12 trees (1 maple, 2 crabapple, 2 plum, 2 tart cherry, 2 dogwood, 2 ornamental cherry, one other that I don't recall, but it is really pretty, you better believe it) and a forsythia. Charles nixed the redbud as it was 'too tall'. Sheesh.

Not bad, I say, all-in-all, and these are lovely, healthy-looking trees.

Well, that is until we get to the minivan, which seems to have unaccountably shrunk in the interim.

"They won't fit," states Charles.

"Sure they will," I assert.

"Nope. No way."

Secretly, I agree. But, I am unwilling to give up without a fight. Plus, these are trees. Nice trees at an extremely good price. Nope. They will fit.

My eyes become steely.

Knowing he is at this juncture defeated, Charles gamely starts to load the 13 multiple-gallon buckets, each with a 5-8' sapling.

It's not working.

"We need a tarp," he says, hoping to wear me down.

"OK. We need a tarp," I chirp, and am sent back through the gale-beset parking lot and back into the home supply store to find a painter's tarp.

I dance across the parking lot with another $5.74 worth of goods.

He sees that I am not deterred, poor sot.

"We need plastic bags to put around the buckets. If we don't, when we place them on their sides, the dirt will spill out all over. I'll go get some," he says, and flails back across the lot and into the amazingly handy home supply store.

Meantime, I decide to start putting in the shorter, bendy-er trees, and find that I can actually get all but 5 or 6 in! Yippee! I am even more determined. Sara sits dejectedly in her carseat, picking at her wet pants. Did I mention that it was raining, too? Not hard; just enough to give the day extra character.

Charles returns with another $11.37 in hefty plastic drawstringed garbage bags and a double roll of duct tape. We start bagging and securing the remaining trees, load them in on their sides, some reaching nearly to the front windshield. Good thing Colin was in school so we could put his seat back. (Again, the whole frowned upon thing of tying your child to the roof rack, even for a relatively short distance.)

Yes. They all fit. Every-fucking-single-one. HAH!

The only thing that trumps realism in this family, is me.

Although, he was right about the redbuds. We'd have had to either knock out the windshield or angled them to protrude out the front door window. Which would have been totally reasonable, in my opinion, at least more reasonable than leaving them behind for somebody else to buy.

And so, without further adieu, I present the newest editions, currently residing on the front porch, until I can dig many large holes, say tomorrow and/or Sunday. Or so.

And Charles? Well, we made a visit to Best Buy, and now all is well.

One last thing, for those whose yen for gardening is still not sated, there are pictures on the sidebar taken today, demonstrating that spring, indeed, is here, even in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin.

It's even early! The crocuses are blooming and it won't be April until tomorrow.



Anonymous Ariella said...

Ahhh, a journey to the mecca of Home Despot (as my mother used to say). We love that store. I stand transfixed at cabinet hardware, imagining my future house. It's like the adult version of a little girl's "Prince Charming" fantasy.

One of the things I am SO looking forward to about the new house is planting gardens and doing some landscaping. I want to plant a raised vegetable garden, lots of bulbs, and an herb garden. Also, maybe some cute trees (I LOVE those Japanese maples). I hope you show more pictures when you finally plant them.

It's frowned upon to put the kids on top of the car? Good to know... I see things are "different" out there in the midwest. ;)

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that HD had plants. I only use it for dead wood and things to perferate them. I see now why running boards were so popular on cars of my youth. Great place for kids to ride on or cops to shoot at fleeing mobsters.

Good luck on the flora. We have a flowering quince if you want something to overrun your lower 40.

The Ole RFer

1:09 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Ohhh, trees! hole digging! Spring! Hooray!

3:17 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ariella- Such fun, it all is! And, this year, I get to redo my raised vegetable bed from hell, as 2 walls collapsed when the ground heaved. Learning, learning. I haven't seen Japanese maples around here. I have a feeling they may not be hardy enough. I love them, too. Make sure what you plant is good to at least -20.

Dad- I don't recall if they had plants in PDX, but I usually shot all my budget at Portland Nursery. I've yet to find anything remotely that good, here, except for this place about 2 hours away that Mom and I went to several years ago. A lot of what they have is 1-2 varieties of the basic annuals but if you get there really early, before they are beat up and nuked by sitting on concrete for weeks in their little black buckets, the trees are good and cheap.

Teri- Oh, Yeah. That's the stuff. Only 5 trees planted today and I think I'll be the one needing the beers tonight. Damn rocks. All under the damn soil. Damn.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, looks like the little D apple didn't fall too far from the big J tree. Glad Charles is happy after Best Buy. If it was me, I would have wanted a mini-track hoe from the local Kubota dealer to help plant all those trees!

7:54 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I was talking to Beth last night about how you make gardening intriguing. Not enough to make me want to garden, to the despair of my mother (neither Kari or I inherited her green thumb), but enough that I do this little squeal of glee when I see you have a post about plants. Or the animals in your area. Or, well, a post about anything.

I am sorry you have been sick and am glad you are doing better. Unless, of course, you were under the influence of fever induced delerium at Home Depot and that is why you thought the trees would fit.

This reminds me, somehow, of when my mother bought a couch and, when she couldn't get it to fit into the van, refused to pay the delivery fee (of a whopping $25) and made the warehouse guys put it on top of the van. I will never forget the look in their eyes - the same in my own - "Woman, are you freakin' nuts?" This was before she dropped the couch on me when we got back to her house.

I think I would have ended up on the roof if that would have made the difference.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Apparently I'm lazy, as I was reading the entry and thinking, "Home Depot only charges $50 to deliver." I have no sense of adventure.

As this is a plant-related entry, I hope this is appropriate. Diana, I saw this product today and thought of you. It's not as classy as tinfoil, but it would be an option if there's ever an aluminum shortage:

3:46 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

You know, next time you decide to buy more trees than fit in your van, let me know so I can get up extra early and make the trip to Madison to Take. Pictures. Of. It. All.

Or not. ;)

2:54 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Congratulations on the new trees- and bravo on your determination to get them in the van- sometimes it takes a little willpower.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Cool! Trees! (See where my mind is at? The saga of getting the trees barely enters into my consciousness.)

Of course, we've been using small sedans with fold-down back seats as pickup trucks for the entirety of our remodeling process, so I am a bad judge of these things. :-)

9:45 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

But, the ground is green and brown. Where are all the white lawns we see on TV?

10:21 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

MG- Now I want a mini-track hoe.

Dana- I think your mother sounds like an extremely sensible woman. Shall we just call it 'Spring Fever induced delirium'? It's sadly recurrent, like malaria.

Leigh-Ann- I'll hop over and check it out, thanks! Those tinfoil skirts are terribly chic, though, in a white-trashy way. I need to glue sequins on or something. Tassles would be a mistake, though, I think.

Teri- If that would get you to Madison, I'll schedule another dabacle in your honor. Maybe Beth and Dana will assist?
(We've been kicking around getting together.)

Stacy- Yes. Determination. NOT 'pigheadedness' or 'cheap' or any of the other uglier terms. Yes.

Jamie- Very cool! Yes! The memory is fading already. Poor Charles.

Joe- HAH! Gone, all gone. Except for the persistant piles in the parking lots. Those will be there until June, but they are grey, not white, so they blend in. It is SPRING, baby! (Shhhh. Nevermind that snow is in the forecast for today. It is SPRING snow. Doesn't count.)

12:32 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I know what it is to get carried away at a nursery (i.e., Portland Nursery to be exact)! And I have only a dinky Honda Civic, but I did fit an ornamental cherry into it once. So what if it was hanging out of the back hatchback door? I made it home, didn't I?

I am in awe of Charles' patience. What a saint he is! I am also in awe of you. 13 holes suitable for trees is a lot of digging. I hope your hands are too blistered.

Those trees are going to be lovely--and soon, too!!! One of my favorite spring things is seeing all the flowering trees bloom. We are in the thick of it in PDX now and it is just great. Be sure to post pix when yours are blooming.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

"I hope your hands are too blistered."

Obviously, that should read: "I hope your hands are NOT too blistered."

4:36 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Pleaseohplease tell me there will be a followup posting featuring the Planting of The Trees. With Charles starring front and center, of course. :-)

4:46 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Ah, nothing like a little Home Depot/gardening therapy to perk a person right up. Glad you're feeling better and have fun planting all those trees.

8:13 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

You make me want to have a house and a yard. How is that possible?

Trees are awesome. Will the fruit ones actually produce fruit after a few years? I've heard that fruit trees will thrive more if you put them with another tree of the same type nearby.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- Many's the time my eyes were bigger than my little subaru sedan at Portland Nursery. I recall driving with my knees under my chin, practically, getting something *cough* Japanese maple *cough* wedged on the floor behind the front seat. It's a sickness.

Cagey- Yes, Ma'am! At your command. (However did you know that there'd be a story in that, too?)

Listie- You know it. I was going to say something about 'cheaper and better than Prozac' but only 1/2 of that is true, is it?

Beth- Yup. Pie cherries and plums, so far. Some fruiting trees need another of a different but similar variety to cross-pollinate, some are self-pollinating but do even better with another variety to mix with. I don't know which need what, having decided to go with what variety was on hand and looked healthiest (and, erm, fit in the van) as we are starting at zero. When I get a minute, I'll drag out the references and see what I need to add to the mix. It will be several years, though before fruit happens, so I've time.

8:35 AM  
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