The Watering Hole, Monday, July 2nd, 2012: WEEDS

Off and on yesterday, I worked in my “garden.”

The areas in my front yard which used to comprise my garden have been pretty much derelict and overgrown with weeds for eight years now. I had laid out wooden paths within the gated section; gigantic dandelions and other weeds now hide the wood planks. The planned renovation of my old garden was halted in the spring of 2004, my year from hell. Each year since my parents died, I started spring with the intention of working hard and enjoying a real garden by summer; each year I wasted bulbs and plants as I lost the will and focus. This spring was no exception; I really wanted to get the yard and the old garden cleaned up and get some new bulbs and plants in. Then, after our loss on March 26th, grief and depression shriveled any aspirations. Yes, the old standbys still bloomed: crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, etc., but they only served to emphasize the surrounding neglect.

A few weekends ago, Wayne’s sister Judy finally (and thankfully) shamed us into working to make the yard presentable. With her hard work and constant pushing of Wayne and I, we got a very good start in that first weekend. While I have not worked quite as hard on subsequent weekends, I managed to clear and weed right up to the garden gate and trellis. So yesterday morning I tackled the inner garden, raking away a few year’s worth of matted leaves, pulling up tiny maple trees, yanking out weeds, removing sticks and branches. Turning toward the oval-shaped center, edged by the now (at least) partially cleared wooden walkway, I started raking out the insidious, pervasive “Creeping Charlie” which had completely infested the center garden. As I gleefully ripped away the ubiquitous vining weed and as much of its root system as I could, a thought struck me:

[I know, you’ve been asking yourselves, why is she going on and on about depression and gardening?]


Weeds manage to spread and persist using many methods: putting down taproots that are difficult to dig out; disguising themselves to look like desirable plants; creeping through lawn and garden, grasping for footholds through pernicious extended root systems; choking out other plants and commandeering the nutrients in the soil, to the point where nothing else will grow, bloom, or prosper. Sounds like today’s Republicans, doesn’t it?

I’m now compelled to reclaim my once-lovely garden back from the weeds; hopefully we all can reclaim our once-lovely country back from those whose purpose is to suck it dry.

Glad in the Garden

Gladiolus in Watercolor

This is our daily open thread — comment on anything you want!


119 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, July 2nd, 2012: WEEDS

  1. I find gardening to be a relief. Being outside working with plants takes my focus away from negative thoughts. The garden is all that matters.

    Weeds are in the eye of the beholder. I was always pulling out sorrel and purslane and throwing it in the dead weed pile. Now I add the sorrel to salads and stir fry the purslane along with other veggies.

    Invasive vines are horrible as they will kill trees. We are constantly fighting back Asian bittersweet.

    • We have Asian bittersweet trying to establish itself in the back yard. Despite the pretty berries in the fall, I hate that stuff with a passion. The vines have invaded in force in our area over the last several years – at our old office, they had taken over both live trees and the old apple trees. Along every roadside, you can see the stuff completely covering bushes and trees. I can’t imagine what the local landscape will look like if the vines remain unchecked.

  2. Yes, R’s are noxious, invasive, a pain in the ass, but that great feeling you get when they’re all cleaned out is what I need to feel in November.

    • He’s had a change of heart since those days./sarcasm off

      Romney will do anything to make more money. I think if he could get a billion dollars for Ann or his children, he sell them. He is a person without integrity.

  3. Woo-hoo!

    I got the new air conditioner a day early. and not a moment too soon since we are expecting a heat index of around 110.

  4. Jane, thanks for this post.

    I am not a gardener. I have a brown thumb in general, I either tend to over or under water the plants so my husband tends the yard better than I ever could. I gave up on real indoor plants years ago when my cats were eating them. My indoor plants are now of the silk variety. No muss, no fuss.

    Earlier this year, though, when I was traveling to care for my sick mother, she asked me to weed her irises for her. It was a big thing for her to ask, because she is fiercely independent. I wasn’t exactly happy to begin such a task, but I took the radio into the yard and started clearing out the weeds so that her irises didn’t get choked out by the weeds. I don’t like to stop a task once I start and I was happy to finish the whole bed for her in my limited time there especially since there was so much else to do. When I was finished I was quite pleased that I could do something so simple for her because I don’t know how much longer she will be with us.

    And it occurs to me what an ongoing chore it is to keep clearing out the weeds. It has to be done over and over again, the fight against the weeds has to be done over and over again or the weeds overgrow the flowering plants, the seedlings that need tending, and even the plants that have strong roots. We must be ever vigilant against the weeds and fight the fight again and again if we want a beautiful garden.

    • Thanks, LL. I’m not a gardener either, otherwise this all would have been so much easier. I try to put in plants that need minimal tending, then I end up ignoring them anyway.

      Yes, keeping weeds of all kinds at bay requires constant attention. We should all try to be decent gardeners, at home or nationwide.

  5. So, in a real “shocker,” Anderson Cooper is gay.

    Gosh, he really hides that effeminate lisp swell.

  6. HuffPo headline:


    Geeze, just say NO.

  7. Romney and his moronic talking heads keep talking about “repealing Obamacare on Day One.”

    He has no ability to do so. 🙄

    • I figure as long as I can afford my cat and pizza, I’m one of the ‘haves’! 😀

    • The Romney campaign is very confused. This shows the absence of leadership by Romney. The Obama campaign is focused and he leads the campaign.

  8. I was beaten to the punchline:

    Times Public Editor ‏@TimesPublicEdit
    CNN is reporting that Anderson Cooper is straight

  9. Hey, this works alot better on my husband’s computer and the hotel’s wifi. Weed is a matter of location. For those of you overrun with bittersweet, contact the florists in the city nearest you. They’ll buy it.

  10. Ralph Waldo Emerson once observed that a weed is “A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” He was clearly NOT comparing Republicans with weeds, given that Republicans have no virtues, period, discovered or undiscovered. Republicans are, to weed and garden alike, far more analogous to a plague of locusts than they are to even steer manure.

    Does Kudzu have any virtues, btw? Or is it Republican?

  11. Kids say the darnedest things…

    The sad thing is many people never outgrow their “parroting ideology” phase. There’s hope for this one.

    Jonathan Krohn: CPAC’s boy wonder swings left –

    “I think it was naive,” Krohn now says of the speech. “It’s a 13-year-old kid saying stuff that he had heard for a long time.… I live in Georgia. We’re inundated with conservative talk in Georgia.… The speech was something that a 13-year-old does. You haven’t formed all your opinions. You’re really defeating yourself if you think you have all of your ideas in your head when you were 12 or 13. It’s impossible. You haven’t done enough.”

    • I expect that Lushbo and the freaks at FAUX”News” will be saying some really, really, mean things about him. Their rancor will probably be directed at “libruls” who have “brainwashed and destroyed this once fine young man”. Then they’ll move on to Al Gore and the UN. Then they’ll suggest that he move to Europe.

  12. I’m still going with my earlier prediction… Rubio.

    The Watering Hole, Thursday, April 19th, 2012: Good News/Bad News? | TheZoo

    zxbe on April 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm said:

    It’s tough, as there are relatively few prominent female Republican politicians and even fewer prominent non-white Republican politicians.
    If I had to make a pick this minute, I’d say Marco Rubio is on the short list for the nod. Even though he’s a Senator (and the GOP wants the Senate), Florida allows the governor (a Republican) to fill the vacancy. The beauty of this for the Republicans is he looks like a white male, but they still get credit for him being Hispanic.

    • I don’t think he’s necessarily gay, but he seems quite intelligent. He’s read a lot of philosophy that has honed his perception, and yet he says he enjoys The Daily Show and Colbert. I don’t see how anyone could watch those two shows for long and not start to question the motives of the Reich.

  13. But he made a profit, so it’s okay.

    Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show | Mother Jones

    Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when the Huffington Post reported that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. Coming during the heat of the GOP primaries, as Romney tried to sell South Carolina Republicans on his pro-life bona fides, the revelation had the potential to damage the candidate’s reputation among values voters already suspicious of his shifting position on abortion.
    But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney’s exit from Bain.

  14. Ummmm.

    Mitch McConnel, just this week, said the lack of coverage for millions doesn’t matter. So I have to take exception to the notion that there’s any real agreement among the political parties.

    Roberts ruling on Obamacare rebukes partisanship with moderation –

    The battle over President Obama’s health care law cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and wasted a lot more time than it should have. There was ample room for compromise. Although the two parties held strong ideological differences, few disagreed with the driving needs for reform: ballooning costs and growing disparities in coverage.

    • Problem is, the Dems did nothing BUT compromise on the legislation if for no other reason than to get SOMETHING on the table. Gotta start somewhere, after all. But what started out as a fairly decent concept — a public option — wound up being little more than a regurgitation of rancid Republican crapola as in their proposal to counter Hillarycare in the nineties, reborn as Romneycare, now cursed by its ‘inventors’ as Obamacare. No public option, no shot at universal coverage as in Medicare for all, nothing but yet another prayer rug for the big health insurance corps … which, had it been done properly, would all be on the verge of becoming defunct fossils.

      I don’t know what it’s going to take to weed this country’s garden and get rid of the damn GOP once and for all, but bet your bippy I’ll support the cause no matter what! Because we cannot survive as a nation unless/until we first rid ourselves of the conservative malignancy once and for all and for good.

    • Republicans enjoy wasting tax payers money. They do it all the time. Remember the millions upon millions of dollars lost to Ken Starr. And then there were the multi millions missing/lost in Iraq. They have the nerve to complain about a deficit when they are the ones wasting the money.

    • He started the fire too! He really wanted a smoke so he sneaked off to Colorado so that Michelle wouldn’t beat him up. Then, since he was there and had a match, he decided to start really destroying America and lit a dead tree that totally didn’t get harvested because Obama made it illegal to harvest trees when he was a teenager! And on top of all that he also made it as hot as Kenya in D.C. because he was wistful for his boyhood home.

  15. Ah America. Where a party can peddle fear for decades without a single bit of proof. Tell its people that the only thing saving them from waves of brutal terrorist attacks is to spend a couple trillion dollars blowing camels into the stone age. Where the idea of American citizens getting married is going to end marriage. Where policies that actually benefit Americans in the healthcare arena and are functioning are evil and unconstitutional. Not one claim of terror made by the Republicans has ever produced a flower, let alone fruit.

    And their milk and honey promises of a better economic life have led us to the very edge of the economic abyss. The deregulation that was supposed to take us to new heights of wealth have placed us and the rest of the world at the mercy of addicts. Gamblers and pirates who have shown us that the Republican idea of milk and honey is just so much piss and vinegar for 99% of America.

    And for some very odd reason the lying bag of putrescence they are trying to fob off on us as some sort of savior is not being laughed out of the country. We are told he is running an almost dead heat with the man who has managed to bring us the PP-ACA, the Lily Ledbetter Act, the troops home from Iraq and staved off the onset of the next act of the Bush Depression, despite the obstruction in Congress by the minority party. We are so close to the damn edge. If the President loses his second term we can get ready for a very nasty time.

    • Is Allen West another… oh good grief, I’ve forgotten his name already… you know, the Godfathers pizza dude who tried running for president.
      Kind of like wacky Michelle Bachmann jumping onto Palin’s (high) heels…

      • Teabagger Congressman from FL who was drummed out of the military. He thinks Obama wants to make everyone slaves. Why he wants to give guns to slaves is beyond me.

        • Drummed out of the military?
          Was he found late at night fondling his gun and talking to it?

      • oh good grief, I’ve forgotten his name already

        Yes he is another Herman “yellow tie” Cain!

    • So it’s okay to ‘mandate’ buying a Glock but it’s not okay to mandate paying into group health insurance. Republicans would rather mandate killing than save a life.

      • So Allen West is described as being a “teabagger darling”.
        Teabaggers (what a delightfully enduring descriptive) are freaks. Extremists. Nutcases. Deviants. Throwbacks.
        The list of negatory nouns and adjectives are endless. They have no sound political platform, they simply object to whatever reasonable processes and procedures offered.
        They’ll be used over and over again to derail and create drama.
        The Rethuglican establishment will employ them to deflect and destroy the democratic process, and then wonder why come election day they are holding an empty bag.

  16. I’ve found a way to communicate effectively with my housemates.
    Drink a few beers first.
    On that note I’ll bid adieu.

  17. Another long day, and my joints are screaming. I hope I’m not coming down with something. 😐

    Looks like I’ll be in Idaho at least one more week.

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