Indignations

Remember when Georgia was in a drought? And whenever it rained, people all but danced in the streets? Good times, man. Good times.

Er, technically we are still in a drought. I don’t know who decides this or how they determine that we are no longer… ummm… drought-y, but TECHNICALLY we are still in a drought. Even though it’s been raining for upwards of a month, now. (It has not really been raining for a month. I mean, it has, but not continually. It just feels that way.) (Are you there, God? It’s me, Mir. I would like my hair to stop being the size and style of a full-grown poodle perched atop my head, now, please.)

Anyway. Clearly I do not want us to still be in a drought. But the constant rain is making EVERYONE cranky. It’s gray and cold and damp and gross outside. It was spring for a single, pollen-infused week and then it was summer for two days, and it’s been Whoops Are You Sure You Didn’t Accidentally Move To Seattle ever since. It’s unnerving for those of us who were primed to be bitching about how hot it is, by now. It is too cold and disgusting out for people to bless your heart, people! This is a true southern CRISIS.

And so, we have various rain-related indignations. It is sad. And damp. And cold. And INDIGNANT.

INDIGNATION THE FIRST: The pool. THE #$*&@$ MOTHEREFFIN’ POOL.

When we last left off on the pool saga, things were well and truly borked, and it was unclear how they might become un-borked. But then the Head Pool Guy and several Ancillary Pool Guys came over one morning while I was still in pajamas and had themselves a conference around said pool while I ran to put some clothes on. By the time I’d gone outside to find out what the plan was, they were busting out measuring tapes. They called me ma’am a lot and promised to “get it all fixed up” and it wasn’t until I said, “I just don’t understand what your plan is, here,” that they finally told me that the plan was to measure for a new liner. And then take away the current liner. You know, the new one. That they’d just installed. Because maybe it was defective. But they’d “measure real good” this time and I shouldn’t worry.

Two weeks to make the new pool liner, by the way. And then they would “fit us into the schedule” after that. And yes, of course, they’ll pay for the water.

So this is… good news, I guess. I mean, they’re trying to make it right. Props for that, although Otto and I both still suspect there’s nothing wrong with the original liner other than, shall we say, user error. Ahem. But WHATEVER, they’re fixing it! Maybe. We’ll see.

But in the MEANTIME, you see, the RAIN. The relentless rain. The pool was about halfway full pre-fiasco, and then it’s been just raining and raining and raining, and for a while there I’d go out and rescue frogs every morning (they can jump in, but the water level isn’t quite high enough for them to jump back out), but really, who cares, now? The pool water grows more disgusting by the day (no chemicals/filtering happening yet) and the frogs probably like it. Until we drain it again, I figure they can have at it. This means that Licorice is VERRRRRY interested in the pool these days, because MOM! MOM! MOM! LOOK! FROGS!

This morning I noticed that in addition to frogs, apparently our pool-swamp is hatching new life forms, too.

I… have no idea. None.

Licorice can almost reach the frogs when they hang out on the steps, at least.

In summary: Many frogs. Lots of swampiness. No working pool, yet.

INDIGNATION THE SECOND: My garden is on crack. Rain is GOOD, right? Plants like rain? The peas certainly like rain:

They’re just growing like crazy, happy as can be. Yay peas!

On the other hand, I have now TWICE planted seeds for zucchini and cucumbers, two of the most no-brainer vegetables there are in terms of being easy to grow, and the first time no seeds sprouted, and the second time I got two sad little cucumber sprouts and NO ZUCCHINI AT ALL. I began to think that perhaps my seeds were bad. (They have been hanging out with delinquent seeds under the bleachers, no doubt, becoming tainted.) But with all the rain, a tiny zucchini sprout finally surfaced. Fickle thing.

And then on the third hand which I don’t actually have, I bought some heirloom tomato plants at the farmer’s market this year in a fit of crunchy-earth-mother-ness, and I lovingly planted said plants with high hopes. (They’re Copias, which I’ve never grown before. Aren’t the fruits pretty, though?) Once in the ground, both plants proceeded to silently mock me with their refusal to either thrive or die. Meanwhile, the Roma tomatoes I’d gotten from the Big Box Hardware Store which are probably GMOs which will give us all cancer are huge and lush plants, already, even though they were smaller than the Copias when planted.

But then, it rained. And rained and rained and rained. And ONE of my two Copias decided to snap out of its funk:

What makes one plant get all big and happy while the other one is all, “No, that’s okay, I’ll just sit here, unmoving,” not dying but not really growing, either? I have no idea. It is upsetting me, though, because clearly with everything going on in life right now, it is that one plant’s failure to thrive that is my biggest problem.

INDIGNATION THE THIRD: We had our annual cookout for Otto’s students this weekend, only—say it with me!—because of the never-ending rain, we actually just had a pizza party indoors. Super fancy. And raucous! Except not really.

We have a pretty big driveway, but for whatever reason, when we have students over there are always reluctant to park in the driveway. They tend to park out on the street, which is fine, though they then end up covering a good section of the street and it’s a pretty sleepy neighborhood, so I guess folks might notice.

The party was nice. The students are always surprised to discover that their professors have lives and families and coolers full of soda, seems like. A good time was had by all, I think. Towards the end of their time here, as some of the kids were starting to leave, we noticed an umbrella coming towards the house instead of going away from it, and we asked Otto if he had someone who’d gotten the time waaaayyyy wrong. Otto answered the door, and it was one of our neighbors.

[Sidebar: The kids refer to that family as The Invisibles. I'm sure they're nice. The two or three times we've spoken, they seem perfectly pleasant. But they are also almost never home, or when they are, they're never outside. They're basically invisible.]

The neighbor let Otto know in a voice loud enough to carry inside the gathering that one of our party guests “wasn’t satisfied to just park on my lawn” but then “had to tear it all up by revving out of there.” Otto was, of course, surprised and apologetic, and offered to come over after the last of the kids left to repair any damage. “I don’t need you to fix it, I just need you to tell them not to do it!” he huffed, and stomped back outside, and home to his now presumably ruined lawn.

Kind of a mood-killer.

Here’s the thing: It’s RAINING. Rain makes ground SOFT. Later Otto discovered that yes, one of his students had put a couple of tires on Mr. Invisible’s lawn, and yes, it had left a small churned-up rut. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT RAINS. And even if you believe your lawn is God’s gift to the miracle of landscaping, this is the sort of thing that happens sometimes when it rains, right? Even assuming that not wanting other people’s guests to park over your property line is a valid complaint (and it is; though why he didn’t just come over two hours before to ask us to ask them to move, I don’t know), why come over to complain but then reject the very reasonable offer to fix any damage?

I found the whole thing very confusing. Either you want us to do something (fine) or you don’t, but to come over when the party is still going on just to be mad and flounce away… yeah. I don’t get it. INDIGNATION!

Someday it will stop raining and everyone and everything will stop being so indignant, right? RIGHT?? Lie to me if you need to.

33 Responses to “Indignations”

  1. 1
    Leandra May 6, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    I’m not wholly convinced that it’s ever actually going to stop raining for more than hour or two, but yeah SURE it will. The sun’ll come out tomorrow and all that jazz. Was that convincing enough? (the gray, man, it’s got me down. I need someone to lie to ME too.)

  2. 2
    Jenny May 6, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    RAIN! RAAAAIIINNNN!!!! It’s Nature’s mint, or something. The cabin fever has reached critical status around here. I know in a few weeks I’ll be fully immersed in heat-induced lassitude, but like you said, I should already be complaining about the heat and humidity, not complaining about cranking my house’s heat back on. I am indignant that my complaining has been rendered unseasonable!

    • 2.1
      Mir May 6, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      “Nature’s mint” is going to be my new catchphrase. Totally made me LOL, for real.

  3. 3
    Chuck May 6, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Well, you could always convert your pool into a natural pool and coexist with the frogs, I suppose…good luck with everything!

  4. 4
    Tracy B May 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I agree. This weather is just….Stupid. I can’t think of any other word. :)

  5. 5
    Arnebya May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    We have not had the rain. We will have the rain tonight and tomorrow and then off and on throughout the week. I do not want the rain. I want the heat and the sun and the rolling of my eyes when people complain about the heat and the sun when just last month they complained about the cold. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE HEAT BY NOW (well, not me, because I love the heat. And the sun.) I really, truly want a garden. But my laziness is indignant.

  6. 6
    Yvanka May 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    I’m happy to say that if you’d accidentally moved to Seattle in the past few months, you’d currently be enjoying an unseasonably warm spring with no rain at all…!

  7. 7
    Laura May 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I live near Seattle. It is going to be a beautiful, sunny, non-rainy week. Wheeeeeee!!!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. We will return to being the land of the moss people soon enough, just let me have this one.

  8. 8
    Amy May 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    It hasn’t rained in Portland, OR forever. GIVE US BACK OUR RAIN! Preferably by Memorial Day weekend when I’ll be in the ATL trying to spend time outdoors.

  9. 9
    Deirdre May 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Sounds like you have the weather CNY is supposed to be having! We’ve been basking in the not-lugging-blankets-and-umbrellas-to-all-the-little-league-games-ness of this gorgeous spring. And maybe Chickadee could do a cool science experiment with the pool.

  10. 10
    Jenn May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Feel free to send some of that rain up North. I was all gleeful this winter watching the snowstorms dump on other people but I’m not happy about the rain skipping us over.

  11. 11
    Mother Chaos May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    LOL – ooooh, don’t worry about the runt tomato. It’s probably just LYING IN WAIT. And then right when you’ve decided to give up on it for good, IT will be the one that shoots up to the FULL five-foot height those Copias are capable of achieving with one-pound fruits practically shooting off it like a high-speed tennis ball launcher, while the other one proceeds to pick up a massive case of aphids and wilts over dramatically to no more than 24″ high and spits out two or three marble-sized (and textured) tomatoes that never do seem to ripen.

    That’s what mine like to do, anyway…

    • 11.1
      Mir May 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      I so want to be all “Thanks, Susie Sunshine!” about this comment, but… I know you’re probably right. Ha.

  12. 12
    Theresa May 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Hi Mir,

    I am a loooonnngg time reader (and only the occasional commentor) but I had to chime in on the tomato thing.

    I am a garden blogger and also one of the producers of a national PBS garden show (no this is not a plug – just want you to know where I am coming from here) and I can tell you why the big box store shot up as if on steroids. The reason is because basically it WAS on steroids when you got it at the store. We have covered this on our TV show.

    See…The big box stores (and most nurseries) have non-organic, time-released food in the potting mix so that the plants look good while on the shelves waiting to be purchased. But most plants (especially the flowering annuals) are also sprayed with a hormone stray to make them be in bloom while in the store. The farmer market tomato was probably planted with good ‘ol fashioned organic soil.

    So while the “spiked” tomato came out of the box first, the second tomato should catch up in a more natural way. What sometimes happens with the big box plants is then they stall out after all the fake nutrients are gone. Another problem is that they can get very leggy from growing up too fast (but it does not look like that is an issue with yours).

    My advice? Give all the tomatoes a little boost over the next month or so to keep it all even. This can be as simple as top dressing the soil with a little compost and watering it in to giving it a light feeding of something organic like sea weed food or fish emulsion (the kind the is de-scented so it does not stink up the place). If you have good organic matter in the soil already, it may be that the farmer market tomato just hit that with its roots and that is why it is now catching up.

    But in the end, it should all work out and you should have lovely tomatoes from all the plants.

    Sorry about all the rain. Probably good your zucchinis didn’t come up or they would be all mildewed anyway. I vote for fresh seeds!

    Good luck!

    • 12.1
      Mir May 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Theresa, thank you for trying to help! The pictured tomatoes are both Copia plants from the farmer’s market. The (non-hippie) Roma plants aren’t pictured, and are both huge. I knew the organic plants would grow slower, I am just puzzled why one is doing so much better than the other! But as another commenter noted, this just means the other one will take off later while the first one is being devoured by bugs. ;)

      • Theresa May 8, 2013 at 8:59 am #

        That is true!

        It is possible that one of the tomatoes hit a pocket of yummy (aka fertilized) soil either in your garden soil or in the pot. Or that one was fed prior to coming to you. Either way, it seems it will be like growing successive crops. You will just have a longer season.

        I would just tell people you did that on purpose!

        • Mir May 8, 2013 at 9:02 am #

          Brilliant! “Oh, yes, I planned successive crops this year. As one does.” My half-assed gardening will be transformed into looking totally planned! I love it!!

  13. 13
    The Other Leanne May 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Here we all are, just west of Seattle, basking in another sunny, warm day! I’m even wearing sandals WITH NO SOCKS.

  14. 14
    Rocky Mountain Woman May 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    My friend is planting “our garden” today. He plants, weeds, waters and harvests, I cook!

    The rain will stop someday dear Mir, and people will go back to being just their normally indignant selves instead of rain induced indignant selves…

    It’ll be ok, I promise…

    xxoo,

    RMW

  15. 15
    g~ May 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    God, THE RAIN! Our local lake (Lanier) is 2 feet above full pool (or so I heard). I think my backyard is two feet above full pool. I squish wherever I go. We have continued having FIRES in the woodstove. IN MAY!

  16. 16
    Peachy Girl May 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Seriously…the rain! Just an hour northeast of Atlanta. My yard is an absolute jungle and I’m worried that my house is going to slide right down the hill and into the street! The garden ponds overflow on a regular basis…I fear I’m losing tadpoles to the flooding. Oh, and the wood stove still hasn’t been retired for the season. (My midwest family would hate this post because they’ve been seeing snow.)

  17. 17
    addy May 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    ya we just had more snow – SNOW!!! in May – in MAY no less. And now rain and more rain.I just want the weather to get back to some form of normalcy here please. PLEASE ?

  18. 18
    Aimee May 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    What’s weird is that here? North of Seattle? Don’t tell anybody, but it’s hot and sunny for, like, the fifth day in a row. Did Seattle and Georgia decide to up and switch places? Are they secretly TWINS? And if so, which one’s the evil one? Inquiring minds might want to know, but I’m too busy basking in the Seattle sunshine to care ;)

  19. 19
    Mel B May 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    I’m wondering when we get to see your whole backyard. You have me curious as to the set up of it. Also I really want to see the whole borked pool.

    I think, and someone can correct me, that you will be out of a drought when the rain is soaked up by the ground and does not run off because of the crazy weather. Just because you have rain doesn’t mean the ground is soaking it up. At least not in farm areas.

    I don’t comment a lot but I enjoy your life stories. :)

    • 19.1
      Mir May 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

      I don’t think I’ve ever tried to take pics of the whole thing. Basically inside the fenced area there is the (smallish) pool, and one side the fence leads out to the dog run and on the other side I have my garden boxes and then it leads out to the rest of the yard. Let’s see… picture of the dog run side in this post (which was about another home improvement fiasco… I sense a theme!) and the garden box side (with fence) is pictured in this post.

      The rest of the yard (outside the fence) is… ummm… yard-like. Grass! Trees! Compost pile! I am expecting Garden & Gun to call up and beg for a photo shoot with us any day, now.

  20. 20
    Kady May 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Yes, it’s true. The weather got mixed up, and it’s screwing with the people and the gardens. It’s 86 degrees today in Seattle. I would have planted tomatoes if I knew it was going to be like this. Instead, just herbs and greens are in this garden by the sea.

  21. 21
    suburbancorrespondent May 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I cannot believe how cold and rainy it is down there. I’ve been watching the weather there, because we are heading down your way this week. It is raining all the way down. Which makes sense, as we were planning to use our camper. Because it is May and it doesn’t rain in May.

  22. 22
    Brigitte May 7, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Them’s not frogs, they’s TOADS! Who only want to be in the pool for mating season, then they would like to leave, after they’ve filled your pool with toad eggs. I don’t know about that other egg, though!

    I’m kinda liking our bone-dry spring this year, though the local Smokey Bear is saying the fire danger is high. It beats our recent cold, wet springs, where slugs ate all my plants. I once started counting how many there were in a square yard, and gave up when I got to 50. They’re probably sliming their way down to GA to eat your Copias now!

    • 22.1
      12tequilas May 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      I had a feeling they were toads but I didn’t want to be all correcty and then be wrong. Thanks, Brigitte! Do toads sometimes wear crowns like frogs, so you know which ones you should be kissing?

  23. 23
    Frank May 7, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    YAY for random Judy Blume references!
    BOO for Random Tire Ruts…
    YAY for the rain that makes garden type things grow!
    BOO when it rains many days in a row and its the lawn growing… and its too wet to mow because… RAIN, dude… every day!
    YAY for no student parties with Grills on FIRE!
    BOO for being stuck in close quarters inside for said party…
    YAY for pool guys that appears to be trying to make things right!
    BOO for pool headaches in general.

  24. 24
    Cathy May 7, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    On the bright side, the egg doesn’t look like an alligator egg. One less worry!

  25. 25
    Kelly May 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    the sun the sun oh the glorious sun has come out !!!! at least it has 30 minutes from you. and all this rain has really dampened my plan to come pick lots and lots of strawberries… it is messing with my schedule.

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