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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Heirloom Ficus Tree

I didn’t write anything yesterday.  We’ve been getting ready for a cookout this weekend for my husband’s birthday.  Getting the house and yard ready has required a lot of work, all done in the space of the last few days.
I’ve been housecleaning like mad, rearranging, packing up clutter, doing all those little chores I’ve been meaning to do for months but haven’t. Yesterday I had the carpets cleaned.  The carpet guy went around with the black light they use in forensics to find blood stains.  It seems they also work for urine stains.  He found an alarming amount of dog urine throughout the house.  I always clean such accidents right away, but it seems they soak down into the padding and you can’t get them out with normal cleaning.  So he employed a urine-gobbling enzyme solution on the worst areas.  Wood floors are starting to look like an attractive option. 
Then there’s the yard.  This winter wreaked havoc on the landscaping.  Some plants didn’t survive in spite of the fact we scurried outside to cover them up on the coldest evenings.  So in the past few days we’ve made multiple trips to plant nurseries.  We’ve dug, planted, mulched, trimmed, weeded, and watered.  It’s exhausting and I hope we don’t have to do it again for another year.  What happened to the neighborhood kids who used to go house to house asking for work to earn extra cash?  I haven’t seen them in years.  The kids in our neighborhood have better cars and, I'm almost certain, more pocket money than I have. 
But the most devastating casualty of the harsh winter was the heirloom ficus tree.  It’s been in James’ family for over 40 years, beginning with James' grandmother.  It’s a heavy responsibility to keep the heirloom alive and well.  Up until this winter, it wasn’t a problem.  The tree was full and magnificent.  It provided sanctuary for numberless birds' nests, especially for cardinals.  We enjoyed watching the babies hatch and grow and the parents feed them tasty bits of worms and bugs.  Now the heirloom ficus looks all but dead.  Its branches are completed denuded, except a few green leaves sprouting down low on the trunk.  Needless to say, it’s not fit for public viewing–and may never be again—so it will be relegated to the garage for the Saturday cookout. 
I still have a long To Do list and need to get cracking.  It will all be worth it when we enjoy the company of our friends and family tomorrow.
P.S. I did make it to the Thursday night belly dance classes (two in a row) last night.  Today, I'm getting by on Tylenol and Icy Hot.   

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