Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sweep the Porch Clean

I just came in from the porch. There has been a deluge. I won't know until tomorrow if the grass seed we so lovingly sowed two days ago has again washed into the street to grow tufts of rye in the organic matter left by the live oak trees that shed volumes.

We just want grass. We cut back the tree limbs to give some view of sunlight. We fertilize. Our soil is so bad. Two days ago, James and Mark and I attacked the concrete hard bare patches. Mark shoveled in the rich compost of the live oaks that have built up in the flower beds. We attacked the dirt/concrete with small shovels and a vigor and mixed in rich soil and hopeful seed.

We mostly had St. Augustine until a drought and shade wrought havoc. We fight because our soil is so poor. Our neighborhood has nice little finials on the street signs that say "White Rock Village" and there is a graphic of an airplane. We live smack dab on the former turf runway of the White Rock Airport. Our house is located now almost dead center of that photograph. I wonder if the soil is polluted by having airplanes wandering up and down for 30 years. I'm wondering at this point why the live oaks planted by Fox and Jacobs 30+ years ago seem to prosper. There are a great lot of them and the result is that we have a very shady street. Sadly, our house is at one of the lower spots and when the rains come every one else's leaves gather in front of my house. It gets a little deep at times. We have shovels that we use to muck out. I've thought of starting a live oak leaf compost heap up against the house, but I'm afraid that the house would be soon covered and begin to creak and fall against the volume.

All I want is grass. (sigh)

I sit on the porch and I read. I reach out beyond the comfort of books that I know and love and want to read again. And again. So I stretch and I find. .. other things.

I am commended to good wifely behavior by book #20 of 2008. Storm Clouds over Party Shoes is artful and sarcastic and a slap in the face or on the behind.

The author is an artist and seems to be a very nice woman as she responded almost immediately when I emailed her and told her I liked her book and that I thought her art was thought-provoking.

I was stunned that she wrote me back so quickly, so I sent her a link to my review and she came back with an even nicer note and was very friendly.

I like writing the book reviews, it's an exercise in consumerism. I've had very friendly conversations with several of the authors that I've reviewed and found them to be such nice people. I also got a response today from the author of "Pledged" that I read earlier in the year. It was a very sweet note.

My friend Amy today said I should even send bad reviews to authors. I'm not as enthused about that. I don't want to be personally mean to them. I'm happy to write to folks that I admire to let them know that I enjoy their work, but it just seems kind of nasty to write to someone and say, well, "Hi, how are you, I read your book and I think it SUCKED."

I really did like "Storm Clouds" mostly for the art. It's more a compilation of art images than actual text from the author. She's using text to make a point with her artwork. I am very fond of text as I obviously love to write, but I also LOVE to WRITE, I mean with crow quill nibs and chisel nibs to create artful letters and words. I appreciate someone who combines images with text.

I didn't have to beat anyone up today although yesterday I ended up chasing a very big boy. I DID happen to have a broom in my hand and he acted like I was threatening him with it. I was sweeping my porch at school when he acted like a fool and I didn't want to set the broom down because I didn't want it stolen. I suppose it might have looked funny for me to trail this buffoon across campus with a broom in my hand, but it's a GOOD broom and I don't want to lose it.

The jerk yelled at me and said I was only picking on him because he was black. I went off and told him he was racist and shouldn't be talking about my family. He looked totally confused at that point and then tried to tell the security guards that I tried to beat him up with the broom. They told him to shut the eff up and handed me a referral form to fill out. I think they were a bit leary of the broom, but hey, sometimes they have to do things to make crazy white women happy.

Sweep the porch clean I say.