Archive - Apr 2004

April 29th

Half winter, half spring

After reaching about 88 degrees yesterday afternoon, the temperature plunged down to below freezing over night. By morning, we were back in March, although the promised snow didn't arrive.

Cloudy and foul this morning. Gray, dark, a perfect morning for a nap. So, I planned a nap, since the past few days have been quite busy--but I never got to take one--the customers kept coming all day. Every time I went in my office to sit down, another one needed help.

April 28th


I had an interesting discussion the other night with somebody about half my age. We discussed endings. Endings of life, endings of fun stages of life, endings of friendships, endings in general.

In the young, such endings seem to bring on rage. There is a quest for permanence, for living happily ever after. The promise of such permanence is not just sometimes false, it is always false.

Occasions for planting trees

Of the many reasons people plant trees, one of the most poignant, at least for one in the business of selling trees, is when people plant trees to commemorate a death.

This happens quite frequently. You hear of a tragic death, and soon you see the relatives of the deceased walking up to the buildings here at the nursery, sometimes before the funeral. A gentleman last weekend who had never been to the nursery before wanted to buy a tree to plant in memory of his father who had passed away just that week.

April 27th

Open evenings

The nursery is now open until 8 pm until the first week of June. That means staying at work later. However, the evenings are kind of relaxing. The crew goes home at 5, and the customers who dribble in after then tend to be relaxed and interesting to talk to. A couple tonight, who used to be dairy farmers, told about their three trips to China to see their son in the past three years.

I asked if they still had cows, because I knew they were big dairy farmers. Turns out they sold out ten years ago. "Haven't been in the barn since," the man said.

Jones homers, Twins win

Although I slept through the entire game, I followed the last inning on the internet. Haven't yet gotten used to listening on the radio in the absence of televised games.

The Twins were down 4-1 in the eighth, yet came back to win 7-4 in the ninth on a three-run homer by Jacque Jones.

Comeback wins are a good sign. Last year, the Twins didn't seem to get as many wins when they were behind in the late innings. This year, they have had at least four.

April 26th

Getting the grain in

Farmers are starting to report that they've planted all of their grain. Grain is the first thing the farmers plant, row crops are next.

I catch snippets of farming from customers. People who plant their soybeans early risk having them rot in the ground, but of course everybody wants to get done.

The problem is, many farmers are using Round-up ready soybeans which cost over twenty dollars per bushel. If you plant them and they rot in the ground, it won't be cheap to reseed. In fact, you probably won't be able to find additional seed.

April 25th

Bird #1

Cat was howling outside about an hour ago, so I opened the door and in it rushed with a bird in its mouth. Trouble is, the bird wasn't dead and started flopping around on the floor. I let the cat pick it up again, then threw the both of them outside again.

Cat apparently tried to eat the bird, for when it came in again, it immediately threw up on the linoleum.

Very dramatic night for Cat. Now it is stretched out on its ottoman, deep in sleep.


I neglected to hire watering help for today--I always hate to ask people to work Sundays, so then the family ends up doing the Sunday work. When this morning dawned sunny, I ended up on the end of a water hose for the first time this year, as did Joe and Mom.

Watering is difficult for me. You can't do it in a hurry. The water only comes out of the hose at a certain rate, and you have to be patient. Not my strength.

April 24th

Busy, busy

So busy that it is difficult to find time to write in this weblog! Today was a big day at the nursery. The nice weather puts everybody in the mood.

LAST night I shut off the Twins in the 8th inning when they were still behind. Sure enough, they came back to win in the ninth by a score of 7-5 over the poor Kansas City Royals whose pitching collapsed once again.

I love when the Twins get into the other team's bullpen in the first game of the series. That way you wear them out for the next two games. Look for more late inning heroics for the Twins this weekend.

April 22nd

Clear and cool

The weather stubbornly refuses to get warm, but at least today the sun shone. The grass in the ditches is starting to green up and if you look closely, the buds on the trees and shrubs are starting to swell.

The plants in the greenhouse are starting to pop. It happens all of a sudden. Last week the begonias were looking a bit weak; today I went to the greenhouse and found them in full bloom. As long as the sun shines, the cool weather is good for greenhouse plants. It keeps them stout and healthy looking instead of stretched and lanky.