Writing & Garden Log, 7/10/22

Writing first: I spent Saturday morning working on the cancer log — almost finished the draft, but got a little stuck when I got to the end, because I wasn’t sure where the end should be. I mean, I still make posts to it on occasion! But I think I’ll rewind a few entries back, try to find a good stopping point; I’ll probably end up writing a wrap-up of some kind. We’ll see.

It’s interesting thinking about the process of converting a log to a book — one aspect is deciding how much to edit it. In the original, I often had some repetition, because I didn’t know whether people reading a post on social media would have read the previous post, and sometimes you needed context. I could have tried to strip all that repetition out, but I think I’ve decided to keep it very true to the logging experience of the time, the very in-the-moment aspect. I’ll just add a little framing at the beginning, so readers understand.

It was also interesting seeing how the first half of the year of treatment, I was reasonably calm, and the second half, I was getting seriously worn down, and really emotionally falling apart by the end. I wasn’t able to be there for friends and family anymore, and was just barely holding it together for myself. Even if you have a ‘good’ cancer, a very treatable kind, the course of treatment is likely to be grueling.

Throughout the book, gardening works as a metaphor — it’s funny, I didn’t realize how thoroughly I was interpreting my cancer treatment through gardening until I stopped and looked back at the whole thing. In a very real way, gardening helped get me through.

By around noon, I had hit my emotional limits for working on that book, and decided to reward myself with garden stuff. I had some metal pots that I’d purchased a year ago that I thought were very pretty and South Asian in style, but had never done anything with. So I swung by Home Depot and picked up some nice shade plants to just drop in there: impatiens, a fern, and a begonia.

My front steps are in dire need of a coat of paint, but we’re supposed to get our new roof (FINALLY) sometime in the next week, so I’m waiting to get the porch repainted until after the roofers are done. Just imagine how charming those pots will look on set of a freshly-painted steps. Although honestly, they look just fine on weathered steps too. 🙂

Did a fair bit of weeding, mostly cutting back mulberry seedlings (we hates them, my precious), hoping that if I keep cutting and cutting them back, and burying the roots in soil, eventually they’ll give up and DIE. I don’t use poison in my garden, but they tempt me sorely — mulberry seedlings and burdock, my garden nemeses. I’ve got a stubborn patch of burdock in back that I think I’m going to have to just smother in the end, which will be unsightly and tedious. Well, it is what it is.

Another little task was unclipping the bougainvillea from the original tripod of bamboo canes it came with, and installing a new blue trellis. To be honest, I wish this were blue metal, rather than (pretty sturdy) blue plastic. But that said, I like the bright pop of color it adds, and I think the bougainvillea will take a nicer shape climbing this kind of vertical trellis as opposed to the tripod. Clipped it in, easy job. When the season ends (and before the soil freezes solid!), I’ll pull the whole plant and trellis out and stick them in a pot to bring inside for the winter.

(Gardener’s Supply, comes in black and in blue, $60: https://www.gardeners.com/…/fleur-de-lis…/8611664.html)

Last pic is the cider I enjoyed while working, Original Sin’s dry rosé cider. A new one to me, picked up at our local Carnival grocery after lunch with Roshani. Tasty!

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