Even with the weather warming up and the day being longer, I have had absolutely no desire to start work on our yard, which is definitely not like me. The past few years I have been out there as early as possible, sometimes probably too early, getting vegetables and flowers ready to plant. But this year I have not even had an inclination to walk out the back door let alone begin to dig in the dirt.
Part of the reason is probably that it seems like so much work and after the RA diagnosis and the fatigue, any kind of work is a horrendous thought. The soil is so sandy it reminds me of the beach and the latest rain brought out a ridiculous amount of weeds. Here are a few pictures of what I am working with:
And that is after my husband spent a hour working on it with the weed whacker last weekend.
But yesterday I found the inspiration I needed to get back out there at the local farmer's market. We were walking down the middle of the stalls when I noticed a new vendor with buckets and buckets of lilacs, my absolute favorite flower. They bring back so many memories of childhood in Illinois, when my sister and I would spend hours outdoors running through the neighbor's yard filled with lilac bushes. We would go to sleep at night with the smell of lilacs floating on the breeze through the open window.
I have searched for lilacs in various nurseries in California, but have never been able to find any even though they supposedly grow well here. But I was in luck yesterday because she had a few small plants left and I didn't even think before handing over the money for it. I bought a variety called Sensation that will have deep purple flowers with white at the edge of the petals. It may take a few years to really start producing flowers, but it will be SOOOOOOOOOOOO worth it!
As soon as we got home for the market, I threw on my gardening clothes and dug in. I began by moving some flowers from the hanging baskets on the front porch to larger metal drums that I use for planters in the front yard. Then I moved to the backyard and began moving empty pots, pulling weeds, and starting another spot for compost. I also fertilized all the new trees from last summer which took a big hit during the last storm and lost most of their leaves.
I ended up spending about two hours outside which I knew was probably pushing it, but I was not ready to stop. Once I went inside, I took a long, warm bath to ease the pain I knew would be coming and then relaxed with a book for awhile.
A couple hours later the torture began. The seemingly unending aching in my feet, ankles, knees, shoulders, and hands. At one point my husband held me and kept asking what he could do for me, while I just cried. He pushed me to walk a couple of blocks to one of my favorite hamburger places, which really did help. He was cute when he kept looking over at me and saying, "See, we just needed to get that blood circulating!"
I had a hard time sleeping because I just could not keep comfortable, but I do not feel too bad today. Well, to be completely honest the back of my thighs are screaming every time I take a step, but I think that has less to do with the RA and more to do with the fact that I have not exercised in forever. But I still do not regret a second of the work I did.
Hopefully I will have some amazing garden pictures to share soon, although I will only be spending small amounts of time outside working each day for right now.