Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More quaint freakin' vignettes from my rural idyll, which is still charming.


In the past, I have met with a certain amount of opposition when trying to explain why I express myself so colorfully...
To recap:

1. Why do you have such a dang ol potty mouth, Nations you wacky broad you?
Because I'm from Oregon. I fuckin' grew up talking like that. Can't think of a noun? 'Shit' will do nicely as a replacement! As in 'My shit is so fuckin' tired of grownup people complaining about my language."

2. Well, I grew up in Oregon and I have no idea what you're talking about. We never talked that way.
Oh please go fuck yourself. Don't try and be all 'real estate' on me, Portland, you swear like a cat and you twang like a banjo. Makes no difference where you grew up. Milwaukie? Hell yeah. Healy Heights? You too! And Heaven save us from you nasty St. Mary of the Valley private school hoochies; y'all are just VILE.
Well done!

The reason for all this celebration is that there is now DOCUMENTARY PROOF FOR ALL TIME that I'm not making excuses....and it's in the form of a Discovery Channel reality series called 'Axe Men'. It's about loggers. It's filmed up around Vernonia (oh go look it up on google/earth; I ain't your dirty map bitch) and lemme tell you, the 'motherfuckers' be flying thick up in them thar woods. Those boys are flat freestyling.

Remember that trip back to Oregon I just took? Yeah, you'll be hearing a lot more about it too. Anyway, once we'd crossed the state line and were in Oregon, we stopped in Clatskanie (no, now I told you I ain't your goddamn google/earth bitch! go look it up yourownself!) to top up the tank and stretch our legs. Inside the mini mart I walked past a couple of ordinary lumber-type guys, covered in sawdust, waiting in line to buy something out of the hot case.

One says' You talk to him recently?'
The other says 'I aint seen that motherfucker in months.'

And I knew I was back home.

In Washington it would have been "Have you talked to him recently?
The other would say "Iyant seen him in months."

Now I'm going to get a bunch of comments saying "Well, I live in Washington and nobody talks that way. 'Iyant'? What's 'Iyant'? No 'Iyants' here; too many doubleshot lattes have addled your speech centers, grasshopper."

To which I reply "Maaaaaaaan, fuck all y'all. AND the horse you rode in on." Because I'm right, and now I'm moving on to another subject.


Yesterday was my first official day out in the garden overdoing things. Yay! I got the front yard mowed and trimmed, and mowed as much of the back yard as I could without pissing off the ducks or having to don scuba gear. I got my vegetables started a whole month late, took the asparagus hay to the compost area (now nicely rotted down!!!) and eyed the shrubbery critically.

This has become something of an obsession with me now that I have a professional arborist in the family. He carries his clippers (Felco, bypass) in a leather holster for heavens sake. He can prune a tree and talk at the same time, snap snap snap, oh yes, acers have some trouble with botrytis, clip, snap, clip. It's intimidating. I guess probably moreso if you're an acer, though.

Now that I'm back home I'm looking at my poor weeping alder and cringing in shame. Sure, once it leafs out it looks fine, but geeze the awkward cuts. The red osier by the bedroom window is not exactly a triumph of the art either. Because of it's location I've had to damn near pleach it; and really keep after it so it doesn't scrape against the house and freak my shit out in the middle of the night thinking that zombies are trying to claw through the siding. Still, every time I knock it back it does something else objectionable. Just to be difficult. I know it.

Do not even look at my staghorn willow; just do NOT. It is SAD. It is CRYING.

My Magnolia Stellata should bloom forth TODAY. Yesterday I was looking at it while I was sweeping the sidewalk and I thought 'Oh yeah. Give it another couple of hours of sunlight and those buds will open right out." And sure enough:

...I was dead wrong. There you go.

This is such an excellent can stand up to the Northeaster, and it has a nice structure too. The blossoms are white as swans feathers! Big enough to call attention to themselves; gracefully made yet unusual. It's really obliging; you can train it to any shape you like. The blossoms last for a long time and the wind doesn't tear them off. When they do fall they turn very small and brown; they don't lie there in a big soggy heap, looking all weird like spoiled salad, like the petals of a tulip magnolia do. In the summer it shows a nice leaf and provides lots of gentle shade, and in the fall the leaves turn a magnificent hot yellow. For me this is a 4 seasons plant.

It's taking the place of what I'd originally wanted; some cornus florida (pink flowering dogwood.) Sadly, that goes tits up here as soon as the first Northeaster blows. Although it is weirdly site-specific-it will live and grow happily on the protected south side of a structure, even up in Abbostford. But one hard blast of dry cold does the whole thing in. So if you were to tear down the house or the wall thats protecting it, no matter how mature the tree is; it's days are numbered. Yes, even the hybrids. I know. It's sad.

We have a cornus kousa over the Spud. It came through the winter without even noticing. (Good thing, or I'da had to beat down some Dutch ass.) It had to be hardy; it's sited right in the path of a venturi effect; where the Northeaster comes cracking through and ramps off the corner of my house, which makes the wind gust even faster and adds some turbulence. This same nearly beat my poor armandii clematis to death, but the kousa never even lost a twig.

Come to think of it, I have a fair working knowledge of what works in a cold, windy site. Here's a map of mine:

...and that does not make me your map bitch; it just means I'm helpful. Sometimes.


  1. I mowed the yard Sunday and I didn't pass out. I am so proud of me!!!!

  2. gale: oh I'm feelin ya. and i have a riding lawnmower!

  3. **TWIT ALERT**
    (...because here I launch into saying exactly what you insisted I not. 'Cause I'm a rebel like that and stuff.)

    Well, I came from Oregon too, and we sat around the goddamned dinner table talking like motherfucking William Shakespeare most of the time. And it wasn't even Ashland. So I have no idea what you're talking about. But let's pretend for a minute I do: So fuckin what?!?!? Whacher point? Oregonians are just different from the rest of us. Did you fear moving to Washington like I did? Were you raised to believe that for every cent a Washingtonian spent on state sales tax, one of their brain cells died? And how anyone driving on I-5 with Washington plates seemed to provide evidence of this truth? Not to mention what all those gas fumes would do to your cognitive functions if you ever got close enough to pump your own petrol. Really, being from Oregon is kind of like graduating from a cult if you think about it...

  4. You're intimidated by people who can carry on a conversation while aesthetically and healthily pruning a tree? Shit, if ida known that i coulda scared the crap outta you YEARS ago! You should see me work, bitch!

    Also, "Because I'm right, and now I'm moving on to another subject" is the best line in the history of history. I will be using this. A lot.

  5. fuck how all ya'll speak, sumbuddy com'on ova heah and fix up mah yard! it looks like shit!
    please xoxox

  6. dangerPanda: hell yeah! it is like a cult; a cult of swearyfaced california haters who run around wearing black. been back to portland recently? swear to god it looks like the eighties all over again. or a big ol fuckin' funeral. it was a pleasure being back among people who can swear like adults without having to add that weird little emphasis like a bunch of jr. high kids.

    cb: girl, i have to stand and consider. and then i'm never sure i did the right thing. I can market trim with the best of them but to prune for growth? nerves!!!

    savannah: you want sheeit? click on the picture of my magnolia. by which i mean to say, ask chaucers bitch because I IS BUSY.

  7. EH?

    I hope you took the Weed Whacker to that big ole bush of yours.

  8. mj: more like a whip and a chair, hon :)

  9. Iyaant is the proper spelling, by the way. The "a" is a bit drawn out in proper west coast fashion.

    and in keeping with washington phoenetics, "Maaaaaaaan, fuck all y'all. AND the horse you rode in on."

    "Maaaaaaaan, fuuhhk all'y'allAN' th' horse y'rode inon."

    Ask anyone, we are horrible slurrers of words.
    Comes from years of drunken loggers and fishermen.

    At least that's how it sounded when I said it.

  10. Well ... I thought 'tidying up the front yard' and 'Mowing the back lawn' were euphemisms.
    How wrong I was !

    Oh and SSA

    ( ! )


  11. Hell Yeah , I would be intimidated by someone who could prune a tree and converse at the same time . I have enough trouble walking and talkin without tripping over me knuckles :-(

  12. Go Fuck Yourself!


  13. hendrix4:13 AM

    My mum can prune and carry a conversation at the same time, although it is difficult to hear her over the noise of the chainsaw.

    Seriously though, pruning aesthetically isn't too difficult. Just chop the branches back to the first shoot of the new growth. You do have to keep stepping back though just to make sure that you're not cutting too much off one section although this is - if you're on a stepladder holding a chainsaw, where you start to encounter problems.

  14. Gardening at Tickers Towers, is limited to the minimum machete work necessary to find the garage.

    Pronounced Garige, or if you're from South Wales, Gaaaarige,
    not Garaaaage

  15. it's obvious you've spent way too much time talking to me. you've even got the correct spelling of y'all down.

    down here, we just simplify it and say fuck y'all. everything else is implied.

  16. SSA: you're right all the way down the line. I thought about adding that extra 'a' too, to 'Iyant' but then decided it looked too norweigan. but then, you gotta think 'whos the major ethnic group in white seattle', right? Norweigans. or however you spell it. you are so smart!X

    beast I&II: but you vaccuum naked. what are you tripping over then?

    frobi: show me how, ratty! XO! (i have a surprise for you. I'll sidebar ya.)

    hendrix: I know. theoretically, I know how to do this. in practice, i worry about hurting the plant and making it do things that it doesn't want to. because I am a big ol dork.

    tick: in this corner of the country its pronounced 'Grr Roj'...slurred all together-Groj. as in 'we're goin out t th groj an get wastd, k?'

    pink: a lot of people from the south 'migrated' en masse to oregon during the civil war, and then again during the Dust Bowl era. visit a town called Alger about 11 miled down the road from bellingham here and you'd think you were in Georgia.

  17. Wow, and not one of those on your map grows down here. Impressive. But I bet my Texas sage beats yours.

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  19. fuckers beat me to all my punch lines.... thatswotigit fer showin up late...

    fun post.
    *turns around and pees on tree*

  20. ...
    Don't even get me started on the local accent where I am...
    'E's optional, 'eh?' added randomly to end of sentence like horrid mock Canadians and no difference from one end of the country to the other. Oh sure, they'll tell you there's a difference, and when you've been here long enough you even believe you can here it. But they're wrong. Very wrong.

  21. Oregone id a fucking sesspit of swearing, example: "theres no fucking salmon left" who is this North easterner you speak of he sounds like a right cunt.

  22. I know exactly where Clatskanie is. I don't need no fuckin' maps. It'swhere my friend Bren use'ta live.