“She’s a Brick House…built like an Amazon”

I love that song by The Commodores. When I’m doing hard physical stuff I plug-in those great dance tunes from back in the day, clip the ear buds to my ears and let ‘er rip.

Yesterday, I made a trip to the hardware store and bought their only machete. The latin machete is what I can find here in Texas. In Kenya it’s the Panga. There are two-handed machetes, Kukris and Bolos…choose your weapon but it’s one of the most useful tools around.

Latin Machetes

The clerk asked if I was mad at someone. I said no, that I had just finished looking at a garden full of gigantic weeds, wild geraniums to  be exact. I thought the machete would be my weapon of choice and that it came sharpened but it did not. I figured that out quick enough after a couple of swings that didn’t cut. So I walked to the house and to the kitchen drawer that holds the cooking knives. In there…a magic sharpener I bought at the feed store a few years ago.

Some women like to go to the mall for a day of shopping. I can stock a new house with a couple of trips to the feed store and hardware store.

So I got to work on the machete blade with the knife sharpener. Of course it isn’t made for machetes so it took some doing. I wonder if my husband will notice any difference in the sharpener the next time he tries to sharpen his knives?

Walking back to the weeds with my new sharp garden sword and ready to take my garden back, I waded in and started swinging. Some of the waist-high weeds gave it up with one whack, others, it took more but in a few hours there was nothing but stems sticking up and I stood over the stacks of defeated green leafy bodies like King Kong, beating my chest. Now to dig the roots…

“She’s the one, the only one…built like an Amazon…”

That was going to take some man power and shovels so I called in for reinforcements. Young and strong, Miguel and Manuel obliged me on that task so I could move on with the lighter more feminine work…spreading the corn gluten for weed control for the future and an organic spray for caterpillars.

One year, I was feeling all “lovey dovey” about bugs and plants and I sat out in my garden and tried to communicate with them. Tell you what...I started out. I get this area over here and you guys can have this row. How is that? I know you have to eat too, so I am willing to share. Weeds, if you don’t mind…could you please stay out of the confines of the garden. I mean really…you have the whole ranch and I’m trying to grow some of your brothers in this one spot. May I have it all to myself?

No, was the obvious answer, so I have resorted to new methods of communication.

Orange Corn Gluten pellets

A trip to the nursery for transplants of jalapeno, one or two tomato plants, cilantro, chard, lettuce and green beans and I will be on my way to the joys of gardening.

It is a joyous time, right? Bending over pulling the rebellious weed, watching the cats walk in and out of the plants doing, oh, I know what you’re doing… and keeping up with the watering and harvesting so we don’t all go to seed.

At the end of the day, it’s a feeling of accomplishment I think. Knowing we are eating the harvest of MY labor…

But no really, thanks God. Your miracles are never ending.Thank you for the horse manure, the microbial community and…your Grace that falls over my garden.

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