October 6, 2018

I drove back late last night from Fresno, having spent the week with my brother Ben.  Hard days, providing him with total care with only brief bits of communication and glimmers of affect.  We sang as I sang for our mother in her last few years, reaching back for the songs of our childhood.  I was gratified that Karen was revived by three days with grandchildren and no responsibilities.  Ben did not respond to her when she came home, and it broke my heart.

The ranch had its restorative effect today.   I was preparing the porches and the gardens for the upcoming rainy season, even though sun is forecast at least through next week.  Simple joys such as the sparrow perched on a light fixture or the hummingbird on the roses, or the smell of the salvia when I supplement the water at the far end of the garden.  The ranch feels like the Fortress of Solitude from the Superman comics,  my place to be by myself and tend my garden.  With a short run to the Buena Vista corners for homemade tamales with rice and beans.

Oakland had its first rain of the season when i left for Fresno on Tuesday morning. Wrecks everywhere on the radio and on the freeway outside Lafayette.  Fresno had a long soaking rain on Wednesday, and I suspect the ranch had the same.  The garden did not go for eight days without water.

The supplemental water on the far end of the garden has had good effects.  The lantana has come back to life.  The dead wood I trimmed off the bayberry was surprisingly alive.

I fed the roses with the fertilizer spikes.  This will be third time this year: at the beginning of the growing season I believe in March, midsummer and now.  The days are still warm with highs in the 70s and 80s.  Last year the roses bloomed through December.

I applied the transplant starter for the second time.  The palm and the ivy are taking time to respond.  I trimmed more branches off the palm to encourage new growth.  The transplants went without watering for the eight days I was in Oakland and Fresno.  I will try lesser but more consistent water next week

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