Friday, January 28, 2011

Of flakes and semi truck crud

February 005

And with that unlikely title, I’m off.  (Off what, you’re wondering: off your meds, off your rocker, or off to the grocery store?)  It’s been too long since I have written a completely and unashamedly useless post.  That’s why the “flake” part of the title gets inserted.  Truly, I have been a flake.  I’ll try my best to make it up to you all…. 

Why the word “flake” gets associated with being undependable, I don’t know.  What did poor flakes ever do to deserve this deprecating connection?  Snow flakes are beautiful (but they don’t last long unless it’s really cold and they can grow into a big pile).  Corn flakes* are repugnant, unless they are covered in honey, sugar, nuts, or some other flavor disguiser.  I know this because I’ve been trying to choke down corn flakes for breakfast lately, and only the ones encrusted in other flavors can bypass the gag reflex.  Flakes of gold are hard to come by, but maybe the next storm will blow some into town.

My flakiness has a root cause.  No, it’s not stubbornness.  Not today, anyway.  I have been hit with a bad case of semi truck crud, or STC.  Tuesday night: book club numero uno until 11:15pm.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And I wasn’t the last to leave.  But I did leave healthy.  A good night’s sleep followed.  And then, with no warning at all, I woke up with STC.  Symptoms include, fever, chills, fatigue, desire to ignore one’s own flesh and blood, and quite a bit of groaning and sleeping in turn.  Not nearly enough sleeping. 

The fever broke, and fifteen minutes later, I was at book club numero dos, but alas began to regret it around 9:30pm, when I was slightly alarmed to discover I was stuck to the leather recliner in a sweat.  I have no doubt the hostess donned a hazmat suit and debugged the chair after I left.

Day Two of STC finds me without a voice (hurrah, the children shout), and coughing.  At least my teeth aren’t aching anymore.  The desire to perform even the most basic tasks has evaporated.  And that left me thinking of times in the garden (and in life) when something happens and our priorities shift.  Like that time I grew fifty Delphiniums from seed.  They were gorgeous, but this is a story that doesn’t have a happy ending.  All the staking and fussing with them was a nightmare for my lazy self. 

And then, one day, that was it.  My desire to enter the garden plunged to nil because of all the work that had to be done with those plants.  I went from passion to disgust.  They were given away to garden visitors and my sanity was restored.  I entered the garden with joy once more. 

There are more reasons than sickness for garden aversion syndrome, or GAS (yes, I just made that up), but my sick/tired brain can’t think of any at the moment.  I’m off. Truly, this time.

Ever temporarily ended a horticultural affair?  What made you do it?  What brought you back?   

*Does anyone else associate corn flakes with John Denver or is it just me?  


  1. Christine, I love you and your blog, but you have now demeaned one of my favorite cereals and I don't know how to feel.

    Light, lovely corn flakes
    Breakfast of crispy goodness
    I'll eat yours, okay?

  2. Yes, I have ended my affair with my juniper bank. I had tons of rock brought in. Hubby built a retaining wall of dry stack rock. We put in a river rock dry bed for the drain field. And I planted junipers and sighed. It was lovely.

    But what we have in the Carolinas is a rabid case of wild Bermuda grass. Year after year, I would get on that bank and fight for the life of my junipers. Finally last year, I threw in the towel. I dreaded going outside, I dreaded looking at the bank it the front yard where at one time I was so proud.

    I brought in experts. They recommended I nuke the whole lot, put down plastic and try again.

    I have a bad case of GAS

  3. Frosted flakes, that's the way to go. Corn flakes look like John Denver's hair.

  4. I gave up on African violets when I was eight years old after managing to kill the first one I had ever owned in less than a month. Only in my sophomore year of college did I give them another try because I was desperate for something that might flower on my narrow, dark dorm room window sill. That plant, I am happy to report, is still alive and has since been joined by four more.

  5. Christine, funny as usual. The title intrigued me and useless or not it was a good read filled with funnies. Sorry about your illness though, I recently got over a bout of four days in bed, so I know how you felt. Never heard of STC though.

  6. I'm still laughing at GAS. You are too funny, Christine. I'm sorry you're feeling so under the weather or under the semi, if in keeping with your theme.

    I, like you had a case of GAS [ahem] with Delphiniums too and also hybrid tea roses or blackspot on a stick. I'm also not a fan of marigolds, petunias and lobelia--you know those old standby annuals for color bowls. I love them in other gardens but they don't belong in mine. Weird, aren't I?

    Now flakiness... I don't know where the term came from either but I proudly live it every single day. We should start a support group. NFS National Flakiness Society. :)

  7. I get GAS-y (ew) long about September/October when there is SO MUCH PRODUCE in the garden, and I've already been harvesting for months, that I start to freak out. I feel like it'll never stop. And the guilt from produce I SHOULD have cooked/canned/frozen/SOMEthing that I, instead, chuck to the chickens piles up. However, a knowledgeable friend told me that this is a reasonable thing to do: turn produce into eggs.

    I am in TOTAL denial about the Bermuda grass in my garden/yard, so I'm DEEPLY into GAS re: that issue. I just try to ignore it so I WILL go back into the garden. =)

  8. I read your post carefully but was unable to recognize why you call it "semi truck crud". Is that an Alaskanism I've missed? Can't agree with you on the cornflakes: If it weren't for cornflakes, my youngest daughter probably wouldn't be alive. Luckily, I forbade anything but unadulterated flakes from day one, otherwise she'd probably have type II diabetes by now if I'd allowed frosted ones.

  9. Barbara,

    I call it "semi truck crud" because it felt like I'd been hit by one. It's not an Alaskanism. True, longtime Alaskans would probably call it "Smacked by a Polar Bear" or "Fell off a Glacier" crud.



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