Recently I read: "Life is what is happening while you are making other plans." That's so true.
Last week I had a lot going on, so I sat down with my calendar and my note reminders and saw that I would be able to attend all. Two were funerals of long-time friends, a dinner party, (love 'em and usually miss them) back to back doctors' appointments for Don's hearing aids and the foot doctor. Well, that's enough. I could make it all.
Friday I was carrying my dust mop and oil upstairs, and when I made the ninth step, down I went, backward, screaming all the way and landing on the back of my head and right side.
With his new hearing aid Don heard me. At the hospital and after X-rays, I learned I have a brain concussion and badly crumpled body. I missed three functions I had planned. Next, last night I heard Don screaming my name, and I ran to the kitchen to find him in a pool of blood. What to do? Blood everywhere. Will they say I stabbed him? I grabbed a germy dish towel and tied off his leg above the gusher near his heel. Then I hunted a clean towel (forgot where I kept them). Then I just pressed it against the gusher, and with one hand dialed my dear nurse neighbor, Mary Feess, and Ray.
They came quickly and agreed we needed an ambulance. He was bleeding to death before our eyes. I was able to get him to tell us his name. Those guys on the ambulances are able to get things under control pretty quickly.
Over the hill folks whose kids live a couple of hours away are so very fortunate if they have caring neighbors.
Oh, you are probably wondering if I stabbed Don, and though I didn't, I may sometime if I again catch him whittling away at a mole, just hanging there by a thread. I guess its root went down into a vericose vein and the blood gushed. I'm not kidding when I say there was probably a half-gallon of blood on the rug. His face was very white. Today he says he's very weak and he has no balance. Sounds like me.
Enough of that except to say I learned the value of having a couple of deep inches of carpet placed at the foot of the stairs.
I had so many items planned out to write about in this week's column. So much for "life is what is happening, not what you are planning."
I've looked for the article I wrote last, and I think I said I would like a Seven Son tree and a paper bark maple. I have, until the last few years, planted a memorial tree on Arbor Day to a school or person at the Arboretum. Washington School, at its closing, comes to mind, and Earl Seifert, for his on-going dedication.
I believe Memorial Day is upon us, and that's all the reason I need to plant one of those two trees in my own yard. I love flowering garden trees (short). I have a Japanese lilac tree that I reported was dying last year. It needed more sun to flower well, but I see it is leafing out on all but three branches.
It's odd, but I have just been reading one of last year's February copy's of "The Kansas City Gardener." There are pictures of my two trees of interest, with an article "Choose Top Performing Trees." Since I took up so much space writing "The Well-Being of the Seeleys," I will scan this article and tell you what we need to know. These two trees are worlds apart in appearance and style.
They each have won several awards for being the best well-suited for our area.
Both are small trees with Asian origin.
Thought for years to be a pampered garden tree, paper bark has proven to be a street-tough, urban survivor, too. Few trees can match the winter appeal of its hardy pest and disease resistance. Its cinnamon bark exfoliates in long, paper-thin curling tendrils. It's a multi-stemmed tree with red fall foliage. No hint as to where one could buy one.
Seven Son is a rugged individual, unique in form, flower and foliage; it's strongly textured bark makes the multi-stemmed shrub or small tree a stand out in your garden. Petite, fragrant flowers appear in clusters of seven in late summer when most flowers have bloomed. They attract birds and butterflies. Pretty year-round, winter is the season when curling ribbons of grey-brown bark are outstanding against white snow. The tree forms also do well in parking strips, where they can be pruned up. They reach about 14 feet tall and spread to 10 feet. Glossy green summer foliage is lush; leaves are narrow, pointed and thick and they turn yellow in the fall. They resist drying winds.
A friend called and asked for help "mending" her older, taller foundation planting.
I have a similar problem where a large azalea in a hedge has died. One hates to replace it with a shrub smaller than the rest. I have to use an expensive azalea in order to get a large one. Betty has another problem on a southeast corner, where there is lots of sun. She is replacing a 15-foot spruce ($40). She needs one very tall plant. Ravennae grass (gets 16 feet tall and costs $14) would be the best replacement for the tall spruce, which is evergreen. Ravennae can take a very hot locale, and if it seems too thin, I have planted a half circle of yews around the base. Where can she get it?
Ornamental grasses are easy on the budget and can fill the bill. There is one to fit every height and color.