Our new and sustainable native garden is moving into the home stretch. The last swath of lawn is history.
This didn’t happen over night. First to go was the sidewalk strip almost two years ago. It took some convincing around here as both my husband and younger son like the look of the lawn. While I too can appreciate the lush, green swath of suburban grass we grew up with, it’s not sustainable. Four years of drought and mandatory water-rationing helped my case and the lawn is finally gone, replaced with California native plants that are more than happy to spend a summer without water.
Last fall, Mike agreed to removing half of the lawn in our back yard. When the boys were young they played for hours on the grass. As teens, their interests lie elsewhere. So over the course of a few weeks, I gathered cardboard and leaves and gradually sheet mulched the area. It worked beautifully. By spring of 2015, the lawn was history, leaving behind a nice, healthy, organic swath of earth. Calls for further rationing this summer meant turning off the sprinkler system entirely, leaving a sad-looking patch of dead grass in front of the house.
For years I mowed the grass myself. I had a manual push mower like my dad used to have and spent an hour each weekend mowing to and fro. I hated edging, but that had to be done too. Weeds grew among the turf, so out they went as well. Mowing a lawn week after week, I realized is less like gardening and more like mopping the floors. It had to be done, but it was tedious at best. Then I had a baby, and three years later his brother. My husband traveled extensively, sometimes gone for a week or more. We eventually hired a lawn service to come once a week and in local parlance, they did the “mow, blow and go.”
Now that all that grass is gone I feel liberated, but it’s come at a cost. I’ve put a friend out of a job. Nick took over the job of maintaining the lawn after Mr. Tran retired. Our sons went to school together. I hired Nick to build our little free library and I refer him to my clients for handyman jobs as well. Everything we do has a price.
My Left Foot
I saw my super-cool doctor again this week for my second post-op visit. She removed layer upon layer of bandages and gauze, the brace and finally the stitches. My foot looks other-worldly. The wound site is still tender but she’s pleased with the progress. They used cryogenic amniotic tissue to graft the damaged tendon. It’s supposed to reduce inflammation and speed healing while suppressing scaring and adhesions. Amazing! There’s a short video explaining the technology via the National Institute of Health I think it’s fascinating. Dr. Sheth sets a high bar for patient care and bedside manner. I’m so fortunate to have her on my team.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Two days before my foot surgery I had a skin biopsy on my arm. The dermatologist suspected squamous cell carcinoma. I got the call last week confirming the diagnosis and asking me to schedule surgery. It’s a thirty minute procedure, done by a skin surgeon in their office. They layer down till they get what they call the margins. With early diagnosis, there is a 95% cure rate. The scariest part of this for me is how quickly it appeared. I have skin checks twice a year because I’m at high risk for skin cancer. One day I was fine, and then a large, painful sore appeared on my upper arm. I was pretty sure I had some sort of insect bite.
If you’ve been putting off getting something checked, please schedule with your medical provider today. Early diagnosis is key.
I sat outside on the deck for about twenty minutes yesterday after the crew finished mulching. It was brisk but a welcome change of scenery. As you can see, I had company. These kitties bring me comfort every day.