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With the first breath of spring, across the country people take leave of their senses and imagine that everything that is exquisite in their garden centers will look exactly the same in their own yards. Brandishing credit cards, they fill their vehicles with huge 40-pound bags of soil additives, mulch and large, stunning pots that could weigh anywhere from 10 to 100 pounds. The saucers, which weigh 5 pounds, are always extra.

Plants and shrubs come, not sealed in nice plastic bags, but in great, big multi-gallon containers of really heavy dirt. In most families, who is the person who goes out and purchases these items? How often do you see them in pairs? Of course not, they travel alone.

At the garden center there are nice, big wagons to carry your purchases. Do you have wagons at home? Of course not. So how do you get all this stuff out of your car and into the yard? You drag, pull or carry it. What always happens the very next day after you unload? Right, nothing – you can’t move.

It is my suspicious mind that leads me to believe that those gorgeous gardening magazines and books could possibly be the work of greedy chiropractors and orthopedists. I think I may just be onto something! And as soon as I can stand up straight again, I will let you know the results of my investigation.


My sister has a veritable green thumb. She has the most beautiful yard and garden every year, except that one year when she received multiple visits from an armadillo with a voracious appetite for grubs that happened to live right underneath her most precious, blooming flowers. Her agriculture extension agent was no help, but I did offer a few ideas for getting rid of the nasty fellow – which she did not take. 


Diane’s top ten treatments to rid yourself of armadillos

 1. Move.

 2. Invite them inside.

 3. Tell your neighbors they are a species of very rare armadillos, the Pecadillo armadillo, and your yard has been declared a National Wildlife Preserve.

 4. Join a support group.

 5. Tell your neighbors you have hired them to aerate your flower beds.

 6. Dynamite.

 7. Pretend they are a status symbol.

 8. Try psychological warfare; leave a selection of recipes using armadillo meat lying around the yard.

 9. Train them to perform simple pet tricks. Appear on “The Tonight Show.” Become an overnight celebrity and move to Hollywood. People in California will all want armadillos.

 10. Spend a small fortune turning your yard into a giant amusement park for armadillos with rides and grub stands. Hang up a huge sign – Welcome Armadillos! You’ll never see them again.


When multi-tasking goes wrong

My sister and I talk on phone nearly every morning, usually while I am dressing for work. I put the phone on speaker and proceed with my hair prayer vigil and facial spackling. Yesterday I set my phone down on the bathroom counter next to my coffee cup while I studied the results of my labor in my new 50x makeup mirror. Yes, my pores did look the size of dinner plates, which reminded me of a really funny story. I grabbed my phone to give her all the delicious details when I realized that I was talking into my coffee cup.

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