Friday, 30 April 2010

No Thinking Allowed

"The finest people marry the two sexes in their own person."  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Apropos of nothing ... but I like the concept.

Yesterday I finally finished the taxes ... I know I made mistakes but I finally said "That's it!  They can figure it out," and I drove to the post office and deposited both envelopes.  The post mistress gave me the name of someone in Masham whom I will burden with my taxes next year.  Then I went to Le Hibou and ordered their most decadent and delicious platter of smoked nachos and drank two glasses of red wine to celebrate coming out from under the cloud of taxes.

I get utterly frustrated while working with the figures, explanations and tiny almost invisible lines and numbers.  I hate moving back and forth among the guide, the form, the extra sheets to fill in and the receipts and other documentation.  It is not the arithmetic involved.  That is no problem.  It is the chaos of trying to keep that many details aloft all at one time.

I find it as difficult as working with drawings of three dimensional objects and attempting to see the spatial relationships among them.

I empathize completely with people who are dyslexic and others who cannot function in our literate world when I am faced with a task that demands competence in areas where I am sadly deficient.

I have several areas of incompetence ... and they seem to proliferate as the world becomes more complex and my brain ages, but taxes are one of those things that we all should be able to handle ... just like we should all be able to read, operate a computer, and drive a vehicle, because those are now just basic life skills.

On a much more pleasant subject, a neighbour gave me some hydrangea roots ... they are the bushes that produce those lovely snowball flowers that turn russety in the fall.  I dug the holes for them (huge holes requiring removal of very large rocks), one in a corner within the perimeter of my new garden, the other just outside the perimeter near the opposite corner.  I prepared the biggest  hole with manure and fresh soil and tea leaves, and the other with the addition of crumbled egg shells.  This morning I gave them both a drink of tea before making my own pot. (No, I didn't pee on them, despite the fact that they like urine.)

I have some wood ash, but I think it will make the soil too alkaline for these shrubs.  Apparently hydrangeas like coffee grounds, citrus peel, as well as urine and tea ... and they might even turn blue or pink with the right PH.

I have also heard that copper added to the soil will encourage blue colouring. I have a bunch of copper piping that I want to use for trellises.  Do you suppose my green and yellow beans will turn blue if I use them?

Today I intend to accomplish tasks that make absolutely no demands on my intellect.  I will paint the garden furniture with the next coat of varnish and take my car to the village where I will vaccuum it and get it washed.  I also intend to eat chicken breasts done with oranges (so the hydrangeas can have  a treat later), basmati rice and some fiddleheads I picked yesterday afternoon at my secret spot on the other side of the lake.

If I decide I need some mental stimulation later I will do my April accounts and continue reading my newest book, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White.  I just finished reading Ten Chickens for a Saddle by Robyn Scott... can recommend both.   Outcasts is about a man imprisoned for bank fraud in a leper colony, and Ten Chickens about a family that throws off their new Zealand life to raise their children in Botswana. Both reveal a great deal about what is important in life, but I think Ten Chickens is a better story ... less earnest.

And now I am off in pursuit of unthinking pleasures.  Have a great weekend.


Barbara Carlson said...

Pleasing post. Thanks.

It tells a lot about your life that you think not only of your own dietary interests & rerquirements, but those of your plant-life. Citrus treats for Every-Body!

Doing your own taxes is like drilling your own teeth -- get over it and hire somebody! It is a waste of your resources better put to creative endeavours. (Not that tax reports can't be creative, I hear.)

But it is NOT a life skill. It is a specialization that always precludes doing something else that is more up your alley. We all specialize -- we can't be good at everything.
Besides, think of hiring out your tax forms as helping fill somebody else's rice bowl. Keep the money flowing and just skim off what you need.

Happy Spring!

Oma said...

I think I love you, Barbara ... you are always so very wise.

Barbara Carlson said...

Ha! But it takes one to know one!!

IrishGirl said...

I like Barbara's advice. I'm an art/English type so I married a math/science type. Yep, he did the taxes. Hey, I edit some papers for him so it works out. Really.
Your books make me think of The Poisonwood Bible. That book really changed my whole thinking on my life. The wonderful woman that worked with Tamarack and I at the gallery lent it to me.
When we bought our house, there was quite a patch of poison ivy in the backyard. We garden organically and everyone kept telling us to pee on it to make it go away. We never worked up the nerve but hubby crowded it out with other plants and that seems to have worked. Good luck with the hydrangea.