up to my elbows in mud!

I decided today might be a good day to dig through the pots of spring bulbs and lift them out for storing, so I gathered supplies and got started. Labelled brown paper bags to put the bulbs in, a chair to sit on with a stool in front to rest each pot on in turn, a small shovel to dig through.

I dug first through the pots that had a white plastic label in them so I knew which bulbs I was collecting, then when I do the pots without labels I'll just have to match the bulb shape with what I have.  
I started with the ranunculus. You might remember that I planted one pot with those bulbs upside down?  Many of you said, don't worry, they'll still grow.

Well, they didn't and when I dug through the soil to get them out all I could find was two. The rest had just rotted away and vanished. Hopefully there will be more ranunculus in the other pot where I planted them the right way up. I don't know which pot that is, but I know they are the little claw shaped bulbs. 

Then I dug through a pot of freesia bulbs. Holy Moly! There were so many! I knew I'd planted plenty, but these had been busy multiplying. I lifted several that had a half dozen babies clinging to them and there were even more babies scattered throughout the pot. Ditto the starflowers (Triteleia); I planted 25 last autumn and collected about twice that number today.

I was doing this on the front porch and everyone that passed said hello and asked what I was doing. It was nice.

Then I decided I might as well lift the bluebells. The soil looked damp but the foliage was dead, so I sunk in the shovel.....damp is an understatement. That soil was sodden, almost a swamp in there. So I dug through with my hands, and got muddy up to the elbows. I'd originally planted 10 bluebells, but eventually pulled out many more than that. Being so wet, I'm not holding out much hope of them growing again next season, but I'll plant them anyway and hope. I have them spread out on a sheet of flywire (insect screen) to dry out before I put them into a brown paper bag.

So half the pots have been dug through and I've put the rest on hold, because my stomach is growling and after I eat lunch (ham sandwiches, yum) I'll be busy baking banana cake.  When I was at my daughter's house last Friday I noticed her bananas were getting over ripe so I offered to take them home and make cake. 
Well, they didn't survive the hot bus ride home, they were very brown and very soft by the time I got to my own kitchen. I tossed them out and bought new bananas on Saturday and they are just right now for making banana cake, which I will take to K's tomorrow when I go to check on Missy, her cat. 

Missy is 16+ years old and isn't well and a vet is coming to look at her and hopefully treat her sometime tomorrow. 
K has to be at work, so I will stay for Missy. 

She started losing hair quite fast a couple of weeks ago, she'd lost a lot off her back legs before this, but when I saw her last week Missy had lost a lot more and the revealed skin is covered in raw and scabby sores. I suspect a severe flea and mite allergy reaction, hopefully it isn't something worse. It has come on fairly fast, just a few months ago, Missy looked completely normal, so we didn't suspect anything and 90% of the time she is nowhere to be seen anyway. She lives outside and has done all her life. Doesn't even come when called unless she is hungry. 

Hence the vet visit. There is no chance at all of getting Missy to a vet clinic, most of the time we can't catch her and holding her is impossible. 
If the problem is fleas etc, I'll be dosing Missy myself from now on every time I give Angel his flea treatment.  She seems to tolerate me touching her, although in the past she wouldn't.

Picture me late tomorrow with shredded arms.

I'll be taking Angel's carrier to confine Missy until the vet gets there, it's going to be a horrendous day for her, she'll be distressed at being confined and getting her into the carrier is where I'll get my arms shredded unless I can do it quickly enough. I'll have a helper standing by holding the carrier and I'll take along a huge box of bandaids to apply after dousing any scratches with disinfectant. 

I've been getting Missy used to being handled while she eats the cat treats I take her, normally she hates being touched, and last time I held a handful of fur at the scruff as if I was going to pick her up and she didn't mind that at all, just kept eating the little crunchy salmon flavoured treats, so hopefully tomorrow when I grab her by the scruff, she'll be off guard and I can lift and shove (gently) her into the carrier.

Then on Wednesday I'll spend the morning re-settling myself by digging through the rest of the pots and collecting the rest of my spring bulbs.


  1. Nerves of steel without signs of nervousness and speed will win against cat claws. Good luck. I may have been one of the people who suggested the ranunculus would grow if planted upside down.

  2. Good luck with Missy tomorrow. I do hope she can be made MUCH more comfortable.
    Isn't it wonderful the way bulbs multiply. Exciting times ahead...

  3. Andrew; Missy is a very suspicious cat, I'm hoping she won't notice the friend or the carrier, if she does, she'll be gone, won't come near me even for the treats.
    There will be plenty of ranunculus next season even without the ones that vanished.

    Elephant's Child; I hope Missy is agreeable tomorrow. She's been coming readily for the treats, so I'm hoping I can get her into the carrier. Then I hope the vet says treatment is simple, but if it involves ointments to be spread over the sores, that will be a problem.
    I'm very glad to have so many more freesias from just one pot. There are three more freesia pots to go.

  4. Poor Missy...how distressing for her...and for you. I do hope she's okay and is on the mend soon.

    I used to have a cocker spaniel called Missy. She was a lovely dog.

    I hope Missy doesn't attack you too much with her claws. Hold her body close to yours, with her back legs firmly under your arm close to the side of your body; and hold her front legs down close to you as well. Or, perhaps use a thick towel or a blanket...or something similar to cover her with as you pick her up to put into the carrier.

    Be careful.

  5. All the best for little Missy and hooray for those who look after animal friends. And plant friends, too.

  6. You are a busy lady. I remember when you Iplanted the bulbs upside down. I was curious (but doubted they'd come up) because I recall doing the same thing some years ago. Ha

    I hate to "have" to do anything to a cat. If it's my cat's idea, it's OK with her, but if I come at her with a spray bottle, jar, pill or anything, she's outta here.
    Yummm Banana Bread

  7. Long sleeves and leather gloves for the cat handling adventure. Good luck. I hope the vet can help her.

  8. I hope you made out okay with Missy... and she made out okay, too. If it's fleas that's been causing the problem, she might have been lethargic enough to make your task a little easier, anyway. Poor thing.

    Do you pull up your bulbs every year? Mostly, I leave mine alone until they've multiplied so much, I have to do some separating. Tulips are the only plants that don't do well in the ground over the winter here. It doesn't get cold enough for them, so they rarely bloom a second year if they're left in the ground. They've gotta spend some time in the freezer. Poor things.

  9. Itching has to be the worst plague on mankind and poor animals. I hope she gets some relief after 24/7 misery. My periwinkles from two years ago decided to grow back just as the weather started turning chilly. They'd been MIA for two years and I've never heard of such a thing happening. And, they're coming up all across my bare garden! Not where they were originally planted. I have no idea what to expect from them!

  10. Lee; Missy was surprisingly amenable, I'd been talking to her about a vet coming to help her and I think she knew I was helping. She is a tiny cat, so my friend lifted her easily by the scruff and we had her in the carrier in no time at all. She hissed a bit, then settled down and went to sleep in there. :)

    Joanne; you'll be pleased to know Missy is going to be fine with extensive flea treatments.

    Manzanita; I remember another cat years ago, like Missy wouldn't be touched or cuddled and lived outside; came in one day after a fight with a gashed leg and allowed me to pat him. I told him I would wash his leg with warm water and soothing disinfectant and he let me. Then he disappeared for a week and came back perfectly healed.
    Perhaps I have 'the touch'.

    Delores; I had the leather gloves handy, but they weren't necessary. My friend had her in the carrier in no time at all, then she settled down.

    Susan; nothing lethargic about this feisty little cat! But she was surprisingly amenable, I'd been telling her what to expect so she knew I was doing it to help her.
    I lifted the bulbs because they are in pots and I want to put them in the ground next season. Last year was the first time I have ever planted bulbs.

    lotta joy; I'm sure Missy is much more comfortable now the vet has given her a strong flea killing injection and there will be ongoing flea treatments from me.
    No periwinkles here, I think they'd be too delicate for our heat.

    Now, I notice a 'please prove you're not a robot' box here. I didn't choose to have this and I don't know why it is there suddenly. If anyone has trouble commenting, let me know and I'll get it removed.

  11. The word verification seems to be a blogger glitch - and you can only remove it by changing your comments to 'embedded'. If you can, I would much prefer it because my eyes often find the numbers squidgy and blurred.

  12. Elephant's Child; the numbers are purposely squidgy and blurred, that's the whole point apparently. I don't really like the embedded option, I prefer the pop up window, but I'll get in there and change it.


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