Off In The Weeds

Maybe I’ve been self-isolating for just a little too long.  I’m talking to weeds now, and it almost cost me a friendship.

But it wasn’t my fault that I apparently phoned my very nice neighbour and told her she wasn’t welcome at our place.  No; the blame lies with our strawberry patch, and rampant weeds.  (It’s good to be a fiction writer — we can manufacture bullshit to rationalize even the most egregious behaviour.)

Here’s what happened:

Our garden is in full swing, which is my oblique way of admitting that we planted far too much as usual.  I’ve picked 150 pounds of strawberries so far, and everything else is doing its best to compete with that over-the-top-abundance.  And when I say, ‘everything else’, that includes the weeds.

But the strawberries didn’t quit after yielding 150 pounds. They were still pumping out ten pounds of berries every second day when I cried ‘Uncle’ and started inviting friends and neighbours over to pick. (Thank goodness we have lots of room so social distancing was easy.)

One of our neighbours planned to drop by sometime in the late morning, and she said she’d call before she came. I was outside weeding and enjoying the beautiful weather, so I stuck the phone in my pocket.

Spotting one of those long vine-like weeds wrapped around a potato plant like a malevolent steel cable, I hunkered down to unravel it.

“You’re… not… welcome here!” I growled, just as the phone handset beeped.

When I took it out and checked the display, my heart plummeted: “Missed call”, along with my neighbour’s number.


I dialled her back, and she picked up immediately.

“Um…” I began sheepishly. “Did I just, um… hang up on you?”

“No,” she replied, sounding puzzled.  “I didn’t call you yet.”

Whew!  I had pocket-dialled the call list; not my neighbour.

I sagged with relief and explained the situation, and laughter ensued.  It was a little embarrassing, but I figured it was better to be that weirdo who talks to weeds than that rabid bitch who invites people over and then rudely rescinds the invitation.

And as soon as I got off the phone, I yanked out that weed with extreme prejudice.

I’d love to report that I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t talk to weeds anymore; but that would be a lie.  The only thing I’ve actually learned is not to carry the phone to the garden.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who talks to weeds…

Book 16 update:  Initial plotting is almost complete, and I’m hoping to start putting words on the page this week.  Woohoo!

48 thoughts on “Off In The Weeds

  1. Oh I laughed out loud. Totally something I would do.
    I’m currently in deep discussions with my neighbour’s houseplants. He is away for three months and I, without a hint of green to thumbs, am in charge of keeping the bloody plants alive. Each time I visit I coo and whisper sweet nothings, with a hint of threat should any of them drop a leaf. Hmmm I wonder if he has indoor video security?


    • Uh-oh. That might be some good blackmail footage. But if you keep his plants alive until he returns, you should have some goodwill built up. I’ll cross my (green) fingers for you! 😉


  2. I didn’t get the plant-talking gene. But I do talk to myself more than is strictly necessary 🙂
    Your garden sounds wonderful. We’ve had weird weather this year – a week of cold, a week of hot, a week of cold, a week of hot, etc. The plants are revolting, and you can take that whatever way you wish – lol


    • Ha – love it! Our weather has been weird, too – cool and rainy all through June and the early part of July, and now we’re supposed to have a stretch of 30+ weather. At least my hot-weather crops are finally taking off! I might get watermelons yet…


  3. What do you do with 150 pounds of strawberries?? No, I don’t swear at the weeds. I save it all for the current occupant of the White House. Sometimes I talk to the plants, but not to encourage them. If they aren’t doing well I remind them by saying, “You can be replaced, you know?” Sometimes negative reinforcement is the only thing they understand when coddling doesn’t work. Water helps, too.


    • “Water helps, too” – LOL! As to the strawberries, well… 20 pounds went into a batch of hard strawberry cider, 20 pounds got smushed into vodka to make strawberry liqueur, we ate about 30 pounds fresh, and the rest are in the freezer. Last year I ate frozen strawberries every morning until about February, so I’m hoping this time around they’ll last until the next fresh strawberry season. 🙂


  4. I talk to my dog. That’s almost the same as talking to weeds. I also talk to myself, something that never gets me in trouble! This is the time of the year, where I wish I was your neighbor – nice weather and an abundance of fresh, tasty, and healthy goodies. I remember last summer’s abundance of tomatoes, I believe it was. Strawberries smell so much better… and might make a decent sweet wine! 🙂


    • Great minds think alike! I just bottled 20 litres of cider yesterday. In about 3 months the final fermentation will be complete in the bottles and I’ll have fizzy strawberry cider. Maybe it’ll even be tasty; who knows? The tomato cider I made last year was surprisingly good, so I have hope. 🙂

      And yes, I’ll soon be supplying zucchini to the world again… or at least to all our friends and neighbours and the Food Bank. I planted about half what I did last year, so hopefully that will only amount to half a dozen zukes every couple of days. Still far more than we need, but I wanted both green and yellow. Yum!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course I talk to the garden. And to the birds. And sometimes to the clouds. And on occasion to the rocks/sticks which get in my way and cause me to stumle. Many of them (except the weeds) answer me too. I cannot blame the weeds for not replying either – I don’t talk nicely to them. At all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nope, weeds don’t get my “polite voice”. I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m perfectly happy working my way through the garden with a hoe in 30C+ weather, sweating up a storm and knowing that those freshly-exposed weed roots will be frying to death in the hot sun. 😉


  6. I talk to my plants all the time, like hurry up already, grow! Weeds are not treated so well, they get pulled or sprayed with glee, that’ll teach them. My ongoing problem is with dandelions and portulaca, others try to move in on me too. My garden is getting so overgrown that I have to wear full coverage to get the raspberries. No more room for even one more delightful addition until I gift some of mine to someone else. That’s what’s so wonderful about the garden. Deer are patiently waiting on the other side of the fence where I will drop sunflower heads when they are ready, unless the squirrels get to them first! Keep up the good work, love your blogs as much as the books!


    • Thank you so much – that really means a lot to me! Now I’m smiling. 😀

      Your garden sounds wonderful. We’re still carving gardens out of the gravel and forest, so I just nicely get one bed filled up and then I build another six. For the first time in my life, I have enough room to plant everything I want to buy. Now the problem is finding the budget to buy it! 😉

      Our sunflower heads stay on the plants. Before we have a chance to cut them off, the Steller’s Jays fly in and make off with all the seeds. That’s fine with me — I’m happy to give them free meals!


  7. I’ve saved the most colorful language in my repertoire for working on the cars lately. It’s always some stupid little fastener I can’t reach that I’ll spend an hour on, when the entire rest of the job took not much more than an hour. I have to watch it, though–the neighbor next door was outside one day a couple of years ago and probably caught the end of one of my tirades. And they have a 4- or 5-year-old now with curious ears, so I’m even more careful than usual. Especially when I make up my own colorful words and phrases. That’s not something that would go over very well in the playground I’m sure!

    I’ve never carried that over to a phone, however–I keep mine tucked away in the garage while I’m working outdoors. I think everyone is so used to my calls going to voice mail that it’s easier for them to text me these days.


    • The toughest years of my life were when my nieces and nephews were young and impressionable. I tried SO HARD to censor myself; and apparently I succeeded. When they finally became adults and realized what a potty-mouth I really am, they were shocked. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

      As for automotive work, I haven’t done any lately. I haven’t been driving anywhere, so there’s nothing pressing that needs to be done. Even the winter tires are still on my car — it just hasn’t been a high priority to change them over. And in only two and a half months, I’d have to put them on again anyway, so… ah, whatever.


      • I successfully filtered myself around my own kids, but around them, things usually weren’t at the anxiety level of working on something outdoors. The cars are an ongoing situation here, though. I found a car for my youngest and have been working on it when I’ve had available time–she’s borrowing my daily driver until I get this back on the road (another couple of days should do it). Mainly refreshing the front suspension and replacing the steering rack, and applying a ceramic coating to the paint. Once that’s done, our dailies need some minor repairs, detailing and maintenance done, and the spare car needs to have its engine torn down again to replace the piston rings (once the other cars are done). I have an older vehicle here that I haven’t driven in a few years that needs to get patched up and running so I can sell it. And time’s ticking away! The warm weather to do all this will be gone in a couple of months.

        No worries about the winter tires here–our snow has diminished to where we get a handful of minor snowfalls throughout the year and maybe one large storm every two or three years. Our dailies have all-wheel drive and ABS, so the limited situations we might get into are handled well enough. We never get enough snow and ice to bother with snow tires, in other words. I can imagine your neck of the woods is a completely different story! We had more snowfall when I was a kid…and no, it wasn’t because I was a few feet shorter and the snow looked taller. 😁

        We haven’t driven much either. Mainly to run errands. My youngest has to drive down to school to work a couple of days per week and will have limited classes to attend once it starts back up in late August. Kind of sucks that her senior year of college will be anything but normal.


        • That is too bad. It must be tough for all the kids who graduated this year, and also for those who will have to deal with the complications of going back to school in the fall.

          Wow, it sounds as though you’re a full-time auto mechanic these days! That would be tiresome — I only enjoy wrenching when I don’t have to do it. I’ve been wishing for some time (and budget) to tinker with my ’53 Chevy, but we still haven’t completely finished our garage yet so it’s currently hemmed in by building materials. Maybe next year…


      • The toughest years of my life were when my nieces and nephews were young and impressionable. I tried SO HARD to censor myself; and apparently I succeeded. When they finally became adults and realized what a potty-mouth I really am, they were shocked. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing…
        Me, to my mother-in-law: We try not to use bad language in our house.
        My kid: The hell we don’t.


  8. I talk to my plants, inside and outdoors all the time: ” Push it out for Mummy… Or I will throw you on the compost heap!” Swearing at weeds is good for your mental health. And I talk to myself, too. And it isn’t crazy at all. So there. It’s genetic. My mother was able to have conversations between several people and she was so good at imitating their voices that you could recognize who was talking.


    • LOL! I can only imagine your mother’s conversations — what fun that must have been! And hmmm, I haven’t tried threatening my plants yet. The veggies don’t need any extra motivation, but I’ve got a few wimpy miserable perennials that don’t seem to have much will to live. Maybe a bit of *ahem* …”encouragement” …would help.


  9. Weeds I’m pretty much indifferent to. I’ve been known to yell at neighbors, of course, but only if their wretched dogs wouldn’t shut up. And that’s been a while, now. It’s other drivers these days. Fair game. Simple as that. 🤪


  10. I talk to lots of things I don’t have a garden but I talk to the food I make as I cook. It could also be coz I live alone.

    We had our first meal with some one outside the family it was great so life is getting better.

    I’m still hosting murder mysteries at work but I think this one will be the last as we have our phone system back so I don’t think we will have time to have fun.

    I’ve also been kinda volunteered to be a mental health buddy at work not sure how it will work but I’m sure I’ll make it work

    Hugs to all
    Karen xx


    • Being a mental health buddy sounds like a lot of responsibility – kudos to you for taking that on. I’m sure you’ll do a good job. And I guess it’s good that your work environment is slowly returning to normal, but it’ll be sad to lose the murder mysteries!

      And you’ve made me feel better about conversing with weeds. I’ve never actually talked to my food (although sometimes I feel as though I should apologize when I’m chowing down on a particularly rare steak). 😉


    • Ah, yes, I’ve had several high-volume conversations with various electronic devices. It’s probably a good thing they can’t understand what I’m saying… or do they? If you get news that I’ve been electrocuted for no apparent reason, you’ll know what happened. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sure in Lockdown here in the UK I wander round my garden when I am working talking to the trees lol. P.S. Enjoyed book 15 so much have gone back to book 1 and started again now on book 4 have to false myself to put kindle down at night and go to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that makes my day, David – thank you! 😀 And I’m glad I’m not the only one walking around my yard muttering. At least our garden is far enough away from everything that no passersby can see my lips moving…


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