Friday, April 3, 2015



I wrenched my back last week ... planting a pot of flowers on my front lanai.  Thank goodness ice/heat and Aleve have so far kept me from the Doctor's office.  It's annoying to realize there are some things I just can't (or shouldn't) do.  Now that I think about it, Mr. Ralph always wore his Home Depot back support so I may have to invest in one of those.

The flowers are taking hold and I hope by the death anniversary, I can show you a photo.

This Maui yard is pretty low maintenance.  All the plants and trees have their own little water supply.  But with this perfect weather, things grow so quickly and have to be divided or reduced every 6 months or so.  Palm trees shed a frond about once a month (I have 8 or so ....)  They also go to seed about once a month and you have to pull those things off as well (I have to cut them)  Standing tip toe, leaning forward and pulling ... all at the same time ... is hard on anyone's back!

Thank goodness I don't have any coconut palms.  Yesterday some neighbors had to hire someone to climb up 50 ft and prune and remove coconuts!  Would hate to see that bill ....

So I called Mr. Ralph's muscular yard helper, Chico.  He didn't respond to my text for a couple of days so I was worried he was no longer doing side jobs (he has two other full time jobs).  But he did text and came to see how to help.

He has the day off from one of his jobs as it is Good Friday (Hawaii is very Christian) so he arrived before 8am to remove some plants that weren't well suited for their location.  Rake and blow the rock yard.  Attend to those palm trees.  Rearrange some big heavy potted bamboo.  Trim the night blooming jasmine (it grows way too fast but it smells so amazing ... at night!) and general clean up.  Fertilize everything.  Treat the fragile ones with bug and mildew protection.

Chico does a great job and is always so upbeat.  Despite working so many hours, helping his wife raise three handsome boys (married at 17) and bringing family members over from Mexico whenever he can.  And affordable.  

I'm just going to have to remember to ask (and pay) for help.


  1. I figured that out after Don's stroke, that I couldn't do yard work without his help. I don't know about you but I took my husband for granted when it came to doing many things around the house and yard.

    I'll bet your yard is really beautiful!

  2. I've never had help with my yard--even when I was married. Now, I have down scaled so much. Most flowers are in pots on my porch. A couple of perennial gardens--easy to tend as they are so full with plants that nary a weed has room to grow. I hear those Tommy Copper back/knee/shoulder braces are terrific.

  3. I'm so glad you mentioned the back support. H is moving things around, trying to prepare for the move. I will make sure he runs up to Home Depot and gets one of those.

    Sometimes it's difficult to ask for help, but it's important. My sister lived in Florida, and I remember how she talked about the maintenance of palm trees. I hope you back feels better soon.