Queen for the day

15 April 2009
I've come full circle again, back to April 15, the day of my birth. I know of some people my age who don't celebrate their birthday. How sad. I grew up with a mother who made our birthdays special and although there was never a lot of money for gifts, my sister and I always knew it was a day when we would be queens for the day and our friends and family would be there to celebrate. Hanno wants to take me out to lunch today and later in the day, Kerry and his friend Sunny will be here for dinner and to stay the night. More celebrations. It looks like my mother was right (yet again), birthday are not days to forget, they are days to remember.

I have a few things to be done today, although I will make it my duty to sit and relax and have tea brought to me. I went to work yesterday so there is a bit of tidying up to be done and I have dinner to prepare later but overall, it will be a day of subdued, but ongoing, celebration.

Our vegetable garden is giving us grief this season. We've had so much rain, much of it falling as sudden bursts of hard rain, then on Easter Monday, we had heavy rain for 24 hours. I don't know how much we had because our rain gauge overflowed, but it was a lot. I just looked at our official readings and we've had 324.2mm (12.7 inches) this month alone.

The back creek through the trees. Late Monday afternoon, it was really flooding but it's quickly flowing away now.

I looked at the vegetable garden when I came home from work yesterday afternoon and it's not looking good. One of the loofahs has to be thrown out because it's rotting, so today I'll collect all of them, even the green and unripe ones, and allow them all to dry out on the back verandah. Then I'll pull out the vines add compost and plant some vanilla vines.

Bok choi and new beefsteak tomatoes. These are seedlings bought at the market but luckily I still have seeds to grow more brandywines and moneymakers, and will sow them today.

Our three types of tomatoes - brandywines, Amish paste and moneymakers, will all be pulled out as they've developed what looks like mosaic virus. I'm not sure if it is mosaic because that is usually spread by people who smoke or touch tobacco, but it might also be spread by insects. Whatever it is, the tomatoes have had it, so we'll pull them out, put them in a plastic bag to sweat and die for a couple of weeks, then send them to the rubbish tip. I have my doubts about the corn too. It looks wonderful now, but with all the rain it might go mouldy. So with that, we'll just have to stand back and wait. We are lucky that all this happened so early in our growing season and although it has put us back a few weeks, it's not a total disaster.

Kylie Black, Mary Black and Cocobelle Black. Cocobelle is the matriarch of the tribe, she is about five years old now.

Some of the chooks are sick too and it wouldn't surprise me if Margaret Olley, Lulubelle and Martha die. We'll have to clean out their coop and keep an eye on the flock, but the signs are not good for some of them.

It's very sad seeing birds fall ill that we've cared for and who have been a productive part of our backyard. We will take care of them and hope they survive this but if they don't they'll be kept comfortable till the end.

From tomorrow on, it will be full steam ahead with writing again. I'll be working on my book again, it's due back tomorrow after a reading, so there will be changes made and suggestions to think about. But today all that will be put aside. Today I have a lunch to eat, visitors to prepare for and celebrations to revel in, for today I am queen. :- )