Re-use goof-up
I guess I re-used that talcum powder shaker one time too many. And yeah, I guess I knew that the bottom plug no longer fit tightly. I guess the housing was cracked.

Still, what a surprise when that cloud of powder flew. Onto pantleg and shoe and sock, onto the toilet seat, the rest of the toilet, the bath rug, the linoleum, into the little trash can. And into the air. Whew!  Is that why they call it the “powder room?” One more reason to switch to cornstarch–isn’t talcum unsafe to breathe?

Took me a day to decide how to clean it up. I could picture the vacuum cleaner bag emitting white puffs in future vacuumings. The alternative of a wet rag sounded like a pasty mess. I ended up using a bit of rag I could just garbage afterwards. And I washed the trash can (the smell was lingering).

Natural soil improvement–or not
While I’m thinking of it, we’ve had an apparent backfire in one garden bed. The green idea of applying compost on top of poor soil and let time and worms and microbes make a good soil structure. I think it is still a good idea, but not in every case.

The dirt that was turned up for the patio excavation and placed behind the retaining wall was kind of OK along one portion of the wall, but at the end it’s been a bed of death for a succession of plantings, even with the planting hole well amended. I didn’t listen to the contractor who suggested we could haul away the dirt– he’d just shaped into place!–and bring in fresh topsoil.

Even the native deer ferns, our last attempt, died or look bad. But the hardy geranium that crawled over from the neighbors’ garden is doing well. Go figure. We know we  messed up on one shrub–when a buck pushed it over we failed to get it re-planted in time to prevent substantial root death. And we didn’t have quite enough sun there for native lupine. But the lupine didn’t even make much attempt the year after we planted nice big ones.  It’s the soil. Maybe the original contractor put some nasty stuff into what he buried under the original deck, and we brought it up unawares. We’ll never know.

But most times, greener actions are working out fine, so I will plow forward, so to speak. And try to retain my sense of humor.

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