Working Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I have been slowly putting in planting beds.  I figure if I get them all set up this year, next year I can just order plants and put them in without all this sweating and moaning.  I did get three kinds of daisies planted, none of them Shasta (those are going in somewhere else).  I have Big Plans and a Black Thumb, so we’ll see.

What have you been up to?


43 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 16, 2018

  1. Hi Jenny!
    I was looking at a way to contact you and followed instructions from your main website to leave a comment there. 🙂

    I’m contacting you on behalf of the RARE Events team, as many of our attendees expressed their interest meeting you at one of our next events. French readers also mentioned your name and books and we’d love to have you in Paris next year!
    (Our next events will be Rome June 2018, Paris 6th, 2019, London 21st, 2019 and Edinburgh, June 27/28, 2020)

    Feel free to contacts us at rarevents2019 {at} should you have any questions.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Alleskelle – Co-Host & Graphic Designer, Rare Team

    1. Ooh, Jenny, see if they’ll pay for you to take a lovely cruise to Europe. 😁 of course, that’s a long time to be away from the doggies.

  2. I make pictures of flowers, so I can’t kill them. Or plant things that require zero maintenance, like trees and daffodils. I have enormous sympathy with your black thumb.

    1. So I clicked on your name to look at your website, and WOW. Your work finally got me to create an Instagram account. The North Atlantic tarot deck is unlike any deck I’ve seen.

  3. Yesterday I took a ride with my husband to the appliance repair shop in order for him to get a belt for the 17 year old drier, got to keep it running. The best part was stopping at Lowe’s garden center on the way home to pick up some basil plants to replace the ones that died within minutes of repotting them. Don’t know what caused them to shrivel up, their usually pretty hardy. But this was the first time I’ve seen purple basil plants so we bought some of them along with the green. I was also looking for lavender plants but no luck. Thought about getting a rhubarb plant so I could make my apple, strawberry and rhubarb pie once a year. Nah, I can buy a couple of stalks at the grocery store. So many good things, so much to see, a lot to plan. It’s all good.

    1. If these also shrivel up, you have to change the dirt and sterilize the pot. Basils after a while seem to pick up some kind of bug that stays in the soil. I used to be able to grow them in my vegetable garden and they were amazing. Then one year they started to wilt and I had to get new plants and put them in containers. Now I find myself thinking that I can get great basil at the farmers market for a few dollars and I don’t have to mess with another container.

  4. I bought culinary grade dried lavender with the goal of making lavender lattes. Unfortunately, the wonderful smell of it made my sinuses close immediately, even through the sealed plastic packaging. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve had a lavender latte, and my allergies have gotten progressively worse, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to enjoy them now. Maybe with a side serving of Benadryl?

    I’m also making books! Or at least stories. I’m working on the first draft of a contemporary friendship story (I call it women’s fiction, although that’s not a PC term in all circles). And I’m in the midst of final revisions of two Victorian romances (a novella and a novel). And now I have a new Anne Stuart VR waiting on my Kindle, so this will probably be more of a reading day than a writing one.

    1. Aw. I love lavender and use it mostly as an insect repellent (the only one that works for me, to be honest). If I became allergic . . . ugh. Hope your Benadryl works! And yay on the stories!

  5. Instead of planting flowers in my garden this past week, I’ve been building little brick walls around the edges of the borders, in a valiant effort to keep the dirt IN THE GARDEN and off the patio stones.

    So far, looking good, if a tiny bit, um, anal? I can’t seem to achieve a casual look in my backyard.

    Oooh, my aching back.

    1. You can do casual with anal underpinning. Saw the look this weekend while on house tour — veddy formal, substantial fountain, black, surrounded by different flowering grasses, and a couple of framing, lightly pruned shrubs leaning in over the arrangement. Anal, but it breathed.

    2. I think what really works is when there’s a good structure (which you’re building) with abundant plants spilling over it. It’s going to be great.

  6. Still working on growing kittens. Also facing a possible epic foster failure. I visited the local shelter yesterday and the people who manage it are not exactly warm and fuzzy. I think I could give the kittens up to individual people, but having trouble facing the prospect of tossing the kittens into the cold, cruel world of the shelter, with dogs barking in the background. Anyway, video at Instagram of sibling rivalry.

    As to planting, I really need to plant onion sets (bought on a whim after planning not to do much of a garden this year) and then whack All The Weeds. That’ll be my accomplishment for next Wed. Or not.

    1. Also while the shelter will help them find homes, it will also expose them to upper respiratory tract infection. I have adopted many kittens from shelters and every one of them had a respiratory tract infection.

      Is there an outfit like PURRfect Pals? These type of cat adoption agencies work with fostering pets out then adopting them out at pet stores. If they don’t adopt during the pet fair, the foster parent takes them home and they try again the next weekend. There are several different ones here locally. If you ask at the shelter, they might have a list. Or your vet might know.

      Most of them will charge money for the kittens but they usually neuter them and give them their first shots. Which is way cheaper then taking a free kitten and paying the vet to do all of that yourself ($100 versus $350).

      1. Thanks. I’ve got some time, so I’m looking into various options and didn’t know about PURRfect Pals. There’s an inexpensive spay/neuter option I can use, so I’m not so worried about that. Actually, not so worried about the money generally as I am about letting them go to a bad shelter environment, however briefly. Just breaks my heart.

  7. Yesterday I worked on getting my notes organized for the next draft of my WIP. I’m going to get as organized as I can by Sunday. Then I’m going to say “Screw it,” print the notes, stick them in a binder, and get started on the next draft.

    1. I have to give myself “screw it” deadlines, or I’d never get any manuscript done. And I’ve done it often enough that I know it’s just my process to waffle over the end of each draft, which could go on for months if I let it, so instead I declare it done for now, put it away to simmer and fix it in the next draft. Where, again, I’ll waffle over the last few chapters for too long if I don’t make myself stop.

  8. I am working very hard at ignoring my yard work, despite having some extra time at home. So far, very successful in ignoring. Away on vacation next week, which will be extra helpful in not working in yard. I may succumb to chopping out the dead bush right by my front door, but I am still hoping magical yard fairies come. Been waiting three years, but hope springs (pun intended) eternal.

  9. I’m working on me. I saw my doctor today and got a renewal on my meds. Also got a referral to a new talk therapist, who had an opening today. Now I’m waiting to hear about my xrays on my foot – probable stress fracture. But the bone spur didn’t look so bad.

  10. My students are almost done with their projects. Hallelujah!

    My neighbor didn’t like how often I (didn’t) mow, so took over my yard work. Which is nice right now, since I made an accidental fireball and burned my hand.

    I need to get back to writing and cut some glass for the Arts Festival. Neither of which is easy with serious burns on my dominant hand. So…. we shall see.

  11. I finished my annual pruning of the azaleas and camellia bushes in front of the house this past weekend. I was out early in the morning, but the sun bouncing off the walls of the house near the front garden made it a very hot and sweaty occupation. I stopped for a couple of breaks, and finally finished up about 11 am. I’d post an “after” picture, but the azaleas really look butchered. (They’ll recover – they always do.)

    So instead, I put up a picture of my cat Wendy, who nicely posed (in the bathtub) after I came back inside.

  12. I’m working on rebuilding stamina, energy and getting strength back in my right quad after completely tearing the tendon and having surgical repair back in early March. Between that and oral chemo, my physical conditioning is s**t. My physical therapy sessions leave me literally weak-kneed and more breathless than I should be.

    Ditched the oral chemo after four of six rounds. It was preventative post pre-surgical chemo, surgery and radiation. Got to the point where I think it was doing more harm (side-effects) than good. Get to ditch the knee brace next week. Starting to take short walks around the neighborhood, and daring myself (with PT’s permission) to actually use my right leg on a few steps, rather than just peg-legging it.

    Best wishes to everyone working on their gardens! (Maybe a little later this spring for me.)

  13. I am not allowed to do anything but rest yet. Although I did get some writing in between the naps. I’ve been trying to get my gardens to grow for fourteen years. I had some lovely ones that the exDH mowed over – I hate him – but then I hate everything right now. Instead of feeling mellow and happy I’ve gotten quite cranky. I’m irritated by all the filth and squalor that I am not allowed to clean up. If I was allowed to clean house, I wouldn’t give a shit about the layer of dirt the dogs and kids bring in every day. Wouldn’t clean a damn thing.

    Luckily, I keep falling asleep which makes me forget that I’m cranky until I go to do something and can’t.

    I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to buy mail order plants. They so rarely survive my lackadaisical gardening habits. I’m going to buy expensive plants already in bloom and just set the pots in the garden. When they die, which they will, (why is a cottage garden so difficult to achieve?) I will just pick up the pot and pitch the whole thing down the hill behind the garage. When anyone asks me why there is a pile of dead plants in pots in my pasture I will tell them it’s an art installation.

    Take that, stupid Vermont growing season!

    Oh, I am so cranky. which I guess is better than being numb.

    1. I’ve found buying just-before-flowering plants from a local, independent nursery works best. But then I don’t know your stupid Vermont growing season.

      Best wishes on your recovery. Sleep is good.

      I know just the sort of crankiness you’re suffering.

      1. I think you have the right Idea, Thea. I’ve been going for quantity over quality – plus I love being able to buy plants without going out into the world. I hate standing in the nursery wondering if the thing I’m about to buy is going to survive. When they come in the mail they already look dead so if they die I’m not so devastated. But its my birthday next week and I’ve hinted to my children that gift certificates to the local nursery would be welcome.

        The stupid Vermont Growing season is short and deceptive. Just when you think you’re going to get spring, it snows again. Or just an extra cold night to kill everything off. (I was raised in California. Complete opposite problem.)

  14. I spent a chunk of Sunday in the garden. Onion and strawberry plants are in, most of the seeds (carrots, lettuce, spinach, corn, soy beans, peas…although I planted 3 packets and literally got about a dozen little pea plants, so it looks like a pea-fail year), and six-packs of broccoli and cauliflower and kale. Plus a few herbs. Picked the first few asparagus spears this week.

    In other news, my back hurts…

  15. I made “brownie” cookies. It’s a new recipe and I’m hoping tho bring it to a evening event tomorrow. Very forgiving for roll out cookies and smaller child even helped!

  16. I planted bright orange daylilies to keep the neighbors from knocking down my mailbox. (That’ll be three in two years.) Now the skies are helpfully watering the baby plants for me. After the storms on Monday and Tuesday nights, plus all day today, we’re expecting five more inches of rain by Friday night. I’m hoping for happy orange flowers later this summer.

    1. A friend had a man in their neighborhood that sped, drove drunk, etc and had a habit of taking out mailboxes.
      My friend’s family worked construction and he got an small I-beam and set it about 5-6 feet into the ground for his new mailbox post. Once it was clad in wood, it looked like every other post in the neighborhood.
      One morning they woke up to find the guy’s car wrapped around the new mailbox. He had been speeding through the neighborhood and in the I-beam versus a sportcar, the I-beam wins. The driver was uninjured and walked home, but couldn’t remember what had happened. He was upset when he came looking for the car later that day.

  17. I have nothing to show this week. I have nearly finished the binding on the quilt I posted last week. I made another cinnamon star bread for my church group on Sunday. I finally finished my self eval!!!!! Plus I read 48 applications out of 117 for a scholarship award committee that I’m on.

    As for gardening, my hubby takes care of that. Not really my thing. I do trim the bushes. Maybe over Memorial Day weekend…

  18. I just have been having the toughest time physically this spring. I set out a few plants, and then I need two days before my body feels up to even trying to set out a few more. I kind of wonder if there’s something in the soil — or maybe bending and stooping really is good exercise and it’s wearing me out.

    But anyway, I transplanted a bunch of dill seedlings from the greenhouse (where they take over) to the garden. Supposedly, they don’t like being transplanted, but the thing is, they would probably be weeded out anyway if I left them in the greenhouse, so . . . at least they have a chance for survival this way.

    If it’s not raining too hard tonight, I might be able to fit in session three with the planting: four extra cucumbers and some lettuce (I’m talking about maybe four meters worth?). Babysteps; the garden is already in better shape than it was last year, and even an hour’s worth of work now will really pay off in the autumn.

  19. I spent Working Wednesday in labor and am now a mother of two! Currently enjoying my enforced 48-hour stay in hospital with husband and #2 while toddler has a SLEEPOVER PARTY!!! with Nana. I’ve only logged in to my electronic classroom to micromanage the sub plans twice, which I consider a victory!

    Favorite pictureso so far, also courtesy of Nana:

    More pictures posted below that, and more to come, I’m sure.

    1. Peggy, I think no one but no one can top your coup of the Working Wednesday group. Congratulations! Picture perfect!

    2. LOL, almost like Working Wednesday was Labor Day! Congratulations, and what a beautiful picture!


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