Plan-Action-Completion, Where I Go Wrong: Container Gardening Edition

I bought a bunch of plants yesterday in spite of the fact that I have a black thumb: when I go into a garden store, the plants all scream cause they know they’re gonna die. But I bought plants, plants that whimpered in the car all the way home. Yesterday.

Today I must plant them in containers. No, not the ground, either the ground around here hates plants or I’m inept. Since weeds are flourishing everywhere I look, it must be me, so I’m going to hedge my bets with containers and container soil and ceramic watering spikes and plant food spikes.

Except it’s noon, and I’m still in bed typing, while the plants are outside, container-less except for the ones they came in, probably dying of thirst and cursing my name. I’m starting to think this problem might apply to more than my garden ineptitude. Like writing. And cleaning. And crochet. I’m hell on wheels on planning, I make GREAT plans, but then it gets to the action part and . . .

So I’m using you all to guilt myself into container gardening. Well, not gardening, that implies I’m going to do more than sock them into containers and make sure the water bottles don’t run out. I know what real gardening is, it’s the stuff some of you talk about on here, those of you who know the names of the plants they have. (I’ve got some kind of aster, and a daisy-looking thing, and something I think is a mini-petunia, and then some other stuff . . . )

Look, I have to at least give them all a fighting chance. I’ll report back on Monday. Maybe add a picture today. Okay, that’s it, I’m going out there a failure and coming back . . . ready for lunch. Pray for the plants.

This is a Good Book Thursday, July 29, 2021

I’m making a list of the petty things that make me stop reading.
• A writer who uses the word “smirk” to mean “cute grin.”
• A writer who missuses and misspells words, like using “fairing” instead of “faring.”
• A writer who gives main characters green eyes. (Two percent of the population has green eyes, and all of that two percent are protagonists in romance novels.)
• Babies as a plot device or proof that the relationship is successful. Especially cute babies who never projectile vomit.
Yes, I hit all of those in one book. Yes, I am a grump. Get off of my romance lawn, you damn kids.

What did you read this week? What did you not read because of a petty deal-breaker?

Happiness is Summer Food

I haven’t been cooking much (does the microwave count?) because my kitchen is still a disaster area (tip: do not set fire to the top of your stove) but I’m having a wonderful time with food anyway: big salads with cheese and peppers and croutons and protein and slashing of Caesar or Ranch or Italian dressing (really just sandwiches without bread if you don’t count the croutons), cold roast beef or braunschweiger on whole wheat with potato salad and carrots and celery dipped into Ranch, cheese and mustard sandwiches and tomato-basil sipping soup, almost everything cold (it’s in the 80s here, sneaking up to the 90s) and everything super easy. Easy food makes me happy. I love cooking but not in the summer. Also Snickers Ice Cream Bars, made by the Devil, I’m pretty sure.

What made you happy this week?

Working Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Speaking of working, this blog has been running sixteen years today.. (I know, I can’t believe I’ve done that much work here, either. Okay, most of the work was done by you commenters, but I commented, too. There are over 140,000 comments on this blog, that’s how hard we’ve been working for sixteen years.) Of course, things haven’t changed much. That first post ended with “But to answer your orginal question, as God is my witness, I’m working. Really.”

What did you work on this week?

Happiness is Old Friends

That’s “old” in the sense that we’ve been friends for awhile, decades in fact. The kind of friend that you can not to talk to for a couple of years because you both get distracted and then you get in touch again and it’s like no time has passed. This week it was Patricia Gaffney, whose book The Goodbye Summer, was on Book Bub last week. We ended up e-mailing after midnight last Saturday, and it was just lovely talking with Pat again. Who is also lovely, in fact a bodacious mama. Happiness is good friends, good dogs, and good memories.

What made you happy this week?

This is a Good Book Thursday, July 15, 2021

Last week when the internet went out (shudder) I was forced to read books printed on paper. Since the books on paper I kept were the ones I couldn’t get digitally, I found a lot of old favorites: Gilbert’s The Long Journey Home, Haskell’s Green as Spring, and a lot of my old Emma Lathen’s including Murder Without Icing. Yes, I know the Lathen books are on Amazon, but the new editions have somebody else’s name on them besides the Lathens (economic analyst Mary Jane Latsis and attorney Martha Henissart), so I just don’t. Bank Vice President John Putnam Thatcher never disappoints, even though his mass market paperbacks are all the color of weak tea now. (Latsis said, ““We decided on a banker because there is nothing on God’s earth a banker can’t get into” which is chilling but helpful if you need access to a lot of different crimes.)

What did you read this week?

Working Wednesday, July 14,2021

This week, I threw things out. Many, many things. I was Marie Kondo, Terminator. Once I got into it, it wasn’t hard, I just had to break through the “Won’t this be useful some day?” barrier and toss with gleeful abandon. Well, with abandon. Also worked on a Loki essay, an essay on expectation, and a crochet scarf, but the big news is ten garbage bags by the curb (three in the little dumpster) and more to come.

What did you work on this week?

How to Write a Synopsis and Rewrite a Plot

A friend of mine is in the same situation I am–stuck on a book–and she said what she really needed was an outline. So I revamped my old synopsis-writing outline, and now I’m thinking maybe I should try that on Nita again–believe me, I’ve outlined Nita’s discovery draft several times already–and maybe apply it to Anna, Nadine, and Alice. And since I’ve been neglecting Argh … do you want to write an outline? (I saw Frozen last night for the first time and the earworms are constant.)

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