Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday, I learned it takes a really long time to deadhead a rhododendron bush. I worked solidly for two hours, and got about 1/6th of it done. And I have several on the property. It’s not difficult, but it’s precise, because you have to snap off the faded flower at a specific point without disturbing new growth. And I took the advice to wear surgical gloves while working, because the faded flowers are sticky. Which is good, because it means we had happy bees, and, considering the problems in the bee population, I’ll take as many happy bees as chose to visit!

I finally came in because it started drizzling, which meant I couldn’t mow.

I handled the class, some of the students put in a request that I teach a class on Donna Leon’s work, which I’d like to do, but there’s no way I can do it before next year. I’m too booked.

I tried to get the garden soil I need, and was stuck for 35 minutes in non-moving traffic. For whatever reason, the police weren’t handling the traffic around the construction that was supposed to be done yesterday, so the construction vehicles simply sat whereever they wished in the road, not leaving room for traffic to go around them, not having anyone direct traffic, and not putting up signs for a detour. It was a big “Fuck You All” to all the people who’ve had to put up with them since the last snowstorm, and not acceptable. I turned up a side street (glad I did some exploring these last few months) and found my way home. Not acceptable.

I took care of some invoicing and reading. I checked my calendar, thank goodness, because the meeting I thought started at 7:30 ENDED at 7:30 and started at 5:30. So I rushed around, scrambling to get ready, and hit the road on time. The traffic to Buzzards Bay was awful, but I still managed to get there on time (which is why I left so early).

The meeting was the Annual Board Meeting for the National Marine Life Center, an organization which I supported even before I moved to the area. Two of the tanks that can hold turtles and small seals are ready, with a third one close. They’ve got the laundry and food prep facilities ready. They’re waiting their NOAA certification to open the section of the hospital that’s done, and, slowly, are raising money for more tanks, and a section that will have pools big enough for larger seals, dolphins, and even pilot whales. They’ve come a long way since the brunch in December. Met some really nice people, and now, that I’m feeling more settled, I want to get more involved.

I wound up on the committee for the Mermaid Ball this August, which is fine, because I’ve been working on galas for how many years now? Between the one in Saratoga and the awards show I put on for the foundation I worked on in New York. Our first meeting is next week. I made it very clear that dealing with the public is not my thing, but writing for the event, stuffing envelopes, doing physical work is much more along my line, and that’s fine. Unlike some other events, whose attitude is, “Just suck it up” — um, no. I’m a VOLUNTEER. I will lend my strengths, not do that which makes me uncomfortable. The chair of this event is fine with that, and appreciates that I’m honest up-front, so I think this will work out.

It’s a costume ball, and, since I worked in wardrobe, I feel the pressure! 😉 I also have to be able to move and deal with whatever needs to be dealt with, so it can’t be anything too elaborate or restrictive.

Costume Imp’s already working on it! 😉

Up early this morning. Tried to prune the lilac, but it started raining. I’m supposed to pick up a metal plant stand early this morning over in Yarmouth. Chickie refused to give me her address — told me to “call when you leave”. Honey, if you’re pretending to protect your address, don’t give me a phone number I can trace. I do not like being jerked around. I’m tempted to call the whole thing off, but really, it’s not that big a deal. I am going to make it very clear when I call that I already HAVE the address.

Will make another attempt to get to the garden center and pick up my soil — via a different route — once I’ve gotten the plant stand. Then, I am not going ANYWHERE during this crazy traffic weekend. Let it all flow around me. I’m going to write and enjoy my garden!

Have a great holiday weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 7:06 am  Comments (3)  
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Foggy and cool

Yesterday was an up-and-down day. On the “up” side, I bought a witch hazel shrub. It’s gorgeous, they are hard to find (I was told by 12 people I’d never find one in the area and would pay a couple of hundred dollars to get one shipped, which I just couldn’t afford). It was more than I planned to spend, so I was going to pass, and the guy at the nursery gave me a 25% discount, which then put it within my budget. So it came home with me and is happily sitting on the deck.

On the downside of that, they said there’s nothing I can do to save the lilac. One can’t start new lilacs from cuttings (or, in this case, breakage). I’d have to dig down and separate some of the new growth from the roots.

Well, the Lilac Limb, for the moment, seems perfectly happy sitting in a bucket of water, so I’m just going to leave it there as long as it is and see what happens.

Then, the infuriating: There was a break in the weather, and it was dry for a few hours. I went to mow the lawn and the effing mower doesn’t work. After ONE usage. That is not acceptable. I bought a Poulon Pro because I was told that it is easy to use and reliable. So far, it is neither. Not only is it hell to start, it won’t stay started — after 5 feet, the motor stops. I’ve got a frigging prairie growing out here, and I can’t cut it. I can’t afford another lawnmower. I can’t afford to hire someone to cut the grass (which is not cheap around here). This piece of garbage should work more than once.

I called Poulon Pro, since their “manual” is completely useless. The first “customer service rep” hung up on me. The second one said it was covered by warranty (from the tone, I guess these pieces of crap break down like this a lot), and told me I had to take it to a place in Marstons Mills. How? I have a VW!!! She made it clear that wasn’t her problem. Actually, it is. She’s the customer service REPRESENTATIVE. She REPRESENTS the company — obviously, this is the type of company they are, since they sell things that only work once, so her lack of interest reflects the company’s — and it is her job to help solve problems, not shrug and go away. Her hating her job is not MY problem. Her not doing her job properly is both my problem and her boss’s. And believe me, her bosses, the BBB, and the appropriate state agencies are all going to know about it. I’m going to talk to the “authorized service” guy and see what a house call costs. First, though, I’m going to ask a neighbor with lawn mower experience to take a look at it.

I should have gone with my initial instincts and gotten the really old-fashioned push mower with no electronics, just blades, like my grandmother had. All I’d have to do is get the blades sharpened once a year. It would have been a pain to rake up the grass, but at least the damn thing would work.

Not acceptable on any level. I was so furious, I couldn’t sleep last night.

Call me crazy, but when I spend a chunk of money on something, I expect it to work. To me, that is part of the contract with the manufacturer — I put down money and the manufacturer supplies me a working whatever.

This morning, I’m off (to Marstons Mills again) to pick up three bookcases I’m supposedly getting for free on craigslist. Let’s hope they fit in the car! 😉

Winding up my class, preparing for the next one. Working on PR for the book release. Not getting enough writing done. Behind on the assignment for Confidential Job #1.

On a happier note, I was on the phone brainstorming with a friend, which was fun.

To the page for a little bit, until I have to get into the car and wrestle bookcases. They’re supposed to be in so-so condition, so I’m getting them as shelving for the basement, so I can do some more unpacking. I unpacked a couple more boxes from the storage room yesterday. I can get going on the basement boxes once there’s more shelving, so that, as I go through stuff and repack what I’m keeping, I have a place to put it.

Devon

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 6:02 am  Comments (6)  
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Thursday, May 19, 2011


Terraced border in the back yard

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Waning Moon
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was about working on PR for the ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT release. That’s pretty much what I did all day long — sending out requests, press kits, preparing guest blogs, etc. I also put together the info my publisher asked for, since I’m going to be in June’s “Author Spotlight”, and got some other information to the Write Angles Conference, where I’ll be teaching in person in October.

I did some prep for the class starting on Monday, but didn’t get to spend enough time on the current workshop, which I will have to make up for today.

Finished up the grocery shopping. Picked up a small rosemary and a small golden-edged sage (which is beautiful). Planted them, along with oregano seeds, in the large pot they will share this summer. Started pruning the lilac outside — an a five foot branch broke off in my hand! I’ve got it standing in a bucket of water on the deck, and I’m going to find out if there’s a way I can save it and root it. I planned to take cuttings and use root hormone to see if I could start a few new plants from this one, but I didn’t expect such a big branch to come off.

Also unpacked three boxes from the upstairs storage area, all soft goods, and put them through the laundry.

Didn’t get enough writing done. Must also make up for that today, and I’ve got a “phone date” at 11, with a friend who wants to brainstorm.

The Black King Eggplant got its first blossom! The indoor strawberry also has a blossom, and the male holly is blooming. We’re finally getting our spring!

Seriously, though, I cut some lilacs to bring inside — it’s so nice to have cut flowers from our own garden.

Back to the page, trying to catch up, before phone stuff and heading to the nursery to see what I can do to save the lilac.

One of these days, it’ll be dry enough to mow. In the interim, if anyone asks, I’m growing a prairie on the front lawn! 😉

Devon

Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 7:29 am  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and raw

Had a good day’s work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, finally. What a relief! I think I’m figuring out the book’s themes. I often have the basics of the plot down when I start (whether I write them out or not), but the theme or themes only emerge as I write the book.

Working slowly on the final galleys of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, because I’m so afraid I’ll miss something. I printed out the whole document, because it’s easier for me to accurately read it on the page than on the screen. My eyes don’t get tired as quickly.

It cleared up enough for me to spend a couple of hours in the yard in the afternoon. I pulled up all the dandelions. Now, I’m fond of dandelions, and if I knew how the lawn was treated in the past, I’d use them in my stillroom. But I don’t, so I don’t dare risk it. And dandelions are difficult on the lawn, especially if they get all puffy and go into other people’s lawns. So I removed them. I raked out another section of the back bed. From the ground, it looked and felt as though I hadn’t made any progress (although I filled two 30 gallon bags). But from the upstairs windows, one can see the progress.

The new lilac bush arrived, totally surprising me (I expected it about Saturday). It’s settled and budding. I’ll have to get it a nice pot, but it came in a tub, so it’s fine for the moment.

Caught up with my students in the workshop. They’re starting off on time and staying on top of the assignments and no whining, so that’s a good sign. Towards the end of the second week, in a month-long class, there’s usually a bit of a lag, but when they start strong, it’s not as much of an issue than if they’ve been behind from Day One.

Most evenings/nights at this point are spent studying — botany texts, gardening books, herbals, latin texts, etc. Better than TV most nights, that’s for sure. I’m unearthing (no pun intended) a lot of the books I bought over the years with an eye to having a garden “someday”. Well, someday is here. And there’s a lot of information in my older Craft books, books that had a lot of influence on me fifteen or so years ago, and now I can re-read them with a new appreciation based on the experiences in the interim. So that’s good.

Confidential Job #1 sent me my new assignment — that was fast! It looks interesting. Once I get the final galleys of ASSUMPTION done and back to the publisher, I’ve got two other manuscripts I’d like to run an eye over and get out the door before I leave for CT next week. I’m hoping to get the CJ1 assignment turned around this weekend, and have the next assignment ready to take with me on the site gig.

Today is about writing, editing galleys, and taking my mom to the doctor in the afternoon. And getting coffee — I ran out and got into my emergency stash, which isn’t very good. But it’s better than being coffee-less!

Back to the page.

Devon