Monthly Archives: April 2014

I keep doing this

I went to a seminar the other day about figuring out what your dreams are and at least in the preliminary get together, the techniques mentioned are things I already do?

I just went to one of my favorite organization sites and she had a post about how with as busy as we all are we need to do a “it HAS to be done” cleaning list, and that’s it.

New from both were these:

“Only let yourself quit for one day.” I’d agree to that if it wasn’t for the PTSD. I quit when things lean on it and get going again after that. But if I didn’t have PTSD, then that would sure work!

“Get everyone in the family a list to do.” Hmm. Never thought about trying to get my roommate to do some designated cleaning chore or the other every day. He does some without prompting, I figured that was enough. Hmm.

I have the same problem with advice about being frugal: I’ve been working on frugality so long that I rarely find anything new.

Getting old isn’t what it’s cracked up to be! Wise? I’m supposed to be wise ‘eh? I don’t want to be wise, I want to get through the chores I need to, get the work done I need to and cherish my life, time, home, and the people I love. But I also want to keep LEARNING so what’s up with that?

Meh.

J

Effortless Landscaping and Sources

I forgot, yesterday we also got our first flowering daffs. 😀

The bulb bed is sprouting happily out there. The bulbs on the north side (thought I’d moved them all?) are also sprouting, as are the few still left by the south side of the house (including the ones that are blooming).

Good news is that the bulbs in the bulb yard are definitely spreading. Yay! The idea is to take an entire swathe off the lawn. Less to mow, less to weed, less maintenance. I also have day lily beds. One big one on the south side of the driveway and a smaller line of them on the north side. If enough light gets to them, they just sprout, bloom, and die back for the winter all on their own. They appreciate some fertilizer every year or two, but it isn’t necessary. I have decorative grasses and rugosa roses (in a small hedge) planted at the end of the driveway. Except for trimming the rugosas and fertilizing again, no maintenance. I have Vinca (the ground cover type) on the hill near the driveway.

One of my goals this year  is to buy the first of the no mow lawn plugs. The grasses in this mix only grow 6″ at their full height. No mowing required, ever. (I haven’t ordered them yet, I have to pay for the CSA first.) If I can successfully replace the lawns, then I will NOT need a mower at all. TOTAL WIN! No machine, no gas, no gardener, no time to maintain it. Yes, I imagine the grasses need fertilizing, especially as what’s under our lawn is sand and sand and sand — another reason I’m not just ripping it all out and replacing it. The soil that’s there is under the grass.

When we got this place 20+ years ago, if you took a shovel of dirt out of the lawn, it looked like a vanilla cake with chocolate glaze: white (sand) and a little brown on top, like 1/4″ (top soil). For 2 decades I’ve been trying to build top soil. The large quantity of sand that was trucked in for the septic and to build up the lot is one of the big reasons I can’t produce enough compost for our needs: the nutrients just trickle out through the sand.

So, to replace the lawn I do NOT want to scrape up the current grass and the attendant top soil! I want to mulch the current grass and plant the new stuff on top, or intersperse the new into the old plants and weed out the old plants as the new stuff spreads. Yes, this will take longer, but I won’t lose 20 years of top soil with it.

I want to plant blue-eyed grass and more wild violets on the north side of the house and let them naturalize too. Again, no maintenance required. Both are naturally occurring wildflowers here, but they don’t show up in enough quantity to cover the area I’d like them to or to choke out the grass. That’s another order too.

No mow grass seed is available here. I thought they sold plugs of this stuff. Oh well!

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/sustainable-lawns/grass-seed/no-mow-lawn-grass-seed

Blue-Eyed Grass Seed/Plants

http://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/wildflowers-forbs/sisyrinchium-campestre-prairie-blue-eyed-grass.html

Wild Violet

http://www.everwilde.com/store/Viola-pedata-WildFlower-Seed.html

J

First Garden Harvest & First Plantings (Same Day!)

So how did I do this?

My veggie garden at the end of the summer always looks like a messy jungle. Why? And what does that have to do with the subject of this post?

That “messy jungle” is made up of chicory plants, root parsley, and dill which flower then set seed in the fall. Accordingly, early spring I always have some wilted parsley (I  just leave it alone for a few days after I uncover it) but I also have some radicchio (the overwintered chicory) if I can get it before the chipmunks! The dill won’t surface for a while; it comes up at the same time as the self-seeded mustard greens.

But there’s green garlic  (I’ll use some of the tops), sorrel, and radicchio out there to pick — today! We had a taste of the sorrel yesterday Tonight’s dinner will be stir-fried lettuces and ? (I got a bargain on a container of mixed lettuces yesterday). I’ll add some of the radicchio and sorrel and garlic greens to my bargain greens.

First harvest! 😀

 I also planted the first seeds today. Yes this is almost 6 weeks before our “last” frost date (Memorial Day). I planted mixed lettuces and spinach, cold tolerant, but not tolerant of a hard frost. I’m gambling we won’t have another snow. Could be that I just added the seed in 5 4′ rows to the soil to compost or feed chippers. Or, it could be that I’m a lucky soul and we’ll have some lettuce and spinach in a few weeks. We’ll see!

I sprinkled a little water on the bed after I planted the seed then I got a call from my friends who make the compost I use (I can’t make enough for our garden). I got 3 buckets of the stuff, used 2 immediately: over the bed where the radicchio is, the lettuce/spinach I’d just planted, the rhubarb, the sorrel, and lastly, the raised bed where the asparagus is.

I have 1 bucket left: I think that goes on the thymes (I grow 2 types: pizza and regular), tarragons (3 plants, 1 variety) and the wild grape vines.

The folks who make the compost gave me some of their stock, they don’t have any for sale, yet. It was a favor, and I appreciate it! If you want information about where I get my compost, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll posta  link.

It’s finally spring!

J

Decisions

I thought of something, talked it over with my significant other, then we made a decision. Yes, I’ll write the memoir, get it edited, and formatted for an ereader, probably.

Yes, I’ll probably sell it myself and maybe through itunes.

No, I won’t go out and try to get a mainstream publisher to buy it.

I’m chicken!

It occurred to me that all the heel dragging I’ve been doing is not because I’m scared to write the memoir or even put it out there, but that I’m terrified of both the almost sure rejection I’ll get from the mainstream press and/or exposing myself to the general public. My significant other agrees with me.

Whew!

So here’s the new plan: I finish the rewrite. Get the copy edit. Then get it all formatted up for an ereader or POD (publish on demand) and sell it that way.

Wrestling with the memoir, getting it ready to send out to God knows who, God knows where (and probably rejected several times) has been just AWFUL. But you know? I don’t have to do it that way.

I love print. It may pay the best (sometimes).  I don’t even own an ereader! But wtf — this gives me a way to do a trial balloon;  a way to see what kind of response I’ll get, without courting the almost sure rejections from the mainstream press. Epub or POD, either one, both? We’ll see!

I won’t be doing it this way because I don’t have a story to tell or  because I can’t write my way out of a paper bag and therefore it’s the only way I can get published. Nope. It will be because I choose to expose myself less, at least at first. If I sell 5 copies a year no one is going to get rich but that’s okay.

If it helps one person, that’s my goal. Just one, because then of course, you’ve changed the world, right?

If I didn’t believe small alterations can create large changes overall, I  couldn’t  have changed so much, I would have been overwhelmed, period. I would probably have become a druggie or alcoholic or something.

Direction is necessary. Energy is necessary and resilience is necessary. But hope, the belief that whatever you do can make a difference and result in meaningful change — that’s paramount.

J

Must Be Doing Better

I’ve been working on the memoir, something I haven’t done in a long time.

Writing that thing, editing it, adding to it, etc. is frankly the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Obviously, I’m feeling better/stronger, or I wouldn’t have started work on it again.

Hurrah for progress!

J