A Rainy Fall Day

Today is the kind of rainy and dark fall day that just makes me want to stay indoors. I have gotten most of my fall garden work out of the way, so I feel even better about it. I’m sure there will be a few more sunny days before the ground freezes, and I will be able to finish up the work (or at least what absolutely must be done). I have 2 lists. The first is what absolutely must be done before the ground freezes, the second is what would be nice to have done.

List #1 (Imperative)

  1. Mulch roses and protect canes
  2. Wrap blueberry pots and hosta pot (bubble wrap and burlap)
  3. Plant 1 more bag each of daffodils and tulips (must trim/pull grass in beds to do this)
  4. Pull up sweet pea plants in front of house
  5. Plant new chrysanthemums and lavender plant
  6. Rake leaves

List #2 (Nice to do but not imperative)

  1. Cut up branches trimmed from trees, mulch vegetable beds with them to keep cats out
  2. Prune currant bushes, flowering quince bushes
  3. Trim grass around currant bushes
  4. Prune cherry tree, sycamore tree watersprouts
  5. Cut back chives around sycamore tree
  6. Cut back irises in backyard
  7. Cut down cornstalks and fertilize soil in barrel where corn grows
  8. Fertilize soil in barrel where mini pumpkins grow
  9. Empty containers on deck that don’t have plants to overwinter
  10. Take strawberry pots in driveway to back deck

Do you think I will get it all done?





To a child going into school

“Have a nice day.”

“Smile for your pictures.”

“Drink your water.”

Life is so much simpler when we are little.

Random interesting articles I’m reading tonight

Do what you love is not great advice — on Ask A Manager — the post is excellent, and the comments are full of people thoughtfully discussing the realistic possibilities of finding a job you love

Stephen Burt, Poetry’s Cross-Dressing Kingmaker — on the New York Times — fascinating

Outdoor Party

You know, I have spent very little time outside lately. I realize this because I went to an outdoor party tonight, and it was the first time in a very long time that I have spent more than a few minutes outside, hanging out in the grass. (The fair last week was outdoors, true, but the fair is not the same as being on a lawn in the evening.)

The party was held at someone’s house out of town. It was so quiet. I don’t realize, even in a small city (some of you in big metropolises wouldn’t even think it a city), just how noisy it is in town. But out there in the country, away from busy roads, it was very quiet. It was lovely.

I need to spend more time outside. Normally I spend a pretty good amount of time outdoors, gardening, but between the poor weather in the spring, family stuff, and the smoke in the air lately, I have not really been outside much. But the smoke is gradually improving, as the fires burn into old burns, and it’s getting cooler, so maybe I can get out more.

Tomorrow is a good day to go outside and garden.

Went to the fair today

Fair in Amsterdam

Fair in Amsterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was hot, and busy, and the hay in the animal barns made me feel odd (grass allergy) but it was fun! Way better than the time we went in a dust storm two years ago, and came home with dirt coming out our ears (literally)!

This summer was crazy, so I didn’t even think about entering anything in the fair, but I really want to enter a tassel next year, and some of my flowers. I think I have pansies to equal the 1st place pansies from this year.

The beading will be a challenge — there is way more beaded jewelry than last year. But I think I would enter in the off-loom category, and there was only one item in that category this year. It looks like the judges are looking for good use of color, technical proficiency, and taking some risks (but not too many) with technique or appearance.

On a different, but slightly related, topic, the cakes were amazing! Particularly the professional theme cakes this year. The wedding buttercreams were really nice, too. I was a little disappointed in the wedding fondants — not too daring this year. But it is just amazing what people can do with cake, icing, and some fondant.

Smoke in the air

The smoke in the air from nearby/regional wildfires is so bad that it hangs in the air between the houses. There is a visible haze in the air looking even a block away. It is like a post-apocalyptic vision.

Thankfully, there is no ash falling from the sky (yet) and the air filter seems to be doing its job and keeping our indoor air relatively fresh (we cannot close the windows unless we absolutely must — we have no AC and the orientation of the house and windows means it heats up quickly).

This smoke is so bad without even having wildfires threatening town or even very close. The closest fire is in the desert west of town, at least 20-30 miles away and the big fire is closer to 100 miles away, to the west. I hope the forests northeast of town don’t catch fire.


You may have noticed the sparseness of posts lately. I took a break so we could go on vacation. Unfortunately, I came down with food poisoning the day we were supposed to leave, followed in quick succession by the rest of my family. So our big vacation turned into a rest at home, with a small trip into Montana last week when we were feeling better. We did get some lovely photos from our tiny trip, so keep an eye out for those here.

In other news, I am hoping to be writing more, so hopefully I will have poetry and short story snippets to share again, too. Last year, before we started getting sick a lot, I started work on a poetry chapbook, too. I want to work on that more now, and maybe get it into shape to publish — probably the self-publishing route, although I may try the traditional route first.

That’s what’s going on with me — what’s up with you? Did you have a fun vacation? Or not? Share in the comments, please.

Back from a mini-vacation

We spent this last weekend traveling to northern Montana to visit family and have a quick (morning-on-the-lake) canoeing trip. Unfortunately, my husband forgot the camera, so there are no pictures of all the amazing things we saw. You know, at first I thought it didn’t matter, my blog has seen enough of the passes and mountains between here and northern Montana. But that was before I saw:

  • a horse-drawn traveling wagon with 3 shaggy draft horses (1 resting & trotting behind, 2 in harness & pulling)
  • a blue dragonfly the color of sapphires
  • a black and white dragonfly with a wingspan as long as my hand
  • a fish with blue fins and gills (although that one may not have been seen no matter what — someone else tried to photograph it and it didn’t turn out)
  • the sunlight shining down through a rift in the clouds onto a lake and spotlighting the water — it shone like gold against the rest of the dark water

I wish I could show you these pictures — each one worth its weight in words. But I cannot, as they do not exist. Perhaps I will write a poem to show you in (inadequate) words.


English: Bookends Nederlands: Boekensteun

English: Bookends Nederlands: Boekensteun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to a big-box office supply store recently to buy bookends. The clerk was very friendly, and introduced herself as soon as I walked in the door.

Clerk: Can I help you find something today?

Me: Yes. I’m looking for bookends.

Clerk: Bookends? What are bookends?

{I’m not from around here originally, so my first thought was that I had used the wrong dialect word and bookends are called something else around here.}

Me: You know, bookends. They have a flat part and a U-shaped part {gesturing with hands} and you use them to hold up books on a shelf.

Clerk: Ohhh. Bookends. {with a look of comprehension}

And she showed me the aisle where they are kept.

Sunday Service: Time to Sit

English: Sanctuary of First Unitarian Church o...

English: Sanctuary of First Unitarian Church of Rochester during Sunday service 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We weren’t supposed to be in church today, but since our mini-vacation got canceled (too stressful to go with the emergency we had earlier in the week even though everything is fine now), we went to church. It was so nice to have a quiet space to sit, relax, and listen to a spiritual message.

I think sometimes in the hurry and bustle of everyday life, we forget what Sundays are really supposed to be about. A day to stop, and reflect. A day to pause, and think. A day of rest.

When was the last time you really stopped, let all your troubles go, and rested?

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