My Novels

Friday, June 26, 2009

First small harvest photo

Though we need rain desperately, I still got a few gems today out of the large garden. I've been watering it every evening with the hose, and that's helped; at least the grass hasn't grown anymore!

Anyway, just a brief update to post this photo of what I got out of my garden today:

Two ears of corn, a zucchini, cucumber and small tomato (which needs to ripen a bit more in my kitchen window)

Though it's scant pickings right now, I do intend to start gathering corn late this afternoon. Some of it is ready, some not yet. I will blanch the corn on the cob, then freeze for later meals.

My smaller garden is thriving, but still no ripe cherry tomatoes! A couple of the tomato plants are at least 6 feet tall, no joke. Loaded with cherry tomatoes, yet none are ripe...yet.

I don't think there will be an abundant supply in the larger garden, due to so much rain this spring, and then this awful heat and dry spell. However, I do have cantaloupes up, a few watermelon plants, as well as some gourds I planted for fall decorative purposes. The okra is thriving, after I sprayed it with Sven spray; the cut worms were destroying the tender plants. Of course, zucchini is always prolific, and I did see a few small crook-neck yellow squash today, so I'm sure there will be plenty for fresh food. Just don't know how much I'll be able to preserve for the winter.

Live and learn, that's the motto when it comes to gardening. Next year I'll remember what I've learned this year, IF I am still physically able to have a garden then. I have to be very careful with my back, due to the herniated discs; however, my arthritis has improved, nearly disappeared with this hot weather. Definitely a good thing in summer.

Regarding my last post, and aging... I found an article via a blog: "Time Goes By - What it's really like to get old" and was impressed by the 90-year-old Rabbi Haberman's 6 reasons to grow old. My favorite was this: He’s learned “the art of submission.” Americans are activists by nature, but “more happens to us than we cause to happen,” he has found. “You have to accept the unalterable.”

Maybe it's inappropriate, but let me just say: AMEN! People are sometimes just plain silly in their attempt to "control life events" -- but when you're younger, you just don't get it! I'd say those past 50, who are insightful, have realized this -- or at least I know I have. I actually think I always knew this as a writer, but as life events happen randomly and chaotically, the truth of that hits home like a sledgehammer.

Try to remember that when you are being "controlling" and/or fretting over the small stuff that, in the long run, just makes YOU miserable.

Click HEREto read the full article.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Writing, gardening & random photos

It's been awhile since I updated my blog. Of course, I post at least twice a day with Twitter, but all too often, just never get around to writing a longer entry.

And I have concluded that I've lost faith in writing -- the kind of faith it takes to think that what you write actually matters to anyone, might make a difference in someones life, or that there is any reason to write at all. I've been going through this for years, at least since 2000, and it's not getting better, rather worse.

Perhaps that can be applied to just about everything in my life nowadays: nothing seems to matter enough to bother with it. Oh sure, I get up, take care of my critters, do the usual housekeeping, read, garden, whatever. But I have no driving passion for anything, and that includes dating and/or wishing for another life partner. I am beginning to think that this is what older people experience as they age -- sitting and watching/observing the world go by. I admit, there's a peaceful contentment in this lifestyle, so I'm not complaining. It's an adjustment though that takes years of gradually easing into this different serenity, yet I don't long for the wild upheavals of younger years, nor the roller coaster swings and dips of frenetic activity.

In fact, this may have always been my inner, true self -- which is what precluded being a writer: observer, watcher and then, recorder/writer. Now the only thing missing is that I no longer feel compelled to write about anything and everything in my life, other than a few words each day. I'm sure many would find this appalling, but not those past a certain mature age. Some of us arrive at this serene path sooner than later, but I'm convinced if we live long enough, we all find ourselves in this peaceful contentment.

Ah well, life goes on.

My large garden is still doing well, if a bit dry; I usually water it late in the afternoon. Corn, squash, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes (none ripe yet), beets, sweet peppers...still growing, not yet producing. However, S&W helped me dig the potatoes last week, and we got a ton. Very delicious!

My smaller space beside my carport is doing well too, cherry tomatoes are monsters, but no ripes ones yet.

Here's some picture I'll share:

Monster tomatoes beside my carport

Cucumber in one corner near carport

Squash in another corner

It's been scorching hot lately, and the dogs can't endure the heated street pavement, so we go to a nearby wooded park. Located about 15 blocks from my house, it's a quick drive and by six o'clock usually cool enough to walk the 1/2 mile loop. This was once called the "hobo jungle" since it runs parallel to the train tracks, and was overgrown, a horrid eyesore. The city cleared out the area and created this small walking trail, which is truly enjoyable. There's a few picnic tables, garbage cans but rarely do I see anyone there late in the afternoons. Nice.

The path loops down close to the train track first...

And the train track is very close! A train screamed by today and both dogs wanted to run back to the car!

Lest you think it's all wilderness, the upper loop shows the nearby shops lining the street.

Rambo & Oscar love it, even though the heat is relentless even in these woods...

With that, it's time to water the gardens. Then a movie and later, reading a good novel in bed. A good life, I've decided.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Garden Photos...Again!

I'd love to say I'm bored, but in fact, I'm in a nice lull after the high misadventures lately. My damaged car is once again in the carport, no sign it underwent a front-end makeover. I've recovered somewhat from the two wrecks, but still not as comfortable driving as I was previously. Hopefully time will cure that, so I'm trying to adjust.

Of course, with gas prices heading north again, it's a good time NOT to do any unnecessary driving. I'm catching up on watching good movies with a free Netflix month trial, reading some excellent novels...and of course, gardening.

Before I post the photos, I do want to make note of something here just as a reference for myself. A week ago I walked from the far north end of the city to the southeast, where I live. I returned the Enterprise rental car, and though they offered to drive me home, I just decided to walk.

Our town was once walkable, and still is within the main old-town section. Sidewalks, huge shady trees, very pleasant. Enterprise was located off a major highway though, and had I not known the back-way onto two-lanes, a short cut to old town, I couldn't have ever tackled that busy four-lane. Fortunately for me, I know all the off-streets, and managed just fine.

I consider it quite a feat, walking ten miles at one time, and NOT resting, not even getting winded. I guess that means all the long walks with my dogs (and I went twice today) has benefited my walking stamina! I'm just surprised my back and knees held out as well as they did. Of course, I was wearing my expensive walking shoes.

At any rate, I was proud of myself. At least I know if I get stranded somewhere, I can just set off walking...and eventually I'll find assistance. I wonder how many sedentary Americans couldn't even make it home from their workplace if a disaster ceased transportation? A fair amount, I would wager.

Without further ado, here's the photos. (Click on photos for large picture.)

This was made after a heavy rain shower. The corn has been having issues about falling over, and I worked on that twice but once we got this rain, I went out and finally got mud packed around the stalks. Don't know if the squash and green beans are visible, but they're all up and thriving between the corn plants.

My small patch beside the carport, cherry tomatoes becoming monsters!

Cucumber plant in corner of fenced yard

L to R: zucchini, yellow crookneck and patty pan squash in another corner of yard (Making use of space!)

Fig tree in front of my house

Scuppernog vine planted this summer

And with that, I'm outta here!