Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Can't Take the Credit #27

Rose bush
What's been totally uplifting in the last few weeks are all the blooms and plants popping up that we didn't plant. I've wanted to go out and spends hundreds on bushes, trees and perennials but there's not money in the budget for that. To go out in the mornings and find something new is exciting.
Miniature rose bush

I needed that because I found another spot on my arm. This kind of bloom I can do without. The good thing is I was 99% sure it wasn't melanoma again. I called the Indian Medical Center and they moved my already scheduled appointment up a week. My doctor even called me back. Every three months I have a full body check. He took a biopsy and scheduled me to come back in two weeks for the result and my full body check. I wondered, if this spot had been very suspicious would it still have taken two weeks for the results. I hope not. But the news was good - only pre-cancerous. Nothing more had to be done. I like this doctor. He's very personable but awfully shy for a doctor.Not a good thing. His full body checks skim over certain areas. He's obviously uncomfortable. But really? I've never met a doctor with this problem. I'm a little concerned about that.
Climbing rose

Some sort of desert bloom

Almost think maybe once a year I should see a civilian doctor for a thorough go-over and pay the price. I'm going to think on that one.

We've had some ups and downs with our own plantings. But I'll go into that in another blog. I've been scurrying to get my edits done on my latest book, The Art of Love and Murder, so I could get it off to a couple of agents before I take off for a few days to a conference. I'm heading out tomorrow which is why this blog is brief. This should be a fun conference since it's for readers - authors to meet, Jimmy Thomas in the flesh (he-he) and a male model contest. A few days away from the farm will be hard, though. I've gotten really accustomed to waking up here to see the progress in the garden and at the end of the day sitting on the patio to watch the sun go to bed. Maybe the male model contest will take my mind off of what I'm missing at Tortuga Flats Farm!
Snap Dragon I think
Okay-it's a weed but isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Emotional, Random and Scattered. #26

A random picture from a trip to Seattle.
It's random thought day. Tidbit day. This and that day. Because I'm scattered. Last week took me on an emotional roller coaster and left me like when you've been on a boat all day and you still ride the waves even after you're on solid ground. Okay, long run-on sentence. Sorry.

Jimmy Thomas

I wonder if Jimmy Thomas is as cute in person as he is on his covers (or at the top of this blog). I'll find out next week.

I wrote 'the end' today on my latest manuscript and emailed the last three chapters to my critique partners. Part of the book takes place in the  haunted Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona. As soon as I get their comments, I'll polish it up an ship it out. I'm hoping this book gets me an agent. I'm really, really, really hoping.

Paulden is dry. I'm going through bottles of lotion.

Soaking in a tub is twice as important but I do it half as often. Oh wait! I do shower.

It must be some sort of law you have to have at least two dogs if you live in Paulden.

Last time I mentioned putting up wind breakers for the plants - this screen like material we would cover the chain link fence with around the garden. Lance tested the theory and it doesn't work unless the break is within a few feet of the plants. I suppose this decision has saved us some money. And I suppose only the strong will survive.

Our latest victims are three rows of leafy greens. Bugs. Nasty little boogers. More research. Now we're investing in a thousand feet of a light weight material that you cover the rows with until the plants are big enough to sustain such attacks. Still, not guaranteed. Not sure where this fits in my budget, but if we're ever going to feed ourselves we need the plants to survive. Some day, I'll go to the grocery store and have a really small tab because most everything comes out of our garden. That's the plan, Stan.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Eggs and Colored Soap #25

Far out man!
We have the coolest do it yourself car wash in Chino. It's so clean and efficient and not expensive. With all the dirt in this area, they probably do a pretty good business. I love their colored soap! It's psychedelic! Whoops, dating myself.

There's a goofy dog that lives up the street from us. When a car drives by, he runs out of his fence barking and races like mad beside the car to the end of his property. But if we walk by with our dogs, he's nowhere to be seen. The horses on the property do come over to greet us.

Our next project is to put up some windbreakers around the garden. Between the wind and the searing sun during the day and the drastic drop in temps some nights, we lost about eighty tomato plants. True, we jumped the gun and put them out too early, but the speed at which they died was amazing. Lesson learned. We each dealt with it differently. At least one of us was furious. I felt sad. The windbreakers are needed. The poor little broccoli and cabbage plants are only inches high but the wind lays them out nearly flat.

Proper attire to visit a troublesome neighbor?
Frank made an impromptu visit to our new neighbor. Remember the ones I complained about with the couch on their porch and boxes falling out of their open shed? The young man that lives there has a three-wheeler and likes to go in circles near our fence. The problem is the wind (yes, that again). We've been plagued with dust as we sit on our patio, and he runs around in circles. Time for a visit. We all laughed after Frank left, thinking of the shirt he had on. It turned out good. She's a single mom, working long hours and apologized for the property still looking the way it does. She made the son apologize, and he was sincere. We haven't had a problem since. He pays attention to the way the wind is blowing. One day, he had a friend wetting down the soil after each circle!

And remember our really nice neighbors? She delivered seventy-two eggs to us a few days ago. Just let her know when we run out!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weeds Are Ground Cover Too! #24

This is like the year of new beginnings, at least for many people close to me. This series of blogs started with the four people in our house starting a new beginning, an experiment in changes. We've not only taken on a new lifestyle, but we've each had other new starts. Christie started a new job, Lance is in a new band, Frank started retirement and I'm just adjusting to it all while I try to finish one book and start a new one.

My sister turned sixty and is getting married in two weeks. Talk about new beginnings! My mom may move - she's still fighting it, but is due for a new start - even at her age.

As our fledgling farm is blooming, we've watched not all new beginnings succeed. Makes you kind of think, and I'm hoping the human efforts don't fall into similar pitfalls. The peach and apricot trees bloomed early then we had some cold weather. They don't appear to be fruiting. Bummer. Of the twenty suckers and shoots I planted, five will definitely not make it. But I'm excited about the fifteen.

Frank finally got all the grass seed planted. We had a three week delay on getting the backyard in because the nursery ran out of seed. The joys of being in a small town. With all the watering, the weeds are going crazy. I've been far too busy getting my chapters and synopsis ready to send to agents to be out there weeding everyday. I'm worried they will be so thick the grass won't grow. Frank is not a weeder. Remember, he's the guy that doesn't play in the dirt. I simply have to take some time to do some weeding everyday. He figures they cover the ground so what the hey. The dogs are not real happy being walked out to the pen and contained every time they need to go out. And we don't have a lawnmower yet. After the tax man cometh, we need to find a deal on one.

There are still $1.00 tacos and $1.50 beer! Yea! Gave my bookmark to the waitress at Doreen's and she was gushy. Asked if I had any. So now we have to go for $1.00 tacos again on Wednesday. Fair trade.