Friday, May 31, 2013 update......and a story...

That's what this spring season is about, isn't it?

Catepillars into butterflies, heat into rain, dirt into weeds, puppies into dogs, schoolchildren into....little energetic tornadoes?

Dabblers into Artists. Artists into Mamas. Houses into HomeBase!

Summer is coming reluctantly. I was awake an hour this morning before it.....dawned on me (SORRY!) that the sun was Still. Out. We've had rain, drizzle, storms, more rain. Buckets of humidity, wind. Today, for awhile, there will be sun.

What comes with such rain? Naughty, chewing, unexercised puppies (since no one wants to be outside, not even the dog) weeds (since no one wants to be outside in the mud), and schedule-creep - thoroughly unchecked.

Everything is off.

With everything unbalanced, unfettered (except the dog. She complains loudly about her fetters) and a little askew, why, what a perfect time for me to ramp up efforts on the portfolio/business work!

A story-snippet was posted in March(maybe? April?) about the wizard Hrothbart and his daughter - above is the first painting-sketch to come of it. I finished the first draft of the story (it's a mini-short) and need to develop the painting a bit further, but it's a nice start.

I also attended a meeting with Ladies who Lead - Twin Cities meeting last night. It's a networking group for local business women.

It is NOT sitting around, pounding cocktails, and moaning about work-life balance.

It IS sitting around, sipping/nibbling whatever while making relevant contacts and connections, cheering on each others progress, and meeting women at different stages in their business life with a lot to share, and the generosity to do so. And learning :-) I had fun, learned a lot, and made several contacts (and some new friends!!) that should help me with some roadblocks I am encountering. I had two goals in attending and I surpassed both of them - It's worth noting that one of my nieces is a member, and I only heard about this group through HER facebook page! That for my tendancy to disparage FB on a routine basis for being time-wasting - my time was used well last night :-)

Armed with my contacts from last night -(including SCORE - free small business advice, no idea why I didn't run across them before!!!) today will be a 'git 'r done' kind of day. I need to do birthday-party shopping, dog walking/training, send a few notes to the women who shared their time with me last night, more garden planning, and a bit of catch up on laundry - we were lucky to have visitors last friday night and I've been guilty of laundry-slacking ways since then! The dog also needs a vet visit, the kids need appointments to be made, and I am pretty sure I have to call the folks doing our tree replacement - we are not the only ones complaining about the bad winter. Our tree up-and-DIED in protest!

Speaking of protest, below is the follow up story to the snippet on Hrothbart (our owl above). The point of view is his daughter Odile. She is the antagonist in Swan Lake (or, Black Swan, if you take your ballet in movie doses rather than live events :-) and is birdlike. Birdish. And Not a Nice Person. In this snippet, she is kvetching about her position in life, her father, and her sense of self importance, right after she sent her father out to find her dinner.


Odile - Talon Phase


The great Rothbart, sliding out the door of our - well, hovel, really - like a wounded cat.
Not the heroic, owlish mage. Not what he'd have you think years ago. But claim him as sire I must, for all the good it brings. Decades ago, maybe, I'd still been able to trade on that fierce name, coquetting out from that broad wing like the tender chick I never was.

Feared, certainly. Envied? Perhaps.

But we had racks of meat to spare.

Now, no more than a scavenging rook, he heads out and back through the woods like a homing pigeon. Rat - or a brace of frozen voles - clutched in his clawed and shrinking grasp. Offering the lowest stock to me - the summit of his glory. How he dares this insult, I'll never know. Trapped with me daily, the gods only know why he is free at night,  while I am tethered to the floor, but I'll winkle out the secret soon. My father is not the only creature who may come and go at night - the eyes I may borrow are legion.

And to the last, they are red as blood.


There. A spoiled chick, complaining about her parent. An unhappy fairy-tale beginning for an uncertain end. May you all go about your day with better grace and at least a bit more joy :-)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In the Weeds

The great garden overhaul is gearing up!!!

Mother's Day weekend brought us to the nursery to pick out plants and flowers and seeds. This weekend, I expect some serious raised-bed building and soil prep. This weekend we are also graced with, hm, a ballet recital, soccer practice, scouts, dog school, and a visit from my mother.

Hence, the usage of 'in the weeds'.

Also, view the plot. Everything except the happy dark green chives at left are WEEDS. Smothering and yanking will be the plan, then cover the plot with newspapers and set up them raised beds (4, in fact), fill 'em with dirt, and let the great veggie adventure begin!

But wait, there's more.

We have flagstone 'mini paths' coming off the porch, and they look a little.....


So, there is spiced-orange thyme and irish moss waiting to get installed between/amongst them.
Peonies and hydrangeas are supposedly on their way up, but that will only happen if the dog stops trying to eat them. Which couldn't happen any quicker, our beloved shepherd doesn't BELIEVE me when I tell her those naughty peonies are POISONOUS!

Speaking of the naughty shephard, she is one reason this blog is as neglected as the garden.

She has given herself a tummy bug so I am now cooking home meals more for her than the rest of my family! We get take out, the dog gets pumpkin-and-rice with boiled chicken or ground beef mixed in. There is something wrong with that picture..... 

Anyway, we are Mid-May and hopefully had the last snow day of the year LAST WEEK, so we should be able to plant soon. We hope.

In the meantime, I hope your spring is a sunny one, your days are good ones, and your pets let you get a goodnights sleep.

It makes more difference than you think.

have a beautiful week!!!