Archive for November, 2005

The Center for Progressive Christianity

The Center for Progressive Christianity
This website gives me hope… makes me feel better about my own religious quest and spiritual journey.


another day in paradise

Well, today was glorious — sunny, a bit cool but not bad for November — and I spent most of it inside. Working on my websites, clearing out the office a little more, doing some art. Did a bit of laundry which still needs folding, and took the dogs for a short walk. Tomorrow it should start to rain again, but it might hold off long enough to take the lame dog for another short walk. I am reluctant to let him out because he tends to race around too much and re-injure the sprain.

Too soggy to dig in the garden, but I did set the thyme plant upright, it had been overturned by the dogs — the wooden box it was in had rotted out, so will need replacing, but no hurry. This thyme is in with the heathers in the cedar garden, and looks so pretty there. I may move the other four thyme plants in there as well, to the front of the heathers to make a nice groundcover-border. The foliage and flowers complement the heathers and cedar so well, blooming just slightly out of sync to keep a spot of lavender-pink visible nearly year-round.

The peach tree that toppled in the wind storm last Thursday will need to be dug completely and re-set, but although Tom and I propped it up a bit the other day, there’s really no hurry on that, either. It’s going to be fine, the soil just sogged up too much to hold it against the wind. I suspect it will be set back a bit in bearing, though. Bummer. It has lovely peaches.

Today’s conundrum: what to do with the accumulated stuff that seems to exist in every corner of the house? The things that seem important but really are no use to anyone and aren’t likely to ever be used again… The artwork, the letters, the toys, the photos… What to keep, what to toss, what might be given away? I am starting to use the “fire and water” test: if it were destroyed in a fire or flood, would I feel remorse or relief?


A New Gardening Year…

Following the ancient agrarian practices of the Celts and Saxons, I count the first of November as the beginning of a new gardening year. Typically, by this time of year, the harvests are in, most of the garden beds are ‘put to sleep’ for the winter or have their cover crops sown, and the plans for the next season are well underway. I want a bench here, a trellis there, and we really must plant that tree this year…

This year, things are off to a soggy start. After years of near-drought conditions, we have normal rainfall — on schedule — and I was caught off-guard. Only a few of the beds are done being weeded (but now it has to wait until a dry spell or the soil will compact too much), mulched (and the leaves I normally use are now very wet and heavy and won’t “loft” properly), and planted (I have at last count 7 trees and one sedge still in pots). Given our normally balmy winters, I am not worried about losing anything, just a bit put out that the weeds will have a head start in the Spring!

Inside, I have several plants that need warmth to survive, and the usual houseplants. I have a nice collection of cobwebs, too: ranging from orb spiders’ webs to the house-spiders (I call them hob-goblins for their long legs) to the strange little wood spiders that come in this time of year. We also have a few jumping spiders… Not sure what all these critters eat, but most of them seem to do just fine.

This autumn has been long, and mostly unproductive. With one shining exception. I am finally trying to create greeting cards and art for profit. I don’t know if it will work, but I have decided to to give myself a full year from this month to see how things go. Happy Messages is the name I have used for greeting cards and other artwork since high school in the early 1980s. Quality Word Works is the “umbrella” business name I use for all the computer-related jobs I do, from website design to tutoring, to word processing. Both names have been registered with the Washington State Department of Licensing for at least seven years, but I haven’t done much. Until now!

I have worked on the website, prepared a workspace and acquired materials. I am keeping records of expenses. I have a friend who is willing to help find local retailers who might sell also, and also do the investigations about bazaars and such. I even have “sold” a few items. Okay, so it was to my parents, but at least it’s a start!

Like the work I do in the garden, I work in rhythm with life around me. I do laundry, play with the dogs, take the kids to appointments… listen to music or language tapes… and spend close to 8 hours a day on one part of the job or another! I am basically organized, but find I need to be flexible and work in spurts. Some days I spend five hours in a block, other days I get maybe one full hour and lots of smaller blocks of productive time.

And around this, I am playing catch-up to a relatively minor annoyance: the steel and canvas carport in which we had stored some boxes of “not yet ready for garage sale” blew down last week. We did lose some keepsakes — things the children had when they were younger — and the carport will need some repairs… but no one was injured, no other property was damaged, and if nothing else it gives us incentive to sort through the boxes (now under tarps) a lot sooner!

I hope that this blog will give my friends and family (and curious others) some insights into me and my life.

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