Saturday, April 27, 2013

This is what we're doing. . .

Matt, my Beloved, and Evan with holly in a hole.
Now you can see how my life is being consumed by the new landscaping. I'm busy moving azaleas that don't fit the color scheme into other spots in the front yard, still tearing up liriope and periwinkle (I will never, never, NEVER plant that stuff again!), and buying more plants. This is a lot of bare earth, and I'm feeling like it'll never look un-naked. I know this is silly, but I can't control the urge to pick up a few more azaleas, some peiris (Dorothy Wycoffs), and whatever looks good at the moment. which is a lot of stuff.  I'm lucky I have the room for it all! Next week, the perennials and rock garden should come together, then the mulch. Oh, and the maple tree will be set where the hickory once grew. It fell victim to a twisting wind that turned its top into match sticks. This whole yard renovation will give us joy for years to come. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I have many excuses

for not posting more regularly. The biggie - it's Spring! And that means yard and garden, of course. I decided this was the year to rip out all the 25 year old plantings and start over. Little did I know what this would involve, but believe me when I tell you, 36 hours in labor having a baby was easier. At least it was over in 36 hours and then I had a darling little girl. So far, I have weeks of digging out periwinkle and lirope, old azaleas and bushes that had gotten too big for their britches, and heaven knows what else that I'd forgotten I ever stuck in the ground. You know those plants - the ones where you say, "well, if it makes it okay, if not, okay, too." They made it. Day lilies had multiplied past the point of being cute, and the daffodils that didn't bloom this year were all excavated. Here's a pix of the back bed, all cleaned out. Well, almost cleaned out. Four azaleas can stay until they've bloomed, then they're outta here. It's a LOT bigger than it looks in the photo.

I have a wonderful landscaper who came up with beautiful plans for a whole new look to the back yard beds, and it's slowly coming to life. Evan of Fernhill Va has done the legwork finding the new beauties and the creative planning part, and now, I get to sit back and watch the yard come alive, again.

I can't wait.

Monday, April 08, 2013

A snippet

A scene keeps coming to me. It won't work in any of my current WIP, but it's definitely a kickstart for a story or something. I just don't know what. Stuff like this drives a writer crazy, or at least, this writer, because instead of keeping the fingers on the keyboard for the current book, I'm constantly thinking about this wee bit, wondering who these people are, and why in heck are they speaking to me now???

So I thought I'd drop it into this little white box and see if it gives my imagination a bit of rest. It's like when you finally get down and dirty and write that two page list, all the details are on paper so your mind can take it easy until the next blast of to-do ideas pop into your head.

Here's the set-up for the scene: A youngish woman with dark hair is at the buffet table of a party, and the woman next to her asks, "Will your mother be able to come?"  (to what, I have no  idea!) as they fill their party plates.  The younger woman hesitates, then replies, with a look that's both startled and wary, but not sad, "She's not with us." Okkkaaayyy....

Is the mother in an asylum? Dead? A contract killer on assignment? In disgrace, in prison, in a ditch with her head blown off?  Sheesh, I'm not sure, but the answer hinges the story on its frame.

When you read one of my books with this scene in it, you can say your saw the very first rough draft.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Not a pretty picture

I wish I had the courage to post a pix of me doing our taxes. For those of you in the depths of tax hell with me, you know what I mean. I may have very little hair left before this is over, and what is still around, I may have to sell to help pay off our IRS bill. Why does this have to be so complicated and impossible? For heaven's sake, people, can't we go with a flat tax? I'd give anything to just write a check for my percentage, and leave it at that.  I always go into tax season telling myself I'm a smart woman, I'm not afraid of numbers, I can do this. At the end, I just pray I covered all our bases and that the IRS realizes it's a flawed system. Remember that TV ad where a past year's tax return is given to several different tax professionals, and they all come up with a different bottom line? Yeah, that really gives a girl confidence. If I do them myself, at least I'll have no one else to blame.

We've had a couple of nice days in the midst of this interminable winter that lingers on like a bad cold you just can't shake. If it's over 55, I'm out in the garden, cleaning beds, attacking the pervasive periwinkle (shoot me if I ever say I want to plant it again), and digging up bushes that didn't make it through the drought last summer AND the long, cold winter. Good bye, boxwood. It seems like you croaked yesterday, but it was actually late last fall. I have some new plants to go in the ground, so at least I'll have some fun. Believe me, I need it.

My beloved and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary. Can't believe we've known each other so many years. It's nice knowing you married the right man.  We had a real treat on our actual anniversary, because season 3 of Game of Thrones started that night. The dragons are back! I am going to love this season.