Garden Journal and General Life Update

I haven’t been here for a bit, but things are definitely perking.

This weekend, we managed to get both the patio bed and the veggie beds rototilled, after discovering that we could rent a small tiller at Home Depot for $30 for four hours. Jerry did most of the heavy work, but I tried my hand briefly. That little machine really vibrates, but it got the job done in a fraction of the time it would have taken me to turn the soil by hand.

We’ve hired some help who arrive tomorrow. They will put down new weed block and chip shred on the veggie garden paths. If time permits, they will cut our photinia fraseri at the barn. That should complete the heaviest work for the year. We will still need to plant the veggie garden and dozens of bulbs, run drip irrigation on the veggies and on two trees at the barn, and spread chip shred over the new beds.

On the positive front, our new bare root black walnut has sprouted some nice leaves, so something must be going right there.

In other news, I’m not sure if it’s the spring weather or just boredom with the usual grind, but my creative juices seem to be flowing. I have a renewed interest in my baby afghan and am making steady progress. Somehow, that afghan reminded me that I bought the beads and supplies to make a bracelet and earrings and the yarn and pattern to knit a lacy shawl. So, those projects are now seeing the light of day.

A recent shopping trip to buy some basic skirts for summer left me feeling frustrated. That reminded me of the sewing machine that has sat in my closet for a decade. One thing led to another, and I am now the proud owner of a pattern and some gorgeous fabric. My mom and I are trying to take a sewing class together to help us remember our previous skills. That should be a lot of fun, and I may end up with clothes I actually like!

And it seems that the gods are calling me to exercise. Just last week, my friend invited me to swim laps at our local pool. It was just wonderful, and I am so looking forward to going back, I hope with my friend, which makes it all the more fun. I also noticed that our local yoga studio has a special of 20 days for $20. A bit of research revealed that they have a 6:30 am class that I am looking forward to trying. All of this comes at a good time, as my elliptical is in parts on the great room floor while my spouse tries valiantly to figure out why a machine that is supposed to be very quiet, thunks like it’s falling apart.

Finally, the Sacramento Poetry Center has put on a great lecture series for the past few weeks. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to attend two lectures, and I hope to attend one more in the coming weeks. Those lectures have whetted my appetite for writing, so it is great luck that I just discovered a new writing group in Sacramento. Apparently, you just go to write for an hour, and nothing more. I love the idea of time dedicated just to writing.

Somehow, the world just seems cheerier with so many interesting projects and happenings to explore!

Creative Check-In

My boys are essentially done with our formal homeschooling for the year. I’ve also made the choice to cut back on my book reviews and some of my blogging for the summer. So, I have more freedom to pursue other creative projects consistently. I’ve been brainstorming some goals for my summer and have decided on the following:

1. My friend is expecting a baby in October, so I’ve decided to knit a baby blanket for her. I’m using Plymouth’s Fantasy Naturale No. 9903 (raspberry, white and mint) to make an Eyelet and Garter Baby Afghan (C112)

2. I want to write poetry again because I feel that I’ve neglected that aspect of my writing to my detriment. To that end, I’ve promised my writing group to present a new poem on June 17.

3. This past spring, I attended a SCBWI conference and came away with an idea for an early chapter book series. I would like to tackle that project this summer. I will need to (a) read a bit more about the genre, (b) research background for my book, (c) create characters that will interest children, and (d) plot out a story line. I’m also looking into joining a critique group for children’s book writers to push myself to reach my goal.

4. I’ve made a goal to try a new recipe each week with my sons. This week, I am trying new potato & turkey skillet supper with chard, feta, lemon and grape tomatoes from the June 2011 issue of Clean Eating magazine.

5. I’m hoping to get back to some art journaling, but I haven’t come up with a definite project yet.

With this list posted, I intend to record my progress in future posts.