Interrupted by nature

The weather forecast said it would be warm Saturday, so I planned on doing yard work. A LOT of yard work. I had bulbs to replant, bushes to trim, limbs to pick up in the back yard …

I wanted to transplant some Easter lily bulbs to a better  location, but not until much later in the year.  To my surprise, they were already popping up, thus they were on my to-do list. I dug new homes for them and only managed to kill half of them. Ugh. those bulbs are deep and the little new growth is fragile. Still, I have enough re-homed to make up for my mass destruction.

Then I found a trespasser in my potted hyacinth that I had taken inside for the winter. I pulled it out and discovered that some squirrel had planted a pecan and it had take root. So I decided to plant it where the pear tree once stood. While doing that, I saw that the Japanese lilies I had planted out back a year ago had suddenly come up — not only where I planted them, but pretty much all over the yard. I had thought they were dead as they did not come up last fall when they were supposed to. Anyway, while planting the pecan seedling, I saw my preferred site was taken over by fire ants, so I had to treat the mound.

On to chore number two. I clipped about a fourth of the growth and was growing an impressive pile of branches. My goal is to be able to reach the privet that has taken root  in the very center of the quince bush. A quince bush is very spiky, so I couldn’t just reach in with the clippers because i would have had my arms torn to pieces even with gloves and a long-sleeved shirt.  It started to rain and I worked on, thinking a little sprinkle wouldn’t hurt me, but then it came down harder and I had to abandon my plans and come inside to change clothes.

The fallen limbs remain in place, as well as the hundreds of sweet gum balls that the last wind tossed down. I could almost hear the trees snickering.

I can see how this year is shaping up. I will be outside more than inside, raking and weeding and pruning more than I am reading or writing.

The good news is, I am this far from completing my third historical novel. I need to write a bridge scene, then go over it and make any changes and go over it again and again until I feel ready to send it to my favorite editor and beg a few people to be beta readers.

I know I need to balance my time. Sunny days for yard work, rainy days for writing.

Housework? Forget about it. That is for the day before company is expected.

What positively, necessary chore keeps you from tackling your work in progress? What can you safely ignore while listening to your muse?

I’m just wondering if I am a “normal” writer — if there is such a  person.







Oh Florence, you are so sloooow.

As I write this, the slow-moving behemoth called Florence is slouching our way. My youngest son and wife and my only granddaughter live in Wilmington, N.C., where the hurricane first hit land. Was I worried when I watched the news coverage of that rain and wind? You bet I was.

Even with the power out almost immediately on the coast, due to the marvels of modern technology, we were able to text back and forth. Although several trees came down on their street, they are safe. Bored, too hot (with no A/C), but safe.

My heart goes out to those who weren’t so safe, particularly around New Bern. Thank God for people who have boats, will travel.

Frenchy and Jack were watching the rain come down until I came into the room with the camera.

I’ve heard thrilling rescue stories and heart-breaking stories of rescue come too late.

We will have some wind and a lot of rain. I have tall trees on the back and one side of my property and I am hoping none of them decide to fall. And we will no doubt have power outages. My power went out at 10 p.m. last night as I was watching Season Two of “Ozark”. I wisely decided to go to bed since it was pitch dark anyway. I have grumbled about the security light out back and the street light out front, but when they are gone — it’s really dark.

Then at 11 p.m. the power came back on, accompanied by all  the lights I’d forgotten to switch off, and the security system loudly declaring it was baaack!

Seems funny in retrospect, but I have gone without power for extended times before — Hugo in September 1989 and the big snow in January 2000. So I know what it is like to grope for matches and candles and eat cold food for a week. At least we had the gas fireplace logs during the snow so we were able to stay warm.

Just how long will our neighbors to the east have to do without basic necessities such as lights and running water (not to mention phones and television) and simply being able to get out of their neighborhood what with all the downed trees is anyone’s guess. I hope it isn’t for too long. I think of Puerto Rico and shudder.

So I will take a little rain and wind and hunker down. If worse comes to worse, I have an LED lantern and lots of library books.

And snacks.




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