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My vision is to create a business from my garden, so that I can afford to leave my job, have the garden as income, and paint and write. I also want my customers to read the story of my garden, look at pictures, and get an idea of the process of the work of the garden.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I am wanting to write on my weblog, but am swamped at work this week. And Thanksgiving is coming up fast. I will write if I get a chance this week, and answer different people's posts--like to get back to people sooner rather than later, but priorities, priorities.

If I don't get to "share," Have A Happy Thanksgiving, All! Remember Your Purpose!


Thursday, November 20, 2003

I've been looking at a lot of Blogs today, got started when I was writing about the move to the country. Explaining how we were living in Ranelagh, I wanted to find a link to someplace in that area of Dublin, and then got started in reading Irish blogs, and from there, as it happens, found myself transported all over. In between readings I got the opportunity to do some work here at work.

I put a link to Oliver Willis, whose writings are politically interesting to me.

Got up early enough this morning to go to an AA meeting, which was like a bracing cup of extra-strong coffee to start the day. Tonight is my last night of teaching for the semester, after which my Thursday evenings will be free, and I can start going to my favorite Al-anon meeting, which should keep my head on straight regarding my relationships.

Went walking/jogging at lunchtime, and prepared myself when I got to the duckyard, to do battle with the white gander who has some aggressive tendencies. Yesterday, while walking with a friend, we encountered said gander, who even approached us as we were crossing the narrow footbridge, necessitating some quick branch-grabbing and shaking to foil him. Such a simple life.

I am still procrastinating about doing my customer survey for the garden. I need to set myself a deadline, so that it gets done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I have been working on the story of the garden, not sure how to do it on Blogger. I created another website, and am going to link to it here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Have been looking at lots of websites and wobbles today, and have put into play some of what I have learned. Thus, the newer look of my site, less horsy type, etc. Since my job is "feast or famine," and today it was the latter, I've been playing around. I am really an ignoramus when it comes to web site construction, but I believe I can learn if I just apply myself.

Also, have seen such a wide range in the quality of writing. I would like to improve my own, but off-shore, and then post the finished results. I think this should be in a form of essays on various topics, like gardening, recovery, etc., and then create links to those sites. I used to write a gardening column for a local paper, and I've been pressed into service at work writing business columns for the company newsletter, which ostensibly is used as a marketing tool. And I enjoy the writing, but don't really work at it. The level of work online is inspiring, and hope it will lift this boat!

wobble (see above) is what the spell-check offered to me in place of weblog. I think it fits where I am.

Monday, November 17, 2003

I still have some things growing in the greenhouse, broccoli raab, various lettuces, and aruguga. Also some sorrel, which I have been cutting and making a sorrel and red onion tart, which is sooooo delicious! Outside I still have red russian kale, brussels sprouts, bok choi and tat tsoi. There is some still-unfrozen cilantro, which I probably won't use, and some beets and carrots. That's it!

I have been reading Elliot Coleman's Four Season Gardening, and also sent for his manual on winter gardening ($15), which gives the varieties of very hardy cold weather greens, but I am not interested in pursuing winter gardening yet. He has a set-up that has large commercial greenhouses, and we have a very small greenhouse with one bed for growing, and plenty of shelves for flats. I am only interested in keeping the greens alive until Thanksgiving, so we can eat them for dinner.

But tonight I will pick some Broccoli Raab in the dark when I get home to take to my friend Julia's for dinner.

Michel and I drove to New York yesterday to have a birthday celebration with his daughter and her husband. We brought gifts then walked to Chinatown for dim sum. We ate in a dim sum palace, with lots of big round tables, and servers walking the aisles with steaming plates of assorted dumplings, rolls, etc. It was fun, though I got an msg-induced headache about three quarters of the way through our meal, and felt strange the rest of the afternoon. I wouldn't miss it for the world, though. My stepdaughter and her husband seem to be dim sum aficionados, and they know what to select, and I enjoy people selecting my food in a circumstance like that. Later we went walking around Chinatown, and stopped by some fun grocery shops, and tea shops.

I went to al-anon at noontime today, and we read selections from the book "Courage to Change," on the first step. I realized that I don't have the right questions about things in my life. My questions run along the lines of "When is such and such going to happen?" and "How can I make it happen?"

These are not the right questions I need to be asking. In fact, right now, I need to be asking: "What is the question I need to be asking?"

Friday, November 14, 2003

Just added a site called "Gardening as an Anarchist Plot." I am having fun today!
I have added a new gardenblog link today. I am just starting to get the hang of it all. I am inspired by some of the writing on this site, and I love the photos. Garden Djinn is the name.

Later I will put in a link that I saw in the Providence Journal online. I have to figure out how to do that, first of all.

See you later.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Here's my answer to Lorelei (her link is From the Inside Looking Out).

She asked: What Does a Gardener Do in the Winter?

My Answer:

You'd be surprised. Oct, Nov, Dec is general garden clean-up. Sow regenerating cover crop, rake leaves and shred them onto the beds. In Dec comes the best thing--Da Daaa--the seed catalogs. Then, instead of going Christmas shopping like everyone else, I climb into an easy chair and plan my seed purchases for the spring. The seed catalogs have the best writers--they get me all excited and visionary about my garden. So in Dec I plan and order. Need to order quickly, as some things run out, and I have to get started in January. (I usually do get my Xmas shopping done, but the seeds are the fun part of Dec.)

In January, I look at my indoor light-contraptions, make sure all the lights are working, and I start seeding some vegetables in trays for indoor germination. Start parsley, celery root first, and then as the weeks go on in Jan I work on germinating others for the EARLY SPRING GARDEN.

Lots of vegetables love the cold weather, and you can plant them really early, as soon as the soil is workable. So I need to start these indoors, because they need 55-68 degrees to germinate, but after that, they LOVE the cold weather, as long as they don't freeze.

So January, Febuary, I have trays and trays of seedlings indoors. Around March I put them out in the cold frame that I put on the large front porch we have, because I have to bring them in at night. Nights are still too cold. But now I am looking for the days that the soil can be worked, and I plant then. Also, I can direct seed peas now, as they love the cold, and can germinate in pretty cold soil. But I have to cover the beds with reemay, which is a fabric that lets in sun and rain, but warms up the soil a bit. The seeding indoors goes on and on through the summer, and then I stop doing that, except for salad mix. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty time for relaxing in the fall. The days are so short, that by the time I get home from work it is too dark to go outdoors, so it is reading, relaxing, tv, etc. in the winter. Next month, Dec, I am joining the gym that my company subsidizes, and for three months will go after work for a few nights to keep the weight manageable in the holiday season. Right now I am jogging during lunchtime, but once it starts snowing, it won't be as enticing to go out.

Wow, didn't I say a mouthful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I'm having a bit of a hard time these past couple of days. Trying to shake off fear and gloom that clutches at my heart. Sometimes I feel like the lonliest person in the world. I need to keep trying to reach out, and I do. I revisited Al-anon meetings this week, something my AA sponsor has long been telling me to do. And I have been welcomed and accepted, as I try to sort through some things in my life that I can't talk about here.

But, as I enter this process of getting my hand up and talking about what is bothering me, before the miracle of peace of mind and heart kicks in, I am continuing to do those things that are my current disciplines of self-care: jogging/speed-walking, eating good, healthy food, taking vitamins, taking long, hot baths.

And trying to reach out to friends and support system each day. Feeling core feelings, though, and they are not happy thoughts. Have gotten through a couple of bad days, with some tears. But I've gotten through. It is just a matter of finding the right tools, and working on breaking through my isolation.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I have to share this story. I went out speedwalking/jogging today during lunch hour. Followed my typical path, down the towpath, behind the houses along the canal. Today is misty rain, and there are no other people on the towpath, except early on is a guy with his dog. As I reach the end of my route, where I turn around to come back, I have to pass a house hidden behind some large hedges. There is a large opening in the hedges, and one can see into the yard, which is a hangout for various ducks and geese that swim up and down the canal. There is even a sign that says "Duck Food 25 cents" in the yard, and I assume there is some kind of feed there for the ducks.

As I approached this area today, I could see two white ducks lying about on the towpath. I have seen these two ducks before. They are both white, a male and a female. The male is very strange, with a violently red thing (crest? wattle?) above his beak, and he seems to be the pursuer in the relationship. One day last week I saw him, and he was all alone, but today he was hanging out with the lady.

Sometimes in the past, he has exhibited the same kind of undulating neck thing action that geese do when they are warning you not to come too close. Today, however, as I approached the two, he started coming towards me in an aggressive way. Now, I am not afraid of ducks, though I do give the geese plenty of room, since Michel and I have been chased by a Canadian goose once on the towpath up near where we live, and I have even been flown at by a goose while I was running up there a couple of years ago. But the way he came at me, gave me pause. I managed to scoot around him in a half jog, but when I turned around, he was definitely chasing me. I started to laugh, but I picked up my speed at the same time, and this bugger picked up his speed, and kept chasing me. I couldn't believe that I was being chased by a mad duck!

I wish this blog was a cartoon strip, so I could try to illustrate the perfect comic scene here. Finally he stopped chasing me and I kept on going. Now, I had to return, so what was I going to do? After I did a bit of stretching, I found a shrub with some leafy branches. This used to be my tactic with the Canadian geese a while back. I would approach them, shaking a leafy branch, and they would reluctantly head off the towpath into the water. I was ready for Mr. redbeak! However, as I approached the messy duckyard, he was not to be seen. Anywhere. Nor his lady. Was this a figment of my imagination? We shall see. But I will keep an eye peeled for him from now on.
Haven't blogged in a while, keep forgetting to do so. I am not gardening now, so it seems less relevant. I am enjoying the autumn. I have been jogging, and speedwalking during lunch, and got some new vitamins, and feel really BETTER, it's amazing. And, next month, in December, when the cold hits, and perhaps the snow comes to keep me wanting to stay indoors more, I am planning to join the GYM nearby. My company gives us a discount, and I can go and use the weights.

Posted last about car dying. And it did. Now, the search for another. I am driving a rental for the time being. So nervous about this. On the one hand, I don't seem to have very good luck with used cars, even though I keep them well-serviced. On the other hand, I am scared of putting out all that money for a new car, down payment, and taking on a monthly payment. Someone at work just bought a new (next year's model) car, and alrready had it towed to the dealer. So, in order to not paralyze myself into inaction, I am goiing to do some comparison shopping of new cars online, go to see a person in my company who others have told me is a NUT about buying cars, and would be a good person to talk to, and swallow hard and look at used cars. A good friend bought a late-model Honda a couple of years ago for about $10,000, and she is pretty happy with her car.

This morning I got up and meditated and then dressed and went to an AA meeting. And then later, received an email from my Honda friend above who told me that someone died on Halloween in our village who used to surface at meetings. Didn't make it. Couldn't get sober. Last week, the sister of an AA friend died, she couldn't stay sober, pancreatic cancer. Another person in AA, her sister, drunk, fell and is now in a vegetative state. So much death with this disease, and it is so easy to forget, on a day-to-day basis that is is deadly.

So what's the big deal about a car. This is how I am talking to myself right now. I feel good from exercising, etc. and not going to clutter up my arteries with worry.

On world topics: Finally, the Times is mentioning the lack of sensitivity our president exhibits when so many young people are dying because of his war. He just acts as if it is no big thing, has no comment to make on all the death. Such a callous bunch.

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