clarentine: (cavalier)
Whew! Now, that was a day. I've been to a client's house to measure out the front yard for a base map - thank you, T., for your help. Bought and ate bagels. Drafted up that base map and did some preliminary work on the new circular driveway loop.

Out in the greenhouse, we got the new strawberries watered and set up ten flats of greens: Tyee spinach and Lacinato (both standard and variegated) and Red Russian kale. Screwed down some of the support frame that came unmoored in last week's tornado-y winds. Cleaned the chickens' waterer out and refilled it and their feeder. Dug up a mess of weeds from the onion and garlic bed and fed them to the chickens (who know to watch from that corner of their run when I go into the garden).

Back at the house, we refilled the kindling boxes for the woodstove and refilled the water jugs that live in the greenhouse, and finally I mixed up the latest batch of dog bikkies.

I think that's enough for one day. Don't you? :-)
clarentine: (cavalier)
Accomplishments for 2013:

-- A harvest which, despite the wettest year on record, is still filling boxes. Who knew winter squash liked so much wet? Who knew about peppers' love of moisture?

-- Marmalade, which was actually not the most difficult preserve I've put up thus far in my rather short career.

-- Three-quarters of a new novel. It's still fighting me every inch of the way, but we're getting there. Which is convenient, because I really want to get back to the first in the series and do some revision. You know, so it's presentable for company?

-- Conquering my fear of markers in color-rendering a drawing. In fact, if it wasn't for the contest I'm entering this drawing in, I might never have even tried. (I made three copies of this drawing so, if I screwed up two of them learning to color-render, I'd still be able to enter the contest with the black and white third. Thus far, I'm actually very pleased with the first attempt.)

Challenges yet to be conquered:

-- Learning to balance my time better. Just because I can do three things at once, two of them in my head, doesn't mean I'm more efficient that way or that the things I'm simultaneously working on are better for the split attention. I need to focus on just one thing at a time. Which means....

-- Not feeling guilty when I can't actually think about the current novel. The constant low-level current of thought about whatever scene I'm working on, circling endlessly without progress, robs me of the ability to focus deeply on my active project, which is usually active for a reason. So, yes, I need to just let it go every once in a while and not fret over the absence of those characters in my mental space.

-- Finishing what I start. Not ever going to conquer this one, but it's worth looking at every once in a while. Plus, notice how it feeds directly into the one above? Just one damned thing after another. ☺
clarentine: (Default)
We had two boatloads of prospective buyers wandering around the farm yesterday. We more or less expected them, though I had thought they'd be out there while we were at work instead of showing up around 4:30 and hanging around until 6:30. What I hadn't expected is that they'd bring a dog. And let it off-leash, even knowing we had dogs (who P. penned, thank you very much, as soon as he saw them drive up) and that their dog did not obey voice commands. I count it a miracle my two in the pen did not do each other a harm while reacting to the obnoxious loose hound pissing on everything and chasing the goose into the lake.

I had asked the Owner to ask the Buyers, one pack of whom had been out over the weekend (and stayed for three hours!) with all their children, to keep their kids away from the dog pen. The beagle barked quite a bit, and not in a "let's play!” voice, at the kids staring and shouting at her on Saturday. So what do they do? They bring a dog for the kids to chase and shout at. Oy.

So I get home, after a long day at work and a slow commute home (car fire on the interstate, making the bus 15 minutes late getting us to the park and ride), to find the "guests". One of the kids ran up to me, wanting to know where I'd been. My considered response, in my best Go Away tone, was, "Where do you think?" He persisted. I kept walking toward the house. One of the adults from the second boatload came around the house from the front yard, where they appeared to be congregating, with the same eager expression as the boy.

That's when I saw the dog.

Before he could push us into let’s-be-friends territory, I asked if that was his dog. He said no, it was the other people's and was there a problem? I think I managed not to snap something to the effect of just wondering whose dog it was running around loose. And then I escaped into the house, leaving him standing there with his mouth open.


These Buyers, the Owner tells me, hope to take possession shortly after we vacate the premises (agreed upon, now, to be some time at the end of October, to give the seller of the house we’ve got a contract on time to vacate herself). They seem to love the place, though by their very presence they destroy the main reason I like it (peace and quiet). I suppose I shall have to just grin and bear it for the next month or so, since I suspect they’ll be out again.

If Owner thinks our reception of her suggestions for how to care for her property have been frosty since she accused us of neglecting everything from the fussy flower beds to the cats and chickens, she is in for a surprise. That ain’t nothing compared to the reaction she’s going to get if she attempts to chastise us for not making the Buyers welcome.

(Which, let’s be fair, she probably won’t do. The Buyers are members of that uniquely clueless class of urbanites who think that all is well so long as we love each other, la la la. The kids really are just that earnest. The adults probably fake it well, but they win no points from me when they note, in that earnest tone, how they could never live full-time in the country, away from civilization. I doubt they understand why I might get upset about their unsupervised kids and the out of control dog. Why would they? They’re civilized.)

P. and I observed to each other, while hiding in the house waiting for the hordes to un-invade, that if Timmy fell down the well, we wouldn’t be the ones playing Lassie.

And we will be very happy to be shed of this place and Owners and Buyers. Oh, yes.


House inspection yesterday went well – a few small things we will ask to have fixed, I think. P. met the lady whose home it is, and he says she’s friendly and cooperative. P.’s much better than me at making nice, so I suspect she thinks we’re friendly and cooperative, too. *g*

While we work through the financial stuff and count down the days, I’ll content myself with plans for my new office. I’m thinking about a nice, big, stenciled flower on the wall I’m reserving for pinning drawings to. Stencils have been much on my mind of late. Apparently someone dropped a subliminal suggestion for stenciled mums into my mind one night while I slept, because I keep coming back to that image.

Maybe I’ll just go search the web for stencils. Yeah. Retail therapy to the rescue. *g*
clarentine: (Default)
Here's some of what's been keeping me busy the past week. I picked up these clients just before I went out of town in July. Then there was measuring, and thinking, and drawing, resulting first in this version of the converted driveway area:

H***** drive area, ver 1 w/ car

And then we met, and they decided they'd rather not have any parking area behind the current gate, so I thought some more, and drew some more, and have now proposed this:

H***** drive area, ver 2

All of the major structures are the same; the car gate (lower right corner, horizontal line between the border and the house) goes from a ten-foot-wide, double width gate to one that's five feet wide (or perhaps four, but it has to stay wide enough to accommodate the big rolling trash bins on their journey to the end of the drive on trash days). The barbeque grill area now has co-located seating (that's those cup-shaped half circles about midway down the lefthand sidewalk).

I have some ideas for plants - that's why there are a couple of circles near the former car gate - but at this stage it's mostly about shapes. Once they confirm that the shapes are what they want to see, we'll move into selecting plants and siting them.
clarentine: (Mastiff)
I've just invented a new word - guilting, a noun, synonym for guilt trip, which I cannot use in this context. I like it. So don't try telling me it's not the best new word you've ever heard, because I won't hear you. *g*


Hmm. What have I researched recently? Polo, polo ponies, types of trees and other plants that grow in this sort of setting. Food crops, likewise. Lots and lots of image searches for terrain that matches what I want to see on the page.

Oh, and Christmas gifts. *g* I still have to write out the cards, too, lest they become New Year's cards.

I got about 800 words the night before last, and have managed 692 more and two short scenes tonight. My "spare" time's been consumed lately not just with preparations for the upcoming Christmas gift-giving but with a legislative proposal that's striking fairly close to Career Path #2's right to practice. It's resulting in lots of email exchanges arguing complex readings of lawyerly text and low-level panicked politicking over the direction our professional landscape design organization will choose to go--support of the legislation, as long as we get the amendments to its wording that will keep us in business, or opposition. I think I've managed to convince the rest of the board members that we need an actual vote on the subject.

All of this conducted around Career Path #1's dayjobbery and writing. And I still have to organize year-end charitable donations, which mostly means inventorying stuff we're giving to Goodwill. Yeah. Busy am I.


I really wanted to be done with this rewrite by the new year. At the speed I'm going, I don't see that happening. The draft I'm rewriting has about 80 pages more to go, and there are some significant changes still to make under my current theory of the arc of this novel. On the plus side, however, I am working on page 337, and thus far the plot re-conception seems to be holding together.

Ah, well. Can't have everything, right?

Bizzy Girl

Jan. 27th, 2008 08:44 pm
clarentine: (Default)
They ("they") say that the make or break point for most businesses is five years. I've been working at this landscape design thing since February 2002, so nearly six years now. For the first time since I started the business, I had a fair amount of work over the autumn, and it hasn't let up yet. I've had client appointments every weekend since New Year's.

While it's sometimes a strain on my mental resources (this is a second job, if you will, with the writing taking third job position until someone clamors for it), I like the chance to stretch my creative muscles. Novel rewriting just doesn't provide the same satisfaction. Given the state of my appointment book and the historical swamped-ness of March through June, it looks like there's going to be a lot of stretching this spring. *g*


clarentine: (Default)

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