Monday, November 30, 2009

Cutting It Close...

Got to talking to one of my old roommates tonight and almost missed the midnight deadline to post on this last official day of NaBloPoMo. I think I posted everyday except one, and that's because I lost track of time and posted 16 or 17 minutes into the next day.

The Saints are 11-0, a fact that I never in a million years would have imagined I could write.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More planting

Today, many more plants were planted in the ground. It makes me so happy now to just look out the window, any window.

There's something about having all the blooming and growing going on, surrounding us on all sides that feels so good. And liberating the plants from their nursery pots. I love knowing that their roots are going to be able to find their ways down into the soil and take hold without the restrictions of a small round pot.

Once I get the last of the big things into the ground, I'm going to have fun harvesting worms from the compost pile and introducing them to all the new plant beds. I'm hoping fun with worms begins tomorrow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Good thing I set down Eclipse. Just managed to post with 6 minutes to spare.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Karaoke will never be the same.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


The garden's coming along. The garden's coming along!

My hands feel like sandpaper.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Digging and planting

We're up to five carloads of plants and the garden is starting to look like a garden and not piles of sculpted soil.

Today I planted Louisiana irises, begonias, African lilies, camelias, pansies, garlic, Indian hawthornes, loropetalums, and snapdragons. Tomorrow the azaleas are going in, along with a blood orange and satsuma tree.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I did not do what I was supposed to do today. I did a lot of other things that needed to be done that I'd been avoiding. Turns out I'm avoiding those other things less than the big project I have to do. Maybe tomorrow I need to go sit in a coffeehouse for a few hours with my computer and get moving.

It's the same feeling I have when there's a big paper, or a thesis to be done. Getting started is the hard part.

Today my dad and I picked up three more carloads of plants for the landscaping. Tomorrow I will find out which task I am avoiding more: starting the project or digging lots of big holes.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I did not stay up all night reading Twilight last night. That was a success. And it's kind of been in the back of my mind today, but it hasn't been an incapacitating need to know what's going to happen next.

Today I picked up a license plate at the car dealer and then went and got a toll tag so it will be possible to cross the bridge without always worry about whether or not I have a dollar. This is a small but significant quality of life improvement.

Tomorrow I will work at least seven hours on a garden related project. At least, that is the goal. I might have to have my mom drive away with Twilight to ensure that happens.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Slippery Slope

I'm about to start reading Twilight. I've been holding off until I had a little free time, having heard from so many people how they stayed up all night reading.

My laundry is done and some of the plants are in the ground. It's too dark to do any more planting. Let the reading begin.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Tonight I got to have dinner with some of my favorite people and that was so nice. One of the things I need to get better at is making sure to make time to spend with friends. So often work and projects and other obligations start to take over everything and that's not ok.

This afternoon my dad and I went plant shopping. We're working on landscaping the entire house, front and back yards. We brought home one carload of plants today and will probably go out and get another carload tomorrow. We're planting a lot of edibles in the backyard. I've got the start of an extensive herb garden that is going to go in the ground tomorrow morning. There's also a navel orange tree that needs planting. At some point we might put in a papaya tree and maybe some more citrus (blood oranges or limes...).

I can't wait till all the plants are in. I'm going to set up my hammock in the backyard and hang out there when I'm not in the woods.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Back in Society

I'm home and so exhausted. It's not even 9:00 and I'm dying for bed. Not sure if I remember how to sleep when not confined by a sleeping bag.

Dispatches from the Woods 6

The sleeping bag gets a B+.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dispatches from the Woods 5

Tonight it's supposed to get down to about freezing and I'm sleeping in a kind of a shack. This night is going to test the efficacy of my sleeping bag and wool socks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dispatches from the Woods 4

Tonight we had a night off and went into town to reconnect with civilization. I learned that if Target and World Market are placed side by side, much as I loooove Target, I'd would spend my time instead at World Market. That's the big insight for the day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dispatches from the Woods 3

I know this is gross but sometimes I find myself staring at massive earwax buildup in kid's ears and wishing it was socially acceptable to ravage their ears with a Q-tip.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dispatches from the Woods 2

Found out that the Saints are 9-0. The owls out here are calling WHOO DAT tonight.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dispatches from the Woods

It's day 2 of what is going to be an 8 day stretch in the woods. I'm hoping I don't forget what day it is and neglect to post. It's still Saturday, right?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Men with Tools

The men with tools are here. This is a momentous day. The landscaping is happening! The landscaping is happening!

Right now, there are three men outside who have accomplished more with a sod cutter in two hours than my assistant and I were able to do in two weeks over the summer. The bare, glorious dirt is looking beautiful. And I can't wait to go plant shopping with my dad when I get back from the woods.

He caught me in our micro-butterfly garden yesterday, fiddling with the plants, meticulously picking up fallen leaves and said, "You want to be a gardener when you grow up, don't you."

My answer, "Yep, when I retire from teaching."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perky Puppy

Today the dog has been feeling pretty perky. One day down, the next day up. Today she's been practically trotting around the house. There's no pattern to her sequences of bad days and good days.

I had a big list of things I wanted to get done today. I accomplished several things on the list, but about half of the list has yet to get done. Tomorrow I'm headed back into the woods so there's about 12 hours left to do what I've got to do. I'd like a good 8 of those 12 hours to be filled with sleep though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Old Age

Our dog isn't doing well. She's old, at least 16. Today she's been listless. She's awake, but just lying on the floor, not licking my hand when I pet her, not moving her tail, staring into the distance.

It's hard to watch the decline of someone you love.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weather Event Post Tramatic Stress

There are some things that are good about being cut off from most communication out in the woods, and some things that become more complicated.

One thing I never really thought about is that if you have a bunch of 10 year olds who were probably traumatized by a massive hurricane when they were in kindergarten, telling them that a hurricane is on the way when they are separated from their families is probably the last thing you want to do.

We called it a storm. A storm is coming, it might be strong, with wind and rain. Your parents would feel better if you were home with them.

Some of the children were extremely upset that they were going home. They weren't ready to go, halfway through their experience, and wind and rain seemed like a ridiculous reason to leave. "It's not like it's a hurricane or something. We can handle rain. We packed ponchos!"

But you know you can't mention the hurricane. They need to find that out when they are back home, safe with their families.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Still tired. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I'm home again. Two days early.

Too tired to explain why.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Time Changes

One of the things I loved about living in Japan was that there was no daylight savings time. The time didn't change twice a year and people stayed pretty even-keeled. There's been a lot of grumpy crazy this week and I blame the screwiness on messing with people's internal clocks.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Can I post from my phone? If you see this, the answer is yes.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Queen Bee

I'm taking a new tea with me, into the woods.

"Cycles are, by nature, predictable. Most have familiar beginnings, behaviors, and endings which allow us to prepare for, adjust to–and (in the best case scenario) even embrace them...

Queen Bee Balance is deliciously harmonious. It has an uplifting-yet-soothing flavor that helps make adjusting to difficult cycles easier, and the inclination to embrace them a little more likely."

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Heart Visiting

Going to New York for a week was just what the doctor ordered. Last night I was having dinner with my old co-workers from the park. One of them asked, have you been enjoying being back in New York?

"It's been fantastic!"

Does it make you think about possibly moving back?

"Absolutely not."

I love visiting New York. (I should get that made into a t-shirt.)

Visiting means not having to worry about laundry. There's no apartment to clean. There are no work deadlines to meet. No school work to submit to professors. Friends try hard to get together to catch up face to face, even if it's only for 20 minutes over a cup of tea. There's time to wander the museums. It's ok to gorge on sugar because of all the walking and endless stairs. Two dinners, back-to-back in one night, are perfectly acceptable. The one week unlimited ride Metrocard is worth its weight in gold.

There's enough time to visit old haunts and see a new place or two. There are several favorite places not visited, beckoning for a return inspection. Favorite people not seen, needing to be returned to before too much more time passes.

When I lived in the city, somehow there was never time for all these things.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Packing It ALL In

I'm ready to fly home tomorrow and sleep.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Feet Are A-Hurtin'

I've walked my way around three boroughs in the past 5 days. In relatively new shoes. New shoes that I bought specially for the woods because they are waterproof. I need shoes I can use to stand in puddles for 10 hours at a time. (The last shoes failed that test).

The blisters started yesterday. Today I noticed the gaping hole that had formed where two seams meet in the shoe. Nice. My brand new specially ordered expensive shoe.

It's been wonderful to get to spend this week in New York as a visitor. I much prefer it to living here. There are no projects to do around an apartment. Laundry is something to do when I get home. I'm not cleaning a bathroom or trying to finish something on deadline.

There's been a lot of eating. And friend visiting. One night I ate two dinners because it made it possible to see two groups of people. There are a lot of friends I'm not getting to see at all so that means another trip will have to be in the works for either the spring or early summer.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Good lord, has another whole year passed already?

It's become a masochistic ritual to try to post ot the blog everyday in November. I succeeded for the first two years and failed the third. Giving it another go this year.

The November's full of posts become a snapshot of what life is like this time each year. The theme that last couple of years was BUSY BUSY BUSY. I'm not sure what the theme will be this time around.