Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chicken Worries

After spending three and a half hours preparing my garden plots yesterday, I was feeling really proud of the work I'd accomplished only to look out an hour later and see the neighbor's free range chickens scratching the hell out of all that nice new loose dirt.  Since I haven't planted anything yet, it's not that big of a deal right now -- but I'm positive it will become one.  I've been doing some google searches, trying to find tips on keeping chickens out of a garden, but I just don't know what will work and what won't.  The neighbor's have a really huge garden every summer, so they must do something to keep the dratted birds out of their garden... I've never minded the chickens.  I love that they keep the bug population under control -- especially since there's a horse pasture in my backyard -- but I'm worried about them digging up my new seeds and eating the sprouts and munching on the growing veggies.  I'll have to ask the neighbor what she does...

So I got some great exercise yesterday and this morning I'm all sore and achy, of course.  Brother Williams from across the street came over this morning and offered to use his tiller on my garden.  If only I'd talked to him yesterday!  He's still going to till up some areas that I didn't get to, and I spread manure over my plots that he's going to till under for me -- thank heaven for wonderful neighbors!  Then I'll need to rake out the walkways again, cover them with cardboard so we can put wood chips down on them, and figure out a way to keep those stupid birds out.  If their wings have been clipped, a pretty short fence might be enough.  Then I could still reach to weed and harvest, but since it's such a small area, I don't want to try putting up bigger fencing because I won't be able to get in to my plants!  I guess I could try enclosing the entire area, walkways included, but I'm not sure how that would work with the horse cleaning pad which is cement and can't be moved...  Grrr.  I wish they'd built that thing just a few feet east of it's current spot!  Of course no one at the time had any idea that someone might want to try a garden out there some day.  And since the whole backyard is pretty much built around the horses, there's not really anywhere else to put my garden.  :(  Besides, I've already put too much work into that plot to want to move it now, anyway.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Creativity Sharing Stymied

I've been browsing polymer clay stuff and have found some really cool products and inspiring blogs, and I thought, it's been way too long since I posted stuff about the clay things I'm making.  In particular, I made some pendants and beads that I think are pretty unique and I thought I'd take some pics and post them on here.  So I dig out my camera ... and no battery power.  I go searching and I've only got 2 fresh batteries and my camera takes 4, so ... nope, that rechargeable battery thing I bought is completely useless and the batteries don't work.  I'm going to have to buy new batteries before I can take pictures, so I guess I won't be posting any pics of clay or jewelry OR garden any time soon.  ~sigh~

Well, anyway, I've been working on quite a few things for hopeful income, and I just got a short term job that will be probably be incredibly dull, but will at least bring in some income.  As soon as I can, I'll post some pictures of those pendants and beads. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Discouragement & What To Do About It

Last week in church (not day before yesterday, obviously, since it was conference), I sat in a row behind two little girls.  The younger sister was drawing on a blank pad and the older was writing on a 5"x7" spiral note pad.  I happened to notice the first line read "Once upon a time."  Immediately intrigued, I tried to inconspicuously read more, but could only make out a few words here and there in her large, childish handwriting.  Among them were "princess" and "talking cat."  This was certainly a little girl after my own heart!  She was interrupted once by her sister who gave her a drawing that included a heart and the words "I lov u," which she accepted with a smile. She wrote studiously for several minutes until the page was completely full of words, fitting in the end of her last sentence by turning the page sideways and writing the last couple words perpendicular to the rest.  Then, after tearing the page carefully from the notebook, she held it out, beaming, to her mother.

Those girls reminded me so much of me and my sister at that age.  I remember turning the page sideways, too.  After the meeting, I asked the mother how old the girl was.  Seven.  Seven years old and she's already writing stories.  When I mentioned that I used to do that, of course the natural response from the mother was   "How did that work out? Do you still write?"  I was embarrassed to admit that I haven't pursued writing as aggressively as I once thought I would.  But if there's one dream of mine that I've always had, as long as I can remember, it's being a writer, publishing a book.  I started my first book around age 11 or 12 -- never finished, of course.  The one I'm currently "working" on, I started at least 12 or 13 years ago.  My natural inclination is to beat myself up about it, but I must grudgingly admit that the last few months, I have actually worked on it -- mostly by starting over, but it's still the same story.

So, I'm discouraged.  I'll be 29 for the fifth year in a row this summer and I haven't accomplished anything I'm really proud of.  Listening to conference this last weekend, I thought about this a LOT.  I don't think that's what the talks were really about, but that seems to be all I heard -- doing something to make your life worthwhile.  I think my garden is a good start, and Janette, my RS President has been thrilled with my new activity at church -- I'm getting involved with the mid-week RS meeting committee, and that's been fun so far -- but the one thing I keep coming back to whenever I wonder what I really want to do with my life, is write.

Getting to the point... The garden will be good for me physically, I've made a good start at going back to church and being more active spiritually, so my mental well-being goal will be to finish Twin's Magic.  Hopefully I'll have it done by my birthday, but if I think of it that way, I'll put it off until it's too late.  Instead, I'm going to write at least 2 pages a day.  I won't limit myself to 2 pages -- if I have time or I'm on a roll, I'll write more, but I'm going to do at least 2.  So, here goes!  Good luck to me!