A garden is a loathsome thing, God wot

When I lived in my third-floor walk-up, I had pots of flowers and herbs on the back stairs, and dreamed of a larger garden.

When I lived in my townhouse, I had a plot roughly 10′ by 10′, plus another bit about 4′ by 3′. I crammed in roses, day lilies, Asiatic lilies, a butterfly bush, iris, spring bulb flowers, hostas, and a clematis. I still dreamed of a larger garden that I could divide into “rooms,” each on a different theme.  I also spent a lot of time drowning beetles that liked to eat the roses.

I now have a larger garden, not the huge one I dreamed of, but normal city-lot sized garden. It was very pretty when we bought the house, color-coordinated in shades of purple and white. Iris, hyssop, nicotiana, roses, ornamental thistles (the goldfinches love them), clematis, assorted other hardy flowers and herbs. Including campanula . . . oh, wait a minute.

I now see the point of lawns: they are a low-maintenance way of providing space between you and your neighbors; you can hire someone to come and cut the lawn and trim the shrubbery and you’re done. You do not have to spend hours ripping out creeping bellflower, and then ripping it out again, and again. I found some tiny little lemon balm plants struggling for survival underneath it. I didn’t think there was anything that could choke out lemon balm. Morning glories have spread from somewhere (those tiny little seeds . . . ) and I’m unpicking them from the roses (ouch).

The hostas are holding their own fairly well against the bellflower. I may try to plant a sentinel ring of hostas around the iris and the roses. But I’m now dreaming of a condo with a balcony where I could grow a few flowers and herbs in pots.

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700: three weeks’ worth of three weeks

This is my seven hundredth post.  After . . . seven and a half years?  Not particularly prolific.  But long-lived!  You have to give me that.

It seems appropriate that this is a numbers post.  I like doing the numbers.  I’m starting a year of sabbatical leave (woot!), and need to think about ways to break up the time and make it meaningful to me, so I don’t waste it.  I’ve written before about the struggle I have to make time seem concrete and real.  It seems like progress to have worked out that I have this problem.  More than a year (since I have next summer and this summer) seems like a lot of time.  Fifteen months is even more time.  Breaking it down into weeks . . . there’s a long string of weeks, more than sixty.

I have found that I can schedule tasks for myself for up to three weeks at a time.  That is, I can be quite specific for one week (400 words on Specific Topic), a little more general in the second week (400 words added to Essay X), and in the third week things get vaguer (at least one hour on whatever Essay X needs then).  By the end of three weeks, I have to recalibrate.  But I can get my mind around three weeks, in a way that doesn’t work so well with longer lumps of time.

So, that long stretch of over 60 weeks?  Actually, it’s sixty-three weeks until I’m on contract for my next teaching semester.  3 x 3 x 7.  Twenty-one times three weeks.  Three weeks is 21 days.  So, three weeks’ worth of three weekses.  I can grasp this, and plan in three-week chunks (though in practice, I’ll need to review at least every second week, since when I start that vague third week, it needs to get some details).  It’s a plan.

K’zoo conversation

DEH: [description of woman, trying to remind Sir John of someone he had met briefly]

SJ: Do you mean that woman who was so excited about the prospect of more free booze?

DEH: That only describes about half the people at this conference.

MMP news

The limb of the Octopus that I lopped off and sent out last winter (that is, the MMP-3) has found a home.  Minor revisions, but hey, what new home doesn’t need a lick of paint and some repairs?

MMP-1 is still being brooded over by a dragon who may or may not admit it to his hoard (ack, mixed metaphor: well, let’s say I gilded the octopus-leg before trying to tempt the dragon with it).

For about a month, the MMP-2 has appeared to be two paragraphs and a round of proofing away from being offered to another dragon.  Once I get the K’zoo paper wrestled into submission, I’ll do that gilding and see if I can find a thief to sneak it into the draconian lair.