Monday, May 26, 2008


I never knew I was such a control freak in the garden! But its true, little Ms consensual living and win-win problem solving likes it My Way Damnit! where the plants are concerned.
Okay, here's the deal, what with the 40hr gig an' all, I'd been thinking that gardening might be a little much this year. Maybe I'd get one or two veggies and a couple new perrennials, but that would be it.
It so happens, though, that my charming and lovely neighbors, Mirror and Shiloh, who usually do a good bit of travelling, have decided they probably won't do so much this year due to the price of gas. So they want to learn about gardening. They're complete newbies, utterly clueless but full of Good Intentions. They also offered to buy plants.
Right On People! Lets make a Garden!
Uh huh, so here's where it gets sticky and I'm taking deep breaths chanting "its a process, its a process". We get some plants and they, my lovely neophytes Do Everything Wrong. OMG, I've made a Gigantic mistake! They Aren't Me and don't want to be me, or even have me stand over them and tell them exactly what to do. WTF is up with that? They want smiles and back patting and thank you very much, not
What the fuck are you doing? You don't put three mints in the same tiny bed where you just planted a Rose Bush!
NO! Idiots! The tansy will overwhelm the lemon balm in three weeks!
What part of "they compete with the tomatoes for the same nutrients" do you not understand?!?
But, dear friends, I was Good. I smiled and thanked and back patted and managed to be sincerely grateful for their help. Even when they only weeded the beds and didn't mow the paths and borders, like they said they would.
I am sincerely grateful because they have given me the one thing I really wanted - the motivation to get in the friggin' garden.
I spent Memorial Day weekend rearranging the plants.
I am not a newbie.
I may not be the greatest vegetable gardener in the world, but I've been gettin' jiggy with perrennials for Lo! these (almost) twenty years and
I know that I can dig the little darlings up and move their photosynthetic asses somewhere sensible.
Friggin' hippies probably won't remember where they planted half of it anyway.
So check it out! Ain't it purdey? I ended up making a new bed to accomodate all the extra mints - good lord, why did we need so many mints? And six lemon balms? And four, no five! different varieties of thyme? I moved one of those to a pot - the one with the fairy - since it was so tiny it was getting lost. The other potted dainty is a lemon scented geranium (these people love lemon, we have that, lemon balm, lemon thyme and... what was the other thing? oh, two lemon thymes, one varigated. Geez.
At least all those thymes gave me something to swap with the mints that were on the verge of smothering the poor rose - that bed's up at the very top, btw, and the relocated mints are in the other pic.
Now that I have more space and motivation I've been gathering free plants - from friends and the roadside and the yard by my house. That's slowly going to shade, so I'm gradually relocating all the sun loving plants and starting to think fishpond. It might take a few more years to get there, but its coming.

Friday, May 23, 2008

absolut smugness

I'm utterly tickled. Ray came home from a party yesterday... whoa up, let me set it up a little. We live about a half mile from a small intentional community, the Pumpkin Hollow Community, where George and Ray lived when I met them. One of the current residents has a son who is graduating from high school this year and he and Ray are sort of friends, so Ray was invited. He walked to the party - no reason not to, really, its not that hot, yet, and we're all used to the idea of walking up there. About an hour later Ray was back, looking disgusted.

"How was the party?"

" It sucked, it was all about beer."

George and I tried hard not to gloat. "Really?"

"Yeah, I thought someone (adult) was throwing the party for Sean, but really its just an excuse for a bunch of kids to get drunk and be stupid."

"Oh, that sucks."

"Yeah. Sucks."

So George an I are rolling in smugness that the boy who wanted a sip (or seven, or twelve) of every drink anyone had in hand is now saying that drunk and stupid sucks. Its not so much that we're geniuses, its more a matter of Ray being such a cool guy, but I just have to say it again: take That! public school. Nyeh nyeh ny' nyeh nyeh. Ptttttttbbbbbbb.

Okay enough gloating. I have my first every paid holiday ahead of me - I used to work retail so holidays meant long hours and grumpy customers. Over xmas I hadn't been with Cast Design long enough to get paid for holidays, so they were a drag of anxiety about no money to pay bills. So for the first time ever I'm going to enjoy a paid day off. So I'm feeling good about that.

And to ice the cake, "the guys" as I think of my co-workers, are going to be out of town, so I'll have the whole shop all to myself next week. Ahhhhhh. And they did a really swell job cleaning it up today, besides. Oh! Oh! another aspect of my smugness (I'm just full of it today) is that we rearranged the shop yet again, mostly the way I wanted it. We moved a whole lot of Big Stuff - molds for making fireplace mantles and domes, in particular, and at my persistent insistence, the Ops Mgr agreed to arrange them so that I can get to every mold in the darn building and move it to the casting area myself.

Over the last three weeks we've determined that I can cast Anything in the shop by myself (I just can't stop gloating, can I?) something everyone in the shop, myself included, strongly doubted those three weeks ago. But I did it, darnitall. I cast the biggest mantel we have - over three hundred pounds of gypsum cement, plus water, geez it was huge - with no assistance at all. And it looks Great - absolutely the best mantel we've cast since Tim bought the company, no exaggeration. "The guys" even complained that I was going to put them out of work if I kept casting things that needed so little patching. But it was okay, Tim went nuts and told me to cast three, while I was at it, and three of another, and this weird proto-mantel that is used to make custom designs, so there's plenty of work to be done when they get back, my fabulous casting notwithstanding.
And now that really is enough.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Its been a weekend of quilt stuff for me. I came home friday to a pair of boxes on my doorstep - the return of my quilts from the Denver National Quilt Festival ( That was scary-exciting. My first big national quilt show. I managed to get a Judges Choice award for the quilt in the pic above - which happens to be called "Winners' Circle" emphasis on the apostrophe after the s. I know a few of my online unschooling pals read my blog, so This one is for Y'all!!!! Really, its inspired by all my yakking online about valuing our kids for Who They Are, and living with kids in the moment and finding win-win solutions. Hence the apostrophe.

Saturday I went up on Short Mountain to visit with Matty and Prolivia and chat about a quilt that Matty, in particular, wants me to make. That was lovely, since it involved a walk through the woods and some really fabulous Faerie storytelling. So I have another wonderful new project to start designing... something with daffodils and wildlife and dancing in a magic circle. I'll have to figure out how that all fits together quilt-wise. Fun.

And now its sunday and I'm working on a double-wedding-ring background to a quilt of Hades and Persephone sharing their pomegranate (yummmmm) and a lone-star quilt for Jane that seems to have endless borders.... geez.

So my giant cutting counter is cluttered with fabrics and templates, the iron is steaming expectantly and I'm taking a minute to update the blogs, drink coffee and think about a snack. And maybe a new neckline for a red tshirt dress - something with turquoise and silver...

Oh, and the neighbors weeded the garden, today, which doesn't have anything to do with quilts (except that they modelled for the thing with the pomegranate), but they sure looked sexy out there, all bent over and sweaty and covered in soil and bits of weeds. Ahhhhhhh spring!