Friday, May 31, 2013

Overheard #253

"Try to be gracious, even if it hurts."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Too Easy - Early Answer

Yep. The Mystery Photo was a stack of egg cartons waiting to be returned to the farmer's market. 
 goes to Lori, Tim, and Gina for guessing egg cartons

goes to Debbie for guessing an army of soap sliver people, waiting in line for a washcloth

 goes to Charlie for guessing bent birthday candles

goes to Z for guessing skirts in a chorus line

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mystery Photo

What is it?
Is this too easy?

Awards will be posted on Wednesday (5-29-2013).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Overheard #252

"I would never arm-wrestle a pregnant woman."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stepping Back

Kristin and Donna Marie asked for longer range pictures of my Giant Backyard Project. We have too much shade for a lawn, and the weeds had taken over. Last summer I started taming the feral garden.

This is the entrance to the garden. I planted the vinca on the left of the path last spring, and the patch to the right earlier this year. The hosta bed on the far right used to be confluent, but the deer have thinned it.
More of the vinca and hostas.
I had a large lush European ginger plant under the large oak on the left of the top picture. It disappeared, but I have found "babies" throughout the garden. I transplanted them to a rock garden, and they seem to like it.
This is the other side of the vinca I planted last year (around the corner from the top picture). The stones under the rain spout help prevent erosion.
I'll post more pictures later in the summer, as the plants fill in and I get more weeding done.
Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


crabapple blossom
wild apple blossom (I think)
lily of the valley

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Experimenting with Vines

Many years ago, I planted a pink climbing rose and a deep purple clematis together. In June, they cover their trellis with gorgeous blossoms. A few years back, a poison ivy vine joined the party, but I ignored the problem. 

Last fall, I decided to eradicate the poison ivy. I cut back the rose, so I could get to the poison ivy roots. When plants share a trellis, they rub against each other, and the rose thorns became coated with poison ivy toxin. Introducing poison ivy toxin under the skin is A Very Bad Idea. Trust me on this.  

This spring, the poison ivy is back. I decided to spray some Round Up on a piece of aluminum foil then dip a Q-tip in the Round Up and paint it some of the poison ivy leaves. (Simply spraying the poison ivy is likely to get all three plants.) The possible outcomes include: 
A) Nothing 
B) A few poison ivy leaves will wither, and the plant will remain robust. 
C) The poison ivy plant will die. Forever. 
D) The poison ivy, the clematis and the rose will all perish.

I’ll keep you posted.

Overheard #251

"Never ask anyone riding a bicycle to help you fix your car."

Sunday, May 12, 2013


wild geranium
I believe these are wild blue phlox. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
botanist's valentine (I made that up.)
sweet white violet
I have lots of violets in my yard, but no pure white ones.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Overheard #250

"When it comes to pitch, at least try to be right some of the time."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Interesting Links and a Correction

Anna J Boll posted an interesting revising idea. She made a chart of the first sentences of each chapter in her novel. This is a way to check if chapters start with too much exposition. She can see if chapters tend to start at the same time of day, like when the main character is waking up. Most importantly, she can judge if each chapter starts with a hook. I’m going to try this. 

Elizabeth Wein’s wonderful novel Code Name Verity won the Edgar Award for the best young adult mystery/thriller in 2013. She also has a new book coming out, Rose Under Fire. I have never met Elizabeth Wein, but I loved Code Name Verity and can’t wait to read her new book.  

Correction: I misidentified a plant in my April 28, 2013 photographs.

This plant is called Spanish bluebells, which is a monocot. I said they were Virginia bluebells, which is a dicot. (The leaves in the photograph are vinca.)

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Brunnera - King's Ransom
Jack in the Pulpit

Fiddlehead - Thanks to Sandy Carlson for the ferns!
Rhododendron - Northern Hi-Lights

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Synopsis Exchange

We hateses the nasty synopsises, don’t we, Precious? 

Writing or revising synopses in never fun. Is anybody else struggling with their synopsis right now? Does anyone anticipate needing a polished synopsis within the next few months?  

Have I got a deal for you! 

I will organize a synopsis exchange among my kid lit friends. Please leave a comment on this blog entry if you’d like to participate in a synopsis critique exchange. Include your email address. I’ll match up entries in groups of two or three. Perhaps the exchange could begin this weekend or early next week.

(If no one responds, I’ll quietly go back to work.)