Aug 22, 2014

Greenhouse and.... green everything

We have been struggling forever with our grass and our field. When we first moved in here we asked for a bunch of advice on facebook--what to do. We were told we'd likely need to till and re-seed. We've been planning on it... and planning... and planning. Each year something else came up and it got put off. And each spring, instead of enjoying one of my favorite times of year, I've experienced dread as the snow melts away to reveal my utterly horrible lawn and yard and field.

To start off this spring, though, someone anonymously came by and sprayed our weeds for us. It's something Jeff's struggled to want to do. He's dug his feet in a bit. He's really hesitant to do chemical weed killers and.... to be honest, I think he's liked having the dandelion greens within closer reach. But our neighbors (the high school, the seminary building) understandably do not like our dandelions. It was sort of a relief to me (I'll admit) when someone just came and did it for us, and we didn't have dandelions or alfalfa coming up through our grass.

And to add to this, last summer something kind of awesome happened. A guy came to our door--his mother sold the lot we now own to its previous owner, and apparently she sold water rights along with it, which were never officially transferred, but were, in fact, paid for. Because they were never transferred, the bank did not know about them when they were in possession of the property, and when they sold it to us, they told us that we did not have water rights.

Well, in settling up his mother's affairs, this man transferred the water rights. We now have official certificates for a certain number of shares in the canal that runs close to our property. And, to make it even more wonderful, the person who recently bought (or rented) the fields around us was motivated for us to irrigate. He said that it would make his situation better if we did. So.... he loaned us his tractor. And we dug our ditches. And with being able to flood a little, and bring our sub up, and with all the crazy rain we've had here, and horses that we've asked to come help us eat our weedy field down we are now....


(Look! it's grass! It's real grass!) And we're going to keep killing the weeds (yes, I'm going to put my foot down :/ ) and continue to add grass seed and it will get better each year. But this is the year we actually. have. a lawn. (of sorts. it's still patchy and there's still a lot of crab grass mixed in with real grass.)

It's nice because, rather than the expense of till-and-reseed, we may be able to instead purchase something we badly need.... a riding mower. Right now it takes about eight hours, all told, to mow everything that counts as lawn. And we have to mow it, or we get lame letters from the city.

As to the greenhouse. WE've made a breakthrough!! Jeff's continuing to mortar the blocks of course, but... we're doing the outside, and the inside, and the ceiling, in cedar. It will be lovely, and much cheaper than the other materials we've considered. I've liked the wood-look, so I'm pretty happy. If we could finish the blocks and finish the outside, at least, by the time snow comes, we'll be in good shape to slowly put things together inside over the course of this winter.

Aug 14, 2014


My writing goals have gotten me pretty far this year. I made a resolution to start writing 2000 words a day in January, and since then I've completed one manuscript at around 100,000 words and am about two thirds through another, which will probably end up being 200000 words. I'm glad... these are both stories I love, and have had weighing on the back burner for a while. I feel like I have one more I have to "get off my plate" before moving on to fresh, new, stuff.

But I don't know where any of them are going, is the problem. My publisher, Cedar Fort, turned down my most recent manuscript, a historical fiction, because they said that it did not have enough of a hook and tension through the beginning. So I re-sent it out to a bunch of readers, and have tweaked a bunch of stuff.

And i sent it somewhere else.

There's not a lot of places you can send an LDS fiction manuscript. So I'm kind of waiting to see what happens... what comes next will determine some pretty big writing-career-y decisions, I think.

But I sort of trust the Heavenly Father is in this. I can feel him in this. So I'm not worried, just... waiting.

(Cue Inigo Montoya: "I hate waiting.")

It's at moments like these that you have to remember you're writing because you love it, not because you have an audience. Hooray for writing, I love it. Now, hopefully there's an audience somewhere, too.

I'm going to have a few more poems published, and I'm entering some short fiction stuff in contests, and I'm helping a friend with his biography. I'm reading and reviewing LDS literature on A Motley Vision. Those things also keep me going and motivated (and busy.)

But yeah... I hate waiting.