It happens frequently: My mind follows an interesting course. I think, “I should blog about that.” And the day goes by without my doing it. This has happened approximately… what’s the date? July 23rd? Okay then, it’s happened approximately 20 times since my last post.
So today, I’ve decided to actually write about something instead of merely sitting here blinking while I think about it. The problem is, choosing The Topic among so many. Let’s start with book sales. Not exactly going anywhere. Which makes it all the easier to procrastinate on my latest WIP. Which is making me long for venison. (I did tell you what I’m currently writing, didn’t I? Deer in the Dining Room: A Hillbilly’s Guide to DIY Bambi Butchering? Yeah, that’s the one.)This is my first non-fiction endeavor, and I’m finding it to be a whole different animal (pun intended) from novel-writing. Equally challenging, but in different ways. And both require a higher level of diligence than I’ve been willing to put toward it lately.
Let’s move on to a happier subject: onions. Remember those wonderful onions I used to grow at our last home? Well, I planted a few in my miniature garden here, but they did absolutely nothing. Just grew to about the size of those little cocktail onions you buy in a jar, and then quit. Since they’ve quit growing and the tops are dying, I have no choice but to use them. How utterly unsatisfying!However, the zucchinis are growing like gangbusters (do gangbusters grow? I need a better analogy. How about… they’re growing like zucchinis in summertime?) and they’re keeping me busy giving them away. Moreover, having zucchinis requires me to use more onions than usual, which causes me to miss my old garden anew. Green beans are also doing well. The cucumber plants look nice and healthy and are producing a few–and they’re tasty! But they’re the slowest-growing cukes I’ve ever seen.We’re also starting to get peppers, and I made my first batch of jalapeno poppers the other day. Ummm-ummm! Tomatoes are still green as… tomatillos. Yes. That’s what they’re the color of. But if the deer will leave them alone long enough, we should be getting some ripe ones eventually. We keep putting hydrated lime on all our plants and odoriferous critter-deterring granules around them, which seems to keep the pests away for one night — and then it rains and washes off the lime and dilutes the stink, and the next morning we find more deer tracks in the garden and damage to the plants.
I sure would like to use one of those pesky varmints in a modeling session to illustrate the butchering process for my book. But alas, there are two very good reasons why I can’t: 1) It’s not deer season; and, 2) we live in town, which means we can’t shoot a deer in the yard anymore. Gone are the days of giant onions in the garden and good deer hunting out the bathroom window.
But there are several things I like about this house better: 1) Convenience to everything. Have I mentioned that our bank, doctor’s office, dentist’s office, auto mechanic, beauty shop, and public library are all within easy walking distance? Lowes, the mall, the grocery store, and the drug store are all within a mile or two; and the church, where I also work, is about a 10-minute drive. 2) Great neighbors and neighborhood. Important indeed!
3) It’s the least dusty house I’ve ever lived in. It just doesn’t seem to get dirty.
4) It’s also the least buggy; no ants, spiders, mealy bugs, flour weevils, wire worms, centipedes, silverfish, or any of the other creepy things that I’ve long been accustomed to sharing my living space with. Well, okay, I’ve seen a spider once or twice in the 9 months we’ve lived here, an occasional fly comes in, and I think I’ve disposed of three stinkbugs. But I can open a box of cereal and just roll up the inner wrapper without sealing it in a Zip-Lock bag, and there will be no bugs in it the next day, nor even the next week. When I bring pasta home from the grocery store, I don’t have to take it out of the box and put it into an insect-proof container right away. I don’t find spiders in every corner on a daily basis. I can let the grandkids sleep on the carpeted floor in the basement without worrying about what’s crawling there. And so on.
5) For the first time in decades, the water coming from the faucet doesn’t make everything dirty. Yes, you read that right. Our well water wasn’t dirty, exactly, but it had so many minerals in it — even after going through a softener — that it made everything it touched look dirty, filmy, and/or stained. Every time I bring a pot of water to a boil, I marvel that it doesn’t develop a scum on top. When I dump out pasta cooking water, I’m surprised it looks like it did when I put it in the pot. I can make ice cubes from tap water and they don’t look cloudy. My kitchen and bathroom fixtures aren’t streaked with orange. It’s a novel but pleasant situation. 6) All our utilities are considerably lower here than they were in that big old house. As are our real estate taxes. Taxes in Maryland are high, but we had acreage in Ohio, and that made the tax bill higher.And none of that was what I’d intended to talk about. I’d planned to point out two blogs on which I’m a guest this week. Yesterday I was on The Borrowed Book again, which I guess isn’t really a guest spot as I’m a regular contributor to that blog. And today, I visit Catherine Castle’s blog. Hop on over and take a look-see.
And while I’m gathering my scattered thoughts for another post here, have a great rest of the week!