Monday, May 21, 2012

The Blah Iris

Early this spring I went to a plant-swap and received several bags of iris bulbs. They told me the varieties, but in the commotion everything got mixed up. I planted them with no idea what colors I had. These are the first to bloom. Aren't they disappointing. I was expecting a glowing purple, a pristine white, or even a bright yellow. Instead I got these. They seem to be in flux. They can't decide whether to be brown or yellow so they are an icky color in between. I want to like them. I really want to like them. However, I'm struggling. What do you think? Here's a close-up:

Maybe I have changed too many diapers to like the yellow brown combo. On a brighter note another is starting to bloom and it looks like it might be purple; I'm hoping it doesn't change it's mind and aim for the colors of a bruise.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


A few months ago I got interested in water plants. I had a fake plant aquarium. One day a light bulb went off in my head. I thought, "I love plants, why don't I have plants in my aquarium?" So I did a little web surfing and found the beautiful hobby of aquascaping.

 I planted a few plants in my tank. Then I discovered my run of the mill goldfish wouldn't work with plants (they eat plants or if they don't manage to eat them they will uproot them over and over again). Now at this point I could have decide to remain the way I was, sans plants. Unfortunately, I had seen many videos and photos of beautiful aquascaped aquariums. I wanted to have plants in my aquarium, and by golly I was going to get some.

 I got a cheap, old, crude covered big aquarium and cleaned it up. Then I filled it with plants and a few cheap, plant safe fish. Then one of those fish (a guppy) had babies. I wanted to save them from being eaten so I got another used tank. Now I have three aquariums.

 My husband has decided to name them. He calls them: the infirmary, the nursery, and the habitat. The picture above is the nursery (the original tank that started it all). It has ten baby fish in it. The goldfish live in the infirmary and get occasional doses of medicine because I also put the sick fish in there with them until they are well enough to go back to the habitat.

SO…long story short…When you have a light bulb go off in your head, remember it could end up more complicated than turning off the light.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Killdeer are great at disguises. It starts when they are still in their eggs; they look like stones. The parent killdeer protect their eggs by pretending they have a broken wing and they slowly lead you  away from the nest. Just when you think you might catch them they fly off, screeching at you. They will repeat the performance for as long as it takes until you leave completely. Killdeer are one of nature's great con-artists.

I took this picture last summer of a nest of killdeer eggs. The silly bird had laid her eggs on the shore of a busy lake. It was near the parking spaces so people kept disturbing her on their way to and from the cars. All along the lake perimeter I could have picked dozens of better places for a nest. Too bad her cleverness didn't help her pick one.

People often do the same thing, myself included. We protect ourselves from small dangers while missing the big picture. Writers use this big-picture blindness all the time. Often the reader can see what the character needs to do to solve all of their problems, but the hero is entirely blind to using the obvious solution. This holds true for villains as well. The YouTube channel  How it should have ended is full of examples of how seeing the whole picture changes on ending. Here is a simple ending to Lord of the Rings. It's funny how if you make the characters a little smarter the whole story disappears.

Someone could write a desperate story about a killdeer nest in between a beach and a parking lot and all the near crisis moments. It would certainly be more interesting than the killdeer nest safe on the other side of the lake. Maybe we like to feel a little smarter than the people we read about. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Color Coded Books

I have a wall-mounted bookcase in my bedroom and this week for fun I reorganized the books by color. I love it, though it will be harder to find my books for a time.

BTW: the quote in the middle is from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it reads, "So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Full Day of Editing

I had the blissful chance to spend a full day editing today. Usually I only get a few hours at night at the most. Today my husband let me shut the door and shut the world away while I worked. It was so nice to have uninterrupted time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"I am sure the grapes are sour,"

said the fox.

We planted grapes a few years ago. The first year they hardly grew. Last year they did a little better. This year...grapes!

I find myself out near the vines fairly often watching them becoming plumper and plumper. The pessimist in me thinks they will be sour. Oh but I hope they will be sweet...