A while ago, I posted about my plants, and the big monster tree someone gave me. It needed a new pot way back then, but I kept putting off repotting it because it would be difficult. Well, it took two days, and was the job from hell, but I got it done. Also shoved all the plants around to make sure everyone gets more light. Next project is another big grow light.
Another NaNo Floppersonal, Writing
Oops! I decided at pretty much the last second to do NanoWriMo this year. No prep work, just an idea. And… got about halfway through before realizing once again I just didn’t have the time to complete the story. Oh well, not like I didn’t know I’m really busy in November. So I decided to give WorldEmber a try this year. That’s got a much smaller daily wordcount goal, so I’m pretty sure I’ll make it!
Come visit me at WorldAnvil sometime! It’s getting fairly well populated with stuff from my worlds. There are currently four publicly visible, and a whole lot of others that I swept under the carpet because they’re just plain too messy for public view. The whole place is a work in progress. Lots of room for improvement, not much time to improve in… story of my life.
I love plants. I have always had tons of houseplants, whether my own or in my family’s home. I’ve wanted a real house with a real yard for ages now, so I could have a garden.
Unfortunately, not going to happen any time soon. But I’ve been watching the show Gardener’s World, and it kind of rubbed my nose in how silly I’m being. My thought was that gardens happen in yards, and I can’t have one because I don’t have a yard. But watching the show pointed out that gardens can be indoors also. And the people on the show make me feel rather embarrassed by my assumption that I can’t have a garden. These people don’t say “I can’t” to anything. Rather, they say “I have an apartment the size of a shoebox. How can I make a garden?”
So… I’m trying to make my houseplants into a cool garden. They’re a big, disorganized mess, shoved into a small space by the window, trying to survive on whatever random care I happen to remember to give them. Not really a good situation.
My very first attempt at doing something was to run out to Wal-mart, evil though it is, and pick up a cheap hanging rack. I’ve seen several “living walls” on the show now. It’s pretty obvious that the ones on the show have been well cared for and are well-established. But, everyone’s got to start somewhere. So I stuck some pothos in a cardboard box (yes, that’s right, I kind of forgot that the hanging rack didn’t have any kind of base,” and strung up some yarn for the vines to hang on to.
I took this pic about a week after moving the babies onto the rack. They already look happier.
Then November happened. Which, of course, means I wound up working every day until Thanksgiving, because of holiday rush and van breakdowns. 😦 I made it, though, because I knew there were four days off coming up. Two of those days got devoted to cleaning and rearranging the living room, because guess what, someone gave me a big monster of a plant, and that required me getting off my lazy ass and actually doing something about the plant situation, instead of just thinking about it and envying others their cool indoor gardens.
This is the honking big plant-monster in its old home.
Yes, it is in fact bursting out of its pot. The cats approved of the new arrival, which required a whole lot of swearing to get into my little apartment.
So I got busy, which turned my “Thanksgiving break” into some serious butt-busting cleaning and rearranging effort. Moved the couch, the stuff on the wall, and pretty much everything. Put up shelves. Cussed the fact that my new computer chair was scheduled to arrive the day I went back to work. Cussed some more because I finally got some days off and all I did was work…
Yes, I connected my computer to the tv I got for Christmas last year. Now Tamriel is pretty nearly life-sized! And that big light-tree is full of full-spectrum grow bulbs to keep the plants happy. Who knows? Maybe in a few months, all the babies will be huge, and happy, and look like a real indoor garden! I can hope, anyway…
Big rubber tree wasn’t working where I stuffed it, so I tried again. This feels better, think it’ll work now.
Odds & Evenspersonal
In the middle of washing a big dirty dog, I just figured out a strategy to keep myself on track with my perennial goals of “more writing” and “more arting.” Art in even months, write in odd!
Now let’s see how long I can stick to it…
Rockies Then and Nowpersonal
Four years ago, while my brain was still in shock from the shocking US election results, I took a picture of the Rocky Mountains with the intention of taking another one from pretty much the same spot after four years of official climate change denial. What did I expect to see? A return of the brown cloud. Back in the eighties, Denver had an ugly greenish-brown haze of pollution hanging over it. Pretty nasty. One of the first things I noticed when I came back to the state in 2005 for a visit was that it was gone, and the air was really nice. Living here now I know from long experience that it comes and goes with the weather, but that’s still a vast improvement over the constant stinkiness of before. Now it’s mostly from high ozone days, not emissions from dirty industries.
Anyway, what I didn’t expect was three years of what they call “exceptional drought,” an insanely rapid expansion of new subdivisions in the area once contaminated by Rocky Flats, and some absolutely epic wildfires. I wound up taking several pictures from good old Highway 128, most of them downright shocking. I’ll grant you no individual human is responsible for drought and wildfires. But policies, people! Policies. The ones that say “extract every bit of resource from every source imaginable at as fast a pace as possible with no regard for the future” and other stupid crap like that. I can definitely blame that sort of policy for accelerating the pace of climate change.
So here you go, a series of Rocky Mountain photos taken from the same general area of Colorado. And yes, I swear, the mountains are really there. Take my word for it. They’re too dang big to pick up and move, they don’t have feet, so they are actually still there.
There, I did it.personal
The nagging of my conscience couldn’t do it, but a bit of extra public embarrassment worked. I wrote today!
Only 250-ish words, true, but that’s a couple hundred more words than I wrote yesterday.
Also, I’ve set myself a goal for my day off:
Saturday, I intend to finish formatting The Apex Mage. I will also complete the update on my website, and get the new version off my damn hard drive. It’s not doing anyone any good there, and the time is rapidly approaching when I need that sucker fully current and functional.
Oh, and by the way, because everything is online this year, I actually get to participate in Mile High Con! Yay for virtual author tables!
I’ve been taking more writing classes again, and have come to the conclusion that I’m lazy. I keep whining to myself that I never get anything finished, yet I keep blowing off the daily writing thing. So I will now publicly embarrass myself by admitting it out loud: I play ESO when I should be writing!
There. I said it. Now to break the bad habit and start writing daily again.
Next bit of randomness: a smoky sunrise today. Never mind the dumpster, it insisted on being in the shot.
And the other bit of randomness: my camper got stolen. 😿 All that’s left is the wood I had the tongue resting on.
Rather than tell a long, involved story, with too much information, and likely boring the life out of anyone who reads this, I’ll try to keep this simple. I love the desert. I’ve been trying to buy a bit of desert for over twenty years, and failing. This time, it worked!
My criteria for buying land have always been the same. Between two and forty acres, preferably desert, low or no down payment, low monthly payment, residential zoning preferred but recreational will do in a pinch. This time, I found a place that fits all of the above! 2.53 acres, high desert, very far away from anyone else. The price is more than the land is worth, but I don’t care, because the payments are low and it’ll be paid off in six years. Not to mention the “no credit check” part of the financing. That’s worth paying a little extra, because it meant there was no chance they’d say no.
If all goes well, I will pay off the loan, then find a way to plop a mobile home or a cabin on the place, and have a chance to retire from full-time ass-busting sixty hours a week dog grooming. *does happy dance*
If all doesn’t go well, and I can’t put a home on the land anytime soon, no problem! Because it’s up at about 8000 feet, in a high valley that is very far away from any light pollution, and I have a place to take my telescope! *does more happy dance*
The place is located smack up against Wild Horse Mesa, in the San Luis Valley. Wild horses actually live there, so it’s open range. No fences allowed. The whole drive down there I was wondering if there was any way I could get cactus to grow at such a high altitude, where the winters get colder than crap. No worries, the place is covered in little prickly pears! And horse shit! I’m probably the only person that’s not a biologist that gets insanely happy over a pile of shit. But weird or not, I’m totally thrilled to have piles of wild horse crap all over the place. I also spotted elk and deer turds, and of course lots of rabbit crap. I saw tracks from something that might have been either a bighorn sheep–no, I don’t know for sure they live out there–or, more likely, an antelope. No matter what critter left the tracks, I’m happy to have it. Wildlife is awesome.
Enough blabbing. Check out my little piece of the high desert. And, for anyone who cares about such things, I have a decent view of Mount Blanca, one of the Four Sacred Mountains. That is just plain amazing.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little grumpy. Well, maybe a lot grumpy. Working an awful lot, not enough money, the usual. I abandoned my NaNoWriMo project because it kept trying to reflect reality.
So this morning I was saying goodbye to my cats. Tasha blinked at me and gave me the cat look that says, “Whatever.” Goon, on the other hand, purred and gave me a wide-eyed happy look.
Right as I was thinking how nice it is to have a sweet, loving kitty, he pounced.
Solid smack, both sides of my head. (No claws.) Totally cracked me up.
I’m not sure what that means, but it seems like a comment on life in general. Maybe I should learn from my kitten and give stress a double-handed smack upside the head.
One year ago today, I almost died. I had a big, fancy post all ready to share, complete with pictures, but I accidentaly deleted it through a series of unfortunate events.
Whatever. I’ll take that as the universe saying I don’t need to bore anyone by talking about the crap I went through. It wasn’t pretty, it was downright disgusting, and I survived. I will point out that the problem I lived with for six years is easily fixed by surgery, but I’m one of those people that falls in the “hole” in Obamacare. I make too much money to get a really good subsidy, not enough to afford a three to four hundred dollar a month payment on an insurance plan with a ridiculously high deductible. ($7500-8000, if you’re curious.) So I couldn’t afford the surgery.
Instead, I’ll bore you with something else. Normal people that have near-death experiences report things like bright lights, tunnels, beloved presences, encounters with divinity. I didn’t get any of that. Although I’ll admit I got ferociously dizzy, my vision got dim, and my brain got really stupid.
What did happen is I got pissed off. And I mean really, truly, deeply pissed off. This happened right about the time I saw the emergency room staff moving quickly, and multiply from one to about half a dozen, and it sunk in that they thought I was actually dying right there in front of them.
Weird feeling, by the way.
And while the ER staff was moving quickly, at a speed you never want to see in real life, I was feeling apologetic for troubling them when I didn’t feel half as shitty as I did back in January.
That was when I got pissed.
There I was, literally dying, and I’d been working. Just like always. That’s most of what I do with my life, after all. Work, work, work. And I felt significantly better that day than I did back in January. I was able to take a couple days off back then, but my boss insisted I had to come in to groom some regular customers that no one else could do, so I tried. Even though I knew I wasn’t safe to drive, I drove. And I worked. And I groomed two dogs.
But then I called my boss and told her I don’t care how bad she needs me working, I can’t do this and have to go home. Now, after the fact, I know why I was so dizzy I couldn’t stand or even see straight. The doctors called it acute anemia, said that I could have died.
And a couple weeks later, I was working with blood clots in my leg and my lungs, and more acute anemia. It was so bad I could feel my heart beating super-fast and erratic. I had to keep taking breaks to let the poor thing calm down before it actually exploded. When I finally got to the doctor, she said I could drop dead at any moment.
And I kept working, and working, and working.
Have you figured out why I got pissed yet? It’s because somewhere along the line, I kind of forgot that I swore I’d never work myself to death like my dad did. So I almost dropped dead, more times than I’ve mentioned here, at work. Doing exactly what I swore not to do.
At least I had the brains to call for help before my heart stopped because there wasn’t any blood left to pump. The doctor at the hospital told me I was almost there. The blood count I had was 5, she said hearts stop at around 4-4.5.
Screw that whole working myself to death thing. I’m pissed, and staying pissed, and using that anger and frustration to get my life sorted out so I can drop back to a more normal amount of work. It’ll take a couple years to clean up my situation so I can afford to stop this 50-60+ hour a week bullshit, but I’m going to do it. I will arrange my life so I can work a normal job, have a home of my own instead of a rental, and spend more time living. I am going to do things I enjoy, including getting out on the weekends to go hiking or find a horse to ride or whatever. I’ve done that a few times already, and it’s a vast improvement over working.
In short, I’m going to take the second chance I was given, and do something a hell of a lot better than work.