Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vignette: Lunchtime Doubly So


"Oh, thank goodness you're there. I was about to go to the police!"

"Hi, Mom."

"'Hi, Mom'? Is that all you have to say?"

"About what?"

"You weren't at the restaurant--I looked everywhere. I just got back home!"

"Just now?"

"Yes, of course just now. I almost went to the police station, but I decided first I'd go home and call. I thought you were dead."

"What happened to your cell?"

"I don't carry that thing, it's just for emergencies."

"It's about a ten minute drive, right?"

"What difference does it make how long a drive it is? I was so worried, I'm lucky I didn't have a wreck!"

"How long were you at the restaurant?"

"Oh, now you're interested? It must have been half an hour, almost. I was so upset the owner had to offer me a cup of tea and a place to sit down while I settled my nerves. They had to vacuum around me! It was very rude of you, inconveniencing all those people."

"Tell me, what time is it now?"

"It's five minutes to two and, mind, you, I was so worried I haven't even eaten yet. I could have fainted from low blood sugar! The bartender thought that you behaved very badly."

"Five minutes to two. You checked that on your watch? It's working?"

"What? Yes, of course, what are you going on about? And the hostess agreed with him."

"So that means you got there sometime after one."

"And? So?"

"We were supposed to meet there at noon. I waited forty-five minutes."

"Oh, for heaven's sake! Is everything all about you?"

Image: By Jon Sullivan. Wikimedia Commons. And Jon Sullivan's website is at

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Link: Rambling. And cheese. No, not really.

Just a pointer to a post on the other blog, where I ramble about... well, where I ramble.

Theater Image: By Smatprt. Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rambling: Bad Peony Timing

So. Gardening. This blog once had garden content. Then the garden filled up. Then winter came. Then NaNoWriMo came. Then I started the 100-fiction-words-a-day resolve, which is still in effect as a goal. And there wasn't a lot of gardening, in my writing or in real life.

But the days are getting longer, and this weekend was deceptively springlike. And, most important, I may have access to some fresh gardening space soon.


So it's time to start the spring gardening dance. Seed catalogs. Websites. Peonies. At this moment, particularly peonies. And, yes, I realize that it would have been much better to have thought of this in the fall.

I used to garden in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bay Area weather doesn't support peonies--there isn't enough winter chill. All the same, many of the garden centers sell the things, presenting me every year with those gorgeous pictures on glossy boxes of peony roots. Every gardener knows that there are plenty of things sold in garden centers that are highly unlikely to do anything at all in the garden, but that's usually about skill. And skill improves every year, so each spring the gardener buys a new batch of plants, and most die, but some unexpectedly live, or even bloom, and so everybody's happy.

But when the garden centers sell something that simply won't bloom unless you live a few thousand feet up a mountain or dump a truckful of ice on it every few days through the winter, that seems to be an unfair stacking of the deck. I planted and lost a couple of peonies before reading about them and learning that they were a doomed pursuit. Then I ignored what I read and planted some more. But nothing ever bloomed.

So when I moved to a Southern Oregon garden that not only supported peonies, but had one already blooming, I was excited. I planned to plant many more.  But we had new paths made and new beds built, and in all that tromping around, peony roots seemed somehow too fragile to insert and too hard to keep track of. So we installed roses for me and irises for Himself, and space filled up.

And then one fall I had a spark of peony determination, one that wouldn't wait for catalogs and mail-order, and I planted six of what they were selling at the hardware store. And then we revamped the irrigation system, and then we did remodeling, and people did their very best not to walk on the flower beds, but planting more seemed like a mistake. And then, two or maybe three years later, those peonies bloomed, and they were lovely, but they were still what they were selling at the hardware store. They weren't gasp-and-fall-down peonies. And the garden was full.

Anyway. Enough history. Now I may have another chance to plant the really glorious peonies, the ones that transcend the hardware store. Except... it's spring. And I should have planted them in the fall.


The quick thing to do would be to search local nurseries and buy any potted peonies that I can find. The sensible thing to do would be to accept reality, prepare a luxurious bed, perhaps plant a few annuals to keep myself entertained, and order roots for perfect, glorious, transcendent peonies, to be received and planted in the fall.

What, I wonder, are the odds that I'm going to do the sensible thing?

First Pink Peony Image: By Epibase. Wikimedia Commons.
Second Pink Peony Image: By Epibase. Wikimedia Commons.
White Peony Image: By Usien. Wikimedia Commons.
Striped Peony Image: By LapisLauzli Tomorrow. Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rambling: Rambling

So, as I've mentioned on the other blog, I haven't been doing much writing this past couple of weeks. And it's not just writing that isn't happening; my brain's usual production of silly daydream stories has been drastically reduced as well. In fact, even my dreams aren't offering much in the way of plot. But I have been doing a lot of reading. Unlike last year, this year I'm keeping up with the 100+ reading challenge, and I can imagine exceeding it. Maybe.

This made me wonder if my mind is unidirectional, either absorbing or producing, and not both. But what causes the direction to flip? Seasonal change? The end of the holidays? The tragic resumption of work at the end of the holidays? Seasonal Affective Disorder? What's the deal?

I also (whispering) read a novel that didn't involve a murder.  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, a nice low-key story with no crime to speak of. Is it possible that aliens borrowed my brain and didn't get the fluff and fold process quite right before returning it? I read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, too, but that one does involve a murder, even if it is sold with the regular novels at the non-mystery end of the bookstore.


Image: Wikimedia Commons.