May 19th, 2014


Poor Dead Fig

In sad news, I must announce the death of our fig tree. At first, I thought that the fig was just late in blooming, because the fig always seems a little late. Alas, that is not the case. The fig is so dry that I can snap its branches off. It looks as if the deep cold snaps killed it dead, although there is a chance that some roots will have survived. I will snap the branches off down to the roots and hope for the best.

So, it looks like no figs this year.

In good news, we don't need to move the fig tree as we adjust the yard.

The yard itself is coming along. We are creating an edible yard, making some progress every year towards that goal. With the apple trees on order, we need to make room in the yard along the back fence, in that zone that is best described as a tropical jungle. My wife Jenny put the plants on freecycle, and now one azalea and one lilac have been dug up by volunteers and hauled away to new lives elsewhere. Meanwhile, the cedar had to go because they can transmit nasty things to apple trees. I enjoyed seeing the cedar go. It lived in a most inconvenient place, dominating the area around the side door.

I weeded the front bed. I had planted seeds there in the autumn hoping for vegetables. I don't know if the winter killed them. I also don't know if the carrots are growing as Queen Anne's Lace is rampant in the flower bed and is a close relative of the carrot. Do I have flowers or carrots? I don't know.

My daughter has had ambitions of making closer friends with the cat. Doing this was mostly contingent on getting her to stop chasing the cat and terrifying it out of its cat life. The work has paid off. The cat leaped into her lap over the weekend for the first time and settled down for her. She was, of course, beside herself in delight.

My daughter has also gotten me into Minecraft. We've been having a hoot playing the Pocket Edition. This weekend, I figured out how to play survival mode, and my daughter, seeing how its played, has now decided that the previously woeful survival mode is now amazing fun. ("Amazing" is the word of the month, if not the season.) We still have lots to learn. She spent last night's reading time learning to work with the Minecraft wiki.

I did not make it to Godzilla. I had planned to go on Sunday night, but a church pot luck reared its head and I was game to go. I'm not sure when I'll make it to the Big G. My wife has a job interview with the church tonight.

I've taken on doing dinners once a week. I'm trying to get through our standards so that I have some experience with each item. This week was pizza, with ham, pineapple, and corned beef. All in all, it worked well. I even gave it a fun crust. Saturday morning's breakfast was muffins with brown sugar on top. By itself, the brown sugar did not do interesting things. Next time, I'll either mix the brown sugar in, or I'll put butter and brown sugar on time.

Writing Update

"All the Saints Are Dead" has hit 43k as of this morning. I added a few thousand words over the weekend as I slog my way through draft #2.

The feedback that I've been getting on "Double Jack" has been very good. The story may not be there, but the new style seems to be rocking. I'd say that the book works for about 2/3rds, then sorta veers drunkenly into traffic. I could use a few more readers, as the style seems to work too well to be true, but so far all I've gotten are good intentions.

I want to spend more time on short stories, as that is an art that I really need to develop more, but I have the "Ivory RPG" and a short book on creating characters to finish as well. I also owe my daughter the completion of "Time Travel Rescuers."