More of the Other Love…

Header Bonsai

 

The Oak   cont.

 

The morning after the marathon dig, I awoke with a stiff neck and pounding headache. The result, no doubt, of spending what seemed like hours on my knees, with my head and shoulders bent over a muddy hole as I tried to convince a stubborn young oak tree that it was time to change residence.

Said oak tree was now reclining in a bucket of water in my yard and today, I had to trim the taproots and introduce it to its new home. At this stage this was an old washing up bowl, the only thing I had big enough to give it the room it needed to establish a good root ball.

This could take a year or more, so it was important to make the tree as comfortable as possible while all this was going on. Unfortunately, I had to trim back most of the top growth to enable it to concentrate on root production.

This tree has taxed my imagination and my determination. Not to mention most of my strength. My sore muscles and badly bruised arms are testament to how difficult it was to dig the tree up without killing it.

Sitting in the sunshine on my old work bench, the tree looked as battle scarred as I was. I knew we would both heal in time, but first I had to make him comfortable. I used the best soil mixture and a sprinkling of Rootgrow, a mycorrhizal fungi guaranteed to encourage root growth. I also used hormone rooting powder at strategic points around the base of the tree.

I was dealing with a fair-sized lump of wood and it was important to anchor it firmly in the soil so it couldn’t rock about. I found some soft cords in my sewing basket which were perfect for the job.

 

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The family have named him, Oakey Dokey!

 

All the time I was working on the oak, I was growing more and more confident about the success of my venture. Considering the trees history and what had just happened to it, it looked quite healthy and one day it would look magnificent!

AAA (2)

 

Editing the Hedge…

 

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I took the afternoon off the other day to cut the rather large and long hedge in our back garden. All the time I was doing it, my mind was editing the last chapter I had written that morning. My mind is like that, give it something to do that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking, and it will entertain itself.

Just down the road from me, someone has trimmed their hedge to look like a dragon. Must have been very difficult, and quite something to see.

As I was clearing up, piling all the cut leaves into my garden waste collection sack, I was struck yet again by the similarity to life that editing a book and trimming a hedge really is. You start with an untidy mess, overgrown and out of control. You look at it, wondering where to begin, doubtful of your ability/capability to do the job justice.

Plucking up the courage to begin, you chip away, trimming here, shortening there, trying to make it perfect. Standing back from it, you notice all the small things that need your attention, and you go back to it, determined to get it right.

At least that’s your intention.

 

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Not my best work!

 

 

Unfortunately, either the hedge in my garden is too long, or I am not as fit as once was, but the finished result was not perfect. Mostly down to the fact that the cordless hedge clipper ran out of juice long before I had finished. Yes, I know you can get electric ones, but having cut through three cables and narrowly missing frying my good self, I am giving them a wide berth!

Thankfully, editing a manuscript is a lot easier than trying to trim a seven foot high, thirty foot long monster of a hedge.

Thank God for that at least.

AAA (2)

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 29

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

There have been so many ups and downs this week, and I’m giddy.

The first few days I couldn’t do right for doing wrong. Jobs I do on a regular basis were going wrong and as for some of the new stuff I am trying to learn, don’t ask.

At one point I thought my brain must have gone for a walk, as I couldn’t understand a bloody word!

This was bad enough, but then I discovered that some of the work I thought I had managed to do, was in fact, rubbish. Add to all of that, I was trying desperately to get used to Windows 10 and a new version of Word too, and everywhere I went, everything seemed to have been updated or changed, sometimes for the worse. My life was becoming unbearable (as a writer/blogger anyway!)

So, during all of this, when I turned up at the hospital for the post-surgery check up on my new eye, I was delighted to be told it had healed beautifully and was behaving brilliantly. Not that I was getting the benefit much as the other eye seems worse by comparison. I seem to spend most of my time with one eye shut, but at least something had turned out all right.

The next few days were a strange mixture of joy and confusion as my good news was slowly suffocated by everything malfunctioning. This Windows 10 is the devils work and my laptop seems to be joining forces with it, almost convincing me to find a better way to spend my time!

What kept me going was the determination to rescue that Oak sapling and encourage it to be a bonsai. I knew this would be hard to do, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone…

Tune in later this week for how it all went!

AAA (2)

 

99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

June 27: Flash Fiction Challenge

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June 27, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves paint. It can be fresh, peeling or in need of a coat. What is being painted and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by July 3, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

 

I’m ten years old; it’s the middle of Summer.

My father gives me a bucket of whitewash,

a large paintbrush, telling me to paint the front fence.

The only thing on my mind is the cool blue lake, my friends waiting.

That’s where I should be. Not being used like a work horse

I’m a kid; I need fun before I’m old.

I stood in front of our fence, trying to make my arm work,

then it came to me.

Give everyone something to talk about.

Paint a lake scene.

Dad wondered why folk were looking at our fence…

Anita Signature

The New Eye…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

Yesterday was a glorious day.

Far too good to be sitting in a hospital waiting room, I thought. To say I was nervous would be putting it mildly, but I needed new eyes, so there wasn’t much I could do about it. We were the first to arrive, hoping this early appointment would lesson the waiting. I think it did, but it was still three hours before it was all over with.

I am usually quite brave when it comes to this sort of thing, and have spent more than my share of time in hospital for one reason or another. This was supposed to be a simple proceedure to change the lens in my right eye, but it didn’t seem that simple once they got started. For a start, I hadn’t given the actual doing of it a thought. That once they strapped me down and clamped my eye open, I would have to watch what happened, close up and very personal.

It wasn’t painful, well not in the sense you first think of, and took about twenty minutes. I felt a lot of pressure on my eyeball, gallons of fluid were sloshed in a regular intervals, but the extremely bright light I had to stare at was making me feel giddy. When this light began to move rapidly about, creating a surreal psychedelic effect, I began to feel decidely ill.  I would imagine it was like one of those LSD trips from the eighties but not being a flower child these days, it was not pleasant and I prayed it would be over soon.

Then they strapped this clear plastic shield over the eye with copious amounts of sticky tape and said I could go back to the recovery room. But when I sat up, the room revolved around me. I wanted to be sick and knew if they wanted me out of there, I would need some help.

That was when an attractive male nurse arrived and asked if I needed help. I have never been so grateful to be offered an arm in my life. I made it to the recovery room and enjoyed a welcome cup of coffee.

That evening was a nightmare. I had to keep the shield on until the morning, when I was allowed to clean the eye and start the regime of drops. In the meantime, it was itchy, sore and uncomfotable. The tape was pulling my skin and my head was killing me.

I tried to look at my emails, hoping I could do some work with my one good eye, but to my disapointment, that eye wouldn’t focus either. By then, I was tired and frustrated. The tv was just a blur, so I listened instead, wondering how long it would be before I could actually see anything.

I was awake early this morning, desperate to be rid of the shield and clean my eye and as I pottered about, I made an amazing discovery. I could see clearly through the new lens. In fact, it was showing up the other one something rotten. Everything looked clean and fresh with my new eye, while the old one was making everything look old and dirty.

Hopefully, I won’t have to wait too long to have that one done too…

Already, I have discovered a major drawback to all this improvement and I may have to spend the next few weeks catching up on the housework, either that or stop looking around with my old eye!

AAA (2)

No Alarm… #Poetry

 

flights of fancy

 

If I could backwards into yesterday

I would start my day a different way

No alarm to shake me from my bed

No rush no panic to catch the train

Work can wait until I am me again

I will take a stroll, feed the ducks

Take a rowboat out on the lake

Lay back and let the sun kiss my cheek

No mobile ringing, I am floating

On soft sweet water

Dreaming of a love I might meet

Pink cupid lips, hair of liquid gold

Sapphire eyes to match the scene

I will blow a kiss as she sails by

Unfortunately for me

An alarm did ring

I am running now to catch the train

There I will meet the same solemn faces

All feeling the same…

AAAAA

Jaye’s Journal ~ week 25

Jaye's Journal x12

 

“I have not failed; I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

 

My mind has attempted to narrow my field of worry this week. I know all my problems are still there, but I am doing my best to ignore them and carry on as if I don’t have a care in the world. But apart from what will happen on Friday morning, all I can concentrate on is finishing my WIP.

I thought I was almost there, only to discover several sections that need a rewrite; a character that really should be killed off and then deal with the subsequent effect on the rest of the cast. There is also the question of length. Just how long are novels these days?

I still have what I call the ‘pretty edit’, the final polish or gloss coat for all the characters, their emotions and settings. Making sure the whole thing is as good as I can possibly make it. Only then will I be finished with it. At bloody last!

To avoid thinking about Friday morning and my eye surgery, my mind keeps drifting to the marketing and how I intend to manage it. With having only one good eye at any given time over the next few weeks, this should be interesting.

Previous attempts at promoting my novels didn’t exactly set the publishing world alight, but what with the state of said world, I am beginning to wonder if my efforts will be worth the bother anyway! And before you jump all over me, I know that it really is!

Just two more days to go!

This makes it sound as though I am looking forward to it and I can assure you I’m not!

My nerves are beginning to make an appearance, despite keeping myself busy.  The weather chose today to be kind. Glorious blue skies, masses of sunshine and it actually felt warm. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so I abandoned the editing and left the office. I spent the afternoon in the garden. First, I tended my bonsai who had grown like crazy with all the rain. Then a walk around the garden to see what has been happening in my absence.

Then I noticed the beast.

This is the 40-foot-long, 4-foot-wide, and 6-foot-high hedge that separates our garden from the neighbours. All the rain has caused it to grow alarmingly high. The lovely neat outline I created last autumn now just a memory. Just get the trimmer out, I hear you saying. Well, I could, but if there are any nesting birds in it, they wouldn’t like it. I had a quick check and there were two sparrow nests full of babies about halfway down the hedge. So, the most I could do was trim the end that was trying to block the path. The rest will have to wait until the nests are empty.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the sun. My back is killing me, but I didn’t think about Friday once!

AAA (2)

 

 

My First Moment of Madness…

Doing my best to install my new computer with the least amount of hair pulling, I found myself remembering the first time I challenged my brain cells. The post that follows, is five years old and signifies how far I have come since then…

I did something stupid today. In fact it began a few weeks ago, when the tiny germ of an idea slipped into my mind and wouldn’t go away.
It was something someone said about how they wrote and blogged from the comfort of their bed. Often too ill or uncomfortable to get up, but still wanting to do what they love most, which is writing. I have this mental picture of this person, snug and comfy in her pyjamas, ensconced in bed with her trusty laptop, and the idea just took root in my head and began to grow.
Not that I want to write in bed, but with my ever increasing workload, I have to make even more time available to me. Who knew the writing and self publishing world would create this much work, I certainly didn’t in the beginning.

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For a long time now I seem to spend most of my evenings with puzzles and Sudoku while the family watch television. I love most of the programmes and it is good to relax at the end of the day, but find it increasingly hard to see them properly as my distance glasses make me so very giddy and ill I cannot wear them. Consequently I find myself just listening and limit my eyesight to things I can do on my lap as my reading glasses are fine.
I have discovered that I cannot read while the television is on, but can manage other things, like writing notes. You can see where I am going with this, can’t you?
The thought of having a laptop has interested me ever since the family members bought theirs, but always dismissed the idea as pretty stupid as I am basically a technophobe. You know, someone who hates technology with a passion, usually because we are hopelessly unable to grasp the basics, let alone all the clever stuff.
I have struggled to learn how to use a computer, my mind obviously not properly equipped with the necessary bits to understand or implement the information that I do eventually manage to discover.
This is where it has paid dividends to be one of the most stubborn people on the planet. Something I am more than proud of, as because of this, I have achieved much more than I think I would otherwise have done.
Computers are brilliant but confusing, time saving but frustrating, and I am more than sure they lead to insanity, at least in my case.
But… I have mastered my computer, how hard could a laptop be?

I saw one I like the look of, a combined laptop with a tablet which made it very versatile. Just what I needed to make better use of my evenings.
It arrived yesterday. As I unpacked it, the shiny red alien exterior gleamed in front of me. I looked at it and thought, ‘Now what do I do?’
The instructions were sketchy to put it mildly, apparently all the information is on the machine and you learn as you go. (That’s if you get as far as switching it on) I was instantly terrified. What on earth had I done?
I ignored it for over an hour and went about my business, but found myself sneaking looks and wondering if I could possibly…
To cut a long story short, I did finally pluck up the courage to turn it on, and for several hours I blundered about, pressing this and swiping that, until I had a rough idea of what to do. What made it worse for me I think was that it came with Windows 8, where I am used to Windows 7, but having said that, it is a marvellous piece of equipment and I should be able to accomplish a load more work with it.
Once I have ironed out all the wrinkles, both its and mine of course!

See you soon,

Jaye

Jaye’s Journal – Week 22

Jaye's Journal x12

 

After much searching, comparing and pulling my hair out, I finally found a PC that has everything I wanted at a price I could almost afford. I have this problem with shopping online, as I never seem to end up liking what I buy. Never been any good choosing anything and always get it wrong.

It arrived yesterday, and my old friend nagging doubt turned up with it.

Much smaller than I thought it would be, although I believe this is the new trend, and still managed to look pretty scary. Immediately, I found a possible problem. The activation label clearly said Windows 7, even though I thought I ordered Windows 10.

So, I might have done it again and chosen the wrong one.

Because of the Bank Holiday, I had to wait until Tuesday to telephone the company, for there was no way I would start switching over until they reassure me.

Switching over PCs is not something I enjoy or am any good at, as my tech skills are dismal at best, so at this stage I was still asking myself why I had actually volunteered to do this.

One of the reviews stated enthusiastically that all I had to do is take it out of the box, plug in all the cables and then switch it on.

That I just cannot believe.

The way things are going though, I may never get that far to find out.

 

While I waited, it was business as usual on my old less than faithful pc, despite the frequent crashing, freezing and crazy spelling games it plays. But it gave me a nasty moment this morning.

I switched it on, and instead of my pretty screensaver, the screen was plain blue. There was no icons and no wifi. I feared the worst. Had it beaten me to the punch?

That would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

A brand new PC that I don’t want to install and my old one commits Hara Kiri on me!

After a reboot, everything was fine again, at least for the moment…

Moving swiftly on to the designated torture day…

I had been dreading this day for so long, and was one of the reasons I delayed doing anything about it. I heard so many bad reports about Windows 10, and was more than happy with my old faithful Windows 7, but as they say, all good things have to come to an end.

The new computer came with it already installed, so I had no choice but to hunt for my thinking cap, put it on and see what, if anything I could do with it. There was quite a long wait for the new pc to load or whatever it had to do. They said it would take time, but wasn’t expecting three hours of thumb twiddling!

What followed was one of the worst moments of my life. I stared at the alien screen, trying not to feel as sick as a parrot by the sheer enormity of what I had done. (and still had to do!) And what was rapidly turning into what I might not be able to do.

I retired wounded for the day, not having mastered any of it.

I have a book, aptly called Windows 10 for Seniors, so I spent the evening going further into the depths of insanity, reading anything that sounded helpful. But in reality, none of made any sense to me.

The following day, inspired by my refusal to quit, I switched the offending machine back on and played around, pressing everything in sight and seeing what happened. I found help screens that weren’t very, then tried to connect using my Microsoft account password.

You don’t want to know how long that took.

One day on, and I have surprised myself. Things are magically beginning to work!

There have been a pile of things I had to fix, one of them involved the speakers, which for some reason didn’t want to work. The sound, when I found  out how to turn it on, came out of the tower thingy and sounded as though there was an idiot trapped in there.

Basically, and this really hurts to admit, I think I like my new computer and can foresee a bright future. A very poor future, for along with the cost of the thing, I had to cough up for a brand new Microsoft Word too…

Off to start uploading thousands of my images and files, so not going anywhere this weekend.

I hope everyone else has a good one though…

AAA (2)

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