Crabapple blossoms show promise for great harvest

Crabapple blossoms (To follow, click on link at the bottom right)

The crabapple tree is loaded with blossom this year. It looks very promising for a great harvest. Now if only the apples stay on the tree long enough to be ready for picking in the fall. I have had to fight the squirrels for them every year for a while now. The first year, I had checked the apples and decided they needed another few weeks. But three days later, there wasn’t an apple left on the tree.

I make crabapple jelly for toast. Spicy crabapple jelly for dotting on cheese and crackers. Crabapple butter which is delightful with chicken or pork. Crabapple sauce, just because we like it.

And the good thing is – I don’t have to do any of that for months yet. There is still time to finish the cover for the first book of my new series, The Last War. I’m so excited.

Let’s hope it’s a good harvest this year.

Productivity – How to Get More Words on the Page

DeskIMG_0389(To follow my blog, click on the ‘Follow’ button in the lower right)

Like anyone else who writes novels, I sometimes have trouble making progress on my manuscript. ‘Sometimes’ might not be the right word, often is more apropos. (I have a need to be honest here.)

There are interruptions. I have a job, and it’s important to me, given it’s a business that I am part owner of and have invested rather heavily in. (I know, that sentence ended in a preposition. Forgive me.)

Other interruptions include family – what are they thinking? That I want to spend time with them? Well, actually, I do.

Then there are health issues that can come at me suddenly, like a thief in the night, robbing me of my equilibrium and concentration.

Nonetheless, I need to write. What to do?

There are lots of ideas out there

  • get your seat in the chair
  • put on the timer and write till it tells you to stop
  • get a software programme that counts your words and measures your output
  • wear noise muffling earphones
  • move into the trailer or the barn in the yard until the MS is finished
  • set a deadline

There are more ideas. Check out this blog   for some good ideas on increasing your productivity.

And yet, when it comes right down to it, sometimes you have to cut yourself some slack. Maybe it’s okay to pour a cup of tea and sit out on the patio, watching the plants push up through the dirt, signalling spring is on the way. I’ll settle for that today.

Digging Dahlias

This week I have been digging up my dahlias, cutting the stems off, washing the tubers and tying tags on them so I know what kind it is, what colour, how tall it will grow. It’s a big job. I have discovered (through trial and error) that a lot of plants I am used to growing in my garden won’t thrive here. Roses for instance – they die within a couple of years. I used to grow a lot of roses but not anymore.

When I first began growing dahlias I was told that I would have to dig them up in the fall, store them over the winter and plant them again in the spring. Being of a somewhat stubborn nature, I decided not to do that. No plant was worth that much work.

Then they all died, one by one. It is too wet and cold in my garden for them to last more than a year or two. Resignedly I realized I would have to do the work. The result? A beautiful garden that blooms from mid July to the end of October.

Don’t you think it’s a bit like writing? If you think you can get by with the shortcuts – such as no plot, quick edits, ignoring the learning curve ­ you can end up with a book that doesn’t flourish. But if you pay attention to the detail, provide what is needed, do the work, you’ll end up with a good piece of writing. I think it’s worth the effort

Planter pots go wild on deck!


I just had to show a picture of the flower pots on my deck. Every year I cut them back and put them under cover for the winter. I water them a few times and in the spring when it warms the perennials start to grow. That’s when I decide how many new plants I need to buy and how many have made it through to bloom again.

It’s usually a mixed bag. Sometimes they turn out well, sometimes not. But this year it was a total surprise. This is a set of three pots pushed together in a triangular shape against the deck railing. The beautiful blue-green grasses are from last year, as are the tall grey foliage. The low angular branching plants are new to me but they just went crazy taking off in all directions and visually tying the three pots together.

The coleus planted in each pot just adds a jewel tone here and there. Shades of ruby, lemon yellow and green blend with the petunias and inpatients. I love the pots this year. What do you do for flower pots?