The Right Time

We all have chores that have to be done just to keep life running smoothly. And I’m sure we all also have things that are on some sort of wish list, things that may not be necessary but which we’d really like to see done. What I’ve figured out recently is that sometimes those wish list items just need to wait until the right time, when I really feel like doing them. Over the recent spring break I did a few of those, most notably pruning some branches that were impinging on the walkway and hence potentially jeopardizing the eyes of any visitors. I’d debated how to do these without making the trees look funky. I procrastinated. I decided that folks could just be careful. I dithered. Then one morning during break I thought that I’d really like to give it a try. The results have been spectacularly wonderful and I feel good about my efforts.

I’d wanted to get the fountain by the front door flowing better and I had a birdbath that really needed to be leveled. These tasks sat in the back of my mind, but nothing happened. Then yesterday, as I was rearranging items in the garage so that I can store things for a friend, I came across part of my old shower base, a beautiful green diamond, that is no longer needed because my shower now has a lovely and more practical red concrete floor. For those who may be new to my blog, I do have an outdoor shower. Anyway, I needed to move it and was surprised to find that it wasn’t as heavy as I’d feared. Then I got to thinking that it might make a very nice platform for the aforementioned birdbath to sit on, making it much easier to level.

I was excited about the idea and so this morning I did just that. I took the diamond out of the garage and placed it in my backyard, got it level, moved the birdbath on it, and filled it. It looks wonderful, and here’s a photo of it.


I was so pleased with the outcome that I then decided to clean the fountain on my front deck, which was running very sluggishly. It turned out not to be a big deal and the task was quickly completed. Here’s a photo of it:


My final task was to finish my project at Camp NaNoWriMo. Last year I wrote and published three novels. I wrote the first draft of each during either the two Camp NaNoWriMo’s (April and July) or the full blown NaNoWriMo (November). I’ve decided not to do that again, as it was an unbelievable amount of work. Once was enough. But I enjoyed my Camp NaNoWriMo experience so this year I’m going to learn more about my characters by doing character sketches during my camp time and setting my word count at a gentler level, namely 30,000 words. Today I finished my first camp session with 30219 words. I didn’t write every day. I went at a pace that worked, writing when I felt inspired and had the time. And it worked.

So what I’ve learned is that while some things can’t wait, others are much more enjoyable when I wait to find a time when the task fits in with my moods and energy levels, when I feel inspired, as I did with the solution to leveling the birdbath. There was no harm in waiting, and now I’m feeling really pleased with what I’ve done on this beautiful spring day. I’ve even written a one line haiku about my day:

leveling the birdbath overhead a hummingbird

Baby Firs and Wild Poppies

Here I am again. I’m sorry for my absence and I’ll be changing the format of this blog a bit. Life has been rather unsettling lately, and I’ve been devastated by the way two unscrupulous greedy lying businessmen have managed to close Island Quilter, the island retail store which brings more people to our small island than any other, a store filled with joy and love and excitement, a store which will be replaced by yet another exercise studio, something our island already has in an abundance. I will spare you all the gory details, but my best friend, who has put in countless hours and all her energy into making Island Quilter an island jewel, has been stabbed in the back, slandered, and now forced to close as her building was sold out from under her. For me personally, I’ve had to watch my friend’s pain, helping as much as I could, but realizing that in the end there was nothing I could do to stop the inevitable. In addition, I am losing one of my favorite spots, the source of inspiration for my quilting, and one of my few “safe” spaces. I suffer from depression and an anxiety disorder, so safe spaces are particularly important to me. But I am far from alone in my dismay at what has happened and today is the last day that Island Quilter will be open.

What does this have to do with baby firs and wild poppies, you may be asking by now? As I look out my kitchen window even in my current mood of wondering what the point is to anything, I see many baby firs, some getting quite tall, volunteers in my yard. Mingling with them are some lovely yellow poppies which sprouted in a turtle planter I had in my previous home, moved to Vashon with me nearly nine years ago, and are now happily thriving and spreading. Whenever I look at them, even on my darkest days, I smile. Here’s a photo showing them (along with my dog, Oliver):


I once had a someone tell me (and tell me, and tell me) that I needed to pull these volunteer firs as soon as I saw them because they were weeds and one day would become really big. I would end up living in a fir forest. I know this is a valid way to look at them, but I can’t see it that way. They always make me smile. This seems a good thing to me, especially given my constant levels of anxiety. I realize that some time in the future someone may have to cut down some of these, but is that a reason to keep them from every growing? And one thing recent events have reminded me of is that there are no guarantees at all. What we have is this moment. The little firs and the lovely yellow poppies know that. And I can learn from them. I think that if they were able to make a choice, they’d say that they’d like the chance to live and grow for as long as they can.

I have a lovely yard, filled with many wonderful trees and plants which I chose and which I paid a considerable sum to have planted. And I do enjoy them. But my favorite plants in my yard are these firs and poppies. Maybe that is ironic that the free additions are my choice, but that’s just it. I made a lovely yard, well tended and well cared for and these additions chose to live with me. I honor their choice and am grateful for it, especially in the spring when the little firs burst forth with their bright green growth which is so soft and cute. Here’s another photo of another of my firs:


A good friend and fellow blogger has a Saturday feature, Suggestion Saturday, where she shares interesting posts with her readers and today she had one suggestion which really hit home for me. It is Your World is How You View It, and I really encourage you to read the entire post, which I found extraordinarily helpful. What I realized is that it is way too easy for me to focus my lens, as the author says, on the wrong things. My baby firs and wild poppies help me to bring my focus away from what’s going wrong, not that I don’t have to help with that, but I need to remember the joy that is out there, right in my own yard. So I won’t listen to the nursery owner’s Chicken Little attitude toward my volunteers. She never did understand what power they have for me. In the photo above, I could choose to see all the weeds, but instead I see that lovely little fir bursting with new life, not asking any existential questions but just being. Is it easy? No. Is it necessary, I think so. I’ll leave you with several more photos of my lovely firs.




Sunday March 8, 2015

I’ve had a gentle, quiet day, working on puzzles. I finished one and started another. I was glad for the quiet. Not looking forward to having to get up in the dark tomorrow to be ready for more crawl space work, but it will be done soon, hopefully before the week ends.

one puzzle
starting another
looking out at
the lovely day


Saturday March 7, 2015

It was so nice not to have workers here today. Not that I don’t appreciate all that they are doing to make the crawl space dry and rat free, but the noise is wearing. I got my weekly chores done and then wrote a book review before switching over to my puzzle. I have it nearly completed. Just 48 pieces to go. I also changed all my clocks so that I could lose the hour during the day and not mess with my sleep, but I’m not sure I was very successful at fooling myself. I really am not a fan of daylight savings, truth be known.

the puzzle
nearly complete
a friend stops by
for a visit

Friday March 6, 2015

I shuffled my two appointments to earlier slots so that I’d have time for lunch before the vet visit and then when I got home I found a message from the vet asking me to reschedule because they had several emergencies. So we will have our vet visit next Friday instead. And I got my hair cut much shorter today–I was tired of way too much hair! I also had it colored–pink, blue, turquoise, and purple. I’m very pleased with the results.

getting a hair cut
and color
fruit trees
beginning to blossom
across the island

Thursday March 5, 2015

Once again I woke to a cold house with the furnace not working. Thankfully, Matt from Vashon Heating and Cooling was able to come right over, and an hour and half later, I had a new thermostat and heat! The thermostat was even under warranty, having been installed only last fall, so there were no charges which was nice. And by the time my first student arrived the house was again properly heated. I only had three students today since the other three had cancelled for a variety of reasons, and I was glad for the easier day. The work continues on the crawl space. Today all holes or cracks were filled with concrete so that there is no way for rats to get in. Tomorrow, I think, everything gets sanitized and deodorized, which will get rid of the slight residue odor.

to no heat
a new thermostat
before tutoring