Friday, April 30, 2010

She's a Killer Queen

I am a murderer.

So, one of the things we have here in the new house is a cute little garden window in the kitchen - the sort where you grow herbs in pots and use them for cooking.

I've been making a lot of my own salad dressings lately, and fresh herbs are expensive, so I ran out and got some cute pots and hardy looking little plants, and spent part of last weekend planting and arranging my new friends.

As of today, I can no longer pretend that there is ANY way the cilantro is still alive or could ever stage a comeback. I have things in the outside compost heap that have more life left in them than this poor thing does.

Cilantro is generally pretty hardy, and tough to kill, but I did it in record time. The poor thing looks like I filled the pot with dirt, watered it carefully, and then set it on fire. From across the room with a blowtorch.

I guess I won't be making salsa any time soon.

I was going to take a picture so you could all be sad with me, but the battery in the camera is dead. I am reeling from the irony.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

At Last!

Guess what's finally ready?


The first three scents available are Maui Sunrise, Ambre de Nepal, and Wildwood Rose. I'm off to list them on Etsy right now!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Uninvited Guest

A few days ago I wandered out into the back yard where Bander was relaxing, to find an unexpected visitor. It was a Miniature Pinscher that lives a couple of blocks away.
If you're not familiar with the MinPin, they look like tiny little Dobermans:

They're little dogs, about the size of Chihuahuas. Now, we have a large yard, and the fence is not in the best condition. We've repaired any holes that Bander might get through, but since Bander is about the same size as Tom Hanks this just meant a few planks. If we want to patch all the holes that Little Dog can get through, we'd pretty much have to replace the entire fence. Since we have a really big yard that's a big expense, and we're renters, so forget that idea.

I know where Little Dog lives. I've taken her home a couple of times, but she gets out of her own yard just as easily as she gets into mine. Her owners haven't been home when I went by, but you can see evidence of many, many attempts to patch each and every hole. Clearly they're failing, since all the other neighbors have told us that Little Dog runs all over the neighborhood all the time.

Lately, though, she comes straight to my house. I'm pretty sure that Little Dog is in heat and she seems to have chosen Bander as her life partner. This is a poor choice since I estimate that Bander outweighs her by 85 pounds, and he lacks some of the essential equipment for the job. He was neutered before the rescue group even put him up for adoption, so Little Dog has missed the window of opportunity by oh, four and a half years or so.

This does not keep her from trying. She dances around Bander and wags wildly. He's not so happy to have other dogs in his space. but seems to tolerate small ones better than big ones. He hasn't tried to eat her yet but I bet he's considering it.

She's showing signs that she'd like to live here, although she's clearly well fed and cared for, and we are NOT in the market to own a highly active but not terribly bright Little Dog, particularly one that is an escape artist.

Right now Bander and I are hiding inside with the doors closed pretending that we're not home, while Little Dog prances around impatiently on our back porch. I hope she finds a different boyfriend soon, because I'd like to go outside at some point this summer.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Into each life....

Today I'm going to be loading tote boxes with product and piling them into the car, along with tents and tables. I'm getting ready to go do a weekend craft fair in Milton, Florida. Setup is tonight, and the show is Saturday and Sunday.

I've found a sitter for Bander, who will take care of him until I'm done, since Saturday is a long day - twelve hours. I take him with me to a lot of fairs and markets, but that's a long time for him to just sit there, wondering what the hell Mama is waiting for.

And guess what the weather prediction says?

That's right, ladies and gents, I'm going to go stand outside in the rain for twelve hours straight and see whether my tent attracts lightning.

But you gotta go try. Dammit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Homework, Lesson Four: Sweating the Small Stuff

If you've been dealing with life-changing stress for the past year, and your focus is on whether someone else has a driver's license, you are focusing on the wrong fucking thing. It's quite astonishing to me how petty and self-flagellating some people can be, to the extent that they hobble themselves in every single endeavor.

I watched somebody do this recently in their personal life - obsess over a minor detail, and miss a one-time-only opportunity. Of course, it's true in business as well.

I know we've all heard it said before - focus on the big picture. Choose your battles wisely.

There will be day-to-day setbacks. There will be slow afternoons. There will be soap batches that came out.... well, stinky. There will be moments of horrible self doubt, wondering where the rent payment will be coming from.

You will make yourself crazy if you keep your focus on the here and now. Watch the horizon, the long-term trends, the overall course. If you're a freeway driver, and you're any good at it, you know that you watch several car lengths ahead. If you just obsess over the bumper immediately ahead of you, and mutter angrily to yourself over the number of Qs they got in their license plate - unfairly, to be sure - you are NEVER going to move past this plate. You've just earned yourself a permanent spot behind that car.

So. Look up. Look out. Raise your viewpoint, expand your horizons. That way you can see how the road ahead moves and flows, you can enjoy the trip and allow yourself to plan your path.
Or keep your focus on the unfair plate right ahead of you and stay small and petty.

Your choice. Just remember who made the decision on how you'd be guided.

PS - yeah, that IS a picture of Tom Petty. Some concepts are surprisingly hard to illustrate.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Busy Bee

Sorry I'm late, but I picked up an office temp job for a few days, and since the dog hasn't learned to make soap yet, the goldbricker, I was filing during the day and soaping at night and thus had no time left for blogging.

So, a couple of quick updates - one, we found a lovely little open field only a couple of blocks from our house that we walk the dog to, early in the morning. This is a good view of the bayou across the street from us (mostly it's blocked by houses).

The only odd thing was the moment when we figured out that it wasn't always an empty lot - it quite clearly used to have a house there, and I'll bet you five bucks that it was flattened by Hurricane Ivan. There's a lot immediately next to our house that has nothing left but a foundation and a sidewalk, and I'm sure that it was an Ivan casualty, too. We didn't realize how hard our neighborhood got hit. I can't tell if that makes me feel terrified, or comfortable because seriously, what are the odds that we'd get another direct hit like that?

Besides, I had to run from fires, and we missed the recent earthquake, so I'm prepared to flee storms if I have to. We got a piece of very useful advice from a native: "If it's over a Cat 3, take your kids and your wallet and run." Okey dokey!

And to end on a positive note, I know I showed you the tree in my front yard a few months ago. Here's the back yard tree, even bigger and a little more beautiful.

Just don't talk to me about rakes right now.

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