It is the exciting month of NaNoWriMo!! This will be the second time I have done the November full novel challenge, however, I have participated successfully in a couple NaNoWriMo spring and summer writing camps in April and July. But this is the big daddy where the challenge is a complete 50,000-word novel. I have published one book from all these challenges. This NaNoWriMo challenge is a great way to exercise the writing skills in a fast-paced and condensed way.
So, I’m starting here on the 3rd…3 days and thousands of words behind. I have one month to complete this novel that I have no clue about where it’s going or what it will truly be about in the end.
And that is the thrill of doing this challenge. You don’t have time to actually think. You don’t have time to plot it out, draw out scene maps on a corkboard, or even get to know your characters. You put a pot of coffee on and you sit down to type like a crazy person. You don’t have time to overthink yourself right out of a story or to judge your work. This is extremely freeing to just be pure creative energy without the ego putting a halt to the parade.
So, here I go writing, writing, writing…and brewing espressos. But there are other things on the schedule. We are having interviews with the social worker for our foster care processes. Three interviews this month…all before Thanksgiving. It’s a bit nerve jangling although I know we will be fine and I’m going into it with more curiosity as to who are these people that I’ll be working with…I am also interviewing this woman as much as she is interviewing myself and family.
I decided to undertake Fall cleaning last week after Molly, our little puppy Dachshund, left some poop gifts on the carpet. I purchased the best carpet cleaner ever! A small, compact Hoover that is so slim and light I find it easier than my daily vacuum. I have been enjoying cleaning the carpets and deep cleaning the house, making it fresh, scrubbed, and good smelling again.
On top of that, we had to pull up some trees in our front yard and the avocado tree in the back outside my laundry room. I called 811 to have them come out again and really discuss these gas lines and what trees could stay. What the man pointed out was that they were fine with the gas lines but three trees were growing on top of the waterline. So the nectarine tree and my beloved shade tree, along with two wild-growing trees had to go. The nectarine turned out to be dead so that wasn’t so depressing. The avocado tree in the back was an experiment but now we know to really plan our tree planting.
The good news is that we still have two apple trees, grapes, mandarin, lemon, lime, pomegranate, two avocados, two almond trees, and a possible plum or if not, a pretty ornamental tree. Andddd…finally, my husband saw the light after a visit to my friend the “master gardener” and she explained to him how a real citrus tree should look. We had these two trees; one orange and one mandarin that were purchased from Lowe’s over two years ago and grew like weeds, looked like weeds and I was told a few times that they were more than likely suckers that had been grafted on. Bali held out hope that they would magically produce abundant, sweet fruit and prove us all wrong. I hassled him every season to remove them so we could plant more real fruit trees.
A two-year dream came true yesterday after our visit to the master gardener and sucker trees were explained to my spouse. We stopped by Green Acres, the only place I will ever buy trees or seeds…unless there is a local nursery other than this. We came home with our two new bundles of joy. Another nectarine and a three variety pear tree. We pulled up the sucker citrus trees and planted our new fruit children.
I can’t explain how accomplished it feels and that internal sigh of relief. We have a very small amount of land here in town. Every inch is valuable and has to be used wisely. You learn that growing vegetables over water and gas lines are fine but trees must be planted elsewhere. You learn to plant trees and vegetables together as companions and to utilize space. I have my greens growing under fruit trees in hot weather and sun-loving plants in the front yard over all the gas/water lines where they won’t harm things and trees don’t block the light. I have a large garage that takes up too much room as far as I’m concerned and a patio that also irritates. However, I am learning many ways I can grow on the patio without taking up the cement. I’ve already painted it earth brown to make it less hot in the summer and less glaring with the ugly cement. I could put beds on the patio or grow out of straw bales. I can use lots of containers and pots to grow tomatoes and herbs on the patio.
We are no Dervae’s family with their mini-farm in 4,000 sq ft in the LA city neighborhood. However, I can get busy with what we have and really make the back and front yard perform and produce tons of organic fruit and veggies.
I was reading Connie Hultquist’s Dear Kitchen Saints on our drive yesterday and I chose a piece on Depression Era Mothers. She talked of the country mothers that would raise chickens and plant huge gardens. They would plant pots and containers of seedlings in the winter and sell Bossy’s milk for a gallon of gas or coffee. I love this stuff. It reminds us of a time when life was simple and needs were as basic as that gallon of gas for the car or some coffee for the morning brew. There is something peaceful and uncomplicated about that. I also love the industriousness of the housewife back then. You know she didn’t have a greenhouse or little seedling pots from the local nursery. No, she used cans she had saved for years and put the seedlings in the windows of the farmhouse. She made do with everything.
Inspired we have our new fruit trees and I have committed to saving all my cans for my seedlings in the spring.
Believe it, people, the new year is less than two months away. What life do you envision for the coming year? To have a hearty savings account? To grow a large garden that gives you the cleanest and freshest produce? To simplify life? To get out of the rat race or get out of debt? To quit media and get back into an old hobby?
For this coming year, my goal is to learn as much as I can about gardening and tending to my fruit and nut trees. The other goal is making extra payments on the mortgage and be mortgage-free in 6 years. To build an enormous savings account. To live a simple and fulfilling life. To spend more time visiting family and friends. To be content right where we are instead of looking for that other home or town to make me happy. To continue decorating and creating right here in my little cottage and with my sweet gardens. To hone the skills of canning and baking and the craft of writing.
Sounds cozy, right?!