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Archive for the ‘challenges’ Category

Confessions of a Lazy Gardener

by Karen E. Rigley

Thumbing through magazines and catalogues I see beautiful gardens and wish I could recreate them at my house. But the reality doesn’t match the dream. In part, because I’m a lazy gardener. Yes, I admit it. L-A-Z-Y.

Shameful, but true. Sometimes, my flower patches boast more weeds and grass than blossoms. Sometimes, there are more fading blooms than rosebuds adorning my rose bushes.

Sometimes, my clematis and honeysuckle vines entwine around the fence and even the peonies instead of the trellis. My herb garden occasionally sprouts a dandelion taller than the sage and lavender. The sad wilt of my pansies, snow-in-summer and creeping phlox reveal when I forget to water. It’s true sometimes my gardening skills look questionable.

It’s not my skill – it’s my will. I truly intend to do better this year. I hear some of you echoing my resolution, so I am not the only lazy gardener here. Good, that makes my confession easier. I love gardening – I do. Except it’s so much work. And takes so much time.  Plus I’m not as, ah, nimble as I once was.  Knees and ankles tend to protest — rather loudly at times.

Fortunately, I pad my landscape with flowering bushes like Rose of Sharon, flowering almond, forsythia, snowball, mock orange, Potentilla and bridal veil which need little grooming.

Maybe if I had raised beds to help keep out the weeds and grass? Oh, yeah.  Not so much. I tried that in a corner of the backyard. I dug down two feet and laid down that black plastic barrier before I built the raised beds. Uh huh. It took about two months for the tentacles of grass and wild morning glory to snake up through. That corner of oriental lilies, trumpet lilies and Liatris (feather flowers) fare no better than the other areas, though it appears a festive corner. Just don’t look too closely. 😉

The crazy thing is that I still get compliments on my flowers. Remarkable fact, yet I know why. Here is a secret I’ll share with my kindred spirits who love gardens more than the gardening: lazy gardeners cheat whenever we can.

Plant tough and spreading perennials like coreopsis, cupid dart, blue flax, daylilies, balloon flowers and Missouri evening primrose that need little attention. Grecian windflower anemones add a delicate touch. You can discover easy-care plants to bloom from early spring until frost. In fact, every flower (except the roses) mentioned in this confession are simple care. Though you must remember some watering and to tame the weeds a bit.

Fellow lazy gardeners rejoice! We can create beauty with minor effort – as long as we cheat.

Now if I can just get that grass out of my flowers – any volunteers?

SPRING MORN

Dew-kissed wild flowers

paint

patchwork meadow

songbirds and insects

hum

nature’s chorus

Awake!

 

WEEKEND GARDENER

 The geraniums need bedding.

My roses need dead-heading.

The pansies lost a war with weeds.

Sparrows ate my snapdragon seeds

and now they need resowing.

Naturally, the lawn needs mowing.

The hedges need trimming.

How my head is spinning!

A weekend isn’t long enough

to get the gardening done.

I must work through my vacation

instead of playing in the sun.

Book links:

 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Karen+E.+Rigley&x=7&y=16

http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=EBOOK&WRD=karen+rigley&box=karen+rigley&pos=-1&ugrp=2

 

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A WRITER WITHOUT WORDS

by Karen E. Rigley

A blog by a nonblogger. People assume that blogging’s simple – a breeze for a writer. For me not so much.

Sure I can create characters who don’t really exist and toss them into situations to steal a reader’s breath. I can even create worlds. Stories are easy. Ask me to weave tales of adventure, suspense or romance. Words flow.

Confront me with a new blog post and I turn into a writer without words. Why can I write a spectrum of works, but suddenly go blank? Spinning a tale of mystery, science fiction or an article is not about me. Me is where I get stuck.

So I ramble about weather, recipes, whatever floats through the universe at the moment. What happens if nothing floats past? Then I’m in trouble. Like today.

Ah, but I do have words available when I mine my trove of old poetry. Guess what happens now? Yep, my poems to the rescue. 😉

PA’S SONG

Almost ninety
voice a-tremor
worn fingers
strum and pick
mountain music
ageless rhythm
foot-tapping
song of hills
bluegrass
notes fade
forgotten verses
broken string
layer of dust
cannot hush
memories
Every evening
on the front porch
songs and laughter
dance inside
Grandpa’s old
banjo

 

PC BLUES

I
sit here
and stare at
my monitor.
Warnings flash onscreen
with electronic gleam,
laughing at my small mistake.
Blinking and ignoring commands,
it smugly digests files it ate.
Please, nice computer, give human a break?

 EAGLE WISDOM

 Imagine an eagle

circling the sky

zooming up

flying high

Soar above cliff

soar above mountain

a symbol of strength

a spiritual fountain

Born in a nest

hungry and weak

right from birth

determined to seek

promise of destiny

Rise to succeed

rise to fulfill

plan of the Almighty

Gliding toward heaven

the eagle soars

through the sky

inspiring

my spirit since

even an eagle

must learn to fly

 

 
 

FAREWELL FEBRUARY: Love & Romance

by Karen E. Rigley

Agatha Christie once said if she hadn’t experienced so much success with her mysteries, she would’ve written romance. If you think about it, most of her mysteries wove romance into the story somewhere.

As we bid farewell to February, love lingers with gossamer stubbornness in my writing and in my thoughts.

There’s so much more to celebrating love and romance than roses, cards and candy.

Appreciation:  We need to appreciate each other and focus on the good things, not dwell on negatives. Call it positive reenforcement.

Communication:  In real life or in fiction, simply communicating with one another smooths out conflict. That doesn’t mean just talking – it means listening. To truly listen is a secret key.

Caring:  Show you care by doing something nice each day. Be sweet and wash the dishes when it’s not your turn. Or call just to say hello. Remember that an impulsive hug, kiss or a whispered “I love you” boomerangs back to you.

May love flow for you each day throughout the year.

BEHOLD LOVE

Making someone love you

is no more possible

than capturing a moonbeam

Elusive

Impossible to trap

Like moonbeams

love cannot be forced

or imprisoned

Instead

allow love to flow to you

shimmering

surrounding you with magic

 
 

WRITING VERSUS LIFE

by Karen E. Rigley

Writing and life clash. They each steal time and attention from the other, so a writer exists in a constant battle zone. We want to write. We need to write. Does life allow us to write?

Not without a battle. Whenever I hear the expression the writing life, I laugh. No such thing. You are either dealing with life or writing. Whichever creates the loudest demand at that moment determines which you are doing.

Juggling families, jobs, deadlines, and inevitable life crisis shoots holes through the best planned schedules, so writers constantly adapt often writing at weird times, odd places and occasionally awkward moments.

It’s agonizing to be struck by muse or impending deadlines right when life bombards you. So a writer charges forward plunging through the war zone attempting to successfully conquer both life and writing.

At this moment writing is winning – an hour from now? Oncoming fire.

TELL ME A STORY


Fly me away on the wings of dreams
Weave me sounds of laughter or screams

Scorch me with fire of dragon breath
Haunt me with tales of impending death

Introduce me to people I’ll never meet
Transport me to a distant or imaginary street

Thrill me with legends of brave young souls
Frighten me by evil spells, witches and ghouls

Entice me with magic of a lover’s kiss
Excite me with blaze from a laser gun miss

Enchant me with myths of lost jewels, genies and gold
Challenge me by ancient mysteries; puzzles of old

Tease me with shadows flickering in candleglow
Intoxicate me with joy, passion or woe

Whirl me toward heaven in a tornado high
Blow me like stardust across violet sky

Whisk me away to worlds, future or past
‘til my eyelids drift closed and I sleep at last.

DOUBLETIME

Blending two careers is my aim.

It’s all in organizing they claim,

yet, all the books and articles I read

fail to explain how to achieve

the unattainablse quest,

how to get enough rest.