You know how it is – you don’t blog regularly for a while and then you think of all these things you should blog about but you don’t and you don’t have time to read and post to other people’s blogs so you know they are going to stop reading yours and your can’t blame them and you haven’t even had time to respond to people who responded to your blogs and pretty soon the guilty feelings pile up so high that you figure you might as well just quit blogging right now.

But then I figure if one of the things that is making me crazy is not writing then maybe if I go back to blogging it will be a little bit like writing and I won’t feel so bad. And if nobody but me reads my posts, I will tell myself that’s okay because I understand that blogging is a reciprocal activity and without time to reciprocate, well, like I said, I understand.

And then I remember that some of the most fun I had with writing recently was writing character letters and that even if the books are going nowhere for a variety of reasons I could maybe play with the characters again.

Before long I recognize that I have always been one to pile the guilt on myself without too much help from the Universe at large and wouldn’t it be nice if in this second half of life I could just chuck the guilt and enjoy a guilt-free version of life?

Okay, so that last one probably isn’t going to happen but I’m working on the rest.

Here’s the mini update.

The yard – I listed out the major steps needed to complete the front and back yards. There are 33 things on the list. Sigh. That is a ton when you consider one step might be “pick out plants for small planting section to right of driveway) because there are a lot more steps that go into that, plus the actual planting that will be done in the fall.
But at least I have a list. It is frustrating to me because I have to rely on my wonderful husband to do the hard work. Due to my shoulder/arm/wrist issues I can no long use the pick axe to dig or shovel dirt or carry heavy things. It is frustrating to have to wait for someone else to do things I used to be able to do myself. 

On top of that, I am bloody sick and tired of having to deal with people we have had to hire to do stuff for us. We do have a wonderful new courtyard fence but I also had to ask the guy to rehang the old gate to the sideyard and they said because there was nothing strong against the house to mount it to they made this weird thing that is self-supporting and I HATE it. I’m glad I can’t see it very often but every time I do, it makes me grit my teeth. But not nearly as much as looking at the backyard fence that we had put up last year. We trusted the guy who installed it for us and he put pressure treated wood on the top horizontal section of the fence. Now we have been told by three different fence people that the reason it is all warping is that they never should have put pressure treated wood on top. So we will have to pay to have it all replaced and it isn’t even a year old yet! And only one of the 4 neighbors helped pay for the originally fence so we are out even more money. But wait, there’s more. The fence is one of those with overlapping panels but they were too cheap to put enough wood in the sections to allow for shrinkage so now after not even a year, I can put my hand through the fence in many places. What is so stupid is that instead of just putting in one extra piece of wood, they guy took the time to cut a piece vertically to put in there. Sigh. We need to at least replace all the back fence sections ASAP before we put the plants in come fall.

I am also still very frustrated when I see the decomposed granite and the blue stone. There have been some very expensive homeowner lessons of late. 

For the last month we have had sections of the new paver driveway torn up due to a broken water pipe to the sprinklers that has defied repair. We are now waiting for the electrician to come install new outlets in the courtyard then we can get the pavers repaired and back to what passes for normal.

The job – we are in crazymaking times at my job as the merger goes forth and people are meeting for what basically amounts to interviews to discover if, in a few weeks, they will still have a job or not. So I am gathering my best pieces of work and beefing up my confidence for the weeks ahead. On the plus side, by September 2nd, we should all know if we have a job or should be looking for one.

Sleep – not getting enough of it. Stress and other life issues (see above) mean I’m getting about 5 hours a night. I need 8 and maybe even one night of 10. Ugh. I miss sleep.

The writing – not happening much (see above). Lots of thinking though which may come out more in character letters or something else. I am feeling afraid of poetry for reasons that I probably won’t go into here in the blog and yet I am feeling drawn to working on poems.

The dog – the part of my life that isn’t obsessing about whether or not I will still have a job next month or the yard or wondering if it crazy that I only want to hire workers around my home that speak the same language as I do, well, the rest of the time is spent with Cassie. She is already such a joy in our lives. Frustrating at time in the way that puppies can be but it is all a part of growing up and getting trained. 

Saturday we took her to the beach for the first time and she was not at all impressed. Afraid of the ocean. Then we went to dinner in Aptos, at Ma Maison, and had a lovely French dinner out on the patio with Cassie contentendly chewing on a toy at our feet. I am grateful to live in an area that is so dog friendly.

That’s life in an oversized nutshell.