Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday blog...

It's been a busy weekend so far. Yesterday morning, Sean and I drove up to Madeira Park to have a look at some mobile homes (an option for temp housing while waiting for our own house to be built). We decided the new big ones are probably a little TOO big for the area we'll want to park ours on. So it was back to Sechelt to shop for our nephew's upcoming birthday (we settled on some pirate-themed Playmobil toys) and more food for the cats. Well, Chloe in particular - we stopped at the vet to get something for her sensitive tummy.

Then it was back here where I played on the computer before heading off to get groceries for dinner last night. While out, I heard about a bad accident on the highway, so wasn't surprised when I got home to find a note from Sean saying he'd gone into work. He was there till after 6:00pm, doing updates on the situation - the RCMP had to close the highway and traffic was backed up for hours. But he got home in time for dinner. Then we watched Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. My in-laws hadn't seen it and I figured after the afternoon Sean had, he'd enjoy the light entertainment. And W&G certainly fit the bill :-)

Also, while I was out, a friend who'd asked to read What the Heart Remembers (my GH entry) dropped by with the ms. She'd read it twice and given me commentary as well as picking out typos. So I spent some time before starting dinner going over the ms. Her comments are really helpful and she found some continuity errors - spots where I'd changed the plot etc., but forgot to take out the old narrative or dialogue. I didn't quite finish going through the whole thing yesterday, so I think I'll work on that this afternoon. And enter the changes next week.

Overall her reaction was very positive. This has given me a push to maybe query some agents. In reading over bits and pieces, I'd forgotten quite how much I love this story and really want to sell it. I've been so wrapped up in the new ms, that marketing this one has fallen by the wayside, but I really think I should focus at least some of my attention on getting an agent.

It's turned out sunny, so maybe I'll go sit outside to read over the rest of my manuscript.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend :-)


Currently Reading: Books for research/review
Link of the day: Natalie Damschroder's Blog

Friday, July 28, 2006

One more quick post...

Alerted by Kelly (thanks Kelly!), I checked out the latest on the MissMakeaMovie
blog and their upcoming documentary "Who's Afraid of Happy Endings?".

You can read the update
and see a pic of one of my best friends, Kate (or Kathryn), one of Kelly herself and one of Kayla Perrin (who I met years ago when she came to speak to ORWA).

Funny thing is, Joanna (one half of the MissMakeaMovie) used to work with my husband at the CBC :-) And I still miss her weekly film reviews.

Anyway, I'm REALLY looking forward to see WAOHE? when it's done!

Ok, on with my day.


Tagged for a meme and more...

Thanks, Rene - it's a fun one:

1. When did you first start blogging and why?
In January 05. Like Rene, I had to check and it turns out I never mentioned WHY I was blogging. Just leapt right in, so I can only think it was because I thought it would be fun and give me something to write to warm up for my writing day.

2. What don't you talk about?
Politics and religion. Definite no-nos for me. No way, no how, I'm going there in so public a forum.

3. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?
Hmm, well, I'd say my blogging persona is a little more outgoing than me. Like many writers I'm very shy and can appear aloof around new people when really, I'm just trying to think of something half intelligent to say that might be of interest. In the blogosphere I seem to find it much easier to just chatter away - mostly cause I know now that people who read my blog share many of my interests and if they're bored, they can just click away and I'll never know :-)

4. How do you use blogging to build friendships?
Like Rene, I too am a much better writer than talker (see above answer). In the blogosphere I can leave comments and see how people respond - that kinda lets me know whether we're compatible as friends. I've found some great friends this way :-) And it's far less scary than just walking up to someone (even at a writer's conference) and say "Hi, wanna talk about writing?"

5. How would you describe your writing style?
Casual and fun. I don't want to come off as being some kind of expert or anything like that. I just like to report on my daily experiences with writing, reading and reviewing as well as relating little tidbits about my personal life.

Responding to Comments
Annette - glad you like the new do :-) And it was nice to read your update from Atlanta. And just think, by Monday you'll be home again with your writing!

Nienke - thanks for the compliment on the new do. I have FDin30D as well - it's fantastic :-) Enjoy!

Margaret - seems like it's the week for haircuts. Appreciate your kind words :-)

Writing Progress
My battle with Dragon NaturallySpeaking continued yesterday. It was so bad, I finally retrained it last night after finishing off one of the books I was reading. Will try it again today after I get back from my errands. Speaking of which, I'd best get going soon.


Currently Reading: Books for review/research
Link of the Day:
18th Century Clothing Chronicles

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My new do and other ramblings...

Well, I finally got my hair cut!!! It's needed it for a while, and I'm quite happy with the result. Even took a few self-portraits with my little friend Fuji - what do you think?

After I was done at the salon, I went next door to the cafe for a coffee and sat down outside with my handy-dandy story notebook and did some more brainstorming on my hero, Henri. I'm working out the finer details of the plot, things I really HAVE to know before I start writing and may write myself into a bad corner, forcing me to fix it later.

The other day I talked about my timeline for Henri and mused about how effective it was to spend a lot of time filling it in. Nienke said the following:
I vote for doing the work in advance and then changing it as needed as you go. I really believe the story is going to be more effective if you really know your characters and have an idea of what happens/ed when. It's also a good way to make sure you put foreshadows and lead-ups in the right places. And, it will really help develop goals and motivations.

And I really tend to agree with her :-) I guess part of me feels that doing all this is more like procrastination, especially as I have so much fun doing it. But I know in the past I've had to go back while editing and work all this stuff out then fill it in in the ms, so maybe I AM just saving myself time later. And not just playing around.

This afternoon I'm going to continue with my work and try again to make Dragon NaturallySpeaking behave. To save my wrists, I'm trying to remember to dictate as much as I can, but a lot of the time the accuracy of the software leaves much to be desired. And I'm a perfectionist. Maybe I should work on that.

Teresa (who really wishes she were in Atlanta at National right now)

Currently Reading: Books for research/review
Links of the Day: Michelle Willingham's Character Alphabet Chart and Master Plotting Chart

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Review of The PageFour Notebook

As promised, here are my thoughts on The PageFour Notebook.

Designed by a software designer for writers, PageFour Notebook is a welcome addition to my collection of writing/planning programmes. What I like best about it, is its simplicity. The layout is clean, with the option to have only the word processor on the screen or a list of notebooks and the current notebook on the left. You can have as many files open as you want - they're tabbed, making switching back and forth really easy.

Information is stored in Notebooks, to which you add Folders and Pages, or just Pages if you prefer. The toolbar icons make this fast, but you can also use keyboard shortcuts as well. All basic formatting is available on the toolbar or through keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl-u for underline etc.) and files are saved in rich text format. You can take Snapshots of your work at any time, a permanent record of the page you're working on, without having to worry about fancy file names if, as in the example from the Help file, you want to save an older version of a novel chapter before doing rewrites.

The ability to export notebooks is another function I found particularly useful - they're saved as .rtf files with the notebooks' structure intact, which is really cool. And if you have work you want to pull into PageFour, it's a snap as you can import MS Word, .rtf and .txt files. I tried this and it worked just fine. Notebooks and pages can also be password protected and locked, a bonus if you have to share your computer and want to keep things private.

The programme's Archive feature is quite unique and I'll leave it to the developer, via the Help file to explain it:

Archiving allows a full history of your PageFour Notebook to be held for over a year, and handles complete or partial roll backs with ease. Restore your notebooks to the state they were in last Tuesday, before your five year old nephew got click happy and started deleting things, or search for a page with a really neat paragraph you know you wrote six months ago but have mistakenly overwritten.

You can also drag and drop pages from notebook to notebook, and it gives you the option to either Move or Copy them - another neat little feature I quite like. This is particularly useful for Research notes that fall under more than one category.

Printing is easy, with advanced features such as Selected Text, Selected Pages, or Selected Folders. Plus you can create Printing Templates for specialized jobs. I've already asked the developer if he might be able to do a Galley one for novelists, and he replied (within a few hours) that he'll take the suggestion into consideration.

Do I have any beefs? Well, as always, there are little quirks. Often when creating new pages I end up with them in the wrong notebook or in the main window - not a big deal as they can be moved easily, but still, not ideal. Similarly when I import documents, the same thing seems to happen. Of course it's entirely possible I just haven't figured out the right way to do this, but it's still annoying. Also, as of this version, tables still aren't included. Again, not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to be able to create a basic table or to import a simple table-based form.

So, what will I use PageFour Notebook for? Research notes and planning work. Though it could also quite successfully be used to write and print a full novel, I have to admit I'm still a dedicated WWP user and won't likely stray from it. BUT, PFN, is a perfect companion, giving me a little more flexibility than WWP's scratchpad and the .rtf export/import means I can move info back and forth between the programmes with ease. I've already created a Notebook for FDin30D templates as well as a Story Bible notebook for my two French Revolution mss (they share some characters and run along the same timeline).

As of this morning, I'm now a fully licensed user. At $29.95 US, this programme is exceptionally well priced and easy to buy via secure server, though other arrangements can also be made if online buying isn't your thing.

Want to know more PFN? Read about its features, and see screenshots. And did you note what I said about the developer (one Darren Devitt) getting back to me so quickly after I made a suggestion via email? I'm pretty certain Bill Gates doesn't do this *g*. You can also read Darren's blog, on which he talks from time to time about PFN.

And now, I'd best get on with the rest of my day. My ms is calling - I'm doing character work and still trying to figure out how much of my characters' life timeline I really need to work through. It will give me so much more depth, but is also very time consuming. Still, if I do it now, it saves me from doing it in the future. Hmmmmm. Anyone have any thoughts on this?


Currently Reading: Books for Research/Review
Link of the Day: Isolde Martyn's Research Tips

Monday, July 24, 2006

A hot weekend...

Well, we here in BC joined the rest of you sizzling in the summer heat. Granted, the Humidex was nothing to speak of, but even so, it was darned hot. Not that I'm really complaining as I love summer weather. But not many people here have air conditioning, so it can be a tad uncomfortable when the sun blazes on your house all afternoon and evening. Which is what happens to us in the cottage. Fortunately, by midnight each night the cool lake breeze wafted through the window making it possible to sleep.

On Friday evening we headed down to see the fireworks. Knowing how many people would be there, we parked at the mall and walked down into lower Gibsons. Just before we started down the hill, I stopped and took this photo of the sun setting on the mountains in the distance:

As with most fireworks displays, one spends the hour or so beforehand wandering around, people watching. As we were coming up from the harbourside walkway, I stopped just outside Gramma's Pub and took this shot of the boats out on the water:

Surprisingly, my camera actually did a half-decent job of photographing some of the fireworks:

On Saturday it was back to Vancover to see my mum on the return side of her Alaska Cruise. Before meeting up with her and her friend, Sean dropped my back at the library to register my card there. Now I can borrow stuff from the main library :-) And access the extensive electronic resources available there. Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

Dinner itself was fun - we heard all about the cruise and its side trips - including the helicopter ride up to a glacier!! It was a nice enough evening to take a walk - with the sun setting, the heat had abated somewhat, so we strolled up and down Robson to stretch and help our tummies digest the yummy food. Then it was back to the ferry terminal and home.

Yesterday we were out on the lake for a while, then had dinner with the neighbours.

It's cooler here today, but not by much. I managed to get my watering done earlyish and some housework accomplished and hope to get back into my ms once I've been for groceries and the mail. It was just too hot to think on Friday, but I can't keep using that as an excuse!

The girls, btw, are surviving the heat pretty well, though they do spend a lot of the afternoon sleeping on the bathroom floor. It's at the back of the cottage, so is cooler than the front rooms. And I refill their water bowl with fresh water every few hours.

Anyway, must get on with the day. For those of you heading to Atlanta, have a great time!!! Looking forward to y'all blogging about your adventures when you return :-)


Currently Reading: Books for research/review
Link of the Day: Scambusting sites at Winning

Friday, July 21, 2006

Names seem to be this week's topic...

I noticed while blog hopping this week that character names kept popping up. Kelly asked What's in a Name?, while Jane Jackson riffed on The Importance of Names over at UK Historical Romance. Over at Word Wenches, Jo Beverley blogged about hero's names and the way they can affect "the author, the reader and the characters themselves." And finally, Claire Delacroix confessed that when starting a new proposal she hates "the name game".

So, do you enjoy coming up with character names? Are there certain names you love? Hate? Never, ever want to see in a romance?

I'm doing lunch with a friend today and Sean and I are hoping to see the fireworks tonight at Sea Cavalcade.


Currently Reading: Can you Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella (yes, I found it at the library and broke down - just HAD to read it)
Also Currently Reading: Books for research/review
Link of the Day: Claire Delacroix on Pitching at National (figured it was a timely link)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Responding to comments (and more)....

First, thanks to everyone for the feedback! I guess maybe it's my own IE that makes it look a little weird.

Melinda Jane - my current ms is set during the French Revolution and is about a plot to free the young king from the Temple. My hero is the liaison between the English and French sides (his mother is English) - only problem is, he was captured then escaped, only to discover the notebook he'd hidden in the house has disappeared - it has all the details of the plot (in code), including the name of his English contact, with whom he'd not yet connected. My heroine is a feminist writer (yes, they existed then, though the word itself didn't) who doesn't want to marry, but she loves the intrigue and soon falls for the hero. But still doesn't want to marry him.

It's a companion book to my last ms, about the current hero's sister who saw him captured and is searching for him. SHE is the one who has the notebook.

Kelly - Thanks! Glad you like the new look :-)

Rene - Thanks! The crisp, clean look is what appealed to me too.

Melissa - Thanks! It's nice to have something new :-)

In Writing News
Yesterday I managed to do some work on the Outline Capsules - got as far as Chapter 5. They're not hugely detailed yet, but it's enough to get my creative juices going. I may have to write and outline at the same time - I'm starting to get really antsy, needing to write, rather than just plan! Though it is fun to do in The PageFour Notebook - I'll review the programme next week.

But right now, our niece is visiting, so I'm going to go see what she's up to this fine morning. It's going to be hot today - though not as hot as where Bren lives! And even hotter on the weekend.


Currently Reading: Books for research and review
Link of the Day: Blogging National (for those of us not going - we can still keep up)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

For those using Internet Explorer...

please let me know how bad a time you have viewing my blog with this template. I use Firefox and it shows up fine, but it seems IE isn't nearly so coopertive. Is it completely jumbled?



Quick post...

As y'all can see, I've been playing with my template. Found this through Blogger Templates via Warner Women.

Ok - so now I've spent most of the morning playing, I'd best get on with my REAL work!!

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hmm, so THIS is the kind of writer I am...

Nienke posted her results and a link to this last week:

What kind of writer are you?

You're a Narrative writer!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Got lots of my handwritten notes typed in yesterday, including most of my Story Evolution sheet. More work to do today, though I think the garden also needs weeding. Hmmmm. What to do, what to do?

I'm also playing around with some new software - The PageFour Notebook. It has tabbed windows, which is way cool. Better for planning and organizing than for writing - I still prefer WWP for that. But still, definitely useful :-)


Currently Reading: Books for research and review
Link of the Day: The Tyee Books Blog

Monday, July 17, 2006

Doggie pics from our hike...

As I mentioned yesterday, Claire brought Wally the dog along with us on our hike. Here are some pics of him enjoying his day out.

On the ferry with Claire:

Climbing a neat set of steps:

Resting after the climb:

Cooling off in the lake:

Looking out over Deep Bay:

Responding to Comments:
Kelly - if you want to come out here some time, you're welcome to visit - lots of great hikes etc here on the Coast :-) We may even have a guest room at some point *g*.

Margaret - thanks for the good wishes re my shoulder. It's already feeling much better.

On tap for today:
Errands in Sechelt, then back here to get back into my ms. So, in view of that, I'd best get my butt out of this chair and out to the car. Otherwise, I'll get sucked back into blogland and not move again till noon *g*.


Currently Reading: Books for research and review
Link of the Day: Cycling in Eastern Ontario - an article by my friend Laura

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Vancouver and Bowen Island hike...

I'm home again, after a busy couple of days.

On Friday I got into the city early enough to visit the central library, an architectural beauty right downtown. I wandered around for a while, collected some books on the French Revolution to look at. Yep, look at, cause it turns out I forgot (imagine head banging against wall) to bring my Sechelt library card, which I can register with the VPL and thus have borrowing privileges. Oh well, next week.

After that I trundled along Robson to meet up with my mum and her friend at their hotel. From there we went for lunch at O'Doul's, then went to see Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, with its gorgeous stained glass windows. We spent quite a while in there, though the sun didn't cooperate - it remained behind the clouds, so we didn't see the windows in their full glory. Still, it was very interesting and a lovely interlude.

Having heard so much about the library from me, my mum and her friend decided we should walk down there together - so we continued on, despite the drizzle and by the time we were seated in the library concourse with coffee, the sun had come out. Rested and revived by our refreshment we went up into the library itself to see the view from the 6th floor windows before returning to Robson Street and joining the crowds there as we wended our way to our dinner destination.

My friend was able to join us before 7:00 and we had a nice dinner, though my mum's food wasn't great so she shared my pizza. By 9pm, Claire and I were at the bus stop waiting to go back to her neighbourhood, which included a stop at a local cafe, The Wired Monk, for dessert and tea, figuring anything stronger (also available there) might put a crimp in our hiking the next day.

By 9 am on Saturday, we were at Horseshoe Bay, waiting for the others to join us. Wally the dog rested up some more (he's a big dog - half Irish wolfhound/half Bouvier) while we sat in a shady area just outside the ticket booth. After the others joined us we boarded the ferry - the ride over to Bowen is only 20 mins - here's what the view looks like coming into Snug Cove:

Our walk took us through varied terrain - from deep woods to more open areas:

The forest there is very old, as evidenced by this hollowed out tree trunk:

It's also kinda boggy in spots, necessitating the building of boardwalks along the trail:

Claire took a photo of me at the north end of the lake - the bog is behind me and beyond it you can see the open part of Killarney Lake:

3/4 of the way around we stopped to have some water and a snack. In the distance you can see the bog with dead trees where I'd posed for me photo earlier:

And here's the lake from the south end - isn't it gorgeous?:

Along the trail back to Snug Cove, we stopped the lookout over Deep Bay - which in turn gives you a view over to Lion's Bay and the Sea to Sky Highway:

Back in Snug Cove, we had lunch at the pub and looked out over the marina:

Our bellies now full (we were all a tad grumbly by the time the food hit the table), we wandered back towards the dock to wait for the ferry:

and by 4:45 we were back in Horseshoe Bay, where our companions set off for home. Claire tarried with me a while as I had to wait for the 6:20 ferry back to Langdale. We sat down in the park in Horseshoe Bay, and chatted - enjoying the shade and watching all the people.

The time soon came for me to buy my ticket and board the ferry, so there we parted. I'm hoping to go hiking with them all again soon (apparently I passed muster *g*). The ferry ride was smooth and even with heavy traffic, I was home by 8 o'clock, where dinner was waiting for me followed by apple pie. Yum.

Today I'm a tad sore ( I slipped on some rocks, bruising myself and wrenching my shoulder), but happy to be home again. The kitties are stretched out on the floor beside me, so I guess I'll put off vacuuming till tomorrow! I guess I should clean up my stuff - I unpacked, but didn't actually put anything away. Hope you enjoy the pics :-)


Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Pirate Movie...

Well, we saw it last night :-) I can't say I didn't enjoy it, but boy, did it need some good editing. Like getting rid of the whole "escape from the cannibals" sequence. That really bloated the film up and considering there was a similar chase scene towards the end with an actual point to it....

And too many baddies and superfluous characters. Still, it was fun and I liked the tension between Will/Jack/Elizabeth. Not sure I'd bother with the DVD, though. It definitely was NOT as good as the first one, IMHO.

On the writing/working front, I've come up with some new twists for my plot. Been doing a lot of stuff by hand recently, which will mean transcribing, but I have to go with what works and right now working out my plot with good ol' pen and paper seems to be what's right.

Also, I finished the first of the three books I'm reading to prepare for the interview. Fortunately it was a great read (I had only minor quibbles), so I'm sure the second will go as quickly. Still waiting to receive the third from the author's publicist. And Nienke, the interview will be done by email, so I don't have to worry about checking batteries - but thanks for the tip!

Tomorrow I'm off to Vancouver to meet up with my mum and her friend. They'll be in town for a couple of days, so I'm spending the afternoon and evening with them, then staying overnight with a friend. She and I and some of her friends are going hiking on Bowen Island on Saturday. In all the years I've been visiting the Coast, I've never been to Bowen, even though we pass it all the time on the ferry. Should be fun. Now the weather just has to cooperate :-)


Currently Reading: Books for research/review
Link of the Day: Break the Chain.Org (to double check when people forward you email scams)

Monday, July 10, 2006

If I'm quiet for the next few weeks...

it's because I'm really busy. Have suddenly realized just HOW much I have to do:

a) work on ms
b) judge a contest
c) prepare for/interview/write article based on interview with an author (this includes reading from her backlist and her about-to-be released novel)
d) read two books for review, one a long non-fiction one


We had a busy weekend. Spent Saturday down in Gibsons, where Sean was covering the annual International Howe Sound Outrigger Race:

Wandering around the dock was fun - I saw this cool houseboat:

And trundled off to the library in Gibsons for a while, before returning later to brilliant sunshine and beautiful scenery:

Yesterday we watched the World Cup final and had a little party, then I spent some time doing family history research before diving into one of the books I'm reading to prepare for the interview mentioned above. We finished the day with a lovely campfire. Here's a shot of Sean enjoying the late evening sun:

Ok - on with my day!! It involves laundry, among other exciting chores. But first, one last photo. I got up a few minutes ago to refill my coffee cup, turned around and saw this:

Fortunately my camera was at hand, so I was able to capture it :-)

Really, this time I'm going!


Currently Reading: Books for review
Link of the Day: Articles by Maggie Toussaint

Friday, July 07, 2006

A slightly chilly Friday morning...

I'm huddled in front of my computer, with a bit of a breeze coming in the door here. But I love the fresh air, even if it's cool.

Yesterday I got some good work done on my ms - mostly organizing, but I think that's been part of my problem. Even with WWP, I have stuff kinda scattered, so I gathered everything together and read through it all. It's helping me to focus. I also spent some time taking notes from Linda Seger's Creating Unforgettable Characters. There's some good stuff in there - I recommend it highly!! Today I'm going to go through some of the chapters from the Robyn Carr book.

I had a couple of plot breakthroughs yesterday as well and made sure I wrote them down *g* and started working on the Story Evolution Worksheet. It's hard work, but a really good exercise.

Now, however, I must get ready to go do grocery shopping. Though I believe a stop for a coffee will be in order, so I'm taking my notebook/worksheets along with me as well as the Carr book. The girlies are in sleep mode right now, so won't even notice I'm gone.

And it's Cleo's birthday today. Happy Birthday, Cleo :-)


Currently Reading: Practical Tips for Writing Popular Fiction by Robyn Carr
Also Currently Reading: Books for review
Link of the Day: Pub Rants from agent Kristin Nelson (this week she's talking about Agenting 101)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Manuscript frustrations...

Grrrr. For some reason I can't quite put my finger one, my plot just isn't coming together. I keep juggling things, hoping I'll hit on the problem, but so far, no luck. Yes, this happens with every story, but this one seems particularly contrary at the moment.

So I just keep brainstorming. Yep, I write notes to myself, just let everything out and muse, play with ideas etc. Have learned it's the only way to get round this particular issue.

Meanwhile, at the library the other day, I found the following books:
Robyn Carr - Practical Tips for Writing Fiction
Linda N. Edelstein - The Writer's Guide to Character Traits
Linda Seger - Creating Unforgettable Characters
Rachel Ballon - Breathing Life into your Characters
Doreen Yarwood - European Costme: 4000 Years of Fashion

oh, and Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic & Sister, which I inhaled at one sitting on Tuesday night! This one actually had me in tears twice, but it was such a great story. I liked it better than Shopaholic Gets Married. And now want to get my mitts on Can You Keep a Secret? and The Undomestic Goddess.

Glad you all enjoyed my photos yesterday :-)


Link of the Day: Read it Before you Die found at Miss Snark's blog

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

So why am I feeling accomplished?...

Because yesterday morning, I FINALLY got some planting done. There's a big flower bed beside our cottage and I'd volunteered to take care of it this summer, but what with all the wedding prep etc, I never quite got around to doing anything with it. So on the weekend I weeded some of it, then bought some plants. THAT was fun. I was like a kid in a candy store.

Yesterday morning I headed outside and finished the weeding, mixed earth and peat, then dressed the beds before getting to the main point of it all - planting! I had chosen all perennials (Teresa's secret to easy gardening, discovered after YEARS of heartbreak with many of her annuals) that are drought resistant, so it was a matter of deciding what goes where to fit in with the existing plants. That's always fun. All in all, I was out there about 3.5 hours and LOVED every minute of it. And I need more plants, so it's back to Quality Farms for more on Friday. Yay!

Here are some pics of what everything looked like late yesterday afternoon:

On Monday, we went out on the little red motorcycle - the GS (on/off road) as our plans to go out on the bigger one on Sunday kinda fell by the wayside. On the red bike we can go off-road and figured that would be more fun on a day when there would be tons of traffic on the highway with end-of-long weekend-traffic.

We headed up to Dakota Ridge:

where Sean had to check the map to figure out exactly WHERE we were:

The road we travelled:

A road spur on the way down - it had a great view:

Sean let me off to take the photo and went to explore - he found a deep gulley! Here's an action shot of him returning:

Later on we headed further along the forestry road and went down another spur Sean used to ride on his dirt bike. It was pretty smooth at first, but at one point we were going up and down fairly constantly and then there was the moment a rock caught on the footpeg and I was almost bounced off the back! Fortunately I wasn't as Sean kept control of the bike. On our way back, we stopped at a bridge to have some water and let the bike rest for a bit. I took out my camera again. Here's me relaxing:

and here's Sean and me together:

Then we climbed down to creek level and walked out on the rocks - it was delightfully cool down there and oh, so pretty:

I couldn't resist taking another photo of Sean:

We ended our ride down at a local cafe before hitting the highway and heading home.

There we found Chloe, looking very smug on the bag that holds our motorcycle gear:

And speaking of smug kitties, here's a photo of Cleo, taken on the weekend (you can see Chloe as well - snoozing in the sun):

Last, but not least, Moonbeam the baby llama contines to grow apace - here she is with her sister and mother:


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My working space (complete with cats *g*)

As per Melissa's request, here's a photo of my working space:

More tomorrow - I'm here, really I am :-)

Ok, ok, Janie - here's my desk this morning - looking messier:

And it DOES get way worse than this *g*. Just ask Sean - but with it in our bedroom, I'm TRYING to keep it cleaner these days.