I like to look at the "backsides" of gardens--the places where gardeners do the kind of work that results in fine vegetables and showy flowers. Here's the backside of mine, overseen by St. Francis in the left foreground, whose feastday is coming up on Sunday Oct. 4. You can see the garden gate and fence (click for a larger view) that encloses the raised-bed growing area and keeps it safe from opportunistic deer, rabbits, and raccoons. In front of that, left toright, a pile of oakleaf/cow manure processed compose, a pile of dry cowpies, a bin (black, covered with sheet metal) of fresh cowpies, a compost bin and a second compost bin. A hose, of course. And (you can't see it here) a garbage can of cowpie tea. Soil amendment/soil building is the big project in this part of the garden. We're very alkaline here, so I put a lot of effort into bringing the pH into the neutral range. As I work, I often think about the importance of the soil, the undisturbed grass, and the trees as carbon sinks: organic sponges that soak up at least some of the greenhouse gases that are changing the climate of our planet.
Working this week on the Darling Dahlias (up to 74,000 words now, so I have to start tieing up loose ends). Just got some good news: the large-print rights for the first book have been sold to Thorndike. The large-print editions do well in the online bookstores and in libraries.
Speaking of which, Bill and I drove down to Boerne last night for a full house at the Boerne library--thanks for hosting me, guys--it was great to see the room full of interested listeners who actually laughed at my jokes. (You really shouldn't do that: it encourages me to go on . . . and on . . . and on.)
Family news. As you can see from the featured post at the top of the page, we've welcome Jasper Owen into our family. Mom, baby, and dad are doing well. Grandma Robin is polishing her baby-minding skills. And g-gmama Susan gets to sit back and admire. How nice!
One more thing. Peggy has set up a cameo-character raffle for me. If you've always wanted to see your name in a book, now's your chance! We're raffling off chances for a cameo appearance in one of the upcoming mysteries. All proceeds go to benefit Story Circle Network. Check it out, take a chance (or several), and help to support an organization that helps to support women who have stories to tell. (You have a story, too, you know!)
Reading note. What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.—Muriel Rukeyser