First day of Autumn. First day I have walked the dog since the beginning of summer. First day I have taken one of my breaks at work to walk the entire (almost) parking lot. Time to set goals and shed the past season.
Summer seems an (almost) wasted season this year. The weather was gorgeous, although not as hot as I would like it to be – but certainly drier than expected. My garden suffered horridly between the lack of tending, the dry, and, well, the lack of attention. I did mention that, didn’t I? That I wasn’t able to garden much? What gardening I did do, I did from a seat on a portable cooler that I hauled around with me, in limited fashion due to the huge Storm Trooper boot on my right leg. No pruning, no digging (that would require an unbroken right foot to push the spade into the ground), and very little weeding. I scarcely kept up on the watering: the annuals and perennials did fine, but the bushes took a hit. I keep telling my lilacs that I’m sorry.
Then, again, I wasn’t able to kill the damn Oregon grape. I thought I was planting mahonia repens (which is what I think of when I think of Oregon grape), but I planted mahonia aquifolium (which is, apparently, the State flower – I thought it was the former). The latter grows 4-6 feet tall and is a nightmare to control and contain. You can read about three species of Oregon grape here. I just want that hedge of Oregon grape GONE before it invades my entire fence line and prayer garden area.
Unfortunately, that means I will probably be purchasing 2-4-D this weekend and applying it to the ground where the current bushes are. I dislike using chemicals at all, but everything I read indicates it is the *only* way to remove the Oregon grape from my yard.
(Unlike the comfrey, which is also a pestilence, but is a great bee flower. I keep it in line by finding new growth and applying a mixture of Dawn liquid soap+vinegar+salt. It’s an amazing plant killer and doesn’t affect anything else…)
Back to goals. My garden is a goal, but I should define my goals.
Garden as a goal: from now until the first ice storm: I need to dig up about seven peonies and divide and replant them. I plan to do this in small increments, mostly when the weather is good and on weekends. Comment if you want peony legumes – I’ll have plenty to share and no guarantee on color. I also need to prune the smaller lilac which has suffered the most from the heat and from a couple of summers of robust growth that has made it spindly at the top. Kill the Oregon grape. Cut the dead out of the maple.
House as a goal: before I broke my foot, I was going room by room and de-cluttering and deep cleaning. I am now three+ months behind on that goal. I had four rooms done, but they have reverted. I could sink into depression, but my first goal is DO NOT GIVE IN. Second goal is to restart the process, but in one of the rooms I had not (yet) tackled and do it little, by little. This weekend: living room.
Dog as a goal: Harvey suffered this summer. He’s an active dog that needs a lot of exercise. He’s had over 3 months of confinement to a quarter acre yard, but that doesn’t compute to exercise for him. Tonight, we walked ten minutes. It was a lot shorter distance than I used to do in ten minutes. He was amazing and didn’t pull at the leash. He was just happy to be outside the confines of the yard. Goal: take him for a few walks a week, regardless of weather, even if it’s just around the block. Oh – and call his groomer and beg her to give him a bath that I *should* be able to give him, but just can’t right now…
Walking as a goal: I was so happy to make it around the parking lot today. Once. I used to take each of my breaks during the day and walk 3/4 of a mile in the 10 minute slot allotted. It takes me 10 minutes to do a half mile right now. I did one-half mile today. So – my goal is to increase that to a half-mile each break regardless of the weather. As my foot gets better, I can increase up to 3/4 mile. I’ll never do a mile in less than 15 minutes – never did before. So a 3/4 mile in 10 minutes is a good goal. That’s where I was before I broke my foot.
Learning WordPress. Not as easy as it sounds. I have books and there are videos. But I am neither a visual nor an aural learner. I am a kinesthetic learner. Hands on. I need to spend 15-20 minutes per day or every other day, working on my website. Not this blog, but the other one – the art blog. Yay. I have a mental block against this that I need to overcome. Putting this out there makes me accountable.
Art as a goal: well, I am steadily working on that and I have a mission statement and business plan to develop. Deep breath. I can DO this. It’s in my head, I just need to publish it and become transparent and accountable. I’m an introvert. This is the hardest goal, ever. EVER.
Not the painting. I got the painting down.
I have more. This is just a good start. Goals. First day of Autumn goals.