Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Gardening and Transitions


Rain whispers outside the window as I sit in my writing chair. Today is the third or fourth day of rain this past week or so, meaning I haven’t gotten out to the garden in a few days. I shudder to think what my zucchini will look like!

Hubby made all the tomatoes I picked into spaghetti sauce, so I need to get into the garden to pick some more. I love saying that. “Hey, I need an onion.” Then, “I’ll just go out to the garden and pick one.” Ha! Or, “I need a tomato for my BLT. I’ll be back in a minute.”

I did, after a few weeks of neglect, get back out to the garden and weed. The onions and potatoes are pretty much finished growing, and the sweet corn is done.

IMG_0669 The cilantro is seeding, and the peppers are doing okay. I only planted two cucumber plants this year because I’m not planning to make pickles, but hoo-boy, I’ve got more than enough to share.

The green beans are winding down, but they are so good! The best part is always the fresh tomato supply. I did take a pic of my tomato plants, but as you know, my picture-taking skills match those of a five-year-old.

The bane of my gardening activities, besides the bounty of weeds, is the ragweed. Both the common and giant ragweed are blooming now. If ragweed pollen was worth money, we’d be rich. In case you got confused by the “giant” classification for ragweed, let me show you:


Those plants stretching above the chicken fence are giant ragweed. Rough estimate on height: 12-15 feet. Yes, I’m serious. Here’s a closer-up of the flower heads:

ragweed heads

Imagine about an acre or so of this stuff scattered around, and clouds of yellow pollen if it’s windy. And this isn’t even counting the common ragweed, which is a foot tall at the most. After about a half hour out in the garden, my eyes and nose are running, and sneezing fits make doing just about anything else difficult at best.

This week my son made the transition from bum–er, I mean, high school graduate–to college freshman. We moved him into the dorm this week. Part of me is thrilled–no more teenage sniping between him and his sister. Part of me is anxious. Will he acclimate? Will he make lots of friends? Will he study? Is he looking for a job (because he needs to get a job)?

Honestly, it’s up to him. All you can do as a parent is give them the tools. And as much as they think they know everything, you hope at some point they’ll realize that you, as the parent, actually know what you’re talking about.

Okay, to finish this short post off, on special request, cat pics.

socks on deck This is Socks, who went AWOL about a month ago. She got her name from the 4 white socks she had. Her fur was sooo soft! We suspect she either fell while slinking around an old collapsed house on the property and got hurt or worse, or she was the victim of coyotes. We miss her.

Our other cat is Zoey, who seems awfully content to be the sole proprietress of the place.

So there you have it. As for writing, I haven’t gotten back into it quite yet. It’s been busy. I think another deep run through my WIP is next on the list, but I’m not sure if I should wait to hear if I get a mentor from Pitch Wars. Slim chance, I know, but I can hope.

Anyway, have a great weekend!zoey sleeping



Author: Julie Holmes, author

Pen names: J. M. Holmes, J. M. Goebel A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I've been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. In real life, I am a technical writer with a family of two teens, a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, two chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

10 thoughts on “Gardening and Transitions

  1. I’m jealous of your tomatoes. There is nothing like a fresh garden tomato. We can’t grow them here, Julie. Our summers are too short and cool. This was my fifth year of trying and probably my last. (Well, maybe one more year before I give up). Chard and kale, I’ve got! Congrats on getting a teenager off to college. It’s a big transition for everyone. Hope your writing gets a jump start. I can imagine your muse is looking for the opportunity to give you a nudge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mmm. I just braved the soggy muddy garden to pick a few tomatoes. I don’t know if I could manage a summer without fresh garden tomatoes. As for the freshman, I’m hoping he’s doing well. I’ll give him a call later. The nice thing is he’s only about 45 miles away, so close enough if he needs something he left at home we can bring it, but far enough away that it’s not just a jump-in-the-car-and-go mission. My Muse is around here somewhere. I expect he’ll show up soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so in awe of your garden and the acreage you have. It must be wonderful roaming around your property.

    Your son will do just fine, but I’m sure it must be an unsettled time for you. Change always is, but how exciting that he’s now moved to college.

    My allergies would be through the moon with that ragweed, I’m sure. And it’s so sad to hear about Socks. Such a pretty lady. I would miss her terribly, too. Give Zoey extra hugs. And I don’t know how you manage all that gardening with everything else on your plate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some days I think about how much less work living in town would be, then I see the birds, and bees, and all the lovely green, and I’m glad we live out where we have some room to stretch. I’ll call my son tonight, and see him tomorrow, since I’m taking my daughter out for the day for her birthday. And Zoey is kind of a grump. We think at one point she either fell or escaped a predator and hurt her back, because she can be a little mean. But in the wintertime when our laps are nice and warm, she loves to sit with us and snooze. 😀

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  3. Awww. All of that is just perfect ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have the same experience–absolute love of going outside to grab veggies from the yard. It’s quite something. Sorry about the ragweed. yuck! And thank you for the cat pictures! You are too kind. What a sad mishap for Socks. I wonder if some other family took her in and she hasn’t had the energy to make her way back home yet. I do believe the softest of kitties are the best. Unless the competition is …
    an orange cat! Tough call. Glad that one is still safe and sound at home, certainly looking comfortable.

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  5. Julie, oh no, I’d missed that about Socks going missing…I lost a cat but hoped some other owners started feeding him and he ‘moved’. Never had to worry about coyotes! That ragweed is crazy tall and abundant – poor you, how do you get rid of it. Blowtorch?😀😀 veggies sound delicious and yay to just popping out to pick the fresh tomatoes. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, we miss Socks. She never wandered far from the homestead, so I don’t think she found another family. As for the ragweed, if I have the energy and time, I like to whack it down just before it flowers, because then it doesn’t have time to form new flowers. It’s kinda fun with a weed eater with a blade on it (by the time the plants are that tall, the stems are pretty sturdy, and about an inch in diameter). Love the tomatoes, though with the rain we’ve been having they’ve been splitting. Still, if I get to them soon enough, they won’t spoil on the vine. Though the chickens LOVE the spoiled ones I toss their way 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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