Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Okay, I surrender


It’s been raining this week. Wednesday we enjoyed time in a tornado warning area, and probably got close to 3+ inches of rain. And Friday morning until noon it rained. So, there hasn’t been much opportunity to get into the garden.

This time of year is when the weeds race to flower and set seed, along with all the other plants. And I haven’t kept up with the weeding since I came back from my wonderful retreat, both because of the rain, and because, well, by this time of the season I’m tired of trying to pull weeds that come back faster than the heads of the Hydra. It’s almost like Whack-a-Mole with weeds, and there’s waaay more than one mole popping up.

I give up.

Back by popular demand (okay, one person asked to see the garden again. And the chickens. And the cat. πŸ™‚ ), my lousy pictures of my weedy garden. Here ya go.


The tiny yellow flowers are dill. Smell like pickles!

In a lot of ways, I’m not too worried about the weeds. The potatoes are dying back and ready to dig up. The onions are about ready to pull.


The tiny white flowers are cilanto, aka coriander. Love how these smell too.

And tomatoes. So. Many. Tomatoes. I planted a bunch because we need to can tomatoes this year. I have 13 or 14 plants of paste tomatoes. None are ripe yet, and I can’t wait until that first BLT with a garden-ripe tomato, but I know once all the tomatoes start getting ripe all at the same time–yikes! The plants are also starting to die, falling victim to some fungus or something. Crossing my fingers the tomatoes ripen before the plants die.tomatoes

After so many days not checking the zucchini and cucumbers, I expected to find a monster or two. I wasn’t disappointed. And the chickens were thrilled πŸ™‚



Chickens love monster zucchini almost as much as overripe cucumbers!

One of the chickens stood still long enough for me to get a decent picture. They’re looking good, and should start laying eggs soon.


Is this my good side?

The borage is blooming like crazy now, and the bees have finally appeared to take advantage. Bees love borage, but I haven’t seen many around until the past few weeks. I saw bumblebees, honeybees, and mason bees, which are mostly black and don’t live in hives like honeybees do.

bee borage

Bumblebee on borage

And the grand finale —


Um, well, I’m not sure where Zoey ran off to. I saw her yesterday hanging around the garden, but by the time I retrieved my iPad to take a picture, she was gone. So, here’s one from the recent archives (sorry if you’ve seen this one before):


This weekend, I have GOT to catch up on some household chores. I thought I saw a mouse just sitting in the corner–turns out it was a dust bunny. If I get my chores done today, I’ll have all day tomorrow to write!

Summer’s almost over, so enjoy it while you can. Today’s supposed to be warm and sunny, a far cry from the cloudy, rainy, cool, dreary yuck we’ve had for the past week or so. Don’t neglect to jot down a few words, maybe even a whole sentence about how much fun you’ve had this summer, or your big Labor Day plans. Me? Writing is always on my agenda. Depending on how many tomatoes are ripe by then, I expect canning will be on the list as well.

Have a great weekend, and Write On!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have 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. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, six 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.

32 thoughts on “Okay, I surrender

  1. Thank you for your post and all pictures. I feel much better now as I was met with the same on my return from travel abroad.
    I even said the words :” I give up” , you are much quicker than me. Where is that gardener…😊 . I had a whole wall of grapes though but not as many vegetables. Well done you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Every year at this time of the season I get that feeling of “why bother, there’s no way in hell I’ll be able to catch up”, and the next thoughts are: “why do I torture myself every year” and “garden veggies taste SO good”. It’s harvest time, though, and I didn’t plant my second crop of spinach and kohlrabi like I wanted to, so I don’t feel too bad about throwing up my hands in defeat. πŸ™‚ Have a great rest of your weekend, Miriam!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie, your garden is becoming one of my season markers!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ I see we’re soon heading into Autumn as your fruit and veg is ready to harvest. Oh, those tomatoes must taste delicious and wow, monster courgettes! Yummy…weeds add extra colour, don’t you think? I thought I might run with this theory for a while. It’s great to see the chickens and Zoey enjoying the peace, showing us all how simple life really is and to just relax! πŸ˜€β€οΈ

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! I suppose I could look at the weeds as color accents πŸ™‚ It’s just maddening how fast they take over this time of year. Part of me is excited for all the fresh veggies–yum! But part of me knows that once the tomatoes start getting ripe it won’t be long before the first freeze, which means winter is on the way. Not the biggest fan of winter, but I don’t have to maintain the garden, which means more time to write! Have a great rest of your weekend, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. when the tomatos here ripen , Julie, i slice them, fry some garlic until they golden, then i pour the sliced, ripe tomatos into the pan and let it cook. I love fried tomatos!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Apparently, a garden your size doesn’t allow for writers’ retreats, Julie. But it looks productive despite the weeds. The onions look lovely and you’ve got some zucchini bread in the future. I hope your tomatoes make it (I gave up on tomatoes this year and didn’t even try). Writing season is around the corner, but enjoy the last of summer. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! At least my daughter went out to the garden once while I was away. I’m hoping the tomatoes ripen faster than they seem to be, but it’s been cool this summer, which doesn’t inspire them to get red with any haste. I tried to delay the whatever disease is attacking them (fusarium wilt?) by trimming the lower branches of the plants, but some of the plants look like they just threw up their hands and succumbed. Part of me can’t wait for the first freeze, which will take care of everything but the kale and Brussels sprouts (and maybe the beets). I’m planning a NaNo session for my WIP in Oct(?), or whenever the garden doesn’t need so much babysitting. Have a great rest of your weekend, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie, there is nothing better than a ripe tomato and cucumber from your own garden. Your garden is lovely and so much good stuff in it. Kudos to you for still canning tomatoes. I have memories of my mom doing it for years. Best wishes, Frances

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Frances! My mom used to can tomatoes every year, too, and make pickles. There’s nothing that compares to pulling a jar of homegrown tomatoes from the pantry and making a batch of chili or spaghetti sauce. I do pickles as well, but after the year of the pickle (I put up about 6 doz quarts of pickles that year), I haven’t made the “mistake” of planting more than one or two cucumber plants. There’s just too many of them! Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of your weekend!


  6. I love the photos of your garden with all those delish veggies growing. And you are making me so hungry for a BLT!

    We have been hammered with cloudbursts and SAVAGE storms almost daily. Thankfully, they tend to be short Another blew through tonight, right after we wrapped up grilling dinner (thank God for cell phones and weather apps).

    I spent the day editing and writing, nowhere near where I need to be with word count on my WIP but plugging along. Tomorrow I will be back at it gain. Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! The first BLTs with garden-ripe tomatoes are the best treats! This past week has been a wet one, and I can tell by the amount of bean plants and zucchini leaves rotting. I’m sure I’ve got slugs somewhere; they seem to proliferate in wet conditions. At least the storm came through *after* grilling πŸ™‚

      I need to get my butt in gear on my WIP. I had another plot breakthrough the other day when I was out picking green beans, but I haven’t drafted that into the WIP yet, maybe because it means rewriting chapter 1 yet again (feels almost like Groundhog Day). I could make notes and plan to rewrite it later, but the following few chapters set up the main story, so I’ll feel better if I can start off right, or as right as it feels at this stage.

      Have a great rest of your weekend, Mae! And here’s my official request for updated Raven pics πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Raven pics are going on the to-do list! πŸ™‚

        Isn’t it wonderful how we work through plot hurdles when we’re doing other things/ If it makes you feel any better I’ve had to go back and rewrite plot threads 3-4 times in my current WIP because of changes. One of the many problems of being a pantster, LOL.

        Oh, and slugs—we were overrun with them one year. Slimy things!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness, Zoey is beautiful! i want to bury my fingers in her glorious fur. The other day we saw a dog waving it’s long-haired fluffy tail, and I told my kids I wanted to stick my face in the path of that tail. My ever-practical 12 yo was like, “You don’t know where that tail has been!” True, but I can’t avoid the fluffiness! Thanks for all the great pics. Your garden is still amazing, compared to ours–like, big time, weeds or no. I think our garden is so pathetic the weeds aren’t even interested in growing there. And the chickens are looking great. Happy zucchini eating for them. I know what you mean about needing to do some house cleaning. I’m feeling the same way around here; although, if I were you, I’d be mighty grateful that was a dust bunny and not a mouse!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Never fear, if I start to miss mice (HA!) we continue to trap them in the basement (no live traps for those pests!) Caught yet another chipmunk over the weekend. AND found another hole chewed in the fence around the garden. Damn rabbits! Luckily the tomatoes seem to be unscathed for now. They’re starting to get ripe, now that we had a couple days of warmer (low 80s) weather. Going to be cooler again this week. I like the cool, but the tomatoes just don’t ripen as fast when it’s cool. Bonus, though: the zucchini and cucumbers don’t grow as fast either πŸ™‚


  8. Your garden is one of my season markers too. We definitely don’t get “real summer” in San Francisco, so I LOVE the pictures. Keep ’em comin’!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post. Mouse? Dust bunny? I fear and loathe both in equal measure. Yup.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The bee, the cat, and the chickens are all really cool! I enjoyed the free garden, I saw the dill, cucumbers and

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Glad you enjoyed it, Reo! We dug potatoes over Labor Day weekend because my son was home from school, and I pulled the onions yesterday. Yikes! But they usually last through most of the winter (by about Feb or Mar the potatoes think it’s time to grow again).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oops, cellphone and sleepy fingers.
    The giant zucchini would be so delicious in bread, as raw slices in a salad and grilled in olive oil or butter. I have made alfredo zucchini lasagna, too. This was a mighty fine break for me, too. πŸ” 🌱 πŸ“

    Liked by 1 person

    • I made zucchini bread at my daughter’s request–yum! And grilled–divine! I haven’t grilled any zucchini yet this season; I usually slice and saute it with onions and mushrooms. And alfredo zucchini lasagna sounds delish! Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome and the choices you carried through with zucchini sound perfect. I need to try mushrooms and onions with zucchini while sauteing. I use slices of zucchini instead of lasagna noodles. The recipe probably is duplicated on Pinterest or recipes online, Julie. They say red sauce is “better” for us but I think a splurge of cream and butter isn’t that “bad” since I skip the calories of beef. . . Smiles, Robin 🐦

        Liked by 1 person

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