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Joelle's misc Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Joelle Duran" journal:

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August 12th, 2016
08:33 pm
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Canada!
Got to see an abundance of wonderful new places during my trip to Canada with my mom and her friend Cindy. While I'd been to Waterton National Park in Alberta 11 years ago, I'd never yet been to Banff or Jasper, or anywhere in British Columbia.

Simply loved it. British Columbia is everything I imagined and more. Vancouver Island and Victoria are amazing, and of course the national parks are marvelous.

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August 9th, 2016
08:01 am
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Grim June / Jammed July
It has been a crazy summer. Grueling, stressful, and far too busy. All of June and the first part of July was focused on finding out where to move, which ended up happening far later than I planned. That meant July brought the additional fun of getting everything I own put into storage, since my lease would end while I was on vacation. All the searching and packing and then cleaning consumed my evenings and weekends. Very glad that I got DWoT off to beta readers early in June, since getting pass 5 done with the second Geren book before my trip was more than challenging enough. Needless to say, no writing got done, which made me the more grateful for the one small art project I managed, since it might be a while before I get to work on any non-editing projects.

June 11 - Finished 'Cruising Altitude' sanity wallpaper

July 4 - Platelet donation
July 20 - Goodbye to Aldamar/Off to California

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout In Progress, 1% complete
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started



As for August, once back in Minnesota, I'll be living with the wonderful Towners for a few days before moving into my new place. My mom will be coming for a visit at the end of the month, so I have a short window to get settled in. That means yet another crazy, exhausting, unproductive month--I am really looking forward to autumn!

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June 12th, 2016
11:56 am
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Remembering Shado (2003 - 2016)
Back when I was in college and afterward, I imagined I would have three cats, three years apart in age so that they wouldn't all get old at the same time. I even picked out some possible names, though none of those ended up getting used.

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June 1st, 2016
05:59 am
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Far-too-fast May
May, at least until the last week, went crazy fast. Not only because I was whaling away at editing every spare minute, but because it was my last month with my cat Shado. Editing and bracing myself to say goodbye pretty much sums it up, aside from a very stressful start to the month with the paid job after the big upgrade. At least that has gotten better.

Not much to show for myself on my lists, since all my energy was devoured between getting DWoT ready for beta readers (almost there!) and hammering away at pass 3 work in the second Geren novel.

May 5 - Second whole blood donation of 2016

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots In Progress, 3% complete
Pass 5 Verbal read-through not yet started
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


As for June, I expect it will stay busy, but the focus will shift. Time spent on DWoT will taper off (whew!) but my energies will turn to getting ready to move instead. I dropped the ball a little with the exercise bike (less than 150 miles in May) so I need to get back on task with that too. While it would be nice to get going with a craft project, or an art project, or do some writing, I haven't had time for 'nice' for a while now, so I probably can't count on it too soon...

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May 1st, 2016
07:57 am
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Exhausting April
Another crazy month, and also crazy fast. While I didn't get as much relaxing done as I hoped during my time off to finish the first draft of the first Triune novel, it was a much-needed respite, since the paid job has only been getting more brutal, grueling, and time-consuming since. Unfortunately, with trying to keep the edits and revisions of two novels on schedule, time for exercising took a hit, time to get out and enjoy the spring didn't exist, and time for any sort of craft or art projects vanished as well. Hence the fairly pathetic list below. Looks like I didn't do anything, but my aching brain and weary bones would be happy to testify otherwise!

Though the weather got quite warm for part of the month, at least it backed off to more normal temperatures of late, which means I've had better sleep recently and the seasonal depression hasn't caused too much trouble yet--thanks also to my light-blocks.

Apr 1 - Finished chapter 24 of 'DWoT'
Apr 2 - Finished chapter 25 of 'DWoT'
Apr 3, Red-letter day - Finished Dark Wings over Triune!
Apr 16 - First apheresis donation of 2016

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions In Progress, 16% complete
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots not yet started
Pass 5 Verbal read-through not yet started
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


As for May, gulp... The big upgrade at my paid job takes effect on the second, after which I'll soon find out how miserable I'll be over all the stuff I failed to catch during testing. It's going to be a busy month regardless. It's especially going to be another busy month with my true work, balancing between pass 3 on the second Geren novel, and getting the first Triune novel ready for beta readers in June. Doing a very small garden this year, since time, money, and circumstances don't permit otherwise...and I'll soon find out what other balls get dropped!

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April 7th, 2016
05:57 am
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Congratulations!
Congratulations to my brother and sister-in-law on the birth of their ninth baby!

Talia Joy
8 pounds, 9 ounces
21 inches long
April 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

At last the girls have good representation! ;)

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April 1st, 2016
07:43 pm
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Mad March
Crazy, crazy month, on a couple fronts. Started out with May temperatures and ended up more normal, with a nice late-month snowstorm that buried just the southern half of the Twin Cities. The month was mad one in other ways as well. More and more work showing up at my job, when there's only two of us to deal with it. But I'm very happy I did a far better job at balancing my energies between writing the first Triune novel and rewriting the second Geren one, even if I'm not quite as far as I'd hoped with the latter.

Mar 1 - Finished chapter 20 of 'DWoT'
Mar 7 - Finished chapter 21 of 'DWoT'
Mar 20 - Finished chapter 22 of 'DWoT'
Mar 28 - Finished chapter 23 of 'DWoT'

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions In Progress, 73% complete
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions not yet started
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots not yet started
Pass 5 Verbal read-through not yet started
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


Unfortunately for me, toward the end of March my body started announcing that it doesn't appreciate my whaling away full-tilt seven days a week at one project or another. The whole concept of 'rest' has gotten increasingly elusive as I don't have time for it, but I'm going to need to make some, somehow. Thankfully April gets off to a good start with a five-day weekend in which I will try to get the initial draft of the first Triune novel over the finish line. I'll escape the job as well, which I won't get a chance to do again until Memorial Day, most likely. So, finishing that first draft, making progress with the second Geren book, various small projects, and trying to recuperate a little will be the agenda in April. I will probably give up my reading time on the bus rides soon, which I've been quite enjoying, so I can get more editing done. But at least editing is less draining than writing!

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March 1st, 2016
05:57 am
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Fractured February
A short month but a full one. As the list below shows, I did not do a good job with balancing work between the first Triune novel and the second Geren book rewrites. At all. At least I had a pleasant outlet with the two side-projects that sprang up as a result of finally making my second Geren book animated avatar. As for calling the month fractured, that was due to two events near the middle of the month. One was losing a personal hero who meant more to me than I realized, and working through that grief. The second was the upheaval at my job, with the downstairs supervisor announcing her retirement in June, and my teammate Anna taking her place. She's already moved downstairs and that means my team of three is essentially two again, with all the extra work that entails...and the big upgrade project getting started at the same time, of course! Life is not going to be at all fun on the workfront, that's for certain, and I'm going to be as stubborn as I can about resisting much overtime for as long as I can.

Feb 6 - Finished DWoT Avar Lineup (silly fun)
Feb 6 - Finished chapter 19 of 'DWoT'
Feb 17 - Finished 'Geren and Puma Lord' (wallpaper version)
Feb 20 - Finished TAoH trailer-avatar
Feb 27 - Finished 'Geren riding Mist' (wallpaper version)

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions In Progress, 26% complete
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions not yet started
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots not yet started
Pass 5 Verbal read-through not yet started
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


As for March, my pathetic attempts at making simultaneous progress with both my second and ninth novels will continue, hopefully with better success! Tax season is behind me, and if time permits I have a couple small craft projects to tackle. Everybody is expecting an early spring after a very short winter around here, so it will be interesting to watch that, but I doubt I'll have much opportunity to get out for hikes this year.

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February 1st, 2016
12:29 pm
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Jammed January
Wow, quite a start to 2016. January was very stressful, extremely broke, anything but dull, and super productive on all fronts except art projects and reading for fun. The accomplishments list speaks for itself--blessed with fabulous progress on my first Triune novel, which is now down to 9 chapters left. Also got through all of pass 1 with my second Geren book, and heartened by the fact that it certainly won't be as much work to pound into shape as the first book was.

Jan 2 - Finished Geren book 1 eBook cover image
Jan 3 - Finished chapter 13 of 'DWoT'
Jan 8 - Finished chapter 14 of 'DWoT'
Jan 10 - Finished chapter 15 of 'DWoT'
Jan 16 - Finished chapter 16 of 'DWoT'
Jan 25 - Finished chapter 17 of 'DWoT'
Jan 26 - First whole blood donation of 2016
Jan 31 - Finished chapter 18 of 'DWoT'

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions not yet started
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions not yet started
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots not yet started
Pass 5 Verbal read-through not yet started
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


As for February, since I'll be starting into pass 2 with the second Geren book, which is the hardest of the 7 passes, that will slow down my Triune progress significantly. On the bright side, I'll actually get to catch up with magazines and read for fun on some of my bus rides, yay! Also, the money situation will hopefully continue getting better despite the load of an extra $95/month between Shado's medicines and pill pockets. In January I started a sale of most of my beloved Poad collection, and February brings tax season and the annual bonus. I am looking forward to that! Hopefully I can keep on making some tiny progress on the art side of things as well, and keep at it with exercise too.

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January 3rd, 2016
05:25 pm
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Dogged December
Quite a close to 2015. Landed back in Minnesota shortly after midnight on the first, and not having to go to work until the seventh proved a huge blessing. I could spend a lot of time home with Shado, and I also made good use of that time between editing, my calendar project, and later some writing.

It was a quiet Christmas at home this year, feeling very blessed over how amazingly well Shado is doing. It would have been very sad to come home and then say goodbye only a few days later, or around the holidays. But he's still with me!

Very pleased that I was finally able to get my first Geren book wrapped up, and getting down to the dregs with that huge project freed up more time for writing in my first Triune novel. And while I didn't actually get the eBook files complete until January 3rd, I am counting the Geren book 1 revisions complete with this post. Whew, at LAST!

Dec 1 - Premature return home
Dec 12 - Finished 'Joy in the Journey' 2016 calendar project
Dec 13 - Finished chapter 10 of 'DWoT'
Dec 26 - Sixth apheresis donation of 2015
Dec 27 - Finished chapter 11 of 'DWoT'
Dec 29 - Finished chapter 12 of 'DWoT'

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout COMPLETE!
Pass 7 Final sweeps COMPLETE!


As for January, I hope to keep at it with writing the first Triune book, kick off a celebratory art project, and get the ball rolling with revisions for the second Geren book. Hopefully, now that I have my strategy and reference spreadsheets all worked out, with helpful software and books already purchased and used, I'll be a little more efficient with book 2. But time will tell!

Current Music: Shado rustling in plastic bags
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December 31st, 2015
12:57 pm
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2015
Back with the little quiz I've posted the last eleven years. 2015 was the closest thing I've had to a 'good' year since before the hell year of 2007. Very grateful to God for that, and interested to see where 2016 takes me.

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December 1st, 2015
12:58 pm
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Upended November
Wow, what a month. All over the place and with so much happening it feels almost like three months. Promptly on November 2nd I got the manuscript of the first Geren novel back from my editor, and trying to find time to review and process all that great work along with keeping up the progress with Triune AND getting ready for my vacation (at home and work) kept things very busy. Then I was off to see family over the holidays. The first week was great--staying at my parents, enjoying the lovely fall colors, a trip to Apple Hill (I really like it up there), and Thanksgiving over at my brother and sister-in-law's place.

The day after Thanksgiving was when things really turned upside down, because my wonderful catsitter observed Shado acting a little strange, and paid him an extra visit that evening to find him collapsed. The long-dreaded congestive heart failure had finally arrived, with such awful timing. Thanks to some really good treatment at the emergency vet clinic, he survived the night and rebounded, and was able to be taken off oxygen. But he needs frequent medication and monitoring, which led to my cutting my vacation short and heading home early.

Nov 1 - Made Felin image for Triune characters page
Nov 3 - Finished chapter 7 of 'DWoT'
Nov 7 - Fifth apheresis donation of 2015
Nov 8 - Finished chapter 8 of 'DWoT'
Nov 15 - Finished chapter 9 of 'DWoT'
Nov 19 - Off to California!

And now it's December. I don't know if I will have days, weeks, or months left with Shado, though I fear it will be on the shorter side. My other priorities will be divided between finishing up the first Geren book manuscript, finishing an art project, and hopefully getting back into the first Triune novel.

Thankfully little money is required to celebrate Christmas, because I have none left. It's going to be a quiet one this year, that's for certain!

Current Music: O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus by Selah
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November 4th, 2015
05:50 am
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Accelerating October
Interesting month. First my focus was on getting back into the swing of things at home and work after my brother, sister-in-law, and their kids headed for home. Got the manuscript of my first Geren book handed over to my editor, got my short story 'Renegade' posted at my Triune page, and once those tasks were done, I was able to focus most of my creative energy on writing in the first Triune novel. Delighted to get myself up to chapter 7 and past 20,000 words. I also enjoyed a couple autumn outings, and I'm very glad I headed north to Mille Lacs Lake one weekend, because the color up there was far better than in my area. Another unusually warm month, even coming into November with highs in the 60s and still no hard freeze. That has made taking down my garden a pleasantly leisurely affair!

Oct 5 - Finished chapter 1 of 'DWoT'
Oct 11 - Finished chapter 2 of 'DWoT'
Oct 18 - Finished chapter 3 of 'DWoT'
Oct 25 - Finished chapter 4 of 'DWoT'
Oct 27 - Finished chapter 5 of 'DWoT'
Oct 31 - Finished chapter 6 of 'DWoT'

As for November, the full-steam-ahead progress with the first Triune novel won't be lasting much longer. First is getting back my 'dripping-red-ink' manuscript of the first Geren novel, which will take priority with my time. I need to keep nudging some art projects ahead as well, but the latter half of the month will be occupied by a nice long trip to see family over Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to that, but my teammates at work are trying not to panic... ;)

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October 1st, 2015
06:07 am
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Simmering September
September for me was a toasty and busy month. It was the fourth warmest September for my area, which meant I didn't get near as much good cool sleep in the later part of the month as I'd hoped. But at least it cooled a little for my second visit to the State Fair, and the weather was lovely for my time at the Renaissance Festival as well.

Thanks to no work on my first Geren book this month, I actually have an accomplishments list, hurrah! The latter part of the month was focused on cleaning (my carpets were abysmal due to cat stains) and getting ready for the visit of my brother, sister-in-law and their 8 kids. I really fell off the wagon with exercising in the latter half of the month, though dragging that Rug Doctor up and down lots of stairs should count for something.

Sept 5 - Made Portal Page image for 'The Reformation of Tarreg'
Sept 6 - Finished writing 'Renegade'
Sept 9 - Second whole blood donation of 2015
Sept 14, Red-letter day - Started writing Dark Wings over Triune!
Sept 14 - Finished DWoT trailer-avatar
Sept 26-30 - Fun with the nieces and nephews
Sept 30 - Finished 'Autumn Walk' wallpaper and sidebar images

As for October, my brother and his family are heading out the morning of the first, so for me it's back to my job and back to my real work as well--I'll be balancing my energy between progress with the first Triune book, working with a freelance editor on my first Geren book, and whaling away at art projects as time permits. I need to get back at it with exercise too, and hopefully some of it outside, weather permitting. So glad autumn has finally come!

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September 1st, 2015
06:05 am
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Off-track August
I picked up a magnet a year or so ago, probably in Montecito. In black letters on a gold background, it simply saids "We plan, God laughs." It's on my refrigerator now, and it aptly describes my August this year! Because promptly on August 1st, after over 4.5 years with no big outbreaks, my vertigo abruptly returned. That entailed having to take some time off work, and not being able to do much of anything for the first week, with a gradual recovery, punctuated by setbacks, over the rest of the month. I'm still trying to get extra sleep each night, but as of September 1st, the symptoms are nearly completely gone (but they never completely vanished after the first time either).

So, needless to say, that quite delayed my plans for the month! I'm grateful that I still made pretty good progress with my craft projects, but everything else is behind. At least I was able to finish writing 'Tarreg,' resume progress on 'Renegade,' and especially that I've got a freelance editor lined up to go over Hu-Hua's Cry in October, but preparations for Triune are quite behind where I hoped they would be.

Aug 21 - Finished writing 'The Reformation of Tarreg'

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout COMPLETE!
Pass 7 Final sweep 5% done, Awaiting Professional Review


So what didn't get done in August is what's on my plate for September. Finishing up 'Renegade' first, though at least I won't need to have it polished up in order to launch into DWoT (acronym for the first Triune novel). Getting my prep-work done and starting in on DWoT is my top priority in September.

But there's the anticipated arrival of autumn as well, so hopefully I can start getting outside for exercise soon, enjoy a second visit to the State Fair, and spend a day at the MN Renaissance Festival. I have lots of cleaning on my plate as well, since the end of September will bring a visit from my brother and his van-full of my nieces and nephews. I'm very glad they're staying at the Towners instead of my place, but it will be great to see them!

Current Music: "O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus" by Selah
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August 1st, 2015
11:18 am
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Swift July
That was a fast month! Of course it always takes a bit to get back into the swing of things after a trip, which added to the swiftness. I am not complaining, because I am always glad to make it to the end of the hottest month of summer. Although I didn't get as far as I wanted with craft projects, I am pretty pleased with everything else. Because nasty, hot, muggy high summer makes me disinclined to set foot outside, I set a new record of 192 miles on my exercise bike for the month. Finished pass 5 through my first Geren book and pass 6 should be done this weekend. Got a good chunk of a story written as well, which felt really good with my life so devoured by editing this year. And thanks to the blessing of central air and fabulous light-blocks, while I'm a bit ragged from poor sleep, I'm far better than I would be feeling now if I still lived at my old place. What a blessing!

July 12 - Started writing 'The Reformation of Tarreg'
July 23 - Fourth apheresis donation of 2015

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout In Progress, 92% done
Pass 7 Final sweep not yet started


As for August, this month is going to bring a huge shift in direction for me. Once pass 6 is complete, I'm going to be setting editing aside for a little bit. I need fresh, well-trained eyes to look at the novel and help me see where it still needs work. So my focus will probably be on wrapping up some short stories and diving into preparations for starting the first Triune novel (finally!). Hopefully I can also keep picking away at some craft projects as well, and August also brings the annual delight of the Minnesota State Fair--just got my tickets!

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July 25th, 2015
10:50 am
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My Garden: Addendum
Apparently my "dreaming of world dominion" purslane does not start blooming until well after 9 each morning. Got the pictures below after 10 today.

Moving the pot to take these photos was a challenge, because it is largely buried! (That's my bistro table it's sitting on)




But as can be seen below, there actually IS a pot under all that purslane. I keep it pinched back on that side so it doesn't smother my evovulus. (Amazed that poor thing is still alive and blooming!)




I'm glad for weekends, or I'd never get to see this cheerful display! Had to take photos so I can enjoy them at work, and know what I'm missing out on!

Current Mood: amusedamused
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July 22nd, 2015
07:51 pm
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My Garden in 2015
I know my mom's been wanting to see photos, but anyone else is welcome to look as well. My color theme this year was purple, blue, and yellow/gold, so stronger colors than last year. I kept some of the plants that did well last year (petunias, calibrachoa, lobelia, bachelor's buttons) and tried some new ones as well.

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July 16th, 2015
05:53 pm
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Baking in Idaho
Pardon the pun, but I did feel like a baked potato for a good part of my Idaho trip. We were unfortunate enough to have most of the time overlap a record-setting and remarkably early heat wave.

Saw some beautiful places, and it was a real treat to get back to Glacier National Park for a day, but my strongest wish is to go back (at least to the northern parts) when it's cool enough that I can ENJOY being outside!

At least my photos don't come with the brutal heat attached...but I wish I could include the smells on some of them! My walk along Pettit Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains was probably the best-smelling walk I have ever taken.

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And getting Idaho knocked off my list of dream states has moved my states map along a little, yay!


visited 22 states (44%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

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July 3rd, 2015
06:59 pm
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Jumping June
June was all over the place. More stressful craziness at work, especially the first weeks, then an abrupt shift to celebrating turning 40 and going on vacation with my wonderful mom. What was supposed to be a refreshing escape to the mountains in and near Idaho turned into a running of the gauntlet through a ghastly heat wave with temperatures running 10-20 degrees above average. At least we only were near a couple small wildfires, but I dread what could be coming. Thank God our rental car had fabulous air conditioning! Also glad to have a three-day holiday weekend to recuperate from my vacation!

June 20 - Third apheresis donation of 2015
June 23 thru July 2 - Off to Idaho!

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through In Progress, 47% done
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweep not yet started


As for the rest of July, time to roll up my sleeves and get back into it (Ecclesiastes 9:10 has been on my mind). Hope to finish pass 5 and dive into pass 6 with my first Geren book, also hope to get going with some writing again. I have some smaller craft projects to start on that will be more creative than just painting furniture, and perhaps some art projects to start on as well. So grateful for central air because I could never have managed it at my old place!

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