27 August – 2 September 2018

My week was pretty much defined by allergies, which is a little frustrating.  The pollen levels were very high, so I was trying to get through with puffy eyes and a scratchy throat all week.  I used to take a ton of allergy medicine to get through a day, and I guess it is a positive thing that I actually take none now.  This was probably the worst allergy week of the year, and honestly it wasn’t as bad as I’ve experienced in the past.  I’ve had allergies for a long time, but they seemed particularly pronounced when I moved to Oklahoma from Alaska.  I was spending my spring and summer months feeling just terrible, and taking a daily regimen of allergy pills, as I said.  The pills would make me very sleepy, as most medications do.  My allergies really changed for the better when I became vegan, which was curious to me at the time.  Apparently, the science looks like it backs that up.  Several studies suggest that those who eat a vegan diet are less likely to report having environmental allergies (as well as chemical, food, drug, and bee-sting).  I’ve heard anecdotally from other vegans that their allergy symptoms were also improved when they switch to a vegan diet.  It’s so interesting to explore the links between food and health.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that a vegan diet cured me of allergies — clearly not.  This has been a bit of a rough week; however, since they aren’t so bad I don’t have to deal with the side effects of allergy meds.

I’m pretty happy with my yard this week.  Unfortunately, due to the unusually wet August we had, I have black spot on many of the trees, and on one of my roses.  The problem is too widespread to completely correct, and I hope that everything is able to put on some stronger growth next year, as there are so many trees losing leaves.  The rose just needs to dry out, which will help.  Right now, about 20% of it is infected, but it’s a very tall climber and it isn’t possible for me to remove all of the infected canes.  I’m just going to treat it and hope for the best.  I’ll treat it next spring as well, and hopefully the problem will correct.  My Fourth of July rose had black spot earlier this year, and will some TLC it is now disease-free.  I think the Golden Shower rose is healthy enough that it will be okay, but it’ll be a bit ugly for the rest of this year.

The upcoming week looks like it’s going to be a wet one again!!  I’m amazed at the number of rainy days we’ve had.  I love those days, but it is so unusual and not great for my plants apparently.  It also really can help with my pollen allergies, but of course then the mold allergies increase with the moisture, so you never really totally win that fight.

I’ve been editing and rewriting, trying to put together collections of poetry for the books I have planned.  I’m really happy with the direction I’m going with them at the moment, and some of my rewrites make me very happy.  I think I am much more honest with myself now than I was in my twenties.  Maybe that is just an obvious statement.  I have such a lot of poetry from that decade of my life that is really great and requires no work to be exactly what I wanted it to be, and then there are others that almost certainly didn’t work at the time.  If I could have seen that then, or if I had been willing to say that to myself at the time, those poems could have been greatly improved and would not need my rewrites so many years later.  It’s been interesting to see my style over periods of time.  I tend to write in two or three different styles, and I can go months or years focused on just one of them.  At the moment, the poems seem to be naturally dividing themselves into four themes, which will be the books.  The fourth category is one that isn’t fully realized, so that one will need more time to fully develop, but the other three I do really understand well.

I need a schedule!  I am so bad about following a set schedule, but when I don’t have one I tend to forget certain tasks, or get into situations where I am spending far too much time on one thing and not enough on another thing.  So, for the millionth time, I am working on making myself a schedule.  I have too many different things to accomplish to just play it by ear at this point, and I need to make sure nobody feels like things are being neglected.  Some things are, but more importantly there are times when it probably feels like I am not focused on tasks around the property that need to be done, when in reality I am aware of them and not making any show of it.  Sometimes people need to see your work to believe you are doing it.  I hope that goes well.  I really want to get these books done and I think this helps with that goal, while ensuring that everything is still running smoothly.

The “update” category blog posts seem to be posting a day later than they should.  I’m trying to resolve this, but I’m not entirely sure what the problem is.  It’s almost certainly something I am doing wrong.  Bleh.