Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Today is the seventeenth Father’s Day since Dad died in October 1999.

Dad in Uniform

My father.

Fiftieth Anniversary

(Yeah, that’s me with my eyes closed. It’s really hard to get a picture of me with my eyes open for some reason. That was my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary, btw. Yes, they were married in December, hence the wreaths in the background. And, yeah, if a couple of my stories have tall male protagonists with short, fiery love interests, well, you might be looking at part of the reason for that right there. 🙂 )

I was outside earlier (despite the heat wave) using a gardening tool of Dad’s–one he adapted for the purpose. I’m pretty sure it started out as a hoe, but Dad straightened it out and turned it into a long-handled scraper. It’s the perfect tool for scraping weeds out of my decomposed granite driveway (where they’re impossible to pull out because the ground is too compacted). Which is what Dad used it for. (It also makes a pretty decent lever for lifting stepping stones that have gotten well set into my adobe clay soil.)

His generation did a lot of that. If you needed a tool, you didn’t just run down and buy a new one. First you looked around at what you already had to see if there was something you could use or adapt to the purpose. I need to think like that more often.

Thinking of you today, Dad.

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Not me. My writing is going pretty well right now. In fact, I’ve just about finished this draft of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. I’ll let it rest a while and then give it another go through before handing it over to beta readers in February.

No, in this case, I’m writing about the bane of this time of year–burnt out Christmas (or other holiday) decorations. Things that should light up, but don’t. I’ve been particularly plagued this year. But it’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before. So, I’m going to depart from writing for this post to show you how I deal with it.

For example, this:

Reindeer Topiary

used to be a lighted reindeer lawn ornament. But then the light-strand burned out. And, of course, it wasn’t just a straight lightstrand that I could replace. So, after a little thought, I stuck the legs into some potting soil in a rectangular pot (which I happened to already have) and planted ivy at all four legs. It needs another year to really fill in, but it gave the old lawn ornament a new life.

This year, I’ve got two more outdoor ornaments that have partially given up the ghost. (Not to mention having to use a separate light strand to patch a gap in the pre-lit Christmas tree. But that’s easy.)

Spiral Tree

This one has decided that only the upper two-thirds will light this year. It’s going to be fairly straight forward to deal with, though. It also has a ground stake in addition to the patio stand currently in use. I’ll use another one of my unused pots, the ground stake,  and probably another ivy to grow up the spiral support. It’ll take a couple of years to reach the top, but I won’t have to go out and buy another one. (Not that I think you can even find these anymore.) Reduce, reuse, recycle.

This one:

Lighted Ornament

Is going to take a little more thought. The middle portion won’t light up this year. Right now, I’m thinking along the lines of a sphagnum moss hanging basket, but I’d have to choose the plants really carefully. Even here in Southern California, there aren’t that many things that bloom in December. Maybe foliage plants. Hmm. I wonder if there’s a ground cover form of holly.

Never give up. There’s always some way around any difficulty. Come to think of it, that’s pretty good advice for writers, too.

Merry Christmas.

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