We have houseguests this week, so it’s a shorter post today.  Here’s a little cartoon that occurred to me moments after I cursed the aphids for ganging up on my baby fruit trees last week.

I guess the aphids don’t have a corner on that kind of ‘stupidity’…


And, in other news…

I’m doing a short public presentation in mid-July.  There are so many artists and writers and other creative types here on Vancouver Island, I thought it would be nice to offer my writing and publishing experience, for what it’s worth.

I’m not sure whether it’ll be a help, an inspiration, or merely a shudder-worthy cautionary tale; but I hope we’ll all have some chuckles in the process.  I hope to see you there!

Publishing and writing presentation by bestselling e-book author Diane Henders

43 thoughts on “…oh.

    • I don’t know if we’re causing ALL the problems, but it’s pretty clear that we’re not doing nature any favours. I guess, like all other organisms that have over-populated the earth at various times, if we don’t make some changes we’ll reach a critical mass and wipe ourselves out. Let’s hope we figure out a way to avoid that!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wish I could be there for the talk. As for the garden, maybe mine’ll grow if we ever get any SUN! It has been a cold, wet and dreary spring and early summer so far. It’s raining (again) as I write. So much for the long weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course it has to be crappy for the long weekend — isn’t that a tradition? 😉 I wish we could swap some of our beautiful sun and hot weather for a few days of your rain — we could really use it! Still, though, we’re enjoying the nice weather. I hope yours gets better soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with your presentation.
    I am pretty sure that aphids and an number of other garden pests (and mosqutoes) DO live in crowded high rise appartments. Apartments which leak, and are too hot or too cold. Which might account for their anti-social behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If I wasn’t in England, I would attend the talk but as I am I will be there in spirit cheering you on.

    My dad and I are putting up shelves in the kitchen tomorrow OK I say we are he is as I won’t be allowed to touch the drill as usual. I have no draws in the kitchen at all so shelves will mean I can have things off the benches, I am also the proud owner of a bread bin. It’s only taken 18 years of living on my own, so at the tender age of 40, not a stones throw away from 41 to say I think I know own everything I need in a kitchen but I’ll probably find something I don’t have on the next visit to IKEA.

    I’m still debating pot plants on the window for herbs but as things tend to die on me Im still plant less, I look at others gardens with envy until it comes to the weeding and everything else that goes with it and the I think thank god I don’t have a garden, don’t get me wrong with no outside space it’s annoying on a warm day as I can’t sit outside, but then I don’t tend to get the flies if I open a window as I’m so high up and when I did have a garden I was never out in it ever.

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    • I understand what you mean — I love being out in my garden; but I have lots of friends who like to look at a nice garden but have no interest in dealing with the bugs and weeds and sweat and toil. It sounds as though your place is a perfect fit for you!

      And it’ll be even more perfect when your new shelves are in place — hooray! I like to have the items I use daily (like the toaster and kettle) out on the counter, but everything else needs a home. I’m sure you’ll love your new storage space! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope your baby fruit trees recover. Gardening is fun until the critters eat everything. Which is pretty much all the time, big critters and small. We gave up on gardening for a long, long time because of the deer, but this year I’ve put some plants in pots on our second floor deck. Can you believe I’m actually hoping for zucchini? lol

    I would LOVE to attend your workshop and if I lived closer, I would. Good luck and have fun! I bet it will be fantastic and I’m so jealous of those who get to attend!


    • Thanks, @jenny_o! I’m hoping for a non-embarrassing turnout. 🙂

      And hooray for zucchini! I planted three hills this year, but they’re already twice the size of the plants I had last year, thanks to all the manure we tilled in this spring. I may end up feeding all the neighbours as well as ourselves. Zucchini plants are pretty adaptable ‐ they’ll probably do just fine on your deck. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! (And fingers crossed that some athletic deer doesn’t find a way to get at them anyway. And while I’m at it, I’ll hope that your local squirrels don’t like zucchini, either.) 🙂


  5. I LOVE the cartoon! How true it is.
    Your seminar looks fantastic. It’s really good of you to share the information and experience. You’ll have a great turn out I’m sure. I wish I could easily pop in and learn something. Not that I’m interested in writing myself, but I have several friends and family that are and it would be good for them. And we make one heck of a cheering section.


    • I’d love to have a cheering section! 🙂 I don’t have a clue how many people will actually show up in the middle of summer. I’ve booked a room that will hold 70 people, and I’m hoping for at least 12. (In fact, I’m scheming for at least 12 to turn up — I’m going to coerce my friends to come, just to make sure at least a few seats are filled!)


  6. I just checked. It’s 2,000 miles for me. And, you know? I’m tempted. Gad, am I tempted! Except that it’s just not doable. It’s just not.. So…what’re the chances of getting the ‘proceedings’ of your gig? You know, copies of notes and slides and such? It’d be worth more than the admission, that’s for sure!

    And, I see that you managed to get that hot redhead for your anonymous model again, too! 🙂


    • 2,000 miles? Pshaw. If you drive full-out for a solid day and a half… for a one-hour presentation… and then turn around and drive back… Yeah, no problem! (Okay; even in jest, the thought of that makes me shudder.)

      I don’t know if there’s going to be much in the way of notes and slides. I tend to use both sparingly, having sat through FAR too many presentations where the speaker put every… single… word… of their presentation on their slides and then painstakingly read it aloud word for word (while I secretly plotted their horrible demise and where to hide the body after I’d finished dismembering them with a dull butter knife). I just don’t wanna be THAT speaker, y’know?

      And thanks! That redhead always seems to be available for photo shoots. Too bad it takes so many attempts before we get a shot where she hasn’t twisted her face into some moronic expression. Thank God for digital cameras!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. OK…Vancouver’s a bit of a drive, so I’ll take a rain check! (2,500 miles, or whatever the Canadian equivalent is in those kilometer thingies.) I’ve had a few book ideas (non-fiction) but unfortunately no time to devote to writing them.

    My nemesis this year is leaf blight on the two hanging baskets of tomato plants I have. No aphids. I had those once when I brought a bunch of lilacs into the house, and they soon spilled onto the kitchen counter once placed in a vase. Lesson learned. And I’m still creeped out about it 25 years later!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loathe aphids! Normally the healthy plants don’t suffer too much damage from them, but we just discovered that our soaker hose had stopped working so my poor little fruit twigs were gasping for moisture. That’s when the aphid thugs moved in. We’ve dealt with the invaders and watered thoroughly, so I’m hoping my little apple tree will recover.

      We also have a problem with blight on our tomatoes and potatoes here – it’s endemic in the soil so our only hope is to grow ’em big early in the season and hope we get fruit before the worst of the blight hits. We’re also trying a couple of so-called blight-resistant varieties this year, so we have hope. (Gardeners are eternal optimists.)

      And you’re right, 2,500 miles is a bit of a commute. One of these days I’m going to figure out how to teleport… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had to give up on planting tomatoes in a garden since we’re in an area with a high water table, and our neighbors put in a fish pond, which is when the worst of the blight hit the entire garden. I’ve heard that rotating crops can help with the leaf blight, but since my gardening area was so small, that wasn’t happening. I’m almost to the point of wanting to try hydroponic gardening, but that is a big expense and takes up more space than I have available in the house. (And I feel that good ol’ rain water and sunshine are way better than anything we could do indoors–I noticed my garden always flourished the day or two after a good rain, vs. weeks with city water from the hose.)

        I miss the heirloom tomatoes I used to grow…they were a treat!

        Liked by 1 person

        • There’s nothing like a REAL tomato fresh from the garden! We’re lucky to have enough space to be able to rotate our veggies, so we’re hoping that will eventually make a difference. We’re also amending the so-called soil (where I come from, we’d call it ‘beach sand’) in the hope of improving its fertility and disrupting the disease process. Time will tell…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Putting anything that comes out of a city water system on a food plant is just a bad idea. All the chemicals, not to mention salt from water softeners, do bad things to growies. Run it through an RO (reverse osmosis) filter to get all the ‘official’ badness, then do whatever you want with it.

            Hydroponics systems don’t have to be huge or even expensive. Internet research is cheap–Use the ‘net, Luke!–then trade ingenuity for money. Or take it another step and do aquaculture. Fishy sorts of critters supply the nutrients for the plants, and the plants filter and clean the water for the fishies. Neither system has to be huge or expensive. Am I an expert? Nope, but it’s doable on small scales just like it is on huge ones. My nano-penny’s worth.


            • For the last couple of years we’ve joked that our garden is basically hydroponic operation: an inert medium to which we add water and fertilizer, and the plants grow (kinda). This spring we tilled in a giant load of manure, and the plants are actually green! And growing! And they look like actual plants instead of pale stunted imitations! It’s great, but now I’m wondering whether we’ll be regretting our enthusiasm when harvest season rolls around. (Probably not, though.) 😉

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              • I used to have some monstrous tomato plants back in the day! They’d easily be taller than me, when staked up. But at least for now, I have some tomatoes on one of the hanging baskets turning orange now, so, any day now we’ll have something fresh!

                One neat thing I did was install an irrigation system–something really simple that keeps the potted flowers watered. I added on to it to keep the tomato baskets watered, and it takes a lot of worry out of growing things around here, especially when travel season starts. This one is basically just a black vinyl hose that is punctured where you want to add fittings for smaller hoses that feed the individual pots, and the business end of the smaller hoses are adjustable so I can change the rate for each plant. Had I kept gardening here, I probably would have done this on a larger scale, as it wastes less water and saves me from forgetting to water things (which happens a lot more often than I care to admit).

                I always used to till grass and leaf clippings into the soil. But I never officially did any sort of soil test, which I’m realizing could have been part of my problems also.

                Eons ago, this area used to be swampland. I am figuring that this land can’t be impossible to plant crops on, though, since parts of this area along the lake were originally settled by farmers who had “strip farms” using the lake water as irrigation for the crops. https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3JGJD_eagle-pointe


                • I’d love to set up one of those little ‘vampire-tap’ irrigation systems for our perennial flowerbeds. So far, though, our budget has been consumed by higher-priority projects (like making sure we have an adequate potable water supply for ourselves). Maybe someday the plants will get their system, too… 🙂


                  • Mine wasn’t too costly–I ended up buying two kits and some accessories, and I think it totalled less than $50 for all of it. (But $50 US I believe is like $298.55 Canadian. 😁 ) Each kit was around $16, and I bought additional hose, sprayers and a few connectors. And goof plugs. Plenty of goof plugs. I went with the kit from Dig (www.digcorp.com) but there are others out there now. The two-zone water timer added a little to the cost–$45-ish for the Orbit timer I purchased, and I already had the garden hoses to hook it up. I used to remove them from the flower beds and pots before frost set in, but now I use compressed air to blow the pipes out at the end of the year. I would go with something more professional/permanent if we were staying here long-term, but this system works well enough for now. I have used it three (or maybe four?) years now and it’s relatively good. It has a couple of minor leaks here and there, but nothing disruptive or worrying. I just don’t know if it’s good for the long term.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • That sounds like a perfect system! I laughed when I read your comment about $298.55 Canadian. Then I went and checked homedepot.ca and my laughter rapidly turned to nausea.

                      Digcorp doesn’t sell to Canadians; but I can buy a Gardena “Starter Kit” from Home Depot Canada for $186 C$, which contains… wait for it… two (count ’em, TWO) watering points.

                      It would be cheaper for me to drive to the States, cross the border, buy the $50 Digcorp system, cross back over the border, pay the duty, and drive home! AAARGH!!!

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • (Couldn’t reply to your last comment…)

                    Those prices are insane! I think our local Home Depot is pushing something by Mr. Landscape (?) now, although they still claim to have the DIG system. I checked Lowe’s in your neck of the woods, and they offer a system by RainBird–not many reviews, but it’s pretty much the same idea and I’m betting some of the fittings work on either (or any) of these kits. I had to buy more 1/2 inch tubing and whichever brand I bought was the same vinyl tubing my old system uses.

                    Do you get to the US often? I have friends up in Goderich, ON, and they come over at Sarnia a couple of times per month to load up on groceries and other household items. Occasionally they’ll ship something to me, and I’ll meet them up in Port Huron to drop it off. They were able to get a projector across the border with no questions asked–for whatever reason, the same seller’s Canadian outlet wanted $900 more than the US outlet. Even if they did have to pay duty, they would have come out ahead.

                    Funny how that all works, innit?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • If by ‘funny’ you mean ‘hey, we’re getting totally ripped off here’, then yep, it’s funny. 😉

                      That Rainbird system looks a whole lot more reasonable — thanks for that! There’s a Lowe’s not too far from us, so we’ll have go and check it out.

                      We only go to the States for occasional vacations. When we lived in Alberta it was a 10-hour drive, so buying trips weren’t economical. Now that we’re on Vancouver Island, it would take about 12 hours to get to Port Angeles and back again by car and ferry. That’s not really an option for convenient shopping; but the next time we’re holidaying in the States we’ll bring big suitcases! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

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