Okay, I lied about being done with football.
TCU played a pretty good game against us in the CFP semi-finals. It would have been nice to see them go on and beat up on Georgia. Instead, it looks like they left everything on the field against Michigan. Such is life.
I’m happy to see a couple of our standout players return for next season, though I wish a couple of them had stayed for one more year. But I understand it.
And can New Orleans please fire Dennis Allen? The man is 7-10 this year and 15-38 overall. He’s never had a winning season. I just don’t see him doing much good next season, and I wish we’d cut our losses now.
Also, don’t get me started on the annual Harbaugh-to-the-NFL speculation. He might try to go back if we can win the National Championship next season, but let’s worry about that then. Or not.
Life Around the Homestead
My workweek is kind of an odd bird.
Monday through Thursday, Grandson is over, so I don’t get nearly as much writing done as I’d like. That leaves me Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to get intensive stuff done. But aside from writing, I’ve also got a bunch of yardwork to do. I’ve started trying to spend at least one weekend day working outside. Yeah, January is still technically winter, but we’re in Oklahoma. It hit the mid-50s this last weekend. With most of the plants dormant, it’s a good time to get things trimmed back and the cuttings dragged over to the burn pile.
A few weeks ago I discovered the concept of sustainable landscaping. Some call it “permaculture.” I kind of like the general idea, which is that these giant swathes of green grass aren’t really natural. We’ve got three acres here, but it’s mostly grass and trees. I’ve always treated the massive growths of honeysuckle as an invasive bush, and I’ve sprayed a couple of gallons of Roundup in an effort to keep it in check. But is that really the best thing to do?
I’ve read a few articles and begun getting some books about it, and I think I’m going to make an effort to take a more holistic approach to my land. I think the main goal will be to make my front yard more of garden-like space a than a lawn. I want to make it more bird- and wildlife-friendly than it is right now and bring some more color to the space.
We’ve got this fairly steep slope down to the drainage ditch at the roadside, and it’s really a pain to keep the grass cut back on it. But if I get some wildflowers and grasses growing on it that will keep the ground from slipping and don’t need weekly trimming with the weed-eater, then everyone wins. It’s less work for us, and the people driving by get to see some pretty flowers and such.
It’s not going to be this complete and drastic change. I’m not going to do this overnight. But I’m definitely going to make it an ongoing project. We’ve got a flowerbed in front of the house, set kind of between a pin oak and a sweetgum, and it’s always been kind of awkward to deal with. The previous owner got to the point where she couldn’t manage it, and one plant pretty much took it over. The space between the house and the flowerbed is heavily shaded by the trees and the house, and the seed pods from the sweetgum combine with the shade to make it really hard to keep grass growing there. I think that’s going to be my first project: to turn that into something of an outdoor relaxation space.
I came to a realization the other day regarding Storyworth. They send out 52 prompts throughout the course of the year, and that got kind of intimidating to consider. I’ve had a couple of prompts go over the 5,000-word mark. Was I supposed to write that much for every single one?
No, I decided.
I also realized I didn’t have to respond to every prompt, either. Some just didn’t really apply or make sense to me. “What’s your favorite drink?” Diet Dr. Pepper. Everyone knows that. I don’t see what anyone’s gaining from me trying to write about that.
Don’t get me wrong; I really like the concept behind Storyworth, and I’m enjoying pushing my way through the cobwebs and bringing some memories back into the light. But if you’re running into the same issues where some of the prompts don’t make sense or take you to places in your past that you’d rather not revisit? Skip them. Make up some of your own. There are no rules that say you can’t do that. I added one about my life in the Army and another one about Christmas memories and traditions. I think the kids will enjoy those.
I’ve noticed that I’ve been spending almost all my writing time on Storyworth over the last six weeks or so, pushed by the approaching deadline, I’m sure. I’ve done over 13,000 words for Storyworth just since the first of the year. But I spent some time this week refreshing my memory about Ghost of Innocence so I can get going on that again.
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