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  • This topic has 28 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by dori.
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    oh, Dori! what a muddle indeed! you’re in my thoughts and my heart…and hoping for some peace and clarity for you both.xoxo


    Absolutely nothing came of Chris’s so positive interview. Seems he fell through the cracks due to the fumblings of a rather new head-hunter. Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise, because as we looked at the financial aspects of the job, we were having a hard time seeing how we could make the job and relocation work. My potential part-time job fell through as well…at least for the time being. I worked two days for a wonderful non-profit helping them with a special project. They would love to hire me, but due to budget constraints could not get clearance from their board. The job may come together later, though, and in the meantime they may have me back to help from time-to-time.

    So, we just continue step by step, day by day.

    Now that taxes are done (Whew!), my little business is calling me. No, that is not quite right… My calling is calling me. : ) There are more seeds to be planted, seedlings to be transplanted, and the pesky mice which have invaded my raised beds must be banished. I finally figured out what the little divots in the earth were and why two plantings of peas amounted to nothing! The only veggie these wee pests shunned was the arugula. My studio is a total jumble and needs a very good measure of attention; a good purge and spring clean is called for. The lush young nettles in the damp woodland edges are ready for first harvesting, there are teas to blend and jars to fill, and a batch of soap needs labeling. These things will all do me much good; busy hands + engaged mind = happy heart and soul.


    Well, I was about to type that is disheartening…but your last paragraph sounds so very heartening, and the other job stuff rather convoluted and strained, perhaps you are right and it is all happening as it should be?


    The job stuff is very convoluted, and if dwelled upon is disheartening. We thought perhaps the market was loosening a little for Chris, but Boeing just announced hundreds more lay-offs in engineering with more to follow later this year. There are so many talented men and women now scrambling for a handful of jobs scattered around the country. It’s a buyers market, so to speak, and that means wages are dropping. On one hand we wish Chris was closer to retirement, but on the other hand, one should never wish years away. At the moment, I’m in a fairly peaceful place with it all; we’ll make the best decision we can once a job offer comes. In the meantime, I will continue to make daily decisions for home and business based on the hope that we’ll be staying here. This is the only way I can be.

    On the garden front… these wee mice are a sly bunch! There is no evidence of bait nibbling, and no traps have been tripped. I’ve had many tips offered: plant marigolds at the end of each raised bed, place cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil at each corner, buy seedlings or start in trays and transplant. After gardening at the edge of the woods for over 20 years, none of these are new to me, but I’ve never had to employ them all before. This time, however, I will be doing everything I can; because between our unusually late spring and those mice, I am an incredibly frustrated gardener. The mice have won the first battles, but I will win the war. ; )


    Hello, dear ones. Two months plus, it has been since last I wrote. Just a quick personal update and then on to business things….

    My Chris did take a job in dusty Mohave, CA, about a month ago. After being down there in the desolate desert for awhile, he’s decided he doesn’t wish to relocate me and the pups down there. Instead, his work schedule will either allow him to come home once or twice a month, or for me to go down there. We continue to hope a good job will open for him here in the greater Seattle area. When that happy offer comes, I will fly down and drive home with him. So, my full-time job is taking care of home, hearth, garden and pups. And a full-time job it has been. Today was a misty day and I was very grateful to have a break in the dragging of hoses about. My part-time retail job has taken up a few days, but there has been a paltry bit of me available for my own little business. More than a little frustrating, but we do what we must, yes?

    I have been able to plant flowers, veggies, and most of my herbs; and my two patches of calendula are coming along nicely with chubby buds now forming. I’ve still time to plant more seeds and I might, because I need all the calendula infused olive oil I can produce this year. Anything I produced from those brilliant blossoms sold out last autumn & holiday season.

    I am feeling every more strongly the desire to formally change my business name from Green Willow to Joyful Alchemy. I wonder how my existing customers will react to that, and am pondering how best to transition to a new name. Somewhere I’ve a bookmark to an article on how to ease your clientele from one name to the next. I must try to find it. Probably I just need to be bold and just do it, before my short show season would be great.

    And that is my stream of consciousness sharing for now.


    P.S. Editing to add… For the most part I won the war against the mice. We’ve had occasional skirmishes since though. They keep me on my toes! Currently I am having to carefully protect a late planting of flowering sweet peas. Wee stinkers!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by dori.

    For the most part Chris is settling into life in Mohave and his voice sounds much more chipper. His job is interesting to him, and his work comrades pleasant. Later this month, he’ll move his clothing and few possessions into a room he will rent from a fellow engineer. Will be so good for him to be out of his dreary little hotel room.

    The corgis and I are settling into summer and our quieter life. I have had to prioritize outside chores and relax my overly optimistic goals; new plantings and veggie/herb take priority, mowing the meadowy mix planted right around the house is not happening as often as Chris would do, but with the cool, wet spring we had it just plain grows more quickly than I can keep up with. Tomorrow we start to heat up here, and Chris come home for 4 1/2 days next Thursday :). He will get everything tidied up, and the heat will slow the grass down. Will be a win-win for me.

    In my gardens it is time to begin harvesting kitchen herbs, lavender and cat mint; and from the woods I must gather more nettle and plantain. The coming heat should pop the first calendula blossoms open next week. As I was planting another small bed of calendula last week, I realized with a start, I had not sown any chamomile! There may still be time to plant, so best get me to the nursery today. I prefer the annual German over the invasive Roman or Egyptian.

    Still need to sit myself down and write a proper newsletter. sigh….. seems harder and harder to write these newsy bits, but I must buckle down and do it. It’s time to run a little sale on the most popular teas for icing. Must strike while the iron is hot…err…while the weather is hot. : ) A little cash flow would be most welcome.


    I must confess, I have yet to write the newsletter or update my website. I’ve been so busy with the needs of my soon-to-move parents, and things about the homestead here.

    On the bright side, I have harvested lavender, first cuttings of lemon verbena and cat mint, have more nettle in the dryer, and am picking calendula blossoms daily. I would have liked to have harvested more lavender, but the heat popped the blossoms out so quickly! Must say I have legions of happy bumblebees. : )

    I will buckle down now and over the next three days will tackle some of the business bits I’ve been so easily avoiding.

    *website updates (must check and adjust inventory online)
    *newsletter (I’ll keep it short; announce a sale, reinforce the organic seasonal path I’m taking, and introduce the coming name change from Green Willow to Joyful Alchemy.)
    *outline and select photos for a blog post
    *send applications for the two holiday shows I wish to do
    *check tea stocks and packaging, place small orders if needed

    Late next week, I’ll be flying down to join my husband for a long weekend. We are going to take a ferry out to Catalina Island for two days. Financially, we probably shouldn’t; but emotionally, we need some time away together. Having something special to look forward to is so lovely.

    The room Chris had hoped for did not happen, but he did find another. He is now the tall white guy in a home of charming Peruvians. The image makes me giggle.



    Well, look at that! My last post here was on July 21, 2017 exactly 4 years ago today. Reading through my posts, including that last one, I can say I did everything on that last little ‘to-do’ list, perhaps not as quickly and efficiently as I might have hoped, but completed they were. I changed my business name to Joyful Alchemy and the change was well-embraced by my customers, I did a number of small holiday shows for three years until covid-19 put an end to those, and I have carefully reduced my inventory, although I have quite a way to go.

    Chris and I enjoyed that lovely trip out to Catalina Island, and I flew down late the following April to accompany him home after his year in the dusty desert helping to design the very vehicle that Richard Branson flew to the edge of space just over a week ago. I was quite conflicted emotionally while I watched that short flight. On one hand, I am truly aghast at the money spent on such an endeavor, knowing it could have improved life for many here on Earth; but on the other hand, it was sweet to watch my husband point out to me and other family members, the parts of that ship he had designed.

    Much has transpired during these past four years, yet much remains the same. I still enjoy my small business, yet have not yet transformed it into what I hope it can be. As I pull away from sharing as much on social media, it will be nice to again share the journey here. xo


    Dori!!! What a delight is was to find the notification for this in my inbox! I hadn’t realized we were up and running again.

    More of a delight is to read your update….I’m glad that your Chris is home and while I definitely understand your reservations about the Branson-mobile, I imagine what a deeply fulfilling experience it must have been for Chris to be a part of something so incredibly exciting. To take part in the creation of something truly magnificent (which, in the context of science and engineering, it most surely is) is absolutely brilliant.

    And yes…four years! Wow. A lot has certainly happened, though…looking through my own journal entries, much has stayed the same!! lol. I agree…social media is not a place I wish to engage with and it will be nice to commune with kindreds here. xo


    We aren’t really up and running again, mel…I just asked Dori to try logging in. : ) I am waiting to hear back from my tech help about something I want for both of our spaces. If it can work, we’ll be back soon with a new addition. If it can’t work, we’ll be back soon as we were. xo


    Thank you, dear Lesley. xo I just couldn’t resist a post. And thank you, Mel, for your enthusiastic response. I will now wait. Am truly looking forward to being back here, tho.


    Earlier this year, I shared with Chris my desire, actually my need, for a garden studio, a cozy and light-filled space, detached from the house…with a view to the woods and the morning sun on one side, and a view to my garden on the other. A low-tech place where I could make messes, plant seeds, make soaps, pour candles, dry herbs, write, set up an easel perhaps, practice yoga, and even greet friends and customers…if I choose. I need it to truly be the proverbial “room of one’s own” and a sanctuary. My tiny 8.5′ x 10′ workroom is not working well for me. I’m grateful to have my little space, and I’ll make do as long as I must, but oh, how I long for some elbow room and more light! Chris said he understands and we will make this a priority.

    My husband is a very handy fellow, and if I can show him what I would like, he can most likely build it or something very close to it. I would actually like to help. So, I’ve been collecting photos of sweet little buildings in the hopes of finding one that made my heart smile. Yesterday, I found it! And Chris likes it. Would you like to see? I’m going to try sharing a dropbox link below.

    (You may need to copy the link into a new browser window.)

    The lovely studio shown is bigger than mine would be, and taller; but the feeling, the potted ferns, the french doors and bright interior…. I just want to walk right in. : ) Just thinking about this will brighten the dark winter days ahead.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by dori.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by dori.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by dori.

    Beautiful! I had to delete everything in front of the www and then it worked.


    If I right click on the link and select open in a new window it works, too.

    That photo will likely live right on my desktop for some time to come. Makes me smile every time I look at it.

    Off to walk Luther and do a quick peek at the bees. Then I’ll spend a little more time on Roots|Stems|Blooms.

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