And am I glad it’s here.  I could use some sit-down time.  My feet hurt.  This weekend was a doozie.  Guy and I went to the nursery.  (October is a very good month to plant bushes and trees where I live.)  I could go on for pages about how much I love plant nurseries, but we managed to get out of there with only two trees.  One we brought home to plant ourselves, and the other we left for them to do.

So we bring our new baby home.  (A maple.  The guy said it will color to red, pinks, oranges, and some yellows, but I’m thinking it’s going to be yellow.)  Guy and Thing-one (on loan for an extended leave) and Thing-Two (yanked from the Internet) manage to get the tree out of the back of the truck, and it’s just sitting next to the old tree that died.  I go get my gloves.

Guy takes his chainsaw and chain and goes down to the front of the development to play with three other guys in yanking out the bushes in front.  (Don’t worry, they were told they could.)  And I’m left with this beautiful tree wrapped in burlap that needs to get in the ground.  It’s getting late, maybe two.  It’s HOT!  But fortunately the sun has gone behind a cloud.  I start digging, figuring Guy will finish up and we can plant the tree together.  No way am I going to get a big enough hole for this tree.  Not in the clay that is masquerading as dirt around here.

So I dig, and I get about five inches down.  Not bad, really, and I do like the elephants do, and I push over the dead tree, which falls over and loosens up the dirt considerably.  Yank dead tree out, and dig some more.  It starts to rain.

I take a five minute break and move the laundry around,  (I love laundry) come back outside, and it’s pouring.  But the rain isn’t penetrating the leaves still on the surrounding trees, and I go back out.  Digging clay in the rain is easier than digging clay in the sun.  Besides, Guy is still yanking out bushes up front, and I’m starting to think I might be able to finish this hole.  And it rains harder.

It’s a nice warm rain, so I just keep digging, and by the time Guy comes back with his chains and chainsaw, I’ve got my hole dug.  He rolls it into the hole, and I shove the dirt back around it, and ta-da!  The tree is planted!  It’s still raining.

Guy hozed me off, which was an adventure in itself, and the tree looks fabulous.  It’s shifting color fast, though, not liking having been moved.  I’ll let you know what color the leaves end up.  I kind of hope it stays yellow.  Most everyone else has flaming red.  😉 



Filed under Drama Box

76 responses to “MMMMMMonday!

  1. CathWren

    Lodesh question: I don’t remember reading that he was ill before he was cursed but even so, why couldn’t they run a healing ward on him at the end?

    Also, if a Keeper and a commoner managed to have a traneunt (sp), wouldn’t a Master and a commoner have a better chance of having at the least a Keeper if not a transeunt (I’m sure that isn’t spelled right)? If so, why such a strong resistence to their marriage? Admittedly, a Master/Master would be preferable but surely that could have waited 50 or 60 years when they lived for hundreds.

    Loved the books by the way, though it made for an exhausted week at work since I wasn’t getting to bed before midnight. I’m in the first Princess book now. So far it feels like nightmares I’ve had (Jeck has just caught her after her escape) where I couldn’t escape and didn’t fully understand what was going on.

    Any how, thanks for writing and I’ll let you get back to it.


    • Hi, CathWren. OMGosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to think about Alissa and the Hold. Let me see if I can remember.

      Lodesh was stricken with the same wasting illness that originally killed him after a long, and satisfying life, and since Alissa wasn’t around to the end, she missed that part. And I suppose they could run a healing ward on him, but I doubt that Lodesh would let them. It was time for him to leave.

      A Master and a commoner would have a better chance of having a Keeper or transient then a Keeper and commoner, yes, but the masters wanted another master, and there wouldn’t normally be even a chance of it with Strell and Alissa (if not for Strell’s unique background)

      Mmmmm. I hope you like the Princess books. I think they are some of my best work. And I hope I’ve answered your questions! Kim/Dawn

  2. shauna

    I planted a tree once… I was 5 and we were planting them in our school, we had to water our plant every day (mostly) and i was so proud of myself. A few months ago I went to visit my mum and we drove past my old school, and right there in the courtyard outside my old classroom was my plant! looking more like a small tree now. Totally made my day.
    Fingers crossed your tree stays yellow.

    • Hi, Shauna. Oh, that’s beautiful! See, that’s why I love planting things and I wish more people would do it. That feeling of nurturing is something you can’t buy, and it makes you feel so good. sigh –Kim

  3. Gothar

    Butterflies – it seems the ones in Bespelled are regular old butterflies and that one of them landed on Big Al. If I read it correctly, it was something Ceri loved. However, I highly doubt Al giving Rache a butterfly is a good thing.

    I thought it was cool spin on Al building the Asian society up. Regarding history how does your world history differ from well for lack of a better term then “real” history?

    • Jeannie

      Okay, did I miss a book? Bespelled?? A story about Al and Ceri?? Where, when and how do I get it?? Huh? Thanks to anyone who can explain!!

    • Rebecca B

      It’s in one of the trade paperbacks at the end. Kim identified it in Friday’s thread. I’ve got to find it, too.

      She also mentioned that some butterfies feed on carrion. Not so good unless you need a zombie-detecting butterfly. Euuuuueeewww!

    • As icky as it sounds, can you imagine a silent battlefield covered in blue butterflies puddling on the blood and flesh of the fallen? It happens. It creeps me out. A very powerful image.

    • Butterflies also congregate on…manure. Eyugh. So much for nectar eaters…

    • Hi, Gothar. Yup. The ones in Bespelled are regular old butterflies, but even they are sort of magical, and no, Al giving one to Rachel isn’t a really good thing.

      Mmmm, I’ve tried to keep our world and the Hollows parallel until about 1920, but I’m sure there are a few little things that will be different. 😉 –Kim

  4. Roh

    Hi Kim, well, first i wanna say that i don’t write, neither speak, english, not very well, but i’m trying, because i wanna ask you something.
    Oww, yes, first. I’m from Brazil, and read your book “Once Dead, Twice Shy” and i wanna know, when comes out the second book. It’s really amazing, i like very much. Pleaseee answer me.

    • Hi, Roh. I think your English is very good. 😉 There is a second book coming out. I’m doing the page proofs right now, so it’s almost ready for the printer. I don’t know what they might change the title to if they translate it, but it will be called EARLY TO DEATH, EARLY TO RISE here in the states. I’m so glad you enjoyed ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY. Thank you! I’ve been having fun with Madison this week, thinking about what might come next. –Kim

  5. CathWren

    I’m afraid this isn’t the appropriate place to ask my question but I couldn’t figure out where. It is a Dawn Cook question about Lodesh. Can you direct me to the place to ask it?


    • Hi, CathWren. This is the perfect place for asking Dawn Cook questions. I can’t maintain a seperate board for them, so ask away! You might want to ask it on the most recent post here, though, so I don’t miss it.

      Lodesh . . . Ah, Lodesh. I really liked him. He was a _very_ cool dude. sigh. Kim/Dawn

  6. Geoff


    Thing One is home on extended leave? I take it from the military? If so, thank Thing One for his ( or her) service. It is much appreciated.


  7. Phil

    Sooo cool about the trees, Kim! My family loves trees, too…magestic, beautiful, peaceful.
    I have a question, Why is Jenks scared of the ghost (Pierce) since Jenks isn’t the type to scare easily!? I know Rachel says Jenks is just upset ’cause he didn’t help find Kisten’s killer, but he seems to be genuinely frightened. Did i get it right…i’m not sure? Thanks. ~Phil

    • Gothar

      Look how upset he was when Bis slipped his lines. Jenks is very very protective of the ladies and the 50+ kids. A ghost/spirit/other might not be friendly or at least not evil.

    • There is that, too, Gothar. He doesn’t like surprises, does he? –Kim

    • Hi, Phil. Mmmm. You noticed that, too? I think Jenks is reacting because he knows Pierce is Rachel candy, and he’s worried she’s going to get her heart broken again. I don’t think he’s worried about him being a ghost, but that Rachel is going to do something stupid. But I could be wrong. He might have a genuine fear of the supernatural. –Kim

  8. Tiffany

    Being outside under a canopy of leaves in the rain sounds incredibly relaxing. Probably just what you needed after your marathon reading week.
    Hoping your tree stays yellow,

  9. Suzi Lazear

    How fun! The hubby and the tot buldozed the new backyard (and didn’t even find any human bodies — they did find a mummified cat and a plastic bag full of stuffed animals).

    As I was excivating…I mean packing…my desk I found something I’d forgotten during the “unusual desk item” contest — an Iron Demon stake. Aparently your 5th wedding anniversary is “iron” and the hubby asked me what I wanted. I jokingly told him I wanted an iron stake to kill rogue demons and faeries….

    …I got one. He actually had one made for me. It’s pretty darn cool (and heavy). It even has a belt loop and an some kind of pin attachment so I can put it on a pole (he was excited about that one). So, rogue demons beware…LOL

    Have a good week.

    ~Suzanne and the tot

    • Gothar

      Ahem, we are still waiting on pictures of Guy’s desktop dancing curio.

    • I snuck up this morning and took one. Give me a day or two to get it up there. (grin) –Kim

    • OMGosh, Suzanne! You really have a spike to kill rogue demons? That is too special! And I really mean that! I’m envious. (grin) How weird about the stuffed animals. Seriously, I woudln’t open it, but just kind of slip it in the trash–that feels really weird. I bet your hubby had fun buldozing the backyard, though. I know mine would. (ha!) –Kim

    • suzannelazear

      I thought it was an amazing present. How many hubbies would have one made for you?? I think I gave a few of my friends *ideas* tho, lol. Maybe iron stakes will be the new in anniversary present.

      The tot thought buldozing the backyard was great fun and was sad when the tractor had to go home.

      The stuffed animals was weird, but my dad’s still finding hotwheels that we burried in the yard as kids, lol.

  10. Joy

    Wow, sounds like you had an adventerous weekend!! Did your puppies help with the digging? I just wanted to say how excited I am that The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance II is coming out tomorrow!! My first Dawn Cook story. Yay! Any teasers about what we can expect? Thanks, Joy

    • Hi, Joy. Aleix doesn’t like to get her paws dirty, but Xander loves to dig. She didn’t help with the tree, but she did help me put some lillies in the ground about a month ago. Seriously, I cleared the mulch and dug a tiny hole, and she came in and helped “mama dog” by digging it deeper. I was in no hurry, so I just sat back and let her go. We put three in before she got tired of it and wandered away.

      Yay! I’d almost forgotten about the new story! Thank you for the reminder! No teasers. It’s not really long, so I don’t want to give anything away, but it is totally _not_ Hollows, and has a compleatly different take on the vampire myth. I hope you like it! –Kim/Dawn

  11. Judi in NJ

    Kim – priceless post! Love it! Thanks for sharing it with us! I had no idea that trees could react like that…wow! How long will it “freak out”? This coming from a gal that basically kills everything I plant….well, now not exactly true…planted two (count ’em, two!!) rose bushes in May and they are still blooming – and the red one won’t stop growing! Good luck! Judi and Jenksie Jenks (I’m pathetic 🙂 ) in NJ

    • Hi, Judi. I think it will freak out until it gets settled with the new dirt and light. I’m going to say a year is all. Guy wants to acidifiy the soil, but I keep telling him it’s in clay surrounded by oak trees. Any more acid is going to kill it! We’ll see. Wow, congrats on your rose bushes! Give Jenksie a scritch for me. 😉 –Kim

    • First year roots, second year, more roots, third year top growth. Keep in mind, most of the tree’s roots that are active are at the drip line, in other words, where the leaves end above the ground (man, I am not doing a great job explaining today…)

  12. Antonio Rich

    We’re getting awful chatty on the weekends…Is that OK? I occassionally drop a trivia quiz/survey on the peeps(weekends), but i don’t want to overstep w/o your blessings.

    PS i have family/friends serving our country. Please thank your son, for us, for his service…

    • Phil

      i second that “THANK YOU”!!

    • Marsha

      Hopefully he is not overseas, but if he is please tell him if his squad would like some of the best banana bread/brownies/peanutbutter snaps in the south (who me arrogant?) email me an address and I’ll pack some up for them.

    • Hi, Antonio. A chatty board, is a good board, so no worries! 😉

      And thank you for your words. Thank you, Mud, Marsha, and Phil, too. I will pass your words along to Thing-One. (grin) He is not overseas, currently working on big copter maintenance. He hasn’t put in for a mailbox, either, which really irratates me. I keep telling him, no cookies from me until he does, but I suppose he might be a little reluctant. The last time he had a mailbox, we sent him super-duper Transformer bed sheets. (grin) -Kim

    • tattoolady

      what is so bad about transformer sheets? i like transformers.
      *hangs head..ok my nerd flag has flown for the day…

    • Marsha

      That probably scarred the poor soul for life!

  13. Elaine

    I helped plant three maples almost 4 years ago, but I’m pretty sure I messed it up somehow, because they didn’t grow! Haha. Oh well, the other trees I’ve planted seem to hve grown just fine. Sounds like you had a nice weekend though. Hope there were no sunburns like all of my friends and I have.

    • Hi, Elaine. Have you ever heard that trees sleep, creep, abd leap? Which in real words is the first year, they seem to sleep, the second year, they have a slow creep of growth, and the third year, they leap. If conditions have been ugly for growth, your leap might be lagging. (That sounds kind of funny, now that I wrote it down. 😉 I hope they shower you with shade next year, and sorry about your sunburns! –Kim

  14. tattoolady

    good morning Kim! this weekend sounded like it was a busy bee weekend for you. cogratulations on the new tree! i love trees and someday when i buy a place with land one of my must haves is trees.lots and lots of trees. my husband is not quite as gungho about all the trees but he grins and rolls his eyes .i think the idea is growing on him, 😉 .my weekend consisted of work,work and more work. somewhere in there the husband surprised me with a new journal and uber pen. the Uber pen is drool worthy, believe me. this week is going to be an easy one for me. i will be repotting some of my indoor leafy/spiney and flat out odd plant babies and taking the Rats to the vets for the annual cheak-up. the vet brings out the big leather gloves for the arrival of my boy rat as the normaly sweet boy has a long standing grudge with the vet that he expresses with bared teeth and quick-as-lighting bites. i wish you luck in getting your yellow leaves and luck in that your new tree babies will root themselves well in your clay/soil.-tattoolady

    • Hi, Tattoolady. Wow! Your rat has it in for your vet? That’s kind of unusual, isn’t it? Good for you on getting them in for their check ups, though. And congrats on the uber pen! Have fun with your repotting! I’ve got kind of a weird week planned. –Kim

    • tattoolady

      lol my boy rat does not like the vet because when he was younger he got an abcess in his throat. the vet lanced it and gave him an antibiotic shot. ever since then he has not been vary sweet towards the vet. she is a wonderful vet that is good at what she does so he is going to have to deal with it,lol. besides when he gets home he gets loads of free time ,scritches, and treats to make up for it. as for it being unusual… well i think that animals can and do have opinions on people in general but it seems that my boy seems to be especially obvious about his feelings toward the vet.
      i hope that your week goes well and that the weirdness in your week is the good kind.-tattoolady

  15. Hope you have fun with your tree, Kim. My mom and grandmothers have a natural “green thumb” but I don’t think I do.

    My best friend just gave me a plant and it will probably die soon. My husband and I keep forgetting about it. 😀

    • Hi, Tyhitia. Ahhhh, see, you just need the kind of plant that thrives on neglect! I hope your latest survives. (grin) Keeping mine alive always seems like a struggle. (laugh) –Kim

  16. I´ve plant a (baby)tree this summer, too. And I killed him 😦 Well I think my strengths are somewhere else…

    But I wish the best for your tree of course 🙂

  17. Mendi in STL

    Heyde Hey Kim! Lucky break for you with all that rain, perfect for planting a tree. Well, except for all that clay mud, that’s the icky, sticky, yucky part. Hope your tree does good. We need to replace a dead Scarlet Oak and are looking for it’s replacement. If you only knew my husband though, you would know that this is no easy task since he examines each tree we find and if there’s something “off” about it, it’s a no go. I like going to the nurseries that have golf carts just for this reason. 😉 *VV* Have a great week!

    • Heyde-Ho, Mendi! 😉 That was exactly what I thought when it started to rain. Use the opportunity. We have a hose run out there, so as long as we water it enough and not too much, it should do fine. I don’t blame your husband in being picky. Not at all! 😉 You have a great week, too. –Kim

  18. The Old Geezer

    Good Morning, Miss Kim. Well, it’s morning here anyway. Your tree planting story brings back the memories. Way back about the time dirt wuz invented, my wife (she keeled over of a heart attack 10 years ago. I thought us guys were supposed to go first) and I lived in a brand new development hacked out of betonite clay prairie (sic?). Come this time of year, we’d get these frog stranglers rollin’ through in the late afternoon that would wash all the loose clay out of the yard (BG = before grass) out into the street fillin’ up the gutters. We’d go out with shovels after the rain to scoop the soupy mud back up into the yard. Well, one thing would lead to another and mud shovelin’ would turn into mud slingin’ and we’d wind up with more mud on us than in the yard. Well, one day one of us grabbed the hose on the front of the house and commenced to hose off the other one who ran around the back of the house (BF = before fence) to the back hose, draggin’ it through the house to retaliate. One thing wuz the other idiot was draggin the front hose through the house from the other direction. Only indoor garden hose water hose-down I know of. Dryin’ and demudding the house if a whole other story. Speakin’ of other stories, remind me some time when I’m feelin’ good enough to type on the computer to tell you about the time I convinced the princess from New Jersey that Kentucky Blue Grass is an annual in our high desert climate and you have to dig it up in the spring and replant. (insert evil chuckle here as she spent an ungodly amount on havin’ her yard sodded). You keep it up, you’re doin’ just fine for being a youngster. -The Old Geezer.

    • *Tich Tich Tich*
      Taking old Mud’s name in vain.
      Actually, clay is great for planting, very fertile, but it does require organic material (hence the prairie burns). Grass in England Botanical gardens is planted annually, so are some of the greens on putting greens.

      And I wonder if Ms. Harrison’s red leafed neighbors include Liquidambar. I LOVE Sweetgum. They have the cutest balls…

    • For me, clay is only good for planting when it’s a clay pot. (grin)

    • Rebecca B

      Ha! Ha! Geezer, you’re making my Monday. We like to water the boys and each other around here as much as the plants.

      Mud: I love the “gum ball” trees with their beautiful color and shape, but the hub hates raking the spikey seeds. If we had the space, I’d put in a linden for the spring and gum and ginkos for the fall.

      Happy H.G. Wells’ and Stephen King’s birthay, all!

    • I would love to grow Sweetgum and Paw Paw here, but we are so close to the edge it probably would freeze out. 😦

    • I’m not fond of sweet gum myself, but that’s because of the seed pods. Ouch, can you imagine pixies throwing those at an intruder?

    • Rebecca B

      @ Kim: My hub says the gum tree seed pods can explode in rather interesting ways (his father wouldn’t let the kids put them in leaf fires), so maybe that would be entertaining (or useful) for pixies.

    • Ooooh, Rebecca! That sounds like fun! I’ll have to do some careful explorations. I always thought they had an oily, waxy feel to them. Must be a lot of BTUs in them. . . 😉

    • The thought of Ms. Kim doing research on future Fairy destruction is kind of scary. I don’t even know if Cincy is the right zone, but I suppose they might be found in charm stores. Jeez.

      Add a stick, and they are so pretty in flower arrangements. (Mud, who got thru college as a florist, useful trade to fall back on ;P )

    • Rebecca B

      @Mud: I live in Covington (yes, the Hollows) and there is a particularly large and prolific gum specimen just up the street. Jenks could easily trade if there wasn’t a gum tree on the property. Look out fairies!
      There are lots of sycamores with seed pods down by the Licking River, but do the pods burn? Hmmm. Bwha-ha-ha!

    • Old Geezer, I always enjoy it when you post. I can tell there was a lot of love there. You only hose down the one you love. Especially in the house. (grin)

  19. Indy

    Hi Kim!!! What a weekend!!! We were in Chicago seeing my favorite band from my home town in Chicago. So much fun, but it was a bit loud, my ears are still ringing. But an awesome time had!!! Plus, I totally love your response that you could see a way Rachel & Ivy could work, but don’t know. I know its a maybe, but is a positive maybe versus a negative maybe. Yep, call me crazy, but hope is good. 🙂 ~Indy

    • I also thought about the soul issue. By an act of unselfish love, Kis retained his soul….so Rachel managed to save at least one.
      And to continue instigating, and should be moved to Facebook.
      I’ve worked it out in my chaotic head.
      Let’s see..Nick and Newt, they deserve each other.
      Ivy and Trent 🙂 They are never in the same place at the same time.
      Dylan and Jirixibelle (spelling)
      Pierce and Al
      and Bis’s brother and Rachel.

    • I like your parings, Mud. (grin)

    • That’s great about the concert! Too much fun! Really, I don’t know what to do with Rachel and Ivy. What will be, will be. I want to be surprised, too.

  20. Klaus

    ” Most everyone else has flaming red.”
    So most have “Rachel-Trees” and you want a “Trent-Tree”?
    Good luck – I really hope it’ll stay yellow.
    Gardening work is sooo statisfying compared to regular desk work…though I think your writing is a lot more satisfying than most ordinary desk work, ins’t it?

    • Hi, Klaus. That’s me. Always wanting something different. Sigh. 😉 I agree that gardening is a lot more satisifying in the short term, but long term? Give me writing any day.

  21. mudepoz

    Hmm, Was it an Autumn Blaze? Mostly silver maples color to yellow…Autumn Blaze’s parents are Red Maple and Silver, giving better crotch angles and red and orange and yellow foliage. Generally, if the yard is shadier, you’ll get more yellow. It’s also drought dependent.

    As a landscraper…we also usually prefer fall. More rain then in spring, and things are going dormant. Sadly, we just got our first rain in 21 days last night. My garden, at the back of 2 acres, was given up on, hopefully it will survive for next year.

    Sigh. One of the labs I did was an ID key to a few trees near our building. Some have dropped leaves that were green. My poor dog and most at our prairie tracking test had some issue on short cover…so dry. We flunked.

    Consider a Mantis, or the like. Small tiller, it will make a big hole, in addition to small tilling jobs.

    And if I were guy, I’d be blushing right now. TMI. 😛

    My door is up…let’s see what my students think. Since my flag has been up for 6 years….