Goals, Vacations & Flowers

Are you going to BlogHer in San José this year? I am. And I would love to meet you if you’ll be there too. (I’ll be flying low under the radar). :-)

I'm Going to BlogHer '14!

I’m actually not sure if I’ll keep going after this year. It’s fun, mind you, but I wonder if the money wouldn’t be better spent going to a smaller conference. Actually, I’m not even sure if I have the funds to keep going anywhere at all. But in any case, I’m going to look at some of the niche conferences. You know, the ones that feature food and France and faith, or lack thereof.

Flowers. I bought a lot of flowers. Wanna see?

goals08My husband built this wooden flower bed, and it was waiting to be filled with color. I thought this was the perfect place to put those red and yellow flowers I don’t want in my actual earth since I only like blues, purples and pinks. But red and yellow are cheerful too and I should not be discriminatory.

Hunter certainly is not.

goals03I’m going to fill out those two empty spaces in the ground – the one between the two wooden flowerbeds over there, and also the nearer one between the flowerbed and sidewalk – with cala lilies and something shorter. Not sure what yet, but it will be a perennial so I can forget about it.

goals04And then I planted other flowers in these pots over here to add more colour to our unfinished terrace.

goals09Yellow and purple works together.

goals10There’s a bare patch of rocky dirt next to the house and I’m going to plant the climbing passionflower that someone gave me for teaching their kid English. I’ll take a picture to let you see how it looks once it’s in.

In other perennial (and therefore less new) flower news, the hydrangeas are blooming.

goals07And this one, which I bought at Ikea because I loved the colour – and which I learned would no longer bloom in the same colour once it was in the ground because of the (lack of?) nitrogen in our soil – surprised me by coming up blue anyway! I’m so happy.

goals06The lavender is at its height of beauty, attracting butterflies and bees.

goals01It’s all so pretty, made even more so when there’s no upkeep.

This week is my last week of classes. I usually throw a party, invite the parents and bake cupcakes. There are almost 40 students, and that’s a lot of extra work and a lot of extra dishes. But it’s worth it for the parents to see their kids’ progress. I’ll be so relieved to be done for the summer. I’m not all that crazy about teaching, and I asked God if I could just write full time. But we’re still broke so I think the answer is no.

So with the classes (nearly) over, and with my extra time before we leave for our annual two weeks in Brittany with the extended family (it’s fun – we all get along most of the time), I might even try a DIY craft project, like painting the bathroom furniture. I know! I’m as shocked as you are.

And I have to get writing. It has not been going well. I’m just pinning stuff and doing social media and shirking my responsibilities. I’m too brain-fried to be creative.

With that in mind, I’m going to ask for your indulgence on a little idea I have. Since I’ve not had the time or creativity to continue writing my fiction novel, I’d like to put the pressure on to get to work. I think I’m going to up the ante by posting a chapter a week again, just like I did with my memoir – with a bit less rigidity since it’s summer. It will force me to be more disciplined.

Plus instant gratification in the form of comments helps.

I’m shameless. I know.

I don’t know if I’ll finish, and I don’t know if I’ll get myself into a muddle because I’ve taken the wrong turn with the plot and need to backtrack. But I think it’s worth a try, and I’m going to post the first chapter next Thursday. Feel free to throw plot ideas my way!

And then I’ll probably get back to non-fiction, which fits much more comfortably.

So my goal this summer is to post fiction on my own blog; and I’m also going to be posting more recipes to Queen Latifah’s site, which means I need to do more recipes here. And somehow through it all, I need to rest my carpal tunnel-related problems again. I’m off to the physical therapist in ten minutes to see what miracles she can do to begin the healing.

Our living room window with the growing vines and the pretty reflection.

Our living room window with the growing vines and the pretty reflection.

I can’t remember if I told you this (I hope not) but my book got an honourable mention in the New York Book Festival. That was a nice ego-booster. I submitted it to an embarrassing number of contests so we’ll see how it does overall.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing, keep recovering, keep cooking, keep relaxing (oh Lord, let that be the case), and keep sending snippets of news and photos. Our school lets out in two weeks. I hope you’re having a wonderfully happy summer so far. Mwah!


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I am the daughter of a symphony musician who was raised in upstate New York, and I simply breathe all things classical, be it music or 19th century literature (English and Russian). I married Sir Renaissance in New York City, and before I knew it, he had swept me up and brought me back home to his own country. So here we are. Three children, a rather ordinary life in a rather exceptional place. I am now ‘A Lady in France.’

Posted in Family, The Garden, The Lady
28 comments on “Goals, Vacations & Flowers
  1. Laura says:

    I desperately need to get to some gardening at my own home. I am slightly scared of it though. I have no skills, or knowledge. We’ll see how it goes.
    Laura recently posted…Stepping Up – a Father’s Day ReflectionMy Profile

  2. Hello there! I started reading your blog recently and have been enjoying hearing about France and seeing your lovely photos. (So lush and green – very different from here in the desert.)

    I’ll be at BlogHer, and it’d be great to say hello in person! :)
    Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) recently posted…June is not the end of the worldMy Profile

  3. Kim says:

    I would love to go to a blogging conference one day. I will hope for that.
    I have not made much progress in our yard. It is mowed but desperately needs a trim and a good weeding. Everything is looking a bit ragged. :)
    Kim recently posted…My Singing Makes HeadachesMy Profile

  4. Natalie D says:

    I’m going to BlogHer again, too! I’ll look for you, I’d love to see you again. I wonder if I’ll go next year too, for the same reasons. I keep thinking a writing conference will serve me better…
    Natalie D recently posted…The Long Walk BackMy Profile

  5. Nina says:

    I think it’s great that you go! I have yet to make one as they are always during my son’s birthday. But I love to hear all the details of these conferences (not just BlogHer but all of them) when people go.
    Nina recently posted…Summer ReadingMy Profile

  6. I went to the BlogHer conferences in 2009, 2010 and 2011…and haven’t even really considered going again…but I HAVE met up with friends again – a smaller conference sounds like a good idea to me. Have fun this year, and you are a saint for having a party for 40 students and parents!
    christy casimiro recently posted…Team NOLAs trip in picturesMy Profile

    • ladyjennie says:

      I didn’t even know about BlogHer until 2011 and didn’t attend until 2012, so we totally missed each other. :-( I would have loved to meet you.

  7. Ann says:

    I wish I had more time to work in my garden! I love those little purple flowers you’ve planted.
    I’m not able to go to Blogher this year; which is a shame since its going to be so close to me. Instead I’ll be in Texas helping tend to my mom, who is terminally ill. There will always be another Blogher, but time spent with my mom is running out.
    Ann recently posted…Father’s Day Gift GuideMy Profile

  8. Sara Green says:

    What a beautiful variety of flowers! I love how flowers can brighten up any space.
    Sara Green recently posted…Moms: We Don’t Do It AllMy Profile

    • ladyjennie says:

      Hi Sara, thanks for visiting. They really can, can’t they? I didn’t think I would care that much about flowers, but now I know I do.

  9. Your hydrangeas look beautiful!
    I’m curious about your novel.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently posted…Crazy Cauliflower Lady SoupMy Profile

  10. Kimberly says:

    You have bathroom furniture?
    We had a huge bee infestation in our city last year. Like whoa. We don’t encourage and plants that attract them!
    Kimberly recently posted…Building Muscles To Fight DepressionMy Profile

  11. ladyjennie says:

    I know! When I started blogging, I didn’t expect to write and publish a book, so that was definitely unexpected! :-)

  12. ladyjennie says:

    I know. I have to go to KL again, especially now that I have a friend there.

  13. Gardening. Baking cupcakes. Teaching. Writing.

    WHEW)) I’m tired just reading. xx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…21 Things I’ve Learned Since My Sister’s MurderMy Profile

  14. anymommy says:

    I love that chapter a week pressure too! Good luck, I am going to jump into chapter one right now. Wish I could see you in CA this year!
    anymommy recently posted…Love lettersMy Profile

  15. Andrea says:

    I’m sad I won’t get to BlogHer to see you! But France is just a long flight in the other direction for me. Hmmm…

    Love seeing the progress in your garden. :)
    Andrea recently posted…DIY Breakfast CasseroleMy Profile

I'm Jennie. Welcome to A Lady in France! I write books, and also this blog on faith, French culture and recipes ... ( To continue reading, please click here. )

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