July 17, 2018

Featured Author: M. R. Durbin

I discovered a new author this summer: M. R. Durbin. His books have been perfect summer reads--not too heavy, exciting, but each with a few interesting nuggets of history that I've thought more after closing the book.

There is no sex or bad language to worry about in any of them. They do have some action-related violence, but nothing over-the-top or gruesome.

So if you need something to tuck into your pool bag or take on a vacation with you, pick up one of these! (Then you have to come back here and report on it--let me know what you thought!)

I'll start with a stand-alone novel:

The Swords of Joseph, by M.R. Durbin

4 stars: Kept me interested on many levels.


The Israelites are suffering as slaves under the reign of the iron-handed Pharaoh, when Moses returns from the desert demanding their release. Joshua, impulsive and bold, is itching for change to happen; for freedom, in whatever form he can find it. So when the Prophet Moses gives him an assignment, he's ready. Even though it seems impossible, he is to find the bones of Joseph, which according to legend (Moses says prophecy) are to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. This is no small task, as Joshua has no idea where to even begin looking. He will have 2 friends along to help him: Caleb and Gaddi. They also end up rescuing to maidens about to be sacrificed, who join them in their adventures.

Joseph's final resting place is extraordinarily well hidden. While they travel around Egypt finding and deciphering clues, there are others looking for the bones as well--and for them. Not to mention the plagues that are falling upon Egypt, due to Pharaoh's refusal to let the people go. It will take faith in God and answers to prayer in abundance if they are to find what they are looking for.

* * * * *
This was an entertaining story with some depth to it. I never realized that the plagues Moses brought upon Egypt were symbolic as well as physical. This book brings out that each of the plagues corresponded to one of the Egyptian deities--in other words, God was showing the Egyptians that He was more powerful than every one of their gods, in turn. Super interesting.

The characters kept things moving along well. My only complaint was that the clues were figured out so quickly--it didn't seem like much of a challenge.


* * * * *
These next two are part of a series (I hope!)


Beyond the Narrows, by M.R. Durbin

4.5 stars: Buckle in, and get ready for the treasure hunt to begin!

There is treasure to be found amongst the rocks, canyons, and caves of Southern Utah, but you have to know where to look; which means you have to be able to figure out the clues. O'Reilly Begay (Obie) has been retired from his job as an archeologist for quite some time, but attempted murder and a mysterious package arriving from overseas seem to be linked. He and some friends, along with his granddaughter Mac, and his friend Peter's grandson Charlie soon get caught up in a search for an ancient treasure. Of course, there are others hot on the trail, as well. Others with no qualms about murdering those who get in the way. It will be a heart-pounding race to the goal. Who will get the treasure, and who will get to live?

* * * * *
This was a lot of fun! Obie and friends were constantly getting off wisecracks, there was a potential romance in there with Mac and Charlie, the clue deciphering added a bit more for the old intellect to chew on, and in the meantime there was plenty of action with gun fights, kidnappings, and rock climbing shenanigans.

It was a bit of a stretch that one (or two) people just happened to have all the right qualifications to unravel these clues, including multiple languages and cultural traditions, but I was willing to overlook that for all the rest of the goodness going on. The attempted romance was very awkward, and I wasn't too happy with how it played out--then I found out there was a sequel, so there was some hope there.



Double Eagle, Double Cross, by M. R. Durbin

4 stars: Mystery, with a bit of history woven in.

Charley Sawyer returns home to his late parent's beach house in Oregon, only to find it has been severely vandalized. What puzzles him, though, is that amidst the devastation, nothing seems to be missing. Out in their shed he finds a mysterious key that he's never seen before; he hopes it will lead him to some answers.

Meanwhile, Charlie's grandfather Peter and his old-guy pals decide that a road trip to Oregon is in order. Officially, they're giving Obie's granddaughter Mac a free ride out to do some research for her anthropology professor. Unofficially, they're along to see if they can't get Mac and Charlie to hook up.

The key leads to Charlie to more questions, including some about how is parents died. Was it really an accident? As he and his visitors try to put all the pieces together, none of them are sure who to trust. They must be getting close, though, because someone out there is getting scared....which is not good news for Charlie.

* * * * *
I was happy to dive back into this world of close, multi-generational friends, unclaimed treasure, secret passageways, interesting history, more than a few nearly fatal episodes (hope that's not a spoiler), and the Oregon Coast. I love that place! I could just picture many of the scenes from the book, even though we've only been a couple of times.

My favorite characters this time around were probably the wives of the old guys. Deadpan comments that just cracked me up. The romance had a bit more closure this time, which was an improvement.

* * * * *


I am looking forward to seeing what else M.R. Durbin comes up with! I'm a fan!


July 3, 2018

Ridiculous Dreams

I've been thinking a lot lately about the dreams we keep inside our heads and hearts. Almost everyone has one, I'll bet. Something that they wish they could, want to do, if only... They are as varied as we are. One person that I know has a ridiculous dream to live on the Almalfi Coast of Italy. Not just visit: no, actually live there, with that crystal clear turquoise water and the homes clinging to the cliff.  Someone else may want a cabin in the woods; a hideaway all their own. For others maybe it's to adopt a child or invent something or become a recording star. 

My kids have one that tickles me. They want to build the "Fun of the World Hotel" when they grow up. It will be a hotel with every fun thing in it--hence the name. It will have a water park, and mini golf, and arts and crafts, and rope courses, and climbing walls, and a ball pit, and I don't even know what all else. Everything fun. Oh, I remember what else: it will have an old folks home just for their dad and I to live in! Old folks home for 2, yep. Check it off. Guess I know how I'll be spending my retirement years!

As we cling to these dreams, and at times discard them for newer models, they shape us. They shape how we spend our free time, they give us something to think about as we're drifting off to sleep at night. They can seem as out of reach as the moon at times.

As I've been pursuing my own ridiculous dream--being a flower farmer--there have been a lot of ups and downs. A lot to learn. As expected, the reality of getting this dream going has got a lot more weeds than the dream version! It's not as cut and dried. There are moments of great excitement and moments of great discouragement. 

In my minds' eye, I see myself surrounded by rows and rows of flowers, of all kinds. I am cutting them and making these fabulous, abundant, lush, arrangements with them, that are almost immediately snapped up by whoever sees them first. That's the crazy, ridiculous dream I have. Seen from that view, it sounds like heaven and a whole lot of fun. 

The view from the ground is a bit different. It's hours and hours AND HOURS of weeding and watering so far this summer. I have been trying to get in at least 2 hours of weeding per day, but you would never know it by looking at my garden. It's seeds that don't grow, and more seeds that don't grow, and deer that eat what is growing. It's bushes that are very small and too young to cut anything from. Hot afternoons that are too miserable to work outside at all.

It's also kind friends who have let me cut their flowers from their yards. It's some direct sales to customers who were completely thrilled with the bouquets that I managed to cobble together from what I had. It's learning new things and stretching my mind in new ways. It's having time to "play with flowers" a couple of times per week, no matter what else is going on. 

So it's coming. The discouraging times become less so when I take a step back and remind myself that even with setbacks and things not working out how I expected, I'M DOING IT! I am working toward my dream. The only way to get better at something is to practice it. I already know next year will be better than this one, just based on everything I'm learning. I'm taking notes and there are quite a few things I'll be doing differently the next time around. 

If nothing else, I hope that seeing me pursue my dream will give my kids license to chase down dreams of their own someday. Challenges will come up. Of all kinds and varieties. Of course they will! They can be overcome. 

What dreams do you have tucked away? Are you getting any closer to making them a reality? 


June 26, 2018

Series Spotlight: Spider Latham Mysteries, by Liz Adair

Hello friends! I ran across this series again while unpacking our books, (yes! we're finally back in our house after the fire!)  It had been quite awhile since I had read it, so I gave it a re-read, and was once again happy I did.

If you like intense thrillers, keep looking! You will probably be bored stiff with these. On the other hand, if you enjoy a good cozy mystery with some memorable characters, you will probably like this series just fine.

If you give them a try, let me know!





The Lodger (Spider Latham Mystery #1), by Liz Adair

4 stars: Down-home, small-town detecting.

Spider Latham is deputy sheriff in sparsely populated Lincoln County, Nevada. That is, until the sheriff dies in a car crash. Spider takes the new job. Unfortunately for him, there is no training other than a big handbook of rules (budget cuts), and even worse, with just a couple of days of sheriffing under his belt, a dead body is found. Of course, it is now up to Spider to figure out the mystery--who was she, who killed her, and why. In the meantime, the local mortuary refuses to take the remains, so Spider and his wife have to secure them in their barn under less than ideal circumstances (hence the title.)

* * * * *

I really liked meeting Spider and the other characters in this book. He's a man that gets things done--even difficult, dirty, or disgusting things. Without fanfare or fuss, he gets it done.

There were many commenters on Goodreads who felt the plot was too slow for a mystery, but I didn't mind it. It was a more character-driven novel than mystery-driven. Not a thriller. It was as much about enjoying the workings of this small town and its sheriff as it was about catching the killer.

I liked the portrayal of Mormonism in it. The characters were Mormon, most of them, and they definitely all had their flaws. Spider was struggling a bit--I wouldn't go so far as to call it a crisis of faith, but just struggling with what he perceived as an injustice. He was released as a bishop soon after losing his job, and as he looked around, it seemed related. Again, other commenters have said he seemed very critical and judgmental of others. I don't know. To me, it was a flaw, but it made him seem more real. He was trying to do better and be better.

I also liked that he and his wife had discussions about faith and grace and other gospel related topics. I didn't feel like it overwhelmed the story or became too heavy. Since Spider's spiritual journey was also part of the story, as mentioned, I didn't feel that it took away from the plot. Rather, it was showing what he did or learned to resolve his concerns.

Anyway, really liked it. This was actually the 2nd or 3rd time I've read it. It had been long enough that I didn't remember most of it, so that was good.



After Goliath (Spider Latham Mystery #2), by Liz Adair

4 stars: Spider comes through again!

What happens when a murder has been committed, and the murderer has confessed, but you don't believe the confession? Well, you do what you can to get to the bottom of it and find the truth. At least, you do if you're Spider Latham, sheriff of Lincoln County. It being a small county and all, he knows all of the characters involved in this little drama--some better than others, of course--but all of them either by long acquaintance or by reputation. That may stand in the way of finding the truth, though.

While he's trying to sort out the mystery, Spider also has some personal things to work through. His mother, who has dementia, has come to live with them. Some days she is very sharp and other days; other times, not so much. She is not his only house guest at the moment either. The widow of the murder victim and her children no longer have a place to live, so they have come to stay temporarily as well, until they figure out other plans.

So, to say that things have suddenly gotten more complex is putting it mildly. Not only that, as Spider continues to investigate, someone seems out to get him. He and a friend are run off a precipitous mountain canyon road by someone taking shots at them from behind (while driving very fast). Other incidents have come up as well.

It's going to take all of Spider's ingenuity, home-town connections, and no-nonsense reasoning to figure this thing out.

* * * * *
This one was a bit different in tone than the first. I would say leaning more to the exciting side. I still really enjoyed the way Adair develops Spider's character and personal life, along with the mystery itself. He's got all this stuff going on at home to deal with--just like most people do. We may not all have the same stuff, but we've all got difficulties we're dealing with on multiple fronts. I could relate to that part of it.

The jailbreak was a hoot.

I also enjoyed seeing more of his relationship with his wife. The longer I'm married, the more interesting it is to me to see how other couples make things work.


Content: This one was bit more graphic than the first. More blood and guts. Still appropriate for teens, though I'm not sure they would find it as interesting as adults.



The Snakewater Affair (Spider Latham Mystery #3), by Liz Adair

3 stars: Still good, just liked the first 2 better.


Though he's a county sheriff, not a PI, Spider is called in by the CEO of a big company to find his missing son-in-law. The missing man had gone up to inspect one of the company's mines at Snakewater and never returned. The CEO expects foul play was involved.

Somewhat reluctantly, Spider takes the case as a side job, without making any promises. He heads up to the mine and begins to poke around a bit. As he does, he uncovers some more things that just don't add up--including the company books for toxic waste removal.

While he's investigating, he's also worrying about and trying to re-establish a connection with his son Bobby, who has left the (Mormon) church. Back at home, his mother's dementia is getting worse and his wife is having to deal with it on her own, since he's gone.

Spider never wanted to get involved with this mess in the first place, but now that he is, he's determined to see it through to the bitter end--whatever that may be.

* * * * *
I guess only so many dead bodies can show up in one small county over a period of a year. :) So Spider had to go off to another place to find his mystery this time. This one was good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. In some ways it seemed more formulaic--I pretty much had the murderer pegged right off.

I think I also missed the small-town stuff from the first two books. All of that background was much more of a sidenote in this one, since he was only there off and on. I did enjoy the parts with his son.



* * * * *
I own the first 3 books, but didn't realize there were 2 more until I looked them up on Goodreads just now! I'm excited!

Here's what Goodreads has to say about them:

Trouble at the Red Pueblo

When Deputy Sheriff turned private investigator Spider Latham is sent to help the Red Pueblo Museum, he doesn’t suspect it will cause a rift between his wife, Laurie, and himself. Museum Director Martin Taylor is desperate, and his son Matt is angry. Some unknown person is bent on destroying the museum financially and is about to succeed. Things turn violent. It ends with someone’s skull bashed in with an Anasazi ax, and everyone has motive for the murder.Can Spider untangle the web of secrecy and lies surrounding the museum before the Taylors lose it all? And in the process, can he save his own marriage?

Death on the Red Rocks

Spider Latham finds himself at loose ends. No longer a deputy, he's not sure where he fits in. Then an eminent scientist falls to his death from the cliffs above town. The circumstances are suspicious--and all those with a motive for murder are houseguests of the Latham's.

It's Deputy Sheriff Toby Flint's case, but as everyone knows, Deputy Flint couldn't detect his way out of a paper bag. Helping him, Spider finds himself up to his neck in conjectures and clues until someone knocks him out and dumps him into Peek-a-boo Canyon dudring a rainstorm. Then he's up to his neck in water.

Feverishly working with Toby, Spider's intent on unsnarling the mystery before someone--one of his houseguests?--makes another try on his life.

* * * * *
Now I've got to track down these two! Hey, maybe now that I live in Utah the library will have them! There's a thought.





June 12, 2018

A Little Magic, and a Bit of Mystery

I have fallen far, far behind on my book reviewing. These two are from last year (!), so it is high time I got them posted and sent out into the world. :)  Not that I've stopped reading--on the contrary. So here's to getting caught up, little by little.



Flecks of Gold, by Alicia Buck

3 stars: Modern teenage girl has adventures and falls in love, in a faraway magical land.

Mary Margaret has always been more responsible than her mother, so when yet another relationship goes bad for her, Mary is the one who gets them moved to a new town for a fresh start. Things are going okay, until Mary meets a mysterious boy named Kelson at school. He seems to make her mind go numb. Though she's never been one to flirt or hang out with the boys much (her mother's relationship choices having a lot to do with that), it's a mighty struggle to say no to Kelson's advances. Then things really get weird.

Kelson kidnaps Mary's mom and takes her...somewhere. They vanish in a big flash of light. So, something else you should know about Mary is that she's always seen flashes of gold in her peripheral vision. Sometimes patterns flash into her mind.. When Kelson and her mom disappear, Mary notices a new, complicated gold pattern flash into her mind. She does her best to reconstruct in her mind, giving it a mental twist at the end as she saw him do.

This bit of magic transports her to the world of Iberloah, and straight into a chicken coop. In a few short hours, she has learned all kinds of new things about herself and this different world she is now on (in?). It won't be enough to rescue her mother, but it's enough to start on her journey in that direction.

Along the way she meets a man who becomes her travelling companion: Breeohan. One or both of them is being targeted by assassins, so that keeps things interesting. Her journey will take her to the heart of the kingdom and surprisingly, solve some of the mysteries of her own past.

* * * * *
There were a lot of things I liked about this one. The pattern magic, with different colors signifying different things, was interesting and consistent. Mary's growing relationship with Breeohan was well done, with lots of teasing and lighter moments to balance some of the action.

The plot lost much of its momentum once she reached the castle. There were meetings and political maneuvering, and even a ball or two. Some development of the love triangle. She eventually got back on the road to find her mother, but here again, the action seemed stuck on slow. She and her little band of supporters would make a small amount of progress, argue about what to do next, do what she wanted in the end, get into trouble, get back out, repeat, repeat, repeat.

I have a hard time with these feisty independent heroines, who make impulsive, stupid decisions--which put themselves and everyone who cares about them in danger. It just bothers me. Why can't we have the independence with some rational planning, rather than "Who cares what you say (even though you know more than me about every aspect of this plan?) I'm going to do what I think is best. See ya!" Arg. It's frustrating. This one was a teenager, so that made me tolerate it a little more.

I liked the ending.

Despite the issues I mentioned, I enjoyed it for the most part. I would read a sequel, if one came out.

Content: clean. Ages 12+.

(12/11/17)




Maids of Misfortune, by M. Louisa Locke

2.5 stars: Okay, but I don't plan to read the rest.

It's 1879, and Annie Fuller is a widow during a time when women don't get much say about anything in their lives. She runs a boardinghouse to make ends meet and also runs a profitable side business as clairvoyant Madam Sibyl. She wears a disguise for her appointments as Madam Sibyl. After all a respectable woman would never be seen associating with someone like that. Her social standing is already precarious enough as it is. She doesn't need to add scandal or rumor to that.

When she receives a threatening letter from one of her late husband's creditors, an odious man who has his eye on the boardinghouse property, she is not sure how she's going to pay him off. Then one of her favorite clients dies--Mr. Matthew Voss. The police are calling it a suicide, but as he was a regular customer and Madam Sibyl was privy to many of his business and private plans, she doesn't believe it. She is fairly certain he was murdered. Why, though, and who would do such a thing?

She aims to look into it. Then Nate Dawson comes along, the Voss family attorney, and he has a few things on his agenda as well. Neither Annie Fuller nor Madam Sibyl were who he expected them to be and yet he finds himself drawn to Mrs. Fuller even as they face-off.

* * * * *
This one was just okay for me, which was a disappointment, because based on the setting I was hoping to really like it. The sparring between Annie and Nate never really captured me. The mystery was fine, but didn't stand out.

(10/11/17)


* * * * *
Onward and upward! Feels good to get those 2 crossed off the list!



June 3, 2018

Experiencing Some Accelerated Learning

I learned something in this business class I've been taking one night a week.
You ready? 
Here you go:

"Successful business owners recognize mistakes as opportunities
 for accelerated learning."

If this is true, then my learning is at warp speed right now!
I'm accelerating it left and right!
Just about every day, as a matter of fact.

I've already posted some of them, in relation to seed starting.
I tell you, it has been a struggle! 
Our vegetables are popping right up, easy as you please, and meanwhile the flowers are coming here a little and there a little. Mostly--a little.
Just got the dahlias planted this past week, all 49 of them, and yesterday I put in a whole row of sunflowers. (Seeds; we'll see how many come up!)
 At least my dahlias are growing, bless their tuberous little hearts!
Still only have about 3 cosmos that have come up. 3! Cosmos are usually unstoppable!

Remember this?
The cosmos jungle from my Washington garden.

If I don't get more coming up in the next few days I'm going to have to reseed.
I have already reseeded the bachelor's buttons that were no-shows = most of the row. Sigh.

In the meantime, the owner of the store where I have my booth has very graciously allowed me to cut her peonies (from her front yard--she is wonderful), and I have purchased some perennials for my flower beds that I will be able to cut from right away. 
I have continued to forage for filler in my back yard/weed patch. 
I do have to say--that has been pretty awesome.
I found a bunch of pennycress (which you can buy seeds for, and plant on purpose and everything!) growing amongst the thigh-high weeds in my unfinished greenhouse.
I've been cutting that for filler.


Peonies with pennycress, ready to go to the booth


Then just today I happened to identify the weed with the pretty little purple flower at the tip as alfalfa. I have no idea how it will do as a cut, but I'm going to try it tomorrow and see how long it lasts! Slightly worried about customers with allergies to alfalfa, but it wouldn't be to the fresh stuff, would it? More like the hay? Anyway...more accelerated learning coming my way!

My youngest brother, who served a mission for our church in the Czech Republic, said that someone told him that it would take a million mistakes to learn to speak Czech fluently.
So he decided that he would make them as fast as he could.
He spoke Czech to anyone and everyone, making many mistakes along the way.
By the end of his 2 years there, he was fluent.

Maybe that's the same with this flower farming stuff.
(Although, I hope the threshold for mistakes vs. competency is much lower than a million!)
I guess as long as I'm LEARNING from my mistakes, then it's all good, right?
Especially since my family doesn't have to depend on this business as our main income at this point.

One thing I have learned as I have struggled with getting my annuals going from seed, is that I need to plant a whole bunch more shrubs and perennials to get me through, just in case. I feel confident growing them--that's what gardening is all about. I can do that! 

However, I have not given up on seed starting and annuals.
I am determined to become really good at it.
It will save me so much money in the end, if I can just get the darn things to grow!
Even growing perennials from seed myself instead of paying expensive nursery prices would be awesome!! I also need to figure out how to harden them off without going crazy or inadvertently killing the hardy few that have survived my ineptitude so far. 
Hardening off is such a pain in the neck!

In 5 years, when all this has become easy and no problem, I will probably look back on this post with a rueful smile and just shake my head. Or maybe not. 
By then I'm sure I will be busy accelerating my learning in other areas.

May 23, 2018

The High Mountains of Portugal, by Yann Martel

I read and liked The Life of Pi some years ago. So I've been wanting to read this one for quite some time (same author.)  This one, well, it was different. Let's talk about it. It really needs discussing.


The High Mountains of Portugal, by Yann Martel

2 stars: This one was a bit strange.

Told in 3 sections, each with different characters in a different time period. The first is the story of Tomas in 1904. He works at a museum in Lisbon, and has come across an old journal that has him transfixed. It is the journal of a priest who carved an utterly unique crucifix, that he sent to an obscure church in--you guessed it--the high mountains of Portugal. Tomas, who has taken to walking backwards ever since losing his lover, son, and father, is determined to find this crucifix. The only trouble is that to do so he must drive a new invention--the automobile. He'll do whatever it takes, though he has no idea the toll this journey will take on him.

The middle section is about a pathologist, who performs autopsies at a large hospital. It is mid-century by now. The pathologist's wife comes to visit him late one night, with the newest Agatha Christie novel (they are both big fans) and some fascinating conversation. Strangely enough, she is not his only visitor that night. The next is also a woman, but there the similarity ends. For one thing, she has brought along the body of her husband in a suitcase for him to autopsy.

Finally, we get the story of a Canadian senator in the 1980's who has lost his wife, but who makes a connection with a chimpanzee. It is such a strong connection, that he ends up buying the animal. One thing leads to another and he ends up moving to the high mountains of Portugal, with the chimpanzee. He searches for his roots (his ancestors came from this village.) He experiences life without modern technology or schedules, and comes to recognize many things about himself and his life.

* * * * *
I kept reading this one, thinking that it would all be tied together at the end. All of these very different stories would suddenly make sense. There was some of that. The connections, though a bit tenuous, did show up, but not in a linear way.

There are some big overarching themes throughout the three sections, that would make great book club fodder, like loss and grief, the importance of intentions vs. reality, the role technology plays or doesn't play in the lives of the three men. Also, chimpanzees, the Iberian rhinoceros, the making of a religious icon, and so on.

The middle section was magical realism. It was my least favorite of the three. I felt like there were perhaps hidden meanings that were sailing over my head. The way it all happened left me unsettled, particularly the end.

I will say this for it--I thought about things that have never before crossed my mind. So there's that.


Content: Some talk of sex.

(5/03/18)


I truly am eager to discuss this with someone, while at the same time feeling reluctant to recommend it to any of my friends. It's a rather awkward position to be in. Have you read it? Please talk to me!

May 21, 2018

All the Roses: 6+16+2 (+2)

It's going to be a great year for roses!

I started out with 7 from the previous owners. 
I don't know their varieties; most bloomed either orange or yellow.
Also, despite my digging them up and putting them in buckets for a couple of months last summer while I renovated the flowerbeds, it looks like all but 1 survived the winter.
Woohoo!

Now adding to that, I ordered 16 more English roses from David Austen Roses in Texas.
They recommend you order 3 individual shrubs of each kind, then plant them 18 inches apart to make one large shrub, which is what I did for the most part.
(See, it really only amounts to 5 shrubs and an extra!)


They all came in on about a month ago on a Tuesday, 2 days before a predicted snowstorm.
I soaked them all overnight (in my utility sink + a 5 gallon bucket, which was the only place big enough), and worked like crazy the following day to get as many planted as I could.
Well, I still had to prepare the ground where the bigger shrubs were going to go, over between the garden and the chicken coop.
Spent most of the day over there, digging up weeds, spreading compost, and tilling it in.
My 10 year old went back with me after dinner and we worked until it was too dark to see, putting 6 roses in the ground.

[All photos provided by David Austen Roses, and used with permission.]
[Since mine aren't blooming yet!]

'Eglantyne'


Only 10 more to go!

The others, again, waited in the utility sink and bucket for the next break in the weather.
The following Saturday was a beautiful day.
What's more, my sister-in-law and her 2 kids came up to help!
Together we got the other 10 roses planted.

'A Shropshire Lad'

So I did 5 of them individually in the front flowerbeds.
All 3 of 'A Shropshire Lad' roses had their own spots along the fence in front.


'Munstead Wood'

I took one of the 'Munstead Wood' and used it to replace the one rose that had died in the front oval bed. That's my purple and yellow bed, so the deep purple rose should look fantastic there!

'Lark Ascending'

I only bought 1 of the 'Lark Ascending' bushes, with the idea all along of planting it in the corner bed next to the driveway, which we did.

'Desdemona'

"James Galway'
Then in the orchard, we planted 3 each of 'Desdemona,' 'Eglantyne,' and 'James Galway,' plus the remaining 2 'Munstead Wood's. 

THEN my neighbor gave me 2 roses from her yard, which were in too much shade:
a pink knockout, and a floribunda called 'Nearly Wild." 
They went over by the gravel pad, along that fence.


You would think that would be enough roses for now.
(Can there ever be enough roses?)
No, no. I bought 2 more miniature roses, 'Cutie Pie,' to cut as accents and for smaller bouquets.


NOW maybe I'll be done.
For awhile.
I still think I need a pure white--we'll see how white 'Desdemona' turns out to be--and a yellow that's an English rose. Oh yes, and some true red roses. 
I would love to get a trellis and train one to climb over it. Next year, maybe.

You're not really supposed to cut flowers from newly planted roses, to give them a chance to get established and all that, but I figure even if I only cut one from each I would still have enough to sell!
I can hardly wait for these to bloom!