Life Imitates Book

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Pardon my scarcity this past week. Normally I’m scarce because I’ve been struck down by some random universal “Whack that woman!” quark type thing, but this time I’ve been doing some good old constructive manual labour, so I’m allowed to be too tired to do much. I want to grow some heirloom tomatoes now, because I want to use photos of the plants in the cover art for one of my upcoming books – and I want my own original pics for this, so they need to get growing in a hurry. I’m an indie scribbler – these things are normal – we do these things. I’ve managed to get seeds for four gorgeous different varieties, and got three new chilli varieties while I was at it to get my collection going again. One’s called a Mozambican Bastardo, so I’m guessing – yummy! The problem is that Bella finds any sort of plant/tree/container/neighbour’s shoe/pants hugely offensive, and sets about methodically destroying every single thing in her reach. She’s also Incredible Leopard Crawling Houdini Dog. Nothing is safe from the innocent looking mug she sports to conceal her ninja destructive jaws of steel. I wonder about her superpowers sometimes to be honest – do dogs do deals with the devil? Anyway.

Now I’m fencing off a bit of the yard so she won’t be able to mess up my book cover tomatoes – and holding thumbs that she doesn’t eat the actual fence. She had to go to be spayed this week, so I was looking forward to a couple of days peace to set things up while she recovered. Not so much though. After being hand fed bits of choice meat for a very long while by me (who thought she was going to clock out, the way she looked after the operation), and a single night’s snooze, she’s right back to climbing trees, fences, and abusing my cactuses. Still – spring has sprung here, and with the heirlooms being a big part of my story, I do want to get them up and growing soon. They’ll be my book marketing tomatoes even if they don’t take up lots of the actual cover space at the end of the day – plus I’ll get to eat them, so I’ll probably be a bit scarce for another day or two as well till I get everything properly Bella-proofed, and all the seeds in.

It’s a bit odd that this particular book inserted such a terrible need to plant tomatoes in me. None of my other scribbles have given me any sort of desperate urges to bring parts of them to actual life. Maybe it really is another thinly disguised universal quark whack job to steer me from my course, or possibly I could set up an “Oy Buy My Book!” stand at a local farmer’s market, where you’d get a bag of tomatoes instead of a bookmark if you do buy one. Hah – now that’s marketing for you!

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59 thoughts on “Life Imitates Book

    janetweightreed10 said:
    September 5, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I love this dog:)

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you Janet! *Secretly hoping now that she’ll end up in one of your amazing pieces* Seriously though – she’s a lovely girl, and so clever that all the destruction is more funny than cross making. 🙂

      Like

    john flanagan said:
    September 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Good writing, Jo – stylish, fluent, witty and a pleasure to read.

    Like

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    September 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Horticultural shenanigans with a four pawed assistant gardener – must be a book in there somwhere…will be a star reblog tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      And what an assistant she is – the pruning goddess! Maybe I’ll pop a Bella book on the new Amazon Kiddies thingy. 😀 XXXX

      Liked by 1 person

        Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
        September 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

        They would love it..especially with your illustrations.. I had a rough collie before Sam – Sasha – I planned out a wonderful flower border with various kinds of bulbs and was looking forward to a quite organised display come spring. I worked all afternoon as she sat and watched carefully. I went in for a well earned cup of tea and looked out of the kitchen window to see one very proud collie lying on top of all the 100 bulbs she had dug up!! I eventually just threw them in willy nilly with her indoors and actually it was a wonderful mash up of colours… damn dog…XX

        Like

          jorobinson176 responded:
          September 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm

          😀 She had an eye for design. 😀 I like riots of colour though, even though banks of single colours are amazing too. I managed to pry tulip bulbs out of Bella’s jaws once – sure I read somewhere that they’re poisonous. Dogs are such odd guys sometimes – love them though we must. Your Sam’s photos show the cleverness in his face. XXXXX 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

            Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
            September 12, 2014 at 3:24 pm

            Too clever for his own good at times – he would occasionally find a dead rabbit in the dunes on the beach and try to return home with it in the car – I eventully discovered that he hated the smell of whisky and I collected all the miniatures I got on the plane back and forth to Madrid. I stored in the side pocket and carried one with me on our walks – after a couple of whiffs he soon learned that when a bottle came out of my pocket he had better drop the offending article. Not sure what a policeman would think if I have been stopped with a mini bar in the car!! Looking forward to getting our next assistant when we have moved…XXXS

            Like

    John W. Howell said:
    September 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Liked the term “clock out.” Glad she is okay.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      I forget sometimes that South Africans have some funny terms – not sure about “clock out” now. 😀 It’s not particularly classy, is it? She’s amazingly okay the silly thing – bouncing around like Tigger.

      Liked by 1 person

    Charles Yallowitz said:
    September 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Is it safe to sell tomatoes with a book? They are the #1 choice of produce projectile when someone has issues with an artist.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Ooh! I never thought about that – they’ll be nice and squishy too by the time they’ve read the book. 😀 Maybe a tiny bag of marshmallows instead. 😀

      Like

        Charles Yallowitz said:
        September 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm

        Figure out how to make tomato sauce? They’d have to take the top off the jar, which gives you a head start.

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          jorobinson176 responded:
          September 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm

          OWIE! Ha haaa – you do have a the most wonderful ideas Charles. I’d have to get my sprint on if they decided not to bother with taking the top of and just toss the whole thing. 😀

          Like

            Charles Yallowitz said:
            September 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm

            Carry a tennis racket and practice your backhand. Our have a dunk tank with a monkey to redirect people’s anger.

            Like

    coldhandboyack said:
    September 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I had one that ate a tree once. A whole tree. It was only about two inches around, but that’s genuine ambition.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Easy peasy for this little sweetie – she took out a conifer and an entire succulent hedge, and the conifer she literally climbed and worked her way down. 😀

      Like

        coldhandboyack said:
        September 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        Keep her in your continent, please. I’d worry about her eating something bad for her. Even wood can cause a blockage.

        Like

          jorobinson176 responded:
          September 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm

          I think she has a spaceship tucked away somewhere – so world watch out. I had a black labrador that ate a hosepipe once – although it did come out in good time. 😀

          Like

            coldhandboyack said:
            September 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm

            Poor thing. I take it this dog is young? They like to chew things up while they’re still pups.

            Like

    The Crazy Crone said:
    September 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    We have four rescue dogs and my husband used to complain bitterly about their plant-chomping abilities. I told him time after time to fence the garden off and finally he succumbed – we now have wire fencing around all our plants and, what a surprise, they have all grown now the dogs can’t get at them!

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Ha haaa! It’s the only way I reckon – Bella actually finds things to climb on to get at my cactus collection on a fairly high wall. It’s amazing what these little four leggers get up to. 🙂

      Like

    simplyilka said:
    September 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    That’s a sweet and amusing story 🙂 I hope your book marketing tomatoes will grow to be amazing!

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks Ilka! I really hope they do too – my petunias don’t love me at all for some reason. 🙂

      Like

    teagan geneviene said:
    September 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Oh, the furry kids are frighteningly pitiful after an operation. I know how that feels.
    My mouth is watering at the thought of heirloom tomatoes! Good luck with that project. (I tried to grow heirlooms once. Bought a big assortment of baby plants. Then a big wind storm destroyed them.)
    Be sure to post pictures!

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Poor thing was in a terrible state – and they hoiked out two dew teeth (whatever those are) too, so she was not looking good. She really made a speeeeeedy recovery though. 😀 What a shame you lost your heirlooms! I’m going to put a couple in pots too on the back verandah – we got some really weird wind here last year so if that happens I’ll bring them in and they can sit on the couches. Are you going to try again? I’ll definitely post pics – hold thumbs they grow! X

      Liked by 1 person

        teagan geneviene said:
        September 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm

        I’ll hold you to that about the pics, so i can live it (garden it) through you. 🙂 That was back in New Mexico about six years ago… I guess i could have a planter or two on my tiny patio here in DC, but i’m not feeling inspired. Plus mosquitoes absolutely feast on me here (and other east coast areas). The itchy biting little #)&$%s weren’t a problem in NM. No wonder i miss the place. LOL. Happy weekend!

        Like

          jorobinson176 responded:
          September 12, 2014 at 2:38 pm

          Mosquitoes – ackkk! Now those are horrible little sods indeed. Anyway – if you spend too much time with planters, we’ll be missing out on our three ingredients – can’t have that! 🙂 X

          Like

    drewdog2060drewdog2060 said:
    September 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    You have a brave dog, tackling cactuses! The tomatos sound delicious. I remember my grandfather growing them in his greenhouse in Liverpool. Sometimes, if the tomatos came off the plant prematurely he would leave them to ripen on the window sill

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 5, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      I think she thinks that they’re biting her, so she tries to bite them back and knocks them over. I can picture those tomatoes ripening on the window sill – it’s funny how things like that stay in your memory – lovely, warm, sun-ripened fruit beats the supermarket every time. 🙂

      Like

    Mira Prabhu said:
    September 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Enjoy your writing so much, Jo! At this moment, my new gardener is planning a vegetable garden for me…no heirlooms but some pretty interesting local stuff.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Mira! This yard is really small, so only a temp gardener now and then to do the hard stuff. Yours sounds exciting! I do miss the massive veggie gardens from Zim now and then. I hope you’re going to share photos of your progress with your brand new garden. There really are some gorgeous heirlooms out there – even Amazon sells them, but they don’t ship to this end of the world. XX

      Like

    ghostmmnc said:
    September 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Home grown tomatoes are the best! Good luck with your garden! …I’ve heard of ‘clock out’ before, but ‘hold thumbs’ is a new one for me…is it a bit like crossing your fingers for good luck? 🙂

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks! We used to hold our thumbs behind our backs as kids – never seemed to work though. 😀

      Like

    The Story Reading Ape said:
    September 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Are you SURE Bella isn’t a protruding snout waggy tailed barker monkey Jo? 😀 😀 😀

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Now that’s a REAL possibility – you should see her climb a tree. There will be nowhere for you to munch your lunch when you pop over for a visit. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        The Story Reading Ape said:
        September 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm

        Sounds like a shaggy dog tale (tail?) to me Jo 😀

        Like

        cicampbell2013 said:
        September 20, 2014 at 2:45 am

        Loved your marketing idea, Jo, till read the comment about throwing tomatoes. Hmmm! Dodgy! Yeah! Marshmallows would be safer! Or chocolate? Oooh! Chocolate….

        Liked by 1 person

          jorobinson176 responded:
          September 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

          With my like I’d get the bottle of tomato sauce around the ear. 😀 Choccies – MUCH nicer thing to throw. 😀 XXX

          Like

    sondasmcschatter said:
    September 5, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Hey, I thought you’d like to know that I like your blog so much that I have nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award”. For details about the rules, check out my post http://sondasmcschatter.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/sept-5-14-one-lovely-blog-award/

    Like

    theowllady said:
    September 6, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

    Like

    Margaret Lynette Sharp said:
    September 6, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Best of luck with the tomatoes 🙂

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks Margaret! Hopefully in the time they take to grow, I’ll have figured out how to use my camera properly. You guys make photography look effortless, and it’s really not at all. 🙂 X

      Like

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    September 6, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    On Saturdays I try to show my appreciation to a very small selection of bloggers who through their work give me great pleasure personally and also to many others. It has become a wonderful supportive community and one of those who gives tirelessly to her fellow bloggers is Jo Robinson. She is the whole package and if you are not already following her entertaining, thought provoking and relevant blog then perhaps you would pop over now. This post brought back memories to me of a four legged gardening assistant 38 years ago….

    Like

    Carol Balawyder said:
    September 6, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Jo, your are incredible creative and ambitious…planting your own tomatoes so as to have them on a cover of your book! Good luck with this! You can boast of your cover as being totally homegrown and organic! 🙂

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Carol! It sounds a bit odd now – still, I couldn’t get rid of the picture in the head, so I’m really hoping they grow nicely. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Cate Russell-Cole said:
    September 11, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Home grown tomatoes with a book, I’d go for that!

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      If I could, I definitely would send you some! I hope you’re having a lovely week Cate, and a wonderful weekend too.

      Liked by 1 person

        Cate Russell-Cole said:
        September 13, 2014 at 3:35 am

        Thanks, Jo. I miss tomatoes that don’t taste real any more.

        Enjoy your weekend. It’s been a crazy week, I’ll be laying back and relaxing this weekend.

        Cheers.

        Like

    Sherri said:
    September 12, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Bella is so cute, butter wouldn’t melt!! I know what you mean about needing to have ‘that’ photo though…and I do hope you get yours after all your hard work! Then you get to eat your yummy tomatoes! I used to grow them every year in the States but gave up here. Except this year we had so much sunshine they would have been great – minus the minions of snails and slugs that is that would have no doubt destroyed them. Have a lovely weekend my gorgeous friend and see you again soon…. ❤ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 🙂

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Hello my lovely Sherri! We’ve been zooming on by each other these days – time to slow down a bit maybe. 🙂 I’m so hoping they grow nicely – you only get 25 seeds per packet, and I don’t have the greenest of thumbs. I love your garden, AND your photo taking talent with it. The weather’s nuts these days – maybe next year you should just go for it anyway! I’m going to be firmly planted right here from Sunday, so we’ll catch up soon soon. Have a lovely, lovely weekend Sherri, and carry on shining your beautiful light on all of us. XXXXXXXXXX ❤ X

      Like

    peakperspective said:
    September 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    You’re right, Jo, that is one clever marketing idea. A tomato in place of a bookmark. I love it.
    And that Bella is a heart breaker. Who couldn’t forgive her for absolutely any transgression?

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      LOL! You would definitely find your place with a nice ripe tomato. 😀

      Like

    siobhandaiko said:
    September 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

    We used to have a dog called Bella. She would smile at us. Good luck with the tomatoes!

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks Siobhan! They’re just peeping out of the soil now, so they’re being treated like royalty. Hope you can’t love a tomato to death. 🙂

      Like

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