Black Thumb

My mother used to have a little sign by her bed that said “A garden can be fun…if you don’t have one.” I’ve never been sure if this meant she was anti-gardening (she was a killer weeder) or just anti-my father’s whole-hearted dive into gardening.
I am feeling much in sympathy with Mom today.
After spending a couple of hours proof-reading new Book View Cafe releases (watch the skies… in about a month) I decided I would go out and gather up the rotting lemons in the backyard. See, we have a lemon tree that is, to say the absolute least, prolific. Lemons fall and, if not immediately picked up, rot under foot. And still more lemons come, until making it across the yard is a little like a trip through the Fire Swamps, if the Fire Swamps smelled like citrus and decay. So I rolled the compost bin into the back yard.
And then I got distracted by the pigweed by the back gate, so I thought I would start there. Pigweed is an invasive, sappy, altogether noxious weed that grows everywhere, and overgrows everything. And the back steps and the area near the back gate was inches deep in pigweed, so I started there. And then I realized that some of it wasn’t pigweed, but was invasive blackberry that had traveled all the way across the back yard to set up a new colony near the gate.
Long story, as they say, much compacted: I filled the 32-gallon composting bin, and then a 32-gallon composting bag, and there is still pigweed (pulled up but not disposed of) and clipped up blackberry to be bagged for collection, plus all the lemons, and really, I should trim the lemon tree, which is getting ideas about world domination. But I stopped, because I was so sweaty that my glasses were filming over, and despite a long-sleeved shirt and work gloves my arms are itchy with pigweed sap.
Another shower and then I shall return to my proper place in life: proof-reading some more. A garden can be fun…


  1. Oh, Ms. Robins! I have found and tried to savor, but ended up blowing through the series on Sarah Tolerance. I need more of her whenever you can manage it. This is a precious gem of a series. Thank you so much for the hours of true enjoyment. The end of the Sleeping Partner had me smiling. The witty repartee between Sarah and Sir Walter was perfection. By the way, I enjoy a garden, but I don’t much enjoy tending a garden, although I do it occasionally, reluctantly.

    • Wow–thank you, Becky! I am working on # in the series, which is coming along (interrupted by life, other deadlines, and a new job) but not as fast as I’d like. And somewhere in the back of my mind #5 is also being considered, so there should, if you will be patient, be more Miss Tolerance (I know my publisher’s patience is Job-like, but he’d like to get it out there too…)

      As for gardens, I am not above enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labor, but I have no gift, and very little patience, for gardening. Yard work I can do–and did. But you do it once, and it doesn’t stay done. Like feeding children, it just seems to be required again and again.

      • I am delighted! I will try to have the patience of Job, and while I wait, I will be singing your praises to anyone who will listen, although I am not sure I would be willing to share my copies as they are too precious. They will have to buy their own, and that is only fair in reward for your lovely work. In the meantime, I will have to read your other offerings. I do realize you have a life. Is there any particular way that you notify people of publication?

  2. I’ll announce it here, of course, and at, and very likely all over the rest of Social Media
    (or at least those precincts of social media that I inhabit). I also keep a mailing list of people who’ve written to me, and I’ll send out a note to them. That work for you?

    • Sounds perfect. Since I asked that question, I found the notify button at the cafe website. DOH! Now, I’m off to read the Spanish Marriage. Thanks!

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