Here is the initial pruning I did on one of my trees, it’s a blue star juniper. Next month I’ll be able to put training wire on the branches, but for know I just need to keep the tree watered and fed. I managed to start a cutting on one of the branches I removed, hopefully I will be able to start on impressive pedigree.
Tag Archives: Daily Prompt
My Toastmasters meeting was yesterday and I got started on a new manual, once I finish this one I will earn the Advanced Communicator title and award. Last week was the concluding speech for my previous manual, and the consensus was that it was my best speech yet. That’s a tough act to follow. I just finished the Story Teller manual, now I’m on the Entertaining Speaker manual.
The first assignment in it (the one I did yesterday) was simply to give an “entertaining speech,” hands down the vaguest project I’ve yet completed. I thought all speeches were supposed to be entertaining. Anyway I wrote up the speech, and even though I forgot my notes I did just fine without them and was able to to improvise quite a bit. My improvisations brought a lot of laughter. Overall it was a success and club members thought it was my best delivered speech yet, though the content wasn’t as good as last week’s.
Every new year it takes a while for the year to break in. All of January is spent correcting what year I wrote. However for me it seems each year moves by more rapid than the last. When I was younger years seemed like an eternity, and that’s how it is for most people. Yesterday was the two year anniversary of me getting my Bachelor’s, yet the five years it took to get it seems to have went by faster than the two years since. I suppose that sounds contradictory, perhaps it is. When I was a student every day was filled with events, most memorable. Now I really only have events no more than two or three times a week. Usually just once. Hopefully that will change soon.
Recently I visited my alma mater and had a conversation with a friend who will be graduating this coming weekend. We caught up, then he talked about his plans for life after graduation. I told him how surreal it is to attend events as an alumni. Every time I do I recognize less and less faces.
However I have never been to any events specifically for alumni, although they do send me invitations in the mail every other month or so. Often those events are in California or elsewhere, and I can’t afford to buy a plane ticket just to attend. Even when they are in state they tend to be way too expensive. The annual black tie gala starts at $500 dollars a person. Several of my more affluent classmates have already went, but me and the friend I visited with both will not be able to go for many years. Both of us agreed that when we do, we will have to flaunt our success to the other attendees. I’ve decided I will wear a top hat, and possibly other things such as white gloves, tails, and maybe even a cane.
Here in Washington we have several majestic forests. One thing that makes our forests particularly striking is how the trees are usually covered in sleeves of vibrant moss. Some of the moss species are like wool or carpet, others resemble shaggy fur like that of a mountain goat. Often it is something of a cross.
I think living surrounded by so many beautiful trees may have been part of what inspired me to get into bonsai. Microcosms have always intrigued me, and good bonsai are just that. Yes they are kept artificially small and they are artificially shaped and groomed, but they mimic their (often literal) siblings in nature. I’d love to one day do a bonsai of Washington species with sleeves of moss growing on the branches and trunk. However I’m not sure if that is possible, since bonsai are much more sensitive than free growing trees. Certain mosses are often used as lawn on top of the soil, there is even special bonsai moss spray for that.
I don’t own the picture below, it was taken from a fair use website
According to TimeHop today is the three year anniversary of being bestowed with an Outstanding Writer Award from my school’s student newspaper. My editors deemed me to be the best writer for my beat, and I was blown away. I had no expectation of winning anything. When I became a staff writer I just wanted to practice my writing, become more connected with campus happenings, plus there was a nice $75 direct deposit for each issue. Getting an award made me think I had potential in journalism.
I was a Senior the following year and between semesters I applied to University of Oregon’s Journalism program. Within a week of sending in my finished application packet I got accepted. Then towards the end of my last undergrad semester I was bestowed the Best News Writer Award. This was even more unexpected. In two school year’s time I went from being a fresh recruit, to being best writer in my beat, to the best writer in the whole publication. Winning Best News Writer made me even more excited to start J School, and I was already pumped.
Hadn’t even finished my Bachelor’s and I was already an award winning journalist. I thought I had a promising future ahead of me in journalism. Within six months I knew I was wrong (check earlier entries for details).
Yesterday I wrote about the criteria for whether or not I will partake in a Daily Prompt. Well today’s prompt sums up why I often won’t. One word tends to be too vague. The old style question prompts weren’t vague at all, they were very specific. However, I will admit that a vague one word response does have greater potential variety of responses than a specific question. That’s my guess on why the change was made.
I will only partake in the Daily Prompt if the word is something I can incorporate into a blog worthy post without sounding contrived. Yesterday it was mallet, and I couldn’t think of anything so I didn’t post. Honestly I miss the old Daily Prompts that were more than one word. There was a question that formed an actual prompt. Those got my creative juices flowing and resulted in me writing a ton of material on topics I never would have mentioned otherwise. The one word prompts just don’t have that kind of stimulation for me, perhaps it’s different for others.
The last multi word prompt occurred on February 28th, 2016 and it was Five Items and asked what five items you would bring with you on a deserted island. A single word prompt appeared the following day, and there hasn’t been a multi word prompt since. I hope one day the Daily Post will scrap the one word prompts, or at very least not have every single Daily Prompt be a one worder.
“What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word –”
Today I garden shopping. My grandma needed to go to Home Depot so I went with her to see if they had any potential bonsai specimens. They had a pretty good selection, so maybe I’ll go there next time I want to buy a new tree. After we were done there we went to a local gardening store. It was pretty big and they had pretty much anything garden related you could imagine. They had a great selection of bonsai pots and some accessories like mud men, so I’ll probably return when I decide it’s time to pot my trees.
On Tuesday I ordered a bonsai tool kit on Amazon and it came in today. Now I have pruning shears, tweezers, a mini rake, a spade, and a couple other things. Some bonsai veterans have kits of maybe a hundred different tools and they use every one of them. I don’t need that many tools for now. All I need are ones that are absolutely necessary to train my trees to grow parallel to their free growing cousins.