Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fifteen Minutes A Day!

Hamamelis vernalis in the Garden Of Benign Neglect

"How many hours a day do you type?" asked the physical therapist. I knew a trick question when I heard one~I wondered if she was gathering info for my spouse, Mr I of the raised eyebrow. "Well, let's just say that before this tendinitis it was a part time job and leave it at that," was my response! "Well," said she, "you've lost range of motion and strength and until they improve you need to restrict yourself to 15 minutes a day."

Purple is splendid in a winter garden

Fifteen minutes a day! It really wasn't until later in the day that the full impact of what she said hit me. Fifteen minutes a day! That's 900 seconds! I can spend more time then that answering email, researching interesting topics or ordering seeds and plants on the Internet. In fact, I just spent 3 minutes looking up "what can you do in fifteen minutes"!

In case you're wondering there are many things one can do in a fifteen minute span of time. According to my search, you could clean out your car, read, nap, meditate, clean your house, regrow your hair, lose weight, exercise, fret (set aside time to worry) and yes, according to one article, you can write a blog post in fifteen minutes.

X-aster leaves lit up by the setting sun
(do enlarge)

I've been cogitating on the suggestion that a blog post can be written in fifteen minutes a day! Could you write a blog post in fifteen minutes?

Aster cordifolius and Echinacea purpureum seedheads

This post has taken me 4~fifteen minute a day sessions! I edit and re-edit!

X-asters really are stars in the winter garden

It's do-able! Maybe a post a week? Like most bloggers, I do have a few draft posts set aside!

IMHO Chasmanthium latifolium looks best in the winter

I so hope you know how much
I miss commenting on your posts.
Could you live with a brief comment like: Fantastic! Wow! Beautiful!
Fifteen minutes of typing passes quickly!

Begonia grandis looking grand in a winter sunset
This photo looks super enlarged...go ahead and click it.

I'm going to need a support group! Have you a spare fifteen minutes?


Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, Gonna try with a little help from my friends
Oh, I get high with a little help from my friends
Yes, I get by with a little help from my friends,
with a little help from my friends

Thanks Ringo Starr~~Did you know he will turn 70 this year?
Wow! Fantastic! Wonderful!


  1. Gail, I am sure that sticking to the 15 minutes will be worth while in the long run. One post a week would be fine but like you I can't believe that you can write a post in 15 minutes or at least one lots of people would enjoy. Then there is choosing the pictures - I am sure that takes more than 15 minutes! Posts take time, which is why I don't have a blog!

    Please look after yourself and get well before you worry about posts.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  2. Gail girl .. do we really have to THINK that hard on how much we type ? LOL .. I take more time up to actually THINK .. once I get organized I might be alright with the typing (but not really .. so I have to tell an untruth ?)
    I am one of the few bloggers that don't have draft posts ready to publish .. I am flying by the seat of my pants on here .. maybe everyone already knows that by reading my posts ? haha
    Those were great pictures btw .. love the backlit ? ones especially : )
    Hope your poor hand feels better !!

  3. I have diagnosed myself with tendonitis. I am sure I type way too much. I try not to. I can make a blog post in 15 minutes but I have to think about it much longer. I can't wait for you to heal. It must be very frustrating. I don't know what I would do if I didn't sit here and type for long periods of time. Hmmmmm Maybe I should see what I could accomplish otherwise. Of course when it is warm enough to be outside for long periods of time the problem of typing too much will take care of itself.

  4. Gail, if you want to type many more minutes a day, you're going to have to follow the prescription for 15 minutes until your hand is well again.

    It usually takes me 1 hour to write a post from start to finish, including photo finding and adding captions, reducing the upload size, etc.

    I know this because of the "Post Options" at the bottom of the Editor where it shows the time I started. Then, I change the time to when I finish and hit Publish.

    I am sure that I am a "part timer" on the computer. It's my nature since I came from a career where I was on the computer all the time -- working at a software company. We had physical therapists and a health care facility on site -- can you guess why? :-)


  5. Ringo is going to be 70?? Now that makes me feel really old! Frances and I will have to find a new celebrity to send fan letters to:)

    Sorry, that comment just really struck me. I can't write a post in 15 minutes either, Gail. One reason I don't post more than twice a week at the most is that I sometimes spend so much time writing just one post that I'd never get anything else done if I posted daily and visited everyone else as I like to do. All of your readers understand, Gail, so I hope you'll listen to your therapist and not worry about posting or commenting as often until your hand is completely healed. We know you're still here and I often picture you reading posts, even if you don't comment. If you feel the need to comment, a "hi" would be sufficient for me.

    Your garden shines, even in the winter!

  6. I'm not sure how this works but Windows has a voice to print function. I've never tried it but I wonder if you could use it to speak what you want to say then go in and edit. If it works you might be able to reduce your type below the 15 minutes! For me to do a 15 minute post it would end up being a picture and a few sentences. Anything more than that and I start to think which makes for a much longer post. I'm laughing at the "grow your hair" in 15 minutes!

  7. What Ringo is going to be 70? No way, cuz I am not over 50!!!!
    As for posting...my tree posts take a long time with the research via books then online. Add to that all the photos--including editing and tagging- I am well into hours of time. One thing I have been doing is using MSWord 2007 where there is a publish button in the drop down menu. I can publish to a blog (and I chose the trial blog so I can tweak it more). I have some kind of issue adding photos in the Word text so they get added after the words have been published.
    One of the Blotanists, Jane, did a post about using WindowsLive Writer and I thought I would give that a try.
    All that being said, the post I did with the blackbirds had little text so it didn't take but a few minutes but it could have been more than 15.
    Your photos of the dried leaves with the sun shining through them are wonderful.
    Follow the doctor's orders so you can come back strong!

  8. Hi Gail, so sorry to hear this. It must be very frustrating.

    I'm at the keyboard for about 8 hours a day (spreadsheets at work). Don't know what I'd do if I couldn't type.

  9. Gail - this is a terrifying post. I not only blog and email, I have a garden column to write! And my doctor said I better watch out, too! I'm trying to be more ergonomically set up and I try to do some exercises. But I also worry about what else impacts this problem - the way I lift firewood and carry it into the house, the way I knit? Worrisome.

  10. I can imagine, and also relate to your frustration dear Gail. I have the same condition, and it's only by listening carefully to my wrists that I've avoided surgery thus far.

    I wish I could do more blogging, commenting, and gardening, and my wish to avoid the surgery is the main reason I limit myself. (That, and there's just to much to do in non-cyber life.)

    Please listen to the therapist and do what's necessary for your healing to progress. When my first child was born, I was up and at 'em way to fast, didn't listen to the doctor and all the family and friends who offered advice and practical assistance. I paid for that, and so did my daughter. Lesson learned, and I allowed myself plenty of time for rest and healing after the other two girls' births. Everyone was happier, and healthier as a result, and while in the short term I was sometimes frustrated, long term, things worked out so much better.

    We're all cheering you on, sending warm, healing thoughts your way. We're here for you through the healing process, and will still be here whenever you're able to get back to your part-time job. :)

    Please don't worry about commenting at all - your full-time job right now should be doing everything you can to recover. Hugs, Linda

  11. p.s. "Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

  12. There is no way that Ringo's turning 70, no way! Of course, he wasn't the youngest one but still...

    Gail, you must not fret that you can't write detailed comments. Perhaps you shouldn't write anything at all? Listen to your P.T.

    Now I know I could write a post in 15 minutes but dealing with picking out photos, watermarking them, uploading them? No way I could do all that too in 15 minutes. How about you give us just one sweet photo, one that captures the essence of your garden at that point in time, and leave it like that? The sooner you heal, the sooner you'll be back to your old blogging habits!

  13. Love the purple chairs in the garden! I think you can do a post in fifteen minutes but the pictures take some time to upload and as for comments....I can tell when you have visited from the stats as long as you enter from you site so that would be good enough and one word is also fine. Heal!

  14. Gail we miss you but want you to get better more than anything else. I know it must be frustrating though -- 15 minutes a day isn't very long at all.

    These pictures are beautiful. I especially love the aster leaves and begonia seedheads lit up by the golden sunlight.

  15. You can do it Gail...It will be worth it in the end...if and when you feel up to it, any comment from you is welcomed.

  16. Oh, I feel for you.. and understand the frustration, too. I had hand surgery ages ago after a bad softball accident. Pre-computer days and it forced me to write with my left hand for several months. It's no fun being without fully functioning wrists and digits. Here's to a speedy recovery.

  17. Hi Gail....I must say I can write a post in 15 minutes....that is why mine are so simple and yours are a delight. I am a very lazy blogger. I just look at the photographs I have uploaded and type what comes into my head. I spend so much time in the garden and running family members around and helping out here and there....blogging is a luxury I cannot really afford....so yes 15 minutes.

    Do you remember I bought the witch hazel last year and it did eventually bloom....well it won't be this year, the rabbits have eaten it. I cannot believe it but I have to smile......I am making huge changes in my garden this year....

    BTW any comment from you would be wonderful.......one word is fine. If that becomes too much, just knowing you are out there is good enough for me.

  18. Isn't it odd how different doctor's recommend different treatments? I had De Quervain's too - had the shot in June and was hurting again by Novemeber. So I decided to have the surgery, which was on Dec 18.
    My doctor said I could do all my normal activities, except pick up heavy objects ( my hand found objects a lot heavier than my head - lol). He even said I could type, although I didn't do much for a couple of weeks because the wrist was still sore.
    When I went back for my checkup in the first week of January, I specifically asked him about typing because I was still having pain and he said I could type all I wanted. Turns out I also have arthritis in the base of my thumb too - I thought that pain was part of the other pain.
    It still feels a little bruised around the incision, but other than that it is doing a lot better.
    But ..... regardless of what my doctor told me, you need to follow your doctor's orders. I am sure you will be a responsible adult and do the right thing:)
    BTW - I couldn't write a blog in 15 minutes either. I just joined my daughter on her blog and it's hard work!

  19. We are all in line right behind you Gail... We think diversity in so many ways ... now some creative thought towards diversity of hand movement... You must heal first. I am feeling those sharp warm pains... and know I must pay attention. How about Haiku? I love seeing your gardens and your lovely purple chair... great lighting in all. Fifteen minutes... well I see some thinning of all layers... work on the most important... I should rather see you post than comment though I do miss your thoughtful words. Take good care... give your hand what it deserves. Is there someone in your family or a dear friend (nearby) who might type for you? ;>)) Carol

  20. I think someone mentioned this already, but I have to mention it again: Have you looking into voice recognition software? The technology is getting better so you can talk and have the computer convert it into text. It might be worth looking on google for freeware versions to try anyway.

  21. Gail - My heart goes out to you on surgery recovery. Having had tendinitis surgery in my elbow a few years back - follow the rules! So that this deprivation works and you get well enough to go back to doing all those things you love. I had to stop surfing after I posted yesterday because of pain, but I am so much better thanks to surgery. Enjoy your 15 minutes & visualize a healthy, pain-free new you soon!

  22. Hello Gail,

    I am glad that your hand is healing. I do love the photos of the dried asters. Well, they say "quality is better then quantity". Maybe this is true of blogging? Maybe that will help when it takes you a few days to create a single post :^)

  23. I am sorry to hear about your restrictions. Hopefully it's a temporary thing. I've had some health issues lately that have limited my computer time too. I wish there was just a "like" button to hit so people could know you were there. My carpal tunnel flares up sometimes and makes typing very painful.

    Take good care of yourself!

  24. Hey, I can finally comment, hooray! Now I can't remember the brilliant words I had ready.

  25. If it's any comfort, Gail...yes, a post can be done in 15 minutes. Fewer photos, shorter posts, and actually it can also be very therapeutic. I've actually regained my interest and enthusiasm for blogging because I cut back the length of most posts, don't include a lot of links, and either collage photos or keep them down to a relatively low amount. I keep thinking about those who don't have the fastest Internet and who cuss at the size and # of photos in some posts.
    About 13-14 years ago, I had surgery for carpal tunnel, which I'd apparently had for years. Both hands. I've never had trouble since, and I've written quite literally thousands of articles, blog posts, comments, emails, etc. So I hope that your problems heal quickly and well and never trouble you again.
    Don't feel guilty about not being able to post comments. We know you're here and that you're healing, and that's the most important thing.

  26. Gail, we will live with whatever you give us. 15 minutes, or 15 seconds, it will all be worth it.


  27. Short posts with maybe one photo can be done in 15 minutes. But I know how hard it is to restrict oneself to one photo and a few words. Do I ever!

    Don't worry about commenting while you're healing. Surely most people read blogs via feeds these days, which means you don't have to comment in order for them to come visit and see that you have a new post up. Just heal, and we'll all still be here when you're able to post more often again.

  28. Gail~~ Fifteen minutes? Are you kidding? I post twice a week at the most because it takes at least an hour. Often longer. I've got to edit and upload the photos and then think of something semi-entertaining to write and then, like you, edit away.

    I hope your recovery goes without a hitch. As much as it pains you, doctor's orders must be followed. I know, easy for me to say. :)

  29. How frustrating!! I'm sure the entire blogging community would understand if you left one-word comments, or not any at all! You need to focus on wellness, and your 15-minute time window is mercilessly short!

  30. I've got blisters on me fingers!
    The short answer is yes, I can write a post in 15 minutes (I've done it in 10). The long answer is, not surprisingly, it depends. Some posts take me days to write. 15 minutes sure isn't much, and I certainly can't clean my house in 15 minutes. Don't worry about leaving me a comment. Save your hands, they're more important.

  31. No one with anything real to say can do a post in 15 minutes.

    Loved the pictures of your winter garden. Good practice for all of us in thinking of NOW as beautiful, regardless of what NOW is.

    It's hard to live with limitations. And frustrating not to get to communicate. But since you don't have a choice...

    I've had to rehabilitate more than once and am still learning to have patience with myself. These two principles have helped.
    1)Nothing lasts forever. Not good, not bad. And if I'm obedient now (don't we hate that word?), the next phase may start sooner than later. Regardless, in a year or two when I look back, today and tomorrow will be just days in the stream.

    2)Find a stimulating substitute for the time. Books, walking, visiting places I hadn't made time for before, etc.

    I hope your recuperation is short and easy. And other riches come your way from it.

  32. Gail, I'm impressed that you put together this lovely post in just 4 15-minute sessions; it would take me that long just to get the photos just right, without any text! But do stick with the 15 minute limit, please, so that you heal properly. We can wait to have more posts and more comments from you later. -Jean

  33. Gail, the answer is a definitive NO, I do not think I could write a blog post in 15 minutes -- unless I didn't edit it, didn't crop my photos, didn't proof it or even preview it. I'm glad you took the consecutive days to do this lovely one, though, and I wish you a speedy recovery so you can write more. :)

    Thanks for the friendly prompts to enlarge those gorgeous shots. All were worth it. And that one with the aster leaves was golden glory!

  34. Each time I touch a key I think of you, dear Gail, and whisper a prayer for your speedy healing. I have suffered from this (thought not requiring surgery) and appreciate your pain (most of my posts take at least and hour also)! *Warm hugs*

  35. There is a lot I can do in 15 minutes but I assure you, writing a blog is not one of them! Even the shortest of them is longer then 15 minutes... Good Luck and I do think that a single word response is okay...

  36. Gail,
    Taking care of yourself is more important than typing. :-) Time to do it. -- Randy

  37. Take care of that tendonitis, & best wishes to recover quickly from your surgery! I love the purple chairs. And no, I cannot write a blog in 15 minutes....

  38. Hugs gail, You have my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  39. egads. 15 minutes? I've hardly broken a sweat on the computer in 15 minutes! It takes hours a day for me to get my work done. Let's hope this affliction doesn't happen to all of us! I wish you good luck sticking to your time limit and count me among your support group members. Your photos are beautiful ~ the purple chair one is my favorite which also brings me to a question. (though I'm not sure you're supposed to type enough to answer it) I thought I read on Pam's blog (Digging) that you used a purple "stain" on your chairs instead of paint. Where on earth did you find that and how genius are you? That would be the solution I'm looking for regarding color on mine too. I'm tired of scraping and re-painting every year. Thanks and hang in there!

  40. Could you write an outline of your posts before starting the typing? Or is handwriting a problem as well? Maybe the 15 minutes doesn't include time reading online? Good luck Gail!

  41. Gail --What wonderful photos and words, but do keep with those rest periods...

    I KNOW it's hard, and the great fun in blogging is crafting posts that you're pleased with, whether they take 15 minutes (hmm) or an hour. I find that it's adding the photos and messing around with the arrangement of them that's time-consuming -- often the theme and the writing has been percolating all day.

    All the best,

  42. Hi (again) Gail. Just wanted to pop by and tell you an extra special thanks for the stain info. I will be checking into it this spring ~ maybe they can whip up a lime green color for me? That would be terrific. You are so smart to start that way instead of the paint route. Anyway, thanks again for spending some of your 15 minutes of computer time on me!

  43. Gail, When you left me a comment recently I was surprised & happy, because you don't come over very often. I had no idea you were going through this! I take time off here and there and even thought I'd just outright quit blogging...but after a few wks...months? I came back...I really missed everyone. However, I have not left comments on most peoples blogs in MONTHS and I do feel badly about that, and 'plan' to get around. I just don't like the pressure of 'having' to do it. I always think of everyone...I just don't leave comments that regularly anymore, but I am getting back to it.
    When I read a blog post, I prefer them to be short with little writing and several photos...so the long ones aren't what I'm looking for anyway...so make 'em shorter, it'd be fine with me! As for comments, yes, this is turning out to be a long one--but I normally leave just a few words, or a couple of sentences, at the most.
    Please don't type too much so that you can heal completely and not have residual problems. Right now, I am dealing with a knee problem and have been on crutches for 10 days...it seems it's always something;-) Jan

  44. 15 minutes! I don't even want to think about that. Loved this post and the very evocative photos. Your less is certainly more, if that makes sense!

  45. FIFTEEN MINUTES to write a blog post??? I must be doing something VERY wrong! It takes me FAR longer than that. I'm afraid to even time myself.

    I'm so sorry about your wrist surgery. I hope you heal really really fast! I can't even imagine being limited to that much time on my computer. That would be akin to a diabetic not being allowed to eat sugar. And I'm not joking.

    Big hugs to you!!!

  46. Gail, I just read wildflower wednesday. Your blogging is all about quality not quantity. And on the quality front you show no limitations. Keep up the good work and practice recovery as the Dr. ordered.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson