The Gardens - In the Beginning

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Rift in Eden and Time Goes On

The only silence with my regrets is that I hardly ever think of them when happy; but in sad times they all come floating to the surface like dead fish in poisoned waters.  I hurt today.  I'll get over it...I always do...but for now whenever a lull in time passes over me, crying comes with it.

Walking as a whisper on the wind, they've always been and probably always will be in the shadows of the gardens.  There's a connection with people somewhere back in their time or the mother's, and when a vagabond life turns desperate they appear out of what we perceive as nowhere trying to survive.  It's easy to assume they were just dumped, but the abandonment may have occurred seasons ago.

Some compassionate souls collect them like flies to leftovers, and life as they used to know it has been sucked down that vortex of never-ending need leaving them circling a growing black hole that becomes impossible to escape.  It's hopeless to eradicate what others have irresponsibly brought into being and continue to enable.

This whole other world of run-away thoughtlessness has always escaped me, and I have to believe that until now some kind of immense karma protected me from this fallout of human disregard, karma that malevolently sold me out at this stage of my sheltered life.

I believe enough lives were saved, lives that many judge trivial; to justify my decision to step off that spinning out of control merry-go-round and abandon the mission that was mutating way beyond my ability to cope. Someday perhaps I will feel the forgiveness I so desperately need every time that sweet face that showed up at feeding time a week ago to take food from the mouths I already was committed to protect haunts me with the resolution I chose.

Small, less than a year in age, she ate from their plates for a week.  She chose to trust me; I chose to betray her.  She never knew what was coming in her so short of a life.  How could she, after all, she was just a cat, and although we love to paste human traits onto the essences of our pets, she was still just a cat, an innocent in a world of humans not so innocent.

I left her at Metro Animal Control and walked out of her life.  I'd like to think, since she was labeled a stray instead of feral, that she had a pinch of a chance of them keeping her to adopt out, but wishful thinking is seldom a reality.  Her beautiful face will always haunt me till the end of my days, and I leave this post crying again.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Jamie Files - Tale 3 Conversations with a Cat

"Did you know that your mutt ran over the top of me last night when he got excited?"

"Your point being, kitty destructo?"

"He's dangerous and an irritant to Lacey."


"Did I say something funny?"

"I'm curious.  Lacey told me a different tale this morning from her perch high on top of the bookcase that you can't reach as yet."

"She's got it in for me.  She offers to play, then she hisses and tries to kick all my fur off when I oblige."

"Playing, hmmmmm...Lacey called it something different."

"I told you, mommy dearest, she totally has it in for me.  To believe her tales of fantasy would be a grave mistake."

"Are you threatening me, kitty butt pain?"

"Oh no mommy, kiss kiss, I love you to pieces.  I like playing with you too, even though you get a little rough booting me about with the foot, making me hold on for dear life with my teeth and claws."

" seem to have an odd perception as to the meaning of play."

"I'll make it up to Lacey; I promise, mommy."

"Really!  I see your front and back legs crossed.  Isn't that a little uncomfortable?"

"Not at all, mommy...not at all."

"I think your 537th play date with the calico was the last straw."

"An exaggeration!  It can't be more than 400."

"She mentioned a mission to wipe your memory off the face of the earth."

"Why would my memory be on the face of the earth?"

"I don't think that was quite what she meant, kitty clueless."

"I'm just a happy kitten, making happy, happy all around me."

"Pardon me, while I go look for a shovel."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Jamie Files - Tale 2 Conversations with a Cat

"Problem solving...while felines and their inquisitive thirst for knowledge kind of open mindedness that brilliantly cool cats always possess, approach a problem head on with maybe a few lug nuts reducing to ashes the first of their nine lives; brownnosing dogs, falling all over their masters, remain so discombobulated (how does he even know what that word means?) when their sniffing schnozes discover a problem, that they must then present it to master to solve."  

This bit of unsolicited insight was left for me to mull over as that meddling, nosy little snoop sat on the bottom shelf of the opened cupboard with a frizzed ended Q-Tip sticking out his mouth and a chewed up carefree pad resting under his butt.  I visualized a hot pursuit of child-proof paraphernalia in my near future.

Scooting him off the shelf with my bare foot, silly me...let's rephrase that...attempting to keep that rolled up ball of razor sharp teeth and needlepoint claws from perforating my bare foot as I nudged him towards the edge of his kingdom of mayhem and onto the floor, I wondered if this entry into kitty purgatory was a sign that the apocalypse was just around the next corner.

A yes-mommy fido contently looking at a closed cupboard for the rest of his life, while this paw manipulating Houdini is accidentally shutout behind a door knob apparatus is beginning to look tremendously exciting.

Thomas and Casey are now Simba and Smokey ;) so totally not me, but then again they are so totally not mine anymore.  They've moved up a notch or two on the plush scale of easy living in an elite neighborhood.  I tried purring, but their new owners thought I was too grown up to take in and settled for the four month old's instead.  I was so happy...until a third face showed up for dinner last night :(  This seems to be the beginning of the never ending never ending never ending story.  Oh, pooh!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Popped Bubbles

There’s a garden out my front door.  It's right under my nose, but it seems far away over the next horizon of wishful thinking.  Dog days of summer have slowed the chaos to a stop and maybe in a month or two it will be under control enough to be enjoyed in the cooling of autumn. 

So how long does one hold onto nothing, before they let go; before they throw up their arms, toss out lost hopes, flop into the rusty deck chair and vegetate with an iced drink until the first snowflakes of winter tease their nose.

I’m tired this season and thoughts of what might have been have turned to dust and the storm of disenchantment takes my breath away.  I feel the reminders around me that a fool’s paradise and tangibility don’t mix; but maybe…maybe this trip is all it’s about, and the end is…well, the end is just that…THE END.


I just keep going,

and going,

and going.

Pretty Ladies in Skirts of Many Colors

Smiley Faces in a Row


Cardinal and Joe Pye

Rays of Sunlight through Mist of Garden Sprinkler

Essence of Cat in Bird Bath

Neighbor's la piece de resistance

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Jamie Files - Tale 1 Conversations with a Cat

"Independence…while cats grasp the notion head-on with some of them erupting into flaming beacons of obstinacy; doltish dogs gaze upon it simply as a weak-minded choice between sitting to the left or right of master, depending on what master has commanded."

This observation was conveyed to me last night by a torpedo of energy that cloyingly eyed me as he pulled my paw encircled hand towards his open mouth full of teeth; even though he clearly did not misunderstand a half hour earlier that it was way past my bedtime before proceeding to play round six of our don’t-play-with-my-feet-on-the-bed-off-the-bed-dodge-squirt bottle marathon. 

I objected with a light thump on his nose and he slowly stretched out within chomping distance of my ear and whispered sweetly that he was taking a deserved break to lick his wet back and sides free of that nasty water to ready himself for round seven.  By his calculations his bedtime was hours away.

A kiss-ass vegged out pooch lying submissively at the foot of the bed while this perky persevering pest was stuffed quietly outside for the night in the dog house began to look mighty tempting.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I've always thought adversity and heartache, burdens and misfortunes; mingled with gladness and comfort, good fortune and self-indulgence were the abstracts in life that made it all so darn super interesting…even though at times our destiny, as it unfolds, makes us want to run for our lives to the nearest exit.

Friendships, pseudo-friendships, trust, misplaced trust, believing, questioning, speculations that are sometimes obvious, other times invisible, coupled with logic, instincts, and luck…all that pretty much determines our successes and our failures, determines whether we are losers or winners…labels we sometimes attach to ourselves, but mostly to others.

Am I a success?  I’d like to think so, but it all depends on how one chooses to look at the individual and the whole.  I've had tremendous successes and I've had miserable failures.  It’s all by-products of a life lived to the max.  We can be fatalistic or we can be optimistic at how we view our lives unabridged.  Chose positive!  The other choice just leads down the wrong road to the wrong destination in a bad way.

I had a sole mate and am dealing with the misplaced trust issues, although instinctively I knew there was a hint of problems, with the family; issues that run deeper than I could have ever imagined.  In dad’s obituary they were listed as survivors, in his we’re not mentioned at all.  There’s a lot of hate that has surfaced and I can only console myself that I truly was loved by this individual. 

We were an open book to each other.  We talked about ourselves, feelings, family and the future.  We trusted each other completely and kept no secrets.  They think they can hurt me, but they don’t know me very well.  I've had to divorce the wonderful memories of him from the awful truth about them with me.

A beautiful day as I look out my window, a day for tinkering in the gardens and relaxing on the swing with fond memories drifting through my thoughts.  And yes, as with the ending of that last bitter email I received, I do enjoy my cats immensely, and my dog, and my niece, and my husband and all my truly great friends.

Miss you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Million Little Thoughts

What if…

What if the last time I saw my brother I hadn’t heard his wife’s telephone conversation saying they didn’t tell me they both were sick before I flew in to visit, because the money they paid for the plane ticket would have been lost?  I paid for the ticket myself, and I could have applied it to a later flight if I had canceled that one.

What if when I caught the flu from all that hugging and kissing, she hadn’t said the drug store was too far away when I needed some medicine?  I could have walked the half mile to the store myself if I had known it was that close when I finally was driven there.

What if he hadn’t said things to me he never should have said, then apologized…what if I could have just let go of it all right then instead of holding onto it forever. 

What if the birthday party I felt too sick to be included in but was, to prevent the cancellation of his celebration…what if they had made him the center of attention instead of placing us at the children’s end where we could not converse with the adults at the opposite end?

What if when I went to bed while the celebration moved to the house with partying and movies downstairs, someone actually felt bad enough to make sure I was okay? 

What if when I flew home the next morning, I hadn’t been feverously sweating up a storm and forcing myself down that hallway to the boarding gate not caring if I ever returned for a visit?

What if all the times since when he called me on the telephone I could have understood more than just the opening sentence in any of his conversations that were constantly interrupted by random punching of the keys on his end?

What if I had tried harder to figure out how to keep in touch, would his death this last week from Parkinson’s disease have been easier to handle?   

What if…what if…what if it all had been different?  Would I feel any better now?

What if I hadn’t taken responsibility for the outdoor family of cats, would attending my high school reunion next year seems more of a possibility and less an exercise in futility?

What if I trap the other stray cats that want to join the cats I currently take care of and drop them off at metro animal pound; will that decision to make the coming winter survival of my cats a reality instead of just a dream leave me the mother of all guilt trips?

What if I’ve permanently turned my calico into a bad mood bitch by adding a new kitty she can’t stand even half a percent?

What if I’ve jeopardized the possibility of an easy retirement by all these extra mouths I’m feeding?

What if Vic’s job ends sooner than later, will I be back on that merry-go-round I’m never able to completely escape?

What if I had played it safer, would I have been all I could be?  What if I had played it chancier, would I have been all I could be?

What if I had learned to make decisions earlier in life, if I had made better choices in the beginning…would I be happier?

What if when I lost I hadn’t lost the lesson so much?

What if when I look back I could actually enjoy it a second time around?

What if I could just look forward instead of always glancing backwards…what if, what if, what if…?

I worry if I look back one more time at the complications that follow me, at least in my head, I’ll turn to a pillar of salt.  My head spins forwards and backwards a lot these days.  Maybe I should watch The Exorcist and take a few pointers, or wait…did that really have any kind of good ending?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ms. Butterfinger Trippytoes - Mistress of the Gardens

I wish,
I wish,
I wish,

no rain would fall on my garden ground
until all the grass was mown down
weeds heaped in a dreadfully high mound 
every plant was pronounced fit and sound


Silly me
by then all that could be seen
of my once-upon-a-time leafy green
would be a Sahara desert scene
cause I'm stuck on impossible dreams
a master of disaster in jeans

well sell me down the river,
stab me in the back,
bite my dagnabbit hand
the thesaurus is bluntly unkind
to us mismanagers of our fingers
entering into that cute little search box
I'm going to pretend
I don't know how
this collection
concrete disaster
showed up

Kitty loves me
that's good enough.






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