The Gardens - In the Beginning

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Did someone say it was Tuesday?


Wouldn't it be luxurious to not know what day of the week it was?  To not have preset places to be...like WORK!  Rise and shine whenever; a cup of hot coffee laced with cream, and a good book opened to page 231 as you munch on that warm croissant dripping a bit of butter down your chin? One can at least dream, can't they?  I'm going to hold onto that thought just a moment longer.



In the realm of garden tales; mine seems to always be on page one.  Each winter the bare bones of this yard cry out for a bit more adornment and each spring I add and add and add.  My brain keeps hoping this will be the year I feel that inner glow of magazine picture perfect perfection.  As a staff of one I'm beginning to have my doubts, but I haven't given up quite yet.  The wrought iron table with umbrella unfurled sits abandoned as the white ash tree drops her extra seeds like a soft green snowfall.  I know I'll be seated there next weekend, or the weekend after or the weekend after the weekend after, if I ever pull up that last darn weed.



Life has a way of layering itself upon me until I find myself at the bottom of the heap.  Work has been two jobs and the madness can only be escaped by jumping into my little red Camry at lunch break and leaving dust in my wake.  If I'm not physically out-to-lunch, people won't let me be.  They think they're more important than me because the entity that pays my check agrees they're more important than me.  It's so easy to say I'll just quit, but so hard living without perks.




I seem to be subconsciously plotting against myself.  A never-ending path of internet searches to create the perfection between yard, house, pets and me I desperately crave; finds me cleaning the six (yes...I said six) cat litter pans in the wee hours of morning two hours after I needed to already be in bed.  I wake up like rotten peaches and soured cream, a stale mind in search of caffeine.  I'm not a lover of feline toilet detail.  I can think of eight thousand two hundred and fifty-one other things I'd rather be doing that scooping up pee and poo.  Can't you?


A knock at the door last night sent Dustin into his usual barking frenzy. It was one of the young neighbors from across the street.  His friend told him I like cats.  Yah...right...I like MY cats.  He wants to get rid of his Maine Coon.  Maine Coon???  A Maine Coon is the perfect cat...so totally laid back they're like a gift from the gods if you happen to be owned by one.  His new apartment will be too small for a cat pan.  Oh...come on...I've lived in tiny apartments when I was young and the cat pan went in the closet, bathroom, or by the front door...they come in all sizes...make it work!




He was one excuse after another, so obviously he didn't wish to deal with life a little more complicated.  Told him I added three cats to my already two and found four others homes, so it was a total no go.  I was pooped out and poor this year.  And besides...I have six cat pans, remember? What's wrong with that kid?  Only one cat pan would be heaven on earth. I squashed his plans in one minute flat, but I now know he's going to dump his poor cat and I'm so tired of all that negativity people unload into my head.


              
I'm reminded of a far away trip long ago in this galaxy before the commercializing of pet products we can't live without that we used to live without all the time.  On one of several trips to see my great aunts...my grandmother's sisters; that trip to Los Angeles seemed like we were heading for another planet when dad packed the baby crib mattress onto the back seat of his Ford something-a-rather and we all piled in for the long trip in that playpen on wheels...way before seat belts were ever thought up.  Ooops!  Wrong story.  Fast forward a few years and we're all piled into that Ford again without the mattress, and still before seat belts...you know, ancient times.




It was after that unfortunate time when dad thought his only answer to multi-cat propagating purgatory was to box them all up and blast their little lives to smithereens, messing up my little life forevermore.  Mom and Dad's heaven on earth of just one cat became my hell on earth of knowing where all the others went.  We had the one cat left - Amy...Mom's cat, and we took her with us to Los Angeles...in a bird cage. I kid you not.  The bird-less bird cage became our cat carrier.  Now Amy wasn't too keen on the idea of being stuffed into that tiny space sitting on my lap in the back seat of that Ford.  I wasn't too keen on holding that cage stuffed full of cat for most of the day either, but that's the way it was. Feel free to create the ending ;)



Life was a little blue today.




Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Cat Menagerie

When one of  your cats tells you how it's really going to be from this day forward, it's time to start looking for that alternate universe with that sweet kitty that's the opposite of yours.  I love cats.  I love most cats.  I love a cat...most of the time sometimes, and some of the time most times. She's a fiery little calico, a lean, mean, fighting machine leaving another cats blood spilled path in her wake.  She's a hunter out for the kill...her territory's her territory, and there's no room in the inn for the little gray interloper she would love to kick clear to the moon. 


While we love to plaster human characteristics all over our pie-eyed, sharp fanged pets who own us...come on...no cat thinks like a human; which, come to think of it, is probably a major blessing for them and a thorn in our side for us.  My super realistic more experienced than Methuselah dog lover vet corrected me as to how it really is in the law of catville.  To cats...you're a mate, a mommy, a playmate, or dinner.


That rubbing incessantly all over your shoes and pant legs (you're marked as safe territory) - that purring machine curled up on your lap (my territory, stay away you other foolish felines)...you think its love...hehehe...HAHAHA!  So...when your cat sizes you up for the day, is it a date, Mother's Day, partner in crime, or munch time?


Unless it's true family relations, a single cat in the house is indeed the happiest cat in the stratosphere and beyond.  All cat lovers and cat losers know a multi-cat household is a household always in flux, a household always in mood shifting mode.  Fight, tolerate, terrorize, suffer, chase, run, stake out territory, takeover territory...on and on and on.  It's basically a household of stress...baby...stress...peace flying out the window and setting up camp in the Antarctica.


Last Christmas I counted my blessings (foolish me) as all were peacefully congregated in my cozy warm living room awaiting the arrival of the man in red and his eight tasty reindeer.  Apparently by Valentine's Day a falling out between the feisty gray lady and that spitfire calico created an abyss as huge as the Pacific Ocean in this dwelling that's too small to be the apex of adversity.


Miss Calico was rapidly evolving into chronic bad mood territory, leaving no choice but to chauffeur her yowling and complaining to the house of meds for furry beasties for an evaluation in hopes all could be copacetic once again in this cat house with human shaped toys.  It's been confirmed food allergies have gotten the best of her and she's a body of pain...literally and figuratively...most likely from stress brought on by her association with a temperamental black furry mini-monster, well past his kitten hood and ambitiously clawing his way up the chain of command to that prize at the top of ruler of the Kingdom of Calico.


Trapped in this soap opera drama of my longing to be bored again sad life, a mommy cat pheromone collar was strapped onto the calico's neck and removed from the calico's mouth after she skyrocketed  into a ballistic frenzy of trying to rip that thing from her existence.  Since I evidently have a craving for more pain than normal, another mommy cat pheromone collar was strapped onto the black mini-monsters neck and cut with a pair of scissors from the black mini-monsters mouth and neck after he tore up half the living room trying to claw that contraption off his body.





OoooKay...that didn't work :(





The feisty gray lady's living behind closed doors in my studio.  The spitfire calico is being pumped full of Probiotics, Inflam-Ease, Antronex, Prednisone, and new eats.  That black mini-monster is scheduled next for the vet in hopes of diverting that last ditch resort of evicting him from our life altogether.  I never give up, I never give up, I never give up... :(  I'm having to remind myself once again why I ever thought living with cats was a such a grand idea.  Maybe I'll believe myself in a day or two.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

This Side of Purgatory


It's that time of year when God becomes the co-landscaper of man's world without human input, and cities for the umpteenth time rattle off weed ordinances left and right alleging the old fossil has it all wrong. They really wish he'd check himself into one of those assisted living community on the other planet in our parallel universe, and just be done with it all.  Like any old codger though, he's still not listening.

The disadvantage of natural diversification within a city where ones yard resembles a visit to a small corner of a national park is that weeds growing at random among the varieties of native perennials, shrubs and trees are not a piece-of-cake target for the lawn mower, unless one wishes to mow down half their garden with them.  The task becomes seek and eradicate, one, by one, by one, and on and on and on.

It is not an easy task for native gardens to escape the scrutiny of city officials and neighbors with cookie cutter yards.  The benefits are many, but we tend to work twice as hard as everyone else to  maintain the expected appearance of neatness. I tend to fudge quite a bit since I'm a great fan of quality me-time.  

Weed Whacker weed whacking is my modus operandi, although I've been known to clip a few of the good guys to the ground in the heat of the moment :(  I've come out of the closet with my Round Up addiction...I love you, my little killer of everything; and Weed B Gon...I've gone nuts over you, my little annihilator.  Pesticide free and a herbicide junkie...Darth Vader would be so proud.

A strip of manicured lawn around it all seems to satisfy passerby's with feelings of maintained control; intermingled with benches, bird bath, feeder, and pathways for that city park effect of disciplined nature we lovingly like to call a wilderness.  

If I lived in the countryside this conversation would be moot...but I don't, so it isn't :(  I live in the suburbs of the city, where grass is king and monocultures are queen and this thing called natural nature is often times viewed as a living hell.


          
How can anyone look at a dogwood tree and not feel the warmth of a smile within their soul.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Weed Pickin' Blues


Door with a View






No Time for Leisure






Past Tense
Came and Went










Present Tense
Front Gate














Perched on the Washer






Litter Pan Nightmare




Reaching for the Stars








Through the Back Garden Gate





















Aunt Yvonne and Miss Maple
in Texas


Bittersweet Easter visit with sister and family.
No place to sleep except mom's old bed.
Tried not to think about it too much.
Her glass music box with golden dolphin legs
set quietly on the nightstand.
The one gift I was able to give her that she
really, really, really, really, really
wanted.
Couldn't bring myself to wind it up
 and
 let the notes of Ave Maria softly play.
I miss her much.







Backyard after the Rains


In the garden again late today until dusk pulling WEEDS.
My life from this day forward until next winter :(
Thunder in the distance rolling across the clouded sky kept me company.
Won the race this day
crossing the finish line just as the first drops began to fall.
I'm happy!























Good Friends
making life wonderful


Three short weeks and Vic once again
flew out of my life across an ocean...
almost a figment of my imagination
when communication is so sparse.
Love you.




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