The Gardens - In the Beginning

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Arrival of December in Little Fourth Acre Gardens

It’s tough sometimes living our lives; therefore, this letter is simply about an endearing pleasure in the life that is mine to celebrate this holiday season.

No matter one’s beliefs in their journeys on this earth, it’s difficult to argue the existence of all layers of life as anything less than amazing.

The gentle pit pat of dry ash tree seeds letting go and showering the ground below have created an expanding network of dams along the pathway as they wash together with each passing storm. 

The crackling of leaves under the sweetspire bush signals the arrival of a pair of wrens intensely pursuing their quota of snacks for the day, while the dog growls softly as he races with nose to the ground following the scent of some mysterious creature that has passed through the night.

The pond is silent as the green frogs have burrowed deep into the mud for a long winter’s nap; and a few blustery days have rushed the baring of tree limbs so the ambers, oranges, reds and browns now mostly mingle as a mantle of many colors across the ground.

Under the branches of the old ash tree stands a young dogwood still clothed in its crimson leaves, creating a feeling of euphoria in the unveiled landscape.  It hangs out with a rowdy bunch of wild flowers, some still mingling around its feet in colors of silvers, rusts and greens.

The golden blooms of calendulas, the leafy green romaine, and the great white parsnips in the raised vegetable beds are still looking first class despite old man winter’s evenings of below freezing weather; and as the sun rests on the horizon, the sleepy turtlehead plants have taken on a vivid glow of chartreuse in the magic of the late day.

Nature has the ability of creating restfulness amid the turmoil, and beauty among the thorns; and while it accepts all as is, it is always constantly changing.  I close my eyes as darkness sets in, take a deep breath, and feel the coolness of the wind brushing across my face.  Life is good and I am content as the evening begins.  

Wishing you the joys of a thousand smiles this Christmas; and as you leave this old year behind, may you begin the next one anew.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The epiphany of a life stuck dead in its tracks

I'm in counseling.  I'm coming to terms with the revelation that everything I have done in my life, whether happiness, sadness, or madness has all been and still is my choice, and my choice alone.

I seem to be able to screw up my life quite well on my own.  Decades of expectations and regrets has me spiraling into the hell of internal body buzzing, booming ear tinnitus, and Eager Allen Poe blood whooshing through veins syndrome.

My councilor marvels at my tenacity to have made it this far before the stress I've created for myself has begun to take over my well-being.  He calls me a tough cookie, but I'm beginning to feel more like one of the living dead these days.

All I want in life is to be loved, but people I align myself  with either chose not to or are incapable of loving me.  I seem to have sabotaged myself during the entirety of my existence.

My adult years have been spent trying to fix something that I couldn't fix in my childhood, and crippling my life in the process.  This thing will never be fixable.  I have to screw my head on straight and move on.  He says wishing I'd done this years ago isn't an option.  Knowing I'm doing it now is my place to be.

I find this depressing...the fact that I created my own hell on my own terms, and lived in it for so many years.  I woke up today feeling like I can't breathe under the weight of all this knowledge that is crushing me.

Anxiety about my future is my life these days.  He says it's because I'm stuck, that I don't know my options.  He's right.  At this moment I feel like I have no alternatives to explore.  My task is to come up with choices that are realistic, true to myself and good for me.  I don't even know where to begin.  My mission is to live not in the past or the future, but to live in the now.  Sounds easy.

It isn't.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

They're Playing My Song Again

The sun sets on the western horizon and, in that brief moment between shadows and darkness, the gardens become magical with the twinkles, not of stars, but of little lightning bugs.  It is such a brief moment at dusk when one is reminded of the simplicity that turns something ordinary into something extremely extraordinary.  There is no other time of the year that compares in beauty, except perhaps fluffy snowflakes falling softly in lovely moonlight.

The gardens are wet with the rain that fell earlier this day, and the steady humming of far away tree crickets and the pulsating sound of closer up crickets begins to take over the night.  Evening spiders silently build their webs, as the daytime insects retreat and the nocturnal ones leave their crooks and crannies to explore their world of darkness.

Gardens...amazing adventures if one's not faint of heart and willing to embrace the world beyond plants as it slips into the mysterious wonders of dark.

Colder than frozen daiquiris in winter and hotter than the wrath of hell in summer is that lovely grey concoction of gravel, sand, cement and water that takes up a large portion of my back yard.  Hug hug, kiss kiss!  I love you, my poison free oasis.  You are the only place in the entirety of my not so large yard where I can roam without having to spray a coating of pyrethrins over my shoes and half way up my pant legs before I mingle with the ticks the south produces in such mortifying abundance.

Only in my yard and every other yard in the south and not so much the south can one stand on the asphalt in front of their mail box, stoop down to clean a little leaf litter from the patio drainage outlet at the curb, take the mail with them into the bathroom where the light is bright enough to detect what creature is crawling up the back of their hand, and discover a tick making a beeline to their arm and dinner time.  I hate the south.  Oh, did I tell you, I HATE THE SOUTH...sometimes :(

A body that's falling apart a little bit faster than I had envisioned has caused me to become somewhat disillusioned with my aging process. Mentally I always seem to stay the same age, with an out of focus vision in my mind of just being me.  Physically I'm a wreck!

My chiropractor's becoming a member of my family; the heating pad is a frequent flyer to my thighs, butt, and shoulders, with an ice pack thrown in here and there; and exercise is my ticket to escape rigor mortis.  I now understand that little phrase of feeling like "death warmed over".  I've worked myself back up to being active in the gardens, pacing myself a bit better so pain isn't my constant bed mate.  

Unlucky at being lucky or lucky at being unlucky...oh wait...are those the same thing?  Dog Dustin met a skunk one evening while out and about at potty break time.  He whisked himself back through the sliding glass doors before the waft of a profane stench of grated onions and a ton of mashed garlic filled the air and ruined my night.

Playing grab me if you can, he was tackled and lived in the bathtub for the next hour, being bathed four times with an entire bottle of shampoo, then slathered in tomato juice which was a waste of time, then covered with a bottle of conditioner.  The conditioner did the trick.

My maxi dress went into the garbage, and his dog collar was tossed onto the front porch for the night, then into the trash can.  His rabies tags soaked for several hours in a can of enzyme solution, the bathtub and floor was a bitch to clean up, and a faint reminder of essence of skunk still lingers on the floor, walls, and carpet.  I crawled into bed at 5 am.

He's the squeakiest, cleanest pooch in the state of Tennessee.  I'm the tiredest dog mommy in the state of Tennessee.  For a brief time the next day, I was curiously wondering if dog burgers would taste yummy yum cooked medium rare.

I will have viewed two total eclipses of the sun before the end of August, and the second time around I will have googles to see what the beauty of the corona surrounding that fiery ball is all about.  How cool is that!?!  Panama, Central America in the 80's and Nashville, Tennessee this year - just when I was beginning to worry the
                            lighter side of life was abandoning me.

Harmony in life is just out of arms reach, so the tranquility it brings isn't there for me; but regrets are fading and the ability to embrace that which I can't change is becoming a little bit easier to achieve.  I've always had the resourcefulness to create a higher pain tolerance in the past, so with modification and meditation, life is the best I can make it for little seventy year old me.  I hope to enjoy it for years to come, the best I'm able.       

Life beyond the next meal...what is that?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cat Chat >^. .^< Interview with a Clowder of Little Devils

Today we’re here to get the lowdown on a bit of juicy gossip, that the cat collective at this little yellow house on Farnsworth Drive is the titillating bases of the super horrifying It Comes at Night movie.   The fear of scaring off our feline interviewee has us all tiptoeing and whispering.

A semi-truckload of canned Captain’s Catch with Sardine & Mackerel cat food is being delivered at this very moment, with the agreement that the head of the household, in just a few minutes, will sit down with us for an exclusive interview.

The truck driver has just left and we are navigating around the mountains of canned food to squeeze ourselves onto the fur covered couch just ahead of us.  This is so exciting waiting for the pack leader’s entrance.

Oh…pleaseeeee.  Give a mouser a break.

Are you the elusive Zoe we have been waiting for…Duchess of the Labyrinths of the Underworld of Human Beds?

What the………! (spit spit patooie)  Forget that grimalkin.  I am THE LACEY!  I am the terror that comes at night…grrrrr.  Move over, person of no importance; you’re sitting on my cushion!

Well…parDON me, hellcat.  Is that one of your subjects that just jumped onto the window sill over there?

HA HA HA ha ha ha.  I am THE ZOE!

Come closer, ZOOOe, so I can scratch your eyes out!

Do I look like my brain went to lunch early?  I don’t think so, you little pipsqueak!

Whoooooa…you two do know the cameras are rolling at this very moment, right?

Pipsqueak!  Pipsqueak!!  Pipsqueak!!!

Let go of me, person of no importance!  I’m going to scratch that Z cats eyes out and gobble them down for dinner!

OUCH!!!  Get your claw out of my arm, you little devil!

Grrrrr…you have me pinned down, you big devil…LET ME GO!


Do I look like a dog?


(Lick lick lick)  Do you smell a Zoe in know, sour milk and rotten eggs.

(Lick lick lick lick lick)  Do you smell a Lacey in here…you know, bean farts and dragon breathe.

:(  So where is the head of this clan of hellcats?  Is it the other cat we were told about?  Wasn't his name Austin?



:) (Meeeeeooowwwwww purr puurrr puuurrrrr) Did someone say lunch?

Are you the main cat, cute little puss sticking your head out of the cat hassock hole?
He’s a two timing gigolo!  He’ll do anything mommy says for a pathetic chunk of tuna.

How so…cat who has been known to swipe the last nibble of food from a starving cat’s mouth.

Hmmmmm…does big tubby fat face look like a starving cat?

Bonnie and Clyde of the cat world!  Thank goodness you two can’t tolerate each other.  Sometimes heaven does smile down upon the rest of us felines. 

Tisk, tisk, tisk…such jealously, my little schizo calico.  And you…my little black munchkin, you’ll pay for that last remark when mommy leaves the house.


Oh, I see you are in the middle of your interview.  I’ll leave you all to your business and finish cleaning the cat puke out of my shoe in the bedroom.

Wait!!!  Are you THE MOMMY?

I’ve been known by that title.  Lately I’m known as THE BODY GUARD to this sweet little grey cat stuck between my legs.

My little sister!

My bigger problem than all the rest of you!

Biggest scaredy cat of them all!

With THE MOMMY as her bodyguard, she seems the smartest cat of you all.




>^. .^<  (Rub rub purr purr lick lick)

A sweet lady cat of great mystery.  May we call you the Little Grey Shadow?  Are you ready for an interview?

Of course.  I’m always ready to talk about myself.  A cat full of mystery, I am, I am.

She’s full of misery.

She's full of something more to do with cat pans.

Love you, sis!

Well. I’ll leave you all to your cat chatter and get on with my cat pan duties :(

Wait little grey shadow!  Where are you going?  What about the interview?

Do I look like a duffus?  I've grow weary of being a pin cushion for my roommates claws.  Where mommy goes, I go.  (rub rub rub purr purr puuuuurrr) Love you mommy!

What about this truckload of bribes gifts.   Is there no honor among cats?

Honor?!?!?  What’s that, mommy?

Want an interview with THE GREY SHADOW?  Grab a cat pan scoop and follow me!

:’(  We're out of here!!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Do I really need to move to the cosmos to find a little breathing space?

Swerve too far to the left, you're tippy toeing through fire and brimstone.  Make a beeline towards the right, heaven will be just over the next horizon, won't it?  Well...maybe :'(

My wishing self is on vacation near the breathtaking Maroon Bells, while my real self is neck deep in the house and yard cleaning blues with a pesky little calico making sure heaven is never within a hundred mile radius of my existence.

Problem solving gratification lasts a whole ten seconds before the next dilemma surfaces to coil around me like a starving python.  I need breathing room!  I need to move to Oak Hills with a maid, a cook and a gardener and sit by the pool drinking cappuccino and munching on french macaroons.




A lovely bisque rose with a hint of peach and a quadrillion little thorns down her stem!


Charlotte and Austin are free to do as they please...
Austin...carefree and an equal opponent in the battle of territory is left alone, while poor Miss Charlotte stays tucked under my bed safe from little miss schizo kitty.  Any instructions on the plight of multi-cat families obviously have never dealt with a spitfire calico.  I've tried all the remedies!  None of them work!!  Help!!!

I've squirted her soaking wet, banged pans, and lost it a time or two, and she laughs in my face just two steps out of reach.  I've taken on the role of her mom, god rest her soul wherever she may be.  Quite an act grabbing a teeth and claw fighting machine by the scruff of her neck and an arm tucked under her butt to make it worth her while to obey she who must be obeyed.  It doesn't work...nothing works!  

She lays on my lap until the cows come home, and plays with the peacock feathers until the sun wakes on the horizon...and she's still a thousand thorns in my side, apparently forevermore.  She's only been squirted twenty some times since I began writing this little water baby crimeaholic kitty.     

The bad thing about living in the south with a ton of clay soil under your feet is that there is no good thing about a ton of clay soil under your feet.  Hired a landscaping company to improve the yard drainage so the house would quit rising then sinking during the four seasons. Drainage pipes were sunk underground completely destroying the gardens they ran through, then filled in with top soil first and thick clay last.  Now I have a brick hard adobe garden with the once surface plants at the bottom of the trench.  Number one choice of garden tools this year is the rusty old pick ax...JOY, joy.  

Husband...home again...gone again...nothing more to say.  A bit weary of saying goodbyes too soon after the hellos.'s just me, four cats and a little old terrier...and life goes on.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Why is my life always on that slippery slide to purgatory by should have, would have, could have?

Spring's just around the corner for the fifth time this winter :(  One day high in the day high in the forties.  I view my world a lot from windows nowadays.  I'm looking out one now as I type, and lunch on a concoction of baby dutch yellow potatoes and ground sirloin sauteed to a golden brown with fresh ground sea salt and black pepper, then two eggs lightly scrambled in...scrambled eggs succotash, I guess, and just half a cup of steaming hot coffee with milk.

To be simplistic, we shall just say I've been under the weather mentally these many days.  Seems to be overly easy to say I forgive you when one feels betrayed, but so dramatically complicated to actually forgive someone in the far corners of my mind and in the bottom depths of my heart.

I'm realizing that the effects of continual stress has cocooned itself around me with a ton of masking tape, and breaking away from it's hold is proving difficult.  Repeating a forgiveness mantra has helped concerning people in and out of my life, because the more I say it, the more I believe it :)

Listening to beautiful music has been re-introduced into my world and of course, there are the stretch exercises I will be doing until the end of time to increase my quality of living.  The ability to walk and sit should never be underrated.

Becoming a bit more minimalist with material things in my life has been an underlying theme since the creation of this blog and !rats! my life is still bogged down with material clutter :( :( :(  I'm working on it.  That's all I can say...I'm working on it!

I've shortened my version of room clutter roulette.  Second move is straight to the trash can.  I'm still trying to figure out how to empty that recycle bin in my head.  

The woebegone saga of Charlotte and Austin concluded yesterday with the bars of confinement torn down and relegated to the dark recesses of the garage.  Fingers crossed!  For those who have too soon forgotten, they were doomed to the prison of my studio for the last two years because of a spit fire calico named Lacey on a mission to chase Charlotte to the moon and leave her there, and a black stinker of a cat on a mission to chase Lacey off the face of the earth forever.

Two years later I finally had to admit defeat at trying to integrate this little black pesty cakes into the household of other cats.  We had to remove him completely.  The choice I made to try and keep happiness with the rest of the gang weighs heavy on my heart.  I can't forgive myself for giving up, because he went to a place that wasn't a guarantee of his continuance of life.  That's the best I can do without actually saying I probably gave him a death sentence.  I'm still sad on that one even though it was six months back.


life goes on.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Kitty Litter Karaoke

Topsy-Turvey Blues

Woke myself up
purring last night,
curled up tight 
on the living room couch...

rubbed my nose
on the dining room chair,
licked my fingers
to rubbed over my ears...

gulped down hubby's sandwich
when he left for a beer,
stared with indifference
as he blamed his poor dog :)

poked holes in the arm chair
with my teeth and nails,
then jumped on the counter
to lick dirty dishes...

I'm doing as I please,
with only one complaint,
this evil-smelling cat pan
is two smidgens too small.

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