The Gardens - In the Beginning

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Our Vacation Plans

Husband inbound,
Afghanistan to Nashville,
early morning arrival...

Yvonne sicker than a flea
in a pee bath right now.

Intermission for Family Visits

Atlanta, Georgia

and other little goodies
tucked in here and there.

I'll be flying on air,
as soon as I get over this crud.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Gift

My destiny, after telling this tale, is I'll most certainly be neck deep in hot water tonight and maybe a few nights to come.  Husband would always tell his stories of our stay in Panama, Central America; and his adventurous work that sometimes took him to other areas much further south of the canal zone.  He waded across snake infested rivers in chest deep waters with rifle held high overhead; trekked the insect, snake, disease and coco infested steamy jungles; and swept over the land in those seriously bad ass helicopters that were minus all doors; you know...macho, manly man, Sylvester Stallone, Hooah-Hooah...great stuff.

He would always keep us on the edge of our seats as he spun out his colorful tales.  I was hard pressed to come up with any idea of gift giving one Christmas, an ad caught my eye in the local area newspaper, gathered opinions of all the rangers at work, sneaked over to a distant town city airport, and purchased the ultimate in gift giving for a Hooah-Hooah macho type of guy.

Weeeeeell...I was all wide eyed a flutter, my heart and thoughts racing like lightning bolts, keeping all that excitement bottled up in me was driving me loo loo...he opened the envelope, pulled out the ticket, and after 87 minutes of silence, said thank you.  I just crashed, like running into a plate glass window, my face squished up against the glass as I slowly fade away, sliding to the floor with only a stream of saliva left on the window, my crushed remains in a heap at his feet.
Remaining presents opened and the rest of day came and went, tomorrow came and went, day after tomorrow came and went...finally I told him they only give one month to return the ticket for a full refund, or after that he is screwed.  I guess he thought he was screwed no matter what he did, when I think back on it this time around.  He said was a very nice gift, but after three years I dug it out of his dresser drawer and burned the shit out of itThen he told me in a voice so soft I just barely caught the words......I'm scared of flying. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanks, Mr. Disney...I'm ever so grateful

Daytime job is a minuscule state park squeezed between farmlands and the city next door.  It's postage stamp size, too small to be called home to most of the wild critters migrating in and out of our area on a daily basis in their continuous quest of food and shelter.  Bambi, Thumper, and Flower don't camp out here, they never have, they never will.  We have no humanized, talking, joking, reminiscing, doe eyed, chubby cheeked, daily honeydo's list type of creatures in these neck of the woods.

They have teeth that can crunch a finger just like cracking a nut, claws that can forge furrows on body parts just like tearing food apart, and hoofs that can whip the tar out of one just as well as spring themselves over a fence.  We get requests to remove skunks that are foraging for eats through the camp areas, and gently must remind the campers that THEY are the visitors, not the skunks.  We are asked what we're going to do about the ticks, fleas, and chiggers...especially the ticks as they are more readily visible.  We're going to do NOTHING, again, you're visiting their home, enjoy.

Suppose - you can spray your campsite, that's quite fair; but when it comes to the area at large and the trail you might hike, you'd best be spraying that repellent and insecticide on yourself to escape any insect munching, as you're so delectably delicious to all those thousands upon thousands of waiting beasties.  And just in case you didn't know, ticks hang out in the cedars and junipers, and readily drop onto your head or shoulders whenever they so desire dinner.

City folks will freak out when Bambi or Rascal the raccoon ups and dies.  Hey folks, all things die at some point in their lives; but still we have to discreetly, if possible, place the carcass hidden from view of innocent eyes and brains.  I deal with all the bad, if you can call real life bad, so you can experience all the good nature offers.  I have to deal with realistic, so you can play with fantasy.  I go home mentally fatigued and sometimes carry a heavy heart; you go home carefree and happy as a blood gorged tick on a warm summer day.

So thank you, Mr. Disney, for making me explain over and over again why those misguided souls need to leave that cute little fawn curled up in the weeds staying a cute little fawn curled up in the weeds.  It's not abandoned, it's just the way of doe's.  And thanks again, Mr. Disney, for making me explain over and over again, this ain't no zoo, so quit feeding the animals, cause your creating a false bond of security, and setting the poor tyke up as a target for that human who isn't so kind, or wants to sink their teeth into that roasted marinated carcass adorning their dining room table.  And lastly, from the bottom of my heart; thanks again, Mr. Disney for all those camping ADULTS who still haven't grown up, and try to treat nature like it's one of your childish cartoons.  AAAAAAACCCK!!! 

Good Day
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Bad Day
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a crappy old day
Plenty of garbage headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Trouble with Terriers - Part 1

Terriers - those cute little balls of joy, stubborn beyond belief, 22 hours play...2 hours sleep, and I am doubly blessed; I have two terriers in one...rat and jack.  A multitude of remarkable perks he flaunts, but hand-in-hand he also parades in public an equal multitude of despicable, undignified non-perks.  Most perks can be summed up into one phrase...{{{He'll eat anything, ANYTHING}}}.  Well, sometimes that's a non-perk if it's inedible to begin with...but we, for this first rave, are only concerned with edible objects of delectable delights.

My feline trio: Zoe delicately consumes every morsel, and licks her dish squeaky clean; Andee inhales his food like magic, one second it's there, next it's but a memory, so fast, I swear at times I have seen a reflux of goodies protruding slightly from both his nostrils; and Jesse............Jesse - Jesse - Jesse.  What can I say?  I've stated before that he has bouts of dementia, forgets he's eating, thinks he's being poisoned, can't remember what's edible or inedible, attention span of 15 seconds, and stares off into never never land until a gentle finger poke jogs him back into reality for a minute.

Sooooo...after opening a variety of flavorful cans of feline cuisine to find his magic flavor of the moment, and loosing the game of guessing which room I want to eat in right now, my terrier's main dish any morning or evening of the week has become the leavings off of Jesse's plate or, even worse, the just-on-the-border-of-putrefying remains in all those opened cans.  If I dive to late for Jesse's half-filled plate, and fail to snatch it out of Andee's clutches before he vacuums leftovers into oblivion in his enormous tummy, and all open cans are already licked clean; then it is truly my terrier's lottery winning day to actually eat out of a freshly opened can of food.

My terrier no way possess an air of fastidiousness as to the questionable quality of eats, just as long as he's offered them as soon as human or pet possible.  Left over veggies, fruit bits, fried fat, raw fat, table scraps, counter scraps - my terrier gently places these morsels between his teeth, and munches lightly away, licking his plate clean twenty times twenty.

He frantically scooped up aged persimmons rotting on ground, and munched as fast as his little jaws would flap open and shut, plucking that fruit from the path of whirling blades, as I sucked up all those ash leaves from patio this past weekend.  He's been spied grazing under the blackhaw viburnum, munching on tiny shriveled blue berries, raising a slight concern as to whether the gardens harbors some of nature's poisonous treats.

Cicadas unfortunately resting on low surfaces are scooped up between his teeth, and savored into oblivion.  Any insect flying past him is fair game for his jaws, and he's been seen taking flying leaps into the stratosphere to capture those delectable goodies.  He plucks spiders from their webs, and hungrily eyes bumblebees and yellow jackets, my reprimands in one ear and out the other; it's inevitable that down the road there will be dire consequences and a lesson hard learned.

But!!! to those despicable practices with inedible (by human standards) objects of delectable delights...this terrier possess not a speck of dignity.  He's covertly removed every piece of trash from waste basket, chewing it all into itty bitty pieces, and adorning my entire living area with his questionable art.

Gobbled up in the blink of an eye my freshly cut toenail clippings, my mouth remaining open with the word NO still stuck at the back of my tongue.

He relieves the kitty litter pan of its poop, and hungrily licks clean any discovered feline spit up, hair balls, and throw up.  I've noticed at times he seems to do quite a bit of munching on floors that must only have the illusion of being totally bare.  

Any dog worth his weight in gold should be loyal...right?  This barking wad of muscle and flab should be eternally grateful that I, realizing my messed up knee could only afford a 1/2 minute daily dog walk, hired for him his very own personal fitness trainer.  He's smitten with this lady, and will mope around in my presence, only to erupt into a frenzy when she appears on the scene for his daily outing.

He doesn't even have the decency to playact some interest when I return home from a hard days work.  Silence greets me at the door...check out his he still breathing?  He lazily peeks up at me and yawns...he's making his point that loyalty has to be earned his way...the little shit.

This little terrier of terrors lives on the edge, he walks a fine line between alive or dead, oh my word... or oh my god!!!, great! terriers live very long lives or good grief! terriers live very long lives.  Stay tuned for the next installment of the troubles with terriers.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Hard not being the Cutest Kid on the Block

A slight tinge of guilt overcomes me for all of five seconds, and then I'm good to go.  Patio, deck, pathways...ash tree leaves and seeds sucked through whirling blades, stuffing vacuum bag until it weighs 57 pounds...I've weighed it...just actually feels more like 84 pounds.  Dumped over, and over, and over, and over again; pulverized leaves crammed into every micro inch of space in compost bins...this IS a HuuuUUUUUGE ash tree.  Aged compost of older bins emptied into gardens, if needed...hardwood mulch replenished in areas where previous mulch has become one with the earth.  Okaaay!!!  I'm done for the winter.

Nature puts my gardens to rest when the days change to cold, colder, and coldest.  I merely spiffy up man made areas of lovely bleak, gray, boring concrete...although, much to my chagrin, lichens and cracks are taking over the concrete surface more and more as each summer passes; and heaven help me, I am starting to like the look.  Insects bed down in all this garden crap - leaves and stems, grass and weeds.  Stay at home birds and migrating flocks toss all this garden crap about, picking out tasty morsels on which to snack.  Unnatural fertilizers and pesticides haven't touched these hallowed grounds for decades.  Spring is my preferred time to spruce up the grounds a bit, chopping up or down stems that go right back into gardens, following nature's example. 

Fall blazes into a magnificent bonfire, and it literally cremates any quality time I had in reserve into a fluff of black cinders, as this is my chosen time for garden plantings that inevitably avalanche out of control.  Bloody awful, loved as much as puke, burmuda and johnston grass has to be meticulously eradicated from gardens, before I can even find where the dirt begins to scrape a hole out of that unforgiving, nail breaking, finger scraping, spade bending, lovely native clay soil.  

Perhaps twice in this life of mine the cosmos was at peace; and my gardens, as a whole, projected that inner and outer beauty of perfection for maybe three days before nature brutally saddled it once again with that look of another bad hair day, nullifying my back pain, leg cramping, body contorted efforts to create a thing of lasting beauty.  I cringe and shed a magnificent tear viewing gorgeous photos on other blogs, all which beautifully and artistically show off those persons successful efforts at making their surroundings picture in one of those fine garden magazines.

I'm wishing to put in a complaint, cause I've looked high and low, in and out, upside, downside, spin about, whirl around...where in the dag nabbitt doodle dong jeezers are those gardening magazines for the likes of me.  You know...Weeds and Gun, Poorticulture, Southern Trash Illustrated, Birds and Doom, Down and Out Acres, RattleBrain Garden Designs, Martha Stewart's Recycled Tire Gardening, House Ugly, Second Hand Gardener Illustrated, Crimination Gardening, The Contemptible Gardener............sigh.
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