The Gardens - In the Beginning

Friday, January 28, 2011

Complicated Pleasures

Simple pleasures...
my original title,
but then,
upon some contemplation,
I'm beginning to realize that simple pleasures
in my life are anything but simple.



No snob with comfort food - if it makes me happy, it finds its way onto my bulging list.  Complications develop though, when my bulging list has me bulging at the seams.  Pig out time verses liver rest time, piously nutritional verses sinfully non-nutritional, guilt trip marathons verses freedom of eating indiscreetly, and on and on and on.  My complex list of simple tasty delights that are lounging in my pantry and fridge this night...two coveted filets of perfection, frozen organic sweet cherries, potato & onion pierogies, extra thickly cut bacon, flavor bursting organic provolone cheese, almond biscotti dipped in bittersweet chocolate, pineapple greek yogurt, sara lee frozen cinnamon rolls, ghirardelli dark chocolate squares, haagen-dazs rum raisin ice cream, and ghirardelli premium double chocolate hot cocoa. 
UMmmmmmmmmm!!!...



A simple pleasure I give freely, as thanked people are happy people, and happy people make my life sing.  Complications set in when I so selfishly want to hear some thank you's being freely tossed my way.  Hey...I stitched up a baby quilt for one of my sisters over 40 years ago, and I'm still waiting for that thank you note telling me whether or not she even got that dang thing I slaved over for so many months.  I can count on two fingers the number of times any of my not so crappy gifts have ever been acknowledged by family.  Shame on you all.



Simply put, work wise, I give 100% and I try to take 100%.  Complications set in when people start talking the lingo 110, 115, 120%...come on folks...there's no such thing as doing more than 100%...it's a mathematical impossibility, an unattainable improvability!!!  If everyone does 100% work, but in reality, when it is compared to my 100%, they are in actuality only doing 80% work, then I suppose it does appear that I do 120%; and I have to admit that I have used this concept quite effectively with my bosses over the years...they seem to always buy into this dorky way of thinking.



These 4,6,8 lane highways give me pleasure in being able to connect a to b in the fastest method possible, BUT navigating these monstrosity structures requires a complicated mind that is capable of thinking and imagining 20 things all at the same time.  I have pet peeves, and pet peeves of pet peeves of freeway calamities, but the irkest of the irkers is being so unfortunately stuck behind a 45 mph poky auto leisurely traveling up the on ramp to merge into 70 mph semitrailer truck traffic.
AAAAAAAAAAAAck!!!



A very long time ago in a far, far away land, a husband crazily thought he would do better with a different woman from the one that sported his ring and was plummeted left and right with his lies.  Therapy didn't save this marriage worth leaving, but enlightenment to the powers of creative revenge was worth every dollar those sessions sucked right out of my life.  Two simple words that became a complicated concept to put into practice for this little miss goodie two shoes.  Talk about writers block...I had thinkers block, possibly because I needed to feel satisfied, without being found out.  I did manage perfection, I think...no one has ever died from oatmeal raisin cookies containing pulverized dog biscuits, have they?




Friday, January 21, 2011

Just another day in the burbs of LA

Sitting in the waiting room this morning...husband's auto's slightly sick, had an appointment at opening time, but the bay is crammed full of vehicles and three bodies are already at three opposite walls in the wait room; three unmanly bodies of insignificant features...I'm definitely checking out the magazine stacks.  An hour plus half later, car doc is checking out husband's wheels, a twist, a plug, a double pat, and soon it's good to go.


Earlier, managed only to upright myself in bed after 5 or 6 snooze alarm button resets, couldn't reeve up my gears above poking speed, so except for the getting dressed part of all my before-go-to-work chores, I had accomplished nothing in the way of speedily preparing myself before dragging this unwilling body, and plunking it into that hunk of junk work of art Isuzu of husband's.  Now after its check-up, the deadbeat sweet treat is parked once again in its resting place.  I still have the job calling my name...come to me, come to me, I want to ruin the rest of your day.

I reach for the fridge, but stop.  The memory of the feast I had gorged into my mouth during last night's boohoo crap out time while the remnants of a headache still simmered in my noggin, stops me dead in my tracks.  I almost barf, and choose instead just a small cup of coffee with cream.


I'm going to have to lay off the food for a few days to get over this one.

Lock the door to my little bungalow of sheet rock and plastic siding, and slide my bodacious body into that sleek sweet red-hot love on wheels, my (kiss kiss hug hug) little Toyota Solara, and fly off to my work destination.  I'm leaving LA (Lower Antioch), hooray, hurrah, bah humbug.  UA (Upper Antioch)...LA (Lower Antioch), I get confused...but I've been told if I allude to the wrong one, I'll be looked upon as low down dirtier than hog slop dog poop trailer trash...good gosh...I hope I have it right.

Out the back way on a two lane highway, speeding through tree covered country side with houses here and there, and over the bridge across that large span of cool deep blue water. 



Some days billows of fog surround me, blue herons have flown over and under me, and when water's clear and calm it's speckled with gliding sail boats.  I speed on through part of a state park and through more tree, deer, and turkey country, on past a transformer tower blanketed in roosting buzzards with a few snacking on the ground.



I'm so hoping that's not an omen of how the rest of my day is going to play out.

Freeway entrance coming up, and I'm speeding in and out of semitrailer truck traffic for a delightful ten minutes romp...my off ramp's just ahead.



Slowing down, speeding up, slowing down again, flagmen, bulldozers, oops! a highway patrol car hiding there...construction of this five mile stretch of country highway to city highway is nearing a decade to complete!!! 



I'm cruising the twilight zone of Sumner county.  Every wreck imaginable has happened on this over crowded stretch of two lane highway, most making no sense whatsoever.  One day I'm flying 10 miles over speed limit to keep up, next day I'm crawling 15 miles under speed limit to keep up.  Oh rats...I'm following a hearse.  Hearses are on the roads all the time, right???, no need to read anything into this one.  Slowing down, coming to another town, over bridge crossing an inlet of water, over the hill, and past a yellow, crumpled up, burned out tow truck dead on its side with its tires set in rigger mortis.  This isn't looking good, not looking good at all.



At last...across an ancient green expansion bridge above another inlet from the river, and since I'm already so late for work, ten more minutes added on...who cares.  Convenience store, here I come!  Checking out the somewhat toxic goodies, my cell phone's playing my song...hello?  It's boss telling me not to bother coming in, nothing's going on anyway...he seems too eager to burn up many more hours of my leave time.  Sorry, I say...ten minutes more, and I'll be at your front door...see you then.


On the bypass and out of town I go, through housing tracts and farm lands, my turn off's just ahead.  Down a tight hilly little country back road and into a hollow, the entrance to work sweet work.  Swinging out to turn and park beside the office...what the!!!, the door's wide open and the office is abandoned.  The ranger calls it ADD (attention deficit disorder), I just call it dementia, and I think I'm winning on this one.  Been going on for near a year...always announcing he's going to retire, always forgetting that he thought it or said it more times than he remembers it.

Is this rain EVER going to stop...it's been raining for days!  And yes, on my way back home at end of soggy day, the buzzards are still at it...roosting on that transformer tower, and still snacking on whatever that rather large tasty morsel is.  I speed to end another day at my shack back in LA, UA???, LA...I'm not trailer trash!


Ok...maybe I am.  Sigh.........

Monday, January 17, 2011

Explanations




I guess in lack of a better title coming to mind, I'll just call what follows an explanation.  It has been too long of a time, since I have known what it is like to get enough sleep.  I wake up with headaches that sometimes are still with me when I lay my head down for the evening...headaches that laugh at pain killers.  This all has to do with neck and back problems that have plagued me most of my life.

I am still having problems with my leg injury, and am beginning to dread the possibility that I will always have to live with the bouts of puffiness and swelling that come and go too often, for the rest of my life.

I have an old cat that I spend much time with trying to make his last days good days, and he is requiring a lot of care.

A husband working in Afghanistan that I worry about constantly, and only see one month a year.

I take care of everything at home...everything, and I commute to the job which takes eleven hours out of each day.  I work very hard to keep a positive attitude about me, and love life to it's fullest.

I did what I never do, I left a sarcastic comment on someones post, someone I care about a lot.  I had earlier received a comment on my post that threw me for a loop, hurt me, made me cry.  My friend just got lucky or unlucky, I guess...bad timing...I deleted it and apologized, but that doesn't make it right.  I am so ashamed of myself.

I need to get away from this computer for a while, and put this blogging back into it's correct perspective.  I need time to finish rearranging my home to put the things I love best completely back into my life.  I wear my heart on my sleeve, and sometimes that is just not such a good thing to do, but it is so totally me.  I'm realizing that this blogging has bad along with the good, and I don't know if I want to deal with that part of it.  I'm beginning to feel that perhaps I should go private, and tell my stories just for me, daughter, and husband.  I need some time to think.

My backyard sunset photo...played around with it a bit, cause I can.  I do miss the brilliant sunrises and sunsets of Nevada where I grew up at.  Here's a little whatever I am leaving with you...lesser art perhaps...but I like it.

A Dog's Plea for Equality
         
Eat
poop,
drink
pee,
hug
love,
pet
me
please.
20
degrees,
butt
freeze,
cat
pan
entry,
allow
me
please.


       

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Textures

My life has woven itself together so complicatedly, that it's impossible to tell where one thread begins and another ends.  I dissect it ever so haphazardly in my blog entries, like a movie where one suffers whiplash endlessly careening back and forth in time, or a tornado picking up bits and pieces of the landscape, whirling it in a blender, and throwing off the fragments to land where ever and whatever.

I look in the mirror at the results of the product as it stands at this moment, and that is all I seem to be able to do...just stare.  I don't particularly think life has been good to me, nor do I think it has been out to get me...I don't particularly think anything about it at all.  I'm trying to figure out just when did I breathe so much indifference into every pore of my being.  When did I let go and actually give up on myself.  I remember the dreams I had, although I don't keep them in my head and heart as dreams anymore.

I'm with someone who's philosophy at one time was to put everything on hold until life was exactly where they wanted it, then you get to live.  I used to feel I was put on a shelf in the closet for safe keeping, and whenever everything was perfect, then I would be taken off the shelf to be enjoyed.  I stayed on that shelf for years.  The ability to create became harder, but my gardens, my living work of art, took shape then.

We went about it badly in the beginning, and whatever hardships that ensued were held against me, and the thing I loved so dearly became a thousand thorns in my side.  I reached a point where I rebelled against it all, I think the word bitch was used to describe me more often than not, but I did manage to get myself off that shelf and back into life.  I look at myself today realizing that, although I'm nowhere near a shelf, I don't know how to start my gears back into motion.  I'm living in a watered down version of me, and I'm trying to search back to a time when I was truly just myself.

'What I want to do to inspire me'.  Simple statement...hardest list I have ever tried to put even one answer to.  I finally looked up inspire in the dictionary. Inspire is a word artist use.  Business people use the word motivate, and most of the rest use the word encourage.  I like to believe I'm an artist, I AM an artist, I'm an artist on vacation, I guess.

I'm thinking back to times I lived alone and solely took care of myself, for my inspiration.  What inspires me?  A home full of plants.  I need my gardens inside as well as outside.  Interaction with my pets...playtime...I don't ever play with my pets anymore.  Refreshing breakfasts in the morning, cup of tea or coffee, all on my best china dishes.  I want elegance.  Music, any music, although I'm a classical lover by nature.  I haven't listen to music in my home for years.  I remember when I used to go to bed with an orchestra quietly lullabying me to sleep.  Why did I ever give that up?  I need more sleep...more sleep...I think I remember how that used to feel.  I need to be life revved up, not death warmed over.  I would like to say it's a done thing, but I'm out of practice, and it definitely will be an uphill struggle...at least my list's begun.

I could label this my year to inspire myself, and dare I say, perhaps through that inspire others; but I hate labels, they limit like crazy.  If creativity excels without boundaries, then torch all labels to a pile of glowing embers, because my flight pattern is set to take me to the stars and beyond.   

















































Monday, January 10, 2011

The Warmth of Cold

A Sunday post this planned to be, but life got in the way...oh well.  Post went bye bye as blogger froze up...oh hell!  Squeaked in horror, a cuss word or two, a few hundred hair tugs, quarter hour of sniffles, and I'm good to go.  Starting repeat post, oh gross, I'm completely blank...can't remember shit...

so here's your less than perfect version of that elusive original.  






Enjoy!



People tell me I live in the south...please tell me south of what???north pole???I want to know.  Push broom and sand filled bucket readied by the door, unpacking ice skates...okay, alright, I can't skate a lick, but I tell you, I swear, I'm going to learn;  'cause I live somewhere in the south, and it's going to snow snow snow, yah! yah!! yah!!! for the next three days....hooray.

  A hellish 34 degrees highest and a dip to 12 degrees lowest.  Moisture plus freeze morphs backyard into a death defying, slick as snot, block of ice deep freeze that lives there for weeks, upon weeks, upon weeks...oh happy happy happy.

 I drive 40 miles on two lane country roads over two bodies of water, arriving at the last place on earth I would ever chose to die trying to reach; therefore, I'll be sleeping late the next two or three days, and taking a short break from the job.  Leave time will be burned to a cinder, as that little snow brat, dumps it's tantrum to clog up the works and mess with my life.

  People swarm to the south for our toasty warm winters, and I'll be joining those transplanted northies by wrapping this southern body in a peachy keen bikini, sunning myself on the front porch, this gloriously southern picnikie goose pimplie weather, enveloping me like a zip lock body bag.  Eat your hearts out all you snowless victims.

  I raise my glass of Riesling in a toast to all you soon-to-be snow bound south of the north pole people.  Here's to more of our warm southern hospitality that keeps getting better and better as each year passes.  I'll send you hugs and kisses as soon as I thaw out these frozen frostbit lips and fingers and toe tips.




Kitty Kat Trail



 Kitty Food Trail


The feline trio are cat nippy happy, flying down halls, ricocheting off walls, sliding on floors, rolling 'cross rugs, ousting the doggie, avoiding the mommie, 'cause a monstrous mystical magical shred and bed tree appeared from santa claws their day after Christmas.  Ms. Claws subcontracted this artistically challenge project to somewhere we kinda thinka wassa sorta likea china...not quite sure on this one.  It was to be of the good ole US of A variety, but after five months of wait-email, wait-email, wait-email, wait-email, wait-then an email something like "Just wondering if I'm ever going to get that dang cat tree before all the cats up and die?", a phone call soon followed and wallah!!! cat tree appeared.

  Less than 5 minutes and it's marked by some little squirt of the trio, and shredded with glee as a thousand little barkie bits fly all directions of the room.  Pure contentment knows no boundaries.



  


Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Trouble with Terriers - Part 2

Terriers...trouble?...well wash my mouth out with soap, tar and feather me, put me on the bad person bad person list...let's just say MY troubled terrier is a lot of trouble.  A formidable pain in the patootie, an etiquette nightmare, a hooked-on-poop rehab flunky, and according to the feline trio, an all-time despicably crass room mate.  Biggest problem is that he is so darn cute and lovable, his personal trainer, vet clinic staff, visitors, everyone who sets eyes upon him lets him jump all over them...they even encourage it. 

he's not allowed...
he's not allowed...
he's not allowed!
People training is one big pain in the derriere!

And since I brought up the words - vet clinic - his last visit had the staff preening all over him, gently removing the scabs on his lower lip caused by food allergies.  As they were discussing what direction to pursue next he proceeded to gobble up his scabs, much to every one's horror...ha ha ha!  

This terrier is one gigantic barkaholic of a pooch.  He barks at the roofers three houses over, at the dog in his yard across the street, at the lady two houses down checking her mailbox, at people walking their dogs on the street, at people walking themselves on the street.  Living near an intersection, on a clear day it seems like he can see forever in any of the three directions...bark, bark, barka, bark, bark, bark, bark, baaaaaark, baaaaaak, bark, bark, bark!!!

A fantastic two hour session with the suck all your money right out of your wallet in no time flat dog whisperer had taught me to use the poke with finger trick accompanied with loud obnoxious gruff word to correct this breach of etiquette...me=momma dog, he=baby dog.  This method was not working worth a darn on this stubborn little ball of zeal after dog whisperer left.

Someone clued me in to another dog whisperers take on correcting a French bull dog who seemed to be worse than a terrier when it comes to tenacity.  He proceeded to flip it over on its back, kung fu doggie down move, then did the correction.  Wow!!!  I can tell you first hand this method is brilliant and really works!  

Christmas company spoiled this opportunistic little terrier shamelessly.  He was kissed, hugged, coddled, babied, squeezed in embraces of love, sat on laps, laid on chests, what a racket this little devil with four footsies had going.  At some point before the morning after Christmas breakfast, he evidently was beginning to feel all restrictions had vanished and anything was up for grabs.

Breakfast finished, table cleared, remaining part of the Quiche Lorraine sitting on counter waiting to be removed to smaller dish and whisked off to the fridge - that little bag of glee decided if Jesse's cat step furniture was good enough for Jesse, then it was good enough for him.  He was caught on the top step delicately munching away on the remains of the quiche.

When caught in the act, I just know that underneath that exterior guise of bewilderment was an inner workings of cool perplexity solely thinking -   
"Oh crap, I should have ate faster!"

BAD DOG !!!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dinner in Bed







On my lap, off my lap 5 seconds later;
he's telling me he wants to eat.
Sniff food on plate in kitchen,
turn and walk towards bedroom;
he's telling me he wants room service.
Sniff at plate of food on floor in bedroom,
look up at me and just sit there;
he's telling me he wants dinner in bed.
What a life!!!
I should be so lucky.




Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - What an Entrance!



After the midnight hour,
an explosion of thunder,
nail popping house vibration,
cats scattered to the far ends of
the underworld of beds,
dog clinging onto my leg for dear life,
heart throbbing in my throat,
and a deluge of rain
from the heavens.
Doesn't get much better than that!




And this morning...
pond overflowing with acid rain.
HAPPY NEW YEARS DAY!
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