The Gardens - In the Beginning

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Play It Again



I think I’m at that point in my exasperating life were if I were someone else’s pet, I would already have been put out of my misery; you know, what vets like to call quality of life issues, or more succinctly, lack of good quality of life issues.  I’m human.  I should be overly grateful for that, as unlike some less fortunate beings on this earth, I get somewhat of a say on when it all ends, if it is left in my hands.

I hate misery and it’s hard to tell when a beloved pet has reached the end of his rope.  Reluctantly giving Andee no hope of reaching Christmas last year; thumbing his nose at me, he perked up quite nicely with the help of a certain slave at his every beck and call.  Traveling into the New Year his extension of life was a welcomed gift, leaving me feeling a little bit reckless to the true reality of the fragileness of his existence.

Company came for a visit the Friday before last and spent Saturday night at the Pet Emergency Clinic with Andee and me.  I often wonder how many pets are just taken back home and left to exit life in pure pain and misery, when the shock of the $ amount estimate of care suck your bank account dry is placed before you on paper to think over before deciding how important your pet really is to you, or more in a nutshell, how willing are you to go in the degrading of your quality of life for the sake of a pet.

Woe to pets who are so misfortunate to become sick on Vet’s Off Days. Woe to caregivers who try to care.  Woe to me and this computer keyboard that thinks k is ki…auuuuuuuck!  Does one realize how many times the letter k is typed?  Thought I was going bananas until it was figured out that the keyboard was trying to push me over the edge of sanity into the abyss of psycolady.  Why isn’t windows seven smart enough to figure it all out and just correct the ki to k?  Getting a little tired of spellcheck being my best buddy.  So……every time you see a k on this page, I’ve had to either backspace out the i or right click to let spellcheck work it’s miracles.  HELP!

Now…backi to quality of life issues and life at Perfection…more or less.  If boring is perfection, I’m there!  Actually boring, or the lacki of crises has its advantages, but boring in the sense of nothing interesting ever, never happening has its drawbackis.  Is it true that life is what you makie it, or is it true that you are what life makies you?  Money comes into play on this issue, which means lacki of money also comes into play.  Problems, problems…never an easy solution.  Thought I would just let the ki’s do their thing in this paragraph…aren’t I a little stinkier?

It’s been decided by me that way too much time is spent on a computer in my present existence.  In front of a computer all day at work, then evenings and weekends in front of this computer researching products and courses of action, and cheapest bargains possible on Etsy (Etsy’s my bedmate it seems these days) to round off storage problems at my place of residence.  With no available floor space, if I don’t want to live in a place where the walls are closing in on me, I’m having to work upward…wall shelves, on top of dresser and cabinet shelves, you know, anything to do with upward immobility.

Then there’s the writing.  I need to get back to my novel, which is only important to me and my niece…but it is important.  If I lived my life like a novel must read, I would be complaining about life being too exhausting in that one crisis after another must happen; lives must keep the reader enthralled or they drop you in a heartbeat.  It’s difficult and demanding.  I find I must live these people’s lives in my head, become a part of their existence to experience what must come next that is invigorating or exasperating.  If they vegetate for a bit, then another character who matters must fill the void.  I feel like I’m becoming multi-people; the real me and then the pretend story that is life in the fast lane and at its best.  Are there writers that are bonafided schizophrenic?

I was nice to myself last night.  Cooked a real dinner.  When alone, my real dinners may be another’s nightmare.  Eating in shifts, what can I say, it’s just me when I have only myself to fend for; so, I eat a meal in shifts :)  Cooked an artichoke to perfection and ate it with a bit of mayonnaise.  Grew up eating artichokes with Catalina Dressing, which I still prefer, but this dressing on a salad pukes me out, so it is never in my pantry or fridge, but the mayo is…can’t stand butter on a sandwich.



Next, cooked up two thick pork chops with Marsala wine.  If veal, chicken or pork Marsala in not in your repertoire of eating delights; in my opinion, you are missing out on one of the best pleasures of dining.  Disappointed in restaurant fare that have Marsala in its menu titles, but when the first bit goes into my mouth, I’m wondering where’s that full bodied nutty Marsala flavor…was just a tiny teaspoon only of wine added; I've had to forget restaurants altogether on this issue and just cook it myself.




I like it basic…two floured loin chops (bone in with no water or chemicals injected into those poor things) a little sea salt and coarse ground pepper, cooked in butter or oil, just until done, beware…it’s easy to overcook pork, then one half cup of wine added for a few minutes, remove chops and add a fourth cup of beef broth to pan and bring to a boil to thicken just a bit and pour over meat on serving platter.  Heaven on earth!





After finishing that off, one for dinner, one for the next day, I decided on a little sweetness to finish it all off.  Grabbed the Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes and turned to the bread page and Spicy Mandarin Orange Muffins.  Mmmmmm.  Perfection!  So, this is where I’m going to leave you, thinking about Mandarin Orange Muffins while I am now munching on one.

It’s almost 5 pm in the evening and I think I should get dressed and do a little grocery shopping, so I don’t arrive at work tomorrow lunch less.  Then I’ll further contemplate my life in the slow lane of ho hum.





Saturday, February 1, 2014

Phantom Dolphins on an Icy Lake




Cloudless morn in the park as the sun rises into the sky makes for a strange phenomenon on the lake that is covered with a thick layer of ice.  Contracting and expanding creates a chorus of cracking, moaning, belching and popping, from grinding to thundering booms.  The quieter resonances remind me mostly though of the sound of dolphins.  It's mesmerizingly mysterious.  Standing on the pier, numbed in place, sounds rise and spiral to the heavens all around me. It's unimaginable to give up and retreat back to the warmth of my car; and it's impossible to remain there even a minute longer and not be frozen solid wrapped in my wool coat, hat and mittens.  Then the sound of a HUGE cracking of ice that travels from somewhere out there to under the pier and beyond makes me feel as if that frozen lake is going to open up and swallow me.  Hypnotic, narcotic...I can't seem to get enough of it.  I could stand there forever in awe!

At the end of the day I'm home, and topping off the ice encrusted pond is no laughing matter.  I'm not singing.  Bird bath heaters are exposed and frozen in place; back deck is sprinkled with bird droppings from what must have been a thousand winged poopers.  Rats...the Siberian starlings are at it again!  Each year another piece of expensive bobble is added in hopes of spiffing up the wintry bare-bones of these gardens, and each winter it still looks pathetically barren.  It's all aging like I have three lives to live waiting for it's glorious maturity.


Beauty in Simplicity
aka
Flat Broke Gardening

Eat your heart out, snooty Biltmore!


                      


Nature is never perfect,
and
that's what makes her perfect.

Dry Grass

Winterberry

Something

x marks the spot

Weed :)

Lake Rock

Sweet Bay Magnolia

Methuselah 

Mumbo Jumbo

Holly by Golly

Caged



Layers of Frozen

Star-burst pattern on glass ending bird collisions

Shadow Cave





Oooooooooooooh man!
nothin' tuh eat.








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