Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Assault of Goodness

Too much of a good thing
can be wonderful.

Mae West

Celandine Poppy

Last night, there came a frost,
which has done great damage to my garden...
It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals,
inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then,
when we are entirely within her power,
striking us to the heart.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Lilyput Iris 'Making Eyes'

Darwin Hybrid Tulip "Apeldoorn's Elite"

to be commanded,
must be obeyed.

Francis Bacon

Virginia Bluebell

Half the interest
of a garden
the constant exercise
 of the imagination.

Mrs. C.W. Earle

Rabbiteye Blueberry

Triandus albus daffodil 'April Tears'

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments;
there are consequences.

Robert Ingersoll

Allegheny Spurge

Only in quiet water
do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind
is adequate perception of the world.

- Hans Margolius

Golden Club

Pesty Weed
Indian Strawberry

I am not a lover of lawns.
Rather would I see daisies in their thousands,
ground ivy, hawkweed, and even the hated plantain
 with tall stems, and dandelions
with splendid flowers and fairy down,
than the too-well-tended lawn.

W.H. Hudson

Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart

Alumroot 'Carmel'

I'd like to leave but daffodils
to mark my little way,
to leave but tulips red and white
behind me as I stray;
I'd like to pass away from earth
and feel I'd left behind
but roses and forget-me-nots
for all who come to find.

I'd like to sow the barren spots
with all the flowers of earth,
to leave a path where those who come
should find but gentle mirth;
and when at last I'm called upon
to join the heavenly throng
I'd like to feel along my way
I'd left no sign of wrong.

And yet the cares are many
and the hours of toil are few;
there is not time enough on earth
for all I'd like to do;
but, having lived and having toiled,
I'd like the world to find
some little touch of beauty
that my soul had left behind.

Edgar Albert Guest

Holly 'China Girl'

Gardening is civil and social,
but it wants the vigor and freedom
of the forest and the outlaw.

Henry David Thoreau

Mother Nature...
Dog eat dog world out there...
Every thing's part of the food chain...
Just ask any human, being chased by a bear.

Hot...cold, hot...cold, hot...cold.  Last week was short sleeves and sandals; today it's winter coat and gloves, weed picking, lawn mowing, weed picking, edge trimming, weed picking, butt knot, weed picking, compost laying, weed picking, mulch laying, weed picking, leg cramp, weed picking, garden grass raking, weed picking, back pinching, weed picking, pond dredging, weed picking, teeth clinching, weed picking.

One day it's cramming all spare fragments of time I can possibly scrape into the wee hours of my past bedtime evening, leafing hurriedly through the colorful pages of one of many many plant catalogs that choke my mailbox as it wobbles under the weight overload of so many dead trees.  Next morning March gardens have exploded across the starting line in a marathon race of gigantic proportions, filling every nook and cranny with green, green, green, upward, upward and outward; and as usual, they have left me choking in their dust three miles back, five miles back, way way waaaaay back.

April will invariably find me cursing to the heavens the day I ever thought a yard full of nature was the greatest idea ever, and wondering why do I keep buying these bloody plants from those bloody catalogs; plants that I have absolutely no time to stuff into the earth, but time I must find, even if it's with flashlight in hand, wind blowing on face, trying to beat the rain before the sprinkles break loose into a deluge.

It is utterly forbidden
to be half-hearted about gardening.
You have got to love your garden
whether you like it or not.

W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My little sweetheart...

My heart's broken...
His seventeenth birthday was coming up;
but his frail little body was worn out,
and my Jesse died this afternoon.
I think I have cried all I can cry,
then I cry some more.
He was my little sweetheart.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daffy-down-Dilly Days

Adieu...Sweet Winter of Contentment

Gentle tranquility
quietly waiting...
until day and night are equal
in all nooks and crannies of this old world -
when the sun speeds ahead of the moon
to warm the earth
and shake her from deep slumber.

Just Stuff That Pleases Me

Shiny Glass

Crazy Art

Love Stories that Last

One's Love Affair -
Another's Nightmare 

Size 40 Shoes!

Passage of Time

"It was one of those March days
when the sun shines hot
and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light,
and winter in the shade."

- Charles Dickens

A violet by a mossy stone
half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star
when only one
is shining in the sky.

- William Wordsworth

Singed with amber hue
tilting his head ever so slowly
those eyes burn deep into my heart
the ups and downs he's living through...
My sweet sweet sweet 
will you drift into the deep
as we fall asleep this night,
or will morning break
finding you triumphant
still close to me with gentle voice 
for one more precious day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Remind me again why I can't live without cats...

Still feeling young...when husband would cringe every time I announced we were going on a rock expedition; him wondering out loud with a disposition soured in two seconds flat...who is this creature he's living with that plucks rocks and boulders along with their children and relatives from where they are happiest, forcing them to set up housekeeping in our gardens; while the neighbors are plucking rocks and boulders out of their gardens and chucking them back into the countryside.  Days when a thirty pound rock was still a possibility for me to cart out of the wilds, and a sixty pound rock we both could moan and groan our way back to the tailgate of our vehicle with it.

Surveying construction site for the cream of the crop of unusual appearing chunks of sand not yet eroded; chunks caressed, abused, and bashed by wind and water into misshapen goodies...a yowl of significant magnitude pierced the air and yanked our heads in its direction.  It popped out of the jungle of weeds, this handful of white fluff with a mouth attached to its face that opened from ear to ear and barraged us with cries of neediness.  Two more fur balls stayed in the safety of weeds, one orange-striped, one siamese-like...only the runt of the lot took a chance and allowed me to scoop it up into the safety of my arms and rush it home to the dungeon, a room full of manly man crap, husband's crammed full of junk workroom...to a life of solitary confinement.  (Next morning the other two fur balls were bribed with tuna, grabbed leaving gouges, scratches and a bite to their rescuer, stuffed into carriers, and sent to live with a friend for the remainder of their happy-ever-after lives.)

Cutie remained in the dungeon until he was declared healthy by vet, and the other felines had finished their phases of sniffing, hissing, growling, stalking and batting the closed door and waiting and waiting and waiting for that monster that was hidden from sight.  Visitations with Cutie to feed, pet, and play...to socialize him to me...all this lasted about two months, until I felt reasonably certain the others would not freak out when this little squirt was let loose in their midst.

Jesse......he seemed like a Jesse, so Jesse it was...his name from that day forward...Jesse actually picked his very own hour of release.  His frenzied pleadings of let-me-out-of-here! cries, caused me to fling open that door, to find him hanging onto the door jamb looking straight into my eyes.  Holding my breath, I pried him loose, and let him face his fate with the resident feline gang of four.  He survived...maturing into a handsome blue eyed devil, slim with orange points and stripped tail, he favored the siamese in him; becoming an excessive talker to humans and a climber to perches in high places...just like any bloody pain in the butt sweet looking siamese.

Jesse's one and only connection in his youth was Michael, but Michael was already old at that point of time, and Jesse was soon left to himself and me.

Andee joined the group as a pudgy wild little kitten, latching onto Jesse and always with Jesse, much to Jesse's dismay.  Jesse's not a tabby cat's cat, he wants nothing to do with an Andee type buddy, he tolerates, only tolerates.  Andee's a Jesse cuddlier, a Jesse buddy, he tries and tries and tries, but is often abandoned by Jesse.  Andee snuggles up to Jesse in his cat bed...Jesse pins his ears back with that look of annoyance plastered across his face.  Andee lays on human bed with Jesse...Jesse up and leaves, and Andee is quite alone.  What could be a match made in heaven, has become a mismatch of personalities.

The battle would begin...good versus evil, sweetness verses mischievousness, top cat versus bottom cat...it became Jesse's obsession to topple Miss Molly from her lofty throne of the feline kingdom.  He was the light of my heart, but plummeted to the depths of darkness, becoming a gigantic thorn in my side.

Miss Molly would sleep in the bedroom, on the bed, tucked under the blankets, all cozy and comfy.  Bedtime found her buried under covers curled up against my body, and I would leave a little air hole for her as the covers were quite heavy in winter.  

Jesse sought her out like a heat seeking missile when I wasn't in site of the room.  Spying the lump of Miss Molly under covers, he pounced on it, kicking the hell out of her with his hind feet.  A discombobulated feline, Molly would be screeching and trying with all her might to crawl out to save her own life.  He eventually evicted her from the bedroom, and she resigned to sleeping in the living room.  She got even by beating him to my lap every time I sat down in the living room for the evening...she could make her way onto my lap in 2 seconds flat.  Jesse retaliated by trying to lay on top of her on top of my lap.

Anytime Molly changed her sleeping location, Jesse was there to sharpen his claws and shred her furniture.  Her furniture was my furniture, so a battle ensued between him and me also, his term of endearment quickly becoming little shithead.  Jesse marked her cat pan and stunk up the room; Molly marked his cat pan and everything else her petite rump could reach.  Jesse perched on counter top, leaping and landing on her with a thud when she passed by, freaking the bejeezees right out of her.  Molly snuck onto the same counter top when alone, and pissed on his bed with all her might.  Jesse cornered and bullied her when she tried to eat her meals, Molly later one evening left a double dose pile of shit on his bed.  Anytime I heard her screech, the first word out of my mouth was always JEEESSEE!!!

Sweet, lovable, endearing, petite and polite Miss Molly became bad ass bad attitude Miss Molly, the cat the vet clinic soon came to fear with a passion.  I told them it was Jesse's doing, and they declared...No Way!...that adorable affectionate sweetheart of a cat...you lie!  Fearlessness came with Miss Molly's old age...something snapped...she began to attack Jesse in her dementia state of mind...and Jesse became the underdog in Miss Molly's remaining years.  Molly paid him back big time by living out 20 lives instead of the common 9, and spent the remaining of her many years tormenting Jesse whenever he was in range of her paws and claws.

A rogue with style, charisma, and charm; he's king of the feline trio, eating whenever he pleases, and where ever he chooses.  If I disagree, I'm pestered to the edge of sanity until I relent; as he's cunningly manipulated me into being his #1 can opener operator slave maid.  He's been known to claim Zoe's food as his own, whether it reeks of multiple fishy and powdery additives or is a flavor he utterly detests...if it's Zoe's, it's his 100%.

Drifting in and out of his foggy madness - he's chasing the dickens out of Andee one minute, then vegetating in couch potato mode the next.  He's my computer geek buddy, forcing me to align my arms and legs in fifty different work obstructive and comfort destructive positions; allowing my body the pleasure of suffering fifty different focal points of fatiguing pain as he serenely tucks himself onto my lap for the long haul.

His eyes spy my every move as he tries to outguess my next destination, until I ultimately land at his most favorite location at beddie bye time.  Curling up tight within the curve of my arm, kneading those tootsies ever so lightly, face emitting a glow of ecstasy in pure contentment, he loves and is loved...my devilish, little sweetheart of a guy.

Jesse's Other Stories...

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