Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Naughty List

Dear Santa,
Good dogs don't steal snacks from the kitty litter pan.
He's a baaaaaaaaad dog...
a VERY bad dog!
Miss Kitty Perfect little JackRat...have you been slightly naughty these last eleven months?

I don't answer to that name, mommy of sucks!

Whoa...where did you learn to speak like that?

I listen to you all the time, mommy dearest.

Oh, so you choose not to obey me on purpose.


You're half 'n half...Jack Russell and Rat Terrier.

It's uncouth being called a rat, mommy dear.

Uncouth?  How did you come up with that word?  Did one of the cats look it up for you in the thesaurus?

In the whatus?

The  thesa...never what does my little terror on paws prefer to be called?

R. Russell!

Hmmm...R R.  You do remember your real name is Dustin, don't you?

Dustin Smustin...R. Russell is my real name from now on, mommy not so dear.

Okay, little stink pot, R R. it is.

R. Russell!

R R.!

R. Russell, R. Russel, R. Russell!

R R., R R., R R.!

:(  Are you sure we're related, mommy tough nut repeat-a-lot.

Of course, we're related.  I'm stubborn and my little doggy woggy, kiss kiss, hug hug is stubborn too.

:`(  Bluck, bluck, spit spit patooie!  Zoe says I have a big problem and I'm toast this Christmas.

Zoe...our cat Zoe?  She doesn't even like you.  Why are you listening to her.

She's smart.

Smart?  Who told you that?


Hmmmmmmmmm...  I'll have to think on this one a bit.

R. Russell!  




Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy...dinnertime!

Dinner's not for another two hours.  Let's talk about being toast at Christmas time.

Bow wow wow wow wow wow... :)  mommy being toast at Christmas time with strawberry jam on top...yeh yeh yeh!

What the hell!  We're going to talk about your chat with Zoe.  

What chat with Zoe?  She doesn't even like me, mommy dearest.


Has Santa been here yet, has he HAS HE HAS HE!

That's Christmas eve, my little bark-a-holic.  He only visits dogs who have been extra good.

:) I'm going to get gobs and gobs of stuff :)

Hmmm...have you been extra good, my ditsy little pooch?

I haven't bitten a single soul this past eleven months, and I only chew up shoes I can sneak outside when no one is looking.

What was that last part you said?

I said nothing, mommy dear.  You must be a little tired and hearing voices.

What about the five hundred fifty-two times you've barked at the window just this last month?

I'm sure it couldn't have been more than three hundred twenty-five times.  I'm just in watch dog mode protecting my mommy :)

What was that first part you said?

I said no first part, mommy love a lot.  Perhaps you could lie down and rest a bit.

I see you're up to your old terrier tricks again by being so boringly stubborn.  You know I have your number, little doggy-poo poo.  You gobble those tootsie roll snacks right out of the kitty litter pan every day :(

I'm just hungry, mommy sweetest, and saving you money buying less cans of dog food for me.  Cat yummy!

What was that, my little munchkin.  What did you say at the end, and don't tell me I'm imagining it all, little squirt!

Of course not, sweet mommy of mine.  Just my stomach grumbling cause it's hungry.


Has Santa been here yet, has he HAS HE HAS HE!  

Oh, good grief!  Pardon me while I go to my blank mind space with a glass of white wine and a package of salty peppered potato chips.  




Charlotte & Austin

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!!!

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