Sunday, April 26, 2009

We Put Our Garden In

My husband almost killed me this weekend. I “help” him out in the yard, but he typically does the heavy work in the garden. This weekend was planting time, so I helped him plant twenty-seven tomato plants; red, green and yellow peppers; jalapenos, eggplants, and zucchini. Then I helped him put a temporary chicken wire fence around the whole thing to protect the garden from the deer and the rabbits and any other varmints that might want to help themselves to the fruits of our labor. It was almost 90 degrees out, and the humidity was pretty high as well. I still haven’t totally recovered!
April 26 015Here’s a view from the long side (which is what we see from our screened porch).
April 26 011 We also planted seven new Knock Out roses in the front under my office window.
April 26 003 I already had the evening primrose that I planted two years ago. It has spread quite a bit. I love that it looks so translucent and delicate. I’ve read that it is considered to be a noxious weed by some gardeners, but I have it confined to one area and think it looks nice.
April 26 004 I have million bells that are two years old, too (see the mound down the walk. There are two pinks and two purples.) I cover them up with pine straw in the fall and they have come back twice now. It is so nice to have some of my flowers come back so I don’t have buy all new every spring.
April 26 007 What do you think about our Japanese maple? Isn’t it gorgeous?
April 26 017 In two weeks, we’ll be putting out fresh long leaf pine straw for mulch. We have a lot of beds…it takes about one hundred bales. When we put our yard in we thought we’d be smart and built a lot of beds so we wouldn’t have to mow as much. We didn’t think about what a chore it is to spread pine straw, not to mention how much it costs!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Loss of a Pet

One of my dearest friends is going through a difficult time right now because their dog is seriously ill. There’s no way of knowing what tomorrow may bring, and they are just trying to enjoy her and love her as much as they can, every day. Losing a pet is very hard, especially when he or she is part of the family.

We had our dog, Gus, for eighteen years. I adopted him from the SPCA. When I took him to the vet to get him checked out, he guessed that he was part doxie and some kind of terrier. Now, if you have a dog of ‘unknown ancestry’ you can send his DNA in for testing and find out where he came from. But I think the vet was pretty much correct, because Gus had that terrier and doxie attitude and swagger. He would have had such a good time chasing all our cats around. He liked ‘his’ cat, Eldon, but would chase any others. He didn’t try to catch them, he just liked to chase them. He thought he was a big dog and would confront any dog that came near his yard, no matter what its size.

He was like a child to me, and when he was gone, I cried and cried. But one thing helped me through it. I wrote a poem in his honor. Thinking about him while I was writing it helped as well. I recommend it to anyone who has lost a pet. He’s been gone for five years now and I still miss him.

In Memory of Gus

Somewhere above my little dog waits;

He patiently sits at a glistening gate.

His eyes, once clouded, are shining and clear;

His ears, long deaf, prick when my voice he hears.

When he sees me, he’ll bound high and low

On legs that used to be stiff and slow.

Instead of a collar, he wears a circle of light;

He’ll welcome me Home, and all things will be right.

old 240

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Adventures in Kitty-sitting

Last week we kitty-sat our kittens’ littermate. His name is Trixie. There was a little gender confusion when they were kittens; one of our girls is named Max. Trixie, being an only child, didn’t know how to play with other cats. When our neighbor brought him in, there was much hissing, spitting and posturing among all five cats. Trixie was scared of us, and he was scared of our girls, too.

He is much larger and more muscular than our kittens. His coat is similar to Max’s, but more mackerel than the classic tabby pattern. After a few days he realized we were not a threat to him, and he wanted to play with the other kitties. Unfortunately, since he doesn’t know proper feline etiquette, he would rush at them, which would cause them to run, spurring him to chase them. When he eventually cornered them, they made the most frightening sounds possible in an attempt to dissuade him from attacking. But all he wanted to do was play. Our kitties were constantly looking over their shoulders for him; ready to flee in an instant.

from behind

He was a really good boy. The few times we had to tell him ‘no’, he would quit doing whatever it was, but he always would talk back a little. It was like he was saying, “I’ll quit, but I don’t want to.” He eventually took up with us and let us pick him up and love on him for short periods of time. But we had to be careful because he likes to nip a little, and you have to anticipate when to stop. He never did get to play with his little sisters. After he left, they were exhausted and all of them collapsed into a relieved slumber.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not Your Mother’s Easter Bunny

We went to visit our son, daughter-in-law and grandson this past weekend. Of course, we took an Easter basket for our grandson (he’s 3 1/2). At Christmas, of all the presents we gave him, the biggest hit was a reindeer that pooped brown jelly beans. As luck would have it, I found an Easter bunny that poops jelly beans, and it even waddles along at the same time! Again, a big hit.

Feb22 074a Feb22 073a

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Little Stevie

My husband was the youngest of five children. He was always getting into trouble, so they would tie him to something when they were too busy to constantly run after him. Once, when they were moving into a new house, they tied him to a tree. A little while later, a neighbor walked up with a little naked boy in tow, and asked "Does this belong to you"? He'd stripped off his clothes and escaped!

37th Annual Flowertown Festival

This weekend was the 37th annual Flowertown Festival. More than 200 crafters participate in the juried show. It draws over 200,000 in attendance over a three-day period. This time of year finds the azaleas, redbuds, plums, spirea, and wisteria in bloom...among others. The festival takes place in the Summerville town park, which is full of gorgeous blooming plants and trees. There are also ponds and various sculptures to admire. This year just prior to the festival weekend, we got 5.5 inches of rain. The town workers did their best to mitigate the muddy mess by putting down sheets of plywood, and shoveling sand in low spots, but on Friday, the first day of the festival, we had to slog through the mud.

This year, my husband's brother and his wife were here from Rhode Island and they got to go with us.

Here are my husband and his brother. Their sister and her husband had a booth at the festival (Windjammer Scrollsawing). He's the one who made the letter "G" that I have on my front door.