Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Can't Get no...Satisfaction...

Ah the tunes from my youth...the Rolling Stones, whom I discovered when I first heard Satisfaction, still remain a favorite. For the life of me though, I can't tell you why. Mick has not aged well...he (like so many of us) has just aged. But that song still stays the same, and it seems as though these days, I can't get no satisfaction. While I am just thrilled with how great everything is looking in the garden, I'm quietly wishing the rain would stop. While we don't have it nearly as bad as our friends in certain parts of Florida, say, still and all it has been raining here for two weeks. Enough is enough. Or as my pal Bubbles (Violet Loxley) used to say, "fun's fun, but damn a pantomime!". Today we have been teased by the sun. It has come out three times. Of course it lasted no longer than five minutes at a time, so that means the garden is still saturated with water and Mac can not go out and play. If he could go out and play, I could finish getting my work done rather than answer myriad questions on why I'm doing what I'm doing and how long it's going to take me to finish it.

But like I was saying...this time last year we were well into our third year of drought. The fruit trees bore little dried up fruit which soon fell to earth inedible to even the birds. The garden dried up and the tomato plants refused to cooperate so I'd have lots and lots of tomatoes to freeze and can. When the rain first started, the ground was so rock hard that much of it just rolled downhill and into the creek. This made the creek swell and overflow it's banks, but luckily not enough to do any harm. Now the ground has become a sponge and is retaining water much like I was once wont to do. It hasn't started to regurgitate or refuse to accept any more water yet...but I'm afraid of the word "yet". I don't want that to become the operative word.

This morning we picked a large basket of plums off one plum tree. The other plum tree is loaded, but has yet to ripen. I'm afraid they will swell to bursting and just fall, green, onto the ground. I have big plans for those plums, that includes jelly making. The sun was just out. But I see by the shadows on the windows that the clouds have rolled over it's face like a hawk on a mouse...lasting less than the prescribed five minutes. I hear Mac's boots on the porch. Guess I'll go play twenty questions.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Letter Home

Dear Folks,
Well, I just wanted all of you to know that once more I have landed on my feet. There was a terrible storm a couple of weeks ago, with lots of noise and lights and it scared me into early labor. I'm not used to so much activity and worry over how my siblings were faring in such really had me in a tizzy. The children were just soaking wet and I feared they might drown. Suddenly this red car pulled into the parking lot of the building where I had found some shelter. I had the kids up on the loading dock and made plenty of noise when I heard activity in the back hall way. The door opened and the giant on the other side looked down at me and my little brood and sighed. Heavily. I don't think he was to pleased to see us, but he didn't chase us away either. He left for a bit, then came back out with a box. I watched, holding my breath, as he scooped the children up and put them in the box. He turned to go inside, then looked back at me and said, "well, are you coming in?" Of course I was coming in. What's he think, I'm nuts?

He got this small warm air machine and began to dry and warm the children, then he turned it to me. Not liking this new turn of events, I ran behind this big chair, and washed and dried myself. What's he think, I'm a baby? So anyway, after we were all warmed up, I got in with the babies and they had a good meal. I heard the giant leave the room, and when he returned, he had a bowl of milk and some sort of meat broken up in the dish. He called it chicken, and I was amazed. Did you know that lizard tastes like chicken? He kept asking me where I had come from and how I had ended up at the Progressive Journal. I tried to tell him that I needed a job to support me and my family and that I was an excellent Copycat, that there was no job around a newspaper that I couldn't tackle with finesse and speed. And judging from the mouse droppings I hadn't gotten here a minute to soon.

I saw him pick up this little square gizmo and start talking into it. I think he called it a cell. Didn't look like any cell that I'd ever seen before, but I took his word for it. So whoever was on the other end ( he called her Mom) he was telling her about my plight and asking if there was any room at the inn. Seriously, he asked if THERE WAS ANY ROOM AT THE INN! At first all I could hear was laughter coming from the other end of the thing he called a cell. A laughing cell. Now that I could handle. He explained that along with me, there were five little ones and that he couldn't keep us here. There seemed to be some conversation on the other end and after a bit he put all of us in the red car. He told me I couldn't drive and kept moving me away from the steering wheel. I had never traveled so fast and the scenery was fascinating. We turned down this long drive and I saw a house and trees. Man there are a lot of trees here. It's like Disneyland. So anyway, we stopped next to this house and a lady giant came out and hugged the man giant and then they stood looking down at the children. The lady giant was telling the man giant that I was so ugly I was cute. What does she mean ugly? She started calling me Puddinhead immediately. How did she know what you call me, Mama? I tried to tell her my name was Shaherazade but she just won't say it.

So, I have this nice house just off the porch, we are all warm and comfy, meal times come regularly at 6 am and 6 pm and we have all the rest of the day to do our own thing. Today I went exploring with the pair of giants who live here. I found their garden to my liking. And the woods are wonderful. I met this really bossy squirrel who told me to stay off his tree. Like, I didn't see his name on it, so what's he on about? Anyway Mom, I just wanted all of you to know that we're safe and don't worry about us. I don't know why they call this the Crazy Cat Lady's house. She doesn't seem at all crazy to me. I think she may be my gift from the Maker.

alias "Puddinhead"

From The Crazy Cat Lady: I had a message on here about a blogger who's blog disappeared and now blogger is blocking some of my visitors so I've removed all mention of my friend to see if that helps...what in the devil is going on!? And I also wanted to tell you that my book, The Crazy Cat Lady has been picked up by Amazon. Just type in the title in your Amazon Search!

Monday, May 18, 2009

This is May 18th? REALLY?

I woke up this morning...and that was the good news! Sonny, having recovered from his little procedure was in full helicopter mode (purring and loving) demanding breakfast. It's the most active we've seen him since he came home from the hospital. We had a busy weekend which began last Thursday. Our DIL Anna graduated from College Thursday night. She now has her degree in Business Management and was ever so glad to get that out of the way. She is sick of school she tells me. The graduation was held at the Florence Civic Center. We were on the second tier. I don't think I could have handled the third tier. I felt as though I were hanging from a catwalk as it was. We followed the ceremony with supper at the Olive Garden. They have the absolute best Eggplant Parmesan there. Okay, now here is a really bad picture...on the left is Anna's mom Judy, then me (my aunt told me I'm still looking "peaked" which is a southern way of telling you that you look like hell...I have to admit...I look like hell...but Arianna is beautiful and so is Mac! So anyway, we spent the weekend helping the kids do some landscaping. That is where the kids and Mac work and I give know: put that there, dig that here plant this was fun.

Then, as I said, I woke up this morning and jumped out of bed...well perhaps jumped is not exactly what I did...I sort of grunted and groaned and waited for Mac to push me upright. I went into the kitchen and turned on the coffee pot, then opened the front door so I could see what all that blessed rain had done during the night. I closed it quickly, because it was cold out there! I'm not kidding, after I put on a jacket and went onto the porch to read the thermometer, it was 42 degrees. On May 18th. In South Carolina. Yes, Spring is still here after all. I'd be looking forward to temperatures like this in September. But in May? It is May, right?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Pet Taxi...aSpring Rerun

It was this past Tuesday night and Sonny, the little Russian Blue kitten had an appointment for Wednesday morning with Dr. Lawhon, our beloved Vet. He was going to have a little, well shall we say procedure? We hadn't yet broached the subject with him, I just planned to pick his little highness up and place him in the taxi without much ado. Placing the Pet Taxi to the side of the bookshelf, I left it open so that the cats could explore it's innards and figure out that there was nothing inside to hurt them. Pyewackit and Hound being the most recent passengers avoided that open door like the plague. They tried to warn Sonny and Cher, but they're kittens and they don't listen to their elders any more than any other teenager. They romped around inside it, chasing each other in and out of it and all the while the two adults just sat back and watched. They were cringing. I remembered when I had taken Pyewackit for the same procedure twelve years ago. He talked to me all the way to Hartsville, we sang and laughed and he was Mama's boy and all was fine in his world.

On the trip home the next day, Pye presented me with his back. He did not speak. He did not sing. He was no longer Mama's boy...he was just angry. As I drove I talked to him, promised him shrimp when we got home, promised him it was going to be alright. He turned and hissed at me. He didn't speak to me for two weeks.

Hound, being a little lady, had a different procedure, but a procedure she did have. When we took her in, she was a sweet little baby who, having been raised by us before her eyes were even open, thought we were the biggest cats she had ever seen. She would curl up on my shoulder to sleep and purr like a proper princess. After her little op she changed gradually. She got bigger, not fat, just tall. She became very bossy and demanding. A few weeks ago Sonny got out by accident and spent all night under the porch. The next morning he showed up at the patio doors asking to be allowed back in. I opened the door and he ran to Hound who proceeded to beat him to within an inch of his life. She had not given him permission to stay out all night, and was asserting her authority over him.

So today we went to pick Sonny up and bring him home. He was so glad to see us, he purred and chattered all the way home. I was reading the post-op instructions about using paper litter etc. etc. I looked over at Mac and told him that I had just thought of something. "What?" he asked. "I hope Hound doesn't jump on him for having another overnighter." He laughed and said that when Hound saw him come out of the pet taxi, she would take pity on him. He was right.

When we got home, his sister Cher was all over him, asking where he had been and that she had been worried about him. She was giving him a good bath and Sonny was enjoying the attention. They were so glad to see each other. Cher pointed to Sonny and asked "what happened there?" Sonny, in mid bath stopped and stared at himself..."dunno, they were there when I left home." Since neither of them particularly cared that a change had indeed been accomplished, I felt good about Cher's little trip in two weeks time. I haven't told her about her appointment yet. It seems to work better when you keep it a secret.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

How I spent my Spring Break

I have had so many of you ask me, "are you writing a book? Why not?" Well, the answer is yes, I have written a book. While I was recuperating from my last illness I spent time stretched out with the galley copy editing and correcting. All the time I was being spurred on by my book editor, Wallace McBride. He cracks a mean whip and had the book up and running in no time. I could not have done it without him. I am now working on book 2. In the mean time, I hope that should you buy the book (just click on the book cover in the sidebar) you will enjoy reading it at least half as much as I did writing it. Or, just click here

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Beauty Around Us

This is "Pea Patch", English Peas, actually. Also at each corner is Cabbage. In the background is our Blackberry patch...blooming like mad!

And here is a close up of the Potato crop. This is one of two bins we've planted. These are Yukon Gold, the other bin is Idaho Baking potato
Now, how is this for lettuce? And it's only one side of the bed. Romaine and Butter Crunch are my favorites. I regret not planting spinach, but in the fall we'll remedy that mistake! Nothing as tasty as a mixed green salad with baby spinach!

This is my Day Lily Bed. Last year I cleaned out the old bed and took up all the little "nuts" that clung to the roots. This is the result! Lots of new plants that cost me nothing.

And this is the Iris Bed. There are still many to bloom, and I am looking forward to their arrival. Note the "Southern Charm" headboard and footboard...I did tell you it was an Iris Bed!
The Plum trees are proving to be quite abundantly loaded with fruit...

This head of broccoli will be in my freezer tonight! It's one of about 8 heads that we grew.

Mac is an amazing gardener who grows all his own plants. These he started back in February, they're ready for the garden!

Here is our square foot garden filled with lettuce, broccoli , onions, cabbage and cucumber plants. At the head of it is our potato crop in a large bin. This is one of the three square foot garden beds we have in the garden.

Last year in September, Lowe's had these Clematis Plants (you may say CLEMatis or CleMATIS, either is correct). They looked dead, were only fifty cents each and I brought home these...they're lovely, aren't they?

View of the other "dead" plant!

This is a closeup of one of my many Iris in the Iris bed that is blooming...remember to click on the photo to enlarge it if you want.

You know it is absolutely amazing how our gardens can get along without us for a bit, but our neglect will tell, in the end. So this week, every morning, Mac and I have been out weeding and watering, planting and thinning...and harvesting. The lettuce is at the "pull me now" stage and we've been enjoying wonderful salads every night this week. The broccoli will be pulled today and go into to the freezer after blanching. Except for one head which will go in the steamer for supper tomorrow. I could really live on fruits and vegetables these days, the fresher the better.
I'm still not quite 100 percent, I find that even though I've just spent two weeks in bed, I tire quite easily, so I just do a bit more each day. I'm getting there. I have plans for the flower beds and Mac has plans for the vegetable garden. I am still reeling from all the bounty of lettuce and onions, the potato bins will be full this summer...and we grew it all ourselves. I'm including pictures!
Thanks so much for keeping an eye on me and holding my feet to the healing fire of rest!! I love you all.