One very long rambling stroll

I ventured out of the house yesterday! The oppressive darkness and heat seems to have abated somewhat, at least I plan on convincing myself of the factualness of that desire, because my chair and I need a break from each other, or one of us is going to say a few things or five, of which I am sure we will regret.

So with being up and around, I decided to do a stroll about and see what makes me go humph, that’s nice. Something I can take back inside with me to ponder upon when the sun dims again and I am overcome with the need to shelter in place with my treacherous chair and my dreams of Idaho.

I wish I had been able to capture the swarm, well okay just three, hummingbirds that were hovering on and near the porch as I walked out the door, but I was too much in awe of their dance, flitting from here to there, to even consider looking away long enough to take a picture.  My daughters are creating a haven for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with all the blooming plants they are putting in. So fairytalesque to be invaded by hummingbirds. Their nests are so tiny.

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They finished planting the front bed, sort of. The strawberries, the beginnings of the herbs, and flowers of course, have joined the trees and the day lilies. The lilies will make a nice natural fence when they fill in completely. But the artichokes will not be available until next fall or winter so wood stumps have been used to mark their future placement. My son likes the look of them as decoration, and I do admit they are more pleasing to the eye than a rock or a stake would have been, but I suspect a hidden agenda on his part, like perhaps any wood that removes itself from his pile to be split is a good thing, I’m just saying, however, I am sure he was being sincere if he says so..wink wink.

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The city has plans to replace the sidewalks so removing the grass from the parkways is on hold while we wait and wait and wait. Still, it would be just my luck to give up and begin the work, and then voila, they will appear and dig up anything we’ve planted.

The decrepit fence below also needs to come out, and the work of digging out a trench for the concrete footer of the new solid tall fence for a bit of privacy has begun. However I have to go to the city and apply for a permit to change the fence, and I am so terrified of the thought of actual human interaction, that this might be as far as this project gets. I wonder if you can apply for a permit through a letter? Geez, I am such a hermit. So I will just put this off until after they replace the sidewalks, which does look to be never. Saved! There, so glad that’s settled, and there is no need for communication with the others, outside over there.

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Notice how I am doing my part for the drought and letting my grass die. It is really not that I am lazy and only care to water haphazardly. It must be that I am truly civic minded and such, thus restricting water use. It is so refreshing when I can find an excuse for my sloth. Hopefully by the time the drought is over I will have finished removing all the grass except a small patch upon which to play croquet during a picnic. Otherwise I really am going to win the bad neighbor award, and that is really not very nice 😟

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I have given up the dream of buying new double-pane windows, there are just too many other necessary projects which are demanding resources to be greedy about the quiet they would supply. For quiet does not rate above plumbing and roofs and electrical and paint and heat and food and college and dentists and transportation and so on and so forth.

So my challenge seeking daughter is removing and repairing the existing broken down windows. That does mean she has to rebuild the rotting, frequently termite damaged, frames. But like I said she loves a challenge, and therefore is stepping up to it. When she finishes this one it will be one down and six left to go, if all she does is repair the ones that either won’t open or close. I am so looking forward to being able to open the living room windows for they are in line with the late afternoon breezes and the eastside bedrooms.

The blackberries below are finally beginning to travel.  I have been pleasantly surprised by their revival, considering the abuse the few bits that have survived have had to endure, being moved from place to place, clinging to life in their frequently forgotten pots. I don’t expect much in the way of fruit for at least another year, and with the constantly looming possibility of moving, I am satisfied just to see them alive.

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Hummingbirds are fond of blooming aloe so I can stand at my kitchen window and watch them feed. Almost makes doing the dishes desirable, almost.

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My big brother gave me this tree as a house warming gift when my husband and I moved in many many years ago. My brother is a splendiferous gift giver. He listens when you talk, really listens, and then he surprises you with one of the desires of your heart. For I had just been rambling without intent as I showed him around when he came to visit, and must have touched upon how I would like to have a flowering pink crepe myrtle outside my kitchen window, and what do you know, he not only purchased one for me, he had it delivered along with the workmen and instructions of where they were to plant it. On my last birthday he was in China, but he left instructions to have bonbons and a book come my way. Shucks I really need to tell him how special he is…..yep!

So my flowering parkway trees began with a gift from my brother, which was then continued by my husband. There are so many memories in the trees on this property that it is always difficult to walk away, knowing that they might get cut down. But as I have said before, I will not stop planting or planning, it gives me too much pleasure in the today. I will face tomorrow when it comes around the corner and surprises me, as it is so often prone to do.

See that monster of a Ficus below. Ye gads I dislike that tree. Yes it is my fault, but still, if it didn’t provide necessary shade to the backyard animals and the frolicking children, I would attack it without remorse. This tree has been with me since my teen years. It lived in a pot in my bedroom. It was small and cute, and sometimes sported twinkly lights. So what happened? Ten years ago it was found neglected and dying in a junk heap behind the garage. It was decided to put it in the ground. Obviously a big mistake. I so want to trim it a bit, but every decision to demolish or prune something has the outcome of waste that needs to be disposed of, and with only two greens waste bins, every weeks trimming and such needs to be considered. Presently I am torn between a full frontal attack on the rat hedge or a minor pruning of this beast to get it off the crepe myrtles in the parkway. I do not want to do both and create piles, for it took us months to clear out the piles which were here when we moved in, and most importantly, piles attract critters.

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Speaking of rubble, I was delighted to see that my daughter has taken a sledge to the built-in barbecue congesting the path between the two back yards. It served no purpose other than a built in cave for the nesting of unwanted visitors. She did leave the slate counter and enough of the walls so that a roof can still be attached over the concrete slab here. There needs be some finishing work done to the exposed ends and this bit of the yard will look better than it ever has. Which by its appearance now, says a lot about what it was like.

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But, and there is always a but, I now have this pile of rubble to consider. I am still trying to come up with a way to use it somehow. I do so like to recycle and it would be an added plus to know that it once was a barbecue. I am sure it will come to me with time, or maybe it will never come, and the slow feed into the waste bin will remedy the problem….hum I wonder.

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Then I come to Toasty the rescue kitty. She is beautiful, small and quite sleek, and she thinks she is ferocious. Which I suppose is a good thing considering the hedge rats I want her to dispatch.

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I say she thinks she is ferocious because of how she stalks the chickens and the rabbit. She also stalks the dog, but our dog doesn’t get excited about anything, which must take a lot of the fun out it. In the beginning she would try and jump on the chickens , but now she just follows in her slow crouching way from a distance. I can only imagine why that is, but I surmise she caught the pointed ends of a chicken once. Just looking at Clementine’s scowling face below is enough to have me keeping a distance.

Chickens are not nice.

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Then there is Bat Bunny. Why rabbits think if they stay perfectly still you wont be able to see them cracks me up. It is true that at night it works, and I have been scared spitless a few times when I came upon her in the night, and she scampered over my feet.

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Toasty thinks she is going to catch her. She will creep and creep and once she is almost there the rabbit turns and gives her the stink eye.

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That’s all it takes, and Toasty backs down in feigned disgust. Thankfully she is smart enough not to take on the rabbit.

Rabbits can be savage.

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Now this is a good sign. Toasty can and should catch the rats in that hedge.

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I have managed to cut back the honeysuckle vine on eighty percent of the back perimeter fence. It is very slow going as two to three feet fill up the greens waste bins. It is always decisions decisions when it comes to those things. Anyway this last twenty percent has me running a bit scared. For it is the rat infested bit. I was thinking of taking drastic measures and using the chain saw to quickly remove it from the fence, but I have visions of rats scurrying everywhere and me with chainsaw in hand. That would just not end well. So we did discover an electric hedge trimmer buried in the back of the shed, but that only seems fractionally better to me. Besides, I cannot take it all off at once because I would have nowhere to put the mountain of trimmings. I am just going to have to suck it up and continue with my piece meal hand held hedge trimmer approach. At least I did go out and buy new trimmers so they are very very sharp, and could cut one of those pesky rodents to pieces if it dared to get in my way.

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Those pesky rats constantly ate the new corn shoots as they came up. My grandson diligently kept planting and as been rewarded not with a dense fort as was hoped for, but an unexpected healthy crop of corn instead. One never knows with life, and it is best to give praise and thanksgiving for whatever God chooses to give you, and I suppose my grandson will enjoy harvesting and eating that corn more than he would have just sitting in amongst it anyway, and even if he doesn’t, it is what it is, so what else is there do but rejoice and be glad in it.

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What is it with bunny ears? Is it passed on through DNA? I think every person knows inherently to do this. Okay, I know, this picture was taken a while ago, but since I am practicing stress reduction through self indulgence, it has reached the time to go whole hog and share a grandmother’s delight. Sigh…..I think my hat looks far better on them, for sure and for certain. ❤️ Blessings Belinda

 

 

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The Cowardly Dragon

imageI was looking back through my writing this morning and came to the realization that, unlike I thought, I had not actually altered the status quo much more than the breadth of a hair. The state of which I am, remains inherently the same as it was a year ago when I began. Yes, I might have let loose a thing or two from the dungeons of my mind, but having them out and about, running amuck, has not brought the freedom from myself, I used to believe I was hankering for.

Still, writing has given me the gift of myself for entertainment, and that is something of which I do not take lightly. It is a bit arrogant perhaps, but I am okay with that. For you see, I have an unchangeable necessity to spend much of each day alone, detoxing from the world outside, and I suppose I would rather be full of myself, than to bore myself, and yes, you are absolutely right, even at the risk of boring you to tears with my oh so common foibles, and mini bits of this and that…..sigh..sigh..sigh.

Additionally, as I was perusing, it became obvious that the very thing I had once hoped to avoid had occurred. I lost my voice about six months back, as I became inhibited by feedback and withdrew the essence of me that matters, and therefore not for public consumption and discussion, and when I did manage to peek through and become visible beyond the words, panic ensued and all havoc broke loose, thus the jury is still out, debating the allowable depth I can safely dive below the surface. An inevitable outcome I suppose, when placing ones thoughts in a public forum, so I am not complaining, just rambling.

However, since this writing thing called themomfred just might be all about stress reduction through self indulgence, I am going to imbibe, and paste in below a favorite poem of mine by Ogden Nash, as a reminder of the ease to be found in embracing the dichotomy of me, and why I no longer feel less then, as I continue to reside inside the solitary confinement of my mind. Instead I feel safe and satisfied to have been able to create myself such comfortable cage to hide in and play make believe when the sun manages to shine.

Blessings Belinda ❤️

🔸🔹🔸🔷🔶🔷🔸🔹🔸

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
And Blink said Week! , which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,
His beard was black, one leg was wood;
It was clear that the pirate meant no good.

Belinda paled, and she cried, Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed.

But up jumped Custard, snorting like an engine,
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

The pirate gaped at Belinda’s dragon,
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon,
He fired two bullets but they didn’t hit,
And Custard gobbled him, every bit.

Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him,
No one mourned for his pirate victim
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate
Around the dragon that ate the pyrate.

But presently up spoke little dog Mustard,
I’d been twice as brave if I hadn’t been flustered.
And up spoke Ink and up spoke Blink,
We’d have been three times as brave, we think,
And Custard said, I quite agree
That everybody is braver than me.

Belinda still lives in her little white house,
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse,
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,
And her realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

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Journey’s End

The dark monsters grip was suffocating her spirit, and causing a lack of blood flow to the brain. Thus she was continually falling asleep where she stood every time she paused the battle long enough to be still. And even when she was lucid, the deceptive weight of her visiting oppressor, managed to compress what was left of her joy into the tiniest of spaces. So, for survivals sake, she paused, and wrapped herself within and proceeded to wait, quietly, patiently, for this unwelcome presence to journey back into the hell hole it had crawled out of in search of who knows what. Praying when she remembered to, that this would not go on forever, for she was so very much afraid that she would forget what outside looked like as she waited, and thus would by default, opt to pass on into the warm and comfortable, slumber of dreams.

Journey

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Doubting Thomas

Well, Thomas chose poorly for sure and for certain. He chose by his inability to choose, or act beyond his imagination. Thus he remains on the speeding ship, held fast by doubting gobs of mire, which will hold him steady to the gangplank, whilst all the while sucking him deeper and deeper into a sea of tension and unbecoming behavior, altering him permanently into a bitter rancorous old man, sucking all the life out of him, particle by particle through his cracked and neglected toenails, in an agonizing slow soul sucking whirlpool of stress. Oh where is the pleasure in that I ask.

Pleasure

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