Monday, September 24, 2012

An old photo that made me smile.....

I re-discovered this photo the other day.  It was in a box of old pictures.  It's the baby of the family....and it's one of my favorite photos of him.  He's a little over a year old and I'm trying to teach him not to stick his fingers in electrical outlets...yes yes....most of my outlets were child protected but occasionally someone would forget to put back the cover or we were someplace new.

I remember saying..."don't touch the little holes in the wall"....then watching as he mischievously  put his little finger in the hole and smiled....okay Mommy what you going to do about this???

He's older....6'3"tall...but with the same personality....he's over sticking fingers into electrical outlets....but the tease...the still there.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Red Fred

Fred and I had a great day.  Fred is my gardening companion. 

 Sometime in July....Fred....actually we call him Red Fred because he's much more crimson than our regular toads....arrived and found my large cement planter on my front porch an adequate hide-away.

Red Fred and I met at dusk.  

It was memorable. 

I was out watering my plants with a big ol' sprinkler can and started watering the plants in my cement planter.  Plob....something wet and soft and cold landed on my foot.  I let out a blood curdling loud the neighbor across the street peered through her blinds to survey the scene.  

What ever was on my foot quickly moved away.  I looked around for a second...but didn't want to stay to long...this is the South....God knows what creature/creatures are up and about at night in the heat.

 In the morning, I stood on my porch, looked dow and there was Red Fred...sitting in a shallow depression in my long rectangular planter....looking comfy.  

I put two and two together.....wet, soft and cold...startled by sprinkling =Red Fred, chubby local toad.  

Red Fred....didn't seem to mind me getting closer to inspect him....and that's when I noticed Fred was a toad....hence the name Red Fred.

He likes my planter.  During the day....he's in dirt....burrowed down between some flowers.. he's high enough off the ground that I imagine he gets a penthouse view in toad terms.  

Ozzie the Wonder dog....passes by a couple times of day....and Red Fred just stares him.  I pass by him several times a day....Red Fred just stares.  Now, he's not in my planter every day....but he's there often enough that I give a shout out to him when I see him.  "Hey Red Fred.....What'cha doing?"

Red Fred doesn't answer me...but sometimes he will realign his body to point at me.....I don't think this is flattery or recognition...but survival.  I'm a fairly large object and I'm making noise and waving at him.

Since the start of September I've been working on my front garden.  My hip injury has I'm overjoyed that I can carry rocks and dig holes and weed for hours.  I've always loved to garden....and there's something wonderful about end-of-the-season gardening--a sense of re-ordering after the long hot summer and in some way....preparing for next spring.

Surprisingly, Red Fred has kept his eyes on me.

Weeding....pruning....hauling mulch....Red Fred has watched all from his perch.  I even tossed him a grub worm....and before I could even focus my eyes on him...the grub was gone.  Maybe that's why Red Fred tolerates me.....he believes I'm magically can make grubs rain down from the sky.

If Red Fred...thinks I'm magical...well I'm all for that.  

Tomorrow...I have to replant his flowers have completely withered in the late summer heat and I've bought some pretty pansies.  I wonder if Red Fred will like them?  Or if he will be offended that I've rearranged his home?....He likes to make depressions in the soft dirt in a couple of spots....I can easily plant my flowers in a pattern that protects those favorite spots.

Toads are usually territorial...and can live a few years.  I wouldn't mind having Red Fred around  for a while.

Hail King of the Planter....and please eat eat eat...all those nasty bugs in my yard.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cat and Me and Couch Makes Three

While surfing the net, I came across this great couch for cat lovers.  

Apparently, in South Korea where apartments are small and cats are common.....a designer developed a couch to keep humans and felines happy.  Cat go in tubes....human lean on tubes....viola....everyone is happy!

At first I thought this was a bit crazy....but then I reconsidered.... if I had a basement....I'd definitely hunt this couch down......I can just imagine trying to watch TV or a movie and having my cats run through the couch...or pop up at a critical moment.

  Unfortunately, here in the south, where the water table is high's rare to have a den unless you're built on a hillside.  

Too kitties and I would both find this interesting.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Missing my Dad


I was weeding my flower beds this morning....and noticed a weed or two in my grass.  I bent over, popped the weed out and just like that...was overcome by the memory of my dad....walking through his front lawn....with an old flat-headed screwdriver in his back pocket.  He'd patrol his yard and when he'd spot an offending weed... he'd swoop down on it using the old screwdriver to pop it out...always being careful to get the roots.  

If he knew I was watching him.....he'd point the screwdriver at me and say, "you gotta get the roots out or it'll grow right back." He said that a thousand times to me over a thousand weeds over my entire life.  As if somehow I would forget about those damn roots.

I stood back with the small handful of weeds in my hand....and missed him.  Even though our educational differences were great...we liked the same things.  He liked a neat and tidy garden....reading newspapers.....traveling....learning....and I pretty much followed in his footsteps.  

Sometimes I wish his stroke had been minor....something he could have recovered from....and he could have lived with us for awhile.  

I actually thought about that scenario before my parents got sick.  I was always afraid my dad would die first and my mom would come live with us....she would have been tough very very tough to handle....demanding....passive-aggressive...but if the situation were reversed and my dad came to live with would have been a different scenario.  Every time he came to visit....he loved getting a to-do list from me and "getting busy."  He would have walked the dogs.....watered the plants.....and popped weeds out of my lawn.  He would have delighted in being useful....contributing to the homestead....any way possible.  He was always was his nature and something I inherited from him.  Two busy people can find joy in their busyness. 

Of course the scenario of my Dad staying with us didn't play out....the strange scenario of my dad's massive stroke leading to both my parents' death a few months later is one I could have never foreseen or imagined. 

So I am popping weeds alone.....and not being able to share the victory......

"Dad I pulled up at least a dozen weeds out of the lawn this morning"

 He would have smiled and nodded thoughtful...and asked...."but did you get the roots?"