Tuesday, December 13, 2022

May to December

 Dear Friends,

A long absence, since April. I am sad for the old days, gone, and fear the new looming days, worry about what's coming round the bend ahead. Sad for the state of the world. But cats and flowers are always a good respite - for sanity - for hope. So - what follows is an overview from now back to May - it was not all bad:

Ginja blends in - or so he thinks!

Frost works some magic on Hydrangea leaves.
Tristan the White loves the garden in the summer!

Pray for our wee fragile Zena, recently had a stroke,
but is recovering well - even managing to go upstairs!

Only one ONE hibiscus - boo-hoo. But it was huge!

Ringo Rose, new this year - changes colours!

Dahlia Smoked Amethyst

New: Italian Iced Rose - seems to glow from within!

Kobi - king of the jungle!

Always the first daylily to bloom -
very early in late May into early June:


Saturday, April 09, 2022

The Great Mandala

So I told him that he'd better shut his mouth
And do his job like a man.
And he answered "Listen, Father,
I will never kill another."
He thinks he's better
than his brother that died
What the hell does he think he's doing
To his father who brought him up right?
Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you're only losing your life.
Tell the jailer not to bother
With his meal of bread and water today.
He is fasting 'til the killing's over
He's a martyr, he thinks he's a prophet.
But he's a coward, he's just playing a game
He can't do it, he can't change it
It's been going on for ten thousand years
Tell the people they are safe now
Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.
Death has gagged his accusations
We are free now, we can kill now,
We can hate now, now we can end the world
We're not guilty, he was crazy
And it's been going on for ten thousand years!
Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you've only wasted your life.
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Albert B. Grossman / Mary Allin Travers / Peter Yarrow
The Great Mandala (Wheel of Life) lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc


Monday, January 17, 2022

Frosty New Year, and a Storm Looms


Beautiful Amaryllis

Festive and lightly fragrant
Paperwhites Narcissus "Inbal"
are a great alternative to those who find "Ziva"
overpowering in fragrance.
So happy to have found them, as Cat Wrangler 
was finding Ziva nauseating,
threatening to banish them to the basement LOL!

Winter blossoms to feed the gardener's soul.

Happy New Year,
with Good Health above all!

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas


And so, another year was brought to a sudden halt at work,
sent home early due to rising COVID.
Again, no tree at work - and just a small one at home.
Hard to muster up that "feeling", but today,
Christmas Day,
I am here with my blessings,
the Cat Wrangler and kitties, and perfect softly falling snow,
whilst listening to the Salvation Army show from England.
 Then Mr. Bean later on!
Oh, and still later maybe I'll see what the Pope has to say as well. ;)
Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, September 06, 2021

9/11 The Story of a Dog


As the world is remembering 9/11 20 years later, let me share a story that to this day seems rather amazing. This happened several years ago. I think it was 2003. It was a snowy late night, close to midnight. Snow was falling lightly, slowly but persistently, covering all surfaces with a magical, sparkling white coating, obliterating all traces of footprints and paw prints. As we are shutting off the lights for the night, we notice a dog on our neighbor's porch - just sitting there, as though admiring the view. Sitting very still, as though waiting for a command or for his owner to appear. But a few things were wrong: our neighbors don't have a dog, they had had no visitors with a dog that evening, and the dog was now looking up and down the street, looking a bit confused and anxious. We figured (hoped) he would soon move along and so we waited for about 1/2 an hour. But it was late, and not a soul in sight. How could we just leave him out in the cold? But most importantly, how could we bring in a largish boxer-type dog into a house of 4 cats!? Very carefully that's how. So, Cat Wrangler (CW) goes outside, down the driveway and approaches him slowly with hand cautiously extended,  soon realizing this is one sweet dog, with no meanness whatsoever. He is easily led by his collar onto the back porch and into the house. The cats having been secured upstairs, we usher him into the screened-in front porch (with storm windows), give him some cat crunchies and water, secure the door and go to bed. 

Since we have cats, rising early is not unusual. Happily, that is the CW's job, not mine ๐Ÿ™‚.  He heard whimpering coming from the porch, which is not winterized - the poor guy was shivering, and we realized a little too late this sweetie was certainly not used to being out in the cold for those few hours. Feeling just horrible about that, we usher the cats outside (it was for them a mild winter morning) and lead the poor cold dog upstairs and put him in the spare room. When we looked in on him later, he was so well-behaved, snoozing on a blanket and happy to be warm and secure. One of our cats, Smudge, upon sniffing the closed door, looked at us with wide eyes, as if to ask, "whadya got in there this time??" This room often being the "holding pen" for various critters needing assistance, requiring sequestration, usually cats - an occasional baby raccoon. He was such a good-natured cat and welcomed all. He even once followed a young moose after he appeared in our yard - I guess he thought it was a very large dog! 

Anyway, with poochie safe and secure, CW went off to the local grocery store up the street, where folks often post items lost/found including cat/dogs. Amazingly, as CW was posting our sign, the owner of "our" dog was affixing his (see photo). Long story short, dog and owner happily reunited, CW told me the story of this dog named Victor, as recounted by the owner:   the dog was a 9/11 survivor - he had lost his owner/s due to the tragedy in New York and was put up for adoption. Victor, being a sweet poochie, unfortunately had the habit of following children when coaxed, as children do. Turns out he lived not that far away from us, we learned - round the corner, down the street. But I guess this time, and partly due to the snow, he had gone a bit too far, lost his bearings, and so he got lost. 

CW was his saviour. Now guess what CW's birthday is? That's right - 9/11. Also born in the Chinese Year of the Dog. ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿฆฎ๐Ÿ’–

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

One Year of Lockdown: My Normal

I work pretty much in isolation. My work as an archivist in a very small university library necessitates a quiet and reflective environment: those who study there are expecting silence and that is what they get. But it is not a bustling place. As for myself, I have worked in this solitude for over 35 years, and therefore, this lockdown is not a hardship for me the way it is for others, and I feel sorry for them. Even my personal life is quiet and largely uneventful: no big family reunions, no large circle of friends, and so weekends and evenings are also quiet and peaceful. Usually. We like it, and the cats like it. 

Every moment is a fresh beginning.
T.S. Eliot

A recent Amaryllis festival in my window garden.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

No Christmas in my little library this year...

Due to the world wide pandemic, I was off work March to August, went back briefly
September to mid November, then home again.
Back in the office today for one more "clean-up" day to tidy the desk etc.,
and then home to at least the 6th of January.
It feels lonely without my little tree in my Old Library,
put up every year since we first moved in in 1994.
Luckily, I have some items from the folks at Jacquie Lawson cards, calendars etc.
All interactive, and just a joy to look at, and play with, and feel like a kid again,
even though I scarcely feel anything like that these days.
But check out this living room, which I helped to decorate - such fun!

 I even got to decorate this little tree, save it, and then share it.

And no boxes to put away!

Does it look familiar?

That's right, it's the same one as in the living room,

which can be "recreated" outside!