Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Meet Bullitt and Bellus (left to right.)

Have you ever stopped to wonder why God created such tiny helpless adorable creatures?

I think it's because God wants us to be happy. Maybe He wants us to know the joy of loving something that can do nothing for us in return, except love us back.

At the end of a difficult day or the beginning of a fantastic one, these little faces will always remind me of a timeless universal truth...God loves us. AND no one likes to potty outside when it's cold! No one!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Take Your Medicine...

Curing what seasonally ails me requires botanical intervention, so I check myself into the homeopathic garden clinic and nod to the head nurse who today resembles a frumpy Foster’s holly.

A light wind teases at my hair as I lean over to inspect Dutch iris foliage peeking through the semi-moist soil. All week the temperatures flirted like a marauding March or antagonistic April, making my soul yearn for sweet-lipped hyacinths and shimmering-gold forsythia. This tiny shred of iris greenery reaching out for acknowledgement soothes my impatience. Spring is an elusive fritillary, slightly flittering just out of grasp each New Year. The head nurse motions for me to come closer then barks orders for me to follow.

Double check the moisture level in those raised planters,” she says, pointing with her red-berried chin. She’s busy checking our supplies of pesticides and posting labels for proper mixture rates for quick reference. “Did you treat the young pines for tip borers in November?” she asks. Her waxy green face puckers in a near frown.

Casting a quick glance downward toward my feet, I stammer out the truth. “I meant to, but I got busy.” Her stare chills me even with the sun’s rays tiptoeing upon my slumping shoulders.

“You have to do it before March. You know that!” she huffs. “I bet you forgot about controlling overwintering insects as well!” she accuses me as she pauses from inspecting gardening tools. She’s been sharpening, painting and repairing the mowers, edgers and sprayers.

“No, I remembered.” I answer her, shaking my head at her question. “I remembered to spray dormant neem oil on the deciduous trees and shrubs,” I say tilting my head back and crossing my arms over my chest. Before she can ask anything else I stop her with a raised hand that I push toward her - palm first with a warning. “Don’t insult me!”

Then I lower my hand to my hip sharply, my eyes narrow with agitation. “You know good and well I didn’t put any dormant oil on the evergreen trees or shrubs because it would likely kill them.”

She dismisses me with a smirk, leaving me to my duties. Inspecting my lawn irrigation system, I replace worn or broken parts. Lastly, I spray glyphosate, (Roundup, Rodeo or Pondmaster) plus a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide on the winter weeds coming up in the Bermuda. Having regained my mental well-being by performing gardening tasks, I take a last look around my January garden. Exiting the botanical treatment facility I curtsey to Holly, who discharges me with a prickly farewell.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Function without a critic? Not I.

"Don't cry." I heard a girl's tiny voice whisper harshly. She was behind the curtain of a department store dressing room that I was passing by. Entering the neighboring booth, I drew the curtain and leaned my ear to the thin wall that separated us. I could hear muffled sobs, a choking cough and sniffling. Quickly I undressed and slipped on the expensive jeans who's clever marketing ad promised a tush rejuvenation. The crying in the next booth subsided, but my heart sank as I scrutinized my reflection in the mirror. Where had all this flab come from? I jiggled the "muffin top" that lazily lay over the lip of the fancy stitched jeans.Who was this tired-looking, old woman trying to kid? These were jeans for young women who still had something to prove. Buying them made as much sense as wearing high-heeled shoes to Six Flags. As I sat on the cold cushionless bench to peel the hopelessness off my legs, the quiet crying next door resumed. This time the girl's voice wasn't a whisper, but a condescending, hateful near-punch in the mouth. "Get your fat butt out of here and don't come back till you lose some weight!" She demanded. There was so much venom in her voice I expected to hear balking, bellows or bawling, but I heard nothing. Intrigued, I exited the dressing room, but hovered around the entrance, circling a rack of permanent press polyester slacks. Gingerly I fingered a light blue pair, wondering how long it would be before I would hang these on my dismal frame while pouting Hush Puppied feet. Just then a well-rounded woman with a youngish plump face darted out of the dressing room empty handed. Her cranberry cheeks and red-rimmed eyes said she was my cryer, but where was her tormentor? As she waddled away, I realized her demoralizing critic was just a little more vocal than my own.