Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Spring 09 Fickletude
Don'tcha love the words some people come up with? Webster probably rolls over in his grave with some of them, but I like to think that he also has a sense of humor and chuckles most of the time. I hope he can chuckle about Fickletude. It is a good word...
Spring is here in all her great and magnificent “fickletude,” as a long gone neighbor used to say. Well, actually, she used to say that about another neighbor who exhibited great “fickletude” about the various then young men who came calling… but that is a whole ‘nother story. Like this neighbor, however, spring on the Eastern Shore runs hot one day and cold the next. Ya think it is time to get the shorts out and then you are looking for that old Pendleton wool shirt to wear UNDER your jacket! Heck, gloves would have felt good this morning.

Last week, Spook spent one day sunning himself, using a brick for a pillow. I will never understand cats...
On Sunday, I actually got the push mower out to cut some of the weeds, mostly chick grass, some wild onions, and maybe a blade or two of actual grass. I did not get the John Deere out… though I had great plans for that for today. But, like all plans, things get changed. I had to take Spook to the vets this morning. He is not eating, just staying in his little nest and sleeping. This is the 3rd day so I had to move the big Adirondack chair and dismantle the top of the nest and take him out. Consequently, I do not want to be doing anything too noisy to hear the phone if the vet calls. Mowing can wait. Sick babies cannot.

I took a tour of the land on Saturday and Sunday, taking inventory of what was blooming and what was not. Buds are popping all over the place and there are even some baby leaves here and there.
The later daffodils are in bloom as are the late camellias. Many of them still have slight traces of frost bite from the temps dropping into the 20s again last week. Most of the blooms are much smaller this year than usual. I turned the heat off in the greenhouse and unplugged it, but left it sitting in the green house. I did take a couple geraniums out. They are pretty tough plants and can take temps a little under the 32 degree mark.
My neighbor came by a week ago and “brought me a hole” and a post to go in it. He just had to dig a place to put the hole and then the post and then he mounted my brand spankin’ new Official rain gauge. It was quite a job getting it perfect! Most people think all you do is stick one of those plastic things in the ground and that is it. Not so… the Official ones get checked with a level and measured precisely 6 inches from the top of the post and so on. The one with the big cup just above the Buddha’s head is wireless and I can read it from the house. Very handy during hurricanes, nor'easters and late at night when I am in my jammies and slippers. As you can see, there are 4 very different measuring devices and often 4 different readings, but so far, they are within 4/100ths of an inch of each other, so that is not too bad.
The deer ate most of the pansies from last fall. The blue and purple ones seem to have survived. I love the moss, and the new baby mosses are so soft! The violets started to bloom, well, actually they started before I went to DC (and Richard Be Still My Heart Gere, if you remember) um, March 9th? But the lighter bluer ones have really opened up this week. Girl Bobbie brought me some hyacinth bulbs for Christmas. We were not sure if they would bloom, it was so late getting them in the ground. So far, 3 are in bloom, 2 pink, one white. The camellias next to the car port have gotten so big and this one was late blooming this year probably because the winter was so cold (for us!) though it must have seemed like a sauna to my friends in Canada. The van is almost hidden by this red camellia. The Pussy Willow has gone from the little white fuzzies to yellow pollen puffs. And out at the edge of the woods, I spotted several trees with pink blooms. I noticed them last year and still have no idea what they are… though I thought the blooms were white last year. Go figure. I have not noticed any fruit or nuts on them later in the summer, so I am at a loss. But, they are pretty. The redbud is pushing little purple buds out. This time next week it will be beautiful and you will be able to hear the bees humming all the way out in the street.

I do hope you are having a bit of spring wherever you are, not snow and ice as I have heard out west and up north. But, if you are still snowed or iced in, enjoy my yard. Or c’mon by, have a seat in the Adirondack. The cover is off for the summer and in the barn. Put your feet up on a concrete block or a seed bucket and enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Monday, March 23, 2009


The babies are growing rapidly.
March 11thMarch 22 - are they cute or what?
March 24th.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Didja ever have a moment where your mouth said “Yes” and your brain said, “What the heck did you just do?????” Well, of course you have. Who hasn’t?
My blog is called My Little Corner of the World because I seldom venture out of it. Its not that it is the Greatest corner in the world, but it is a space where I can get around, where I have People, as the commercial says… People who will come and rescue me from the predicaments I can get in, mostly physical limitations I try very hard to ignore, picking me up when my knee quits suddenly, driving after dark, walking more than a tenth of a mile, being where I can take my bucket load of meds that Lyme’s disease has me taking right now… If I stay close to home, I don’t need my wheel chair, which is a GOOD thing in many ways, but especially since I broke a wheel last summer in a crack in the sidewalk on campus where the Dalai Lama was teaching. The chair has been riding around in the van ever since with one broken wheel which I had not been able to replace. You see, My Little Corner is very remote, 65 miles from the nearest city, north or south, on a long peninsula where we don’t even bother with east and west where directions are up or down, seaside or bayside.
Anyway, life was purring along last week, I was excitedly planning my activities for the WARM 70 degree week-end coming up. It has been a bitter cold winter for us. The daffodils were finally starting to open; the camellias were blooming even if it meant smaller blooms and frost bitten petals. The forsythia across the street opens just before mine, and it was showing yellow. The geese were flying over in great numbers, one of my favorite sounds, the robins were making spring like nesting sounds, life was good, and I could not imagine why anyone would want to be in a city. Ah, what a nice comfort zone.
Then I checked my email. A fellow Buddhist from some 60 miles north, in Salisbury, MD, asked me if I would like to go to DC with him on Monday to do a bit of lobbying on behalf of the human rights issue with China and Tibet, followed by a reception with Richard Gere. Of course, no one knew if Gere would actually BE there – but it was, after all, one of Buddhist Gere’s pet projects. Before I knew what I was doing, my fingers typed YES and I hit the send key. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to take your words back when they have been snapped up by cyber space and zapped into someone else’s inbox? Well, I said to myself, I can always plead a moment of insanity and say I just cannot go. There was NO WAY I could walk all that distance in the city – and I had no idea of just HOW far we would eventually have to travel, and the wheelchair was broken. What was I thinking?
But life is sneaky sometimes.
A young lady I help out from time to time called and needed a ride. I picked her up and took her home. Once there, she asked me if I would drop off a box of things at the Foodbank. When I went in to give them the box, I noticed a very old, very beat up wheel chair being held together with duct tape. Beat up, BUT the front wheels looked the same size as the broken wheel on mine. I bought it for a dollar. They were probably glad to get it out of the shop! A half a can of WD40 later, I got the old wheel off and discovered I did not have the strength to get it on my chair. Just about then my neighbor across the street came home and I yelled to him asking if I could have about 2 minutes of his time. In less than that, the new (old) wheel was on, and I was ready to roll!
The next day was spent madly trying to get all bases covered here so I could disappear for a couple of days. I made hotel reservations in Salisbury for Sunday and Monday nights, and told Don where to meet me early Monday morning. Let me tell you, not all angels have wings. This one drove a Taurus, and pushed my chair for miles all over Capitol Hill, and in and out of buildings, senator’s offices, and eventually to the Caucus room in the Hart building… and brought me home.
We started at the Campaign for Tibet building where there are a gazillion stairs. I sat outside and waited while Don got his information and training. I got mine from him on the sidewalk. I was grateful for the warm temps and sunshine. We met with some of the Tibetan people, refugees and descendants of refugees, and several monks. If you have never met Tibetans, you have missed meeting some of the nicest, friendliest people on earth.
After spending the day talking to our elected congress people or their staff, we finally rolled into the Caucus room. It was starting to fill with Tibetans with their flags and in their native dress – they had been to a rally a few blocks away commemorating the day the Dalai Lama fled Tibet 50 years ago. Staff came in and set up food and an area for drinks while camera crews were setting up to shoot the proceedings. I heard Nancy Pelosi was going to be there and I had high hopes of meeting Barbara Mikulski, the feisty Senator from Maryland. We had been to her office, but she was not there at the time.
As the crowd grew and the food disappeared, it was interesting to watch and listen. From a wheelchair, one is kind of invisible somehow. People might not be as cautious in their conversations as they might have been had I been on my feet. Almost everyone was courteous and friendly except for a certain Senator and the man with him who loudly bashed the damned Democrats and their stupid policies that will surely ruin the country – um, excuse me? Who ruined it already???? He went on about all the great things they did when THEY were in control of Congress (Iraq? Deregulation? The destruction of our economy? Constant terror alerts to keep control over the fearful manipulated public. Did I miss something?) and how Obama was a stupid ass to think he could change anything, come by my office tomorrow, I have something to talk to you about…
His nastiness was drowned out by applause as another speaker introduced Richard (be still my heart) Gere. He WAS there! OMG!
Now, let’s get a couple of things straight. I am not a groupie. Celebrities don’t excite me like they do other people. I worked a couple summer as a stage hand when I was in college at the Pocono Playhouse back in the days when they had REAL stars performing. I worked with Angela Lansbury, Gary Burghoff (Radar on MASH), John Travolta, just to name a few, I met Katherine Hepburn back when I was traveling thru Beirut, so I do not have stars in my eyes as some do. Not braggin', just sayin'. And after studying with His Holiness the Dalai Lama last summer, I have been to the top of the mountain, what else is there? Then, too, I seldom watch movies. I did not even know who Richard Gere was until he shot Runaway Bride here on the Eastern Shore, and my friend supplied the film company the plantings to use in the movie. I watched the movie to see the plants! LOL! However, Gere made me forget about the pansies and impatiens or whatever they had in the planters. He had a Presence. When I found out he was a Buddhist, I became a “fan” – not so much of Richard Gere the actor, but of Richard, the Buddhist.
With my limited mobility (I was having a tough time getting around) I tried to work my way thru the crowd. I got a couple of pictures, and he left. Apparently he had a news interview to do. Much of the crowd also left. After a while, he came back and visited with the groups that were there on behalf of Tibet, not just there to grab something to eat and see who else was there. I went up and spoke to him. I got a hug. The guy that tried to take our picture pushed the wrong button and turned the camera off instead of getting a shot. Oh well – blew my chance at anyone believing I had actually been in the same room with him! LOL! But, I got another chance, this time with a new friend from earlier in the day, Losang (spelling?), a real sweet young man who is currently living in Baltimore.
Somehow we eventually made it home – a day that lasted from 4 AM to 11 PM! But, here is what impressed me the most – with the exception of the Republican Senator and his cohort who had nothing nice to say to anyone about anything (and I know who he was but will be kind and not mention his name) – EVERYONE was as nice and as helpful as they could be. The police on just about every street corner took the time to give us directions, people, total strangers, on the Metro platforms would stop and ask if they could help us as we obviously were looking to find our way. Traveling on the metro with a wheelchair is not easy. I popped into the first seat I could find next to a young black teenage guy. Don stood next to me, helping to hang on to the chair as well as the pole. The young man asked him if he wanted his seat and moved, letting Don sit next to me.
All in all, it was an amazing trip, something I can’t imagine doing, but I did it – and could not have done if not for the kindness of others, especially my neighbor Frank who fixed my wheelchair and Don who pushed it up and down the hills of Washington and got me from pillar to post… an amazing person! Gassho, Don. And to all the Tibetans that I met, what a pleasure being in your company for the day. To all the Senators, Congress folk, and staff, thank you for your time and courtesy. And to the Senator from ____, hopefully you will not be here for another term, go back home and take up gardening where you can cuss at your weeds, not the people who are trying to clean up after you. Buy a book on Mindfulness. Find a local Buddhist group, go hang out, and learn about something besides greed and power. Practice Peace, start with yourself.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the
old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very
worn and ragged.
In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally well read Bible.
The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most
beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with
expensive clothes and jewelry.
As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him.
They were all appall ed by his appearance and did not attempt to hide it.

As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to
do him a favor.
'Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be
appropriate attire for worship in church.' The old cowboy assured the preacher he would.

The next Sunday, he showed back up for the services wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots,
and hat. Once again he was completely shunned and ignored. The preacher approached the cowboy
and said, 'I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church.'

'I did,' replied the old cowboy.

'If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire should be for worshiping in here?'
asked the preacher.

'Well, sir, God told me that He didn't have a clue what I should wear. He said He'd never been
in this church.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Hadji had company yesterday. A very special young Lady came to visit him. It was her first visit, not because she NEEDED to see a therapy cat, but because she LOVES kitty cats, well, and ponies. Her daddy is a friend of mine and we share books, mostly about Buddhism, and he has seen Hadji in his scarf. Hadji gets frustrated when he stops by because he does not sit on Hadji's "Therapy" couch! LOL! But yesterday, I told him that if he wanted Hadji to visit with his daughter, they would have to sit on the couch. What an experience! This is a very intelligent and insightful young lady. I don't know when I have ever met a child with this much innate sense of what to do, how to behave, let alone a 4 year old. The Princess sat on the couch very quietly while Hadji walked back and forth. He is not used to children. Snuffy was the one who would come and allow himself to be played with, or Punkin would if we were outside. Hadji walked back and forth. Hmmmmmm, someone was on HIS couch. They MUST need some lovin'! So, he got up and looked over the situation, Hmmmmmm, 2 people on his sofa. He jumped up. Nobody grabbed for him. Oh! So he sat down. Still, no one made a move. He flopped onto his side, peeking up toward the people. Nothing. So he wiggled up toward them... First came Daddy's hand. Oh, that was good... slowly a little hand reached over a lightly brushed his ear. He wiggled harder, closer. She giggled. Finally 2 hands, one on each ear! Then his neck! Ohhhhh, Heaven. The perfect touch! His eyes closed in happiness.

I had to wonder, was it Hadji finally getting Therapy this time?????

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Both eggs hatched - what weather to be born in! (Blackwater refuge)
First, the crack.
Next the hole.
Baby one.
Baby two.
Last years kids.

Monday, March 02, 2009



Don't make fun of our little bit of snow. Especially when there is ice under it, the temps are around 29 degrees, and the wind is howling!Plus, they say we will have more as the day goes on. As I type this, the snow has stopped. We have had a few extremely brief bursts of sunshine, a couple that did not last but seconds. Teasers of sunlight! The daffodils were ready to bloom. The few blooming crocus are actually under the snow so I can't show you them. But, I DO have birds! The first shot of the morning, around 6:30 shows the snow blowing sideways and the birds struggling to get on the blowing feeders.The carport was snowy - there was snow all the way up on the steps, but not down in Spook's warm box. He did come out to eat, but went right back to bed. Poor Punkin, bless his heart, followed me around the yard yowling about the wind, the cold and the snow. Poor baby!

Both Buddhas looked a bit chilly, even wrapped in a blanket of snow.

But best of all were the birds. The cardinals were out in big numbers. If you look carefully, you can see 8 Papa cardinals and I am not sure how many females in the big camellia bush out back. If it is red, it is a male cardinal. This bush is a late bloomer, so these are not flowers. These cardinals were shot out of my bathroom window.

A female close up - thru the front window.

The camellia next to the carport had started blooming again. I love the contrast of the snow on the camelliasKnow how to melt the ice on your sidewalk or driveway? Throw out a bag of birdseed. This is about 5 lbs of cracked corn and about 2 lbs of birdseed. In about a half an hour, the ice is melting from them picking thru the ice to get the seed up - and maybe they have hot feet????? The doves actually sit on the ice, and that helps. It was tough to get good shots because the camera movement scared most of the birds away, and it was too cold to stand out there and wait for the flock to return. Just take my word for it - this is just a few of the birds out there.
It has started to snow again, tho not heavily... The yard is filled with grackles and red-winged black birds, fighting the little guys off the feeders. I must remember, they are hungry, too.