Thursday, June 27, 2013


Many of you know my age, so you know my mid-life time was more than a few days ago. But my father is 96, so maybe I am not too far off. I dunno. Anyway, I did not go out and buy a convertible when I hit my 40s, or a bright red Corvette, sailboat, or take a Cruise around the world as so many do to try to recapture the magic we all felt when we were younger (and ever so much dumber.) I have never bleached or dyed my hair – what you see is what you get – that’s me. I did buy my house when I was in my 40s but that was security, not a fling! I have not wanted much, so I have been content more than other people who are always wanting, wanting, wanting, and never being satisfied for more than a few weeks – until the next new thing came along. (Our iEconomy is based on that – the newest iThing and folks line up for blocks to get one…)

I have wanted something for quite a few years. A Pickup truck. As my friend Louie said, “You wan a Peeee Cup? But you a woomen. Woomens drive preeety leetle cars! Get a Beemer. I drive it for you!” No. I wanted something I could put concrete blocks in – for my next Stand-Uppity garden… plywood for the same… Remember that big piece of slate that went under that bench? We carried that in my van. Yeah, it fit, but I was not happy about it. Then, the next day, the boy that loaded 10 bags of mulch in the van split one bag – WHADDA MESS! Geez. I hate asking any of the men I know to borrow the use of their pick-ups. I don’t ever ask to drive them, I don’t know these guys that well. Or they offer to go get something for you and then they forget… and, well, how do you gently remind them? And how many times do you do that? And then you have to wait 2 or 3 more weeks for a dozen concrete blocks that you needed a month ago. SIGH.

Truth is, I have been wanting a PeeCup for quite a few years. And I kept waiting for one to come along. My name has been on several dealer’s lists, but nothing ever happened. Only one phone call in maybe 5, 6 years. Obviously I did not want something new. A second hand Toyota was my plan… a small one, preferably. All I really cared about was that is was not orange. I hate orange. Well, there are a few other shades of this or that I really did not want, but orange was definitely OUT! Then last week while I was having my van serviced, I got to talking with one of the service managers I have known forever, and well, one thing led to another, and what do you know? I now own my own PeeCup!  It is ancient, has 165,000 miles on it, but it is a Toyota, so it is just nicely broken in. It should be good for another 100,000 miles or so. My ex had one for 300,000 miles. I consider it an investment.

But, in spite of its miles, and the fact that it is bigger than I really wanted – a Tundra instead of a Tacoma – and we aren’t really sure what color it is – but know it is not Orange – well, it seems perfect. It has a power seat, something I really, REALLY need with my bad back, cruise control, for my bad knees, and extended cab minus the seat so I can store my little pink tools the guys are always borrowing (and returning because they are pink)… It is a V8 so I don’t have to hit myself in the head wishing I had one, it has a tow package, is 4 wheel drive, and has a big rubber mat over the bed-liner. Did I mention a 6 disc CD player? I bet it whistles Dixie, too, if I just find the right button. Best of all, it is already dinged up so I won’t have a heart attack the first time one of the guys bangs it when I go get stuff for the train station. It will hold our portable train layout so we don’t have to pull the trailer. But best of all, it purrs like a kitten. Well, it is a Toyota, who would expect less? I have ordered steps for it… it is HIGH UP there, so they come in tomorrow and I will get them put on. Oh, it has those thingies over the windows so I can leave them open a bit, and a sliding window in the back (for 12 foot boards, LOL!) and pop open windows in the extended cab.

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I wish it were pink, but what the heck. One salesman tried to convince me it was mauve. Smokey Pearl is what the book says. Get real. A smokey pearl peecup?

So, I have owned it 4 hours and it has been to the Building Supply place for a dozen metal fence posts and then I bought a dozen concrete blocks just because I could. And I did not have to beg some man to go get them for me. And gravity helped me unload them into my wheelbarrow. I need a new wheelbarrow, by the way. My big one died last winter – the wood finally rotted thru… I could not replace it because I did not want to put one in the van. I could have if I put the seats down into the floor, but it was too much trouble. Maybe that will be tomorrow’s job. The guys at Jaxon’s will load it. Gravity will unload it. All is good.

And I can stand up in the back of the truck to trim my trees! Is this cool or what?

Funny thing is, half the men I know have already indicated they might like to borrow it for this or that… But so many of them have been so good to me, I will be more than glad to share. After all, that is what a peecup is for, right? And friends… sharing.

Life is good.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


This is something I preach about all the time…. Someone else wrote it far better than I, so I will share her words here. It is amazing how giving works!



June 25, 2013
Recognizing Our Own Abundance
Planting the Seeds of Generosity

by Madisyn Taylor

One way to practice generosity is to give energy where it is needed whether that is in the form of time, money or love.

The most difficult time to be generous is when we ourselves are feeling poor. While some of us have experienced actually being in the red financially, there are those of us who would feel broke even if we had a million dollars in the bank. Either way, as the old adage goes, it is always in giving that we receive. Meaning that when we are living in a state of lack, the very gesture we may least want to give is the very act that could help us create the abundance that we seek. One way to practice generosity is to give energy where it is needed. Giving money to a cause or person in need is one way to give energy. Giving attention, love, or a smile to another person are other acts of giving that we can offer. After all, there are people all over the world that are hungry for love.
Sometimes when we practice generosity, we practice it conditionally. We might be expecting to “receive back” from the person to whom we gave. We might even become angry or resentful if that person doesn’t reciprocate. However, trust in the natural flow of energy, and you will find yourself practicing generosity with no strings attached. This is the purest form of giving. Remember that what you send out will always come back you. Selflessly help a friend in need without expecting them to return the same favor in the same way, and know that you, too, will receive that support from the universe when you need it. Besides, while giving conditionally creates stress (because we are waiting with an invisible balance sheet to receive our due), giving unconditionally creates and generates abundance. We give freely, because we trust that there is always an unlimited supply.
Being aware of how much we are always supported by the universe is one of the keys to abundance and generosity. Consciously remember the times you’ve received support from expected and unexpected sources. Remember anyone who has helped you when you’ve needed it most, and bless all situations that come into your life for the lessons and gifts they bring you. Remember that all things given and received emanate from generosity. Giving is an act of gratitude. Plant the seeds of generosity through your acts of giving, and you will grow the fruits of abundance for yourself and those around you.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Oh, yes, I have been busy… Then, too, trying to keep this place up and running and do all the other things I try to do – well, let me just say, I am aware I am not in my 30s anymore. And in 3 more months, I won’t even be in my 60s anymore. OMG! This coming number change is scary! But, I must act like I am going to outlive my father – DSC_0060he is 96… I long ago outlived my mother (gone at 42? 43?) Neither of my sisters made it to 50, so I guess I am doing OK. Now if the pain would just ease up a bit… The Lyme's disease has been reminding me of my DSC_0042limitations a lot lately. And I have had to adjust to not having my little orange 4 legged companion with me in the yard. That has been most difficult.  Spook usually stays hidden or he watches from the top of a barn roof. I have a young girl who is earning some money for RN school by working in my yard when she has a chance. I admire her work ethic and the fact that most of the money she earns is going straight into the bank. The account is in her name and mine. Smart kid. Most amazing of all, she leaves her phone in her car while she is working! Are youDSC_1811 impressed? It is amazing how fast weeds grow this time of year. Sometimes I think I have more grass growing on the patio than in the yard. This got pulled yesterday! Someone suggested I use Roundup, but I avoid poisons as much as possible… it eventually goes into the ground water and we drink it or bathe in it… and the cats walk around thru the yard, then they wash their feet. Spook loves hanging out on the patio when no one is around. Nope, no Roundup gonna be used here. 

I had my OLD Adirondack rebuilt this summer. It is well over 100 years old having belonged to my great grandmother. It is a REAL Adirondack and came from those DSC_0059mountains back when craftsmen were real craftsmen and proud of their work. I grew up playing in this chair up in the Poconos. It was the first thing I brought here when we prepared to sell the little house in the mountains. It is very heavy. I can’t lift it anymore – have to get one of my rugged he-man friends to move it up onto the carport in the winter and back out in the spring. It is amazingly comfortable… it sits different than the new Adirondack-style chairs mass produced today. Note the width of the arms – perfect for a dinner plate when eating outdoors. The old screws had rusted and some boards were loose and there was a little rot starting. It sits up off the concrete because it is easier for my back to get in and out that way AND it keeps it drier – less prone to rot again. I did not plan on it being this bright red, but that was the only paint I had on hand when Charlie asked for some paint. Oh well, I won’t lose it!

The garden is coming along. Beans are up to the top of the pole, yellow wax beans will be ready to pick this week. I have baby green tomatoes…  Did you notice how tall the potato plants are? (top picture?) There are not many flowers in bloom this time of year compared to azalea and camellia season, but the little guys have flowers on their graves.

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Ever since I moved here 27 years ago, I have wanted a bench out in this area… it just naturally feels like a good meditation spot. I will move a Buddha out here – or get a Kwan Yin if I can find one. Kwan Yin is the goddess of compassion… a female Buddha. I frequently need reminding of the values she taught. If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I have a couple Buddhas and a couple St Francis statues in my various garden areas. My Buddhas remind me to Think, practice Mindfulness and Kindness. St Francis reminds me to love ALL the critters, we are all related. Anyway, I bought a bench on sale a couple weeks ago. A good friend put it together for me. I found a big piece of slate at one of the nearby garden centers and hired the young man who works there to get it out into my woods. For several weeks, I have been moving baby camellias out to this area. I give so many away every couple of years, I decided to just move some of them out here. A friend planted some azaleas for me this spring, too. In a couple of years it should look nice. Maybe I will have emptied those bags of mulch by then!

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A couple years ago, a friend gave me these calla lilies. I have several different varieties now. Aren’t they amazing?

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Well, thanks for visiting my garden… if you are in the area, drop by, we will sit on the bench – OR, if it is a cooler day, I will let you sit in the Adirondack and see how it feels! Sip a glass of iced tea… relax… ah, yes.

Monday, June 03, 2013


COONIE BEARS? That was how we were taught that raccoons were members of the bear family, not kitty cats to be played with, but unpredictable wild animals to be respected and avoided if possible. We have a problem with rabies around here, and coons are our #1 carriers. (Might I add at this point that possums are NOT rabies carriers. Just sayin’.) Several times each year we have a battle with raccoons. They always win. No, I do not do anything to hurt them, but it is always a battle of wits. They always win. The battle begins when the garden is new. The coonie bears are into rearranging whatever I plant. Sadly, this means I have to fence in everything to keep it from getting dug up – or dumped. Sure, they can climb any fence, but they don’t seem to like to climb either the nylon fencing or chicken wire. Maybe it doesn’t seem secure enough for them because a friend who has a wooden fence around his garden has his stuff torn up by the coons that climb in and out nightly. Nylon or plastic fencing comes in rolls, is cheap, and easy to put up as long as you don’t wear anything with buttons. Like netting, the small squares can get caught up in buttons quite easily and getting untangled can be a problem, usually because one’s hands are already busy hanging onto fencing, posts, hammers or thingies to tie the fence in place… and, of course, the phone in your pocket usually rings at about this time, too. Sigh. Anyway, since this blog is sort of a diary of what goes on in my yard/garden, that includes vandalism by the 4 footed friends that travel thru looking for munchies- or just for entertainment. DSC_0033

Among other fun activities for the night, they pulled out some of the tomato plants (again) and emptied the pot of dill plants that I grow for the enjoyment of the black swallowtail caterpillars. The basil also got rearranged.

I had just repotted some old geraniums that had wintered over in the greenhouse… apparently the Coonie Bears did not like they way they were potted… so they unpotted them and a few other things. sigh. 

DSC_0035 One of their main attractions when not destroying the garden is looking for left over cat food. Now that Punkin is gone, there is not much in the way of cat food left outside… so they removed the stainless steel bowl that goes in this ant-proof holder. We have not found it yet. They have taken cat dishes before and they were never found. Amazing creatures! So I keep the dry crunchies in a very heavy crockery bowl inside an even heavier crockery bowl, and now Spook is eating out of a pie tin that sits where his big food dish once sat. DSC_0040Fences have gone up where I never bothered to put them before, but the carrots bag got dug out, one bag of onions, and the tomatoes twice in spite of having a ground cloth. 

DSC_0039 DSC_0038 DSC_0041 DSC_0034 Even the potatoes got dug out and are now fenced in.

DSC_0037 This fencing is for the deer since the beans are just at the right height to be nibbled on… and it would be easy for the raccoons to climb up inside – but so far it seems to have kept them out.