Category Archives: back yard musings

Into and Out of the Wild

While taking care of Gpa, I felt like Gma had domesticated him and I was returning him to the wild.

About 2 weeks ago, I found a kitten in my chicken coop. She is now in Gpa’s bathroom getting care and getting used to being petted, and groomed. Adding new great memories in that bathroom.

I can now say I can acclimate others to and from domestication. Not too shabby if I say so myself.

ertha kitt

Ertha Kitt chilling out on my lap

A Quiet Protest at Home

hunt county tomatos

Volunteer Texas Wild Hunt county tomatoes

I stand for peace.

I stand for the same rights for all people.

I stand for the children and the widows and the homeless.

I stand for differences bring not only OK but celebrated.

I stand for choices

And I do it at home.

Each time I …

play music,

work in my garden,

say hello to my neighbors,

try a new recipe

taking all this to the library and teaching people it’s OK to drop and pick it back up.  I take it to the community garden and work and say, “Here’s an easy plant to grow.” or “Here’s a native tomato. It’s little but it packs a lot of flavor. And this year the tomato plants in my back yard are all volunteers. They grew on their own.”

And like a ripple in a pond, the effects of my protest will continue to spread and change lives.

Quite and peacefully.


Irritating the People I Love

I’m not sure what it is about me that causes those I love to get so irritated/angry.

I know part of it is I am not living up to their expectations of who I should be.  My dad stopped talking to me when I married my second husband because I was making the same mistake.

I would have loved to have a conversation with him about why he thought that.  But it was causing him too much pain to see me making this choice.  However, I knew I wasn’t making the same mistake.  A mistake maybe, but I knew to ask more questions.

Unfortunately my second husband was lying to himself about what he wanted in life, so how could he be honest with me?  So the marriage didn’t last. And maybe Dad thought he was right.  But I learned more.

I have tried being who other people want me to be, but I die inside.  I can’t do if for very long.  It’s not the “I like scrambled eggs” because you like scrambled eggs.  It’s the I love you and want you to be happy changes I make.

And that backfires. So I stop trying so hard and focus on what I like that makes me happy.

Like letting a yard full of sunflowers grow in my backyard. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to come over.  I’ll visit with the birds and bees that are delighted to find such a field of sunshine. byfs

Grief for a Chicken

My little red hen died the other day. I haven’t felt like talking about it until now.  Still don’t want to talk about it. The loss is overwhelming.

She is free range and though she knows it is dangerous to roam the whole yard, she insists on jumping the pallet fence.

The grandkids have been told to make sure she is on her side of the yard before letting the dogs out.  But we have a new red hen and they might have thought they were both in the chicken yard, or forgotten there were two now. Or maybe something entirely different happened.  Won’t ever know for sure.

But when I got home from working in the community plot, little red was dead in the main yard and already becoming stiff.

I knew that there was a great chance of this being the way she would go but I wasn’t prepared for it the day it happened.  In fact I was bringing her grass that I had pulled from the plot so she and the other hen could have some greens.

I got the shovel, picked a spot and began to dig. I chose a spot next to a volunteer wild hunt county tomato plant on the other side yard.  I told her she could nourish this plant that has thrived with little care on my part.

I cried the whole time. Great gasping sobs.  In such a short time I went from anticipating her delight in what I brought her to forcing my body to performing a task I did not want to complete.  This is the last thing I would do for her.

The hen wasn’t the only one I cried for.  I grieved for all whom I have lost.  There are so many I miss.  And until it is my turn, there will be many more.

My daughter said she’d get me a flock when she and the dogs move out.  I told her no, it hurts too much.

I try to guard my heart from caring too much, but it is broken and will allow love to spill out. And now with the goal of loving everyone, it makes room.

I’m not sure my heart can take many more good-byes. or hellos.

Zen, Motorcycles, Kerouac and Road Less Traveled

sunflower path

sunflower path in my backyard

I’ve tried to read Keroac’s On the Road.  I couldn’t get past the first chapter.  The women are left at home.  Stories tend to leave the women at home. Makes it hard for me to relate.  I’m a woman and before the story starts, I’m left behind.

I haven’t tried reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  It’s on order from the library.  I  do have Zen and Now.  It’s author has traveled the same route and wrote about it.  I don’t feel left out but it does make me wonder why not go on ones own journey.

This thought could be the result that the book I was given when I was in my 20’s was The Road Less Traveled.  I don’t remember much of it other than it was a type of self help tome.  It seems I’ve assimilated the messages for I tend to be doing what I do regardless what others are doing or think.

I can tell you that staying home is an adventure in itself. I find life very rich, even in my backyard. I have tall sunflowers, a knee high ash tree, passion flowers, turk’s cap, basils, tomatoes, grape vines and a wisteria which makes me think of my paternal grandmother.

If I sit still long enough and watch I’ll see bees, moths, finches, dove, robins, as well as my chicken owning the whole yard instead of staying in her section I’ve created.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been out and about, California, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Florida, Mexico, England, France and Dominican Republic to name a few.

If you’ll sit still long enough, I may just wax poetic and share a few stories.


By the Light of a Blue Moon

Yesterday was a blue moon.  I went to the back yard to look at it when I got home from work. Nope, not there.

Then I thought maybe it is rising.  So I went out the front door and saw a beautiful sight.  Sometimes it’s nice to take a moment and look around.

The sunflower I’m standing by is really taller than it appears.  During one of the rain storms in May, this sunflower got knocked down.  I didn’t pull it up.  It kept growing.  There is a portion of the plant that is growing parallel to the ground and then straight up.

It was nice to have a sunflower at eye level greet me and enjoy the blue moon.

sunflower in blue moon

sunflower in blue moon

Sophie’s Sunflowers

Sophie sunfllower

Sophie’s sunflower

Silly people, I being one, we like to attach meanings and create alliterations.

I don’t know how much Sophie likes Sunflowers but I do know she has told her mother the flowers at school have told Sophie to pick them to give to mother.

so I would think she would like the jungle of sunflowers I have in my back yard.

I have picked a few to make this bouquet.  Sunflowers do not cooperate in vases very well.  AND the plants are very touchy-feely.  They dropped seeds on me as well as patted my back and head as I worked in the garden.

I brought the flowers into the house to surprise Sophie when she wakes up.  We are celebrating her birthday today.  Yesterday I brought her strawberries.

She will tell you she was born to eat strawberries.  An appropriate birthday gift to be sure.

I have been struggling with how hard life is and can be.  It is good to take a moment and look at how beautiful and good life can be.

And Miss Phie shared a strawberry with me!

Seeing a Reflection

Sunflowers in the window

I was struck by the beauty of the sunflowers in my backyard being reflected in my neighbors window.  I wasn’t sure the picture would turn out. The sunflowers are smaller in the picture than what I saw. They filled the whole pane which was very nice.

Sometimes life is like this picture we think we are seeing the real thing but it’s only a reflection.

A glimpse.

So maybe we shouldn’t be so sure we know what we know.

Silly Grandma Sophie

There is a large Ash tree at the community garden.  Estimated age is over 100 years old.  That’s a long time ago.  This tree has seen a lot and survived.

I had the opportunity to take a baby, volunteer, trash tree that is an Ash from the garden.  I’ve planted it in my back yard.  It is about knee high.  I wasn’t sure if it would take for my soil is red clay and very compacted.  But after the current leaves shriveled and a bunch of rain, there are new leaves!  I’m so excited.

So is Sophie, she’s turning 6 this year.  She’s under 3 feet tall but she towers over the tree.  I told her mother that one day in the future, when the tree is grown and we are gone, Sophie will be able to tell her grandchildren, “I remember when I was taller than this tree.”

Her grandchildren will think she is silly for when was she ever taller than 10 feet tall?

It is a bitter sweet thing to plant a tree.  I hope this one gets to be as old as it’s parent.  But I do know that developers and planners like to tear everything in their path and start from scratch.  So the odds aren’t really in favor of the tree.  But the one at the community garden is in a good spot and has been able to grow and flourish.  I want that for this little tree as well.

And maybe Sophie will one day be able to tell her grandchildren she remembers a time when she was taller than a tree.

Stalker Ladybug or Is It?

I have noticed that I’ve been a little jumpy lately.  It started when I was in the garden. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that a bug had landed on me.

I reacted quickly and swatted it off.  As it fell, I saw it was a ladybug.  I felt bad.  If I had known it was a ladybug, I would have been careful about getting it off of me.

Then, when I got home after  the last day of juggling at Cedar Hill Library, I got out of my car and quickly swatted off a bug.

Yep, another ladybug.  This one was a big one! Again I was sorry how I reacted.

Watering the backyard the other day, it happened again.  But I wasn’t too worried, just curious on why the ladybugs would be so interested in me all of a sudden.

But last night.  What happened last night, has me pondering on there being a more sinister plot happening. I don’t want to alarm anyone especially since I like ladybugs so much.  That I have a yard that is bug friendly may be all it is.

However, as I was sitting down on the sofa waiting for my daughter to come watch TV, I felt something on my neck.  So I swatted it off. (nice to know I have quick reflexes) And a ladybug fell onto the sofa!!!!!!

A big one.

I grabbed the end of my chopstick and let the ladybug climb aboard. I took it out to the sunflowers.  As I walked I looked it in the eye(s) and talked to it about my not being an aphid. and for my being sorry for swatting at it.

I felt like I had had a close call with a vampire!

This morning, there was a ladybug on the kitchen floor.  A big one.  I’m beginning to think it’s the same ladybug.

Stalking me.