Thursday, May 25, 2023



Our elevated garden under the Birch tree is a delight for me and 
the upkeep is simple because the soil is not clay.

Our four front yard gardens vary in degrees of stress and beauty. Consequently, my brain is completely flummoxed and my body is weary. My platter and palette are full: rounds of golf with friends, books to read and discuss, walks to take with Jack and Murphy, time to read, furniture to be painted, stories to write, research to continue, naps to take, time with family and friends, and meals to fix. Then there is the house to clean and clothes to wash. 

Nothing new in my life, except that as I grow older my desire to create and play is still strong, my back and joints are not.

The wilted stalks will produce the "naked ladies" 
sometime in July. Thanks to fertilizer we grow
daises and lilies three feet tall. 

This spring I planted the last few perennials in our front garden to showcase our elevated addition to the flower bed. The End.

I imagined that slowly year by year the garden would grow and be less demanding, giving me more time to relax. I imagined less gardening and less pain in my hamstrings from bending and pulling.

If only the Sweet Woodruff had not drown in wet clay, if only
we had dug up all of the clay in the garden eight years ago,
if only we had elevated the garden. I am quite sure on a warm
 sunny day I will come up with a plan. 

The rains came and gave our trees, bushes, and grasses a new life. They also drowned my new perennials. Yearly, I am reminded that I no longer live on rich black Kansas soil. Our Oklahoma clay retains water, thus saturating my plants and leaving me perplexed as to what to do next. Now I have another project on my list.

While the grasses and weeds were growing this spring, my bookcase, hand made by a music teacher in 1979, looked at me one day and said, “I need to be cleaned up and given a new life.”

One more coat or maybe
the darker yellow?
“Sunshine,” I told the bookcase, “we need more sunshine in our playroom/computer room/atelier.”

“Atelier?” the bookcase replied, “You have never called me that.”

“No,” I explained, “You cover the wall in the room where I write, color, draw, and dream. I think that makes this room a studio or atelier.”

“By all means paint me yellow and watch me enjoy how I brighten our studio. Please don’t call our room an atelier. It sounds old and dusty.”

Selecting the color that works in a soft green room is not easy, and timing is everything. After much thought and way too many yellow paint chips to view, I made a decision to purchase two quarts of various tones of yellow paint. Within a day of moving the bookcase to the garage, our three week rains began and progress slowed dramatically.  Having the bookcase back in the studio by the end of May is the plan. Meanwhile, the books are scattered over the bed and down the floor line, leaving me confounded when I walk into the disarray.

The last time I painted furniture it didn’t bother my wrists and shoulders, it didn’t leave my shoulder throbbing, nor did it affect my golf game. Thank heavens for Aleve.

Meanwhile, one of our other gardens grows Nutsedge and a wild spreading violet, which is beautiful when in the correct space, but a nuisance as it spreads its dainty heart shaped leaves where I don’t want them. Bending and searching for roots I can rid the garden of nutsedge with the herbicide specifically to kill nutsedge. As for the violets, the directions say wait till fall to kill the plant or dig, dig, dig…..What to do? 

How to get rid of Wild Violets

I would rather write. Sitting here I can watch the birds at the feeder, people walking by, children on bicycles and skateboards, the irises that have bloomed, yellow day lilies in bloom, purple salvia, and rabbit’s ears covered with purple stalks of color and surrounded by bees. I like sitting here. It doesn't cause me any pain. 

Our ceramic bunny lost his ears over the years. The lizard is covered with salvia, and the ground cover wound its way through the Never Die, sedum. 

A break in our day as we met Leah Jackson for lunch at Baguette. 

Time has passed and I have yellow on my hands from giving the bookcase another coat of paint. I opened Facebook and read that it has been 58 years since the Class of 65 graduated from Miami High School. Hum, that may be why it’s not so easy to work on all of my projects.

Later,  I will return to the studio and continue the research on the Miami Golf and Country club 1963 (Miami Golf and Country club, History )

Tomorrow is filled with a round of golf with friends. I love life. 

For more gardening stories click on these links:

Life as a Perennial

Twenty Minute Gardening

Monday, April 24, 2023

Murphy and the Siren Sounds


my name is MURPHY DOODLE and i have a big backyard, that means i have to keep four legged animals that are not dogs out of my yard

sometimes i chase away the two legged squawking animals that like to eat seeds at a feed her...letty and jack seem to like watching two legged animals

letty says she likes the teeny tiny finches and wrens best because they talk and make music...i can not tell them apart but i do hear their high pitched chit chat

there is another noise that letty calls a siren that i do not hurts my ears and i howl at the noise to go away and it does, or it used to go away until that night

one night when the wind was making a lot of noise and there was no sun shining i heard the same screaming siren hurt my ears and my head and i saw letty jump up and howl at jack to do something...i did not understand what was happening

i howled again and again and letty hugged me, put the leash on my neck and pulled me to the garage but i new we were not going for a walk in the in the wet wind

she made me scared with her voice, so i sat down and would not move

it was an awful time, finally the sirens stopped

then before i could eat the sirens came on again and i howled but they would not stop

no matter how much i howled or whined the noise would not stop, 

letty tried to get me to go down in a dark hole in the garage but i would not, i sat alone and we could not find jack

i should be with jack... i tried to tell her, he needs me to protect him

the last time the sirens went off letty told jack he had to stay inside and help her carry me into the hole, i ran to the bedroom and tried to hide under the bed but they could see me

jack carried me to the hole in the ground, i watched letty go down and then jack pushed my back end while letty held my shoulders, the next thing i remember is being on the floor of a cold small room with a light shining and letty sitting nearby...she quit shaking so i closed my eyes and rested

jack went away to look for the siren

later when he came back he stood like a giant at the top of the dark hole...i wanted to bark at him

he helped me upstairs and then we all went outside to look up in the sky...jack and my garden neighbor brent pointed up in the sky and i heard letty ask DID YOU STAND IN THE BACKYARD WHEN THAT WENT OVER OUR HOUSE  ... i think she growled ... i think jack and brent laughed 

circulation see in forward cloud never touched down
tonight i learned that letty could growl, now i love her even more