Sunday, November 15, 2009

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

Drat drat and double drat. Having had one of "those months", I was unable to get my pictures developed. The derned mortgage company asked for a check, cashed my check, and then did a direct withdrawal on top of that, thus double charging me. So I have had to be very frugal, and limit my spending to canned cat food and medicines for Sunny the ailing kitty --Fatty Liver Syndrome due to stress. I spent two months solid giving her 100-150 ml of subQ injections of saline and normal saline with electrolytes twice per day, and tempting her pallet with canned tuna mixed with gourmet canned cat food. She has now OFFICIALLY turned the corner, and gained TWO POUNDS! YAY! - and my monthly 300 pounds of raw chicken quarters for the Song Dogs. For myself, I have been gleening treasures from the freezer. :~) And once per week when I get to see my friend Greig, he brings dinner makin's, and I cook them.

But there has not been that silly little millimeter extra to pay for the development of film. So my Garden Blogger's Bloom Day pictures are all at the developers awaiting my tender checkbook ministrations!

Got some nice shots of last call roses, a couple of erysimum varigatas who shall NOT give up the ghost! some moss phlox, some tarrying black-eyed susans, and a few berries. So my pictures shall be late! You will have to take my word that there are still some hardy lovelies up here in the nippy Pacific Northwest.

Yesterday, I startled four swallows or swifts -deeply "V"d tails, stark black and white color, smallish birds - who had been busily de-bugging our third greenhouse. How delightful! They flitted along the roof line of the filmed roof, and then made a beeline for the open door.. One I had to help a bit, he got confused. All got out safely! And I hope they know they are well and truly welcomed to come eat bugs in our greenhouses any ol' time they wish!

Happy Blooming!!!


On Mothers and Daughters

Right about this time of year, regular as clockwork, dependable as the setting of the sun, I find myself getting melancholey and thinking of stuff. Now, as we all know, I AM a Problem Thinker so it shouldn't be surprising, this deep contemplation of mine.

I waver between sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow for the losses and loneliness, gratitude for the many Blessings I have. I miss my Family, I miss my childhood, I miss my Tribe. I miss the familiar places of my youth. I am grateful for my new Tribe, I am incredibly grateful for the paradise and cornucopia of richness of my home.

I have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Even if I wind up spending it alone (I might just cook a turkey for leftovers) it'll all be well.

And one of my deepest Blessings is my Mommy. My Mama and I are as two peas in seperate pods. Grown of different types of peas. She's a Pole pea, I'm a Bush pea. :~) This has caused us no lack of consternation and frustration throughout my life, for both of us. Our differences are enough to make us butt heads, and our similarities are enough to make us butt heads.

As you might guess, we have spent much of our lives butting heads.

But my Mama is a wonderful, strong woman with a heart as big as Texas. I remember once, I was sent home from school and kicked off the bus for causing trouble. But I WASN'T. The kids behind me were. The bus driver was just fed up with their ofttimes violent shenanigans, and blew up. She wasn't feeling inclined to listen to another kid. The School was not inclined to listen to another kid, either. So I was sent home, with now, no way to get to school for the rest of the month for something I hadn't done. When Mama got home from work and I told her what happened, she took the next morning off, and drove me to school. She marched up to the bus driver, told her to get her hiney into the office NOW! and then proceeded to march into the office. With my hand held firmly in hers, she was every bit as intimidating as any drill sargeant. She read them all the riot act. I was back on the bus that afternoon.

Once we had a van big enough to transport the Irish and kids and accoutrement of dog shows hither and yon. It blew some part- transmission part, as I recall- and Mama took it to Car Doc (I THINK that was the name. They are no longer in business) for an estimate and repairs. They gave my Mom an estimate. Two days later, when we went to go pick it up, that estimate had tripled, and they refused to give the van back, or to honor the estimate. OR to produce what work had been done! My Amazon Princess Mom went down their entire counter with an armsweep and cleared it all to the floor. Then went home and hired a lawyer. Car Doc released our van at the estimate price the next week.

Once, I was feeding the horses, and Mom had gone into the shed to fetch more hay, when I heard ear-splitting terrifying shrieks of sheer horror. I came rushing into the shed, to find my Mama, the Amazon Princess, standing on a small chair screaming. I got her calmed down enough to divulge the nature of the beast who had so frightened her. My Mama, the bravest woman in the world besides my Grammy, had been treed by a mouse. I have to admit that I lost it. I just started to laugh so hard that I couldn't stand, and fell into the hay rolling in peels of laughter, later to be pummeled by flakes of hay by my brave and treed mama.

Another time, as we were riding our horses down the River bottom, Mama all dolled up in her new saddle, new boots, new fancy Western riding gear, new tooled leather bridle, me with my recalcitrant shetland pony Star (who in their right mind EVER gives a child a shetland? They are as mean as junkyard dogs! Get a Welch. Taller, yes, but EVER so much more companionable) with my well-oiled hand-me-down gear. I tried to tell Mama not to take the path she was aimed at, because there was a deep spot there, but Mama didn't listen to me. She was a VERY good rider, but I have always been in tune with horses. The horse Mama was riding LOVED water! LOVED it. Would drop and wallow in the shallowest bit of a mud puddle jut slike a pig. She whickered softly, I saw her ears prick deeply forward and an excited gleam flash in her eyes. I started to say "Mama! Watch ou...." and that horse bunny hopped into the deep spot and rolled. With Mama still attached. When the horse was done, Mama looked a wee tad bedraggled. All her beautiful clothes and all her new gear was caked and dripping with black eluvial river bottom silty sticky mud.

Oh and that was not the END of my poor mama's humiliation at the hooves of that rascally horse! Nay! Later, Mama was talking about something, and she turned just as a HUGE grasshopper flew straight into her open mouth! I heard a *crunch* and then a splutter more splutters, gagging and spitting as Mama tried to get that nasty grasshopper out of her mouth, along with that nasty brown "tobacco" stuff that squished grasshoppers emit. It was not a pretty sight. It was, however, a very FUNNY sight.

Mama has two birthdays. One is tomorrow, November 16th, which is the day she was born. The other one is the one she is most proud of, as that is her AA Birthday, the day she quit drinking. It's in April. I am so very proud of her! Our Family is all so very proud of her. It was a terrible struggle, and she deserves to be proud of this accomplishment.

For years, round about this time of year, Mama would disinherit me for one dumb reason or another, a threat to which I would shrug and tell her I was never in it for the money anyway. Round about this time of year, Mama and I would almost inevitably get into some kind of silly row. I wound up dreading this time of year. But we have both grown up, my Mommy and me.

Mama had me when she was still very young, and my Grammy kind of took over the job of raising me. When Mama had my sister Lynell, she was much better prepared to have a child. There were many times when I felt so sad that "Mama didn't love me like she loved Lynell", that "Lynell was always Mama's favorite", and all the typical sibling sorrow and Maternal angst. Now I know that Mama did the best she could. We all make mistakes that we wish we could take back. Sometimes we are not afforded the time to make it up. Sometimes we are not given the time to ask forgiveness, nor to give it.

I am Blessed. I get to see my Mommy for New Years', and spend some time with her, and I get to spend some time with my Tribe. We shall sing in the New Year, this shiney new bauble of 2010. I have the opportunity to have the time to be with my Mommy. It feels so incredibly blessed to find my True Friend in my Mother. I love you, Mommy!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Souls Day

Yesterday was tricksy. It was the first anniversary in which Vinnie has been dead. It took me a while to write that sentence, I wanted to say "Vinnie was with the Angels", but that is a euphemism meant to make the fact of Vince's death less painful to see in writing. Yet, it's true, he's one of my Guardian Angels now.

Now I know there are those who do not believe in that. And there is the distinct possibility that I believe because I WANT to believe, because it is comforting to believe that he is with me still, is with all of us who loved him. In the same way I believe in the Rainbow Bridge, I believe I shall see him again.

I guess that proves that I count our Animal friends as important as our human friends. I shall see them all again, in the great by and by. It's taken me a bit of a while to write this. There is much sorrow, still much anger, and now I find that there are regrets.

As often as we say to ourselves --nay, as often as I have told myself that I shall not make the same mistakes, I find -in hindsight- that I did. I made the same mistake, and I have made this painful one thrice.

And as I am want, I find a smidge of dark humor in my grief, and in my exploration of it. I am now -in some Churches- a blasphemer! In the same umbrella of Christianity, I would be stoned, or burned at the stake as a witch, or tossed in the pond with stones clutched to my breast knowing the proof of my non-witchiness was my death by drowning. How droll! I believe that Animals and Trees and Plants and even Rocks have Souls, have personaility, have intelligence, and were created by the same Source as I. Are thus deserving of the same basic respect. HA! Ah well, so be it.

But Halloween was my Anniversary (see above, I am STILL irreverant!) and my first Anniversary as a widow. And November First was All Saint's Day, when the Catholic Church Honors all the Saints of History. But November 2nd is the day I get confused with. This is All Souls Day, when we hold our Ancestors and Those Who Have Passed close to our hearts, the day when we Remember. In Mexico, and in many of the Catholic countries of South America, All Souls Day is a time of Gifting, of sharing memories, of Celebrations of Life. In Cancun, we all danced in the streets, like Carnivale, a festival time, irreverant, smiling and joyous of memory of those people who look over our shoulders from beyond the veil. (Another interesting euphemism) I baked sweets for the children, and helped prepare the evening meal for my roomies. And then I partied like it was 1983. (which it was)

When I moved to Oregon, I lost Grammy's ashes for some months before I could find the box her box was in. So I have her ashes in my breakfront, her very favorite piece of furniture. It's in my dining room, where she can be with me.

So as I remember these two very important people in my life, I also have to face the mistakes I made. The times when I was frustrated and not kind. The times when I was neglectful. The times when I was distant. The things I could have done better. I am trying hard to forgive myself for the unkind moments I allowed myself with both of these people. Despite my excuses and my reasons, the fact remains, that if I am ever in the position again, I hope I remember writing this. I hope I remember the sleepless nights I have tossed and turned through berating myself for my times of frustration and my unkindness.

I'm reading a very interesting book called "The Bitch, The Crone, and the Harlot" I resisted for a few months, because I found those terms oddly offensive. But I went ahead, and I am reading it, and I have found -besides Ms Schachterle's use of those three terms, chosen on purpose- much to learn within its pages. I will try to remember. I will hold my memories close to my heart. I will learn from my mistakes, and embrace the lessons.

And here, on this windy November morning, the sharp wind picks up the fountain's small geyser and casts it sideways. The water resumes its' carressing of the concrete figure in its' path, the form of a maiden water bearer. I wonder if there's a lesson there?

May all your Blessings not have to wait until Thanksgiving to be present in your life.