Tuesday, July 26, 2011


When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Day 20 of abs. This is usually about the time that just one won't hurt me but I still feel pretty strong. I'll get by with a little help from my friends.

I'm sorry I didn't blog yesterday but the cap'n had the day off and that always throws a kink in my schedule. For a long time he didn't know about this blog but he does now. He doesn't want to know about it but he does.

The bugs are so bad here right now that this morning I decided to bypass the parks where I can't open my mouth without taking in a mouthful of gnats and take my walk in a residential area. I love to look at the houses and their lawns and flowerbeds and try to decide what kind of people live there. I can be very judgmental. The loyal and patriotic are pretty obvious with their stars and stripes bunting hung from their porch and their red, white and purple (that's as close as you can get to blue) petunias in their window boxes and the bronze eagles on their mailboxes. They're a little too fervent for my taste and I hurry by before the owner can bustle out and invite me to the next Tea Party rally. I smelled a "cat lady" (How come there are no cat men?) from a half of a block away today and sure enough as I got to her house there were cats in every window and staring down from the branches of the trees. I'm not kidding, you could smell cat a half of a block away. I'm not a cat person. I find them menacing and arrogant and a little alien-like and that house just goes to show how much power they can wield over a person. But let's march onward. Here's a house that boast precision down to every little blade of manicured grass. Their fresh wood chip covered beds hold perpetually trimmed evergreens and there's not a weed to be found. The only flowers are geraniums in two planters flanking the front door. This is obviously the work of a landscaper, the homeowners are probably too busy or just don't have the inclination to get their hands dirty. I don't like them, they seem too in control and lacking in personality, but that's okay because they probably wouldn't like me either. I do have to admit I went by another house like this one this morning and had the same reaction until I spotted a tree swing with a wide plank seat hanging from a tree branch right in their front yard for everybody to see. I decided I already liked these people a lot. Let's move on. Here's a two story white house with pink shutters and pink everything else. There is a pink rose wreath on the door and a wrought iron garden set painted pink. Pink hollyhocks spring up around all sides of the house. This town has more hollyhocks then I've ever seen in one town. It must be a town law that every house has to have hollyhocks, which isn't a bad idea at all. The residents also seem to have a penchant for those old bicycles with the balloon tires, wide seats and a basket attached to the upright handlebars. They don't ride them, they use them as yard ornaments. I've seen at least five yards with these in them and the pink house has a pink one propped up against the front of the house among the pink hollyhocks. I saw the owner out one morning and she had on a pink tee shirt and pink leggings and she was bent over like those corny wooden cut outs that were so popular a few years ago (at least they were in the down home towns I frequent) where all you see is the woman's behind while her farmer husband is standing next to her copping a feel. Anyway she was bent over in her pink leggings watering her pink hollyhocks with, you guessed it, a pink watering can. I'd bet if I could have seen her hair it would have been pink too. I'm sure she is one of those always jolly ladies that's always baking cookies or crocheting Kleenex box covers for her neighbors but I'm going to avoid her like the plague if I see her in the grocery store.

Ah, finally we're getting to my favorite one. It's a small white cottage with a peaked roof and a wide porch with a porch swing and a wicker rocker out front. There's a bicycle here too but instead of being propped up for show it is laying where some kid left it as he dashed into the house. I'm sure he's been told not to leave it there hundreds of times. The flowerbeds bloom in a random riot of colors as if the owner didn't want to take the time to plan and plot. Some of the taller plants are planted in the front instead of relegated to the back and the daisies seem to be taking more than their share of the space. A bee buzzes happily among the chaos. The smell of fresh cut grass and honeysuckle mingle in the air. There are weeds popping up among the flowers and a few dandelions are showing their stubborn little yellow heads here and there but you can tell a loving hand is at work here. This owner obviously has a full life with lots of joy but all its messiness too. She works hard to make life beautiful but sometimes it just gets out of control. Sometimes she gets too busy to tend to everything. Her nails are probably chipped and her roots are probably showing. Sometimes she wishes she could escape it all.  She makes mistakes. She's not perfect but she's trying the best she knows how.

I wonder if when people look at me all they can see are the weeds and the cracks in the sidewalks instead of what's blooming inside.

So today I'm out there doing my best to tend my garden and thanking God for concealer and cheap plastic surgery down in MX.

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