My daughter and the Wonder Grandson, Wee Jamie, are off in California for three weeks, visiting family,  showing Wee Jamie to his living ancestors, cousins, great-aunt and uncles and assorted other kin, and giving my sister and her family a bit of a break, in looking after Mom, who is mostly paralyzed and bedridden, since a fall in her kitchen some years ago. This leaves me alone in the house, or as alone as one can be with a pair of dogs, three cats and two hyper-energetic kittens. (They all seem to be extra-clingy to me, in the absence of my daughter and Wee Jamie, though.) Is there a feline version of Ritalin for kittens… no particular reason for asking. Really. I am under strict orders from my daughter to check in with the next-door neighbor, Miss Eileen at least once a day, or else a welfare check from SAPD will be ordered up. No kidding. On an occasion in the early Oughties, when the Daughter Unit was still in the Marines, one of the cats knocked the bedroom telephone extension off the night table, and I didn’t notice. The Daughter Unit tried to call me for most of a day and only got a busy signal. A nice patrol officer from the local substation rang the doorbell early in the evening…

I’d rather not have that happen again.

Not having to work my day around Wee Jamie’s naptime, activities, exercise and appointments allowed me to get an enormous lot of stuff done, over the last several days – laundry without worrying if the noise from the washer and dryer would disturb his nap, time at the computer without little hands grabbing for my phone, keyboard or mouse, or keeping an ear on rotating alert for dangerous noise or even more dangerous silence … and time in the garden without worrying.

The range of potted herbs and veggies by the front door

The Greenhouse, with one of the newly-paved sitting areas

Yes, the garden. The greenhouse is done, and altogether splendid, although I made some mistakes in installing the eave panels, mistakes that I can’t go back and remedy, not without tearing it half apart again. Better just to adjust and move on … move on to covering more of the side garden with pavers to permit sitting areas and clusters of potted plants; the soil here is so dense and clay-like that I have long given up trying to grow anything in it. Better to pave with ornamental pavers and pea gravel and containers on top, or larger metal-sided raised beds full of purchased garden soil … the container garden is burgeoning with green, after a number of days of rain. We’ve already had several side dishes of fresh beans and peas. Last night I had two small red potatoes from the raised bed, and they were delicious and creamy. I’ve depended for weeks, nay, months! on the blessings of fresh basil, parsley, oregano, fennel, cilantro, sage, and dill from the pots by the front door. The container garden holds a tempting promise of tomatoes of all sorts, okra, squash and peppers of all kinds, from Bell to various exotic hot peppers. I’ve managed to fill an extended raised bed with topsoil, leaf mulch from the mulch pile, and maybe I’ll be able to plant some more beans, corn and pumpkins in it by the end of the week.

Of other projects – besides finishing the Civil War novel – three of them concern items that the Daughter Unit snagged at yard savings, or from a pile of discards from a neighbor who is moving to Hawaii and ditching every shred of excess to needs items; an oak child’s armchair and a pair of small steamer trunks. One is to be fitted out as a toy trunk for Wee Jamie, the other to be an all-in-one traveling display and storage for Miss Matilda. I’m hoping to finish all three by the time that my near family returns from California.


  1. That looks delightful. Congratulations on your fruitful garden!

    • Thanks – the visiting therapists have cooed over how lovely and green it all looks. I splurged on a trunkload of pavers and pea gravels, so it looks even nicer!
      As for fruitful – so far, the best producers have been the beans and peas.