Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Plant sales and a glorious Saturday

Friday I was supposed to have lunch with Carolyn and have my 2 hay bales for my veggie gardens delivered.  But I ran late from work and Carolyn rescheduled and fortunately the hay bale guy was running late.  I got some things done in the yard and then I came in and sat down.  Carolyn had asked me if I wanted to go up to Southern Music Rising, the music festival this weekend in Monticello.  I said, thanks, but that I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home with the boys (Harry and Bob, my labs).  I had had a couple of days of stomach issues, so going out, didn't seem like the best idea.

Then Ms Moon called.

Do you want to drive into town and hear Lis and Lon at the Mockingbird Cafe and have dinner?  Mr. Moon is out of town, and Ms Moon has decided to put on a bra and makeup and head into town.  Well, then I need to put on my big girl panties and get up and force myself to put on a bra, dress up, put on make up, get in the toy, put the top down and drive with on of my dearest most beloveds to have a wonderful dinner, see friends, listen to beautiful music.  

I said, "Yes"

And I did, I picked up Ms Moon and we drove west to the big city as the evening was starting to settle around us.  It was a lovely evening to be out for a drive with the top down.  Lis and Lon had set up a table for us right in front of the stage.  We chose the bar.  Mary's beautiful daughter May is the Manager at the Mockingbird.  May is one of those special people, she is beautiful, has a glorious smile, the sweetest laugh and is one of the funniest, wittiest people with a wicked talent for writing and dancing.  May ran back and forth between the restaurant portion and us.  Then Mean Aunt Jessie came in and sat with us.  Another beautiful, sweet, kind, smart, lovely, intelligent child of the Moon's.  

Mary and I ordered dinner.  The same thing we always order, a house salad and the Mediterranean appetizer.  I picked at my salad.  My stomach, said, "no thank you"  Then my appetizer came, and my stomach said, "don't even think about it."  So I had it all boxed up to go.  We got to get hugs from Lis and Lon and both girls, and Mary knew most everyone there and hugs all around.  The music encompassed us and swirled around our hearts, Ms Moon had a moment or two of tears through smiles, especially as old acquaintances danced with their precious new grandson.  It was a lovely evening, friends, music, good food, in to go boxes, stars above our head, Ms Moon, bras and big girl panties.  We may be on the other side of young, and as Ms Sioux says, we may be past our skinny, but we can still go into town and have fun.  Oh yes we can.  

And during one of their breaks I got to get one of Lon's perfect hugs.  Mary said it will add 3 years to your life just hugging Lon.  That would double my life expectancy, so I went for it.  And those few seconds felt like he surely could add 3 more years of sweet precious life.  So Saturday morning I go for another hug, and said to him.  This is great, now you have tripled my life expectancy.  I am thinking that maybe Dr. M needs to meet Lon.  They both work magic.

So when I left Friday evening we had all agreed, Lis, Ms Moon and Jessie to meet at the Goodwood Garden plant sale the next morning.  I would pick up Ms Moon and Lis at 8, Jessie would meet us before her shift at the hospital.  I got up Saturday eager to go.  The sky was gray and misting.  I adjusted my wardrobe to stand in the rain and to pick up pots of plants that were wet and muddy.  I opened the back door to get the dog's food and at that moment the heavens let loose and in that single moment, of rain and the door opening I was soaked from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.  Sometimes you are there when everything comes together.  Sometimes that is not what you expected.

The hard rain only lasted for a few seconds, and I was ready to go again and heading to the door, dry and hopefully prepared for the challenges of the day when the phone rang.  It was Ms Moon, Lis had not been able to sleep and was not going to be able to go.  Ms Moon was torn.  Plant sale or Lis.  Of course there was nothing to really be torn about.  She was just being a good friend.  I told her it was just a plant sale.  She does not get to spend that much time with Lis.  Of course she would stay and visit.  There will be another plant sale next month at McClay, and of course, next year at Goodwood.  And honestly, neither of us need any more plants.  

So I jumped in the Malibu and took off.  I got to Goodwood at 8:30, right on schedule.  But there was only one car in the parking lot.  Hmmmm, something was not right.  I walked up to the gate.  OK, the volunteers were there, the 4hers were there, but where were all the gardeners?  The weather was nasty, but not as bad as it had been a couple of years ago.  As I walked to the gate, there stood Jessie in her gray hoodie and pants.  I yelled, "There is that gorgeous woman."  And a face that was only slightly familiar, not the face I expected looked at me.  She did have sort of a Jessie kind of look about her, but this was definitely not Jess.  I apologized, embarrassed, and the 2 of us stood there.  Finally the bugs got to be too much for her, she was not dressed properly, and she ran away.  Shortly a guy walked up and took her place.  He introduced himself as the woman's boy friend and we struck up a conversation.  It was amazing how much the 3 of us actually had in common, from THE University of Florida to Pine Island and gardening and where we live now, and jobs we have had.  The woman was not a gardener.  But the man was and we happily yammered on and on about plant sales and gardening.  At 5 minutes until the gate opened I felt my heart rate increase and my pulse start to pound.  Much like the vegetarian hunters during caveman time finding a particularly thick and hearty root or a rich harvest of berries.  My new friends went over their plan of attack using the maps of the sale provided by the 4H kids.  She was confused by all the strategy.  Why not just walk through and see what is there?  He calmly pointed to the 50 people now waiting and we all looked at the parking lot as it filled up with more and more cars pulling in with lots of other people who would also be in that same small space, vying for the same wagons and pots of green treasures, with little colored sticks denoting the cost.  

The gate opened and we all politely pushed forward, through the gate, wagons to the right, a few roses along the fence, the main sale to the left.  I grabbed the closest wagon to the pink rose I wanted and then shot through the crowd heading straight for the shade table to see if they had any begonias this year.  Nothing new or exciting, so then around the back way up to the herbs, then the butterfly plants around to the vines, sun loving plants, and then the big plants.  I filled my wagon, even though I really didn't need anymore plants.  HA!  I say, HA HA!  You can never have too many plants.  20 minutes later I was paying for my booty and heading to the car.  I handed my wagon over to a lovely young woman with a daughter about 4 in the cutest garden dress of flowers and bugs and big yellow suns.  It had misted to rain a couple of times as I waited.  I had actually waited longer then I had been at the sale.  I love the plants, but when the people start pouring in, I start running out.  

Next to Lowe's.  There I was able to get plastic chicken "wire" for the coop for the babies and some zip ties to attach the new fencing to the existing coop. Back in the car and on to the Orchid show.  There were no signs anywhere that would tell you that there was a show of any kind.  But Bob had seen them setting up the show.  I was the only one there not showing or selling orchids. It was like walking around in a wonderland of jewels and pastels of magic.  I picked up my new treasures and scurried to Ms Moon's house to drop off presents.

Then on to Monticello Milling for animal feed and hay for the chicken coop.  I quick walk through the crowds of musicians and fans to the Rosemary Tree, a gift shop, high end deli for their grand opening.  

Finally I was heading back home.  The Malibu filled to overflowing with plants, hay, animal feed and hardware.  I drove past the Winn Dixie Plaza.  Maybe it is called Jefferson something.  I am not actually sure what the actual name of the plaza is, although I think there is a sign that tells you.  I just say I am going to the Winn Dixie.  And yes, we have 2 new shops in downtown and the owners of the "something or other" Plaza are spiffing it up nicely.  They have painted each store front with a different color to give the impression of a group of stores instead of a strip mall.  It looks quite nice.  Monticello is putting on it spring finery this year.

Back home I cleaned the chicken coop, set up the hay bales and planted the veggies in them.  Eggplants, peppers and cukes.  I am thinking of planting tomatoes and strawberries in a raised planter next to the hay bale garden.  Next I finished emptying the car, cleaned out the chicken coop, called my Father, weeded, worked on my sprinkler system in the back yard, planted a few more plants, cleaned a little here, worked on another spot in the yard, and then tackled the babies chicken coop.  I attached the new plastic chicken wire to the existing metal wire to make sure that the babies could not stick their heads in the metal wire and get it stuck, and to contain them in part of the coop.  I got their food and water set up, I got fresh new hay in the laying boxes as well as on the floor of the coop.  I filled the bunny house with hay in case some of the little ones want to sleep in there.  Set up a light to keep them warm at night and then planned the big move.  I got a cat carrier and slipped into the bathroom.  It was not as easy as I had hoped to gently stuff 17 baby chickens into the cat carrier.  There was plenty of room for the short trip and time they would be in it.  But getting them into it was harder then I had hoped.  I finally got everyone in and walked out to their new home.  I sat down in the hay next to the carrier and opened the door.  Nothing.  I waited 5 minutes, 10 minutes, not even a head peaked out.  So I started reaching in and picking them up one by one and putting them in the hay next to me.  I got them all out and as curious as they always are, this was new and big and pretty scary.  It took quite a while, but they finally adjusted and started scratching in the dirt.  Their first time ever on dirt.  They pulled at the hay straws, they pecked at things on the ground.  They squabbled and chirped and scratched and acted like baby chickens.  Then the soon to be roosters starting jumping and challenging each other.  There must be at least 5 of them.  Maybe more.  Maybe a lot more.  Even the 2 smallest, Rose and Dewdrop started standing up to the much bigger chickens.  I stroked those that came close and snuggled up to me.  I admonished the fighters with chirps of my own.  I watched in amazement as one of the two blue chickens, possibly blue Andalusians, opened to her true nature.  She is insane.  I named her Blue Belle and I call her Belle.  She will almost be acting like a normal chicken and the others will start to calm down around her, and then all of a sudden she is up jumping around, flipping and doing all kinds of gymnastics in the most insane matter.  Oh great, at least 5 roosters and one insane chicken among 17.  Not the best odds, but such is life.  We will see what happens.  It will be a few months yet before I am sure who is a rooster and take the ones I can't keep back to the breeder.  I might have dozed a little while I was in there because all of a sudden it was 6 o'clock and I was supposed to be at the Opera House to meet Mary and hear Lis and Lon's concert.  I managed to get up and into the house, but I made the mistake of sitting down in my chair.  I called Mary.  I told her I was sitting down.  She knew I was not getting up for the rest of the night.  And I didn't until almost 11 o'clock last night.  I think the TV was on.  I had so many things to do, but I just sat. I was tired, worn out.  It had been a very good day, but I had done a lot for a normal person I guess, let alone someone with cancer.  I know that at sometime I spoke to my friend with lung cancer, I will call him P and his wife J.  I love those two.  They are such a great team.  People who have probably faced adversity in the past and stayed together, and are now facing this terrible disease together.  I still have never gotten mad about my own cancer.  It is a gift.  But it does me mad as hell that P has cancer.  I hate this disease.  It has affected so many wonderful people.  And yet for me, it has been nothing but a learning experience, a blessing, a gift.  And P so far is doing great.  GREAT!!!!  He had his second treatment this week, and no sickness at all.   He is not tired yet and all in all is feeling pretty good and proud of himself, as he should be.

I did finally get up, take a shower and go to bed.  Tired and exhausted from a day lived well.  A day filled with beauty and friends, flowers and sunshine, even a shower here and there, a day filled with possibilities.  And I managed to accomplish many of those possibilities.  My hay bale garden looks just fine.  The baby chickens made it through their first night in their new home safe and sound.  I fell asleep with Harry sleeping on my legs, Bob Curled up with his head next to mine on my pillow.  Henry and Luna fast asleep in their private spots at the foot of the bed and Stella pressed closely up against the back of my knees.  

And today, I have fed my children, fed myself.  I have made a pair of earrings I needed for the show, worked a bit on Thugee's robe, which I need to finish tonight.  I have checked on the babies a couple of times, and did some laundry.  now to finish this and head to the Opera House for rehearsal.  it is another glorious day.  Sunshine, crystal clear skies that are blue all the way to forever.  The Martin's, my bluebirds sit on their porches looking out at this world of ours and my plants reach and stretch towards that endless sunshine, quenched from the short but sweet showers of yesterday.  

And as I have said so many times, life is is is a gift to be taken and opened and lived fully and deeply.  I have another busy week this coming week with blood work on Monday, lunch with Carolyn on Tuesday then rehearsal that night.   Wednesday Andy is bringing my bell and a garden sculpture on his way to Sebring.  Thursday will be more rehearsals and then another weekend.  This one filled with Easter and chocolate and peeps and Spamalot with Jessie and Rich.  And of course there will be work.  A feeling of accomplishment.  A feeling of normalcy as I get up and do the same routine I have done for over 25 years.  
Life is good.
life is wonderful
life is full and rich and happy and normal and odd and glorious.


  1. Precious, precious lady.
    I love you.

  2. Do you use new bales? No need to let them sit for a season?

  3. What a lovely weekend full of beauty. And you got more done than anyone I know.

    Post pictures of the peeps soon? It would be fun to see an insane blue chicken.

  4. Sounds like a great day! I think that it was a day well lived too.