Backyard: Getting There!

The backyard is coming along nicely. I’m not finished yet. But I have six trees, a vegetable garden, an herb/perennial garden, and a few other planted and decorated spots.

And this rain should help the grass along!

Some special things: part of my Revolutionary 4th great grandfather’s original tombstone from 1799, an old brick from West Kemper Baptist Church, statues of my mother’s, a flat rock from the original land grant of Jacob Boone’s farm in Kentucky, my husband’s arrowhead collection, my mother-in-law’s shells, a pick from my grandfather’s farm, a gull from my Oregon trip, as well as a cobalt blue sea ball, and so on…

Here are pictures of the progress…

This White Pipe…


Round smooth plastic piping, with curves and white purity, like a new bride in a silky white gown…

Except … there is a hole in that gown, an imperfection, a gap like a sliver of moon at the end fitting where the pipe is out of round. C&M Heating and Cooling happened to overlook this faulty part when they installed the HVAC system in my new house. The condensation water leaked through that tiny hole … gosh, it’s so small … and insignificant … and found its way down my wall and under hardwood flooring, and set my life on a new course.

Backtracking — removing flooring, cabinets, granite. Rebuilding, replacing, packing up the kitchen again after being here only five months, restoring my brand new house to a brand new house like it was before the damage caused by the air unit. Interruptions, turmoil.  Life upside down for two weeks or more, then

maybe peace again.



Black Beauty

He is a black beauty, but his name is Forrest, after a Confederate general, because all Neil’s horses are named after such. He’s fifteen hands high, he’s gentle, and he loves carrots.

Brushing Forrest

Forrest’s first haircut on Cedar Ridge

Posing for a picture

Riding Forrest

Tennessee Walker gait

Riding in the pasture

Neil and Forrest

Does my butt look as big as his?

E-mail? Facebook? Blog?

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.

Charles Dickens

Happy Birthday and Happy Bookday, Deborah!

“At the age of 5, Rachel Sarai joined the Dutch Resistance. At the age of 70, she finally gets to tell her story.”

Here’s a flower for Rachel — the Marguerite, the flower worn during the war as a symbol of the resistance to Nazi Germany. A flower to commemorate the courage of a five-year-old girl who did something incredible. Young Rachel Sarai was actively involved as a ‘baby-courier’ in the work of the Underground Resistance.

Today is Deborah Rey’s seventieth birthday, and today is the launch day for her book, Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard. The book presents a true account of wartime experiences of the author. [See post of March 20, 2008.]

Christmas in Memphis…

Christmas 2007
A good time was had by all!

I’ll Be Home, uh, Warm for Christmas

I’d rather have mistletoe than snow. I’ve already gotten the biggest of presents under the tree.

Sunday, my own personal private computer engineer set up the baddest, fastest computer in the whole wide world, along with dual flat panel monitors.

Monday, it was too cold in my office to work on it. Monday, the snow came. Well, not really snow, and it had been coming for a few days. I’ve noticed a few nights, as I tried to sleep, cold air was blowing on my face, stinging like needles of ice, lingering like a dusting of snow. Jack Frost was nipping at my nose … and toes. The heater runs nonstop, the thermostat is set on 68, and the temperature never climbs above 62. Not a good sign.

So I did what I didn’t want to do. I did what I’ve been knowing I’d have to do since last May, when the same thing happened in reverse with the air conditioner. I called Joslin’s. They sent out a heat/air conditioning guy, who announced that my upstairs heat pump wasn’t even running.

“Well, there’s air coming out of the vents — cold air unless I turn the thermostat up to 70 or 72, and then it’s warm air.” But he was right. The outside unit was still and silent.

“It has zero freon. That means there’s a big leak.”

“Can we fill it up with freon and buy some time?”

“It’ll leak right out into the air. Won’t last a day. I can give you a quote on a new unit.”

“I already got a quote last May. But I guess I need a new one,” I said through tight lips. “The unit has had a leak since we bought the house. We fill it up with freon every year.”

“Have you added freon this year?”

“Twice already.”

“It’s time then.”

I called my husband, who was negotiating Green Hills traffic after stopping in on a customer. “It’s time,” I said. I heard the air come out of him. He groaned, his voice crackled. “I’m in the middle of an intersection,” he said. “I’ll take care of it,” I said.

I looked at the man with muddy boots, standing in my kitchen beside me. “I can’t pay for the best one out there, the top of the line. I don’t want the bottom of the line. Get me a strong, high middle.”

The strong, high middle is four thousand.

I signed on the line for it. I’ll be warm for Christmas … and not only in my dreams.