There are so many blogs out there that feature beautiful, expensive houses, fabulous DIY projects that aren't Pinterest fails, and flawless organizational schemes, and that's great. This is not one of those blogs. You will never find this one featured in glossy magazines with titles not quite like "Truly (Expensively) Uncomplicated."
I am simply not in that class. Literally. My socio-economic status is "hanging on like a barnacle to the bottom of the fading lower middle class." I'm semi-abled at best, with chronic fatigue and chronic pain, and I don't always get much done in a day.
My camera is ten years old, has 5 megapixels and a fading battery, and no longer does timestamps. We can't afford a better one. I don't have Photoshop, though I occasionally resort to the free features on Picmonkey to correct exposures or to crop. Sometimes the pictures show chomped hollyhock leaves because I'm not into insecticides.
My garden is lovely, and it's small. On one side of the house, it's up against is a barbed-wire fence and a horse pasture. On the other there's chain-link and a yard that doesn't get mowed or watered. That's my neighborhood. We all do what we can. I do close-ups not because I'm a follower of Georgia O'Keefe, but because that's how I deal with sightlines. Maybe I'll get braver now you know that.
Inside our manufactured, non-tiny home, decor is Early Poverty/High Clutter, despite a few nice pieces of furniture. I've got old sheets hung from panel nails over my windows because there's so much to do before I can make the curtains from the curtain fabric that's been sitting in the fabric stash for two years, and I have to barter with someone to get the holes drilled for the curtain rods because neither of us can be trusted with power tools.
I make beautiful things, and I make messes. Sometimes the messes take a while to clear up. In geological time.
There's a sign hanging on the living-room wall. It's slightly crooked no matter how carefully we straighten it, and it hangs just below the wall cracks that appeared when a neighbor drilled a well. It's a quotation from Annette Funicello: "Life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful."
My life is not simple, and I won't pretend it is. It's not glossy. It's not keeping up with the Joneses, or anyone else. It has moments of beauty, and I share them.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
This magnificent creature is often found peering out at its surroundings in the juncture of the Couch and Windowsill ecological zones. Despite competition (sometimes fierce) from the more common Solar-Powered Windowsill Cat, the Windowsill Hound persists and, judging by its well-fed appearance, thrives. It can be identified visually, though auditory identification is also possible. While its bark is not heard often, the cries of the local apes to "Get offa there!" are confirmation of its presence.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Clockwise from upper left: Simon, Rufus, Sophie
Simon and Daisy in happier days
Simon had been getting bizarrely aggressive for several days. He wouldn't let the other cats near him. He began stalking and attacking Daisy whenever they were in the same room. Last Tuesday he bit Matt's hand (fortunately it did not get infected). The diagnosis was kitty dementia, and we had the choice of sedatives, which might not have worked, or euthanasia. We chose the latter. His behavior had been worsening since March, and I had suspected dementia before.
Our vet, Dr. Colleen at JDRVC, did a wonderful thing. I was having a hard time because I hadn’t given Simon wet food for his last meal, even though I was pretty sure we were at the end. She brought him a can of chunks in gravy and gave him a big bowl of food, then came back with the syringes. We had to refill the bowl before she gave him the first sedative shot, which he didn’t even notice because the food was so good. He chowed down happily while I petted him and sang him the Little Brown Tabby Chant for the last time. When he began to have trouble chewing, I got the rest of the gravy out of the can and put in front of him, and he lapped at it until he went to sleep with his face in the dish and his tongue out in the gravy, peaceful at last. Then she gave him the last shot, and he was gone in less than a minute.
It was an enviable death, a good way to end of a long and adventurous life. The other animals are beginning to come out of their grief and relax; it's clear in retrospect how much he had everyone on edge. But everywhere we look, everything we do, there is no Simon underfoot with his Siamese-sounding yowl and his demands for ALL THE ATTENTION. Farewell Simon, bandit, pirate, furboy.