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With Autumn coming on hard and fast in these parts—I thought I’d be clever and make an attempt to clean up the weedy garden so that the last of the zucchini and cucumbers and tomatoes could be picked and piled and brought inside one final time. The ground had been soaked the night before so the grass and weeds and spent plants pulled up very easily. I was making great progress and feeling quite pleased with myself. Just as I was about to move to the tomato row and continue on–while the garden was still in shade–a strange thought went through my head.  As clear and distinct as a bell the thought was, “Get some gloves on.”  Well, that wouldn’t be any real big deal except that I didn’t actually have any gloves. So I sat there, not really sure what to do.


Now understand that I’m a big believer in following impressions, the Spirit, my heart–however you are comfortable putting it. I’ve learned that things always, always turn out better if you listen when you are prompted. But the ground was soft, the shade was perfect and the weeds were willing to come out. I didn’t want to stop. Maybe I could just clear out this first tomato plant. Maybe I could just…I knew better.

Exasperated, I gathered up my tools and trudged into the house. After cleaning up I headed to the store to look for some gloves, but the season was over and there wasn’t even a garden section anymore.  I had to make do with some lame cloth work gloves–but it would be too late in the day to begin again anyway. The weeds would have to wait till tomorrow. Luckily, the ground was still relatively soft the next morning. With my silly work gloves on I was determined to finish the entire section and again, made great time. Clearing every blade of grass and weed away from the tomatoes I moved on to the zucchini, watermelon and pumpkins. Ok, I didn’t quite get to the cucumbers, but dang the garden looked good.

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So good in fact, that when my son-in-law came home from work that evening, I begged him to go clear out to the garden to see my work. Standing on the deck we waited while he walked around admiring the plants he could actually see now. As he leaned down close to the tomatoes, he reached down to pick one, but instead, he hollered, “Bring me a bucket!”

We did.

And this is what he found…

DSC06139A very, very Black Widow

At the base of the first tomato plant that I was trying to weed the day before, without gloves—and the same one that I had meticulously cleared that very day with gloves, sat a big, fat, creeptacular Black Widow. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that 51 year-old ladies really don’t want to get bit by Black Widows. It’s a policy we have. Luckily, the brave knight slew the dreadful Charlotte and all was well again in Zion. But I’ll tell you something–next time, when I hear a whisper,  I won’t argue for a second. I’ll just move.

And so you see, dear reader—that the moral of this story is:

All those good ideas, and epiphanies and warnings and nudges and nagging feelings that we have—all the time…

They are given to us for our own good—but can only help if we listen.

True story.

The End


Fishy Feet

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When you see water this still and lovely I swear it feels like a hypnotic force pulls you closer…

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and closer until you are able to step up to the edge…

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and jump right in.

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The water was so clear that we could easily see the bottom.

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Then, to my surprise a little spotted fish showed up.  He wasn’t a bit scared of us.

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Then his wife came around a corner. They were kinda cute. That is, until they headed right towards me. Wait, is that teeth I see?!

My earlier visions of sharks and alligators and barracudas flew back, along with a new one…piranha!

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Look I know that some of you probably don’t get my little phobia here, but many people raised in California aren’t fond of ocean things moving around their feet. That’s because it is usually jellyfish. Oh, and pesky sea weed that pretends it’s a jellyfish–you know, just to scare the heck out of you, because that would be funny, somehow.

I’m not a fan of jellyfish. They sting you know. Think “Spongebob.” Think “Finding Nemo.” Think “Seven Pounds.”

Jellyfish are completely uncool—especially around your feet.

But I digress.

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While it is quite likely that this little fellow and his woman are completely harmless—who cares? I’m not waiting around to find out what innocent looking fish like to nibble on in their spare time. They just can’t be trusted.

That, my friends, is my fast feet, high tailing it outta there.


Possible piranha—0

As it should be.

Week 27  Food Storage Prompt: 3- 10 lb. bags of sugar

For the Birds

Around here–we get a ton of birds. There are always robins and starlings on the lawn eating all the gnats and worms. If we throw out just the right kind of bread we can even attract seagulls and the occasional wild ducks. They are all fun to watch, but my favorite are—

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the seed birds.

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A while back, I bought this bird seed bell to entice them to come closer. For some reason, they didn’t really care about it–the darn thing just sat there–until it rained. Then all the seeds got soft and started crumbling off into piles below. Then they noticed and gobbled it up. There must have been something unnatural about their lunch looking like a church bell that disturbed them.

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Our birds are much more interested in the regular bird feeder. They flock around it like it’s their one shot at happiness in this life. I’m pretty sure their only complaint is that it isn’t the size of a wheel barrow. I wonder sometimes, if we’d get more birds that way or we’d keep the same ones–only they’d grow to the size of big, fat turkeys. Either way….it’s entertainment at it’s finest.

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With our modest feeder, we get camera shy, tiny birds with yellow, orange, or scarlet heads.

blue birds

Then, we get these, much bolder blue fellows.

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Then a mix of red and blue. I don’t really know what type most of them are–but the ad on the seed package is right–you get some really exotic looking birds when you put these different mixes out.

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The doves usually wait until the smaller birds have settled down a bit then they pick up whatever scraps are left. Whenever the feeder is empty–I swear–the other birds send the doves to tell us about it. Some days they come right up to the window as if to say, “HEY! We’re outta’ food here!”

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Watching these guys always makes me feel so sorry for the little birds in the pet stores locked up in cages. I just want to wait until no one is looking and unhinge the latches and help them make a break for it.

Can’t you just see the news report? “Ridiculous Woman Leads Budgies To Freedom.” I know, I know. Pretty silly thing for a mother of five to do prison time for.

It’s just a thought.

I suppose it’s safer to stick with the seeds–even if the volume can get kinda pricey. The plus side is that you can always be certain something is a great investment if—

it livens up the yard…

it entertains the kids…


it keeps your mother out of jail.

News at six.

Week 15 Food Storage Prompt: 1 bag of bird seed….just kidding!
5 boxes Macaroni and Cheese.