Monday, August 4, 2014

160 People From Turkey Reading My Blog?

In the past few days I have been getting much blog traffic from Turkey, and I wonder if anyone else has too-

This blog has perhaps 8 regular readers, though visitors do stumble in on it when they are looking for information on Tennessee lizards or Harpeth River State Park and Hidden Lake.

I think the Turks, forbidden to use Twitter and Facebook, are looking for ways to bypass what their government is blocking by going in through backdoors.

My hands would fall off before I would use Twitter or Facebook, though a few years back my sister talked me into joining. I used it two weeks, then got the hell out.

I do not think my blog links to either of these sites.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

"I Gave My Cat a Bath-"

Any reader who remembers the late Seventies may remember the Steve Martin routine where he describes bathing his cat, a project that went well though the fur stuck to the comedian's tongue.

Well, I gave a cat a bath a bath last week, and I will never try it again.

This cat, a gray male Community cat named Minuscule, had endured a bath in mild dishwashing liquid when he was a bit smaller, and I could not imagine he would object to being rid of fleas again.

(The white cat has no name. She is Minuscule's sister.)

Minuscule, a swaggering little man cat, had become a particular friend. He let me rub him, pick him up, carry him about the house. I intended to make him a house cat, a neutered one, who would avoid a fate of running all over the place looking for females and eventually ending up being eaten by a coyote, or getting hit by a car.

I intended to get him used to the dogs and the apartment, but first the fleas had to go-

This involved a big blue bucket of water, some organic flea soap touted to be safe for older kittens, and a resident fool to give the bath.

I picked up Miniscule by the neck, as his mother would have, squirted soap on him and dunked him in the bucket.

In the next few seconds it was as though I had been attacked by a half dozen thorny rose bushes. Glistening with soap Miniscule, with suds coming out of his mouth, retreated under the hedge. I, his friend, had become Satan's Spawn.

Horrified,  I spent an hour trying to catch him to get the soap off. I had a towel to throw over and trap him, and thick winter gloves to protect my hands-

I tried luring him in with a felt fake mouse on a string. I tried sweet talking. And some of this drama
entertained the lawn crew, who already think I am a loco old Anglo woman, though that is another story.

I could not catch him, and there he cowered, spewing soap bubbles.

Oh no, thought I. He will run to the upper apartments and some one will see him and he will be foaming at the mouth and they will think he has rabies. The cops will come, and animal control, and they will take all the cats and kill them, and it will be all my fault and I will end up in jail or on Channel 4 at 6. Or maybe he will die from the soap before anyone sees him and I won't go to jail but I will be a cat killer.

I was depressed and despondent all day. I felt better when the cats came back that evening for food.
Minuscule, looking as thought his rear end had dragged through hair gel, was with them. He refused to speak to me.

The next day they all came back, though the little gray cat was wary. But no worse for wear, since he chugged down Tender Centers.

Now, a week on we are best friends again. I pick him up and pet him, I put him on my lap. He brought me another dead vole, give to him by his mother Brushy Tail, who is a relentless Stone Killer.

All seems back to where it was pre-bath.

Maybe he is just waiting for revenge. Biding his time. Maybe tomorrow when I pick him up he will bite my nose off.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Liquid Salad

I have heard Gazpacho described as a "Liquid Salad", and while this recipe is not for a classical Gazpacho, it tastes just as refreshing.

It is easy to make. Simply cut up three medium fresh tomatoes, and one medium peeled cucumber, and puree them in the food processor or blender. Add three or four roasted peppers( I used canned Piquillos), two garlic cloves, and some sea salt to taste and puree them into the mixture along with one slice of any bakery quality white bread. Add up to an ounce of Sherry vinegar- tasting as you go- and blend well.

Serve cold.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Warning! Words Ahead!

Every time I think of walking away from Blogging something hideous comes up that I feel requires comment.

I have noted this week, on two gardening blog sites, a warning placed at the bottom of the page, alerting our newest citizens, the Thumbsters, that into their sub-literate, post-literate, a-literate world has come a blog post or article requiring that they read WORDS.

389 words! is one warning. OMG the Thumbsters howl. Really, they say, then forget it.

5,200 words ! warns the website describing xeric gardens that do not waste water.

5200 words whine the Thumbsters. Has the writer never heard of an Easy Read? And who even knew there were that many words. We thought, like, you know, that there were only 140.

Imagine the relief of  senior high school Thumbsters discarding their Iliads, and Chaucer, and "Bleak House" at McKay Used Books. Books that weigh more than three I-phones, full of boring descriptions and unlikeable characters.  The days of "The Dead Poets Society" are over.

The day of the Text Message Novel is at hand-

And don't worry. It won't be a "Long Read".

*My discouragement earlier this week was caused by an apartment flooded by a corroded hot water heater and by a gum abcess. Enough to turn anyone into a pessimist.

There, I've said it in twenty eight words. Just enough not to abuse our tee-tiny attention spans!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Go Watch The Lightning Bugs

Do not turn on the news tonight. Seeing it will do you no good. There is not one thing one can do about any of it, and  going outside to see the lightning bugs will ease your spirit. Listen for the nighthawks, and watch for the clouds bringing tomorrow's rain.

Hate and war and revenge will never go away. The original sin was Cain killing Abel, and every day Cain's descendants kill their brother again. 

Here is what A.E Houseman wrote:

" Stars, I have seen them fall

But when they drop and die

No star is lost at all

From the star-sown sky.

The toil of all that be

Helps not the primal fault:

It rains into the sea,

And still the sea is salt"

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Other Blog

My other blog-Tales of a Nashville Gardener- is now The Nashville Gardener. I was forced to leave Wordpress because of technical glitches with photo uploads.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Have Fun Storming the Castle".

A month ago, when last I posted, the War with the Rabbits had just begun.

Now it is escalating beyond repellent granules to violence and the building of fortifications.

The other night I turned the hose on one of the unholy snackers, and sent him fleeing into the next yard, where I hoped he might meet the big black and white cat. The next day, after planting some hardy begonias, I built a stick fort, hoping a good stab in the belly might be a deterrent.

The weather is not helping. Almost a month without rain means that the lawn is dry hay, and the flower garden is honey and figs and paradise.

Every time I drive over to this garden at least six members of the Rodentry are sneaking around, having just sampled choice bits of this and that.

Where are the coyotes when you need them?