Monday, October 8, 2012

On My Own

The vegetable garden in the morning, my favorite time of day. On the weekends I get up soooo early, because I'm too excited to sleep.

Rob was out of town this weekend, so I lived for two days in my weird Leslie way—getting up too early and eating funny things. I enjoyed delicious, salty popcorn suppers and spent most of my time happily puttering and rearranging things—I love to rearrange. I spoiled the cats, doling out treats and catnip several times daily and turning on the water every hour so Carl could play in the sink (his newest hobby).

My new dresser-top arrangement

New Fiestaware display

It was still pitch-dark when I got up on Saturday morning, so I sat in the lamplight and ate buttered toast and petted some cats and read At Home with Beatrix Potter. I just love this book. It’s about Hill Top Farm, Beatrix’s farm in the Lake District, a place that shows up again and again in her stories and illustrations. It’s also about her successful effort to preserve the beauty of the Lake District by protecting it from development. When she died she left 4,000 acres to the National Trust. I sat in the kitchen eating my toast and feeling very inspired.

When it was just starting to get light (there was a little orange glowing spot in the sky and the world had turned a gentle dove-gray), I went out and started weeding around my stone patio under the Chinese chestnut. Then I mulched with leaves around the new Southern lady ferns I planted during the week. I got the whole area looking so cute that I just had to set up a tea party on the little Atlanta Stove Works table and take pictures.

This is the kind of nonsense that goes on when Rob is out of town.

In the afternoon I did a lot of weeding in the bed under the giant spruce pine near the house. It’s one of my favorite beds. Plants include a huge needle palm, three Piedmont azaleas, coonties, woodland sunflowers, chain ferns, autumn ferns, yellowroot, wax myrtle, Ocala anise, and a bunch of Shi Shi Gashira sasanquas. Rob and I have a pretty big, messy yard and it really helps to narrow my focus, to think, “I will just fix up this bed today.” Otherwise, I get confused and overwhelmed. So anyway, I concentrated my efforts and I got that one bed pretty close to perfect. There’s an empty spot where an autumn fern died, and I planned to fill that in with an extra Shi Shi I happen to have on hand.

I tried to use my time wisely all day, but the cats did not. June took a long nap on the clean clothes in the laundry basket, and Leroy did nothing but lie in a cardboard box. I spent the evening cleaning out various cupboards and cabinets. I was in heavenin my pajamas, in the lamplight, surrounded by cats and dust bunnies and my little treasures, my years and years of birthday presents. I made tea, and the cats rolled around in their piles of catnip, and the barred owls hooted outside.

I talked to Kris on Sunday morning and she told me a funny story about Jake. She said when he gets home from school he always tells her that his feet hurt. The other day he said, "Ooo, my salty dogs are barking!"

"Kind of weird," I smiled, "because he's sitting down all day."

"I know," Kris said, "it doesn't make any sense."

But it does, of course. Jake is a little guy who enjoys the creature comforts. He likes sitting barefoot on the couch, playing his video games. Having to wear his shoes all day at school is definitely a test of his endurance.

June in the laundry basket

Carl lounging about


  1. I see we both like pink depression,cats,tatting and miniatures..your fiesta looks so festivve..more pics!!!

  2. Your home, gardens . . . life exudes serenity.

    I love the look of your new dresser top arrangement. And I absolutely love rearranging things. It's kind of like rediscovering them again. It also keeps the family guessing - "Where did Mom move that thing to now?!" :-)

    Both of your cats look as though they know they're living in paradise. Beautiful felines . . . .

    Have a great week.


  3. Sharon, so cool that we have similar taste--I'd really love to see some of your collections!

  4. Thanks, Eli. It's great to meet a fellow rearranger!

  5. Hey Leslie...I love your slow pace of life and how you savor the simple things (and even mundane tasks like weeding) in life. You are a rare find in this busy world. You have some very different and interesting types of plants. I'm guessing that some of them are some old-time southern favorites. Your little tea party is adorable!

  6. Thanks, Susan. You always make such nice, thoughtful comments. They always make my day.

  7. I love the picnic picture, how neat! Hammy looks great in his crown. Will you be able to come over to help me set up scenes for the Halloween party? -B

  8. Oh, I would love to help you set up the scenes! You have so much to work with now with all of your treasures. I can't wait!