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Shucks,June 3, 2004

Y’all rock. I’m not even going to address the comments yesterday because I’m embarrassed by the richness. I thank you, though, from the bottom of my heart (and on top and all in between, too). I am truly blessed.

I’m in the back yard, and there really ARE the biggest rats you’ve ever seen out here. Cheeky beggars, too. They come out, grin, and dart back into the overgrown ivy. The weird thing is that I don’t even mind. I think I’d mind more if my cats were outdoor cats – these look like the kind of rats that would beat up a tomcat and then take his wallet. The two juvenile cats who live next door consider my backyard theirs (as well they should), but they haven’t figured out what to do about the problem yet. The rats make this crazy weird chattering/shrieking noise and the kittens scatter.

The tomatoes are coming along. I had wondering at their growing straight up, as opposed to the normal out, but right now I’m watching the sun go over them (they get direct sunlight for perhaps only an hour a day—doesn’t bode well for the fruit), and I’ve figured out that they get more sun the higher the leaves reach. So they’re reaching.

Yesterday I wore myself out. In a good way, but I was exhausted by the time I got home this morning at 730. I woke yesterday at 2pm. I did my writing in the garden. I blogged. I checked email. I went for a run around the Lake (3 miles, and I only walked for three or four minutes right in the middle! Yippee!). I went to Trader Joe’s (where I ran into my sister Christy—I swear I never run into anyone in the Bay Area, but if someone passes me on the freeway and honks, it’ll be her) and did a whole lotta grocery shopping. I went home and made dinner. I dyed my hair. I sat again in the garden while I waited for the hair dye to take, and read my mail.

I got a letter from Daisy-Winifred who told me to Just Be. The whole amazing letter had been written while she sat in her Welsh garden, and I read it in my California one, and it said that no matter how wonderful a full, busy life is, it’s important to Just Be.

It couldn’t have been a better letter to read. I’m still not quite over the shock it gave me. I think it was the timing of the whole thing. Sure, I had been incredibly industrious on a day in which I still had an upcoming twelve hour shift, but where did that leave me? I was practically panting. I had brought with me into the garden not only the letter, but a book and a notepad for some ideas I thought I’d jot out. You can do a LOT in the twenty-five minutes the hair dye needed.

But I left the book next to me, and I didn’t pick up the pen; I just put my cheek on my hand and closed my eyes and listened to the garden (and the rats). I Just Was.

D-W, it was just what I needed. A reminder. And today, instead of hitting the ground running, I slept in a little (!). And now I’m going to go inside and post this, and then maybe watch a little TV. I’m going to make espresso and mix it with soy milk (my new favorite delight, thanks, Ma!). I’m going to laze. Isn’t that a great word? And then I’ll go in to work, and I won’t have that CrazyNeedCoffee feeling.

Oh, I’ll have to show you what I’m working on.... it’s that cabled jacket from Debbie Bliss’s Cotton for All Seasons, in a red/orange (of course) angora/merino I picked up in Maryland. I’m in love with it. But that would mean getting the camera out, and doing all the fiddly camera things, and I’m Just Not In The Mood. Tomorrow. Maybe.

Oh, and Bethany has a stash. Heh. Living in her PICKUP, she has a stash. That just kills me. All my fault. I take full responsibility.


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Hee...I usually knit while my hair dye works its magic...Bethany having a stash in the pickup sounds very practical. Can be a hobby or a pillow or...okay it's funny...

Are you a redhead? Again, your backyard sounds just wonderful. Well, except for the rats. I wouldn't be groovin' on the rats.

I read while dying my hair - I'm too nervous to knit with permanent dye around. (I'm a redhead this summer too)

Mmm soy milk, for me it's porridge made with this on my mornings with honey of couse for this sweet tooth gal and with rice crispies late at night when I need the snap crackle and pop to wake me up!
There are some advantages about being happily naturally highlighted in the hair department though do remember in my 20's looking for enhancing stuff for the many natural highlights that were appearing; something like Henna was what I asked the beauty counter assistant for when she stopped laughing she suggested a heavy duty chemical dye which hilariously was black not a colour I've ever been either naturally or chemically green, blue and orange maybe but never black.
Rats...yep they do sound like sparrows on speed when they argue, I live with them here too quite happily until they cross a preordained line- like being found on the bird table nearest the kitchen then I become the exterminator but I hate it and am known to cry if I find a dead body BUT not only can they add no-no's for humans to the soil when you garden especially in this wet country but they can carry disease that Mr Bryn or Florintina or Caravaggio could pick up so believe it or not I disinfect areas I know they troll in -yeh I know but that's me.

Oh, these have been just the kind of posts that melt me down to almost nothing, and all I can think to say is, "you're amazing, and I adore you." Mwah!

Just a warning: those ratsies will raid you garden and ruin most of your tomatoes. think of some form of protection now. Even if they decide they don't like them, they chew and nibble and dig just to be malicious (i think)!

Just the two words "cabled jacket" were enough to send my heart into palpitations! Oh, and lazing? THE BEST. Funny, when I dye my hair, I now do it outside, too (probably because the last time I did it, I tried standing in the tub so I wouldn't get any dye on our brand new linoleum floor, but then the container slipped out of my hand and onto the new floor, and blood red dye squirted out into a perfect arc, all over the new floor and walls). I hope you are feeling relaxed and invigorated and hot headed ("hot" in a good way, you konw).

Thanks for sharing the advice from D-W. Gave me a moment of pause. I think my day is going to progress in a whole different way, now. So Thanks to both of you. xoxo

Uh, Rachael? Rats are *not* our friends. They carry diseases (plague and typhus, among others) and they do damage to things they chew on. They can also carry rabies (although not often).

I just checked with my doctor buddy, who suggests you chat with your local Board of Health or Animal Control people and see what they think. Maybe "peaceful co-habitation" will work for you all, but it also might not be the safest route to take with your new vermin-y neighbors.

Not that you asked, or anything, but I love you and want you to be safe and happy!

You might want to protect your tomato plants with some chicken wire around it. Rats are notorious for taking a bite out of the fruit and leaving the rest, still on the vine, for you to see and get mad about! *shudder* makes me think of that ultra-weird movie "Willard" blech!

PS Your blog rocks!

What, no hair dyed gorgeous pictures? sigh.Tomorrow, mebbe? I'm glad you are taking some time to LAZE and just BE still in the garden....but if I hear you are knitting little cabled jackets for the meeses and doing photo shoots.., I'm coming out there to take you on a VERY long walk while the nice men in white jackets come to escort those guys out to the Country...
They'll take more than the cats wallets, Girlfriend, you live in Oakland, member?
Doz be wharf rats. Dey gots Relatives.....named Bruno and Guido.
Keep the Cats, and your hotheaded self, SAFE, dearest.

only you would have warm fuzzy feelings for rats. i second MaryB. rats are vermin.

It makes no sense, but the ivy ground cover that is so ubiquitous in the Bay area just attracts rats. I guess it is just the perfect spot to next in. If you want to get rid of the rats for good, pull out the ivy and put something else in. I'm sure this is probably not what you want to hear, but it would solve your problem.

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