It is dim and gray outside this morning. I just got back from taking a sack of trash down to the corner dumpster. It’s better to get out before the sun starts bearing down.

It rained again late yesterday afternoon. So strange. It will be sunny and nice and then suddenly out of nowhere there’s thunder and dark skies. And the rain comes pouring down with a vengeance.

I’ve wondered for months where my cardinal couple went off to. They’ve been here the five years I’ve lived here and then suddenly they were gone.

I miss the bright red male perching up in the tree and the more sedate colored female hopping along behind him.

I added that little solar fountain to the bird bath hoping I could encourage them to come back. I’ve always heard that the sound of water attracts birds.

This morning I was laying in bed thinking about loss. And how, if time didn’t dim our memories, we would stay stuck in place. Completely immersed in grief and unable to wade out of it.

I just keep propping poor Charlie up and hoping every day I can keep him going awhile longer. Yesterday he was coughing so and I’d done all I knew to do. I started crying and found myself saying: “I don’t know what to do. I just don’t know what to do.”

I try very hard not to let him see me cry. So I pulled myself out of it fast.

Just over a year ago I lost Abi, and I can still hardly even think of her without breaking down.

So I just try to keep Charlie comfortable and give him his medicine and try to hang on to the fact that today is all that we have.

Not tomorrow. Not yesterday. We have today. And if we don’t make the most of it, then we’re not truly living.

It took me years to learn that. But now that I have, just thinking those words snaps me back into reality. Because if you don’t enjoy what you have right now this very minute, you will regret it later.

Pets can’t verbalize their pain. So you do the best you can and hope it’s enough.

I’m debating even planting vegetables next year. Every April I get all excited and think of having fresh veggies in meals and feel so hopeful. But this year has been a bust in that department.

So unless I figure out a whole different type of raised bed that is off the ground, I might not bother with vegetables next year.

Some of you mention getting something to shade overhead. Maybe next year I’ll look into it. Off season when the prices are lower.

I think the plants I moved over to the French doors will do much better. Plus when you gather them closely together, they create their own little rain forest. The humidity rises up off each plant and benefits them all.

Just make sure to give each individual pot room to breathe.


On the other hand herbs are hardy plants for the most part. Look at all the basil that has cropped up through the cement cracks and in various pots on my patio.

If I’m feeling a bit down, I can just go out to the patio and rub the leaves of my herbs to release their potent individual scent. That immediately makes me feel better.

The mint and lemon balm that is now at least a foot tall and growing out of tiny cracks in the cement amazes me. Virtually maintenance free plants.

Other nearly maintenance free plants are ornamental grasses, and the show they put on is certainly worth it.

Last night I watched another episode of Bloodline. Nolan’s mother is making the rounds trying to get money out of Danny’s family.

Sally the matriarch is starting to lose it a bit. Loss is getting to her and having Nolan and his mother around is chipping at her nerves.

John is putting out one fire Danny left behind only to have another crop up right behind him.

But then that’s how lies are. One little crack in the surface ultimately causes another crack to form. It’s like unraveling a thread.

Then I started reading another book. I like to end my evening before sleep reading. It’s calming and readies me for sleep.


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  1. Charlie is so loved and well taken care of…you are doing the best that you can. That’s all our fur babies want from us, our love and devotion. You are absolutely right that we can only take things day by day. We never know what a new day will bring. We need to be truly mindful of every moment, every hour, every day…that we are alive and breathing and coping and loving.

  2. So sorry to hear that Charlie is not feeling well. I do think about my Maggie all the time and wish she was still here with me. She was such a sweet little dog. I have Hayley now and love her so much. She is an older dog but she is also very sweet and so much company.
    Wishing you a wonderful day.

  3. We’ve had some godawful heat here as well, but yesterday was glorious. Living in the here and now is such an important lesson for us all. It’s truly all we’ve got.

  4. It is so sad when our pets’ health go down. Hoping the best for Charlie ..he is so blessed to have someone as caring as you who would do whatever it takes to keep him comfortable. Too much rain certainly can get me down..hope it gets better. I thought of the song, “Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down”…. :0( . Hope you have a great week. Your writings are very nice..thank you and always make me reflect on things..

  5. I’m sorry to hear that Charlie isn’t doing well. I know it worries you no end and thinking about losing him is so pain_ul. I think you are caring_ or him as best you can and that he knows that and _eels your love. He is really a lucky little guy having had your love and care his whole li_e.
    I will keep you both in my tho’ts and send healing energy to Charlie.

    The hot, hot weather has at long last broken. I was able to do some weeding today and it was so good to get outdoors again. Despite the mosquitoes. I think, hope_ully I got only one or two bites.

    I think you can come up with a plan to protect your plants _rom both the extreme heat and sun by next planting season. I’m thinking some type o_ awning and perhaps pallets or something to elevate the pots above the hot cement. I know you will _igure out something because I can’t see you giving up as your plants and gardening are so important to you. You know that old saying, “where there is a will there”s a way” and I see you as a pretty will_ul woman in the best sense o_ the word!

    Take care, Brenda, and I”ll be thinking about you and your sweet Charlie. ‘Til tomorrow.

  6. Sounds like you guys are getting the same crazy weather we are. Lots of heat then a freak storm will pass through. Poor Charlie…I hate that he is doing poorly. That is such a sad thing and I know it is heartbreaking for you. I hope the new therapy does help him. Love and hugs!

  7. Brenda,

    You know my grief and how much I still 11 months later. I hope you also know my heart is with you and Charlie. Without a doubt, Charlie feels your love and all you do for him.

  8. Hi Brenda,
    I recently stumbled upon your blog and I’m so enjoying reading about your life and your dear sweet furry friends. I love your pictures as well. We have an 8 year old lab mix that is named Charley also. She is a joy to have around and such good company! Be well friend!

  9. Hi Brenda,
    Look on this web site for garden trug. It comes in two sizes. I have had one for about 6 years and I love it. Very simple to put together. I think they make a cover for it too. Be sure to order a liner for it. I have only replaced the liner once and really didn’t need to. I moved and since it was empty I decided it was a good time to do so. I lived in Lousiana and now live in Georgia both very hot, humid states. I can’t tell that my trug had deteriated in any way. Excelllent product and worth the cost. I think it would help with your heat problem. Hope Charlie hangs on. You are certainly giving him tender loving care.

    1. Tractor Supply has some of those raised garden beds too… a little cheaper than that. Hopefully towards the end of they summer, they would be marked down more too.

  10. My comments seem to be not be getting on again, yesterday’s didn’t nor today’s .
    Don’t know what is wrong ????
    Wondering if it is the moderator again ?I guess I will stop writing them if they don’t get on .
    As far as I know I do not say anything offensive .
    Please check !
    Thanks *******

  11. Sending you all good thoughts today. It is so painful to observe our beloved pets in distress. You are doing a wonderful job with Charlie (and Ivy too) and your belief in taking each day and moment as it comes is wise indeed. It’s been a strange weather summer – I think your garden is just wonderful. Love your posts.

  12. Oh Brenda it’s so hard knowing what to do about our poor pets. He will let you know. You are doing the best you can. Hugs

  13. Brenda, your doing the best you can with Charlie and he’s not suffering bc you give him what he needs. He’s a happy dog and he even let’s you take his pic now! ☺ So just take 1 day at a time and cherish him bc that’s all you can do!
    I had my golden for almost 16 yrs! He had cancer in his leg, that was cured! Then this woman took my dog for a walk without my permission and she got bit by a pitbull in the neck and same leg! The owner couldn’t control his dog! So the cancer came back and I had to put her down! It was the hardest thing ever! ?
    So live in the now, is the only advice I can give you right now!
    I hope your day is getting better! ???

  14. I’m so sorry to hear Charlie is not doing well. Nothing anybody says will help your pain. We buried our Charlie four years ago and I still cry about her. We now have a Hunter and love him to death. Know that you gave Charlie a great life. I know you are always going to miss him. I will keep you and Charlie in my prayers.

  15. I feel so badly for Charlie, that he is not doing well. Toby, my fox terrier died 20 years ago, on Father’s Day, when he had a stroke and had to be put down. He was ours, for 15 1/2 years, and it broke my heart when he died. I still think of him often, that never goes away. Husband and I buried him in our front yard, in a bed of flowers, surrounded by pine trees, in pouring rain, down by the lake where we lived at the time. I made a cross from drift wood for his grave, and I wrapped him in his snoopy blanket, and I stood there in the rain crying till I couldn’t any more. Love on your Charlie Boy as much as you have been, holding him, and saying sweet things to him. Ivy will probably feel how worried you are, and try to help. Thank goodness,You still have him by your side, and as you said, you have to enjoy each day you have together. On another, not sad subject,
    I wish I could grow herbs, but sadly, I have had no luck. I can’t believe you have some in the cracks of your cement patio, as Basil is one of my favorites. Your patio is so lush, and lovely, the herbs want to be part of it all, and stop in to visit/live. Hugs to you and Charlie Boy and Ivy, have a nice Sunday…bonnie in WI. 74 degrees, sunny and a little hazy…

  16. Sometimes the sadness I feel losing a pet just overtakes me at the oddest moments but when I just read your words living in the moment and we have today to enjoy them, it meant a lot. It truly should be the way we savor every day with our beloved pets cause they can’t express to us what they mean so we need to just give them the love and care they so deserve to be happy today. The book you read this past week – Lock Every Door- was written up in our local Sunday newspaper with a good review. You are on the cutting edge with your books.

  17. I know you are so concerned for little Charlie. You are doing the best you can for him; that’s all you can do. Our pets are such little treasures.

  18. Brenda, it sounds like you are down. Days like that are super hard and everything seems overwhelming. Don’t give up on growing veggies as it sounds like you are having an unreasonably wet year and this year was probably just a bust as a result. Some years are like that when you grow things. I’m thankful when that happens I don’t depend on my garden to stay alive! (I always think of the pioneer women who depended on their crops to feed themselves and their families.) It is really hard with ill senior pets and so hard to let them go when it is time — but the love they give us during their lifetime makes it all worth it. Enjoy Charlie while he is here and remember he has had the best live ever due to your care.

  19. Good. morning Brenda,
    Hope you are doing well today. I too, am struggling with this oppressive heat here in Houston and how to try and make some shade. In my complex, we are not allowed to have a patio umbrella, or anything else to try and keep the heat away. It’s ridiculous, but what can I do? I do remember your lovely large patio you had a year or so ago. I loved it but I remember you said the winds got to it, and you had to remove it. I think you should try it again. If I could have one, i would run out today and grab one. It would really help with the sun and would certainly not let the plants burn. Plus, it was lovely to look at. Just a suggestion, but it was so nice. Love your posts. I look forward to seeing them every day. Thank you for sharing your life with us. We all love you. Have a great day ahead.

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