I went outside this morning with Charlie, and before I even gave it any thought I had grabbed the garden snips and started cutting the chartreuse sweet potato vine back.

I think I may have an ant or two crawling on me after scooping all those long vines into a plastic garbage bag to take down to the trash. Or maybe I just saw some ants on the vines and the rest is my imagination.

Isn’t it funny how you get the idea that an insect is crawling on you and then can’t get it out of your head?

Books in vintage box with house plant

There are crazy ugly vines growing through the fence from other yards that I have to keep yanking out. If I could get into their yards, I’d attempt to dig them up.

It’s a pain in the butt to keep dealing with those vines that grow like they’re on steroids. But even if I did dig them up, two or three would probably take their place.

I seem to be the only person in this little triangle of apartments that gives a hoot about those ugly weedy vines growing everywhere. Or even gives a hoot about their patio.

My neighbors do virtually nothing (NOTHING!) with their patios! I can’t believe it.

Why on earth would you move here to this old apartment complex unless it was for these big fenced patios?

I don’t get it. I might have moved some place newer if not for that patio luring me here. I can’t imagine just leaving the patios like they’re an afterthought.

I hadn’t been moved in but about ten minutes before I was out there doing and planting.

Red hibiscus

I’ve been in the mood to change things up. I know I need to do that like I need a hole in my head. The dust! So I’m trying to refrain.

But my mind is going sixty miles an hour when I’m in bed before sleep or after I wake up. Maybe the coming change of seasons has me feeling the urge to start projects.

I have furniture I want to paint too. I considered starting to paint last week. But I’m clumsy as all get out with paint (I don’t know if you recall my saying, but my second husband told me I should never go near paint because I make a colossal mess).

I can just imagine what a mess I’d make with these eyes directing me. So I guess I’ll put that off for awhile. At least till I can see equally out of both eyes.

Charlie my dog

Meanwhile I’m giving Charlie Ross lots and lots of attention and love. He seems to do well while he’s on the antibiotic, but a day after he stops taking it, he bleeds again.

I just can’t figure this out. Twice now I’ve come home to find blood on the floor. But I’ve never seen it when I’m home with him. Maybe that’s just a coincidence, and I did mention that to the vet.

He sure likes to sun himself out on that rug. I wonder why dogs like to sun themselves?

I can’t imagine it’s for the reason we foolish girls had to tan ourselves back in the day. We didn’t give a thought to how our skin might look later down the line.

I used to slick myself down with suntan oil and stay in the sun for hours. Of course I had no idea about skin cancer back then. I just thought it made me more attractive.

Lordy, I didn’t have a lick of sense back then. Did you?

I’m so glad I’m of the age when being attractive does not take priority over other things.

My garden is starting to look pretty scraggly. What plants aren’t drying up and turning brown look pretty loopy by noon in this heat.

But the summer is not over yet. I still want to enjoy more blooms. So I’ll coddle the plants and try to keep them going. If I can keep them alive till about late September/October, many of them will rebound.

Well, I’m sitting here in the semi-dark with Charlie squeezed into his favorite spot. He’s such a funny bunny. I’m trying not to go out unless I have to to keep him from being stressed.

It makes me wonder (which I can’t help but ponder from time to time) if I had a cat if that would provide him a welcome companion when I’m out running errands.

But then I nix that. I’ve already got money flowing regularly to the fur baby I have.

If I knew he would not feel as lonely with a companion I’d find a way to do it. But since I can’t ask him, there’s no way to know.

He’s lived with cats and seemed to like them. But that was seven years ago.

He needs and deserves all my attention right now, so we’ll just keep the status quo.

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  1. Hello Brenda,

    There is Dog TV that people leave on when they are out. I understand that it is very popular.
    We love both dogs and cats. For some years now, we have had cats. We currently have three cats. They are little kids. However, be aware of the turmoil a little kitty can bring to your household. One cannot get mad at them. They are only acting the way the Lord made them.

    The very best to you and your sweet puppy.

  2. I had to laugh about you feeling like you were still crawling with ants… just that morning I had gone out and de-cobwebbed (If that isn’t a word, it should be!} near the front door ~ an hour later and inside I still felt like I had spiders and webs in my hair!! Yuck!
    I too was a serial tanner in my mis-spent youth ~ especially when we lived on Guam! I hit the beach about 9 every morning, and didn’t go home till 3 or 4 PM; 5 or 6 days a week!

  3. I found this information when I did a search for separation anxiety:

    In addition to the symptoms of separation anxiety, there has also been research conducted to address the top risk factors for dogs that develop separation anxiety. These include:
    Female owner
    Dog was adopted from a shelter or pet store
    Male dogs are more likely to develop separation anxiety
    Single caretaker
    Dog owner lives in an apartment (sounds from surrounding tenants can be frightening to your dog)
    Playing within 30 minutes of you arriving home
    The sudden absence of a resident family member

    Perhaps a companion animal is exactly what Charlie needs. You can test this theory without a full-fledged adoption by fostering either a kitten or cat. You’ll save a feline life and you’ll know for certain if Charlie will improve with a friend. Best of luck to you.

  4. Brenda, you are a sweetheart. Your patio is heaven on earth. I read your blog everyday and really enjoy it. You are a very special person. I must confess that I am not a dog or cat lover. I hope you are not insulted. I respect your close attachment with Charlie. I am more a plant lover. My “pets” are the deer, squirrels, turkey, birds, etc who frequent my backyard. None are house pets. Don’t want an animal in the house. But that’s me. I love who you are…and you are amazing! Keep writing everyday. You are a ray of sunlight?

  5. Brenda, don’t use Roundup or any of those toxic weed killers! They are contributing to the severe decrease in our bee population and their production and use needs to be outlawed or we will have no pollinators and eventually not be able to grow our food. This is serious. So if you want to kill the vine vinegar will do it just as well as the poisonous weed killers. You might have to give it more than one application. And, of course, you must protect the plants you don’t want to harm.

    Regarding getting a cat, it’s really a mixed bag. We have two elderly cats and I do like cats but I absolutely detest dealing with litter boxes. And unless you live in the country and let them roam outside there’s really no other option. But if it helped Charlie to have a companion it might be worth it. Get a kitten, though, so it would be smaller than Charlie in the beginning and he wouldn’t feel as threatened by a new animal in his space. But, ultimately, you have to do what feels best to you and I think eventually you will intuitively know what that is.

    Take care and give Charlie a pat and yourself a hug.

    1. Totally agree about the Round-up or any of these other chemical weed killers. They definitely should be outlawed here – they are in Europe and Canada. They are toxic to humans, pets, wildlife and pollute our water supply.

      I have three cats and don’t mind dealing with litter boxes at all.

  6. Charlie Ross lying in the sun. he’s a little nature boy! they do love the sun. even when you’d think it would be too hot. but they seem to know what they need. I’m like you… if they could only TALK to us.
    it’s the one wish I would want granted. they could keep all their money if I could just talk with animals. all kinds really. I watched a video a friend sent me of people saving a baby Orca whale. they put coats and shirts over it to protect its skin and then kept it wet pouring water over it. it seemed to know they were there to help it. the tide was out and it got stranded. it cried. the most plaintive sounds. it finally was freed and a boat picked up the sounds of the pod nearby. they hadn’t left it. and it raced to them! those stories always bring tears of joy to me.
    I hope your weekend is good. try to rest and relax. little Charlie is probably picking up your anxiousness. I LOVE that you sing to him! I just love that. what a wonderful little ritual before bed.
    sending you both virtual hugs. ‘this too shall pass!’ you’ll both be feeling “right as rain!” as my Gram used to say. xoxo

  7. There is a product like Weed-B-Gone or Round Up that is sold in a tube so you can rub it on the branching weeds -rather than typical spraying. You leave it to be soaked up by the weed and it’s supposed to carry it to the roots of the weed. This method works to protect plants you want to keep.

    1. I don’t dare bring any of that stuff in because I fear Charlie would somehow get into it. I’d rather deal with the vines and pull them I guess to be safe.

      1. I would do the same in your case. Have you asked property management to help clear the fence line that is on the neighboring side? ?

  8. I think a cat is a super great idea to help keep Charlie company !
    Cats I have found are not quite as expensive as dogs to maintain and much easier I think .
    We have a cat that helps keep our sweet older Mallory company ,she gets quite lonesome when we leave her alone .
    You might give it more thought for sweet Charlie !
    Have a nice labor day .

    1. I do give it thought from time to time. But for the reasons I stated in a comment a few comments up, I’m holding off.

    2. Cats can be VERY expensive, trust me on that one! It’s a myth that they’re less expensive to take care of than dogs. Their veterinary care is just as expensive and so is their food. (If you buy quality food and not the cheap kind with bad ingredients.) One of my cats has food allergies and has to see a vet dermatologist, plus she’s on a prescription diet. My old guy (19) has thyroid disease and is on meds for that, plus has glaucoma and cataracts and sees an eye vet for those conditions. The third cat is well, but in the past he’s had a uretha blockage (common in male cats) and had to have laser treatments to unblock him.

  9. I think you should get a kitty. It would give your dog some company, and cats are so much easier than dogs to take care of. I have two cats and a new puppy that is three months old. My son has an 11 year old cat that he is putting down next week because of cancer. He feels so bad, but the cat isn’t eating and growing thin. The pain of losing them is awful. I am 70 years old and I have always had a cat since I was a child. I have loved them and mourned them when their time on earth is up. Sometimes I think I should never get another pet, but the joy they give us is such a blessing. Dainty and Lady Loveless were my childhood pets. Jigger, Rocky, Pandora , and Boxcar Willy are all fond memories, and I like to recall each of their special qualities. My current pair are Taish 11 years and Lily four years old with a Golden Doodle named Yankee. I know I have heartache ahead, but I am so lucky to have their love, trust and companionship now.

    1. I would like to get a cat, but I don’t know with Charlie having gotten used to being an “only child.” Another reason I worry about is: Trying to keep Charlie away from cat food, etc., because he has such a delicate stomach. And the other reason is I don’t know how much money I’m going to need to see after Charlie’s health needs.

  10. Brenda, I wouldn’t be as polite as patty is (the post next to mine) about trying to destroy the ugly weed invading vines! I would spray the heck out of the plant leaves on your side of the fence – being careful to shield desirable plants nearby and only on a windless day – with a total vegetation killer like Round Up (yes, I know, it gets a bad rap from people who don’t use it properly) to kill the plant all the way back to the root. The plant sucks in the Round Up and will shoot it back to the roots and kill it. I would be absolutely ruthless! It’s hard enough to keep up a garden with pulling weeds out of garden beds constantly, which you have restricted yourself from doing right now – those creeping up from the other side of fences – how else are you supposed to get them? There is no way that I know of other than keep pulling them of your fence – but that doesn’t get to the root of the problem, literally. Have you considered adding a new dog to your household? Maybe it’s too soon, or maybe you have decided against adopting a new fur baby in dog form. I decided not to get another dog after my Tasha died in 2004. I do miss having a dog, especially now that I’m retired and would be at home and not fretting at work all day long and then the trip to and from the office five days a week wondering if my baby or babies are okay, but with uncertain health issues over my head since 2012 (I retired at the end of January 2015), and in 2004 after Tasha died (the last of 3 dogs I had adopted and who all shared several years together), I was still travelling a lot on vacations and working full time away from home. I decided it was better not to get any more domestic pets. These days I restrict myself to feeding half of the squirrel population in Milwaukee County. Their antics keep me entertained no end. And some have gotten so “tame” – at least here in my yard where they know they are safe, they will come very close to me to “beg” for food. Now how they know to sit and put one paw up and look at you plaintively, just like a dog, sure beats me. But it gets me every time. “My” squirrels have me well trained, for sure 🙂

  11. Brenda if you don’t have any plants near this vine coming in, pour some vinegar along the fence line and it should kill the vine but . . . if you have plants near it, it will also kill your plants. I had cataract surgery on both my eyes too and it is imperative that you follow the rules. Good luck with the second surgery.

  12. Here in Wisconsin it’s been raining a lot and humid . What I have for outside plants are doing ok . I have the urge to make my house cozy for fall . I wish i was more creative like you. I pray for you and Charlie often .

  13. Maybe Charlie is getting his vitamin D when he sits in the sun. And I know that one of my favorite things is to lay down on the floor in the shaft of sunlight coming through the window. I can easily fall asleep doing that. for some reason it is totally relaxing.

    I had no idea that you had to be so careful with your eyes following cataract removal. No one I know has ever told me about that. I know how hard it is for you to sit still when you have big plans in your head, and doing a project is a very relaxing thing, it lessens the stress. Could you maybe wear your goggles while doing it?

    1. They just told me that I have to be careful for a good month after surgery. That first week it is imperative that you follow their list of rules so as not to harm the eye. I guess most importantly, don’t rub the eye because that could cause huge problems. Avoid all irritants.

  14. If I could find an apartment like yours with a fenced patio I would be there in a heartbeat; nothing like it seems to exist here. I can’t understand either why people would ignore the outdoor space and not take care of it. You have made your space so lovely! (Charlie looks pretty “chill” there on the rug!)
    Hope you don’t overdo until your eye business is taken care of Brenda.
    It is very hard to imagine that you are a messy painter given how your projects turn out! I will look forward to pictures when you get to those projects.

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