Looking out on my patio, the sun is creating blocks of light on one of my wicker chairs. The one farthest away from the patio door.

As the day wears on, it moves along with the sun overhead.

In Gardening + Colleen Hoover Books + Life With Ivy, this is my patio in the morning when the sun moves across it

I have pretty much-missed gardening in the summer of 2022. My first summer living here in this new-to-me place.

It couldn’t be helped. I knew when I moved here in late January that surgery was imminent.

I’ve Missed Gardening This Year:

But oh, how I have missed digging in the dirt. Snipping and dead-heading my plants out there. They have grown straggly and look unkempt.

Something I’d never have allowed had I been able to go out there and do proper maintenance on them.

I just hope some of the perennials I planted back in April and May will be sturdy enough to come back next year. Hopefully, then I’ll be able to enjoy them.

It is the first summer in a long time that I haven’t gardened throughout the season. I’ve always had photographs to show my plants’ progress as the months’ pass. And oh, how I’ve missed that.

My outdoor plants shining in the light

From A Colleen Hoover Novel:

But sometimes life gets in the way. Below is something one of my favorite authors, Colleen Hoover, wrote in her novel titled “Slammed.”

Sometimes life gets in your way.
It gets all up in your damn way.
But it doesn’t get all up in your damn way
because it wants you to just give up and let it take control.
Life doesn’t get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to hand it all over and be carried along.


Life wants you to fight it
Learn how to make it your own
It wants you to grab an ax and hack through the wood.
It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through concrete.
It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it.


Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, the chronological, the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together; stir it up, blend it.”

Some of Colleen Hoover’s most popular books are Verity, Ugly Love, It Starts With Us, and Reminders Of Him.

Verity happens to be #1 on the Amazon Charts this week. Reminders Of Him is #5. Ugly Love is #6, and It Starts With Us is #9.

Ivy & Me:

In Gardening + Colleen Hoover Books + Life With Ivy, here she is laying on the living room floor watching the sun on the patio

Ivy is laying on the floor staring out at the sunlight on the patio. She loves shadows and sunbeams.

She can be perfectly still and for a while, she will watch the progression of the sun as it moves across the patio until shade overtakes it.

Most days it’s just Ivy and me, the best of companions. Two females living comfortably together, sharing this apartment.

If I had to choose anyone to live with, it would certainly be my female cat.

Here is where she likes to nap next to my bed when I’m reading at night.

Ivy sleeping on the table next to my bed

She rarely makes noise. So little in fact that I wish she’d be a little noisier. Sometimes I don’t know where she is dwelling in her silence.

Ivy is not what you’d call a “meower.” She will occasionally say “mew” and that’s about it. Rarely there will be a couple of “mews.”

Oh, but she does love to rip paper. And she seems to take great delight in doing it slowly.

I don’t really miss human companions very much. I’m content with Ivy.

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15 Comments

  1. Spring is the rebirth of all things, and so it will be with ability to tend to your garden next year. Believe it, visualize it – there is power in positive thinking! The quote is wonderful, and food for thought. Ivy looks so sweet curled up on the blanket!

  2. As difficult as it was for you not to be working in your flowers this year, next gardening season is many months away. I bet you will be able to make up for lost time by the time we get there! There has to be hope.
    Although I’ve told you this many times, I think Ivy is the nicest looking cat!! I’m glad you have each other.

  3. Brenda, I am sure that your photos will be amazing next year when you are able to get up and about in your garden! Something to look forward too next Spring.
    Ivy is so sweet, I love the photo of her sleeping.
    I feel as if I missed summer because for the last 2 months we have been having the kitchen and laundry renovated, the rest of the house is a disaster because of it. And because of all the coming and going with the contractors I had to be here every day. Thats ok because my kitchen is almost finished and looks exactly the way I have hoped.
    Love that Colleen Hoover quote! Live does get in the way sometimes but we have to hack it down and keep going.
    Have a wonderful weekend Brenda!

  4. Today I have been busy shopping for kitty stuff…when we lost Spooky he was only 4…I gave everything away determined not to go through that again…well here we are and tomorrow I will bring home a white and light butterscotch little cat with butterscotch rings on her tail named Hope..she is very timid..the runt and only female of the litter…our little dogs were used to cats but I hope she can get used to them…she is at a rescue here in town…and is 4 months old…so life goes on…I lead a quiet life like many of you so might as well enjoy another critter in our humble home…wanted to share the news..wish us luck…enjoy your blog everyday …and Ivy stories…continued blessings💕

  5. I think it is no wonder animals are preferred companions…they are loving, loyal, dependable…qualities few people seem to value these days!! I am glad my Hubby is still with me, but we both wish we could handle a dog again…we still miss our last one terribly…years ago she died.

  6. Seems like the older I get the more annoyed I become by people. Not sure what is causing that. Call me Miss Grumpy Pants!! I had my cataract surgery and I’m still two weeks out before I can see an optometrist so still having to use my old
    Prescription although new distance vision is 20/20. I’ve tried some cheaters and they make me sick. So will be happy when I can get eyes tested and comfortable again. Looking forward to reading again!

  7. I think your perennials will reappear next spring. I am amazed at how resilient they are. I no longer have domestic pets but I have my wildlife friends – dozens of squirrels and this season, three chipmunks, not two, and my critters provide all the entertainment and animal company I need. The squirrels and chippies are so used to me that they’ll come share the patio even if I’m out there sweeping up nut shells and debris, weeding or cutting the grass with the electric mower, and the chippies will actually run right under my legs when I’m sitting in my Shezebo in the late afternoon, they use it as a shortcut to get across the yard to their various hidey-holes for the nuts they collect from my patio. And then there are all the varieties of birds, some of whom are here all year, others who visit seasonally. I’ve even noticed hummingbirds hanging around the yard the past few years, something I didn’t see before – or maybe they were here all along but I’ve just gotten better at spotting them. They are so fast sometimes they appear to be an optical illusion!

    1. In the past I’ve really tried hard to get hummingbird photos, but like you say, they’re REALLY fast. I’ve only gotten a couple in the 13+ years I’ve been blogging here.

  8. My beautiful, shiny black cat, Katie, makes almost no sounds at all also. It’s a good thing since my Morkie, Buddy, makes more than enough for all of us. At 7 pounds, he may be little, but he is LOUD.

  9. You and Ivy are blessed to have each other as companions. All summer long I have only had 2 tomatoes on my tomato plant. Yesterday I saw there were a few small tomatoes on the vine. I wonder if they will be able to grow to maturity. Have a nice rest of the day.

    1. Steve from next door said the last time he went to pick veggies at the church garden, there were only 2 tomatoes. But he’s picked others during the summer.

  10. I love what Colleen Hoover wrote about Life! When it gets all up in my damn way I’ve learned to take it in stride and remember that tomorrow is another day. I’ve learned to embrace my ‘new’ life. Oh, it was so difficult at first but I’m at peace with it now and actually love it. My companion is my sweet 14 year old dog, Cooper. Sometimes I miss human companions so I get out and about. Soon I realize that I’d rather be alone. I like to joke that I don’t play well with others. LOL
    Enjoy your day, Brenda!

      1. And, that’s OK, Brenda! We learned at a very young age to enjoy our own company. Trust me that’s a very good thing.

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