Greenery, Pets, Netflix & What I’m Reading

I miss the pretty blooms. My patio has been pretty barren of flowers in the past month. The heat has stifled all their energy and turned many plants brown, despite my efforts to save them.

I surely miss the golden yellow of the tall zinnias. The ones I recently planted aren’t doing all that well, and I hope I’ll at least get a few blooms before winter sets in.

Meanwhile I focus on the plants indoors. It’s hard for me to go long without tending something green that grows and gives me joy.

Ivy has fun swiping at the few strands of this lipstick plant that dares to hover over the sides of the beverage stand. But I let her have her fun. You have to have a balance and pick your battles, as they say.

Right now she’s tossing her “baby” that I showed you the other day way up into the air and trying to catch it. It’s fun to watch the games she makes up to amuse herself.

She also likes to run underneath the curtains. When I go over and look down at her, she peers up at me as though she can’t believe it.

I don’t think she can make the mental transition of seeing all of me to seeing just my face in the space between the curtains and French doors. The look on her face is hilarious.

The Pill Pockets that Charlie used to love barely gets his attention anymore. I’ll have to figure out another way to get his meds down him.

This morning and yesterday he didn’t eat all of his boiled egg that he used to beg for all day. I started giving it to him in the morning so he’d let me have some peace, but he isn’t all that interested in it anymore.

This of course hits me where it hurts most. To see him changing. Enjoying less. I keep telling myself to cling to the days with him with all my might.

Last night I finished watching “Paranoid.” I don’t know what I’ll watch next. In the living room I’ve still been watching “The Fall” and I really enjoy that series.

I haven’t gone out since Saturday and that was only to pick up a sandwich and bring it home.

We had a short reprieve on the heat, but now the temps are creeping back up into digits that means I close the curtains and sit in the shadows.

The chimes are tinkling and the plant leaves are shaking in the cool air from the vents. That is virtually the only movement indoors right now. Except for Ivy moving about and the ceiling fans whirring and stirring the air.

I’ve been reading a book about a woman in Britain who is poor and rides the bus to and from the grocery store where she works each day. One Friday she gets off the bus and realizes there is something heavier in her hand bag.

When she gets home to her tiny one room apartment, she sees that it is packs of money. At first she cannot look away from it. She counts the bills over and over again. It isn’t a tremendous sum. But how did it get in her bag between getting on the bus and then getting off at her usual stop?

She keeps looking for a notice that someone lost something on the bus, but there is nothing.

She has succumbed to spending some of it. And once she does, she finds it’s hard to stop.

She hasn’t always been poor. She adjusted to buying the cheapest of everything. But she needed a new laptop and sneakers. She took her neighbor and her boys out for pizza and ice cream for a treat. Before she knows it, she has spent quite a bit of the money she fully intended to give back to its rightful owner.

What will happen if someone realizes she has the money and has spent some of it? It felt so delicious to actually buy herself something.

She hides the money, then takes it out and counts it, as though she is addicted to touching it. She debates hiding it in her tiny apartment when she goes out. But wouldn’t it be safer to keep it with her?

She is fired from her job for allowing a poor young mother with a baby to get by without buying a few items. It isn’t the first time she’s done this out of pity and wanting to help. She knows what it feels like to be so poor and she feels sorry for the young mother whose eyes are already filled with weariness and despair.

But she is rightfully let go. Now she will have to spend the money to pay her bills. How long will it last? Will she be able to secure another job? These thoughts and the appearance of the money is making her feel afraid. Plus she’s noticed a man cropping up everywhere she goes now.

Whereas her job as a grocery store clerk was boring and barely paid the bills, now she realizes how important it was to have that one small bit of tidiness in her life. Of not having to worry whether she would at least be able to pay the rent on her small flat. Of having somewhere to go each day that meant she’d get a paycheck.

The money has been a gift, but also now it is a burden. They say don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. But maybe sometimes it’s best not to see the gift horse at all.



  1. I binged on Victim 8 on Netflix. And, i was not disappointed at the end. A great “who done it”. Sorry you are having such a trying time. Glad Ivy can make you smile.
    S ?

  2. I tend to at least one houseplant every day. Right now I am babying my two dieffenbachia plants. I am going to pull out what is left of my vegetable garden and then I will decide if I want to plant some fall vegetables. xo Laura

  3. Makes me sad to hear about Charlie. Reminds me a lot of Zippo when he started refusing to eat. It’s so hard to see our fur babies aging and struggling. I know you appreciate and enjoy every minute with him.

  4. In Texas this time of the year you can buy huge plants of mums. They cannot be replanted, as far as I know. They could be a good filler this year.

  5. A Face in the Crowd sounds like a good read. I just looked at my library website, and there is nothing that sounds like the story you mention. What is the author’s name?

  6. Poor sweet Charlie – I wonder if one of the meds is bothering his stomach? I used to stuff my pups meds in meatballs, or stuff them into a wad of peanut butter. I know how worried you must be – poor little guy, it’s so hard to see our furbabies getting old.

  7. Re: pill taking – a friend of mine uses Cheese Whiz to get her Husky to take pills, one squirt pill free followed by the squirt containing the pill; my daughter crushes her terrier’s monthly Trifexis,, mixes it with a little warm water, fills a syringe with the mixture and “shoots” it down her throat; sounds a little extreme but it’s over before Mia realizes what is happening, plus she knows one of her favorite treats is forthcoming. My Capo readily takes his daily heart pills which I break in half and hide in a tablespoon or so of wet food; however this method (nor the Cheese Whiz trick or pill pocket ) works for his Trifexis so I cut it in half and just force it down his throat. I hate to have to resort to this but thankfully it’s only once a month and bless his heart he quickly forgives me, of course the special “after pill” treat I give him helps a lot. I always keep a supply of bite size pieces of skinless chicken breasts which have been cooked in unsalted chicken broth in the freezer for just such occasions.

  8. I just read Girls like Us, and I think you said once you like murder mysteries… If so, give it a try. My Dane is ancient, currently on 7 meds a day for his various ailments. It’s sad to see them failing, I find what helps most is knowing the good life we’ve given them. In the end, that’s what matters most.

  9. I’ve come to dread the holidays. So much around here closes but yesterday I went to lunch with a friend and we drove to a larger city and went to a new restaurant and it was a good change. Afterwards I went to Lowe’s and went appliance shopping which is not my idea of fun but necessary. So many of my appliances are on their last leg. Bought at the same time before and going out st the same time. I bought no flowers this year and since I was there I wandered through the nursery and was a bit sad that I had not been able to tend to plants this year. However, I will need to buy new shrubs for the front of my home so I enjoyed looking at the shrubbery. I’m thinking boxwood since it is pretty resistant and it is long lived. I have a line of them lining my walkway I planted forty years ago. Hard to believe it was that long ago.
    I wanted to recommend a book I just read to you Brenda and the other readers here. It’s titled “ We Were the Lucky Ones”. It’s about a Jewish family and how they struggled to make it through the Holocaust. It’s a true story and it’s pretty amazing.
    I hope Charlie’s appetite picks up. It’s hard to see our babies struggle with anything physical. So wish they could talk to us but we do our best by them observing them closely and knowing our fur babies. You’re an excellent Mom to Charlie Boy. Hope he feels a bit better soon. Take care.

  10. Just had a period with Netflix. Saw La Casa del Papel (Money Heist in English, I think), which is fantastic. Set in Madrid. Also loved American Factory, a documentary about the closing of a former GM factory in Ohio and its reopening by a new Chinese owner. A must-see.

  11. Have you tried Heinz Baby food on Charlie? I gave this to Dexter when he got fussy. I think you can get Beef and Chicken and just Chicken, it is all liquid, there are no lumps of anything in it. Just a thought.

  12. I have found brunschweiger is a good way to get my dog to eat her pills. She loves it and gobbles it down before she has any idea there’s pills in it. Just takes a small amount about a teaspoonful. Of course then I have to give the other two some also.

  13. At your recommendation, I recently ready “What She Left Behind” by Ellen Marie Wiseman. It was very good! Have you read her book entitled “The Plum Tree”? Absolutely heart wrenching but so good.

    I’m sending good thoughts about Charlie. It’s SO hard to see our beloved pets struggle.

  14. I don’t know if it’s available elsewhere online, but I really enjoyed watching 3 seasons of “Small Business Revolution – Main Street” – a reality series where for each season a small American town was chosen by popular vote (on Facebook I believe) and the business (an accounting/development firm, etc.) that financially sponsored the show along with business development experts would pick four or five small businesses within the town to work with to build up their business and their “brand.” (Gad, how I had that concept of “brand,” even people “brand” themselves – like we’re cattle, that’s what “branding” reminds me of!) It was an encouraging, uplifting and very engaging show. You really felt like you got to know the people running those small businesses, their day to day lives, trials and tribulations and living (most of them) essentially hand to mouth just struggling to pay their bills and stay afloat. I watched it on Hulu which I have a subscription to, but maybe it’s available elsewhere. I recommend it for viewing if you can find it, I think you would enjoy it and be inspired and entertained at the same time.

  15. Well, Goodness, what is the title and who is the author of the British novel you are reading? Sounds fascinating.

    Watch “The Crown” next on Netflix. It is fairly historically accurate, and fascinating. Do look up pictures of the young Prince Phillip online. That will help provide a better explanation for the young Princess Elizabeth’s behavior regarding her somewhat unpopular marriage.

    Commiserations on the poor health of your pet. I still grieve the death of our cat, now some years ago.

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