I had my camera in hand when Charlie and I went out on the patio first thing this morning. And per usual, I attempted to take photos. But we had more rain last night, and it is so muggy that the photos were too steamed up to use.

So I came inside and took them standing looking out the patio door. (Always gives me a reason to keep the glass clean.)

cone flowers

Instead of cowering, as some dogs do, when it thunders, Charlie barks. A clap of thunder, Charlie barks. Another clap of thunder, Charlie again barks.

It is rather amusing. He just sits on the end of the bed and continues to bark until it stops. He did the same thing on the 4th of July with the fireworks.

I have really darkened my apartment to keep it cooler. Though I had the same green and beige curtains for the patio doors that I have on my other two horizontal windows, they were too short for the patio doors.

So last week I picked up some of those drapery rings with clips and hung the curtains from the clips. Now, instead of looking odd at the bottom, they look a bit odd at the top. You are supposed to hang them through the round grommets.

But it gets the job done!

My dog Charlie

I plan to stay in today. In my darkened apartment with my Charlie boy.

Yesterday I took my car in to be checked. There is a nice Mobil station just a few blocks away owned by a couple who together work on cars. I’d guess they’re probably in their mid to late fifties. She replaced my front brakes recently.

The air conditioning was fine, which I was worried about. And the back brakes do not need to be replaced yet.

I have just over 46,100 or slightly more miles on my 12 year old car. I have never had to have anything done to the air conditioning system thus far. Overall I’ve been really lucky with that car.

Four tires, one leak, regular oil changes, front brakes, and I always get the gas that is a bit higher than regular gasoline. The manual says to use the most expensive gas, but I purchase the one in the middle. I can’t remember what it’s called.

purple petunia

I doubt I’ll ever buy another car, so I’ve got to make this one last. It is a 4 wheel drive SUV. I don’t know how to do a thing with it except drive it, but that’s all I care about doing with it.

I don’t care about luxurious cars. Couldn’t afford one if I did. I don’t even turn on the radio. I never use the sun roof or heated seats or anything else except drive where I’m going and drive back.

I imagine there are many things about this car that I don’t know about and don’t care to. For me it is simply utilitarian.

Shamefully I have not even bothered to clean it. I let the rain do that because I don’t have a garage to shelter it anyway.

And I don’t see much point in cleaning the inside with Charlie’s long lizard-like tongue slobbering all over the windows and me carrying plants around. (I know that’s an excuse.)

I noticed about a block after leaving the Mobil station that they had cleaned the slobbery driver’s window.

My ex insisted the cars be taken every Sunday to one of those fancy valet places to be thoroughly cleaned. So for the first five years that car was spotless.

Now it has crumbs and the occasional dropped French fry I cannot seem to reach.

Oh well.

vintage photos


And in terms of growing where you’ve been planted, as you can see this purslane is growing in the crack of cement on the patio. It now has an orange bloom.

I know many think of purslane as a weed. To me it is a flower. And it’s also edible (see below) I guess it’s all in how you choose to look at things.

Its plump leaves hold water and it will grow most anywhere, I imagine. But I’m glad it chose to grow here in between this hot unforgiving cement on my patio. Because it shows how resilient it is.

We are all resilient. For every tough time we face, we become wiser and stronger.

Yesterday I wrote a post I didn’t ever think I’d write. Then suddenly, as I sat down to write my post yesterday, instead of flowers and pet stories, I wrote that one.

It just spilled out of me. I don’t know why. There was no plan.

But you ladies were all so supportive, and I thank you.

Just proves to me that even if you cannot grow where you are planted, even if it proves to be a bad place that you have to leave, resilience in the face of hardship toughens us up.

Even if you have to pick yourself up and grow somewhere else, there will always be people there to gently push you forward and congratulate you when you bloom.

Purslane on my patio

Edible facts about Purslane:

Can you eat raw purslane?

It is an extremely nutritious weed like dandelion, and you can forage for purslane or cultivate it. It’s an annual plant, but it grows quickly and has hardy seeds that last for years. Purslane is versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked.
 Can you cook purslane?
Tart, succulent purslane can be used like any green veggie – and is great both raw and cooked. If you’re planning on cooking it, the green fares best steamed or sautéed, but it is also used in sauces and stews because its slightly mucilaginous quality can be utilized as a thickening agent.
Is purslane nutritious?
Soft, succulent purslane leaves have more omega-3 fatty acids than in some of the fish oils. If you are a vegetarian and pledge to avoid all forms of animal products, then here is the answer! Go for this healthy dark-green leafy vegetable and soon you will forget fish!
Personal disclosure: I have not eaten purslane. But I understand it has a tart lemony taste to it.

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  1. this is my first visit here and it won’t be my last, what a warm welcoming style of writing you have,, Charlie is very handsome and maybe he will find that lost French fry, that made me smile, I love how you keep it real, I’m going to read more of your posts,, thank you for sharing this post with us, I will enjoy following you,,

  2. Brenda, where can I purchase Purslane, here in Tulsa? I love it but never see it for sale. They probably don’t sell weeds! LoL

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to walk or ride a bike to places we need to go! It would be quite the ride for me, since I live in the country, but I always thought I would like to be able to do it! Seems kind of Frenchy, doesn’t it!

    Grace & Peace,

    1. I saw it last time I was at Southwoods. That was a few weeks ago. It’s probably going to be one of the last plants put out in the stores because it can withstand heat. So you might find it other places.

  3. I read yesterday’s post late last night and wanted to comment here on how much it meant to me. My life has had it’s ups and downs and I too have survived. I’m so proud of you for sharing your story.

    1. Oh Linda, that means a lot to me. I know your life has not been easy and I’m so glad you are in a good place now.

  4. I have eaten purslane, last year when it all but took over my dad’s garden. I tried it quite a few times and liked it a lot. My favorite way to eat it was on tacos, where it added a little bright-tasting crunch.

  5. Brenda,
    We are all your blog sisters out here in this big universe who care so much about your days. I agree with the comment you have a wonderful way of expressing a story so never fear what you need to write in your blog.

    1. I love to read about your day and your life too. So feel free to include it in comments. I read them all.

  6. Interesting information about purslane; I now have admiration for that little determined plant.

    Hope your vehicle continues to serve you well. We usually keep our vehicles until they just cannot give any more. And I use my little Ford Escape to haul whatever I can fit into it — plants, small pieces of furniture, dogs, etc. I do have it cleaned once in a while just to control the dog hair (and my sneezing) from my two 70+ pound dogs. But most of the time, we just let the rain do the “spiffing up.”

    Loved your post today. You have such a wonderful way of telling your story (and expressing your thoughts).

  7. We all struggle to survive, thrive and bloom in the same garden. I think of my support group, my friends as Miracle-Gro.

  8. I have purslane growing all around the tree in the middle of our terrace. It covers the ground really well. I had no idea what its name was–I bought it on the suggestion of the garden center employee. I love the little red flowers.
    As for cars, I would love not to have one, to live where I could walk everywhere. Sometimes they are useful, to haul something heavy, but if you think about it, they are parked almost 90% of the time. What business would spend the equivalent proportion on machinery that sat idle 90% of the time? None.

    1. I wish I didn’t have to have a car either. Oklahoma pays the highest car insurance in the entire country.

  9. I love how that purslane filled the crack. It almost sounds like dandelions. Most people think of them as weeds, but they are very useful. The leaves can be used for salad, the root makes a medicine and the flowers can be used to make dandelion wine. Living in France many decades ago, I used to see people look for snails after a rain, and also look for dandelions leaves for salad.

  10. Good afternoon Brenda and Charlie!

    It has been very hot and humid here this week and I have found myself drawing the shades and shutters closed so that the air conditioner does not work all day. I do not like the noise from it. Who cares what the curtains look like because if it keeps you cool that is all that matters.

    I like the title of this post, sometimes we are not in the right jobs, relationships, situations and we cannot grow and must move on.

    Have a wonderful day and stay cool.

    1. At least with the curtains closed, it “feels” cooler because it’s darker. Not sure why that is.

  11. Hi Brenda. It’s important to take care of a car’s inner workings, but, I have never cared about the outside of a car the way I probably should. I just figured the rain could keep it clean. But, that means it’s outside and not in a garage, and the sun is beating down on it too, and the paint fades or bubbles. That’s how my car looks now. My car is a clunker, a ’99 Camry with some dents and faded paint and over 200,000 miles. I just drive it in our little town and we take my husband’s 2004 Ford Escape anywhere else. It is our “new” vehicle even though it is 14 years old. Oh, this talking about vehicles reminds me that I want to go get the oil changed in the Camry, so I’d better go do that right now.

    Your story yesterday sounded like some older men persisted in pursuing you and it wasn’t their role to be doing so. People can try to take on roles they aren’t meant to be in. I saw a sign on a marquee yesterday, “If you allow something to keep happening, it will.” Something like that! Anyway, I always get a bit ticked off when I see signs like that. Even if the message is true, there is more to it than that. The message on the marquee doesn’t point out how some people just won’t listen when you say “I won’t allow this anymore.” They keep pushing and pushing. It takes a lot of courage and energy to push back harder and harder. Then you have to do like you did — quit pushing and get the hell out of there. It takes courage, which you have shown.

      1. Yes that’s what my uncle, who worked as a mechanic, always said. So I did go get the oil changed yesterday and I can putter-putt around town some more.

  12. I used to have the same vehicle that you do (you mentioned it in another post once); but it was VERY old and rusty but all I could afford after my divorce. I drove it for 2 ears and had no trouble with it at all). When I sold it, it had well over 200k miles on it. You have a great car.

    My dogs just bark at thunder too!

    I tried to respond to your post yesterday but something went wrong; anyway to put it in a nutshell I admired that you opened up to your readers. You have “friends” here Brenda, and I almost feel you are a friend as well.

  13. My little Kia Soul takes me to work and back and I seldom drive it on the weekend and it suits me and Molly just fine (I even bought her a booster seat so she can stick her head out the window when we go for a “ride”. Thunderstorms use to bother Molly when she was younger but now at a sprite 10 1/2 she just pretty much ignores the noise.
    I love that purple petunia, so pretty.

    Carol and Molly

      1. Chewy.com has a good selection of pet items, including raised booster seats with seat belts.

      2. It is Brenda. I bought it off Amazon:
        PetSafe Jumbo Deluxe Pet Safety Seat – Car Booster Seat for Dogs up to 30 lb.
        by Solvit
        Not cheap, but Molly loves it and she can easily stick her head out the window when we run errands.
        Carol Howard


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