My Japanese Maple in the pot is so beautiful right now. It must be happy in its new location at this new apartment complex.

I love to stand at the patio door and stare out at it. At some point, I need to repot it into a larger pot.

I’m doing great here as well. I didn’t know how moving here would in some ways reshape my world.

Here I talk to more people and socialize. Which is something I didn’t often do before. I really do enjoy living here. I’m feeling more and more comfortable every day.

Calm & Serene:

I feel so calm and serene this morning. The fountain has already provided so much enjoyment. Balm for my soul.

I don’t know why flowing water has this effect on me, but I won’t question it. I’ll just sit back and let it work its magic.

Either the man upstairs is out of town or the fountain noise of water flowing is helping to block out his TV noise. That’s a benefit I hadn’t even considered.

Last Saturday next-door neighbor Steve and I went around the corner to get a bite to eat for lunch.

This was the first time he and I had actually gone out to eat. Normally we’d pick up food and eat it here.

In the beginning, he’d just come over and pick up food from here and go home to eat it.

But now that we feel more comfortable around each other, we’ve been sitting down at my dining table to eat.

Dining With Someone Else Occasionally:

I find I kind of like having a meal with someone else. That hasn’t always been the case, so I’m a bit surprised.

That’s normally a bit out of my comfort zone unless I’m sharing a meal with my daughters.

Here is one of the purple flowers from the hanging basket I bought Saturday at the plant nursery.

Then I asked him if he’d take me to a small nursery. I picked out one hanging basket of flowers in the colors I prefer for my gardens: white, shades of purple, and yellow.

I’m going to take the hanging wire off and place it on a surface on the patio.

The rains came and it looks pretty pummeled down right now. But it will be okay in a day or two.

I’ve been watching a rabbit visit my yard. I’d love to photograph it.

Setting Up The Water Fountain:

Neighbor Steve helped me with the water fountain Sunday. It’s always nice to have someone around to help figure things out.

I never knew what I was missing never having a male friend. And especially one with much the same views, a wonderful sense of humor, and who is fun to be around.

Watching Ozark:

Last night I was watching and trying to catch up with the third season of Ozark.

I decided to watch a few of the episodes of this season to remind me of what was going on since I hadn’t seen it in some time. Then I’ll be ready for the final season.

Everything was fine until a character was killed and then cremated.

They showed some of the cremation and I almost came undone. Of course, my thoughts immediately went to Gracie, because I had her cremated.

I thought I was going to break down, but I gathered myself together for Ivy’s sake.

In Japanese Maple, Serenity & Ivy, here's Ivy on the living room floor playing with an interactive toy


Ivy is much more affectionate. She likes being near me more. And seems to need me more. Even sleeps at the foot of the bed.

Oftentimes now she lays on the floor behind my chair when I’m sitting here. Like she’s guarding me. Or maybe because she just wants to be close to me.

Her eyes seem to be trying to communicate with me.

Ivy is such a loving cat. In the past month, she’s gotten closer to me and me to her.

I’m trying to let her know how important she is to me. And if I was distracted a lot before, I’m trying to make up for it now. I take time for petting sessions where I talk to her and tell her that I love her.

I’m quite surprised that she shows no interest in the water feature. Ivy loves water and I thought she’d be all over it. But so far she’s ignored it.

Cherish those you love, whether they be human or animal. They won’t be with you forever, so try to make the time you have with them memorable.

Live in the moment. Don’t think about things that have already happened or things that could happen in the future.

Live in the now with those you love. Because really, that’s all we have.

“Nothing belongs to me. Everything comes and goes. Serenity is an open door.”
— Byron Katie


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  1. So glad you are feeling more content Brenda…tis not an easy place to find!! And how nice that this move netted you such a nice neighborhood plus a friend you did not know you needed (obviously if he keeps company with you, you are also filling a spot in his life!!) I have found some very nice “gifts” come wrapped in unusual packages sometimes…
    My mom always told us, “If you are mad, just scratch your mad place and get glad again.” No idea where my mom learned such sayings…she has so many she used…way more idioms than most other folks I have ever known…part of what made her interesting to talk to I think!!

  2. This is a wonderful post! It’s great that you have found such happiness in your new home! I’m reminded of a quote from the show “Call The Midwife” where someone says that “sadness doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of happiness.” I think that is so important to remember; that even if we are grief-stricken, we are still entitled to experience joy, without feelings of guilt.
    I’m watching the newest season of Ozark – it’s wild!

    1. I like that. I’ll remember it. Yes, Ozark is crazy this last season! “Sadness doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of happiness.” Got it.

  3. Brenda, I loved all your cheerfulness in your blog today. This just shows that you made the right decision when you moved to your new location. It’s great to have friends near you. We’re finishing Ozark right now. Season 4 is shocking, so beware!

  4. What a blessing your new home is becoming to you, Brenda. Even though it’s been rough going losing Gracie and dealing with the pain in your ankle, think how much worse it might have been to get through these problems in the isolation (and possibility of snakes in the ceiling!) in the old place. So happy you are there and that you are enjoying the folks around you.

    I love your Japanese Maple, too. I wonder if I could grow one in a pot up here in the frozen north in Michigan or if it would die over the winters not being in the ground. I don’t really have a place to plant one in the ground as I already have quite a few trees on my city lot but I could have one on my deck perhaps. Anyway, I’m glad yours is doing so well and liking its new home.

    Hugs for you and pats for Ivey.

  5. I’m glad u have alot of friends to talk to now Brenda! That’s why I was trying to get u to understand that it’s not good for u to be alone all the time like u were. That even talking to ppl at the grocery store helps people’s moods, but alot of ppl got mad at my suggestion so I stopped commenting for awhile.

    I’ve always had female and male friends in my life. I had 6 cousins that were all guys that lived a st over from me! My best friend that I met when she was two and all the other neighbors our age were guys! Even where I worked for yrs I was friends with some guys and even danced with them when I saw them at clubs! I could talk to them about anything knowing it wouldn’t be repeated and I wouldn’t repeat what he said either.
    I also could trust a guy friend bc a few of my friends went after a guy I liked and they weren’t friends anymore!
    So happy for u Brenda that your in better surroundings with a great community of friends enjoying life!

    1. Well I guess I didn’t know I was isolating. It is good to at least converse a little with people. I can see that now. Suggest whatever you want. If people get mad, as my Granny used to see, then they can get glad.

  6. You sound much happier today. I’m so glad you’re loving where you live and that you’re making friends.

    I still have Monkey’s ashes in a box in my closest. We need to bury them in our little memorial garden (that’s where Zippo is buried), but the weather has been too cold and crappy to do so. I’m kind of glad because I’ve been dreading it. We’ll be doing it next week. Hard to believe Monkey will have been gone three months already.

    Clementine has been much more loving and needier since she’s the only kitty now, too. I know her days are very limited with her kidney disease and broken off fang/inflamed gums, and it absolutely breaks my heart to think about it. I just try to take one day at a time and give her as much love and attention as I can.

    1. I know it has to be agonizing. But really, I have to keep telling myself, all we have is now. It’s just hard to think of things that way.

  7. As others have said – I can hear your smile in your words today, Brenda. Making new friends and living in a spot where you’re more relaxed makes all the difference.
    Having a male friend is a blessing in disguise. I know I’d enjoy a male friend but it’s not acceptable by so many. I tried to forge a friendship with a very kind gentleman but unfortunately his mother filled his head with all sorts of baloney. I had to walk away from that hot mess – ugh! It was crazy.
    I hope you’ve had a joy filled day, Brenda!

  8. Brenda, you sound so happy today! I’m so glad you are enjoying your new home and the friendships of your new neighbors in your community. It’s nice to see you coming out of your shell and being happy, comfortable and content.

  9. Your Japanese Maple is just lovely. I have always envied it and will be buying one for myself soon.

    So nice to hear you happy in your new surroundings. Everybody sounds wonderful. And it is especially wonderful you have forged a friendship with Steve. I am sure it is helping his heart to adjust.

    1. They had his late wife’s ceremony last weekend on Earth Day. His daughter is giving him one of her cats because she thinks he’s lonely. He gets out far more than I do because he’s in really good shape.

  10. Brenda, your contentment, happiness and peace come through in your writing. I enjoy Yellowstone and Ozark. We had to watch a few of the older seasons of Ozark to refresh our memory. Some parts of both of those series are a little too rough for me but I do enjoy them. We finished all of Ozark. Did did like the ending. I’ll tell you my thoughts when you are finished the show. Sorry the cremation scene brought back a bad memory. I did like your uplifting words today. My husband said it was the hardest decision to put our Coton (breed) Kaia to sleep. We have loved and pampered our pets and they say that is the last act of love. We cuddled and spoke softly to her while she fell asleep peacefully in our arms. I always think of the wonderful 13 years we had with her. Enjoy the day!

    1. It’s never easy to lose a pet. That’s for sure. I can still see a bit of blood I couldn’t get out of the carpet where Gracie died and that hurts.

      1. Have you tried using oxygen peroxide to get the stain out? It works great on cleaning blood stains. You may have to douse the spot a few times.

  11. I am glad Ivy is being more affectionate with you. Since Gracie died maybe she feels she needs to guard you and protect you from leaving. She is a sweet girl. I am so happy you have her. You have had a lot of changes in your life this past year. I am glad things are settling for you.

  12. It makes me happy to hear you say how happy you are at your new apartment Brenda. It is very nice also that you have a friend to go out to lunch with. I am very glad that you are away from your previous apartment where it seemed that there was always something that needed fixing that management just ignored.
    Pleased that Ivy is doing so well and sleeping on your bed. Dexter always slept on my pillow above my head, I really miss that.

  13. Gratifying to see a friendship develop between people who are just “fellow human beings” in pursuit of companionship and conversation without the weirdness of being tagged as “partners” by nosy onlookers. I, too, have never had a male friend (outside of my husband) because closeness became uncomfortable and I backed off for fear of what people would think. Big mistake!
    I’m experiencing the same thing with my cats. Iggy recently passed away from old age, and previously less friendly Mickey has filled the gap. I can’t lose him! He was rescued from trauma so I’m glad he’s enjoying more comfort now, but sometimes it’s suffocating!

  14. Your Japanese maple is gorgeous. I know you will turn your patio area into a miniature Garden of Paradise. I am a big fan of Japanese maples, so hardy, and yet look so graceful and delicate. Just looking at them is a form of mediation, I think. I had one here but unfortunately it had been planted too close to the house by the former owners and I had it removed last year to prevent damage to the siding, foundation and roof. But I’m putting a new one in this year that will be planted in the middle of the back yard where I can enjoy it from many angles inside and out, going shopping for it in a few weeks as the weather here is still too wet and cool for planting. It’s so nice to have a male friend that you are comfortable with, one who has similar likes to yours and is comfortable to be around. Companionship and friendship with the opposite gender is something our society doesn’t seem to expect, which is strange when I think about it because half of the human race is male. Why should we exclude each other from being friends/companions/buddies?

    1. I have noticed that lots of homeowners have their Japanese Maples planted right next to their house. I don’t understand that.

  15. I’m SO glad you are loving your new apartment! Being around others of a similar age has advantages, I’m sure. Also glad to hear you’ve found someone who can help you with odd jobs and that you can return the favor to as well. Good for you!

    1. I feel very lucky to have these people for friends. But I’m very sorry his wife died because I know it makes him sad. I encourage him to talk about her. He said I’d have liked her and I’m sure he’s right.

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