rooster and white alyssum

Deputy Rusty Rooster watches over the patio, keeping all the critters in check.

Of course there’s also the bigger blue rooster behind the galvanized container garden, which I just call the blue rooster.


Not a very inspired name I know. Maybe I need to come up with a better name for the blue rooster. Any ideas?


Charlie sure likes to munch on the pineapple sage, which is safe for him to munch on.

I watch him when he’s on the patio. And he doesn’t munch on anything else. He seems to know which plants are safe.

He is now sleeping next to me. On the left side. The left side has always been his side. And of course his tongue is lolling out the side of his mouth.

He is getting tons of attention and love. He will not let me hold him. He seems to like love with a little distance, and that’s okay.

my patio flowers

He becomes upset when he thinks I may be going somewhere (I rarely do; as I don’t want to upset him), or when he hears me crying (I’m trying my best to mask that sound and hide it from him).

Abi’s ashes are still in ziplock bags in a drawer. I will try to bring them out later on. Bringing her ashes home last week seemed to be the catalyst that had him acting so bizarre and frenetic.

He was fine once the carved box was put in double ziplock bags and closed up in a drawer. Almost immediately. I’d say it was only about ten minutes before he was acting normal and not crazed.

yellow daisies

Yesterday I thought I’d drive around the corner to Sonic to get a bite to eat after cleaning the apartment and giving him a bath. He looked upset so I picked him up and decided to take him with me.

When I got to the door he started shaking. So I knew it was not going to be a joy ride for him.

I put him on the couch and was probably not gone 15 minutes. The Sonic is very close by. Just outside the security gate and less than a block.


I don’t think I’ve ever had red petunias before. They sure are pretty. I have red, white, purple, black, and combo purple and white petunias.

You get such a bang for your buck (bucks) with petunias. They are such prolific bloomers.

Everything is blooming and growing like crazy and doing their thing without benefit of fertilizer.


I would love to keep the pansies (Johnny Jump Ups in this case) going all summer. But they tend to die back in the heat and come back in the fall.

However I have them on a table over in the shady corner where I have other plants that seemed to be wilting in the sun, and so far so good.

Below is that corner.

plants in corner

jade tree

Jade is so full with leaves right now. How is it I was never aware of this gorgeous and interesting tree before?

I’m glad I chose Jade, though at some point I’d love to have a Japanese maple.

I actually went to the nursery last fall to look at the maples. And one of the men at the nursery showed me Jade. It was love at first sight. I babied her all winter and rolled her inside at times.


I finished reading “Not Perfect” night before last and now I am reading “The Sandman.”


The setting for this novel is Stockholm.

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. I have never read their books before.

I just had the best smoothie. My bananas were going bad.

So I put two cut up bananas in the smoothie blender. Three ice cubes, almond milk, a tablespoon of chocolate protein powder and a few spoonfuls of Caffe D’Vita caramel cappuccino mix I bought at the store a few weeks ago.

It was a bit thicker and more filling. The chocolate mixed with the caramel coffee was just delicious.

Normally I have iced coffee and then a smoothie. This time I consolidated the two.

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  1. I watch him when he’s on the patio. And he doesn’t munch on anything else. He seems to know which plants are safe.

  2. I vote yes to naming the rooster “Struts”, adorable. My kitchen has many roosters in it and I just think are such beautiful, majestic creatures. I’m so glad Charlie is sleeping beside you now; don’t feel bad about not being able to hold and hug him, my Molly literally cringes when I pick her up, but she is content to lay beside me in a chair, but still sleeps at the foot of the bed. I do make a point of picking her up every night before bed and hugging her and giving her a kiss and telling her how much I love her. She does the “Heisman” pose, with her legs out stiff, our babies are so funny aren’t they!?! I love all the petunias, they are just so pretty.
    Carol and Molly

  3. Your patio is looking wonderful, Brenda – all your plants are so lush! My sister gave me a hanging basket from Lowes on Mother’s Day and it was stuffed to the brim with petunias, completely root bound and overcrowded, you know how the big box stores like to do it…I broke them apart and planted them separately in other containers and they are so happy now! Her one hanging basket now graces 6 other planters, the more the merrier when it comes to flowers, I say!

    Glad Charlie and you are doing better, time heals all wounds.


  4. You have such a green thumb! Your patio is simply gorgeous with all the different flowers and you have a gift of placing them just right. Deer eat everything I put out so I’ve decided to try pots this year. It’s so humid here in the South that it’s just miserable to be outside and tonight I went to the grocery and the cashier was fanning herself!! Said the humidity was getting her down! lol

    1. Reminds me of those old fashioned paper fans women used to carry. Haven’t seen one of those in ages either. I think the single most important ingredient for gardening is love. And watching the plants closely to see what they need and then accommodating them. Like moving one into more shade, etc. Container gardening is so much easier because you can easily do that. I would not like in ground gardening. Hard on the back and knees and too permanent.

  5. Good evening Brenda,

    I hope that you had a nice weekend. So many great ideas here about Charlie, I like the idea of just taking him to the car, then another day sitting in the car for a few minutes and then going for a few rides. He looks so sweet.

    Your garden is amazing, I say that often when I visit here. It must be wonderful to look out and see its beauty!

    I hope that you and charlie have a great week.

    1. We had a nice quiet weekend together. Didn’t go anywhere. My daughter was meeting up with high school friends in another state for a girl’s weekend, and Andrew went with his dad to see his paternal grandpa in another part of the state. So just me and Charlie.

  6. Charlie looks very content in this photo. Your containers look beautiful. Johnny Jump Ups are my favorite. I have them in my containers too. Maybe because my grandmother had a million. I just bought The Sandman a couple of weeks ago. I may start it next. I’m not sure. I finished Where the Crawdads Sing today and must catch up on my reviews. I’m going to Book Expo later in the week so between that and today’s holiday, this week is already shaping up to be a wash.

    1. I’ll have to ask you about Book Expo. You’re a traveler. I am not. But I’d love to hear about it, Ann Marie.

  7. Maybe to help Charlie you can just take him to the car, walk around it for a bit and come back inside. Do that a few times, then maybe sit in the car with Charlie without going anywhere a few times, and if he has favorite treats, reward him with one. Perhaps he will be less stressed about the car ride. You could name the rooster Buster. Stay cool. We are soggy in Florida lately, but not as hot as usual.

    1. Aw, Buster was the name of my first dog. That’s a good idea. He loves his treats or what I sometimes call “goodies” to get him to come inside. He’s a good little eater, my Charlie boy.

  8. Losing a pet is never easy. Day by day the pain gets better and the memories sweeter. I still tear up when I think about my dear Jack Russell Minnie I lost 3 years ago now. I am glad Charlie and you can grieve together. And the blue rooster…I would call him Doodle Blue. Take care Brenda.

    1. Doodle Blue. That’s cute too! I’m finding that I can hum not without feeling guilty or stricken that I’ve done it.

  9. My immediate thought for the blue rooster was JB (Just Blue) but Struts is cute, too.

    Glad you’re having a blessed day! Here’s a hug – way over due. 🙂

  10. When our dog was a puppy she did not ever want to be held and hated riding in the car. Now she’s 13 and nothing has changed. There is no “joy” in a car ride for her–even if we are just going to the park. And I think she must equate being held to being trapped. She and Charlie must be distant cousins. They have different personalities, just like people do.

  11. OH Brenda, How we love our fur babies is beyond immeasurable. I’m so sorry about Abby. I’m just getting back into blogging. This breaks my heart. My babies are aging too and I’m dreading the vet visit on Wednesday. We have our gardens and our other babies to get us through but ughhh it’s so unfair.

  12. Oh my …. the patio looks gorgeous. All those pretty colors together! The photo of Charlie nibbling on the pineapple sage is just too cute! The sun is shining (for the moment) here in St. Augustine FL but the rain is on its way. Thankfully, the weather was nice for the Memorial Day remembrance at the National Cemetery; those beautiful flags waving in the breeze over the cemetery along with an individual flag and red rose per grave. How grateful I am to be born in America! I did not see many dry eyes during the service.

    Love those roosters!

    1. When I was a kid we had a big chicken yard and I gathered the eggs from the roost. But it was hard to get in and out of the gate without the mean rooster pecking my skinny legs.

  13. Brenda, has Charlie always trembled when he is taken in the car? If not, maybe he is worried that something happened to Abi and he is afraid. Maybe if you just start taking him on very short trips like a ride around the block, he will get better with going in the car. Just a suggestion. It would be nice if you and he could take some car rides sometimes.

    1. No, he didn’t always react this badly to going in the car. But ever since he went to the vet that last time he has. Maybe you’re right that he’s afraid about what happened to Abi.

      1. I think Charlie might think that Abby never came back so he is afraid it might happen to him.

  14. Good morning Brenda,
    I’m so sorry things are still so hard.
    I just wanted to say a couple of things.
    My little puppy died 2 years ago at the end of next month. I had him for 16 years.
    I still cry. So I don’t upset anyone around me I do my crying in the shower. I turn on classical music softly get in the shower and cry my heart out.
    No one knows and I feel better when done.
    Now for your garden…lovely! The roasters are very cute. The blue one looks to me like he likes to strut around the patio. I would call him Struts.
    Wishing easier days for you and Charlie.
    Blessings to you!

    1. That’s where I do the majority of my crying. Sometimes though I can just be reading a book and break down.

  15. One of my pups always trembled when we went for rides. I started taking them on short trips, like the drive thru at the bank or my daughters where they could get out. Seemed to help her because going somewhere was not always a grooming trip or the vet which this pup was not fond of.
    Love your jade tree. Never heard of one. I bought 3 6 pack of petunias for a dollar each on sale. I thought by the tag they were going to be multi colored but all are blooming white! Have a safe day.

    1. Petunias are my go to summer flower and I like how you describe them as getting a bang for your buck. I do seem to spend a lot of time removing their spent blooms though!

    2. Still you got a great buy on the petunias! I’ve decided that’s what I’ll do. Start taking him out on short little rides. Though with gas prices going up I don’t go much of anywhere.

  16. Your patio is so lush and pretty! I do hope you eventually get a Japanese maple. I love them. Had one at my previous house and it was one of the first things I got for my yard when I moved. Charlie looks so cute munching away. I am glad is is lying near you. I was wondering if you could put Abi’s ashes inside another sealed container when you get it out of the drawer if it still bothers Charlie? Just a thought. The heat/humidity is keeping me indoors but I brought the outdoors in with a vase of my peonies, which just opened yesterday.. All the best, Brenda.

    1. Good idea. I don’t dare risk moving the ashes for awhile. It was just a week ago he seemed sick and I was so worried about him.


  18. loved seeing the patio and hearing about Charlie. what a little sweetheart he is.
    and the patio seemed to me to just bloom all out at once! wonder what one of those patio misters costs? or perhaps more appropriate … wonder what they cost to run?
    too much I’m sure! but they feel so refreshing and lovely!

    1. I’m having to go out two to three times a day and spritz all the plants with the hose to keep them from completely wilting.

  19. Happy Memorial Day,keeping good thoughts about your precious Abby!
    You certainly have a green thumb,your garden is spectacular.
    Thumbs up for Sonic,Love their cranberry limeades!!!

  20. I am glad to hear that things are going a little smoother at your home. That stress of the unknown can really get to a person. Your garden sure does look pretty. I love your jade tree, I have never heard of it before. It is very hot & humid here in our part of Wisconsin today. I’ll not be venturing out much today. I have sun stroke several years ago & just can’t take the heat any more. Love the sun to shine, but I need to be in the shade! You take care & have a wonderful day.

    1. Charlie and I are indoors with the shades drawn to keep the thermostat from crawling up with this heat.

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