I love my neighbors. I really do. I don’t see them much, but when I do, they are friendly and nice. And one of them does this…

Here’s the landscaping at the end of my road. It hides secrets of the vegetable kind.

Behind it, you will find the stealth garden. Looks like this year is tomatos and squash.

It makes me smile every time I take my trash can back to my patio.

Who’d think to hide a garden behind some shrubs? And why didn’t I think of that? It gets a lot sun, and the dirt is pretty good for Georgia.

I know why I didn’t think of it. Here’s a fine example of my gardening skills. This used to be catnip until some furry critter decided it was lunch.


I’ve been in the technical part of my head for weeks and I took a break. And did some drawings of my cats with a fine point permanent marker. Boo turned out like a fluffy bunny and almost hanging off the page. Which is what he does do. He’s a big cat.

But, Buffy, no matter how many attempts I make to draw her, she looks pissed off.

The Secret Garden

My mom is moving to Atlanta. It started out as a thought, and then a plan, and then house shopping, and then finding a house, and then the inspection, and all those other bits of paperwork. It seemed mostly real to me.

And then I found the for sale listing for my mom’s house.


I’m not going to cook Thanksgiving dinner in that house again. I’m not going to sit on the deck and look at my mom’s crazy, colorful garden.


I felt sad for a little bit. But I think it’s like the stuff I considered treasures. Like my model horses. I have plenty of memories about them, and I don’t really need to have the actual things anymore.

I have plenty of memories of fixing the gravy and creamed corn. My mom being sure the turkey was bad the night before Thanksgiving. And getting people out the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. Go! Eat stuff and get out of the way!

I’m an only child. Sort of, mostly, kind of. I have a blended family. I got instant brothers and sisters when my parents remarried.

Out of that whole stew of new family members I got a sister. A big ole goofball sister who will protect your blind side, talk your ear off, and give you a hug when you need it. And laugh and cry with you.

And she’s tall.

I really wish she was my sister when I was 12 or so, and spending the summer at my grandparent’s farm. I think we would have had some more adventures. And I don’t think she’d get mad at me if I threw some catfish roe at her. She’d just toss it right back.

Over the Christmas holiday, my mom and I used our awesome girl power to repair one the toilets in my house, and managed to break it even more.

My girl power did a happy dance because I didn’t have to reseat the tank. I just had to hire a plumber to replace the now really broken toilet.

Which I did an excellent job of avoiding until last week.

I called a plumbing company that had good reviews on Angie’s List and had to pick out the toilet I wanted installed. From thousands of options. Do I want one with a higher seat? Or a round or extended seat? What about water conservation? Do I want a low flow tank?

Uh, I want a white one that flushes. It’s in my guest bathroom. It only gets used a few times a year.

So we get the nitty gritty details of the white toilet that flushes worked out, and T will install it on Wednesday. At 8 AM. And he’ll call me 30 minutes before he will get here.

He calls at 7 AM and has a radio announcer voice. Seriously. Every time he spoke I wanted to ask him why he was a plumber and not on the radio. I’m pretty sure he thought I was weird because I had to stop thinking about why he wasn’t a DJ somewhere before I answered him.

But he shows up without the toilet I selected from the list of thousands of options. Oops.

And it’s raining, and he’ll have to drive to Marietta in the rain and rush hour to get the white toilet that flushes that I selected from thousands of options.

I call the plumbing company to let them know their plumber didn’t bring a toilet.

There is an art to complaining. You have to read the person you’re talking to. In this case, it was the very nice woman I had spoken to earlier in the week and who had guided me through the thousands of options to select the toilet the plumber didn’t bring. So I just explained what had happened and joked about the whole process we’d gone through to figure out what I needed.

She called me back later with news that I was getting an upgraded model and T would pick out a really good one for me.

T come back with a fancy high-seated low-flow model super-duper toilet. He still sounds like a DJ and doesn’t have a plumber butt-crack. He’s actually really cute.

He gets everything installed, and does some test flushes to demonstrate the super-duper flushing.

You know what? Low flow toilets sound like they are burping when they flush.

And some previous owner of my house painted that bathroom brown.

You know, window cubes are highly overrated. They are either hot or cold. And sometimes the view isn’t so great. Right now it’s pretty much I-85, old buildings, bare trees and grey winter sky.

But I love the quiet. And my guest chair is orange.