Party Animal

Misu stayed out all last night and gave us a scare, but predictably she returned today as if nothing had happened.  It must have been quite a night, as she’s been sleeping it off all day.

I had to do all my yard work without my loyal follower, in order to keep her close to home.  There are too many dangers around here, mostly human ones.


Random Forces of Nature

Once again (knock on wood) Tennessee seems to have been bypassed (for now) by the disastrous wave of catastrophic, destructive tornadoes and storms slamming and flooding the plains, midwest (including tornadoes where we lived in Ohio), and heading northeast.  Major historic records have been broken…again.  There were more extreme tornadoes in one week than in an average year.  A trail of devastation reaches across much of the country right now, while here in TN it’s merely broiling and rainless.

I feel fortunate but yet anxious, knowing no one is immune or protected from the effects of climate change.  It could happen in a flash, with little warning, and everything is gone.  So I’m very mindful of the randomness of nature, even as I admire and respect it.

Here are Misu and Joey duking it out for porch turf, with lots of yowling.  (Misu won, of course.)  Then she took up her cool guard position under the porch.

New flowers continue to astonish.

These are leek flowers…

…and these are allium flowers.

Both are in the onion family.  One is a humble vegetable, the other is an ornamental bulb, but the similarity is striking.

Nature is the ultimate paradox, order and chaos coexisting.



Feeling the Heat

I used to work outdoors for a living, but this week of humid 90s in May is challenging even for me.  Nevertheless, I push on–literally, as I had to mow yesterday.  Sometimes it seems like an uphill battle, but I refuse to give in to oldness!

Today I cleaned up a few beds and planted more herbs, perennials, and wildflowers.  I like to keep a healthy balance between order and chaos.

Meanwhile, E is making progress painting the shed.  Soon it will be like a brand new building.


Tableau Vivant

This tableau is not only alive, but kicking.  Every morning Misu and I stand on the porch and watch rabbits, hear bird choirs, and see new flower developments.  It’s my favorite form of art.

Also, my veg garden is now officially filled.  Squash and tomatoes are blooming.  Elsewhere, the snow peas finally started pea-ing.  It’s just a matter of time…



Our anniversary was spent window-shopping for the most part; we did get a few small sewing supplies at the hugest Joann’s we’ve ever seen.  The cloth bolts alone went on for miles!  And the sewing and craft supplies–astounding.

After killing a few hours, we ate at this little Italian restaurant.  “Italian” is a loose interpretation for what passes for that cuisine in Knoxville, but we mainly chose it for the quiet, cozy atmosphere with its dark, red-lit nooks and crannies.

Today was blazing hot, but I did manage to finish planting my pepper and eggplant seedlings, water, move more seedlings outside, and clean up some garden beds.  It’s going to be in the 90s from here on out.  I wonder what summer will be like.





I refer not to the fifth century, fifth gear, a musical interval, or even a fifth of whiskey.

Rather, it’s the fifth anniversary of E & L42.  Perhaps not a big one, but a lot has gotten packed into a short five centuries I mean years.  Including some fifths of whiskey!  And many househunting/ moving trips in fifth gear.

Now for an imaginary musical interval of probably Neil Young, knowing us.



Exotic Alien Invaders

Many of the wildflowers already established here in E. Tennessee turn out to be alien or exotic invasive weeds that thrive in abandoned waste places and along sterile roadsides.  My point is that humans have turned so many natural spaces into unnatural wastelands where mostly non-beneficial invasives survive.  These choke out the native species necessary to sustain the rightful inhabitants and healthy, functional habitats.  Ultimately this ripples up the food chain to us humans, threatening our very existence.  

The original native humans knew this instinctively, but then we alien invaders got a foothold and choked out and destroyed them.  Next, we proceeded to wipe out, sterilize, and chemicalize everything else in our path.  In the process, we imported plant species never intended to grow here, whether inadvertently or intentionally.  The damage is done, and restoration is always much harder than prevention.

I realize in the large scheme of things, people have much more immediate worries than the environment breaking down around us because of our actions, but it’s still a concern.  I know one individual like me, up against a history of damage done, can do little to undo it.  Sometimes you have to compromise with reality.  

Thus, many of my photos reveal non-native perennials and wildflowers, because I like them, and they aren’t hurting anything.  Yet I still try to work toward more natural, sustainable surroundings.  I have to start somewhere.  

Draw any analogy or metaphor about current reality from this you care to.  Meanwhile, here’s a spider, and other residents, enjoying the languidity (I think I may have invented a word) of a Southern spring.