Monday, August 15, 2016


Rather than fight them, I've learned to accept them: these rambling acres of defiantly obstinate, rampantly multiplying weeds.

I sprayed, I cut, I whacked - - I destroyed what's left of my crippled back in a herculean effort to eradicate the weeds, but to no avail. The daily torrential rains have consistently thwarted my efforts - by nourishing my enemies and encouraging them to breed and flourish.

Some of the weeds are now as high as my neck. I'm not a munchkin. I'm 6'1". 6"2' in boots.
Places where I used to walk are now impassable. I feel as isolated, bewildered, and threatened as the narrator in The Willows by Algernon Blackwood - eternally trapped in that hostile, surrealistic region of wilderness along the Austria-Hungarian banks of the Danube.

Sorry. My imagination has gone rampant, like the weeds. So I'm a drama queen. Shoot me.

I've learned to overlook the insurmountable obstacles  and search for the positives and pleasures. Copious amounts of beer tend to aid in my optimistic approach. Yes, the weeds offer sporadic splashes of color - which somehow softens the sadistic harshness of their presence.

I wandered outside early this morning, after the fog lifted, and admired the purple and yellow highlights among the weeds. 

In the distance, a huge spider web glistened with dew in the morning sunlight (rare sunlight between rainstorms).

Most intriguing was the little butterfly that sat on my left forefinger and stayed there contentedly for several minutes. I wish I would have had my camera for that. I suddenly felt like Snow White in a glorious Technicolor Disney movie.

Does a friendly butterfly signify good luck - or am I going to get pulverized by a runaway logging truck?

There was a horrendous thunderstorm last night - - and it rained today all afternoon. If nothing else, Tennessee is wet and weedy. And humid. And buggy.
But, alas, I'm dispelling the enchantment.

All of the letters have worn off my computer keyboard and I keep making mistakes. This fact has nothing to do with weeds, of course.

I never planned on doing a post about weeds. It's boring and mundane. Fortunately, I have a knack for making boring things interesting. At least I think so.

I was going to write a review of the Rio Olympics, but I didn't want to horrify and offend any of my sensitive readers. After all, they're still recovering from my review of the Democratic Convention.

Weeds are neutral and non-threatening. If you don't live with them.

Actually, I get a thrill out of offending and horrifying my hyper-sensitive readers. It's one of the few pleasures I have left.

I was brushing my cat Scratch (Kitzee) this morning, when she suddenly jumped up and did a double-take at the window. A deer was looking in at us! No lie. Unfortunately he disappeared by the time I got my camera. The only photo I could take was one of Scratch. Rolling.

 I should explain that my house (shack) is built on a slope. The front is very high up - in fact, the front porch is like a balcony. The back of the house is on ground level. That's where the deer was looking in.

Does that make any sense? Well, anyway, here's a picture of my grandfather clock. I know this will excite and enthrall you.
My cat Bosco knocked that lamp over and the shade has never been right since.

 Tomorrow (Tuesday) I think I'm going to have to make the dreaded drive into town. Again. I have to buy tile for the two bathroom floors. And some plumbing supplies.

Insomnia will accompany me all night.

Here's a photo of the moon I took a few nights ago.

 What? You didn't see my art collection?? Check out my two previous posts!


Civil War Soldiers
Cabinet of Curious Treasures 

(this is a sorry example of shameless self-promotion) 


  1. orange moon, a contented cat, and purple weeds. the yellow weed is goldenrod and it makes my allergies go to hell.

    and hopefully you had clothes on; imagine the deer going back to his friends saying: "guess what I just saw!"

    yeah, my insomnia just kicked in for the night. a nice two hour nap spoiled by an asthma attack in this putrid heat.

    and I ain't even had any beer/wine/liquor!

    let's be drama queens together! :)

    1. I was fully clothed when the deer looked in. If I wasn't, he would still be laughing.

      It's raining again tonight and the heat and humidity made me feel woosie. I thought I was going to pass out. Fortunately I haven't had any allergies. My very worst allergies were in California. Go figure....

      I think we need some wine to get us through the rest of the summer.
      I love drama queens.

    2. let's see...I've got apple black current wine, fat frog red wine, marilyn (monroe) merlot...pick yer poison!

    3. Fat Frog wine? Is that a Walmart brand??
      Apple black current sounds really good.
      But it's August - the month when Marilyn died. We'll have to drink some of the merlot to her memory...

    4. fat frog red and apple black currant come from a winery in upper NY state. I fixed the spelling on "currant" here. both are delicious chilled.

      we have had the marilyn bottle forever; we bought it in VA and we've been outta there since 1999.

  2. The goldenrod is a medicinal herb, probably many of your weeds are like that. I don't know what the purple one is but it is certainly lovely. Here's wishing you a safe journey to town and back home again.
    My indoor cat Chaucer would stare with wonder at a deer in the window, I'm not sure what my adopted stray cat would do. She's a prolific mouser but I think deer are a little large for her to deal with. She might think it was a skinny cow, we have a small herd of longhorns nearby. Yeah, I'm in TX.

    1. If my cat Scratch didn't see the deer in the window, I don't think I would have noticed it. She wasn't afraid of it - just surprised. My two youngest cats, Scruffy and Bosco, are the enthusiastic mousers.

  3. As anne marie said, those pretty yellow flowers ARE weeds, and if you have Queen Ann's lace (also a weed) nothing is prettier. If a butterfly lands on your finger, you're going to either lose said finger, or turn into a heterosexual. Lemme see if I can find that book on the subject........

    A deer looking in your window. Now I find that delightful, plus a guard cat to alert you of the impending danger. Now if a DEER looks in your window...wait...dayum where is that book....

    All you have to do is haul some wire and posts up the hill in your car. Build a fence around your land, then bring some goats up in your car. Weed problem taken care of, and you're welcome.

    p.s. Send me the grandfather clock and you won't have to pay for all the advice I have given you.

    1. I always thought that if Tinkerbell landed on your finger you'd turn gay - but I might have been misinformed.

      A deer in the window might be a sign of good fortune, but I wouldn't know. The last time I had good luck was sometime during the Taft administration. That was supposed to be funny.

      I already have a fence around my property on three sides. And I'm surrounded by trees on all sides. The deer usually come in via the front - although I've see a few leap over the fences.

      I'll keep the clock. You obviously didn't read the fine print in our contract.

  4. Jon, spraying, cutting and whacking is all that can be expected of anyone. So long as it's green, it won't burn and that's a good thing. I used to have a neighbor who kept goats and tied them to my fenceline to clear it --which was a blessing-- but he moved on to greener pastures, hopefully yours. Your moon photo is terrific! I posted a scholarly essay about the moon early this evening, but it probably won't show in your reader 'til tomorrow by Googletime. Only counsel I can offer is work on the bathroom and forget the weeds, it's what I do because we have our sanity to consider.

    1. I'm tempted to get goats, but with my luck they'd be picky eaters.
      I could manage the weeds if it wasn't for the CONSTANT rain. Getting two dry days in a row is rare. It's a no win situation.

      You're advice is best. I'll do all the inside work and forget about the weeds.
      I'll also get out my telescope and look for your moon essay.

  5. GREEN LUSH overgrown. Nature thrives on inviting weeds into our lives... Keeping them completely at bay is impossible. However your line "the weeds offer sporadic splashes of color - which somehow softens the sadistic harshness of their presence." speaks to all of our experiences with them. FATHER time is best viewed by a Grandfather Clock, IMHO. LOVE yours. And a curious PEEPING deer must have been quite an unexpected sight. Friends can be found up close and personal in the most unusual places.

  6. I always welcome visits from the deer - but I truly DREAD the thought of the upcoming hunting season. I bought that clock for my mother about twelve years ago. It doesn't seem that long....

  7. Until you mentioned Snow White, I was thinking Grey Gardens. It's odd how different people view the same thing.
    Have you ever thought about using goats for weed control?

    1. I suppose I was being flippant when I said Snow White.....I'm glad you mentioned Grey Gardens because I hadn't thought about that in a long time.

      I initially considered getting goats, but then decided they would be more trouble than they're worth. I need a tractor - and a miracle.

  8. Your grandfather clock looks wonderful! My father's (now son's), is your run-of-the-mill glossy walnut.

    In all seriousness, when did weeds get such a bad rap? I honestly prefer some of their exuberant, untamed looks to others' manicured gardens. (The bugs not so much. I like to pretend they're miniature ISIS disciples, perishing in Raid-induced agony.)

    1. I think many of the really old grandfather clocks were walnut. I chose the ebony clock because it matches my two ebony pianos - and I love it.

      Weeds multiply faster than illegal aliens (hey, is it legal to say that??). I've given up on eradicating them (the weeds, of course...). As for bugs, this year I have an abundance of butterflies and dragonflies. The real pests have been the wasps and fruit flies.

  9. I hope you don't have grass burrs with your weeds like I do. I just have it all mowed down and pretend its a lawn.

  10. I used to have LOTS of grass burrs in Texas - perhaps because the climate is so dry. I haven't seen any here in TN.

  11. Reading about the weeds, reminds me of why I love condo living.

    1. I'd rather have annoying weeds than annoying neighbors.

  12. With the conditions of the wet, and humid weather it's no wonder that they are taking over. They love those conditions. I don't mind weeds as long as they have color on them, little flowers. Down by the woods edge, we have those purple one I sure. But did we need to hear about the whacking?

    1. The whacking was the best part....

  13. Jon,
    As always, your posts are interesting. Weeds? I love them! After all, weeds are just plants (flowers) that are unwanted. I accept some weeds in my backyard arboretum. You live in a wonderful part of the country and I'm sure you have a wonderful wildlife array of plants. The insects and birds appreciate all of them. As to the Olympics, you'll notice that I haven't written about them . . . . . yet. I was on to the overhype of the Olympics years ago. I hesitate to write about my disdain of the Olympics but I try not to post too many negative posts. But I just may, my distaste of the Olympics is that strong. As for deer looking in your window, that happened to me once during the day while I was washing the dishes at our home in the woods in Pennsylvania. Scared the daylights out of me. I guess the deer was equally spooked. You and your posts are always interesting Jon. I look forward to reading your blog always.

  14. If it weren't for weeds, our yard would be nothing but dirt. We figure if it's green, that's close enough. Who needs a namby-pamby "lawn" that needs to be fed and fertilized and all that jazz. The little bit of grass we do have is mostly brown, and if it weren't for those weedy spikes, Smarticus might never have to pull out the lawnmower.

    May all your weeds be wildflowers.


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