Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Last photos of Palisade and Pets

Well, this is it - the last photos of the garden and pets. It's already May 29th, and moving day will be June 5th. Marco is moving back into the house so he doesn't have to pay another month's rent on his apartment. It's fine. We're getting along. He lined up some friends to help me pack the moving truck on moving day. Kate will be flying in from San Jose to help out and drive with me all the way to Oregon. I've made the discovery that Central Oregon is HOT in the summer. The Willamette Valley (Oregon) isn't as hot as Western Colorado, but it's hot enough, and it's more humid. I'm not going there. I don't know where I'll land, but it won't be another place where I can't go out and enjoy the summers. I've been looking at temperatures online now that summer is settling in. Beth suggested I check out the Oregon coast, so I've been doing that. It's weird knowing that I have one week to decide where I'm going to live, and I can't go there to check on it. I have about enough space on my credit cards to get moved and take care of basics. So, which of Oregon's coast towns will be right for me? I guess I can even decide when I get there. The one that looks most promising may be Astoria, with some depth, history, and a community college. My other concern at this point is that I have a lot of stuff to pack into the moving truck, and I dread doing that on a hot day. It could really mess up the rest of my week, and I'll need my health. This is stressful and scary, but also exciting.

Here's Elvis on the hummingbird feeder. We're supposed to hang a bottle on the stand, and we've done that before, but I'm not going to risk the birds when she looks so eager! Here I've exposed the picture for Elvis. See below for how it really looked.

Here are a few more pix of Elvis on the feeder. She was so cute (and creative).

Yeah, Hi Elvis. Where are the birds?

Here she looks like a weather-cat!

The back yard in the evening with roses and late-day sun on Grand Mesa.

Leila enjoyed lying in the back yard about this time of day.

It's not quite the same pose. You'd have to click on it and then look at her carefully. Indulge me. These are the last pix I'll ever take my lovely dog. I think it would be unfair and confusing to come back and visit. Once they get over missing "Mommy," that should be it, I think. The thought makes me cry, but what can I do?

Sweet Leila.

Leila and Elvis doing their thing. I'm not sure why I don't have any pictures of Pterelas today. Maybe he was asleep on the couch. Going around taking "last photos" is no fun, so I probably was trying not to think about that.

Saturday, May 19, 2001

Counting the days, enjoying the flowers

The days were counting down to moving day early in June. I still didn't know where I was going to end up. I was thinking that someplace near my brother in Cottage Grove, Oregon, would work. Maybe Eugene, as it had more potential. I was reading about some aspects of living there. I'd taken one of the most important (to me) for granted, and that would turn out to be a mistake. Meanwhile, the riot of growing, flowering plants was my delight. Here's one view of the front yard here on Milleman Street.

Here's another view. I've never been a fan of plain tract-looking houses like this, but the location made all the difference, and the flowers were the icing on the cake. We always got weed ordinance notices, though. As you can see, it's not manicured.

It was an ongoing struggle between getting something to grow besides the iron weeds and having that something go crazy and look like a jungle. I didn't mind the jungle so much, but there were times that the only cure that would keep away the weed ordinance wolf was a lawn mower. The neighbors liked us better when it was trimmed, too, especially the retired ones who seemed to have nothing to do but make their yards look perfect and give us the evil eye.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Last time for the flowers

The old digital cameras really don't handle contrast very well, do they? Nevertheless, this is the memory I have of the garden coming into full bloom in May 2001. The roses are out now.

The roses surrounded the small deck on both sides. They kept me busy pruning. I've never seen roses grow so crazily fast. There were a lot of suckers to pull out as well as just keeping the regular stems trimmed. That wasn't too bad compared to the white dusty stuff that would get on them later in the year. We were set against poisons, so we tried various natural or less harmful remedies with limited success. But it was fun to see them, so bright and colorful. I'm not sure what the water jug was about, except that we made sun tea once in awhile, so maybe that's what it was.

More roses with a big rose stem sucker begging to either be cut or run rampant. I sometimes filled whole garbage bags with them from this one little patch of roses. In the background, the moonlight scotch broom has lost its beautiful light yellow blossoms, but it seems to be adapting well. And the fence is now covered with lush, growing vines. Only a few weeks ago they were brown and dead-looking.

Here's another photo of the yellow rose. The planter box around the deck had several colors.

Monday, May 14, 2001

Packing in Palisade

There's less than a month to go, and I'm seriously deciding what goes and what stays or gets thrown out, because what's going is already stacking up in the garage in bankers' boxes. I did NOT choose the pink. It came with the house. The room had belonged to a little girl, of course. I also didn't pick the foo-foo trim or the fake wood paneling. I began to tear some of this down, but I didn't get very far before I saw that it was unfinished underneath. It was going to be a big project.

There are a lot of books, some clothing, although mostly used as packing material, tapir skulls, and my projects - ring binders filled with paper, floppy disks, some printed on paper, some artwork and supplies (quite a bit), and assorted other projects such as fabric things. Sometimes it's hard to tell if these are classified as art, useable things like quilts, or potentially to be made into clothing. Most of the fabric doesn't end up finished, but I have absolutely loved gathering and working with fabric during the past few years. The designs and colors can be fantastic, and there's a store in Grand Junction whose buyer's taste and mine coincide all too often for the budget. Anyway, I'm getting ready for the road.

Monday, May 07, 2001

Purple wallflowers in Palisade - it's jungle season

Ah, the purple wallflowers are blooming in the front yard. The wallflowers come in all colors and you never know what each year will bring. They're tough, too. They find their way by themselves. I do love the times here when the flowers start coming out. The flowers grow, the weeds grow, everything takes off and blooms or exudes or twines or mushrooms for the short happy season before it's baked dead. I always let the garden go a little crazy, but soon I'll be trying to cut and pull it back into shape - usually without much success. I'm delighted so see something with color in the front yard where the rocks and herbicide ruled for so long.

MAY: I could be starting a suburban legend, but it seems to me that every May 2nd, something happens here. It's the first day all year that you can feel the summer heat at some time during the day. With that, for me, comes a momentary depression. The time is over when I feel elated the whole time I'm outdoors. That feeling is basically over until October. From the second on, it can be hot, but there are a few days left when it won't be too bad. But this year will be different. I'm leaving all this and I'll be in Oregon in about a month.

Sunday, May 06, 2001

One photo on my birthday; Elvis in the fern

This is the only picture I took on my birthday. I'm writing this "from the future," and I've forgotten the details of the day. Marco had moved out. I was packing and planning my move to Oregon. Our divorce was being finalized, and I was getting ready to part with pets and home. It was my 52nd birthday. I hadn't made real friends in Palisade due to health, work, and the fact that when Marco and I were happy, we didn't seem to need anyone else. Also, I tend to be shy. I have a lot of friends and colleagues online, and a few really good friends in real life, but they all live far away. I'm sure my mom called, because she always does. My siblings probably e-mailed, because that's what we usually do.

As you can see, Elvis was sleeping in, and continuing to wreck, my gorgeous fern. Well, it's not gorgeous any more :( But she's so cute, and cats don't follow instructions very well. I had put it way up high but that didn't bother her!

Saturday, May 05, 2001

Flowers for my birthday

It's nearly my birthday, and the flowers respond to the warmth of May in Palisade. Actually, midday is starting to get hot.

The red really comes out in this photo. I think the colors of the sage and its flowers are about right, but the old flower box behind them isn't really that radiant. Maybe it was enjoying the Spring, too.

Friday, May 04, 2001

Pterelas, Leila, roses

All the nuances make a difference when you know it's almost over. Here's Pterelas with slobber on his nose. He's part Lab and part Chow, and probably part something else, too. He's got a pink tongue with black spots on it.

I just took a similar photo, but I want this one, too. They will all be precious when I can't see the dogs any more. A different expression, a different angle. It all feels important, and also ephemeral.

Even the roses interest me, and how they begin to bloom in May.

This is Leila. We're pretty sure her mix is half Lab and half Chow. Her mother was a Chow, and the owners had to chase the Lab out of the yard after mating with her mom. I guess he could have been a mix, but he looked mostly Lab to them. She had a black tongue, a slight underbite, and white, white teeth. She's one of the sweetest dogs you can imagine. Very tuned in to emotions, maybe a little codependent, but not too. She has a streak of "cat" in her - a bit of independence, and, oddly, is the best mouser in the family (including the cat).

Thursday, May 03, 2001

Happy cat; not so, Sheryl

At this point some panic and depression are setting in. I know I'm going to be leaving them, and about all I can do is spend time with them and take photos to remember them by.

I love this one. Elvis in action.