Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

© 2006-2018 All rights reserved

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yesterday's Blessings, with Flowers

Over on Blue Country Magic, “Country Dew” has been counting her blessings for the past few posts. I decided to list the things I’m thankful for but on a smaller scale: one day. Yesterday.

Because this is a very long post, I’ll intersperse pictures of flowers to give you a break. I’m thankful my flowers do so well.

I’m thankful that the little furry body in the road when I went to get the paper isn’t one of my critters. I’m thankful for a husband who promptly removes and disposes of the rabbit corpse.

I’m thankful that the dogfight doesn’t result in blood or the need for stitches for the canine participants or me. Here’s what happened: I always feed the dogs with more food containers than there are dogs. Each of the four dogs has favorite places and methods to eat. I usually play with Maggie so the other dogs can eat in peace while she’s otherwise occupied. Maggie would rather play than eat.

Every morning when I enter the kennel, Maggie has a particular toy selected for me to toss. So, yesterday morning I toss Maggie’s squeak toy and she fetches. Between tosses/fetches, I dish out the dog food. Emma likes to eat from a cat food can that she can carry to her selected (and private) place. Harley also likes food served in cat food cans because he can hide them away in the dog stall. Hubert eats wherever Maggie isn’t.

Yesterday morning, after squirreling away his can, Harley teases Emma. He frolicks around her in ever-narrowing circles (Catahoulas like to run in a spiral pattern) and lunges at her can. When she unleashes a stream of canine profanity at Harley, Maggie drops her toy and jumps on Emma. A bite-fight ensues. Neither backs down. Harley runs big spirals around the fighter and chants the doggie equivalent of “Nyah-nyah-nyah.” Hubert, Maggie’s little beagle sidekick, gets involved by nipping Emma’s backside. I also get involved.

Grabbing the thick hair around Maggie’s neck with both hands, I lift the 80-pound border collie high enough so she’s standing on her hind legs and pull her backwards. Emma won’t give up the fight. I swing Maggie around so Emma is behind me and drag her away from the circling Emma. I repeat this maneuver a few times until Emma gives up. Harley, meanwhile, has grabbed Emma’s can and taken it into the dog stall. I shake Maggie a few times and yell “No fighting!” in my best Alpha-dog voice. “Yeah, whatever,” Maggie mutters and I release her. Emma gets a time-out in the small kennel. Later, I put her on the leash and walk the fence-line so we can both calm down. I am thankful that at my age, I can still break up dog-fights. I am thankful that the bent-over metal post I see as Emma and I check fences is not all the way down and the wire is still attached so the horses won’t escape. I am thankful to have a husband that fixes the bent post.

I am thankful that later, when I reread my Ferradiddledumday page proofs for the third time, I catch a slight error and figure out a way to easily correct it. I am thankful that I e-mail the correction to the publisher before the power outage. I am thankful that I turn off my computer before the power goes out at 2:00 PM.

I am thankful that we have a place to go while we’re without power. We drive to Rocky Mount for the Franklin County Historical Society Meeting, and return home a few minutes before the power returns.

I am thankful that no appliances are damaged and that the muddy water (churned up from the well when the pump restarts) that pours through the faucets soon runs clear. I’m glad the mud in the toilet eventually flushes away and that bleach takes care of the stains.

I’m thankful that my two elderly lady cats now get along well enough (they hated each other for the first couple of years—the notch in Foxy’s ear was put there by Camilla 10 years ago) to accompany me for the evening feeding, which goes smoothly for both horses and dogs. I’m glad the cats finally decide to come in before dark, even though Camilla makes it clear she’d rather frolic around for a while. I’m thankful that Foxy’s cancer hasn’t returned.

I’m thankful that my garden now provides enough—but not too much—squash and tomatoes.

I’m thankful that Olivia, the little pregnant rescue cat, seems to be responding to her latest antibiotics. I’m thankful that she sits in the gazebo with me and purrs as we watch the sunset. I’m thankful that she ‘s learned the drill: come into the garage at night.

I’m thankful that the odor of skunk that permeates the house at 10:00 PM doesn’t mean that a skunk is actually in the house. I check the front porch; the smell is stronger there, but I only see Potter-the-porch-cat who doesn’t seem unduly upset. When I check the back deck, I am thankful that the critter washing its little hands isn’t a skunk. I’m thankful that the very pregnant possum leaves when I rap on the sliding glass door.

I’m thankful that when I return to my computer, the string of 55555555555555s that Eddie-Puss, one of the desktop cats, added to my document is easily fixable. I’m thankful that I remembered to save the document before I went to check on the skunk aroma.

I have a lot to be thankful for.


Blogger Kathy said...

Blessings and photos of flowers! It doesn't get better than that!

12:39 PM  
Blogger Sally Roseveare said...

And you know what? I'm thankful for the pictures of your gorgeous flowers, for your cats and dogs, for John. And you know what else? I'm thankful for you.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

What a lovely post and such pretty flowers.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

We sure did enjoy your pretty flowers today! You have such a lovely home.

4:10 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Great post. I like finding things to be thankful for, it makes life just a little bit easier.

2:07 PM  

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