Posted by: Brenda Kula | February 7, 2008

St. Augustine Woes

Here I am on Wednesday morning with two dogs in my lap, trying to type with Charlie’s chin (once again) leaning on my left arm. It is too cold outside to wander around the gardens, digging and plucking errant weeds. But yesterday it was close to 70 degrees. I was out there in the small patch of St. Augustine grass (about 5 X 10 feet), in the very back of my east side yard, pulling it up by the roots. Needless to say, I am quite sore everywhere today. Abigail had been chewing her paws horribly of late, and all the neighbors said their dogs have the same reaction to this grass. So out it went. I have plenty of grass in the west side yard where the dogs cannot go.

I crawled on my hands and knees for hours, pulling up the grass, putting it into trash bags. Finally around 1 p.m. the ground was raked and smooth, ready for a new medium. It so happened that Alfonzo, the man who has been cutting and edging my lawn since I moved here almost three years ago, was across the street. I had called my husband and asked if he was interested in helping me bring bags of gravel in to cover the dirt. But alas, he was not. I don’t have a pickup. So Alfonzo will bring in gravel. And Abigail, hopefully, will not linger stubbornly at the front door while Charlie rushes out, adamant she will not go along with him. Somehow she knows there is a direct correlation between her paw problems and the grass. It also will hopefully solve my problem of Alfonzo inadventently blowing grass clippings and such into my pond, which is next to the patch of grass.

This morning I spent time with a cup of Starbucks coffee and Amazon.com. I love to search for new books, read everyone’s reviews, and place my choices in either my wishlist or cart to order. It is one of my favorite things to do when all is quiet and no pets cry for my immediate attention. It is soothing and renewing at the same time. My love of reading goes all the way back to the first grade, when I learned to read my first sentence, and entered into a remarkable world where you can make huge discoveries just by opening the pages of a book. I have never listened to audio books, but am thinking about doing so next time I travel to Tulsa to visit my grandson, and have six hours where NPR will not get good reception.

Right now I am reading, "Promise Not To Tell", a 2007 novel by Jennifer McMahon. A 41 year old woman named Kate returns to her native rural Vermont to care for her mother who has Alzheimer’s, and on the night she arrives, a young girl is murdered. This murder is eerily like the one that happened during Kate’s own childhood, when the "Potato Girl" was found dead. That murder was never solved. This is Jennifer McMahon’s debut novel, and quite well-crafted. I am a little more than halfway finished, and will get more specific on my review of this book when I finish it. I love suspenseful stories, and when, at the top of the cover of the book, it says, "I killed someone tonight," I am hopelessly hooked.

The kitchen remodel is done in two weeks time. A remarkable makeover in such a small amount of time. I am enjoying it immensely. And the fact that everything is now in its place, there are no more workers milling around, and there is no more mold underneath my cabinets. I have to give an A+ to Home Plus, who did the remodel, for such a transformation. Art’s design was phenomenal, and the neighbors have been strolling through for a look-see.

I spent Friday evening in the local emergency room with my elderly next door neighbor, who had chest pains. I was alone, as my husband was working his weekly overnighter, and had just finished with my shower and put on my gown to lie down and read. (I do this just after cleaning up the kitchen from whatever supper I patch together, so it was early.) I rushed her across town in the formidable traffic, trying to remain calm and not jostle her too much from my four-wheel drive’s lack of smoothness in the rain. I feared we would wait forever in the corridor or waiting room, as I’d heard terrible things about emergency room waits. But this one was surprisingly quick and efficient. I commended the staff on their speediness. Her hiatal hernia had apparently slipped up underneath her heart. And let me tell you, as I too have a hiatal hernia, it mimicks a heart attack and is painful. I pulled into her driveway close to midnight, disaster averted, and then came home to calm the dogs, who were not happy. Mommy seldom goes out after dark, you see.

It seems we are not short of excitement here on Heritage Circle. As several people have pointed out recently, it is somewhat like Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives here in our little neighborhood.   

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