Posted by: Brenda Kula | July 16, 2008

Walli’s Yard And Squawking Mockingbirds


I have been wandering around Ken and Walli’s yard this early Wednesday morning taking photos of her garden. (No, I don’t ask permission. We walk into one another’s houses without preamble. So the yards are non-negotiable!)

Recently-retired-from-teaching neighbor Leanne walks quickly by me on her early morning walk. (Hey, she’s been able to lose a-l-o-t of weight walking. And kept it off! Boy, do I need to find time to get out there with her!) We get a few words of morning cheer in between her quick strides. I am busy snapping away, backing into the street to get shots. I’m sure Walli and Ken are having their morning coffee and reading the daily newspaper. So I shall not bother them.

We are a close neighborhood. It is much like my "beloved blogging neighborhood." (Friendly, peaceful and harmonious for the most part!) And I cherish my little spot on the corner of the cul-de-sac, as well as the blogging community.


Today marks one week into the bathroom remodel. My pets are suffering from there’s-strange-people-in-my-space-all-day syndrome. Last night after everyone had left for the day, big Clyde the cat happily sucked on my left earlobe like an infant as I lay on the floor doing my back stretching exercises. You need not tell him he is nearly ten years old. He will always be a baby in need of comfort. But he has not done this (the infantile sucking) in a long time. I know he is traumatized from trying to skitter down the hall to his litter box in between men walking down said hall with heavy marble and such. Poor baby.

Yesterday two men slowly and daintily (if men can be dainty) walked in the large piece that will be the bottom of the shower. Only to discover the plumber was "off" one inch on the drain. Oh well. The joys of remodeling.

That’s why I hired Cherie of Granite Girls. I do not like to get in the middle of things I have no knowledge whatsoever about. When they come in and ask me, – "where is the something-or-other for the shower?" – I tell them to call her. Not my jurisdiction, fellas.   


Cherie tells me probably 90% of clients do not think to offer snacks and drinks to the workmen. Hmm. Well, I believe in being kind to people, even if you don’t know their name. I take a big tray of treats and cold sodas to them about twice per day. And it’s not like I’m a great host or anything. (I don’t think in my 51 years I have ever held an actual party!) It’s just common courtesy. I know it must be difficult to go out for nourishment when you have masks on and paint all over you.


So here it is 8:30 a.m., and not a peep have I heard. I suppose they’re all waiting until the plumber makes it back to start trying to refigure that drain hole. I shall stick to what I know and love, which is keeping the pets out of harm’s way and writing to all of you. And then reading all of you!


If it seems as though I am writing in "fits and starts"…I am. Abigail the Yorkie has had her Lasix medication and every few minutes she whines and out we go to potty. Oh, the joys of motherhood!

When every few minutes I have to run outside, I hear the whir of machinery across the street and down one house. They are having their kitchen remodeled. They will be moving to a new home in a just-being-built assisted-living neighborhood. But are having their 1980’s kitchen remodeled so it will be easier to sell when their’s is finally built in a year or so. (Now that poor woman is more scattered than I am, and older, so we’ll see what shape she’s in when the remodel is finished! I have a feeling a doctor’s visit will be in order.)


You know, so many of you juggle motherhood (whether it be children, pets or grandchildren), a full-time job outside the home, (sometimes two), keeping up with your blogs, gardens, homes, etc. Now I know all about mult-tasking. And I’m an energetic sort. But how on earth do you get it all done!

I am stupified by this. I cannot conceive of managing all that and still being sane. I do heartily admire your strength in doing the juggling act! You’re made of tougher stuff than I am!


Well, it’s almost 9:30. They’re usually milling about by now. Cherie and I have spoken awhile ago about the mix-ups between all the contractors while she was in Dallas picking up granite tops yesterday. (Why don’t they teach men communication skills in high school? It should be right up there with history and math. One hand never seems to know what the other is doing.) She told me she has had to change schedules four times since 7 a.m. I don’t envy her job either.


Oh, I just hope to get to sleep in my bed again soon. The dogs and I are sleeping on the couch in the garden room. Because Abi and I have asthma. And Abi is having a rather tough time of it due to all the dust involved in remodeling. Every muscle in my body aches, it seems.


I’ve no idea where Walli picked up this creature from the Blue Lagoon. But if anyone is curious, I shall ask her.

What should have taken me less than 30 minutes to write; this disjointed post today, may have been confusing. I apologize. I just came back inside from another "Abi pee break". And every time I go outside, I get nosedived by a squawking mockingbird. (Why are mockingbirds so aggressive and loud?)I’m assuming it has a nearby nest. But it has invaded my yard big time and sooner or later, I’m afraid we will collide.

Have a wonderful Wednesday all!



  1. Brenda, Great post and the monkey has me intrigued! Beautiful flowers!

    Next Friday, the 25th, I am hosting Heather at Hopscotch & Hydrangeas, a Virtual Online Baby Shower. For more info, you can go to my blog. I’m trying to let all of her blogging buddies know, and hope you can participate. Also, help me spread the word! I would love to have a big turnout to celebrate and welcome little Baby Cali! ~Rhonda

  2. Your neighbor has a beautiful garden! The monkey is… interesting LOL Good luck with your drain!

  3. Another great post! Loved your neighbor’s monkey,sooo cute.

    I admire your generosity towards your workers by offering them drinks and snacks. As a Filipino, this isn’t surprising to me at all . I do it all the time and my American BF is now a “convert”… Enjoy the rest of your day, Brenda!

  4. nice pics. the monkey’s a little weird though. LOL yes, I am one of those mothers running around, full time job, dealer at the antique mall, kids both active in dance & baseball. But it’s never all perfect. At the moment, my foyer & kitchen are a mess with new merchandise for the booth. We eat out a lot, and I haven’t exercised in months. I never have time to get it all done. And I feel guilty when I try to sit down & relax. Just too many things on my plate. But that’s my life… and I like being overly busy. I’ll probably have a heart attack one day and be forced to rest. 🙂 xoxo, Joanna

  5. Not only do you have a beautiful garden Brenda, but your neighbors do too. I want to move to your cul de sac. The only people I know in my neiborhood are the people on each side of us. They are all younger than my kids. No one to sip tea with, or discuss the growing season or just relax with on the screened porch.

    We working gals don’t do it all. Mr. Bird Nest cooks dinner every night during the week. I’m on clean-up detail. I have a cleaning lady every other week and I spend my evening on the computer or watching HGTV. I’m not very motivated.

  6. What a lovely surprise to come back from lunch and find your newest post. The photos are wonderful, what type of camera do you use? And what is that first plant with the little blue blooms? Is that plumbago?
    I was out this morning photographing some of my plants, too. We got rain (remember the wet stuff that falls out of the sky?) last night, so everything was all cool and damp.
    It seems like whenever I am stressing and need a break from everything, I sit down at the computer, and someone has come to my rescue with a wonderful new post. I love it; this is my new therapy.

  7. Is “disjointed” a bad thing? 🙂

    M ^..^

  8. My goodness your pictures once again are jus beautiful! Oh ho they make me long for my own garden again!
    Your neighborhood sounds wonerful too- that is another thing I miss- my old neighbors. I have found it very difficult to meet and make friends living in an apartment complex. Someday.
    Hope things start going smoother and more quickly with your remodel! I know you must be itching to have things return to normal! And dust free!
    -Cinderella 🙂

  9. I really enjoyed your post I felt like I was taking that walk around your neighbors year with you just chatting away and taking pictures which by the way are just gorgeous.Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  10. I love the pictures of the flowers. Especially the pink daisy. It’s beauty is amazing…delicate…just like God’s love.

    Hope you’re having a good week.

    Thank you for your prayers.


  11. Love the monkey. All my lovely neighbors have to look at is that giant pampas grass. I have neighbor envy.

  12. Wow Brenda,
    It sounds like it’s so much fun at your house right now. Your poor animals (and you). Good thing you’ve got Cherie, she sounds like she’s got everything under control!
    Love the pictures of the garden, then got to the monkey photo and went “what”? That’s a conversation piece, is it filled with some kind of moss?
    Hmm, got me wondering now.
    Hope the dust settles down for you and Abbi and that you both feel better soon.

  13. Evening Brenda. I haven’t heard from you in a few days and came to check on you! Now I see why – you’ve been busy! I love all the pictures and your writing today! I can’t wait to see you new bathroom and hopefully soon you and all your babies can sleep in your own bed.
    Be a sweetie,

  14. Your pictures are beautiful… as usual! Love the whimsical monkey! Patti

  15. Beautiful garden pics, Brenda. I hope the remodeling is done soon so that you and the pets can have your house back. We have a painter coming this weekend. You’ve got me worried now. LOL

  16. Another wonderful post. I like the hanging monkey. He would probably scare the bejeebies out of me if I had him. I tend to wander outside at night when I can’t sleep.

    Does anything ever live in that pot turned sideways? I tried to get a frog to live in one but he rejected me.

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