Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good Things

For whatever reason, I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself, lately.

I went through a period, late last year and the first months of this year, where I slashed the hell out of my labor budget at the cafĂ©, and basically filled the holes in the schedule with myself. The plan was effective…with the money we saved on payroll, we replenished the reserves in the checkbook to the tune of over ten thousand dollars in four months. Unfortunately, the negative outcome of this brilliant business move is that I am toast.

Even though I know the business is doing well, in view of the current economic situation, I can't help feeling that I've worked really hard for…not a whole lot. I've spent so many hours focusing on the restaurant that I hardly recognize my own home and yard anymore. It strikes me that this drastic lack of balance in my life is not doing any part of my sphere of influence any good. I do not want to turn into the whiney, bitchy, nit-picking malcontent I feel myself becoming.

To that end, I have decided to resurrect (once again) a blog vehicle that I have used with some success in the past.

GOOD THINGS (Maybe not ten this time, but honoring even one good thing is better than bitching…)

1.) Flowers. I'm too tired and too busy to pursue my gardening with the passion and abandon I would like, but thirty years of pottering in the yard have stood me in good stead. I had only to shell out a couple of (hundred) dollars on plants and containers to be able to banish the last memories of the hideous winter of 2008-09. Begonias, impatiens, fuchsias and my ever-expanding collection of fancy-leaf and scented geraniums, with the added punch of grasses and other leafy growing things, have turned my outdoor spaces into the best of secret retreats.

2.) Orangie. Or "OG" as we have taken to calling him. I'm sure he'll acquire more names as we get to know him better. He sleeps on the Adirondack chair just outside my dining room door. He eats his meals and then comes to me to be petted and made much of. This morning, he sat still while I cut the mats out of his fur. Our relationship is…progressing.

3.) Birds. Despite the presence of neighborhood cats, my yard feels like an aviary. The grosbeaks have moved on, but I have goldfinches, hummingbirds, swallows and sparrows to keep me company. Monday afternoon, I was sitting on the deck with my computer in my lap, and a hummer stopped and hovered about eighteen inches from my face. Just looking me over…wondering if she should perch on top of the monitor. Satisfied that I was a benevolent presence, she turned and buzzed up to the feeder. And this evening, I witnessed our resident sparrow being shadowed by a smaller version of herself; from time to time, she would backtrack and poke something into the mini-me's beak. I'd wondered if she had a nest somewhere close by, watching the way she would scold and fuss whenever one of the cats was in the yard. (Luckily, Orangie seems to prefer kibbles to fresh bird meat…)

4.) Lonicera periclymenum . Honeysuckle. Beaten and broken by our ghastly winter, the tattered old vines are nevertheless blooming profusely and broadcasting their indescribable scent all over my yard. I'm not much one for really strong-smelling flowers. I hate star-gazer lilies—too overpowering, and I'm not too keen on jasmine—too sweet. But there's something just right about the scent of honeysuckle. Mmmmmmmm!

5.) Husbands. Yes, I know there are times I feel like I would sell him for a plug nickel. But, in the end…I have no idea what I would do without him.

6.) Silence. Every now and then, there are a few moments when Disneyland is closed down for the day and the Mexican karaoke is on hiatus (I refer, of course, to my lovely(?) neighbors)…and I can sit in my back yard and just…be. Actually, it is anything but silent. But the sounds are sweet and soothing and natural. And without human clamor I can hear and be lulled by them.

7.) Pedicures. What an indulgence! Need I say more?

Okay, seven. Seven good things. And the number seven is said to have mystical, cosmic qualities. So seven is…a good thing.




  1. I love these lists! I love the update on Orangie, and all the other things. I don't have a husband, but there's something I love.


  2. Seven good things is GREAT!