From Spring 2010, just a reminder of a favorite spring and a favorite little buddy.  Might be time to start thinking about a new addition to the family again...

"We have had a cold, rainy, snowy, blowy spring here in Colorado which has made everything lush and green and the trees have been flowering powerfully and then suddenly the past two days have reached into the eighties. It feels like Summer! I spent much of the day planting my veggies and herbs. My favorite basil and cilantro will be great in recipes this summer! We got four heirloom tomato plants which are going to respectively produce black, yellow, green with yellow stripes and red with orange stripes. We were going to opt for the white tomatoes, but were just having a hard time imagining them in a salad. I am pretty sure I am going back to get them this week. My curiosity is peaked and there are still some sunny spots out there.

As I work in my gardens and yard, it is often that I am shadowed by either my Italian Greyhound (Toots aka Batman) or my little Tonkinese Manx cat (Pwowie and the fact that she is a manx is why she has just a tuft where most cats have tails). Toots will generally recline within feet of where I work if there is a nice, shady tree to spend time under, but Pwowie is fairly insistent about remaining under foot and exploring and examining the slightest changes in her territory. She has a large rock in my front garden that is her outpost, where she watches the world go by, called Pride Rock, but if I'm working in the yard, she simply must come and oversee.

After working in the vegetable garden it was time to pot some flowers in the front pots to adorn our wonderful front porch, where we like to sit and take in evening and is my outside writing office often during the day. My mind drifted as I listened to Hall & Oates covers on my iphone (by THE BIRD AND THE BEE, which I highly recommend) and watched my cat following me from place to place as though she were really doing something to assist rather than just sniffing everything and looking at me curiously. After potting several pots and making a wonderful mess on the porch, I hosed it off and filled the watering cans getting ready to tackle my next project.

As I came around the corner, back up onto the porch I caught my little buddy Pwowie in the act of taking a cooling summer drink off the freshly filled watering can and I was suddenly reminded of two things; illustrations in Beatrix Potter's wonderful Peter Rabbit books and those long ago days as a boy when "stolen" drinks from the hoses connected to houses up and down the street was simply the premium refreshment, even rivaling many a mom's lemonade or Kool-aid (though for me, NOTHING rivaled grape Kool-aid!)

I remember summer days when we came home so hot from our adventures in the fields, at the fishing holes or riding in our gang on our stingrays when we felt like we were somewhere near Hades. The August sun baked the skin a dark brown and parched the throat so dry. The water that ran in the ditches was cool on our feet and fun to play in with hours of digging out holes where crawdads backed in trying to get away from a bunch of rascals or having water skipper races, where we each picked ours and tracked it up or down the ditch as it skittered across the top of the water either going with the flow or racing upstream against it. But somehow we all knew the chocolate milk looking water wasn't water we needed to quench our unbearable thirst. So we would hustle to one of our houses and turn the water on at the spigot and wait until it ran all the sun-heated water out of the hose and went cool to cold. Then we would drink so deeply that our stomachs would bloat, impatiently pushing each other aside to get a drink and invariably turning it into a cooling water fight, with the lucky one in control of the hose tethered to the house and hose as we scrambled to find other sources to drench him or her and steal away the hose. There simply has never been a more refreshing drink of water in my life that those. The water flowing out of that hose was like nectar.

So, this summer as I toil in the gardens, I will make sure there is plenty of cool water for my little buddy in the watering can and I will be drinking from the hose. Now I am off to my favorite gardening center to pick up some white tomatoes and I just thought of a place where I could put a catnip plant for Pwowie."