I felt foolish this morning, going out to water in the 45˚ F chill this morning. I felt even sillier being outside in a heavy coat in the middle of May, but that’s the weather we were dealt today. I considered putting it off, but the next two days are supposed to be even chillier than today. The low tonight is 36˚, which is way different than yesterday’s high of 93˚.

By the time I did several tasks, such as pot the bamboo, plant a lilac in the hole (a hole is a terrible thing to waste!), and pull a few weeds, it started to warm up, and by the time half the lawn was watered, I was able to ditch the coat. It was still cool, but pleasantly so.

It was an interesting morning with lots of visitors. A couple of hummingbirds stopped by to sip from a few larkspur flowers. When I lived out in the country with Jeff, I developed a dislike of hummingbirds because the species that lived there were very aggressive, and they often dive-bombed us. Unlike those hummingbirds, my little visitors were polite, drank their fill, and took off without once trying to attack me.

The bumble bees that visited also left me alone, even though we skimmed by one another on several occasions.

A couple of the feral cats in the neighborhood came to sun themselves on my lawn. (I’ve discovered the older of these two black cats stalking among my larkspurs. I sure hope it’s not after the toad that lives there!) I ran them off because I sure don’t want them getting too comfortable around here, though there’s not much I can do about it when I’m not outside. A neighbor who lives next to the crazy cat man (I don’t imagine he’s crazy except for feeding the myriad cats), is almost choking from the smell of cat urine. So not something I want to deal with. Still, the cats, while not actually polite, did take off running when they saw me.

And the people I bought the house pulled up to the curb to talk to me as I was watering out front. They couldn’t stay to explore, but they were impressed with the way the place is looking. And it is looking good. I’m not sure how much credit is due to me since it’s been a collaboration with me, the contractor, some workers, and nature all playing a part.

My final visitor was (drum roll please) . . . me! After I finished my morning’s tasks, it was too nice to go inside, so I wandered my paths, enjoying the scenery, including the newly bloomed roses.

Most of the places I’ve lived the past thirty years had great long-distance views — mountains, Grand Mesa, desert, or city lights, so one of the reasons I got into this whole gardening thing was that I wanted to create a view so I had something to look at other than neighbors’ houses.

Apparently, even though the yard is a perpetual work in progress, I have accomplished at least part of what I set out to do.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Garden Surprises

I was cleaning away weeds this morning when I discovered a patch of mushrooms. It’s always a treat — and a surprise — to find any sort of mushroom or toadstool in Colorado due to the generally dry climate. But so far, this spring has been anything but dry.

Although most of my wild roses are gone for the year, I did find a couple of yellow roses still clinging to their branches — another lovely surprise!

Then there is the candy bouquet flowers that I planted in a hanging pot. I doubt it’s the best place for the plant when it comes to enough sun or shade, but so far, it seems to be doing well.

And the final surprise is the new growth on the green-gage plum tree. The tree was a six foot tree, but except for a small sprout near the graft, the tree died.

I don’t really want to get another six-footer to plant in its place because this one seems to be doing well, but then, if I’d wanted a six-inch tree, I could have paid a whole lot less for the tree. For now, I’m just waiting to see what happens. I wonder if I could root the twig when it gets older so I can have my six-inch tree as well as a replacement 6-foot tree? I’m not sure why the tree needed to be grafted in the first place. Maybe because it’s really a bush? There’s so much to learn!

Luckily, I have the time to figure it all out.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Treasures in My Yard

I check in with Facebook occasionally, but I’m gradually weaning myself away. They are still blocking any links to my blog with no explanation other than that it goes against their community guidelines on spam. One of the truly annoying aspects is they keep sending me notifications telling me I need to post on my page if I want viewers, so now I purposely post spam — links to my books on Amazon and Smashwords. (Speaking of which, if you haven’t yet downloaded it, A Spark of Heavenly Fire is available as a free download from Smashwords in all ebook formats. You can find the book here: Be sure to use the coupon code WN85X when purchasing.)

To be honest, I’m just as glad to be staying away from people, especially those who so close-mindedly believe what they believe without taking any other idea into consideration. And usually these are the very people who pride themselves on their intelligence and open-mindedness. Me? I’m willing to take all ideas into consideration as long as they agree with my established beliefs. (And yes — that is a joke! A bad one, but still an attempt at humor. In truth, I like ideas that challenge me and help me see things in a different light, I just don’t like people dismissing my ideas out of hand and being coerced into believing what others think is true.)

I’m continuing my efforts to hearten myself, though the Bob crisis is the least of my worries. The knee is a greater problem, and I’d be more worried but I know from experience that knees take a long time to heal. Or at least mine do. The last time I damaged a knee it took over a year for it to return to normal. It’s the knee more than anything else that’s keeping me home and isolated. Since I can’t go out walking, I roam my yard, looking for treasures.

Today I was delighted to discover a wild rose in full bloom as well as a bud. These are on bushes we dug up to make room for the garage apron, and transplanted elsewhere. Since the transplants were fairly tall, I didn’t expect to have much luck with them filling out for another year or two, but I had to cut back one to keep it from spreading out over the walkway, and when I noticed how well that one did, I cut most of the others back, too. (Some that had been in the middle of a clump were nothing but long empty thorny stems with but a bit of branching at the very top, so I was afraid to lop them off.)

The rose bushes seem to be doing well. Although I have poor luck with bulbs and no luck with seeds, I do seem to be able to keep transplants alive.

The wild iris that is moving into my yard is also doing well, probably because it wasn’t a bulb I planted.

The poor captive roses that got caught between the garage next door and my fence are also starting to bloom. Such a joy to see any color!

From the photos, you might think I have a fabulous garden, but what I mostly have is dirt with a few sparse weeds, an unfinished garage, building supplies, and a displaced carport taking up most of my yard. To add to the muddle, I ordered metal shelves for the garage — fifteen feet of them in five sections. I’ll need help putting them together since each section weighs 62 pounds, but that’s not something to worry about now. The garage needs to be finished first.

Meantime, I am babying my knee, roaming the fictional world in The Wheel of Time, and being heartened by the treasures I find in my yard.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.