Monday, March 20, 2017

Frogview Cottage

I was looking at a blog the other day, and a garden photo gave me a deep sense of deja vu. I haven't seen the following  photos for twelve years.

When I became tired of spending hours on a riding lawnmower and too old to show horses, we decided to move into town and downsize. The rage at the time was buying craftsman style bungalows and restoring them to their once glory. I loved this house, but I disliked intensely living in a snooty historic district. 
The bungalow was dated on the inside and had rot on the outside. The realtor who was a good friend said, "Jim, you do NOT want this house.". The minute I walked inside I knew I did want that house. It was relaxed, there was a flow, it had a sleepy feeling, and had a sense of warmth. I was so excited that I called my husband and told him I had found "the one".

We moved to the bungalow in the middle of winter. Actually, it was the 30th of December. I had just a couple of months to research everything bungalow. The best book that I bought was called "Outside The Bungalow". It mentioned how the bungalows always had roses and informal plantings to compliment the craftsman style.

Well, if one rose was good, then a hundred or so would be even better! I think my last count was a little over one hundred fifty roses alone. Under plantings of perennials and self sowing annuals are just as important and needed. Oh, lets not forget the bulbs.

I had an oil painting done of the photo above. Anyway, back in the early days of the PC, long before Google, there was a industrious librarian who listed and cross referenced online mail order gardening and plant  suppliers. She also rated them. It was so helpful. I had no idea so many companies mail ordered plants through a computer. I could even look at photos of what I was ordering. What fun!

Our  house was built in 1922. So keeping that in mind, there were no plantings on the property that came after  1922. What fun again! That meant heritage roses. Anyone who has never smelled an antique rose is truly missing out on a free luxury. Heavenly, intoxicating  perfume that you have a hard time pulling your face out of the bloom.

One year, we had our arms twisted by the (very proper) historic people to be on the garden tour. My husband said no way, but then they asked him to be on a committee  and that was that. I think I spent about two thousand dollars getting everything ready for the two day event. We even had a party for the volunteers after the second day of the tour. I had to touch up the paint on the house where needed to make it crisp, then order certain old fashioned annuals (I never used annuals unless they were self sowers) to dress and fill in holes here and there, I had to have everything mulched and I had to have a menu or diagram printed of the 4 gardens to be able to identify certain plants or varieties.

Each garden had a name.  "The Out Front",  "The Gaudy Garden",  "The Joyce Brown Side", and "Jesse's Yard" aka "The Outback". The photos  above and below are of The Joyce Brown Side. She was a bitchy old lady. On the Gaudy Garden side of the house, the lady was nice. She sold her 1829 house to an old couple who was just moving in. That is another story.

When we bought the house, the Out Back consisted of poison ivy , wisteria and English Ivy. The husband spent the first year in long sleeves and rubber gloves hand digging the unwanted weeds out. Through old time neighbors, we learned that the house originally had an outhouse. So I had one built and put in the same spot. It wasn't  real, It was for storage of lawn and garden equipment. But it would really catch people off guard when they turned a corner and saw it for the first time.

In the end, it got away from me.  What started with me passionately  tending alone ended with two experienced gardeners who came weekly and me everyday of course. It is funny to me that of all the beautiful and rare roses we had in the collection, I miss the larkspur and poppies the most. The plants that resowed themselves  and fed the birds. They came up differently every year; hundreds of them. So many that I would have to cull. It was a new garden every year. Spring was truly glorious.
We called the little bungalow Frogview Cottage. But actually, my husband and I are Frogview Cottage. The town doctor's wife who were our neighbors across the street emailed me a couple of weeks ago and said we were missed. That's nice.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hands Down - The Best!

I love dance! It makes me move and wiggle in my seat to the music as I watch. Some of the groups I have seen are, Pilobolus, Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey. All with The American Dance Festival in North Carolina.
I had hundreds of 'hits' on my last post. One, from Russia (if you are gay; be safe)! I read cyrillic, but can not write it on this computer.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


The Television Evangelists have been on a rant all week about witches and Democrats casting spells on Donald Trump. This is a spell I'd like to be under!

 The husband had stitches removed yesterday and I had stitches removed today. It has been an uncomfortable week for the two of us. Saturday is the flea market at Equality Park ( a block and a half from here). It will probably be the last nice weather we have. The humidity is starting to rise. I'm always on the hunt for Israeli Glass.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017



Winter must be over as I saw my first African snail today. I don't know if that is the real name but that what the snails are called here . We also have Cuban lizards. I don't know if that is their real name either. And, the new RAT of South Florida are the Iguana. We  still do have rats , but the snakes keep them in check.

Back to the African snails,...they attach themselves to sides of buildings and ruin the paint. They do eat some plants but they have never been an issue for me. They are considered an unwanted problem/pest,  according to the agricultural department. If ducks were allowed, I'd give it a shot.

Back to winter,...I only had to wear long pants once this season and that was when we ate outside on The Drive and the temp was 68f. For here, that is chilly. Although it did get cooler one night and I put on a space heater for a couple of hours the next morning.

Back to the Iguanas,...Not a day goes by that I don't see at least one. They range in size for the little green ones people buy as pets,to about four and a half to five foot. Large enough to turn on and face off a medium size dog. The worst things about them is that they can eat your landscaping in one evening, and when it gets cold (low 40'sf) they go to your roof for warmth and if they don't make it and die, they rot on your roof. The smell is horrific. It is against the law to trap or kill them. Why??, I don't know.

Back to (Y)elvis,...he is so cute

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Romeo's Ass

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were walking home from an early dinner on The Drive and we noticed that a dvd rental store was going out of business. A sign outside the shop said, "All DVD'S $3.00". We went in, and I told the man I didn't have my glasses; I did, but I didn't want to rummage through the shelves. He was very helpful finding the dvds as I was trying to remember  all those movies I'd love to watch over again and again. We got "Alien" (husband's favorite) and I started with "The Thomas Crown Affair" (Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway classic), then I mentioned "Master And Commander" ( I just love that movie), and then "Grey Gardens" (the movie version), then "Crying Game" and "Beautiful Thing". Finally, I shouted at the man as he way on the other side of the store "Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet".

I have so many memories about the movie Romeo and Juliet. In 1968, I was a sophomore in college. I was dating an Episcopal priest. Well, dating might be a stretch. We were using each others bodies for sex on a regular basis. He was using mine because I was 18-ish, and I was using his because he was the second male I had ever had sex with and I didn't know any gay people or even where or what a gay bar was.  There was no emotional connection, just sex. He was 31 or 32 and kind of attractive. He was  slim, polished and could  charm the hind leg off a mule . He also played the violin . I sang in the church choir and would stay with him overnight on Thursdays as that was  choir rehearsal night  and usually Saturdays as well. He once suggested we rent a cottage together, but the more I got to know him, I knew it was all about convenience for him  and I would end up being a dog sitter. So...,no. In his own way, he  was  much like Father Ralph from The Thornbirds. He was very ambitious about the business side of the church and most importantly about his self advancement of 'priestdom'. What he really wanted was  a crown.

The priest called me at school one evening and asked  if I wanted  to go with him to see a Shakespeare movie that had just come out. I said alright and he told me he wanted to go on this coming Friday night. That was rather odd because we usually hooked up on Thursdays and Saturdays. We met up at his place and then drove together to the theater. When we arrived, practically every gay priest (or so it seemed) from the western diocese of North Carolina was there to see a nude scene of Romeo of which I was clueless. When the infamous scene began ,  the theater got dead silent . It was like watching porn in a legitimate  movie theater. You couldn't believe your eyes! Those perfect buns lying on the bed for the entire world to see. It was both breathtaking and shocking at the same time. Especially for that era and in North Carolina.  Needless to say, I gained a new fondness for Shakespeare. And as a plus,  sex with the priest that night was  particularly memorable.

As for the priest; In the years to follow,  theocratic politics and his private past plagued the priest and he never advanced his position.

But more importantly, I wonder what Romeo's ass looks like today?

Or do I really?

Thursday, February 9, 2017



I love this video for many reasons. Although I was in my early-twenties when this song/video came out, it still takes me back to a time of innocence and simple purity. Almost like a soft white light. Also, I love watching the video because my best friend in high school is playing electronic keyboard. He is the one with black hair and black sweater. He went to Julliard and then to McGill in Canada for graduate work (and to dodge the draft). This is where the video connection came to be. We stayed in touch for a couple of years while in college but I just couldn't do the drug thing. Maybe I should have, as he is  teaching music at a feeder school to Julliard in NYC. He detached himself from his family and they never heard from him again. That is another long story.

Since my last posting I took a trip. Jet Blue just started a non stop from Ft. Lauderdale to New Orleans. So I went to visit an old friend that I hadn't seen for 27 years. With all there is to do in New Orleans, all we did was sit and talk.  And we did it non stop like my flight! Yak, yak, yak!! This trip was also an attempt to blow the political stench away.and just get away from all of it.

Also, since my last posting I've stayed away from blogs. I've lurked a little and maybe commented three or four times with short little one liners. But back in December, in a 'huff', I made a comment on a blog that I regretted writing and still regret to this day. Please accept my apology MJ. I will remain in the oubliette.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Who's Your Daddy?

Klaus Nomi made a huge splash in the world of performance art in the 1970's, that is still felt today. He influenced the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier and his 2003 collection dedicated to Mr Nomi. Then today there is Lady Ga Ga with her stage persona.

I love seeing and hearing new singers and performances of Mozart's The  Magic Flute. The two Queen Of The Night arias are a personal favorite. This version's make-up and hair smacks of influence (or is it theft) from Mr. Nomi. I did a double take and had  deja vu. Non the less, a beautifully staged and sung performance. I  met my husband at this opera  30 years ago.