In the Garden, Photos and Galleries

Gallery: Brotherly Bond

My daddy grew up in Kansas, Alabama with four brothers and three sisters. He has two surviving sisters and one surviving brother now, and this week his brother is visiting my parents for a few days.  We had a lovely dinner out last night and then came back to our house for dessert. Another round of mini-cheesecakes made an appearance, and after dessert, the two veteran gardening brothers went over to my little garden to give it an inspection. I think I passed!

Dad did end up going home with three broccoli rabe plants and three brussels sprouts from my little shopping trip this past weekend. I did keep one of each, just to see how they’ll do. Here’s a little gallery of our evening.

That Cat of Ours

Our Cat Has Street Cred.

I’d like to introduce you to our family’s first real pet. Eleven years ago, the hubs and I had a cat, Max, but he died while I was pregnant with our first child (I seriously thought I was going to go into labor I was so grief stricken.) While the kids have been around, we’ve only had a fish named Trixie who always acted dead, and a short-lived cricket, Ricky. Needless to say, we needed another real pet in our lives, real bad.

This need was unexpectedly filled last year when a stray cat began hanging out in our yard. All summer he pretty much camped out on our back deck. For the longest time I was convinced this cat must have an owner, because he was so clean looking, and from looks of his furry girth, did not seem to be lacking for food. Then came one extremely hot day in July when this poor feline spent the afternoon panting on our deck. I quickly surmised that if this cat had an owner, surely he would be in that owner’s house instead of coming to the brink of heat exhaustion here on our deck. We began feeding him, and as they say when it comes to feeding cats, the rest is history. We did our due diligence, putting flyers in every mailbox giving any rightful (yet neglectful, in our opinion) owner a chance to step forward, but none did. One $100 vet bill and microchip scan (he did not have one) later, the cat was officially a member of the family.

So what is this darling kitty’s name? Well, all spring and summer long the neighborhood kids called him Fluffy. Thinking this was a bit lacking in originality, we decided to call him Fluffernutter, thus staying true to his original name, but adding a bit of flair. Though truth be told, he is known by Fluffernutter on vet documentation alone. We find ourselves still using his “street name” of Fluffy all the time, along with Fluffers, Fluff, Fluff-muffin, and Senor Fluffy Pants among others. When the FIOS guy came in our house recently, he took one look at the cat (whose name he did not know) and said flatly, “That is one fluffy cat.” So, there you go.


Froo Froo name aside, Fluffy’s a little bit gangsta. In his stray days, he was always fighting with one of the neighbor cats. You know in the comics when animals fight all you see is a crazy ball of frenzied action with an occasional paw sticking out? That’s exactly what it looked like. At vet exams, they can tell whenever they “cross the line” with the poking and prodding. He goes from mildly irritated to a seething, hissing wild cat in an instant. He’s got a bit of a reputation. There’s a warning on his chart that reads, “Do what you need to do quickly.” When the vet assistant comes in, he now wears oven mitt gloves. Yep, Fluffy’s a tough guy.

Despite this reputation, he’s proven to be a wonderful housecat. He’s very tolerant with the kids, and in spite of still being in possession of many very, very sharp claws, the children have rarely been scratched. Frankly, on the rare occasions when they have been scratched, they kinda had it coming. It’s taken some time to build trust, but we seem to have won him over. That or he just really likes the holistic food we feed him. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

"You lookin' at me?"

Regardless, We’re delighted to have the Fluff-muffin in our lives. Our hearts (and couches) will never be the same.