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Leftovers, trimmings and one glowing cat

This week’s column includes one pet update, rare success snippets from the garden, and one article correction. They can’t all be celebrity interviews and travelogues. You’ve got to expect leftovers once in a while. But I do hate it when I’m wrong. Especially when it involves simple mental arithmetic. So, let’s get it out of the way.

Last week I wrote about the old Wood House on Highway 62 in Eagle Point. I said the house was built in 1870 and has “weathered 118 Southern Oregon summers and winters.” The number should have been 148, as they prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its survival. Leave it to me to try and shave off a few years.

Kind readers have written from time to time wondering how things are going with Oliver the cat, since I wrote several weeks back about his medical challenges. Let me paint a mental word picture of his progress. Writers often refer to bum glue — that invisible substance that sticks to our seat of creativity and keeps us chasing the muse. Instead, today I call it cat on my chest. Yes, as I type, an ample (about 15 pounds) Oliver has hunkered down all over my upper portion for an afternoon snooze. I work lying down. Never mind that my shoulders keep rocking him to and fro. He thinks he’s on a train and is snoring like a D-9.

Ollie came through two procedures in fine stead, despite my hand-wringing, losing sleep, hovering and cheerleading. We survived the radioactive iodine treatment in Springfield for his hyperthyroidism. Now that he glows in the dark, he comes in handy as a flashlight. Just kidding. Weird though, huh? After his dental procedure, what’s left of his teeth seem to be pulling in chow as well as ever, and he’s enjoying the smorgasbord I set up for him. In fact, he “hoots” at me from the hallway when he’s ready for another food selection and from the stairwell below when it’s breakfast time. Oversleeping is never a problem.

As for 2018 green thumb prospects at the Dover house, the fabulous weather has prompted outdoor motivation, though I have refrained from buying tomato plants because the scars of past summers remain. Ah, but these glorious days.

If only all our summer months could contain this much perfection, I would promise never to run away to Bandon except for brief cranberry binges. Meanwhile, the first pot of red geraniums of the season always inspire and fill my farmer soul with optimism. This year, ironically, I spied the first of the season at Lake of the Woods Resort while enjoying dinner on their deck with my daughter, Emily, for Mother’s Day. Red geraniums remind me of my grandma Goby, who in turn thought of her mom. So they’re a family blossom.

I bought and planted some lovely ones into the large pots where my tomatoes languished and choked last year, thereby redeeming the vessels. So far, my front porch beauties are encouraging in their vigor. I think I can manage to keep them watered.

Also, I took my (t)rusty clippers and trimmed the wisteria so I would no longer drag blossoms and bees into my car while driving through them with my sunroof open. Then I relieved our postal deliverer by doing the same with the birch tree hangings. No longer will I see her motoring by with leaves in her hair. I hand weeded a few beds and fertilized my gorgeous rhododendrons, which are thanking me with large purple blooms.

My resident vultures look on approvingly as I make these upgrades. That may be all for the year. Because when the outdoors becomes an oven, I will hunker down with Oliver, a cold drink, and write the next novel.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer. Email her at pcdover@hotmail.com.

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