Last East Texas Spring

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Spring arrived exceedingly early this year, and it is my last one here in east Texas. When we moved here nearly exactly 19 years ago it was on our daughter’s first birthday. I didn’t want to move here. I didn’t want to move 1500 miles away from my mother and father, my two brothers, my sister-in-law and niece, and all my friends. I knew I would be miserable, and for the most part, I have been very unhappy. Texas is many things, but it is not California where I had lived since the third grade, it is not a liberal place, and it is very very hot and humid. It also doesn’t have an ocean breeze. I’ve been very blessed in that every place I’ve lived of memory: Hawaii, Virginia and California (although I was born in Washington D.C. and also briefly lived in Alabama) I’ve lived not too far from the ocean.

When we moved here Sir assured me we would be here for 5-10 years. (We moved for His career.) It will be 19+ years we’ve been here when we move in mid-June. I have made friends, done extensive volunteering in this community, and found the nicest, friendliest little congregation you could ever hope to be part of. I’ve also lost my dear dad and been through major spinal surgery and breast cancer treatment. Sir and I faced a major turning point in our relationship, lived apart for a few months, and through counseling and analysis, and renewing ourselves as a dedicated D/s couple, have emerged better and stronger than we were before.

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The pretty plant above is my mother’s Forsythia tree in her back yard. She moved here to be with us after my father passed and I was going through my cancer treatments. Whenever I see these lovely yellow flowers which are one of the harbingers of spring, I think of my beautiful, strong mother who at 91 is also moving back home to California in two weeks. Springtime is one of the things I truly will miss about Texas because you don’t have the change of seasons in southern California. Here I know when I see the Tulip trees, then the daffodils, then the Redbud trees, followed by the Forsythia and Dogwoods, that spring has sprung. Here in east Texas our little town is known far and wide for azaleas. They are blooming now, and we have a three-week festival, when people come from all over to drive around the city to see the gorgeous display of flowers. It has been so unseasonably warm, they bloomed very early and the tourists shall miss the peak. Not only that, we had freakish rain storms which destroyed some of the early blooms, followed by dry winds which then knocked the early blossoms off! So much for my last spring in this town!

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Thorns and Roses, part 2

This is another poem I wrote back in my university days at UCLA when I was studying poetry with various published poets. Looking back now, it is easy to see I was of the D/s mindset even though I had not yet even heard of the lifestyle!

Plastic Roses

What can this feeling be but love?                                                                                                           So perfect and original a sin,                                                                                                                  how can anyone mistake it for pain?                                                                                                  They are as closely related as roses and thorns.                                                                             Only in its one monumental moment of full-blown perfection                                                      is the flower cut, whose thorns slice the invader.                                                                              The raider, so intent on risking his blood for beauty,                                                                       finds it duplicated in form so degrading,                                                                                              the original sin was far sweeter simply a memory.

The photos are from my garden today. It was a day of mixed sun and clouds with a few scattered raindrops (not enough to count.)  You can see the thorns on my roses. I have always, always considered myself a thorny person! My daughter says I can be a downright bitch and I suppose I must acknowledge it is true, as much as those words pain me. Again, I think upon much recent self-reflection, the way I am and always have been, stems from watching my father abuse my oldest brother. Not a pleasant thing for a wee girl of 5 and up to process and handle. Back then we just went on as a military family, and didn’t speak of it. It was swept under the carpet. My Master has always wondered whether my dad did anything to me, but I know he did not. But growing up in that atmosphere made me leery of warmth and comfort except from my mother, brothers  and grandparents. I was shy and didn’t like people (still don’t.) I never even liked watching kissing or sex scenes at the movies; it made me extremely uncomfortable. With Master’s patience and love, I have grown to enjoy the sexual part of our life – perhaps more than anything else! But as I’ve said before, old habits are so hard to break. I am comfortable by myself and when Master approaches me for cuddle time I tense up. It is automatic. He thinks of me as a beautiful rose; whereas I see myself a mass of thorns.

 

Thorns and Roses, part 1

Lately I’ve been having trouble acting in my old, not nice ways toward Master. Last week I had bad migraine headaches for several days even taking my extra abortive meds, and then out of the blue developed a UTI. All this put me in a very bad frame of mind, and Master and I have ongoing issues with our daughter which has been on my mind as well. Logically, I know and understand I should be good and sweet to and with Him. I know I belong to Him and I am His to do with as He pleases…. Still, when I’m over-tired from lack of sleep, and ill on top of that, and he desires me to do this or that… I can’t seem to handle it. I want to curl up somewhere by myself with no intrusions of any sort. I want to be in a quiet place to rest. I’ve always been independent and self-sufficient in this way, and not been a cuddler or even desired it. This is one thing Master would like to change, but how to change someone’s innate personality? It got me thinking this week to way back in the day when I fancied myself a poet and I remembered a poem or two I had written on this very subject when I was no more than 18 or 19 years old! I actually found the poems and here is the first. I apologize I don’t know how to use HTML so the poetry does not look the way it should with proper line spacing.

Growth

I can’t bear your touch now,

As long as we’re together,

Part of me is prickly and thorny,

And will not hold you close,

Bothered by your cupid’s touch.

When we are content to be easy,

As if love is too comfortable an emotion,

My budding ego is drowned

In the warmth of your care.

In greenhouses, some orchids die,

Killed by the kindness

Of life in a carefully controlled paradise.

So this season,

During a harvest yielding maturity,

Perhaps even blossoms,

I’m alone.

 

 

Patience

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Trees teach us so much, don’t you think? As a submissive I am inspired by the quiet patience of the great trees in our yard. Many are nearly 100 years old, however even the young saplings I am nurturing and attempting to help along through the long summer months have lessons for us. They teach us to grow long roots and not be shallow. To wait patiently for sustenance, for as time slowly passes, it will eventually come to us. To be strong in the face of adversity; that natural beauty is perhaps the greatest gift of all. I think there’s something so sad about a big old tree which has fallen. We see that happen here after a very wet spring and days and days of rain.  Of course it’s a terrible and horrid thing for man to chop down a tree – but when one falls due to natural events it is simply tragic.

There are few things more majestic than our ancient grand trees. Even our natural stone or rock formations such the Grand Canyon, natural stone arches, waterfalls, waves crashing upon the shore, etc. can’t compare to the beauty each season these wondrous creatures bring us. For to me plant life of all kinds are creatures too. Surely they must feel a type of pain when parched for water or when a limb breaks. And even the oldest of trees must feel a new awakening each spring when the tiny green buds burst forth and open as new leaf growth.

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This is a Pin Oak in our yard. It is a very nice big one, though by far not among the biggest in this area! They can reach enormous heights. The roots are spread throughout our side and back yards by our drive, making it difficult to dig a hole to transplant anything. It must be fifty feet tall, perhaps more. I am not great at guessing heights such as this, however we have a two storey house, and the tree towers over it. The leaves are narrow and about two inches long. Our next door neighbor on that side Jean has the prettiest tree in the entire neighborhood. It’s a magnificent enormous Sugar Maple which is rare for our area. The Pin Oak’s branches on the right are growing into it. In the autumn, the Maple’s leaves which are small but the typical maple shape turn a bright yellow which is rather stunning to behold. It is so beautiful. Fall in east Texas is one thing I will miss when we move to southern California where you do not have four distinct seasons. I believe the turning of the seasons keeps us sane and healthy. It reminds us we are not in charge; nature ultimately is, and the feeling can be very rejuvenating. Master especially loves springtime for its beauty and renewal of life. I am fond of fall and winter because I love all things which go with cool weather: food, clothing, activity, holidays, and nature’s eternal loveliness.

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This is a Chinese Tallow tree in our yard. They are showy decorative trees which tend to volunteer here, but are not hardy and need proper pruning to grow strong. They do not have lengthy lifespans. There’s a younger one near it not flourishing due to lack of light. The very old low stone fence/border/gateway you see is what I believe marked the old house which must have once stood at this property way before our house was built in 1935. If you look closely you can see my other next door neighbor’s car parked in their driveway past the picket fence. Their home is much newer, having been built in the 1950’s-1970’s era. There have only been four owners of our home and no one has seen a reason to take down the old stone border, so there it stays. Some trees we have tried and failed to grow. We love Dogwoods and they generally do well here if planted under a canopy of other trees. We’ve planted three and none have survived. They are finicky, however you see them blooming wild in the spring in the remaining forests we have here. We also planted a beautiful Weeping Willow. I adore Willows. I did not know they too are very short-lived! Ours was a beauty for about six years and then declined for two and died. I still miss it.

Trees are like people. I do not think you can bend them to your will. If it’s meant for them to come live with you, they must come of their own accord, almost like a D/s contract. The Dominant has the control but the submissive guides the relationship by giving Him the control of her own accord. He can’t demand it. As much as Sir and I would love to “own” a beautiful Dogwood… it is not meant to be.       ** We do have a dear old Dogwood in its very last years right at the chain link fence by our neighbor. I lovingly water it when the weather is beastly hot, as it is now, as the automatic sprinklers do not reach it.

What do you see?

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As most of you know, Master and I live in a house built in 1935 on a beautiful parcel of land here in east Texas. At one time this was known as the Piney Woods (some still call it thus) and was truly an evergreen forest. As man came and built, the woods have disappeared and there are hardly any forested areas any longer, let alone pine trees. If you are not from the States you may be unaware that another one of our many shortcomings is the terrible destruction of our natural surroundings. Even today, when a housing development or shopping area is built, the very first thing accomplished is called clear-cutting, which means the razing of the land including any trees on the property. If I stop to dwell on such despicable nonsense, I get truly depressed about the future of this planet. How utterly self-centered and shallow to determine we are more important than any other living being here simply because we are stronger and more powerful! Rant over. Back to my kinder, gentler original subject…

I like old things and try to maintain them when possible. My garden, though mostly neat and well-kept, has an air of untidiness and this is particularly so in my raised bed. At various times in the 16 years we’ve lived here, I’ve called this bed my herb garden, vegetable patch, flower bed, and gnome home. Right now it is wild with weeds and uncut grasses. I do have an enormous Rosemary plant which is probably 10 years old. Rosemary survives all but the hardest freezes. There are also several Rose of Sharon trees which have volunteered. The thing with Rose of Sharon plants (members of the Mallow family) is one never knows what color the flowers will be. This is because they have been specially bred and oftentimes what you get with volunteers from seeds is the original stock color. They are a hardy breed, springing up quickly and creating beautiful droopy-branched delicate trees if one cares to judiciously trim them once in awhile. I will say they do tend to “up and die” (Texas talk) on you out of the blue, seemingly for no reason at all! Here is a Rose of Sharon volunteer with a guest. Do you see it? It is a Cicada about to shed its skin. Cicadas are the insects which create that loud high-pitched clicking or humming noise. They live underground for 17 years and emerge as nymphs and after shedding their skin have wings and fly off.

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Here we also get the terrifying-appearing Cicada-killer wasps which resemble giant hornets. They don’t sting nor attack humans, but make nests underground also and drag the cicadas there to feed their young. We have had swarms of them in our yard some summers – so bad that the postman was afraid to walk up our front path! They are nearly imposssible to kill unless you enjoy hitting them with an old tennis racquet as Master does for fun! Happily this seems to be a light year. I must say I like some garden statuary when placed nicely. I don’t care for the gaudy pink flamingos or the painted gnomes with red hats. Here’s more in my raised bed:

I have another large gnome behind the Rosemary bush. He is very special because buried underneath him lies my beloved longhair Chihuahua Cocoa Puff’s one and only wee puppy who died. Charley was a darling tiny lad and just beginning to toddle around on his stubby legs. His ears had not even begun to stand up yet as Chihuahua pups’ ears do at a certain age. We had guests over and I wanted to show the puppy to them. I picked him up out of his basket and he wriggled away from me and slipped out of my arms and fell to the floor. Even now it makes me cry to think of it and relive it all over. It was a weekend evening and our vet was closed so we took the tiny morsel of dog to the emergency vet. But he was so tiny and there was internal bleeding. He died that night. We went next morning and I wrapped his wee body in his favorite blanket and Master dug a hole in my garden where we sent him across the Rainbow Bridge. The gnome below stands guard over him…

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Full Moon Tales

When the moon is gloriously full we (as humans are wont to do) are apt to try to describe the image we see upon the “face” or vista we view. Depending on the month or season, we might have a slightly different viewpoint. Sometimes the full moon does have that  appearance of a slightly happy smiling face. Other times, it seems you see a sort of side-view (even though the moon itself is full) of a scowling ghost. I determined at a young age that there are three different views of the full moon.

Of course there’s the old story of the moon being made of green cheese, which comes from an old proverb of a simpleton or fool who sees a reflection of the moon in water and mistakes it for a whole (round) green (new) cheese.

The moon and its pull on our tides has affected our lives almost primally. Hundreds of poems and songs have been written about the moon and the waxing and waning light it casts over us. “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” “Blue Moon of Kentucky” “Paper Moon” “Shine On Harvest Moon” “Blue Moon” “Moonshadow” and many many more newer songs have romanticized this cold hunk of rock orbiting around us.

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This is my Moonflower, sp. datura on its vine. The flowers are about 4 to 6 inches in diameter, and truly one of the most romantic and engaging things you can have in a garden. They are easy to grow, requiring minimal care and water, being drought resistant. They are a vine with large heart-shaped leaves of a grey-green color. The blossoms open at dusk, unfurling from a stalk-like bloom, and have a lemony aroma, which can be rather heady if several are blooming at one time. The flowers wilt and close with the next-day’s heat of sun. After the blossom dies, if the flower was pollinated, a big spiky seed pod is formed. It grows and swells over several weeks and inside are hundreds of seeds to harvest for next year’s plants! The pods will eventually burst open (as mine are doing now) and you can gather the seeds, dry them, and place in bags to save for next spring.

My daughter had a children’s book of Japanese Fairy Tales which she loved because they were completely different from what she was used to. I was surprised that one tale told the story of The Bunny in the Moon. It is TRUE if you look carefully at the full moon from a different angle, you will notice what appears to be a rabbit with ears pointing out to the right, head to the left, and so on. So perhaps it is just the Western cultures that see the typical moon “face”?

Happy summer moon nights.

Water is precious

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We (Master, our daughter and I) are going away tomorrow for 5 days to visit my mother-in-law. She just turned 95! She lives in Sunnyvale, a suburb or small town near San Jose, California. Which is about an hour south of San Francisco. For those of you unaware, California has been in a major drought for several years. I have two older brothers living in southern California in the greater Los Angeles area and it has been very bad there. No one is supposed to water their lawns any longer unless they use so-called gray water which is recycled from the rinse cycle of the washing machine or dishwasher. Many years ago my father (who was a district manager for the American Red Cross and thus very concerned with conservation and disaster preparedness) rigged up such a gray water system for our home when we lived in southern California.

Here in Texas we go from year to year having wet or dry years. Some years the local lakes (all man-made; east Texas has but one natural lake) have receded several feet and other years they are overflowing their banks. You simply never know what to expect.This year started out with a lovely cool wet spring but has turned into a very hot summer with no relief in sight.

I have many potted plants and baskets of flowering plants which need water every afternoon/evening. I worry with even just five days away, I will come home to so many dead and dying things in my pretty garden. There is no way to hydrate them even with our automatic pop-up sprinkler system. My own 90 year-old mother is no longer able to drop by and water all the plants daily. And we are not close to our neighbors…

I worry. And I will be thinking of watering my plants.