muddy feet memoirs

The Chronicle of My Comeback

Month: May, 2014

Springing Forward – Today in Pictures

rabbitToday my first baby rabbits were born.  I’ve counted 5 so far.  They are little squirmy fingerling potatoes buried under hay & the fur of their mother.

hungry jay

Baby Jay continues to grow.  She has shed most of her down and started to fly a bit yesterday.  Today she is in a larger cage so that she may stretch her wings.

tomato bed

The tomatoes have been planted.

pickled cauliflower

Pickled cauliflower kicked off the canning season.


The roses fill the air with perfume.


Apples have gone from bud to fruit.

drying rack

Garlic and onions dry on the rack.


Artichokes beg to be featured at every meal.


The chickens continue to pay their rent.

potatoe starts

Potato starts cure in anticipation of being planted this weekend.

quan Yin

And Quan Yin quietly keeps watch over the rosemary and favas.

Life goes on.  Thanks for stopping by.



Baby Jay

baby jay

Jay has died.  He died early on March 23, 2014.  I have so much to write about that I have been unable to write…  It will come.  Today I have a very short story for you.

This morning Ira, my sweet little man who lost his father to cancer a year and a half ago, accompanied Stella and me to school in the truck.  As we bumped along he asked us “Has Jay been to visit you yet?”  I told him honestly No, as did Stella.  Ira said, “Well, I just saw him in a dream.  He was drinking beer with my dad.”  To which Stella asked “Was it Fat Tire?  Fat Tire was Jay’s favorite.”  Ira said “Yeah, it was Fat Tire.  My dad was drinking Dos Exes.  They were smoking cigarettes – Jay had his little tobacco with him.”  I told him that was excellent.

I dropped them at school and came home to work in the garden.

In all honesty, I have not slept for months. The memorial service on Saturday seemed to last – on some level – through Monday.  I have barely gotten out of bed till today.  I chose today to tend to the garden.  Spring is more than warm in Vallejo right now, but I have tomatoes and green beans to plant, and a wild garden to consider.  Once I was out there I couldn’t stop futzing.

I have a pregnant rabbit, due any day now.  I planted a 4×12 bed of tomatoes.  I let a rooster out to graze despite the code violation.  The artichokes are coming in hard and fast.

In my compulsion to be outside I made yet another pass, maybe 10 minutes after my last pass, and I saw Cow sniffing at a little grey fluff on the ground just under the oak tree, just beside the rabbit hutches.

A baby Scrub Jay lay on the ground.  She clearly had just hopped out of her nest.  I scooped her up and she nestled into my hand – just a few feathers had replaced her down.  She could not fly.  I carried her to a garden bed and dug with my free hand for worms – she seemed disinterested.  I brought her upstairs, placed her into a cloth napkin and put her in a casserole dish near the sink.  I covered her with a lid – off kilter for air – and Googled how to care for baby Jays.  Seems it’s not legal to care for wild birds…  I then went to our local feed store – Powell’s – and they sold me a small cage and baby bird formula.  So arrest me.

Poetically there remained one last syringe from Jay’s last days – one through which  I fed him Phenobarbital, Methadone,  liquid Ativan and/or Morphine…   one that somehow missed the purge of all things medical after Jay died.  Today I found that last syringe and it fed our baby Jay the contraband formula hustled from the streets of Vallejo.

When I picked Ira and Stella up from school I told them about the new baby Jay, how it seemed like a sign.  Ira said “I hope Jay visits me again.”

I can’t help thinking it really was a visit.  Another Jay for me to love, care for, and let go.  Brings me joy.  Makes me wonder.