Wednesday, June 12, 2013



            Some tasks simply must wait until enough time becomes available before I can tackle them. Even then, my frame of mind needs to zero in on the “time plus effort” equation to evaluate if I really want to take on the chore.
            Yesterday, I set about accomplishing the housework that no one else sees, that takes days and days to finish, but often results in the most satisfaction. I spent two and a half hours in the master bathroom taking every item out of the linen closet, sorting through each storage bin for expiration dates of over the counter remedies, organizing hair clasps and head bands, and thoroughly cleaning under the bathroom sink. I dusted every slat on the blinds and buffed every surface to a shine.

            My master plan continues into our bedroom today. With vacuum attachments in hand, feather duster nearby, and music swirling around me, I will tackle every drawer! Nineteen in all. I’ll sort through two trunks, and reclaim the closet. I will mercilessly chuck old panty hose into the trash, critically evaluate my affection for a favorite and faded nightie, and decided that calendars dating back three years no longer hold importance.
            I’ll tax my muscles as I inch heavy furniture away from the walls to attack dust bunnies that have bred several litters. My fingers may ache by the end of the day from polishing every surface, but I’ll celebrate smugly when the work winds down because I’ll know the job’s well done.
            And tomorrow? On to the next room and another full assault until I’ve conquered every little nook-n-cranny within the house.   

Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

“Cardinal Flirtation”


            We have a pair of cardinals nesting in our yard each year. I suspect that the pair we have this year remembers us from last year since they ignore the dogs, barely avoid the squirrels, and linger within sight when I stretch out comfortably in a lounge chair.

            The male teased me mercilessly last night. I saw his brilliant crimson against the green lawn as he cocked his head this way and that. Determined to finally capture him on film, I grabbed my camera and quietly slid outside. I tried to sit off to the side, but soon realized that he kept a distance too far for my camera’s reach. Slowly, I crept under the Live Oak, stopping under the arch our bushes create next to the fish pond.


            I know, without a doubt, that the cardinal spied me. He flitted flirtatiously from branch to branch, following a pattern of perch, hop, perch, hop, swoop, perch and hop. He circled around me in a predictable display of cockiness. He’d linger along the rooftop, grace the back of one of the wrought iron chairs, and play hide-n-seek among the leaves. His head peeked around leaves and small branches as he challenged me to capture his arrogant pose.


            Always just a little behind a branch. Always just a little too fast for my shutter. Always just a tease away from the perfect pose.



Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman


Monday, June 10, 2013

“Koi’s Summer Crew Cut”

Koi in March with full coat

Koi at the cabin in March
            High temperatures and humidity hang over San Antonio beginning in the spring. By early summer, we get a rapid heat-up where our mornings start in the 80s and the day boils away by noon. Last summer, Koi’s thick coat meant he limited his outside time for early in the morning and after the sun went down. I’d let him outside after midnight, drift back to sleep, and hear him yelp to come inside an hour or so later.

          Although only in the first week of June, I can already tell that Koi’s miserable. He longs to go outside and piddle in the yard while I water plants. Yesterday, he would venture out for a few minutes, and then sit by the door, whimpering to return inside to the cooler air.
            Koi’s coat, always lusciously thick, grew to fullness over this winter that surpassed previous years. I think he’s leaving puppyhood completely behind. This maturity means he’ll suffer even more this summer unless we do something proactive.

Koi after the second round with the shears

            And so I purchased a set of shears the other day. David and I worked on Koi until the battery ran down, making it about half-way through. The next day, we worked again. Every evening Koi sat patiently until he ended up with his final hair cut. With luck, this new “do” will keep our Pommonster cool enough and let him enjoy morning walks in the park and afternoons under the live oak,  reading with me.


Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman