Fellow Gardeners

28 01 2012

Fellow Gardeners.


A Story About Not Writing A Story

14 09 2011

I never figured I’d be sitting here writing a little story about NOT writing little stories, but then I never figured I’d be writing about half the things I end up writing about anyways…For instance, I never figured on writing a little story explaining why I didn’t really fall asleep lying down in the middle of the road to Borden Springs at 4 o’clock in the morning…..:-)  Or a little story about bribing an Israeli Army patrol with basketball tickets to a championship game for not “detaining me for my own good” when I was traveling with the Bedouins in the Sinai Desert….Or even writing a little story about having an ambulance and the police over for a visit cause while I was trying to swat a fly with my hand, I broke out the window in our kitchen and nearly bled to death…:-) But I sure did write those little stories and sometimes when I go back and read them myself I don’t know what’s harder for me to believe, that I did some of those crazy things to begin with or that after doing them I wrote about them and then posted them on the internet……:-)

But this little story today is about why I haven’t been writing my little stories and maybe it’ll be a little less embarrassing than some of my other little stories, I mean it couldn’t be more embarrassing…..:-) You see fellow gardeners I haven’t been writing my usual little stories everyday here lately cause to tell you the truth I ain’t felt like it. Not cause I’m so sick I can’t even physically sit in front of a computer and write or anything like that…..Or not cause I got writer’s block or something…..Cause when you’ve been doing goofy things like I have just about everyday for nearly 60 years and you’ve only been writing about them for a few months well running out of things to write about ain’t one of my problems…..:-)

But to tell the God’s honest truth fellow gardeners, I ain’t been writing little stories here lately simply cause I just ain’t felt like writing at all!! I’m not sure what’s wrong with me medically, that’s what I been running around to all these doctors offices here lately for.  They know I’m anemic but the question is why. I’ve had so many pictures taken of me here lately I’m starting to feel sympathy for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt being tired of having their pictures taken every time they turn around. You see fellow gardeners here lately I’ve had so many CAT scans and X-rays and now they want me to do something called a PET scan, that I’m afraid I’m going to start to glow in the dark like a Lightning Bug……:-)

To be on the safe side until they do figure out why I’m so anemic and to help me build up my blood the doctors have put me on iron tablets and my wife now makes me eat enough spinach now to make even Popeye The Sailor jealous. When Linda told me that one serving of shrimp contained 15% of your daily iron requirements, well I decided the best thing for me to do is to eat a pound of shrimp everyday cause Lord have mercy I love shrimp!! So now I’ve eaten so many shrimp cocktails smothered in hot horseradish sauce here lately that not only do I glow in the dark like a flowering Moonflower Vine from all the X-rays and CAT scans I’ve taken but my body is starting to put off massive amounts of heat from all of that horseradish sauce I been ingesting ……:-)

But one thing I know for sure is anemia ain’t good for writing little stories or weeding in your garden or watering your containers and flower beds or even a simple thing like deadheading your daises for that matter….Why I’ve even fallen down on my main job which is to keep the dishwasher loaded with any dirty dishes at all times…Cause you can’t ever tell when somebody is going to drop by and for my own “health” it’s better I open the front door for them only wearing my underwear than have somebody come walking through the kitchen with even one dirty dish in the sink……:-)

And what I really want to tell you right now is that I kinda feel like I been letting some of you folks down by not writing…..Cause some of you fellow gardeners who keep up with my little stories might feel like well I used to drop by your house everyday for a nice visit and then one day I just quit coming over for no apparent reason and never said why and that’s why I’m writing this little story today……Does that make sense? Please tell me it does cause I’m getting too tired to go back and rewrite it again…….:-)

Now on a nice day like today I’d usually be outside piddling in the garden from morning till night and then coming in and writing about either what I did in the garden that day or some fool thing I did 30 years ago..:-) But I’ll tell you again fellow gardeners I just ain’t felt like writing about anything and that’s the truth. The absolute truth coming from a person we both know is the biggest liar you’ve ever known, ME…..:-)

Paul From Alabama


I Become A “Real” Writer

1 09 2011

I Become A "Real Writer"

It was only yesterday, well Wednesday actually, I remember it well. I was a happy but serious gardener, a good husband, an obedient son. I was a good law biding citizen too, paid my bills and my taxes, didn’t drink really, no drugs anymore, I’d given up playing stud poker up in the mountains years ago. I stay close to home now most of the time, piddling in my garden, reading a good book every now and then.

I also read 2 Israeli newspapers online everyday to keep up with what’s going on in the Middle East. I keep up with the news over there cause I keep waiting on peace to break out and I wait and I wait and I wait and, well I’m still waiting…. I read the New York Times online so I know what the folks in middle America think, what they’re reading, the average American, you know folks who live on Long Island whose average income is around $2,000,000 a year and who pay less taxes than I do….:-)

I read the Washington Post online cause ever since their reporters broke the Watergate story and got the best of “Tricky” Dick Nixon, well let’s just say that anybody who could get the best of Nixon must be doing something right, I mean the didn’t call Nixon “Tricky” for nothing…..;-)

I also enjoy reading several technology websites so as to keep up with the latest in high tech. The latest electronic toys that are always making our lives better and easier and happier. Happier, like when I read that the new computer I bought just last week is already out of date and useless and won’t run any of the “new” software that was just released yesterday…..:-)

I read the Anniston Star so I know what’s happening state wide and locally. If any law maker is taking bribes from gambling interests I want to be the first to know about it.  And when our law makers actually do something that is actually for the public good, I want to be the first to know about that too…..:-) When many our area civic organizations and charities do something to help others in need I like to read about that, it always restores my faith in human nature. In Alabama we got a lot of civic organizations and charities that do a whole lot of good….

And I like to keep up with what’s going on with the Anniston City Council, cause all the Saturday Night Live episodes are reruns now and I’ve seen them all before but the Anniston City Council meetings are always new, always different and always funnier than anything on Saturday Night Live since John Belushi died…. 🙂

Myself , I’m a blogger of little stories about gardening and small town life. My little stories aren’t great literature by any means but I enjoy writing them. And they’re posted here on my self published blog, where if folks want to read them they can. And it always makes me happy to know someone, anyone has taken the time to read one and if they didn’t want to read them, well they wouldn’t have to even know I had written them if they didn’t visit my blog online.

I guess you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the Piedmont Journal yet. My hometown newspaper, the newspaper I’ve read faithfully and always enjoyed for over 50 years now and always encouraged others to read too….You see like I said up until Wednesday I was a happy person. Piddling in my garden, always planning something new for our garden with my wife Linda, writing goofy little stories here on my blog everyday for my friends. You see my readers are my friends or at least I like to think of them as such….Yes I had a good life till Wednesday, but now, now all of that is over, KAPUT…. And just let me tell you why, why that is…..Let me tell you here and now…..:-)

That little sneak Eddie Burkhalter, who I always thought was a really talented as well as ethical writer/ journalist for the Piedmont Journal. Ethical that is till yesterday’s Piedmont Journal came out. Eddie Burkhalter who was supposed to be my “friend”. My friend till yesterday’s Piedmont Journal came out. Yes fellow gardeners, THAT Eddie Burkhalter. The guy who published one of my little stories in the Piedmont Journal yesterday and that for all intents and purposes will end my simple but happy life FOREVER….:-)…..I just know it…..

They’ll be no more staying close to home. I can see it now, I’ll be away from home almost all the time, constantly doing speaking engagements. Reading excerpts of my little stories for all the adoring fans I’ll have now all across Calhoun County. Autographing the article that folks have torn out of the Piedmont Journal for me to sign…:-)

And before you know it the Anniston Star will start publishing my little stories too. My little stories will be published right next to what happened at the last Anniston City Council meeting, nobody will think my little stories are that funny anymore compared to what’s going on with the Anniston City Council….:-)

Then the New York Times will start publishing my little stories. They’ll want me to compile all my little stories into a book. I’ll have to go up there for book signings, more speaking engagements. I’ll probably end up reciting some of my little stories at Carnegie Hall… I’ll for sure win this years Pulitzer Prize….:-)

And then, then at some trendy little bookstore in New York City’s Lower East Side I’ll probably meet a rich good looking 30 year old woman who’s already been married 4 times and I’ll probably end up having an affair with her. I’ll end up losing my wife and my garden too…Lord I’ll lose all my coneflowers and my old fashioned climbing roses. My wife will marry again and some other man, a total stranger will be deadheading my roses before the ink is even dry on my divorce papers…:-)

I’ll start drinking heavily. I probably wreck my car on the way to receive an award from the Washington Post for having the most popular column in their newspaper since the days Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward wrote about the Watergate Break In…:-) I’ll be known as that “drunken Jewish redneck writer from Piedmont, Alabama”……The New York Times and the Washington Post will both drop my columns, no more little stories published. They’ll take back my Pulitzer Prize like they took away the Presidency from Nixon…I’ll be ruined. I’ll be finished. I’ll be the most unhappy person in America. My lovely wife gone, my garden gone, some nitwit stranger taking care of my roses and my wife….:-) My friends won’t talk to me anymore, nobody will want to read my little stories about gardening and small town life….And why?

I’ll tell you why fellow gardeners….All because of  that sneaky Eddie Burkhalter. He’s the one who asked me if it was alright to publish my little story about the Mill Village Reunion in yesterday’s Piedmont Journal. If I’d only known last week what I know now about what being a REAL WRITER is, well I’d have never let him publish my little story in the Piedmont Journal. I’d have never told him, “yea sure Eddie, thanks so much, I really appreciate it. I’m sure tickled you’re going to publish my little story in the Piedmont Journal. I don’t even know what to say”…..

Well fellow gardeners I’ll tell you now what I’d say…..I’d have looked that sneaky Eddie Burkhalter right in the eye and said, “Write your own little story Eddie Burhalter!!! Write you own little story about the Mill Village Reunion and have it published in the Piedmont Journal. You lose your wife and family. You get arrested for drunk driving on the way to get your Pulitzer Prize…..Not me, no way, I’m a happily married man, a good son, a good citizen, I don’t drink, I don’t gamble and there ain’t no way I’m letting some nitwit stranger deadhead my roses……..:-) You wanna be a REAL WRITER? Then you write your own little story…..:-)

Paul From Alabama


Of course most everything I wrote above is big lie. Well most everything……:-) I do read all them newspapers online and I do subscribe and read the Piedmont Journal and the Anniston Star and have ever since I can remember…..The lying part is about me being anything but grateful to Eddle Burkhalter of the Piedmont Journal. He was nice enough to read and then publish my little story about attending the Mill Village Reunion and I sure appreciate it and want to thank him from both Linda and myself….While I’m at it I wanted to thank Bob and Diane Murphy for inviting Linda and me to the reunion in the first place. It was an honor to attend with all the folks I met there. The usual folks you meet at things like that. The folks that do so much for our community all the time. The ones who when asked to do something always volunteer. The ones who like I said who were and are the “heart” of our town….

One little aside before I go. When I walked into the room upstairs at the “Y” and saw all them people from the Mill or Mill Village I thought to myself, “I reckon these folks are wondering just what I’m doing here at a reunion for the Mill Villiage. Lord have mercy what am I going to say when someone asks me what I had to do with the Mill or the Mill Village” and then it hit me. I decided to go all the way. I just walked to the first group of folks I saw talking together when I got inside and said without even saying hello first, “its so nice to be here, you know I was one of the big bosses at the Mill for a good many years.” and for one second nobody said a word and then everyone just burst out laughing and I felt much easier and right at home, just like I really had been a big boss at the Mill. Good Lord fellow gardeners, I’m such a liar……:-)

Paul From Alabama

Real Loss

25 08 2011

‘Morning fellow gardeners.  I started to write something this morning about how I was losing a couple of my ‘Becky’ daises inexplicably to what looked like lack of water but a check of the ground around the crowns of the plants late yesterday didn’t seem to match my diagnosis. To tell you the truth fellow gardeners. the loss of a couple of daises kinda went by the wayside this morning as I read the account of the shooting of  Anniston, Alabama police officer Justin Sollohub. The senselessness of  the shooting, the loss for his family, his friends,  his fellow police officers and the loss for the community – I tell you the more I read about him and what kind of man he was, the sadder and angrier it made me.

Like those Seals who died on that downed chopper in Afghanistan here  while back, the loss of folks who want to and do so much for the rest of us, to keep us safe and secure, do it everyday, day after day, well it kinda takes the breath out of you. I tell you fellow gardeners, when you read about the senseless killing of this police officer, well I just don’t know sometimes. Then you read about the life of this officer, and you do know, you  know now that the community has suffered a loss that is irreplaceable.

That police officer like those Seals  lost on that chopper in Afghanistan kinda remind me of the title of that book that was on the best seller list for so long here awhile back ‘The Greatest Generation” or the title of that other book “The Best And The Brightest”.  I reckon I got the loss of this officer and other officers shot in the line of duty, other young men and women in our Armed Forces who are in harms way right now in places like Afghanistan and Iraq and other places we don’t even know of, I reckon I just got all them folks on my mind this morning.

So I’m going to ease on out in the yard in a few minutes and see what’s going on with my daises but I’m going to be thinking about the loss of Officer Justin Sollohub and all the other men and women whose  jobs put them in harms way so life can be better and more secure for the rest of us.

I’ll be shaking my head as I’m piddling around the garden this morning, shaking my head at the tragic loss of such a fine man in the line of duty. I remember the day I read about all the Navy Seals dying that day thousands of miles from Piedmont to make sure I was safe here and now I’m thinking about Officer Sollohub being shot and brain dead.  Shot just 25 miles away, shot so senselessly trying to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Anniston and Calhoun County.

Well fellow gardeners I reckon this morning I won’t be too worried about the loss of a few daises, I’ll be thinking about REAL LOSS… The  REAL LOSS of Officer Sollohub and other folks just like him. Like I said, REAL LOSS.

Paul From Alabama

Are You Crazy?

23 08 2011

The question is “Are You Crazy?”

I went out on the porch just now to write a little story. I put my computer down on the table, turned on the fan, sat down and starting thinking about what I might write about today and it hit me like a ton of bricks….I knew almost immediately what I needed to say today……..

Ready fellow gardeners? OK….

It’s entirely too hot to sit out here on the porch and write anything…..What inspired this revelation? The oppressive heat mainly. And with the fan blowing it reminded me of what they called a Hamsin or Sharav in the Sinai Desert, a hot, hot wind that blows off the sands and will take your breath away….It’s taking my breath away right now……:-)

Paul From Alabama


Oh by the way fellow gardeners, I forgot to answer the question “Are you crazy?”  The answer is, “I might be crazy but I ain’t stupid enough to sit out here on the back porch and type anymore about anything…….:-)

See you tomorrow…….:-)

Paul From Alabama

Living In Atlanta

22 08 2011

Gardening For Birds & Feeding Wild Birds While Living In A One Bedroom Apartment

I put together a web page to kinda show you fellow gardeners how I got started  fooling around with gardening and feeding wild birds. How I started piddling around with plants, flowers, potting soil, mulch, stakes, containers, Black Kow Composted Cow Manure, gardening tools of every kind and description, hoses, sprayers, plant tags, organic fertilizers, bird feeders, bird baths, fountains, suet, grapes, pecans, peanuts and last but certainly not LEAST about how I fed my wild birds and critters about 2 tons of bird seed, maybe a little more give or take a few hundred pounds in two years!!!…..You read that right fellow gardeners,  let me say (type) that again. Two Tons, 2 Tons,  4,000 pounds of bird seed in about 2 years…You see between having so many bird feeders and so many wild birds before I knew it, I was feeding my wild bird guests about 200 pounds 0f black oil sun flower seed a month. When the people who I bought bird seed from saw me walk in the door or pull in the parking lot they had brass bands playing and red carpets laid out for my arrival. ….:-)

A Few Annuals, A Few Perennials, A Few Bird Feeders, A Few Bird Baths - Before You Know It You're A Gardener

When I first started buying from this one store that had pretty good prices and real good quality seeds too they thought I was buying for the myself and my neighbors and when I told the man who owned the store all of the seed was for me and I lived in a one bedroom apartment with virtually no yard he didn’t actually come out and call me a liar but for the first few months till I brought some pictures to show him he always gave me that look like whenever I said something it was going to be a whopper but I guess he didn’t care as I was the best customer he’d ever dreamed of having……:-) After I really got to know him we used to laugh at him telling me he thought I was kinda “strange” and a bit of a “liar” when I first started shopping with him but after a while he came to the conclusion that I might have been strange but I wasn’t a liar. No, I was just a somewhat enthusiastic but for sure out of control gardener and wild bird feeder……..:-) Who had more bird feeders and more wild birds to feed than I had good sense, as you can imagine my wife and him were in complete agreement on both those points……:-) But enough about my little quirks and eccentricities check this out fellow gardeners: http://paulfromalabama.com/our-garden-at-a-one-bedroom-apartment-in-atlanta-2003-2005/

Oh By The Way, It Helps To Have An Apartment Manager Who Loves Flowers & Birds Too...:-)

Paul From Alabama


Whoever said “everything in moderation” never really loved something so much it was about all they wanted to do and just about everything they did revolved around that one thing….Moderation? Moderation is for sissies…….:-)

Paul From Alabama


20 08 2011

'Princess Caroline' Pennisetum

OK, it’s 4 p.m. and it’s 98 degrees outside. I know how hot is out there, I been outside moving around my Jack Spears Original Irrigation Contraption, it ain’t pretty but it sure works just peachy till I get my new irrigation system installed. I turn it on all the way and I leave it in place maybe an hour and then move it, it does a good job of keeping everything alive but I wouldn’t swear everything looks it’s best though….:-) And it takes me about two days of moving it around from one area to another to cover most everything…..but when it’s 98 degrees it beats standing around with a hose in your hand and black spots from the heat dangling in front of your eyes……:-)

I had company a few minutes ago and got to do one of my favorite things that I love about gardening, I gave away some plants….3 Amonsia hubrichtii, a few lilies and a bronze fennel, plants I either had potted up or potted up while my friend Diane was here. It ain’t the best time to planting anything I reckon but if you got some good soil, good roots to begin with and watch your watering you should be alright. Funny gardening, I ain’t seen Diane in like 30 years but she knocked on the door and I came outside talking plants and she was talking plants and you’d thought we’d been best friends and inseparable since we graduated from high school…

Gardening is funny like that. The love of plants, flowers, veggies. The birds, butterflies, bees and critters that certain plants attract. The nurturing of the plants from either seeds or tiny starts to bloom time and beyond, all of that kind of binds folks together in this weird, wonderful way. When Diane left she was smiling and when I saw her at the door I was smiling and in between my smiles and her smiles it was like we’d ran around together for years…From now on when I look at my Amsonia hubrechtii to see how it’s doing and if it’s doing just fine and growing happily in my garden I’ll be thinking about how it’s doing over at Diane’s….We got something in common now that we didn’t have just a couple of hours ago.

We both graduated from the same high school and were from the same hometown, Piedmont, but now we got something else in common. We  both love to grow the same plants and now we got something in common that keeps on growing and growing and it continues and is reborn every year from now on. You see Diane and I aren’t just two people who went to the same high school or from the same home town anymore, we’re gardeners too, flower gardeners……

While I was showing Diane some of my flowers my wife walked up from running some errands and she just started talking about the plant we were talking about and before I could introduce them it was kinda unnecessary….Plants are like that too they kind of introduce themselves and introduce us to other folks in a ways that make the usual introductions kinda unnecessary…..:-)

I tell you fooling around, piddling around with plants, flowering plants is something that just keeps filling your life with beautiful blooms, beautiful foliage, amazing fragrances, attracts gorgeous butterflies and birds and on top of all that it gives you the opportunity of seeing Diane after 30 something years. The last time I saw her I think I said two words to her, “You alright?’ and she probably said, “Yea, you?” and today we never stopped talking, asking each other questions about planting this or planting that and I was still talking to her when she drove off down the street…..Gardening, boy I love it……

Paul From Alabama