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There is always something going on in a garden, but not quite as much as during March, at least here in California. In a few short weeks, nature shakes off the winter’s lull and bursts out in colors, with plants going from shy buds to full blooms almost overnight. It’s like the garden faeries are out there nudging everyone: “Hey, the spring equinox is coming! Come on, get things sorted and get going!”

On Monday you drive around the hills and all is still sedated and calm. On Thursday you drive along the same road and everything is flooded in yellow wild mustard, forsythia and mimosas in bloom. Could we please slow-mo spring so that we can stretch those blossoms by a few extra weeks? Pretty please?




Over the years, I have observed that this kind of “shake off the winter, and prepare for spring” trend is going on not just in the garden, but also in people’s lives. I have noticed this in my life, but also in those of family and friends. Sometimes the preparation involves the body, and can go from relatively simple things like a final bout of the flu, a cataract surgery, or the flare up of an old illness or pain, to the more extreme resolution of leaving the body.

Sometimes the spring cleaning involves other aspects of life: a relationship that was hanging on by a thread breaks up, a job (that maybe had not been working for some time) comes to an end, etc. And let’s not forget the less dramatic, but ever present burden of tax numbers preparation, which demands resolution at this time of the year, at least in the United States. In small or big ways, the weeks from the end of January to the spring equinox, and sometimes the end of March, tend to be a little intense. It is as if the coming season wants all of us to be “clear for take-off”, or as clear as possible, anyway. Have you noticed this trend in your life?




In 2002, the build up to spring involved almost all of the above. A year earlier I had bowed out of my restaurant and leased out all the business to some new, and very enthusiastic people. By February of 2002, the new enthusiastic people wanted out and I was helping them look for even newer people to take things over. My almost 90-years-old uncle Mario, who had been stubbornly hanging on to life with all his might for two years already, finally gave up the fight and died on February 27th. A few days later, I was recounting all these tales of woe to a friend, and I made the comment: “Thank goodness it’s almost March, so we can be done!” I had spoken too soon. The following week, my boyfriend and I broke up after a six-year relationship.

By the time I flew out on my way to Hawai’i (for the first time), I was so ready to leave all that drama behind.





Though some members of my family have dealt with various lighter (as in resolvable) physical challenges, the past couple of years have not been quite so dramatic for me personally, other than moving, moving, and moving again. That is exhausting, but not dramatic. This year, though, March has been rather intense, which is why I have disappeared a little from the blog. And I missed it, and missed you, my readers.




It all started one Saturday at the end of February when I picked up my Boyz from the groomer after their bath.

“By the way, Cody has a couple of tumors right on his butt, have you noticed?” No, how can I notice with all that fluff!

“Vets always wonder how we find everything, but we do! You should have that checked!” she continued.


Honestly, given that it was Cody, aka Mr. Allergy-I-Have-An-Issue-Every-Other-Month Champ, I was not concerned. To me, instead of growing a cyst/tumor on his ear, or giving a flare on his belly, both of which had already happened, his system had grown a couple on his butt. I watched him for a few days to see if there were other noticeable signs of discomfort, but there weren’t. Still, I could not in all conscience not have it checked, so I called the vet and set up an appointment.




Garden sidebar – I just love these bushes of Loropetalum Chinensis (images above & below). They are always full and always changing colors, and in spring they burst with these glorious pink flowers.

These you see in the photos are about ten years old, so if you plant them small, that is about how long it takes them to get this big.




The vet appointment was on a Thursday. In the meantime, Cody’s allergies had flared up causing an ear infection that needed taking care of. Again. The vet checked the butt, agreed with me on one of the growths, but was more concerned about the other one and recommended having them removed. He also found one of the teeth needing attention before things got out of hand. I had to make a decision, and I had to make it fast, as all of the above needed taking care of soon, and the vet happened to have an opening for surgery the next morning. That way, he could also take care of teeth and ear all at the same time while Cody was under anesthesia so as to avoid any unnecessary pain.




Garden sidebar – Don’t you just love wisteria? To me she is the queen of the spring flowers! I love how the colors change as it blooms, and also depending on the light, if it is early morning or sunset. I wish it continued to bloom abundantly throughout summer, though I do appreciate the refreshing shade of the foliage. Maybe a mix of both?




I still felt there was nothing really wrong, but I thought removing the tumors on the butt was a good idea, so the next morning at 9:30 we were back at the Boyz’ favorite place (not!), where I would have to leave Cody for several hours for the first time in their lives. That turned out to be a long and stressful day, to say the least. I was blessed to spend those long hours at my friend Valerie’s, who was there to hold my hand and Tyler’s paw while we waited. It was also a Friday, and driving back to Napa from San Rafael took us two hours instead of forty-five minutes. Add to that the post-surgery phone call I got from the vet while driving home in which he expressed his concern over the second tumor, which he had removed and sent in for testing, and you can imagine what state I was in.




For all of the drama of the day before, the following morning I woke up feeling good, and feeling even more strongly that there was really nothing wrong with Cody. He also played into that because he recovered super fast, did not need any pain meds, and took things in good stride, including knowing to guzzle water like a fish for four days to flush out his system. Seriously, he was back to being his usual sweet, pesky, bossy, brother-wrestling self within two days, and never even tried any of the butt-dragging on the carpet the vet had been alerting me to watch for.




Still, I felt more action was required, the kind that I would take for myself. My “circle of light” had already been activated the day before the surgery, but I upped my game with focused hands-on energy healing sessions from myself as well as my guides (the not visible ones), and also a Cody-specific one from a quantum healer & psychic friend of mine with whom I had worked many times before. Cody kept getting better and better, but we were still waiting for the test results, though by the time the vet called me, there was no need, as I already knew the result: negative. As in, the tumor was just a benign growth, which showed up so that Cody could get an overall healing – and lots of extra attention, too – wink!

Further healing continues to clear things up also with natural remedies as well as energy work. The stitches were removed just over a week ago, and Cody has even been cleared for grooming – which will happen tomorrow, as both need a bath in a big way. Ze Pooch will be fine, and the Baby, too. Because they are Cody Poochy and Tyler Baby (baby because he is the younger of the two).




Meanwhile…. I have been preparing documents for something else, the kind of papers that take forever to fill out, require exhuming a past that to me has been long dead and buried, triple checking everything, lots of back and forth via e-mail, lots of printer paper, and several trips to the post office. I will not share what this is about for now as, though the papers have been sent in, the process is not complete and will take a few more… months. Yeah, weeks would have been nice. When it is complete I will let you know, but it is one of those have-to/want-to situations.

That complete, I had to get to the tax numbers, which every year I promise myself I will keep on top of month-by-month, and every year I never do. I could not drag those on longer, not only because I wanted them out of my head, but also because of filing-time getting close. So March was loads of fun! NOT!

Thank goodness for all the lovely flowers.




If you have read it all up to here, you know why I have been a little MIA. I just could not handle all that was going on, and also work on photos and blog posts, for as much as I yearned to. My head was forced to be elsewhere. I even had to abandon the pile of stuff in my living room, and have not unpacked another box since February. That activity will also resume very soon.


I hope your prelude to spring has been less challenging, and if the challenges have shown up, I hope things have settled down by now, or are in the process to.

Enjoy the next stage of wisteria in bloom, and know that roses are coming soon.




If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy these other chapters of Life in Napa:



And if you enjoy nature in springtime, here are more delights:



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