Little Flower

comments: 67




Thank you so much for all of your kindness, and each and every one of your generous and tender words yesterday. I had a nice day and spent a lot of time outside in the front yard, fussing in my little ways over the garden and trying to make things nice out there. It felt really good. The plums (and leaves) on our big tree are starting to fall already. I set the little bunny sprinkler up in different areas and let it spray its gentle umbrella of droplets under the tree, in the vegetable beds, on the rock wall, along the fence. Clover and the Bee were quietly stuck to my side. Even the Bee, which surprised me. Last night she sat next to me on the sofa for the first time in all her twelve years. They miss their little flower, too. This morning we three went out again. Oh how I love that quiet hour before I start to hear traffic. On the rock wall, the watery circumference of the sprinkler was only a couple of feet. It frothed and tinkled just past the fence and then we heard the swooping in of a bird — a big, beautiful Northern flicker, coming to get a little bath, just feet from us. That's how quiet we were! Magical creature. She flew up into the plum tree and hopped around a bit, then worked on the telephone pole next to the tree, then left.

Last Friday night, Andy and I went up to the meadow at the arboretum. We sat on the hill among the daisies and the clover and the tall blond grass and watched evening come through. Behind us, between the enormous evergreen trees, birds swooped and darted in the mellow twilight. He picked me a bouquet and I carried it through the field and it's still in a pretty iced tea bottle on the table.

Little cats leaving make you think about your life, all the years that have passed and the way that you were. You think about all the conversations you had, just with her. There are ways I want to change myself and I thought about them last night, and told Andy about them.

The vegetables are growing like crazy! We shared the first tiny little red tomato on Sunday night, slicing it and sprinkling it with sea salt and olive oil, adding basil leaves and blobs of whole-milk ricotta and mozzarella. I can't stand fresh tomatoes from the grocery store, generally. But this one right off the vine was seriously the best tomato I have ever had. It really was like a little jewel, ruby red. I felt a little bit proud. We kept insisting the other one of us eat the last slice (which is how we fight over it). I see another one today that's on its way to being red. I hope he's home when I pick it (pulled like a magnet toward the tomato plant, hands out in front of me, leading), or I'm going to eat the whole thing (chomp).


Very poignant about the conversations with your cat; we recently lost one of our dogs (who was not even that old) and that is what I thought about: just all the times he and I shared and how quickly his presence could simply disappear. It's crazy how pets worm their ways into your heart.

These little souls worm their way into our hearts when we aren't even looking. You had a wonderfully long time with sweet Violet and it still wasn't enough. *hugs*

Btw, chomp that tomato. ;-) There will be more for Andy.

It's wonderful to be outside in the early morning. Everything is so still and quiet.

We had cats long before our children came. Recently, two of the original three passed away, they were almost 19 and 15 years old. They were witnesses to our life together and grew with us. I'm glad our children got to know these friendly and kind cats for 10 years. We've since then adopted two other cats (brothers in fact) who are making their place in our family history. Strong from the experience of loosing a cat that she loved, my daughter said it best to a friend whose young son passed away, your heart too will heal. Take care

Animals work their way into your very soul!

Home grown tomoatoes are nectar from the gods. :)

Vivienne x

Miss Alicia, I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear about your pet. We had a recent scare with our beloved kitty and oh my, pets...they just have the ability to really walk all over your heart...they are parts of our family! Be well. Your pictures today are so lovely, as they are everyday!

I love the way you take pleasure from the little things like the silence before the traffic starts. Once my dog came with me to pick berries from our garden. All you could hear in the stillness of the morning was his little lips smacking, eating the berries.

It's amazing how much sorrow you can feel when one of your animals have passed. I recently lost my beloved yellow lab and miss him terribly. Animals are a precious gift. Take care of yourself right now and remember all of the wonderful times you had with Ms. Violet.

Susie Sears Taylor says: July 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM

St. Francis of Assissi loves all animals but is most often depicted in art with birds. I have been to Assissi Italy (2000) and it is beautiful to say the least. If our beloved pets have Fr. Francis caring for them when they go then they truly are in heaven. Some say pets won't be in heaven but I think they will. Why would our heavenly Father give us so much love thru our pets and not let us have them in heaven? We will see Frisky, Delbert, Tafla, Boots, Scooter, Big Red, Taupe, Binkley and ....Violet. I will be happy to see them all yet I am willing to suffer the wait. God bless you and your little family.

I was so glad to see that you had a nice morning after the passing of your beloved Violet. I've lost three cats in the past four years and it's been really rough. All older, much-beloved kitties. My remaining boy-cat is young and healthy and a love, but I do miss my girl-kitties. Had a scare with him staying out too late last week and thought I would have a serious crisis if he didn't come back. Thankfully, he did, and although he's been strictly chaperoned outside since then, he seems happy to be home again. Pets bring out sides of us that people sometimes don't -- when they go, they take a little of that with them (until another pet brings it out again...)

I´ve gotten a couple of red tomatoes from my plant - but what I´m REALLY is waiting for is when the rest will become ready, cause I think it will be pretty much on the same time. And then I´ll eat like a maniac! :-)

You bring a lot of beauty to the world, thank you.
If you're going to enjoy whole milk ricotta can I please suggest that you google smitten kitchen and make your own from her recipe? It's heavenly.

Reading the part about your conversations with Violet, I thought about how my Lucy comes to sit on my lap and snuggles with me and how she looooves it when I pet her. I hope she is with me for many more years. I bet Bee and Clover wonder where she is. I also think they are sticking close to you to comfort you. Sweet fur family. Hugs.. T

Your writing is quiet and beautiful. What a gift.


please don't change yourself ever. Bx xxx

Cats are definitely amazing little animals. My husband isn't a big fan of the Siamese we have now (though I think he says it more than means it since he takes care of her needs primarily.) But I will always remember the way she climbed up on top of my stomach and insisted on sleeping there each time I carried a child (three,) and how she guards each one of the babies with her disconcerting stare. Dear Seuss, their stern mother cat.

Nancy Wirz says: July 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I'm very jealous. Our tomatoes are no where near ready for eating but there must be a gazillion of them. We start our own from seeds in a little cold frame but can't put them out until mid-May because of the frost. I put up at least 100 quarts of them every year plus we eat them right from the garden. My husband is like a mother hen with that garden, always checking. Clover and Bee know how you're feeling and missing Violet. They will help you heal, they always do. God Bless You and Andy.

Dear Alicia,
Violet is with Audrey now, so she is not alone.
Life with our sweet animals is amazing... Treasure each moment.
I wish for you peace and serenity, you are Loved by many.

Quietly, sitting here... hoping to not disturb the moment, the beauty of reflection, the thoughtful musings.

Carol Jackson says: July 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Hi, I am so sorry about your sweet kitty. Pets are just always there, in good times and bad. And when they are gone we miss them so!
This morning I had to work at home for a bit and so enjoyed watching hummingbirds out the window over my computer. And I did get a lot of work done.
You asked for directions on making iced tea. I am an expert here in S.C.! Here's what I do: Buy good quality family size teabags (I like Luzianne). Use a ceramic pitcher. Boil a quart or so of water, and pour it into the pitcher over TWO family size teabags. Let sit a while (at least 30 minutes). Remove the teabags, and if you want sweet tea, add sugar and mix while it's still hot. (I add a half-cup or so of sugar, then taste and add more if needed.) If the brew seems too strong, you can add a splash or two of plain water to dilute it.
Pour over lots of ice with a slice of lemon or lime and enjoy!

Dear Alicia~I am so very sorry about the loss of your beloved Violet. I know how very important pets are to us and how badly we miss them when they pass on. I think Clover and the Bee miss their friend; I also think they were trying to comfort you--our animals just seem to know when we are feeling sad.
I wish you peace and many more days of sweet, juicy homegrown tomatoes, meadow bouquets from your kind husband and love.

Ah - I lost my 18 year old cat about 9 months ago and I can still cry about it. Her litter-mate (brother) is still with me and I cherish every minute with him because he is such a sweet old man now. Oh it's painful when they leave us. Sorry to hear about Violet.

mlle patty says: July 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM

As an only child I was always with my animals - cats, dogs, other tiny things that spent years or sometimes only days at the house. They were so important to me growing up, dearest friends who seemed very wise and loving.

Your post brought a lump to my throat. And reminded me of conversations and memories of Prudie-Ann and Billie. I love you both, girls. And thank you Alicia.xx

"A ruby red tomato is hanging on the vine.
If my mother didn't want it, the tomato would be mine.
It smells of rain and steamy earth and hot June sun.
In the whole tomato garden it's the only ripe one.
I close my eyes and breathe in its fat, red smell.
I wish I could eat it now and never, never tell.
But I save it for my mother without another look.
I wash the beans and shell the peas and watch my mother cook.
I hear my mother calling when the summer winds blow,
"I've made your First Tomato Soup because I love you so."
-- First Tomato, by Rosemary Wells (one of the three stories in the incomparable Voyage to the Bunny Planet boxed set, which it seems are now contained in this one volume:

so so so sorry about Violet, sweetie.
we recently lost my first-ever and only-so-far cat, and I never knew, I never knew...


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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at