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).


Kathleen says: July 17, 2012 at 06:46 PM

My heart goes out to you.

I am sorry to hear about Violet. She had a lovely, happy life in your home:)
They are working on our street these days, and it is like we have gone on a vacation. It is so very quiet with no traffic going by ,all we hear is birds and loud kids walking by. A real treat!
Sweet photos:)

Hi Stacey! I cannot wait for a red tomato from my itty bitty garden. You put into words what I've felt about home grown tomatoes ever since plucking the first from my mother's garden as a child. I cannot wait for my that first warm, sweet tomato sandwich with fresh ground pepper and sea salt for the season....
I love catching up here. You have such a beautiful way with words - I feel like I'm right there seeing what you talk about. Plus. I'm hanging in the Pacific NW also, waiting for my green tomatoes to turn ruby red.

Your blog is a resting place in my day...thank you for sharing

Please do be kind to yourself, you've had some terrible losses this year. You are still grieving the loss of your baby, just as sure as if she had been stillborn. It really does take a full year to recover from such a loss.

I lost a baby 31 years ago. The pain in the first year was almost physical, like my heart had been torn away. It does get better. She is always with me, still. Her loss changed me, for the better, I think. With the help of some very smart people I learned that I was a stronger, better person than I'd ever imagined.

Just like melting gold, the dross floats to the top, to be skimmed away. Grief can bring our least favorite attributes right to the surface. With courage we can change those that need to be changed, and, more importantly, accept those that make us who we are.

Oh, sweet. The Bee knew there was a space to fill beside you. Good kitty.

I hear you on the homegrown tomatoes. Grocery store tomatoes taste like red juicy plastic. There's a hilarious song that Minnesota Public Radio used to play that went something like: "There's only two things that money can't buy, and that's true love and homegrown tomatoes."

Dee Smelcer says: July 18, 2012 at 06:51 AM

I came from the Pinterest site, washing sheets for softness, and can't find where your ideas are about this subject. Please give me an idea what you do to get sheets as soft as possible.. Thanks

"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."
As a kitty owner since I was 6 years old - exactly, yes!

So sorry about Violet. She had a wonderful life living with you, Andy, Clover and the Bee.

Change is good. We are changing everyday. For me change is growth and learning new things, mostly about ourselves.

So many beloved pets spoken of in these comments. I've certainly had more than my share depart this world. I miss and love them still.

But now I care for six mostly senior dogs -- all "unadoptable" (ha-!) -- and I took in a young sick Husky mix as a foster. He's well now. I try not to allow the final ink in the bond I feel with him. I have to find him a wonderful forever home. Six is already too many.

Reading Alicia's posts and the heartfelt comments, I know there are tremendous people out there who are devoted to their animals. I just need to find one for the Husky boy.

Our girl Dakota was almost 10 when our big boy Miles past away. Up until then she never sat with me. Since then she's my constant shadow. She acted like she hated him but when he was gone I think she realized how lonely it was. I miss him like crazy, but I'm so thankful that Dakota has become my little furry best friend.

Lauren (in PA) says: July 18, 2012 at 02:43 PM

Fresh tomatoes from the grocery store.

That sentence shouldn't exist!

I'm fortunate to work near PA Dutch country which gives me access to local grown veggies. (I'm in a town house so can't grow too much of my own!).

Once you eat the onese you've grown, or someone else local has, you'll never go back to those wretched genetically engineered tomatoes!

I'm so sad about Violet, but always love and am amazed how other furry babies grieve also.

Ah, fresh tomatoes from the garden. I like to think of them as little balls of sunshine. Especially standing in the garden with the sun on your shoulders and they are nice and warm.

I hope you are finding comfort and joy in that wonderful little book I sent to you...glad to see that you got it.
I thought it was perfect for YOU!

Elizabeth Chassereau says: August 09, 2012 at 05:22 PM

Dear Alicia, I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby Violet. I've had cats all of my life and developed allergies to them in high school. That alone was hard to get over! But you will find strength in comings days, and she will always be a huge part of your heart :)

Christine says: August 09, 2012 at 07:10 PM

You live a charmed life. Hoping to get to visit Oregon when my husband and I are retired. It looks like a beautiful place. I do embroidery , knit, and sew(by hand as my sewing machine isn't working). I also take bags of broken jewelry, and make one of a kind earrings and necklaces. I try to be creative. Maybe someday I can get a digital camera and take pictures.

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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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.