Posts filed under ‘Shadow’

Morning Stillness- the Pond Life – continues

The sun was just coming up this morning when I decided to take my coffee out to the garden pond. The back garden ( yard for the Americans) has been somewhat torn up of late. It all started with the back door stairs needing to be replaced and as usual with this house one thing led to another since things usually turn into a building site around here with “projects” why not re-do the ponds ?
Shadow was definitely not sure of the plans.
shadow sure
In fact Shadow was not the only resident of the garden leery as to what was happening . There seemed a lot of interest as to what these humans were up to:bird

The top pond had “settled” badly and needed leveling and a continuation of the rock wall and an upper flower bed installed.


How I miss the Willow tree. The silver lining is I might be able to have the water lilies and blooms, they never grew in the deep shade of the Willow.
The building was and is slow- not as young as we were and ill-health and life getting in the way makes the project slower than I would like. BUT it is happening. The dry stone rockery is 75 percent done .
the building last week were here in the project.
Shadow discussing the situation with another resident bird- and well those two toads – what can I say? It is spring after all!!!
the project

Yesterday was another trip to Pandys, for pond supplies and flowers- some have been planted and this morning the area was at least nice enough for that morning cup of coffee and to feed the fish before the other residents of the house were awake.

I was not alone however, two Morning Doves were enjoying a stimulating activity – I surmise there will be offspring soon, two Blue Jays were following suit and a Cardinal was definitely intent on some morning love as he chased his mate across the garden skies. Squirrels chattered and nattered at me for intruding on their morning drinking time.
Ghost koi
In the meantime my Ghost Koi oblivious to the changes in the garden , continued to graze at the edges of the bottom pond indifferent to the hullabaloo of the gold-fish as they rushed around in a frenzy after the fish pellets. He reminded me of a dirigible of the water as he slides through the water at peace whilst all around him is chaos. Oh! to be a Ghost- Koi!!! in the pond

May 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm 2 comments

A ghost of remembrance – Mother’s Day

soften collage

As long time readers are aware, a small koi- a Ghost Koi– was slipped into the pond on the last Mother’s Day my son and I shared –

Oh! Chris ! why would you buy another Koi? you know they never survive the winter”
“I needed to get this one and it’s Mother’s Day so you have to accept it “

And the next Mother’s Day was one of pain and cruelty unasked for “notes” from his bride had arrived – Angela Marie (Lombardi Ritchey) Murphy) Angela Murphy Do

There is always , like anything in this life, the chance his last Mother’s Day present would not thrive and survive the winters.
Last August disaster struck the pond – fish were dying

days and nights of water changes medicine but the Ghost Koi continued.

Then came the winter of my nightmares. The extreme cold caused the waterfall, which is made from a concrete like substance, to crack causing the water to leak out of the pond. The temperature was cold enough to freeze the mighty Niagara so even with heaters and aerator the water froze.


The day the concrete falls cracked open we lost nearly half the water in the pond. My husband had to first unfreeze the spickets and hoses in order to fill the pond to a level where the pumps would work. He then had to bypass the falls with piping in order to keep the water flowing, but the pipe would freeze. The pipe then had to insulated with a sleeve like design made out of a sleeping bag. Unfortunately, Shadow took great delight in pulling this off every chance she got.

My husband spent hours trying to keep the pond open in order for the gasses to escape and keep the fish safe. There was many a day he was out there in the 10 below temperature almost willing the water to run and the ice not to form. There were days that found me lying flat on my stomach in the snow chipping away at the ice on the end of the piping so the pump would continue. All for a fish , a fish given on that last Mothers Day.

Spring has come late this year. The pond is usually up and running and the fish awake by late March but it has only been in recent days life has returned to the pond . The water is still murky but a Ghost Koi, larger now than ever before, swims under the water fall once more and reminds me of a another Mother’s Day……..


Friday, was Mother’s Day for me , my mum, Nikki and two little boys went to the “fish” restaurant of choice “Red Lobster”. The boys eagerly watched two lobsters fighting in the tank but ate macaroni and cheese.

Then on to Pandys and Lowes for plants. I am not sure there will be any rhyme or reason to the garden this year as Gavin and Braedyn loved the plant shopping and filling the carts to overflowing. Certainly not paying attention to directions of “sun – full sun – shade partial shade” . Little hands distributing love and flowers , excitement in innocent eyes as they picked up more and more . There should be some interesting plantings this year because each plant was given with love and so couldn’t be put back.

My tears falling once more, my heart in hurt as I remember when a little girl and her brother would look up with the same excitement in their eyes as they gave their Mother’s Day gifts and one Mother’s Day when a small silver fish was slipped into a pond – a ghost of remembrance and a love that grows…crop2chris

May 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm 2 comments

” The Shadow – Knows”-

shadow collage

She has come , this “Shadow” of fun , life and puppy- ness into a home that is for the most part devoid of laughter and fun although she has found plenty of love and attention. She actually demands love and attention! Although her “of her kind compatriot” -Tetley – is still not accepting her presence and has removed himself to the realm of upstairs- Spending time in front of the fireplace only coming down to eat and do “business” , Tetley is becoming “fat” – his daily exercise with Misty just a memory.

Shadow seems to understand our needs as we enter into this ” season” – can it be as she patiently lays her head on my lap that she understands the need for warmth and comfort.
The Vykas The Lombardis with Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey DO (CC)

The nightmare shadows of our remembering one of the cruelest weekends of our lives –

I watched through my own pain the pain, the desolation caused by Angela and her collective cohorts – what this did to the rest of my family. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt Chris would NOT have wanted this emotional torture visited upon us.

On the 14th we were told Chris had been cremated- As I got off the phone that morning my mother was coming down the stairs- she looked at me- her lovely little gentle face afraid , eyes full of tears and said

“Oh no! what has happened now has she changed her mind? They aren’t going to bury him after all are they – Loraine you can’t let that happen- why are they doing this

I said

No! Chris has been cremated

and a 91-year-old sank to her knees on my living room floor in relief , sobs wracking her little body- this same little wonderful Nana Chris had so loved – hurt in such a way – No! this is not what Chris would have wanted and Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey DO

certainly did not honour him by causing his much-loved Nana such torment.

I cannot adequately describe those 72 hours, words fail me.

How Angela could have a few days earlier received a hug from that Nana who thanked her for her decisions for cremation and sharing the ashes, allowing closure in our way too? How Angela could then dismiss that face and that love from her mind as she wrote those words ( delivered the funeral home – didn’t even have the courage of her convictions to face us)

that would just add to the pain and suffering of his Nana is beyond my comprehension?

So on the 11th Day came the beginning of the beginning as I started to take back ownership of my grief and who my son was and the consequences of what happens when a mother and family are denied closure – then closure does not happen and a wound festers and bleeds still…………………“first do no harm”- the harm has been done


There was not a shred goodwill or compassion for this family that December 11th 12th 13th – and the week that followed . The taking of “kindness and compassion” at the worst time of someones life by the “cretins of control”- The upstanding members of their parishes became our personal pariah

Yes! the anger is still there as strong as our grief– it cannot dissipate until there is closure and thanks to them they have taken what little closure we had… they are intertwined – these emotions— and the question WHY???? still rings through the air – as with the church bells heralding ” Good will ” as those same “cretins of control” bend their knees in prayer and sing of “love of fellow-man” –

And yes! a small fluffy pup , new to this life and world is wiser and understands the need for love and compassion as she tries to do her best to bring back the sounds of laughter to a home that has very little left to them .

December 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm 4 comments

The “Rescue” dog (s)- life -lines- love

In the 1995 Sheena came into our lives as a rescue puppy. We had had some issues with neighborhood children climbing over the back wall into our garden. The day they put soap in the pond and killed the fish was the day I went to the animal shelter for a dog. I am not a great dog fancier- truth be known they scare me – but enough was enough time to scare someone else!

Sheena, was among a litter of 8 – half labs half shepherd- pups. Nikki and Chris each picked one out and were saying

“please please please this is the one”

but my eye caught a solitary pup in the “meeting area”. She was being looked at by a mother and father and a little one- she sat there so patient ( especially for a puppy) whilst the little one hugged and pulled at her .

Oh she’s the one I want , please don’t you adopt her , she belongs with me.

Luckily they didn’t and we did! Sheena grew and became a member of this family. Sheena would spend her evenings with my husband as they “walked and talked ” in the garden . She slept at his feet . I saw such intelligence in Sheena eyes, she knew exactly what you were saying . She took great delight in “snow play” with Chris

Oh! when she was a pup she dragged every piece of firewood from the pile onto the grass- ate off all the heads of the gnomes in the garden and would wait by the front door for the Nikki and Chris to come home from school to show with great pride the decapitated gnomes.

Fast forward to 2007 when my daughter came in from Toledo – her neighbors were moving and couldn’t take their 10 month old Lab with them. Nikki was looking for a home for the dog. She stopped off here and this tail wagging apparition with green eyes and dusky pink nose ended up at the back door and winning my son’s heart in the process. Just what I needed! Misty also had penchant for Gardens Gnomes

Oh poor Sheena, in her dotage, she was having to put up with Misty- it was bad enough when Tetley, my mum’s Pekingese, would come for a couple of days

but this “daft dog ”
was not going away. As always Sheena accepted everyone and everything with a grace born of a champion.
However, within a few months at the age of 13 Sheena had to leave us. My husband was heartbroken, as were we all, but Misty , well Misty with her dino personality and demands to play and have her way kept us “awake” to her needs and rescued us from unhappiness .

When Chris, our son, died
and our grief was and is so crushing, it was Misty who became our rescue dog- she rescued us every day- she walked the path of grief every day with my husband , she oozed love and compassion, she “knew” when and what he needed- warmth, love ,affection, someone to listen, companionship and she gave it to him and to us unconditionally but it was to my husband she gave the greatest help. She truly was his rescuer from gutting grief that chokes. She instinctively knew what he needed. To lose Misty was just another blow to hearts already broken with loss.

Oh there is Tetley- Oh dear Tetley – my husband and Tetley have a mutual “toleration of each other”. But in his own way Tetley has become his own brand of rescue dog, his “excuse me but what about me” personality has kept my mum going after the trauma of having her home taken away in such a selfish manner-
Tetley has been there to cuddle and talk to – he saw her through too.

I watched as the loss of Misty added yet another burden on a heart already over burdened.

She is “Shadow”- not exactly a “rescue dog in the true sense of the word” but one who is rescuing – She has the demands of a puppy- I had forgotten razor-sharp teeth, the need to be taken outside to do her business – no matter the cold- the need to play, run and chew and yes she too has discovered the Gnomes in the back garden – they too are no longer safe 🙂

She demands and has bonded with my husband to such a degree she is his shadow, hence the name.

Teltey is far from amused –

his tail held high as well as his nose is ignoring the situation, as much as he is able – in the hopes the “intruder” will leave. However, Tetley is also missing Misty and waits by the door to the bedroom ( Misty’s domain) every morning hoping she will come out I am sure to search for squirrels and pussycats once more

The Rescue Dogs- they come in all shapes and sizes and breeds – they have rescued US and continue to do so !!!

November 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm 11 comments



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