Invocation to Dian Cecht


Walking alone,

Clouds above the rocky plain,

Dust cloaking, choking, my feet,

my hands,

my face,

I met a man

Walking alone,

Beard about his craggy face,

Beneath his woolen cloak pouches,



Of his trade.

Touching my face,

he cleared my sight,

he cleared my thoughts,

he cleansed my breath.

Touching my hands,

he healed my wounds,

he strengthened my limbs,

he renewed my spirit.

Touching my feet,

he healed my bruises,

he straightened my step,

he cleared my path.


Dian Cecht,

Healer and God,

Who met me there

Upon that plain,

Be with me here.


It’s been a rough few weeks, folks.

First, Harvey paid his little visit to our area. The Hermitage did just fine, but others around the city were not so lucky.

Then Irma and Maria hit will all their force in Florida and the Caribbean Islands.

Wild fires in California and elsewhere across the western half of the continent have taken homes and livelihoods and lives.

Las Vegas.

And now, I’ve learned that a dear friend of some thirty years has had a stroke.

I think we all could use some healing right now.

Come Dian Cecht. Be with us. As you did for the mighty Nuada, make us whole.

In the Garden:

Village life
Yep, you guessed it! Not my garden. The view from the guest bedroom of my daughter’s new village house on Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

We’re getting ready for the fall/winter season around here. Actually, I’m late getting ready. I got away from Houston for a week just after Harvey went through for my annual visit to the kids in Hong Kong and since then it’s been unseasonably warm, so my preparations are behind schedule.

Pretty new fountain for the kitchen garden…

One thing I did manage to get done was the installation of a fountain in the kitchen garden area. The fountain itself was a gift, of the no-we’re-not-using-that-sure-you-can-have-it variety. (It never hurts to ask, folks!) Now, I just need to save up a bit for a solar-powered pump to set it bubbling. Right now, the chickens and kittens are enjoying the large water dish.

Fountain… water dish… what’s in a name?

Speaking of chickens, this handsome fellow has finally been accepted by the flock, so I’m expecting that we’ll be seeing some little chicks some time over the next months. General Tso is looking far better than when he wandered up, only a few weeks old, sick and practically hen-pecked bald! My goal of a self-perpetuating flock is coming around.

General Tso, on patrol in the back yard.

I did finally go out and pull out the tomato cages and chop and drop what was left of the vines. I laid new newspaper and mulch in the bed that had held the three sisters garden last spring. Of course, the chickens have been having a lovely time turning that up, again! This morning I also went out between rain storms and direct-sowed tatsoi, Prizetaker leeks, borage, and Hungarian Blue breadseed poppies for the winter. The okra and eggplants are still producing. I’m letting the okra go to seed for next year. The eggplant is welcome to continue producing as long as it can. We’re expecting a mild  winter, so the lateness shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

After a bit of a stall through the hot weeks of summer and early autumn, both pineapple crowns are showing new growth emerging from the center.  The fig tree is putting out new leaves and buds that will become new limbs next spring. The artichoke plant is hanging in there, but still hasn’t produced a bud. Maybe next month.

Shepherd’s Needles (Bidens pilosa) and Pineapple sage

And an order of Darwin tulips has arrived and is currently on the top shelf of the refrigerator – the only way to grow tulips in Houston is to trick them into thinking there has been a winter. They’ll rest in the cool for about six to eight weeks, and I’ll set them out in pots around the front door in the spring.

Grapefruit tree, grown from seed

Some time next year, I’m hoping to be able to plant this healthy, resilient little tree. I grew it from seed. Its mother was a particularly tasty red grapefruit, and I hope that this one will one day produce the same.


Around the Hermitage:

Lavender and basil

The cooler weather is making it easier to get things done around the house. I finished painting another cabinet door. That project is slow-going, but coming along.

A big project for this fall and winter is a banquette set for the kitchen. My sister had the idea for this one, and we agree it will use the small dining space much more effectively. I plan on using an Ikea Expedit 1×5 unit (which I already have) for one side and a Kallax 1×4 unit on the other. We’ll add a long cushion to the top of each, and some pillows along the backs. It will end up looking something like this, without the stripes.

Bougainvillea flower and bracts

You may have noticed that there are fewer photos in this post. Sadly, my faithful Fuji Finepix has taken its last pet-assisted dive from the desk. Something has shaken loose inside, and its having issues now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to come up with the funds for a new one soon. Until then, pictures from my phone may have to do.


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