two nurseries

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here again for another fascinating post. You may remember me from such posts as “Beyond Super Roasting”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The carpet is strewn with pieces of pine cone. I like to chew on pine cones, but you knew that already.It’s raining right now, and I mean really raining, but today was so hot even the guy I live with complained some.Earlier it looked like this. Hot.

The guy I live with got some cactus in the mail yesterday. Mostly chollas, he said. There were some he wanted. These will be grown well away from yours truly, I hasten to add.
This one looked scary even before he opened the bag.It was a form of Cylindropuntia davisii. Like, ultra scary.After it’s rooted it will live in a pot in the front yard. It takes a few weeks for the joints to root, once the ends have callused. The ends were already callused when they came in the mail.The other day, the guy I live with left me at home to go see his friend. They went to lunch, and to a couple of small nurseries near where she lives. They’re both very nice nurseries; they had a good time, despite the fact that it was hot and he was having hot flashes.

This is Southwest Gardens:

The guy I live with is just as happy going to nurseries with his friend as he was with his wife. And just as comfortable sitting in her living room as he is here (though there’s a cat at her house, ick) Like other people, he’s had a lot of shocks in his life, but this was one of the biggest.
Obviously they don’t live together, and that’s probably the secret of success. The big deal, and I think this is a super big deal, is that they can share “life events” together. The guy I live with has had kind of a lot of those life events lately, and she was there for him on the occasions when he was told he couldn’t drive to the urology center. This is Young’s nursery:

That’s a ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud, with the purple leaves. The guy I live with told his friend they should get it for her garden, so maybe they will, later. Her garden is way different from his and he wants to plant stuff like rhododendrons in her garden. There were some here at one time but he gave them away, because visitors spent most of the time looking at them instead of the rest of the garden.

I know I still haven’t told the story of how the guy I live with and his friend met, but I will, pretty soon.

The guy I live with is happy he got the cactus, and the plants at the nurseries, because he said he wasn’t going to buy any plants this year, and after a while he began to feel all weird about that decision. It wasn’t like buying snowdrops, money-wise, for sure. (I’m not supposed to talk about that, I think.)

One kind of sad thing: he said his mind keeps starting this thought that his mom might give him some money on his birthday, because she always did. Instead of sweaters that were too small. She didn’t last year, but she was going downhill and the guy I live with understood.  He also keeps thinking he should call her, and misses hearing her voice on the phone, even though sometimes the conversations were peculiar. He was already used to someone constantly in his life suddenly not being there, but that didn’t make it any better. His birthday is this Monday; he’ll be sixty-eight. I’m not sure how old that is in dog years.

So, back to today. It was hot. The guy I live with worked out in the garden even though he was perspiring and there were times when I thought he might pass out, but he was also drinking a lot of water and all sticky from sunscreen. It was a good thing we didn’t have a dust storm; he would have been covered.

Then he started looking for something in the garage, which he never found. He told me that was a metaphor. I’m not so into them as he is. Metaphors, I mean.
But he did come across this:This is called an album, and it has a record in it.Some people call it an LP, because when they were first introduced, in the late forties, they played longer than 78s, which were the records before that, and which rotated at 78 r.p.m, on something called a “turntable”, so people called them “long-playing records”. or LPs. They rotated at 33 1/3 r.p.m. Slower, so a longer playing time. And they didn’t break if you dropped them.
The guy I live with looked at it, and then said something I can’t repeat. This record is over fifty years old and the guy I live with just realized the title was a pun: rubber sole. Like what’s on the bottom of his shoes. (Though not really, these days.)

Well, that was agonizing.

After all the hot gardening, a lot of which never actually got done because he spent so much time in the kitchen just sitting here, he watched an online tutorial about cameras and decided to try to take some pictures using aperture priority. These pictures, then, were taken with the DSLR. They are way more in focus than they appear here, for some reason.

And all of a sudden we had a visitor. Of course the camera was set up wrong.

But this one wasn’t bad, for a set-up-wrong camera:Well that really is it for today. It was super hot, then it rained and got all cool, but also thundery. I guess you have to take the bad with the good. I learn a lot of platitudes from you-know-who.

Until next time, then.











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Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about some things. You may remember me from such posts as “Snow Upon Snow”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.It’s supposed to get hot later this week, which I’m not hugely looking forward to, but the guy I live with says it’s better than constant thunderstorms, which is what we’ve pretty much been having here. Yesterday, though, they said a good chance of severe thunderstorms but nothing happened.
“Nothing happened” is about our favorite phrase, except when you want something to happen.

We did have hail I think on Friday. Very large hail. The guy I live with said stuff as these huge hailstones began to hit the ground (like way bigger than golf balls), but then it stopped almost immediately.
Some things did get damaged by smaller hail.This squirrel baffle was thrown into the yard a year or so ago and the guy I live with said we would keep it, so this isn’t a huge loss.

Well, I have some serious things to say, so I might as well get to it. You know by now we don’t shirk away from that sort of thing. I’ll post some pictures of our super-jungly garden in between, so as not to exhaust anyone. I’m not sure why these pictures come out a bit blurry here when they aren’t in the originals. But whatever.

We’re not going to move into the downstairs bedroom. The guy I live said we might, as he was thinking about it, because the upstairs bedroom gets so hot and there’s so much perfume from our neighbor’s cleaning products.  (I guess some people don’t know that there are products that have no perfume, or that natural-type products contain more surfactants.) The fans were pulling the smell into the house. Even early in the morning, waking him up. We don’t have air conditioning here, because he’s lived in Denver for a long time and everyone said you didn’t need it, and that there was no reason to change now.
The guy I live with likes breathing. So do I.
Just last night, at Tinkle Time, the wind was coming from the foothills and the whole back yard smelled of ponderosa pine. The fresh air was nice.

He felt sick all last week, with the hot flashes and perfume and stuff, and even called the county about this ongoing problem, but when they called back he said he had changed his mind and won’t do anything about this, just feel sick when it happens again, and live his life that way. No doubt someone will tell him he should lead his life differently; people always do.Like when he says how hot the upstairs bedroom gets when he can’t have the fan on because of perfume or someone burning wood, people will tell him we should have our bedroom downstairs, and so then he tells them that his wife died there, and they usually stop talking. It wouldn’t be a bad place for us, because right now we sleep in the upstairs bedroom, with urns full of ashes, which is very cozy and pleasant, but it should probably be our decision instead of someone else’s.
The waterbed will have to go. I hear you just don’t move a waterbed.
He does go down there to get to the laundry room, and also to ride on the bicycle that never goes anywhere.This is all leading somewhere, if you couldn’t tell. The guy I live with was with a bunch of people a while back, said something about Radiohead, and someone said how much they hated Radiohead. So he said that his wife played “Pyramid Song” over and over again in the car, on the last day she was alive.
He has never understood why people have the impulse to say they don’t like things.Lately, the guy I live with has been doing things he never thought he could do after his wife died, regardless of whether or not other people like those things. He was afraid to do them, but he did them anyway.

One of them is listening to Radiohead again. Back when she was alive and they were happy together, the guy I live with read an article about Radiohead and how OK Computer was the Dark Side of the Moon for people in the nineties, so he got a copy and played it in the car as he drove to and from work every day.


He told his wife he didn’t get it at all. He had played this CD over and over again, driving to work, driving back to work. When the two of them went out together (they always went together), OK Computer was playing in the CD player.

Then he got it. It took a while, since he can be slow at times. It was a record you played over and over.

So then he started listening closely, to see why this was happening, and one day, when they were in the car together, the guy I live with set the CD player controls to the eleventh track, the song “Lucky”, turned to his wife and said “Listen to how beautiful this is”, and they did, and so then he took the CD out of the player and his wife took it downstairs later and began to play it over and over again.The CD was back in the car the day he drove home from the phone company for the last time.  That was a very traumatic day for him. Not to have a job any more. “Lucky” was playing, and he wondered what his life would be like from now on. To be retired, and spend the rest of his life happily, with his wife. The thing he wanted most in the world. It didn’t go like that at all.So he told himself he would never listen to Radiohead again. He also told himself that he would never get another purebred border collie when he knew Chess didn’t have much longer to live, and look how that turned out.

And he was absolutely certain, as certain as certain can be, that he would be alone for the rest of his life, and when he was invited to go somewhere, possibly to meet someone, he was so totally terrified that he thought staying at home, crying, which is what he mostly did, even after he got me, was safer than the possibility of being happy again, because that couldn’t possibly be, and he almost didn’t go.But he went.

And so that’s how things changed for him. There is of course much more to the story, but this is enough for now. And also of course things are different for other people. Even with the cancer therapy, he says he is a very lucky person to have me in his life, and his friend, and his other friends.

Oh, also, he ordered a copy of Amnesiac by Radiohead, to have it once more, and to listen to “Pyramid Song” over and over again, even though he will see his wife, in the car, pushing the button to replay the song, never suspecting that would be her last day on earth. There will be people who say they don’t like that song, the guy I live with will mark them down as clueless, and things will go on, from there, like they do.

Until next time, then.




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