Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, yet again. You may remember me from such posts as “Making A List” and “Three Percent Humidity” among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose, after a nice drink of water.
The guy I live with, who, to his credit, desperately tries to be focused as much as possible (and I’m not talking about camera work here), set alarms on his cell phone to remind him when to give me my pills (which I’m doing very well on, thanks for asking), and this morning he looked at the clock on the stove and wondered why the alarm hasn’t gone off on his cell phone. Then he looked at the clock on the laptop, and it said an hour earlier than the stove clock.
He wondered if the world had come to an end. He says people say it will, all the time, and nothing ever happens, but he thought maybe today was the day.
Then it dawned on him what had happened.
After a while he started in on his latest project. Fixing the steps up to the shed. I wasn’t interested in this so I took a nap. The original steps, put in way back when, were these railroad-tie-like things which had been treated with some chemical, but the wood eventually fell apart, the way wood does when it’s half buried in the dirt. They were ugly anyway. So then he picked up some 4x4s from when the first part of the fence was put up here, last year, and made steps up to the shed. These were ugly steps too. So finally he fixed everything so the steps up to the shed weren’t the ugliest part of the back yard. They’re not quite done, but you get the idea.
“Sheds”, says the guy I live with, “should be very cozy.” You can see that the shed itself is sitting on railroad ties, which were here when he and my mommy moved into the house. That was back in the days when everyone landscaped with railroad ties. They had creosote on them.
When he was little, the guy I live with would brush creosote on wood, which his grandfather showed him how to do, because that’s what they did back in the old days. It had a very pleasant smell.
And back about the time when he met my mommy, when they were both working for the phone company, the guy I live with was climbing telephone poles and a lot of the older ones had been painted with creosote and he’d come home smelling like it, sometimes. It’s hard for me to believe that’s what he did for a living at that time, but he did, and it was a good job, and after he and my mommy were married, she left the phone company to stay at home for the rest of her life, and that meant that there was always someone at home with us border collies, which the guy I live with says made us very spoiled indeed.
They built the shed together. It’s bolted onto the railroad ties so it will never fly away in the wild. The floor is dirt. The guy I live with did most of the work, with my mommy helping, and then after his work was done, she put in the finishing touches. Shelves, the windows, and so forth. By the way, the hornet’s nest is empty, but my mommy wanted to hang it in the shed.
The slug stuff is there because my mommy thought the picture on the box was cool. We don’t have slugs here. The things in bottles and cans haven’t been used in twenty years. This was shown before but since I’m talking about the shed I’ll show it again, just to be sentimental, which we border collies definitely are. My mommy cut this into the shelf she made.Here’s what the new steps look like if you were standing in the shed (which I know you’re not). That’s me doing an inspection.I understand there was some debate about the necessity of a threshold. My mommy said yes, and the guy I live with said okay, if she thought it had to be there. That was pretty much how it worked. Incidentally he said that a threshold was a wooden board so placed as to keep the threshed grain from falling out of the barn. There isn’t any grain in the shed here, but it adds a quaint touch. No one has ever tripped over it which is what the guy I live with said would happen to him the first time he walked into the shed. He would get impaled on a pitchfork or something and then my mommy would be very sad and wish she hadn’t put in the threshold, but none of that ever happened.
That was our day. Or rather, his day because I mostly just hung around the house (“as usual”, says the guy I live with, though to my credit I did chase a rabbit at Tinkle Time last night), except to go out from time to time to see what he was doing. He did take a picture of a flower, Crocus cartwrightianus ‘Marcel’, which was blooming today. I think we need to have a talk about focusing again.
So we have new steps up to the shed now. When all the sand gets swept away, if it ever does, I might show them again.
I guess that’s all for now. Until next time, then.
Have you ever tried to collect the stigmas on your C. cartwrightianus for saffron purposes? I’m curious if they taste the same as C. sativus given their relations and such.
No, but I read that you can. There’s so much saffron in the kitchen here, from crocuses, it’s ridiculous.
Oh, time for a biryani, maybe. Or risotto alla milanese. (The guy I live with goes berserk when people pronounce it ri-SOE-toe, so he never serves it to other people.)
Hey Chess, was that water from the birdbath? Your guy does have nice crocus, almost focused and great muted background. Ours, when they do appear, are always yellow or white, boring. We’ve had a close bushfire the last two days and even though I have never done it before I now bark every time the bush fire brigade drive past which is often. From one end of the fire to the other they go, so far it has not come up the hill opposite as we are on top of the ridge. And talk about needing a quiet nap, water bombing helicopters constantly, what a noise! Sirens never bothered me before unlike my predessor who actually howled every time there was a siren, apparently it was very embarassing when they were out. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully all will be quiet as it usually is.
Hope you make it through. Good wishes to you. GO when ;you have to.
Yes. The guy I live with would say that material things aren’t really that important in the scheme of things.
No, that was water from my bowl in the kitchen, which the guy I live with constantly replenishes. Starting about now, for the next few months, the tap water is so cold he has to add some hot water to my drinking water.
Wildfires can be very scary. We had some really big ones here this year. The guy I live with has a couple of gardening friends in Australia, too.
We live south of a highway (you can hear traffic noise when he makes his movies, but he tunes out the noise), and when sirens go off, like from fire engines, or ambulances, lots of dogs in the neighborhood start howling. I only howl when the guy I live with leaves me alone. I learned that from my buddy Slipper. The guy I live with told my mommy, who thought that behavior was disgraceful, that we were saying “Bring us back something, please.”
Gardening friends in Australia? That they exist is good news — my publisher just last week advised me that gardening books don’t sell as well in Oz as travel books do, which is disheartening to a travel writer writing about gardens.
Isn’t howling just a form of love song?
Gardening friends in Oz. There are gardening-travel books of a sort, the “Mountain Flower Holidays” series, mostly written for rock gardeners who like seeing plants in the wild.
Howling is what you do when there isn’t anything left to do.
Oh I just *knew* border collies, especially purebred, are sentimental!
That is one cuddly shed. Looks much like our garage, which is more kinda prickly, though. We lack the curtains.
You look fine in inspection mode, Chess.
Crocus cartwrightianus ‘Marcel’ just – as is said – POPS! I think you’re a tad harsh on the subject of your person’s photographic skills. Can’t beat the shot of the hearted initials. Yes, sentimental with the photos coming before. I’m awash.
Hmm. Do you think your person, Chess, is, you know, sorta braggy? About saffron? That’s how it strikes those of us who love and stir up a mean risotto alla Milanese, but have to close our eyes when we hand over the money for fresh saffron. Okay, we’re just jealous.
We are indeed very sentimental. The guy I live with called me a “sap dog” and blamed my mommy for the cuddly treatment I got from the minute I showed up here, but of course you can see why.
He might be braggy, but he’s been growing saffron crocus for about twenty years. Mostly for tandoori chicken biryani, where you make tandoori chicken, then make a sauce of ghee, tomato sauce, fenugreek and cayenne, and then bake it with cooked basmati rice that has had some saffron steeped in warm cream mixed in.
The shed curtains are mostly in tatters. The guy I live with says Earl shredded them to make a cozy dray up in the trees. The windows, which my mommy made herself, had glass, but the window broke the panes one by one over the years. The shed doesn’t have any scary parts like his grandparents’ did, but there are illegal burrows in one corner.
C & B carving…
Awwww…that heart. And the ivory billed woodpeckers: nice touch. I don’t know how your mommy managed it, chess, to be an artist and still have time for such domestic achievements. After I paint for five hours I have nothing left over for home-making. You should see my house. It looks as if Earl’s here every day, speeding up the natural process of entropy.
Oh, uh, well, the guy I live with ran the vacuum a lot. He still does. It’s scary.
The heart. Cut with a Dremel tool.