below normal

Greetings and salutations everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to amaze and delight you as only a purebred border collie can. You may remember me from such wonderful posts as “Gray Day, With Drays” and “The Worst Laid Plans”, among so many others.

Here I am in a characteristically horticultural pose. I’m out in the garden, as you can see.



Before I talk about what’s been going on, which is hardly anything anyway, how about another picture of me? I say why not. This is me inspecting things in the garden. You know, things that need inspecting. What you see there is what the guy I live with says is a lawn. The thing is, he wanted to grow a bunch of native grasses, and couldn’t figure out where to grow them except all together where the regular lawn was, and so he ripped that out and put these grasses in, but he still calls it a lawn. I don’t really get it.

me again

me again

Whatever, huh. He did decide to order, and then eventually actually did order, some feeder things for the rodents. He says that might a good way of keeping them out of other stuff, but I think what’s really going to happen is that they’ll have their feeders and still do all the other stuff.



A funny thing happened today. I better back up first and say that today was a really beautiful day, the way days can be here at this time of year, but they (you know, “they”) say that snow and cold is coming for the rest of the week, and it’ll be so cold there won’t be any degrees at all here. I think this sounds completely excellent, though the guy I live with doesn’t enjoy going on walks with me when there’s blowing snow and no degrees as much as maybe I’d like him to. “It’s just not the frolic you think it is”, he said to me earlier today, when I was getting all excited about the weather.

So it’s going to get cold., and we’ll be below normal for the foreseeable future. Temperature-wise, I mean. We’re getting ready for it in the usual way. (He’s complaining.) And so today, keeping in mind that it’s going to get really cold and snowy for the rest of the week, which maybe I already said, look what came in the mail. I mean, really, look at this.


If you’re thinking that this is a watering can, you’re right. See, the guy I live with was feeling sorry for himself (like that’s something new, right?) and he ordered this fancy Haws watering can this past summer, and it was back ordered from England, where they make these, and it finally showed up today. He had forgotten all about it, but he remembers it now, since it’s here.

Surely, you may be thinking to yourself, he must already have a watering can. Indeed he does. The guy I live with has this watering can

watering can

watering can

and this watering can (also a Haws)


as well as his Slovakian watering can, which is for the rock garden, and a leaking watering can, and a little watering can for indoors. In fact, two indoor watering cans.  A lot of watering cans.

I can’t explain it. Maybe there is no explanation. The guy I live with has a new watering can.

Okay, let’s see….pictures of me….rodents…..getting cold…..watering can…..oh, I know. The titanopsis. It’s about to bloom. Right when it’s going to get really cold. I think that’s pretty dumb for a plant, but what do I know.


You can see where someone has nibbled on a leaf or two. I forgot to say this is Titanopsis calcarea. I’ll do that now. It’s Titanopsis calcarea. Here’s a better shot of plants that have flower buds, and you can even see the color. Somebody’s been eating these a little, too. Not me, for sure.


Now that really is all. It’s going to get really cold and snowy, we’ll be going on walks in it, and then at night I’ll be tucked in under the covers, sleeping on my soft Pottery Barn sheets.

I’ll say goodbye now, and make this post really excellent by ending it with another picture of me. I got really close to the guy I live with when he was trying to take my picture, which I like to do. You can see the funny little ridge of hair on what I guess is my forehead, that my mommy used to make fun of, but she liked me a lot. Partly because if the funny ridge, I think. It’s very distinguished looking if you ask me.

another picture of me

another picture of me

Until next time, then.

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14 Responses to below normal

  1. All doggies I’ve loved, Chess, have sported that funny little ridge on their foreheads. It’s there to signal you’re loveable. It’s your Loveable Bump.
    The guy you live with is just complaining to fill in the time, Chess. I’m sure he’ll arrange to have some hot coffee or warm stew – or popcorn! – waiting for him on your return from the no temperature walk.
    Finally, I am reading a Margery Allingham mystery now. At some point, you can depend upon it, someone will wander through as Albert Campion confuses folks, and that person will be *carrying a Haws watering can.* Probably with a specific rose attachment. Pretty sure that’s why your person bought the new can, Chess, for its very specific rose.

    • paridevita says:

      The ridge helps keeps my eyes focused, according to the guy I live with, who talk about me focusing all the time. Never with the camera, irony of ironies.
      I haven’t heard the word popcorn in the house for a long, long time. I know what it means, and my mommy and the guy I live with had to say it silently, because we knew what was coming and go fairly berserk with joy. My mommy would sieve out the milk solids in the butter, which the guy I live with stopped doing after she died, and he also used about five times as much butter. Well, for one thing, my buddy Slipper got sick the following January, and didn’t want to eat, and so the popcorn had extra butter and salt, so he would like it. I could tell stories about the stuff the guy I live with cooked up so that my buddy Slipper would eat something, but it might gross out some people. Cooked rice swimming in chicken fat, for instance.
      And speaking of my buddy Slipper, he was the one who chewed the rail on the patio. You can see the chewed part in the picture with the new watering can. He was pretending he was a gigantic black and white rodent or something. Every time he got excited he chewed on the wood. No one knew why. He just did it.
      My buddy Slipper was named after a character in The Irish R.M. (like my grandpa Flurry was named for Flurry Knox). It’s a good thing no one decided to name me Lugg, huh?
      “One must have the proper rose, don’t you think?” said the guy I live with, after which I just rolled my eyes, the way I do.

  2. Your plant of the day is coolly subtle!

    • paridevita says:

      Or subtly cool. We have a problem with rodents eating “ice plants”, and there isn’t anyone here who’s interested in guarding the plants. One winter all of them got dug up and eaten. They must be good.

  3. Tracey says:

    At least the guy you live with uses the watering cans, and they do look attractive. I recently bought a sale watering can from Home Depot that appears to water the floor more than the plants. The guy you live with probably doesn’t have to water with a roll of paper towels in the other hand. I look forward to the photos of the rodents using their feeders.

    • paridevita says:

      Funny. The guy I live with has had Haws watering cans for, like, ever. He uses the green polypropylene one the most. It’s hung outside for years.

  4. Susan ITPH says:

    Slimcan! I’ve got the 2 gallon one. Complaints: Maybe it’s my water, but some of the green enameling has come off the inside and clogged up some of the hole in the rose. Also, the shiny brass coin on the top came off mine. Other than than, very nice can. “Perfectly balanced.” (I’m not really sure what this means.)

    • paridevita says:

      Slimcan. This one doesn’t have enamel on the inside. We debated about epoxy enamel vs. regular galvanized, and the guy I live with voted for enamel. The other galvanized one has been in service since about 1988. The only issue there is that it has replaceable rubber roses, and there’s a tendency to leave the roses on the cans in the winter, with the rubber deteriorating over time.
      Probably won’t be trying out the can for a while, since we don’t water outdoor plants during the winter.
      The polypropylene one is really excellent. Sometimes better than dragging a hose all over the place, huh.

  5. Marcia Blum says:

    Maggie and I were out this past weekend in the balmy weather cutting down wildflower stalks and tossing about seeds on the hill for gardening activities – well Maggie actually spent a lot of time in the ditch sniffing animal trespassers (we have more than just rodents). Now they are all sleeping under the snow, waiting till spring along with the seeds. Chess! Get into bed-bed. I hope you have a down comforter along with the Pottery Barn sheets. It’s getting colder fast in Summit County and sometimes Denver gets this cold and snow right after we do.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s getting pretty cold right now. Surprising how on TV they say “below zero” for tonight when the NOAA website says 9 above, and that they say how it hasn’t been this cold in years, when it was this cold last year. People are weird, no doubt about it.
      The guy I live with sowed some seed, too, hoping the snow would settle it in. Twenty year old seed, no less. He says a lot of seed retains viability that long, and he went through some packets of old seed and decided this was a good time to sow.

  6. I love the timing of the watering can. which is pretty cool if I may say so..:) Those rodents, our Annie thinks are supposed to stay in the trees as when we yell SQUIRREL and she takes them sailing. Only because we used to have 12 hanging from the bird feeders and I would go chase them off… now we have bird feeder boxes that they jump/fly from the trees to them..nothing keeps them out, but at least they don’t break and fall to the ground. ) We are expecting arctic freezes here too. Keep warm and safe in the storms Chess and the guy you live with. :).

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with ordered a feeder box the other day. Hopefully this will keep the rodents from trying to walk into the kitchen and opening the refrigerator door.
      We purebred border collies think Arctic freezes are downright excellent, though the guy I live with doesn’t like keeping the back door open, which kind of spoils it.

  7. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    A fine looking watering can, I must say. It makes me feel so dowdy. I use empty milk jugs to water, when I do water plants. Hearing the sound of water hitting that plastic when I fill the jugs whips the dogs I live with into a frenzy of excitement ~~ because it means they get to GO OUT! It doesn’t matter that they were just out. They get to GO OUT again!! Another sound that excites them is the sound of my sock drawer opening. Because if I’m putting on socks, then shoes must surely follow. And I only wear shoes when I’m GOING FOR A WALK!! These are the most exciting things I do (according to the dogs I live with). Plus giving them food. That is exciting, too. And GOING FOR A RIDE IN THE CAR (except for Sammy, who hates the car).

    • paridevita says:

      We use plastic jugs too, though here they’re water jugs, because the guy I live with doesn’t drink cow’s milk. He did, though, introduce me to Fromager d’Affinois, which I’ve decided I like a lot. So I didn’t get enough, of course.
      My grandpa Flurry, who was an overly-excitable guy until he got really old, thought the word “overwrought”, which he got a lot, meant “go for a ride”, so the guy I live with and my mommy had to stop using that word and tell him to “cool his jets” or something similar.
      They had a Toyota pickup and the back of it would bounce up and down because my grandpa Flurry was whooping it up back there.

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