things from afar

Greetings and salutations, everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to tell you all about my very boring day. Since I’m interesting, it might not be so boring, but it’s pretty boring nonetheless. You may remember me from such riveting and informative posts as “On A Rampage” and “Something Completely Different”, among so many others.

Here I am being very bored.

me, bored

me, bored

The guy I live with says that the air outside is air from Canada, which he says he’s basically against. The air, not Canada. He thinks that Colorado should build a mountain range “as high as the Tien Shan” on the Colorado-Wyoming border, so that he can stay warm. He says they could make it out of stuff that would ordinarily go to landfills, and that it wouldn’t smell any worse than it does when cold air blows from the north, over the stock yards in Denver, right to his ultra-sensitive nose.

Fahrenheit on the right

Fahrenheit on the right

He says that Canada does make up for it “in a good sort of way”. This is his new ergonomic snow shovel which he got to try out this morning and it was made in Canada. He says it’s great.


The white there is the drop cloth, which he stuffed under the garage door so that the garage wouldn’t be “the coldest place in North America”, and he says it makes a difference.

The other thing are his Sorels. His cold-winter paws. Snow paws, if you will.


He wore these paws when he worked outside in weather just like this and said they’re wonderful, and he might get me a pair if they make such things. So they’re at least 20 years old, maybe older. He says they weren’t designed to climb poles in, because you need a stiffer sole, technically, but he did it anyway, and they were fine. Somehow I can’t picture him doing that, but he did. My mommy used to wear the same pair when she shoveled snow, and she was only five feet two inches tall, so she looked really silly, but she insisted on shoveling so that the guy I live with, whom she liked a lot, wouldn’t throw out his back. Now he shovels regardless. And he puts on these fancy paws when we go for walks in the snow.

I just have my regular paws and they do tend to ice up. The guy I live with helps clean the ice out of my paw pads so we can keep going. But my walks have been shorter than normal because of the icing business.




The guy I live with thinks snow is boring, and especially, he says, “if it outstays its welcome”, which it has been doing the last few winters.

He spent the day filling out seed orders to send to the Czech Republic, “complete with the seed permit and label in case anyone in authority is reading this”, and now they’re winging their way eastward. Well, he hopes eastward.

And this new book came in the mail today.


It came from the Alpine Garden Society book shop. He’s very excited because he likes tulips a lot. “Species tulips”, he says, just to clarify, I guess.

He took a picture of the baby cactuses growing downstairs, too. They’re not growing very quickly because it’s just the laundry room and not a greenhouse, but he says he’s in no hurry. They really want sun instead of artificial light.


Baby cactus. Kind of hard to relate to cactus when it’s so delightfully frigid outside, but the guy I live with said to post it, so I did.

I think that’s about it. I’ll show another picture of me to perk things up, even though I look really bored again. We did go for both walks today, so the guy I live with says I look bored because I’m not busy eating. I think that’s slightly rude, don’t you? I admit I do think about food a lot, though. Especially the fromager d’affinois I had this afternoon. That was good, and I could be eating some now, instead of posting, but what can you do.

Until next time, then.

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14 Responses to things from afar

  1. Extra cold down here near the border, Chess, which seems to make the surf high. Exciting. Not as exciting as snow, but high surf will do us until Santa rides the fire truck in Friday’s parade. I am surprised you don’t report the guy you live with complaining about clearing your toe pads from snow. If he did so complain, bet you’d have those Sorels, doggie version, lickety-split. Thank you for posting, Chess, appreciate the photos. Those cacti are *cute*, almost as cute as Chess being bored on a light blue carpet. The snow shovel is such a gorgeous blue!

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with doesn’t complain about cleaning ice out of my paw pads; actually, he’s pretty good at it. I think I would look silly in boots, though.
      He does say that he hopes this sudden cold isn’t a sign that the coming winter will be endless, like all the winters since 2006-07, with snow on the ground for months instead of days. Endlessly endless, he says. Maybe it’ll warm up into the 70s before Christmas. It could happen. It has before.

  2. Susan ITPH says:

    Thumbs up for the Sorel and Fromage d’affinois shout-outs. Favorite cheese of the moment and essential booties. Did I mention its 5F here right now?

    • paridevita says:

      5F sounds toasty compared to here. There probably aren’t any degrees here at all right now. According to the guy I live with, the Rocky Mountains are on the wrong side of our house, and there’s nothing between us and the frozen north.
      He would also point out to people here who say that the last few winters have been “mild” that between 1991 and about 2006 it went below 0F (-17C) four times, sometimes hardly at all, and every winter since then it’s gone below 0F several times. Once even last April. But so long as it doesn’t rain like it did last winter, he says he won’t complain. Much.
      The guy I live with also had this idea that the new fence on the north side of the back yard would help keep out the cold. He has a lot of ideas.

  3. Loree says:

    I realize I’m stating the obvious but damn, that is a lot of snow!

    • paridevita says:

      Yeah, wait until spring to see a lot of snow. Only about 4 inches (10cm) on the ground. According to the guy I live with, though, “the trouble with snow is that it’s everywhere”. What a deep thinker.

  4. Vivian Swift says:

    I’ve lived in Anchorage (Alaska) and Paris, and the Winters in Paris were worse: rain is much more depressing than snow.

    It’s all about cultivating the Winter Mind. For me, the Winter Mind is about my quest to draw a decent-looking tree. It’s only in Winter when their true structure is revealed and I study them daily. Still can’t draw one, yet, but this Winter might be the Winter when I finally “get” it.

    I just read about a border collie in South Carolina named Chaser who knows 1022 words, all related to her 1022 different toys. Now we know that Chess has an impressive, bi-lingual knowledge of many, many different words for “cheese”. All part of the border collie Winter Mind.

    • paridevita says:

      I think that after he lost my mommy the guy I live with’s Winter Mind just kind of drifted off into space somewhere. He tries to keep busy doing things he likes, like ordering seeds and then trying to figure out why he ordered so many, and staring at things a lot. He learned the staring from me.
      I know a lot of words and phrases. The only word I don’t understand is “no”. The guy I live with says my mommy never said it to me, which is why things are the way they are now.
      Oh, the guy I live with has said he’s going to learn how to use the DSLR this winter. I think that means more pictures of me, and other less interesting subjects.
      I’m waiting for him to give me another biscuit right now so I better go.

  5. Vivian Swift says:

    P.S. I live with a 17-year old cocker spaniel. I’m not sure she even knows her own name.

  6. petabunn says:

    I agree you’re guy is rude, you should be eating more to keep up your strength for your walks in the snow, doesn’t he realise that, especially extra fromage. Bored or not they are still gorgeous photos of you and trekking through the snow, excellent. Your guy can curl up and keep happy reading the latest book for his collection, looks like a good one, beautiful tulips, while you keep your strength up the one way we know how.

  7. pamit says:

    Chess, does it take long to get used to booties? The standard poodle I live with needs some but she is hardheaded about such things. Yesterday I found a couple of bloody pawprints on the carpet, which are worse than ice chunks to clean.

    • paridevita says:

      It turned out that I couldn’t wear the booties, because of my “funny right hind leg”. The guy I live with has one, too (Achilles tendinitis), so he doesn’t criticize me for walking the way I do.
      We tried walking without booties today and it worked fine, though I did have to have my paws de-iced.

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