Greetings and salutations everyone; it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, once again, here to tell you the latest news from the garden, on this, our 500th post. You may remember me from such outstanding and delightful posts as “Show And Tell” and “Life With A Nut, Part Two”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with says he’s going to fix that funny little spot in the carpet, where he accidentally ripped part of it off the stairs, when he was painting. He painted some, today, too.
He hasn’t gotten very much sleep lately, and the reason for this, he says (I was snoring, so I didn’t notice), is that he’s had to get up several times during the night and release mice caught in the Tin Cat in the kitchen. He was pretty upset that there were mice in the kitchen, suddenly, after years of having a miceless kitchen, but then, lately, they were there, and he couldn’t figure out why.
Last night he saw one walk into the kitchen from the living room, which is the opposite direction he thought mice would be walking in, since they’d most likely be getting into the kitchen from a non-living-room type area, like say the garage or outdoors. So he spent about an hour down in the laundry room looking for holes from the crawl space into the laundry room. He couldn’t find any, and so his frustration increased. I could tell.
Then, on a whim, he looked in the downstairs closet, and noticed that the door to the crawl space was wide open. “You know”, he said, “there seems to be a direct correlation between the time I went into the crawl space to look for a box, and the appearance of mice in the kitchen.” I thought about it, too, and decided he was right.
So he fixed that problem.
Well, if you read the title of today’s post first, like some people do, you may wonder what the connection is between the teakettle and the roof. I’ll tell you now.
Because the sun can’t get to the gutter over the driveway, water has been dripping down onto the driveway, and then freezing, creating what the guy I live with said was a “death trap”. I know about cuddles, and breakfast and dinner, and going for walks, and biscuits, and sleeping on soft Pottery Barn sheets, but I didn’t know what a “death trap” was, and didn’t much like the sound of it, until he explained that it was the ice I slipped on yesterday. (I’m okay.)
He got on the ladder and started chipping away at the ice in the gutter, with a rock hammer. He wore goggles.
The guy I live with says that, ever since the turn of the century, the concrete has been spalling, and that, well, basically, the driveway is falling apart. So long as he can drive on it, I don’t think he’ll do anything about the spalling, but he says it shows what winters have been like in the last dozen years.
What else? Oh, remember I said something about painting, well, he got a can of paint and was going to paint the kitchen cabinets, instead of washing them, but he got the wrong color of paint and so he didn’t do much painting. The color he got was for the baseboard trim. He felt pretty smug about having written down all the colors of paint for all the different areas of the house, but he said, rather profoundly I thought, that if you write down the wrong thing it doesn’t do much good.
One thing was pretty funny, though. He washed out the paint brush in the sink and, when he was done, he realized that he’d been leaning against the wet paint on the cabinet door below. It’s really too bad that purebred border collies don’t know how to use digital cameras, because a picture of that would have added a certain something to this post, don’t you think?
The other thing he said was that he has to go out this week to have his taxes done, and that when they’re done we might have to move to a place called Guadalajara and he might have to change his name. I don’t know where Guadalajara is. I like it here, except for the thunder.
Also, the guy I live with spent some time contemplating astragalus seeds today. If this sounds really boring to you, that’s because it is. Astragalus is the largest genus of flowering plants, not counting orchids, and there are a lot of them worth growing in the rock garden. He had a whole bunch, a while back, but now they’re gone, and so he wanted some more.
What you do, he said, is nick the seed, opposite the hilum (the part where the seed attaches to the seed pod, like if you looked at a kidney bean, the white part), so that water can enter the otherwise impervious seed coat. That sounds like a whole lot of fun to me. My paws don’t work that way, fortunately. That’s a large sewing needle, and a penny. He looked at these seeds for quite a long time, and then said something, and put them back in the packet.
Another method is to “scarify” the seed using something like sandpaper. He’s tried that, and says the seed just gets ground to dust. Well, it would, wouldn’t it?
The easiest way to get astragalus plants, he says, is simply to sow them in pots outdoors, and let the cold, of which we have plenty, crack the seed coats, like nature intended. Since it’s the easiest way, he’s decided to do that. Eventually, of course.
I guess that really is all for today.
Until next time, then.