more stuff gets done

Hello everyone; it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden on this soggy and slushy day. You may remember me from such fascinating posts as “Little Red Elephants” and “Baffled Again”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with has been reading about the czars of Russia and decided my picture should be taken with gaze averted, just like a czar or something. Come to think of it, I do rather look like royalty. Snow-eating royalty, to boot. 14020805I could probably just stop right here, now that the post is all totally excellent, but the guy I live with insists on trying to be interesting, so here goes.

It was a pretty nice day. Hard to believe it was so cold just a few days ago.14020802It was melting so much that the guy I live with’s feet got wet, and he had to change shoes and socks, then those got wet, and on and on. He has about fifty pairs of socks just because of that.

He sowed a whole bunch of seed today. It was too drippy on the patio to do it there, so he sowed the seed indoors, after filling the pots outside. There was an offer of help, as usual, but he dismissed it.14020801He also moved all the pots in the garage refrigerator back out to the shelves on the patio, and covered them with a double layer of plastic. This is especially attractive.

14020803When the plastic flaps in the wind, it’s pretty scary, but you can see how he takes care of that in the next picture, if you look closely, and the picture also shows the seed pots nestled on the shelves. He thinks “nestled” sounds more positive than “sitting”. He’s sown seed this way for almost a quarter century now. When something starts to happen in one of the pots, the pot gets moved out into a frame on the trough patio to be in more or less full sun. The pots are in plastic trays that can be filled with water; drying out is the biggest danger, he says.

If nothing happens, he flings the contents of the pot out into the garden, accompanied by a colorful phrase or two, and then a couple of years later wonders what plant it is that has appeared in the garden “as if by magic”.

I say the biggest danger here is that some rodent might discover that this is warmer than practically everywhere else and chew its way through the plastic, but the guy I live with says that probably won’t happen. I’m not going to be involved, that’s for sure. 14020804The water jug, which is what that is, is to keep pots from falling over. In theory, anyway.

He got all his seed from the Scottish Rock Garden Club and the Czech seed collectors a couple of days ago, and so there’s more sowing to be done. It gives him something to do, besides constantly going down into the laundry room and looking at the “zillion” cactus seedlings. I think he’s exaggerating the number, but I think there really are a lot, now. 14020806You know those people who say really weird things and you just think “Huh”? Well, when people ask the guy I live with what he’s going to do with all the cactus and other plants, he just says “Huh?”, like they’d asked the weirdest question in the world. “What sort of thing is that to ask a gardener? What am I going to do with all the plants?” Well, most of them will probably die when he forgets to water them on a hot day, but I don’t say things like that to him.

I guess that’s all. Wait, no, I got to see Norm the coyote pretty close up yesterday morning, and that was really cool, though the guy I live with didn’t have his camera, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. We didn’t say anything to each other, though. Just looked at each other.

Now that really is all. I’ll show another picture of me, again in a characteristic pose, and one of my personal favorites, to make the post all excellent again.IMG_7955_edited-1


Until next time, then.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to more stuff gets done

  1. Kim Bone says:

    I thought that last picture your: nose & paw, were MICE, going into the TIN CAT…
    I saw a mouse run under the sofa today. I set traps and just checked them and the mouse was able to eat all the cheese w/out the trigger snapooning. Why don’t you set-traps? Your a better buddhist than vegetarian? The cactus house gets over run by mice as well…a couple of times I have found mice carcasses stabbed to death in flats of real spininess. I put out poison this year (w/ a little guilt) and it has been kinda nice not seeing there little bodies scampering around every corner. I do worry about the residual effects…sigh

    On this show ‘Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown’ they sat down to a dinner of guinea pig. The dinner as a whole looked pretty good. And during the day they searched out some ALL white cacao seed pods for there $18.00 a bar of gourmet chocolate bars. The all white was rare.

    You know what I am loving this season, jumping spiders, they look like tiny tarantulas. They don’t seem to fear humans. Seems like there is always one in my work area; and it seems like they crawl around to look at me with this sweetness, kinda making me feel warm and fuzzy. Not as good as a pure bred B.C. of coarse.

    • paridevita says:

      No, we don’t set traps, that’s icky. The guy I live with released a mouse last night (they’re coming inside some different way now) and it ran over his hand with its little tickly feet. Jumping spiders are scary. Phidippus audax, I think. Audax, brave, the way they hold their arms, or whatever, up at you when you get close to them. Saw one tonight.

  2. Although I understand the guy you live with disapproves, Chess, and perhaps you yourself also, if you can use the phrase “all totally excellent,” I will say you in all photos are totes adorb. I mean it, and so there. Your rodent friend soliciting employment takes a not bad photo too.
    About a zillion seeds looks exactly, precisely right.
    This week I have embarked on a mission of spraying my roses with aerobic compost tea. Fun, and my roses already look grateful even though Mike Shupe of Texas Rose Emporium says six months down the line is when the effect becomes visible. I have found spraying itself is a time-consuming chore, though, Chess. Have you observed the guy you live with using an efficient sprayer? I desperately need one if I’m going to keep up this spraying program.

    • paridevita says:

      Funny, the guy I live with was just talking to a nursery friend, his very best friend in fact, and told her he’d never seen anything happen with fertilizer at all, except when he started using Osmocote with the baby cactus. He’s not much of a fertilizer-type gardener. It’s quite probable that he’s been doing the fertilizing all wrong, since there are, you know, instructions. Ages ago, when Smith & Hawken was still Smith & Hawken, he bought a Smith (no relation, he says) garden sprayer which was totally excellent (like me). He still has it, though one time, ignoring instructions not to, it was left in the shed with some water in the sprayer tube attachment thingy and it blew apart when it froze, which was stupid of him, but typical. The one bit of spraying he does do, which some people say doesn’t work, but he does, is spray roses with Cloud Cover in November. People who say it doesn’t work have their roses die back to the ground after a hard winter (though some claim this never happens), but his roses are green to the top (so there, he says), but he uses an ordinary sprayer like you can get at the hardware store.

      • Not so much fertilizing, Chess – although, yes – as much as spraying for disease and infestation prevention. I shall investigate Cloud Cover – which sounds like my preferred technique, just spray up in the air and let it cover. Osmocote for cacti? You do run quite the estate there, Chess, full of new ideas, marvels, and wonderment.

      • paridevita says:

        Cloud Cover is a biodegradable plastic polymer used as an antidesiccant, etc., but used here simply to reduce the effects of hot winter sun. The guy I live with read about Osmocote on a cactus-growing forum, because he was tired of jumping up and down and yelling, “Grow, please”. We thought you mean what kind of sprayer. I think the Smith is still held in high regard.

  3. Tracey says:

    The little potential helper seems remarkably secure and relaxed for a squirrel in front of a pure-bred border collie. Maybe the mice told him about your rodent-loving household.The coyote may be coming around to eat the mice.

    You are much more handsome than a member of the house of Romanov, Chess. It sounds as though your life is equally luxurious – two mattresses AND the bed of TGILW? You have it better than my pure-bred rescue Siamese.

    • paridevita says:

      This may sound gruesome, but the guy I live with is hoping for a lot of garter snakes this year. That will reduce the mouse population dramatically. It’s gross to see it happen, though. My life isn’t all that luxurious. The Pottery Barn sheets I sleep on aren’t the most expensive ones. So that’s really roughing it, you know. I did get a Ralph Lauren goose down pillow for me head, but it’s so puffy it’s hard to put my head on. The pillow was my mommy’s, though, so that’s nice.

  4. Kim Bone says:

    I’m not particularly proud of setting traps or using poison and, agree it is icky and scary…Just think it is an interesting discourse. won’t use either; and my step-mom has some sort of Tim Cat contraption that she traps the mice and then releases them behind restaurants, which is kinda icky, as well.

    • paridevita says:

      There was a lot of racket in the Tin Cat last night, but when the guy I live with went down to check, there was a really little mouse in it who could get out again. Never seen that before. He thinks the mouse didn’t weigh enough to push down the ramp. He told me all this because I was snoring so loudly I didn’t hear anything.

  5. Alison says:

    I have a feeling there was actually quite a lot of communication going on between you and the coyote. When you’re a canine, a look says a lot. “What are you going to do with all the plants?” LOL

    • paridevita says:

      I feel sorry for them because they have to go back to a den, instead of sleep on a bed. They also have to hunt for their food. The guy I live with does all the hunting for me, and brings it back in a bag, and in cans. (I get both for my breakfast and dinner.) However, I am retired, so there’s that. My mommy used to ask the guy I live with where the plants he bought were going to go, all the time. One time he bought a little ocotillo, and she asked him where it was going, and he said “Outside”, and she said “Goodbye, little ocotillo.” In fact, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between planting something outside and a very sad farewell.

  6. KathyB says:

    Recently I inquired of an Owl Society the possibility of adding an owl nesting box on my suburban property. After some thought, I gave up on the idea due to the uncertainly of my neighbors use of rodent poison. I don’t use it, never have, although we have used traditional traps and a newer type of electronic device both of which are pretty quick. Rats and mice can take several days to die of an agonizing death. In the meantime they can be consumed by birds, cats, etc. Well, we can all get the picture. Sometimes we all have to do what we have to do and I know these critters can be a serious problem, but there are more humane options that do not put wildlife and the family pet in harm’s way. Years ago 2 dogs in my family died from ingesting a poison that a next door neighbor had sprinkled outside. Rant over as my blood pressure is about to become volcanic thinking about it.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with doesn’t kill anything, though he does act really tough with his squirt gun. He quotes Raymond Chandler when he’s outside with the squirt gun, acting all tough. He eats meat, claiming that he feels sorry for the dead animals, but would become a vegetarian were there a South Indian restaurant within walking distance. We have lots of snakes here, and the guy I live with has dishes of water set out for them, hoping more will flock to his garden, and do what they do best. Yes, the death from poison is not a quick one.

  7. petabunn says:

    What a chubby little squirrel, definitely does not need any more food. Good to see the weather has improved enough for your guy to get out doing what he loves best, second best that is after looking after you. Anyway you can never have too many seedlings I say. That was pretty interesting getting up close and personal with Norm the coyote, make sure guy takes his camera in future, would love to see Norm. Yes excellent post especially start and finish, I think I might keep the last pic for my desktop tonight instead of the big czar Chess.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; yes, it would be nice to get a good coyote picture but we’ve been getting up rather late these past few days. It isn’t my fault; that’s what you do when you’re retired, according to the guy I live with. No schedule. In fact, when he has something to do, like an appointment, he gets all nervous and can barely function, which is saying quite a bit, since functioning on anything but a very low level really isn’t part of our modern lifestyle. The weather has since deteriorated but we are promised some sunnier weather tomorrow, i.e. Tuesday.

  8. Kim Bone says:

    So he let the little mouse go in the garage? My mouse is grey and not on the small side…
    And for some reason he is able to eat the cheese w/out the trap snapping? 2-traps fully loaded; 2-times! I loaded them w/ peanut butter today. Feeling sort-of-guilty… Between your snoring and the tin cat racket, no wonder, you take naps. Guess retirement helps. I wonder if I could retire in Guadalajara? Guadalajara-Guadaulajara-Guadualajara…

    • paridevita says:

      Peanut butter in the Tin Cat. They walk in, on the little metal ramps, and the ramp flips up when they get all the way in, so they can’t get out, until the lid of the Tin cat is opened in the garage.

  9. Kim Bone says:

    Darn mouse. I don’t know what to do…

  10. I almost asked the question whose answer is “Huh?”

    My mom used to love to grow plants from seed and would get impatient and dump the flats and then be surprised when the plants appeared in the compost pile.

Comments are closed.