gray and gloomy

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, indeed, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to entertain and delight you. You may remember me from such entertaining and delightful posts as “A Change Of Pace” and “Invasion Of The Pods”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Hoping for a biscuit, of course. (I got one.)14020901Today was really gray and gloomy, a disappointment after yesterday’s nice weather. The humidity was ninety-six percent, and it was all cloudy and chilly and everything, and occasionally a lone snowflake would drift through the air. My walks were good, though there was a lot of frozen slush which, you know, can be hard on the paws, and a lot of ice. I and the guy I live with both fell down on the ice today, not at the same time, but we’re both okay.

You can see how gray and gloomy it was. My mommy bought that green star. Every so often it stays upright. 14020906Even so, the noise from the redwing blackbirds was pretty amazing. They’re starting that trilling song they have, which tells us that spring isn’t too far around the corner. The tree in the movie here is almost three hundred feet away.

The guy I live with filled some seed pots, and even started a fire, with real firewood, in the chiminea, to stay warm out on the patio, but he didn’t get very far with his project. 14020907He kept losing his pencil. He says that a pencil is the only thing to use on labels in this climate, because the sun bleaches out everything else. I wonder if some people know what a pencil is, in these computer days. This is a pencil.pencil

It has to be sharpened with something called a pencil sharpener. There’s one out in the garage, which is why it’s so dusty.

pencil sharpener

pencil sharpener

Oh, well, now that I’ve started on this, here’s an extremely prehistoric writing instrument. It’s called a typewriter. I know it kind of looks like computer, in a way, but it’s not one. The guy I live with says this was made in 1937. They didn’t even have TV then. I wonder what people did back in those days. 14020904It was purchased at, or possibly repaired by, the Wilshire Typewriter Company (DUnkirk 2-3584) in Los Angeles, probably right before the guy I live with’s grandfather was stationed overseas, in the Philippines. He was an Army doctor.

When his grandfather was stationed in Yuma, Arizona, about 1938, before going overseas, a dog came up and licked the paint off the side of the box. My buddy Slipper used to lick paint off things, and there’s the story of my uncle Pooka, who licked all the buttermilk off the troughs after the guy I live with painted them with it to try to get moss to grow.

I’m not so much the kind of purebred border collie who licks things like paint or buttermilk; I tried buttermilk once and I thought it was icky. My buddy Slipper liked it, of course. 14020905

I know this doesn’t have anything to do with gardening, but it was a really boring day for the guy I live with. He felt sorry even for me, and gave me a cow ear to chew on. I know it sounds gross, but it wasn’t.

This is our living room, with me chewing in it. The rattan furniture, which is think is called “bahooka” or something like that, was purchased in the Philippines in 1939. It’s really creaky, like I’ve said before. My mommy did the arranging in the living room, and that’s her picture up on the shelf. Those are all her books, mostly. When the guy I live with painted the living room, he took everything down and put it back exactly the way it was. 14020908I’m kind of rambling, aren’t I? The guy I live with says that okay; that’s what you do when you’re retired. Oh, wait, wait, there is something gardening related left to say.

The guy I live with got an email from Garden Talk which said they were having a sale, and so he ordered a couple more of these propagators, which he says are excellent. He puts heavy-duty aluminum foil in the bottom, to line the tray, because the tray comes with drainage holes. He’s ordered from Garden Talk, or Nicke’s, for, like, ever. IMG_7997_edited-1Okay, now I think I’ve covered everything that I had to say today. I guess I’ll let you go now. May all your cow ears be chewy.


Until next time, then.


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12 Responses to gray and gloomy

  1. Planning to moss-ify many lovely pots, I once whipped up a blenderful of moss with a quart of buttermilk, put it into a bowl just the right size for dipping and went to get the pots. When I returned, my first Airedale (yes, I failed to learn my lesson and got another!), Drizzzle had licked the bowl so clean that I thought I’d forgotten to put the mixture into the bowl and went inside to find the blender. Drizzle suffered no indigestion whatsoever, proving that there is no justice in this world.

    • paridevita says:

      They say flat beer works, too, but that was tried, with exactly the same result. Purebred border collies like beer, even though they’re not supposed to have it. The moral seems to be that things you’re not supposed to have are actually the best. The guy I live with does not really see the point of things like buttermilk, since he can buy buttermilk powder and not have to drink any. Buttermilk and moss sounds really icky. I’ve never liked a lot of things that the other purebred border collies who’ve lived here have. Like, one time, my mommy bought a can of venison dog food, and she put a spoonful into my dinner bowl and my buddy Slipper’s, and I put the whole spoonful in my mouth, and spat it out on the kitchen floor, ptui, like that. My buddy Slipper vacuumed it up. It was gross.

  2. “May all your cow ears be chewy” — I … don’t know what to say (trails off).
    You, evidently, do know how to chew on a cow ear as the redwing blackbirds know what to do in a tree.
    Oh, two lovely know-what-they’re-about propagators, all set up for propagating duties.
    Chess, you’ve given us a post steeped in nostalgia, just right for my day.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with, if I never said so, can be nostalgic sometimes. The propagators are really great, and supposedly you can root cuttings in them. The guy I live with tried to root cuttings once, and he gave up after that, so you can guess how successful he was. The propagators have a thing at the top you can open to dehumidify them. The blackbirds just started singing today, and that sound is the sound of spring. So are meadowlarks, but we didn’t hear any last year, which was sad. About the cow ears. They aren’t just any cows ears, of course, because the guy I live with knows that just any cows ears can make my digestion do unpleasant things. These are I&Love&You natural cow ears, with nothing added. I guess that’s kind of a plug.

  3. Lucie K. says:

    A wonderful, multi-media post today, Chess! Truly a feast for the senses.

    Do you really think Spring is “just around the corner”? I’m reminded of the Arnold Lobel story “Spring” featuring Frog and Toad.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Well, it may be a pretty big corner to get around…..Though it’s nice to pretend. The guy I live with says there’s nothing wrong with having delusions, so long as you know they are delusions. I guess that makes sense.

  4. Tracey says:

    We had snow yesterday so it was nice to see the red-wing blackbird clip. In the spring, I am actually woken every morning at 4 AM by the birdsong.from the oak forest across the street and outside my window. We get everything from crows to blue jays to mockingbirds. One mockingbird perfected the sound of my alarm clock. I hope the dawn chorus resumes soon.

    My favorite cat was a tabby-Siamese mix who was an amazing hunter and brought home dead rodents daily. One day a feral kitten followed him home and stayed. The older cat spent much time teaching the kitten how to hunt and the kitten became an expert at field mouse elimination (the older cat was great with mice, the odd squirrel, and once a hamster). I wasn’t happy about daily rodent disposal but I never had any in the house thanks to these two cats. I’ve never seen snakes in the yards here but there may be some in the forest.

    I’m glad that you got your cow ear, Chess, but you deserved more inspirational music for the background.

    • paridevita says:

      The blackbirds are a sign of spring, but it doesn’t seem like spring here, at all. Frozen slush everywhere, fog, and no sun. According to stories I heard passed down by my grandpa Flurry, the guy I live with had cats before he met my mommy and there were cats in the house when my grandpa Flurry showed up as a puppy. I don’t know how he made it through each day, but he did. He said sometimes they would bip him on the nose for no reason he could think of. They didn’t catch mice and once when one of the cats was sent into the garage to do his “duty” all he did was cry to get back into the house. My grandpa Flurry said they were completely useless creatures that laid around in the most inconvenient places. It was opera day. Un ballo in maschera. He forgot the music was on when he made the movie.

  5. Diane Lancaster says:

    Another excellent and entertaining post, Chess. Thank you!

  6. petabunn says:

    It may be gray and gloomy but what a great shot of you Chess to start the post. Rambling and nostalgia are good. My mum isn’t that ancient, really, but she still uses a pencil to scribble notes with, hers is a more modern version you don’t have to sharpen you just push more down when needed but she loves her pencils. And she also has one of the typing machines just like yours but a different make, she also had a full size one but she sold it before we moved. We both miss all the different birds from the old place, hardly see any here. Horrible Indian mynah birds that we never had at the old place and noisy cockatoos. But there are some rosellas that pass through but not often enough. We are hoping when we move to our permanent place in a few months we can encourage some nicer birds, no point trying here because we are not staying that long. And to finish with your favourite and mine, food, I am a lucky duck because I get a beef chew strip like your cow ear every morning when my mummy has breakfast. Life is good isn’t it.

    • paridevita says:

      Life is especially good here, though I could use more biscuits. The guy I live with says that he doesn’t want to have to cart me around, though, and so regulates the number of biscuits. We aren’t troubled by cockatoos here….. The guy I live with has to have several pencils, because they disappear for days, and he has to write down his few worthwhile thoughts, and make grocery lists.

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