the big day

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, on this, my twelfth birthday, here to bring you the latest news from our garden. Which today is not much. You may remember me from such superior and enlightening posts as “The Awful Smell” and “A Day Without Antlers”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically fortified pose. I don’t know why the guy I live with insists on taking pictures of me when I’m tucked cozily into my fort, but he does. 14030501Yes, today is my birthday, and it’s been excellent, thank you. The walks were good, though not nearly as muddy as I thought they might be. And if you want to know what it’s like being twelve, well, it’s rather like being eleven, but older.

It snowed last night. Not much. At this time of year the snow is wet, and heavy, and the guy I live with worries about branches breaking, which did happen, but mostly because he has to figure out what to do with them. 14030502The snow is mostly gone, and not much of anything happened today, but yesterday evening the guy I live with decided to build “the mother of all seed frames”, and he did. It’s made out of redwood 2×6s, with heavy duty hardware cloth on top. The person at the place where he bought the wood didn’t know what hardware cloth was, but the guy I live with showed him, when they walked over to the chicken wire and stuff, and so now he knows. “Not everyone knows everything”, according to the guy I live with. Except one person, of course.

Anyway, so he got the frame built, and the redwood was soaking wet and incredibly heavy. The guy I live with said the finished frame weighed “at least 500 pounds” (he still thinks my mommy is here, to be impressed and all….she never was), but he carried it to its new location with one hand.

It’s hard to believe there was actually some empty space in the garden, especially right by the garden gate, but there was. It’s a long story why. 14030503It was only after he set it in place that he realized he’d have to lift it up every time he put something in the frame, or took something out. He did get all the seed pots that were on the shelves moved out to this frame, a little bit later, and then he spread snow on top, so the pots could get some water.

He said he might build an even bigger one that this, to go out in the Employees Only section of the garden. I can hardly wait.

Well, that’s all there is for today. It was an excellent birthday. We did some other gardening today, but I forget what we did.

Until next time, then.

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18 Responses to the big day

  1. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    You make 12 look good, Chess. That video of you contentedly chewing the ear is superb. As is the photo of the snow trees with blue sky. I’ve read differing accounts of how dog years translate to human years. Some say it’s 7 human years for every dog year, but I’ve also read that is only true for the first year, then it’s 5 human years per dog year. What’s your take on it Chess? Do you feel 84 or 62? Or too busy living in the present to care?

    • paridevita says:

      Actually, it’s a weird algorithm. Seven years for the first couple, but then it drops way off, depending on, um, weight and stuff. We won’t talk about that. I feel pretty much the same as always, though my legs are creaky sometimes, and it’s hard to get up. I get Morning Hind Legs, and the guy I live with has to slide me out of bed in the morning, but then, he can barely move, most of the time. I still go out to the back yard to bark at whoever is walking by (the guy I live with says that “whom” is “stilted, and on the way out”), and get all excited and hoppy when we’re about to do something fun, but I like taking it easy, too.

  2. Kim Bone says:

    Nice video…

  3. Diane Lancaster says:

    Happy Birthday, Chess. Glad you got an earful.

  4. Happy birthday, dear dog. Chewabunga! May you enjoy many active years of commentary. Thanks for our present of the photo of snowy trees against a brilliant blue sky. Lovely.
    Now go blow out the candles and enjoy some Camembert ice cream.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I could have gotten Frosty Paws, I guess, though maybe they’re not in season. I and my buddy Slipper liked Frosty Paws, and, well, I started to say something sad, but this is a good day, and doesn’t need to be spoiled. The sky here is really blue. We’re a mile closer to the sun, and have 33 percent more ultraviolet. I don’t know what that means. Oh, except that I had to have sun block on my nose when I was little and my nose wasn’t entirely black like it is now. The intensity of light here, in calories received, is equivalent to Cairo. (Egypt, not Illinois.) It’s why the snow melts so quickly, and also, according to the guy I live with, why we can grow a lot of plants here that would die in equally cold places at lower elevations. That, and the dryness in winter. The snow last night was wet, though, and all melted right into the garden. Free water, he says.

  5. Julie says:

    Happy Birthday Chess! I look forward to all your excellent posts. May your year be filled with good walks and tasty biscuits. Thanks for keeping me up to date with the garden goings-on. I always enjoy reading your unique perspective.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I try to be as unique as possible. The guy I live with says that my walks might become less freezing cold, which I guess is okay. It’s supposed to be 70F (21C) tomorrow with snow later in the day. No, seriously. The guy I live with says “this is Denver, not some place with a normal climate”. I take the weather as it comes, instead of fretting about everything.

  6. Loree says:

    Happy Birthday Chess!

  7. Miss Kitty says:

    Happy Bday, Chess. Ah, to be twelve again . . . in our dreams. Regardless, my gal says that the true celebration of a birthday should take place over an appropriate period of time (one week sounds about right to her) . . . not just one day. So hope your guy continues to recognize the celebration of your special day with treats galore. Love the picture of the snow; we just had a couple inches drop here, too. Luckily, it melted in two days. Now, we just wish the cold weather would go away. Ah, such is the precarious behavior of Mother Nature, don’t you think? Oh, and the glance you gave your guy in the video was priceless. We wish you many healthy years to come.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with says that every day is like my birthday. That’s what he says. He could be right. Like, one time, back when he was working, and it was getting close to Christmas, and the ladies who worked with him asked him what he was getting my mommy for Christmas, he said that every day was Christmas for her, and his co-workers got all filled with doubt and scorn and stuff like that, so he called my mommy and put her on the speakerphone and asked her if every day was Christmas, and she said yes, and his co-workers were awestruck. That’s how he tells the story anyway. Awestruck. He says it’s like that for me, though we still haven’t gone on our morning walk yet, and I’m beginning to worry. The snow is melting here, really quickly, but it’s supposed to rain and snow here tonight, or tomorrow, or something. The guy I live with says snow is really good for the seed pots. Rain is a little too drippy. (Washes out the seed pots.)

  8. petabunn says:

    Hi Chess, I’m a bt late. I am guessing you have now been on yiur hopefully muddy walk if that’s the way you like it. Probably your second walk too by now. I hope your birthday has been great all day and night with you and your guy eating and celebrating. Nothing much happened for my birthday. But my mum says I will get another chance next week for something nice. Have a great one…

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The walks really weren’t very muddy at all, because the snow melted and seeped into the ground. It’s the native soil in the field, mostly, and that’s decomposed sandstone, mostly, so the water percolates down (or, as most people would say, “drains away”, which completely misses the point…it goes down to roots). The guy I live with tracked in a bunch of stuff, which was pretty funny. We didn’t do much on my second day of being twelve, either, so it was a lot like being eleven. The guy I live with cut stuff down in the front yard. He lost his Japanese grass sickle and doesn’t know where it went (which is what happens when you lose something, he says), but he found a smaller one, with teeth, and used that to cut back the big grasses in front. I watched through the front window, for a while, then fell asleep.

  9. Happy belated birthday, Chess. I’m catching up after a busy week.

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