the expired chicken

Greetings everyone; it is I, Chess the excellent purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, here to bring you the latest, most up-to-date news from our garden. You may remember me from such enlightening posts as “The Grape Bush” and “Various And Sundry Things”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically horticultural pose.14032103I think another characteristically horticultural pose might add interest here.14032104

Well, maybe you can see here how gloomy it was today. It was pretty gloomy. I had two good walks, though, and so that made the day okay.

And the guy I live with thinks he’s gotten rid of the mice, in a way. They’re still in the garage, because he put some peanut butter in one of the trash bags without thinking, and so they’re interested in it. But he bought some mouse repellent and cleaned out the garage and then did an experiment, which was moderately interesting.

What he did was to put the Tin cat, with fresh peanut butter, downstairs, and then closed the door and sealed it with tape. That way, he said, he could find out if the mice were still getting in through the crawl space. And the next morning, there were no mice in the Tin Cat.

The conclusion he now draws is that the mice are walking into the house through the open back door.

Besides that, there was a little gardening done today. He got rid of almost all of the green lawn in the “way back”, and ordered native grass seed to sow there. I know this isn’t a very good picture, but the guy I live with said it was gloomy, after all, and what else could he do? (Focus, maybe? He had focusing issues, as they say, today.)14032102aThe green lawn was where the bare dirt is at the top of the picture. The green at the lower right is a different story. That’s the green path. If that makes a difference. It’s going to go, soon, he says.

I don’t know what’s going on here. It must be something. 14032105The guy I live with didn’t get very much done today, because he had to cook some chicken. He says he’s a “failed vegetarian” and buys chickens because he feels sorry for them. (It’s probably too late, really.) He thought he had put this chicken in the freezer, but hadn’t, and when he noticed it had expired (in the sense of “best before” type expired, since it was already expired in the other sense), checked it, decided it was okay, and cooked it, even though he thought he had frozen it and wasn’t going to have chicken “so many nights in a row”, because he had already cooked a chicken and was eating the leftovers and, oh, I could go on with this for quite a while.

He made Indian coconut chicken. The first time he made it he said it was so good he cried, because my mommy loved the Indian food he cooked.

The sauce is coconut, cilantro, green chiles (he uses the kind they sell at Indian groceries), and tamarind concentrate. The guy I live with had to use aluminum foil as a cover because when he was mouseproofing in the laundry room a few days ago he had to climb over the washing machine and accidentally grabbed hold of the shelf that held “panzilla” (a large, heavy, French carbon steel sauté pan), and the glass cover fell and shattered all over the laundry room floor, as well as the contents of two large bags of rice, both basmati and Thai, which poured out, and so the laundry room floor was ankle-deep in broken glass and rice, not to mention the fact that both shelves collapsed and had to be reattached to the wall.

I didn’t get any chicken because I don’t like hot food, unlike my grandpa Flurry.

An iris bloomed today. I know, this kind of seems like an anticlimax now. (The picture’s not really in focus either.)

Iris reticulata 'Halkis'

Iris reticulata ‘Halkis’

Here’s a much better picture, from a couple of days ago, and taken with the DSLR.


So that was our day.

I don’t have anything else to say here, and really, all of this wasn’t very interesting, if you ask me.

Until next time, then.


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12 Responses to the expired chicken

  1. petabunn says:

    Just loved the two horticultural poses today Chess, really masterful. Hopefully you will get some rain and you can go walking in the new dirt patch you’re guy made and then leave footprints on the carpet, don’t let your guy know I said that. Great news about the mice, your guy must be very pleased with himself. However I am wondering how long he will remember to keep that door closed and will that inhibit you being able to go in and out all day at your whim. The curry sounds good but your guy could have just given that raw chicken to you as a change, I have chicken wings after my vegetables and yoghurt every second night, yum. Enough about food and back to the garden, it doesn’t matter so much about the focus it’s just nice to see colour not just the dirt garden and I spy some cyclamens in the rear, lovely.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with finds the dirt part very tiresome but there was an old lawn to be dealt with, and maybe later it will be glorious, though lawns aren’t very interesting. People here in Denver are nuts about lawns, though, and some times visitors will just race through the dry parts of the garden to go back to the “way back” and stand on the little lawn there and say how much they like this part of the garden, which up until last year looked very ordinary to the guy I live with. Ordinary is what people like, I guess. The lawn in the way back is really little and takes the guy I live with five minutes to mow it, with a push mower. “Grass instead of mud” is his reason for having a lawn there. My understanding is that for almost ten years it was just dirt and my grandpa Flurry and my uncle Pooka would get super muddy all the time and my mommy would have to wash their feet and eventually got tired of it and so insisted there be grass back there, and anyway just dirt looked stupid. We can get away with dirt paths here, too, and for years the paths were just dirt. About the closed door, well, I mostly do what the little movie shows.

  2. Tracey says:

    Your yard is enormous! I’m looking forward to seeing what it will look like when winter is over. I love the blue of the flowers. I finally saw a snowdrop last week and immediately thought of you,Chess.

    I have two dog nieces, a bearded collie and a keeshound/shepard mix, who have a dog door. installed in the screen door of their house. Perhaps the guy you live with could buy a new door with a dog flap? They do have a mouse problembut I think it is because they have a colony that lives in the walls of their very unsealed house.

    By the way,I just received a new Daedalus books catalog and I think the guy you live with should buy this book:

    • paridevita says:

      The book looks funny. The caged feeders keep the squirrels away, but the corn feeders, which sounded so, oh, you know, nice to the squirrels and stuff, turned out not to be so great because the squirrels bury kernels of corn, which the guy I live with finds extremely annoying. He’s the only one allowed to dig in the garden. He also says that now that he knows how the mice are getting in, after all the mouseproofing, it’s not so bothersome. That’s what he says, anyway. It’s snowing here. We’re supposed to get about three inches (7.5cm) by the end of tomorrow. The guy I live with has always found snow, after it warms up, to be very depressing, but it does that here, all the time (instead of rain), and if he decides to be philosophical about it, it is free water for the garden. There was someone looking in one of the roosting pockets just now; smart bird.

  3. Ah, Chess, love the two portraits, Chess in full-view glory and Chess in his environment.
    I got up very early (for me on Saturday) to order *precisely* at 8 am two rare Barbier roses. Got ’em! Pausing not a moment, I read your post filling in for the guy you live with bringing me the latest, most up-to-date news from your garden. Consequently, I’ve spent off-and-on moments of my day amused at your description of the great laundry room mouse-proofing escapade. Matches Lucy and Ethel in their most rambunctious episodes. Thank you for providing day-long cheer. Lovely iris shots too, and I await later shots of the new green path. Video of you in the fort is everything I imagined. Thanks for the reality show.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Well, they (you know, “they”) said it was supposed to snow a whole bunch tonight and all day tomorrow, but then they changed their minds and there’s only a dusting of snow and it’s supposed to be nicer tomorrow, so maybe more gardening. This afternoon, there were a couple of mice running around on the patio, so the guy I live with dumped a pile of sunflower seeds half on the patio, half in the garden, and there were at least four mice racing around grabbing seeds and then running to their hideouts. Not in the house. The guy I live with said it was funny to see four mice lined up at the edge of the pile, like pigs at a trough. He also knows a lot about searching for plants he desperately wants (or as they say in the UK, “urgently requires”). He calls such plants his “white whales”. The thing is, though, that here, he usually finds them, utters a cry of triumph, plants them, the plants die a week later, and then he says he probably didn’t really want them after all.

  4. Miss Kitty says:

    Chess, as always you are a handsome dog and we surely enjoyed the little video of you snoozing in your fort . . . was that snoring we heard? Happily, we can tell you that overnight spring arrived in the South big time. We have flowering stuff all over the place. It’s a big event cause by summer when it hits 90 degrees with 100% humidity; nobody cares what’s outside in the garden. Not to mention that it doesn’t rain and our red clay dries up, cracks, turns to cement and you’d need a jack hammer to dig in it if you were so inclined. Has the guy you live with ever tried using fennel seed with his chicken? Makes a lovely marinade with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and pulverized fennel seed (I don’t know the amounts, I’m not the cook and the cook hardly ever measures) . The iris is a beautiful and an interesting hue of blue. Our irises have much taller stalks and they won’t arrive until later in the spring. Rodents of whatever size are creating havoc both inside and out. Those squirrels are burying the corn kernels all over the yard and my gal thinks we’ll be harvesting corn with the rest of the local farmers. Meanwhile, we’re finding some interesting items squirreled (or is that miced) away in the drawers . . . like my cat food and lentils. We even found them tucked away in the folds of a pair of sweat pants on the floor of the closet in the guest room. Makes us wonder what else is going on at night while we sleep.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, that was me snoring. Spring in the South always sounded nice, to judge by Elizabeth Lawrence, whose books are treasures. The guy I live with was “born on the banks of the Cape Fear River” in July, so his mommy was pregnant with him in North Carolina in July. She must have enjoyed it. (He was really born in Fayetteville, but thinks the other way adds more mystery to his otherwise dull biography.) Ninety degrees and a hundred percent humidity would make the guy I live with completely crazy. Thirty percent makes him crazy, here. I know they say you can’t trust air you can’t feel, but we prefer not to. It kind of seems like there’s not any air here at all, which of course there must be. He has used fennel with chicken curry. He mostly cooks Indian food, just because. Well…..the guy I live with made a declaration that the mice had left the house, a couple of days ago, and I wasn’t really sure what “left the house” meant, in the sense of left the house, instead of “still in the house and they just run too fast for you to see”. He set up the Havahart trap, which he calls an “infernal machine”, being nowhere near as simple to set up as the bigger ones, and not being Leonardo da Vinci he had a hard time with it, even resorting to reading the instructions. He did catch one mouse last night, and let it go after declaring it was “really cute”. (The reason why he used that trap instead of the Tin Cat is because the Tin Cat was left outside to be cleaned, and a squirrel bashed it, trying to get a the remaining peanut butter and so now one door won’t close.) So anyway the trap was set last night, but set wrong, so that the doors wouldn’t close, and there was a lot of commotion in the kitchen, so he went down to see, and a mouse (one of the ones who had “left the house”, of course) scurried away, so he flipped the “holder thingy” up instead of down, so the door would close. Later on there was a whole bunch of really loud squeaking in the living room, like someone had tried to escape the house through a register and discovered they’re wired, so he went down and looked, and there wasn’t anything. There was some less loud squeaking after that. In the morning there wasn’t anyone in the trap, and the doors were still open, but a mouse ran by me just a few minutes ago. ….

  5. Vivian Swift says:

    Chess, I’m sorry the guy you live with misses your mommy so much. For me, it’s Eau de Guerlian. I’ve had the same bottle of cologne since 1981 which I stopped wearing it in 1983 to preserve it, so there would always be enough, every time I remove the stopper and inhale, to bring tears to my eyes for the memory of a certain night in Tunisia (like the song). Mine is a good cry (I’ve been told that the Russian language makes the distinction between a good cry and a bad cry, which makes sense when you think about Russians). I hope the guy you live with has more good cries than bad ones, and that you dear Chess never, never has a bad cry.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I almost never cry, except when my paw gets stepped on, which is hardly ever, though I can’t say the same for the guy I live with, who is kind of a sap, if you ask me. Well, he planned his retirement, paying off this, paying off that, so he could spend the rest of his life with my mommy, gardening, reading, going for walks, and now he wakes up every morning and she’s not there. But, definitely, he’s a sap. (I’m the tough one; I have to settle for sleeping on the least expensive Pottery Barn sheets, after all.) There’s this pile of sunflower seeds out on the patio, you know, for the mice, so they have something to do besides eat seedlings and bulbs, and today a squirrel was there, stuffing itself with sunflower seeds, and it attacked a mouse who went to get a seed, and the mouse ran away squeaking really loudly, and the guy I live with went outside to see if the mouse was okay. I guess it was. The guy I live with’s mom has a bottle of L’Heure Bleu which is old. The parfum has all evaporated down to an amber coating on the bottom, and yet it still has the scent. It was the guy I live with’s grandmother’s. I guess it’s like, not cheap, but was probably purchased in Paris in the 1950s when his paternal grandfather was stationed there after World War 2. When the guy I live with was little (like, three) he was always told that his paternal grandparents were “in Europe”, which he associated with syrup; Europe, syrup; but anyway the bottle of perfume reminds him of a world he never really knew. Anyway my mommy didn’t use perfume, but rather these essential oils or something and for a while it smelled like that downstairs but now the scent has faded. If the sun warms her room downstairs (the studio), and he goes in there, which he hardly ever does, he can smell it, every now and then.

  6. I don’t know if I should even say how often you bring poignant tears to my eyes. It’s true.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, yeah. The guy I live with misses my mommy a whole lot, and it’s spring, which is the time for missing loved ones (more than the holidays). I talked about that some in “Memory And Desire”, the one where I quoted T.S. Eliot and stuff. That’s why he works in the garden. And today, besides being Trash Day, is Pea Gravel Day. Very exciting for one of us.

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