questions you never asked

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here today to answer just a few of the many questions you never asked. You may remember me from such enlightening posts as “Eliminating The Impossible” and “Words Of Wisdom”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. This won’t be a really long post, if you were worried. I hope you’ll find it both informative and entertaining. 14071302The first question you may have, and one I certainly kept asking until I found the answer, is “Why are there all these pine cone pieces all over the place?” I keep stepping on them, and it’s kind of annoying.

pine cone pieces

pine cone pieces

The answer to this one can be found by looking up into the pine tree. I kept looking down, but the guy I live with showed me how to find the answer.14071304Let’s see. Oh, here’s another one. “Are the cactus that the guy you live with is transplanting really as small as he says, or is he just being a whiner, as usual?”14071306How about this one? “What’s the guy you live with reading that’s gardening-related, if anything?”

He’s reading this, which he says is “utterly delightful”. He didn’t even know the book existed, and for someone who thought he had all of this author’s books, that was pretty amazing. 14071303“Do you have a favorite garden seat?”

I do. My mommy bought this old park bench, or bus-station bench, and she used to put towels on it so I could sit on it with her. Sometimes my buddy Slipper would try to hog the bench, which made it really crowded. I don’t sit on it any more, but it’s still there, and sometimes the guy I live with sits on it, and thinks. 14071308Here’s one I bet you never thought of. “How many trowels does the guy you live with own?”14071309Isn’t this interesting? Okay, here’s one I actually did wonder about, and maybe you have too. “Do mice ever get thirsty?”14071301I guess I’ve come to the end of my post. I can’t think of anything else, and I can tell you for sure that the guy I live with can’t, either.14071307


Until next time, then.

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20 Responses to questions you never asked

  1. Tracey says:

    Chess, I really enjoyed the shed video but the squirrel and mouse photos in this thought-provoking post are much cuter. I think the guy you live with is desperately bored with transplanting cactus. I must admit that I would give up on the hundreds of little cactus and sit down on the garden bench with cushions, the shed book, and some coffee, but he is a nobler and less slothful person. My suggestion – plant some little cactus, then go out for a great burger or ice cream, plant more, get some more great food, and then repeat. The food will help with the procrastination.

    I say this as someone who just spent the entire day doing something that I’ve put off all week (full-scale housecleaning and laundry). Yes, I know procrastination.

    By the way, I’m glas that you will be OK.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I think I’ll be okay. Haven’t heard from the vet, yet, as to what they want to do. I don’t notice the sore on my side, by the way.
      There are twelve or thirteen (one might be empty), with about fifteen to twenty tiny cactuses in each pot. So, “hardly any left”.

  2. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    That be an impressive trowel collection!

    • paridevita says:

      “One can’t have too many trowels” is what he says, but I think some aren’t used a lot. The aluminum one is old and never gets used.

  3. Vivian says:

    Another peek at the hidden wonders of nature: a squirrel eating the heart of a pine cone. AMAZING! That is a picture I could look at all the while I finish my morning tea. And the last photo of a certain purebred border collie in a characteristic pose melts my heart. It is 92% humidity here on the shores of the Long Island Sound today (but only 75 degrees — yay) so I’m glad that you are in a magical land of dancing mice and busybody squirrels and far far away from our characteristic weather.

    • paridevita says:

      92 percent humidity would make the guy I live with completely crazy. Like the scene in Radio Days (one of my mommy’s favorite movies) where the guy runs around with a cleaver.
      It’s 37 percent humidity here; the guy I live with is sweating and complaining, and, for the who knows how many days in a row now, severe thunderstorm watches in effect. Just one of those summers, I guess.

      • Vivian says:

        Today it is 99% humidity (and no, it’s not raining, but we did have a thunderstorm last night) and, as of 8:11 am it’s only 73 degrees. It’ll get to the mid-80s by noon.

        But even when it’s 99% humidity, I still like a nice cup of hot tea ( Assam, please) . Today I sat and stared at the photo of the mouse drinking from the bird bath while I drank my morning tea. Too cute.

      • paridevita says:

        It’s 61 percent humidity here, and the guy I live with made the mistake of looking at the weather forecast. Fifty percent chance of severe storms, including supercell storms, tornadoes, etc. It never seems to end here, according to him.

  4. Dear sweet Chess, do not bother — although the first photo rebuts the notion of you bothered — about your readers worried by the prospect of a long post. Those are the especially finest kind, although short ones are excellent too. Question: what is the difference between a long hand spade and a trowel? Most of the objects pictured I would call trowels, true, but a couple are the kind of which I would ask my husband, “where did you leave the hand spade?” Great photo of little mousie stretching for a drink. Mice must consider your garden, Chess, a jungle wonderland. When we toured Mottisfond Abby rose garden, David Stone, head gardener for GST, pointed out Thomas’ favorite garden seat, a bench under a thatched roof in a corner of the garden. He also told a poignant story of GST’s last visit which occurred at the height of the rose bloom, all the roses he spent his life collecting looking splendidly in the garden he created. GST sat in his garden seat looking a long, long time.

    • paridevita says:

      Very nice story about GST. The big yellow trowel is a trapping trowel made by Yo_Ho. Came razor sharp, isn’t so much any more. Then, continuing to the right, a Victorian trowel by DeWit (from Garden Tool Co.,; then four Bulldog trowels from Smith & Hawken from the 1980s; the red-handled made by forget who; rock garden trowel by Sneeboer; one by DeWit; rock garden trowel made in Sweden; aluminum thing from the 1960s. A number of these were gifts. I can tell you for sure that if the guy I live with only had one trowel, he would spend all day long looking for it. He spent quite a lot of time trying to get a halfway decent picture of a mouse drinking at the bird bath. It dawned on him that the reason mice kept running back and forth across the flagstone wasn’t because they had nothing better to do than run across the flagstone; they were getting drinks of water.

  5. HB says:

    Dear Chess, isn’t the guy you live with your Daddy? He seems to love you so.

    • paridevita says:

      Oh, I guess you could say that. I like to think of him as my buddy, which is how he thinks of me. You know, like two buddies hanging out. He does sometimes act like my daddy, when I get scared by thunder or firecrackers, feeding me my dinner with his hands.
      (I really dislike thunder, and yet the guy I live with says if I hadn’t come to his house, I’d probably be working on a sheep ranch and living in a lean-to without soft Pottery Barn sheets, out in the middle of nowhere, because, as I understand it, that’s where sheep live.)

  6. christine says:

    What a great post, Chess! As you promised, I did find it both informative and entertaining! The photos of the mouse drinking (!) and the honey-colored squirrel with his pine cone were so appealing and ranked right below the warm and witty photos of you:). Thanks for sharing!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The patio is strewn with pine cone pieces; there must be nuts in the cones that the squirrels like, though they also eat the green ones. “Squirrel cache” is said to be an excellent mulch, and one time the guy I live with and my mommy saw one, high up in the mountains (11,000 plus feet) that was almost as big as the house. We just have squirrel mess, on the patio here.

  7. Deborah Farrell says:


    Today I bought a pair of FatMax tin snips, for tomorrow I cage. They rip right through the hardware cloth without hurting my arthritic hands.

    • paridevita says:

      Inexpensive leather gloves, available at hardware stores, prevent one’s hands from being sliced to pieces while working with hardware cloth. Safety glasses are a good idea, too. The guy I live with tends to go at things rather vigorously, and the amount of blood shed, before he thought of putting on his gloves, was considerable.

  8. Deborah Farrell says:

    Sorry, I meant does the guy you live with have a vast array of gardening gloves? I finally started buying Bionic gloves, and I actually keep them on. I would unconsciously take off the cloth ones when they got soggy. The Bionic gloves were designed by a local hand surgeon. Since I wear them almost every day, it is worth the $30. The leather ones last a year or more.

    It’s 28 % humidity here today. If every day were like today, my garden would be tidier.

    • paridevita says:

      No; the only ones are Atlas. My mommy used those too. Very excellent. Fortunately they don’t fit on paws, so my job is just watching. When playing with cactus, no gloves.

  9. Knicky Twigs says:

    This post is too adorable Chess, from start to finish!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I try very hard to be adorable. It’s not that difficult. The thirst mouse picture took some finesse to get; they’re easily spooked.

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