on the phone

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news about me, and about our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “The Bleak Season”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.We were looking for the muskrat, just as the sun was setting. We’ve seen the muskrat, or maybe muskrats, almost every time we walk by here, and just as the guy I live with gets out his camera, we hear this “floomp” sound, which is kind of the sound a muskrat makes when it dives under the water.

The water in the canal is getting pretty low now. I suppose it will be shut off any day now.

We’ve seen a lot of hawks lately. There was one in the tree a couple of days ago.One just today. Maybe the same one.I scared one. I can be deadly and terrifying, as you know. 

That blue that you see in the background of those pictures is the sky. We’ve hardly seen it at all for months, now, and so I thought I would mention it.

There was even a bit of a sunset the other night. November is the month for spectacular sunsets here, but only if you can see the sky.For the last couple of days it’s been cold and gray, though the sun did come out some, today. It was also freezing today. Right at or a little above freezing, I mean. I didn’t mind it, but the guy I live with had to put on a coat when he went outside. He’s a lot less tough than I am.

Not much else has been happening around here. The guy I live with brought home an old  walking-stick, probably made in the Philippines, from his mom’s house which he had never seen before. It’s not in focus, but you can get the idea.He’s been on the phone a lot lately. I mean a lot. Sometimes for hours. He used to spend all day long talking on the phone trying to fix phones, actually fixing them, and talking some more on the phone, so this is something he’s used to. But he’s on the phone a lot.

He got a smart phone because he said it was time to. Some of the pictures here were taken with it. Like this one, when there was sky in the background.

And like this picture of Cyclamen mirabile ‘Tile Barn Nicholas’. 

Speaking of cyclamen, a shipment of them came the other day. These pictures were taken after the cyclamen were repotted and watered.

They’re going into the upstairs bedroom because it’s really too late to plant them out in the garden here, even though all the tubers had very nice roots. The roots won’t have time to grow into the soil before it gets cold here, which it does, and so the cyclamen will be perfectly content upstairs. They’ll be planted out in the garden next year.

Then, with the new phone, he took some pictures of things he felt like taking pictures of. Partly old things, partly things that were old, but new to the house.

One of the water buffalo bookends. It’s pretty dusty. It’s been here for ages. 

And the ashtray. Also very dusty. Like all the other stuff, it was his grandfather’s.

One of his grandfather’s watercolors. There was a set of these at his mom’s house, and now they’re here.

The little picture his wife framed and attached to the kitchen door, going into the garage.

I know I talked about books being rearranged in the living room a while back, and since the guy I live with has this new phone–I mean his old phone could take pictures, too, but you needed a magnifying glass to see them–he took some pictures of the bookshelves in the living room just to prove there had been some rearranging. Instead of just talk of rearranging. Though some books from upstairs were put in these bookshelves, this wall, below, has looked the same way for the last fifteen years or so. The guy I live with didn’t have anything to do with the way this wall in the living room looks. So those are some of the phone pictures. Mostly the guy I live with has been talking on the phone, as I said, but sometimes he takes pictures with the phone. He also looks at stuff on his phone, like everyone else does, and now he feels like everyone else. At least in that way. He said he could blend in if he were at a bus station or airport or any place where you had to wait for something, and you were expected to look at your phone, like everyone else.

I’ll leave you with what I’m pretty sure is the best phone picture of all. Me after a day at Day Care. 

Until next time, then.










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18 Responses to on the phone

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Oh yes; that last picture is the best, of course.
    I just needed to replace my telephone, but the new one has a broken camera. It makes things easier.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with got his phone mainly because of the camera. Not that it’s better than the “big camera”.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Privet, the terrier who I worked for through the 1990s and until 2004, was terrified of cameras because one flashed at him once. There are only a few pictures of him in which he is now cowering from the camera. I only got those pictures because he did not know I was taking his picture.

      • paridevita says:

        That’s happened to me, too. The guy I live with is now super-careful with the flash, though it was on, with the phone, once. Now it’s off.

  2. Nell says:

    I love love love the Palmer Cox rabbit drawing, even more than his Brownies. (Get TGYLW to show you some of those.)

    That sky is pretty nice; hope you all see more of it in the rest of November. We’ve set a record for least sky seen August through October in western Virginia, but it’s hard to complain because there’s been a badly needed recharging of the water table and tree root systems. Still, hard or not, I persist in complaining because sky and crisp air have been crucial elements in our normally glorious autumn, and this year’s effort was just not glorious. With the exception of the scarlet oaks, which are by far the best-looking things out there in today’s grey drippiness.

    Cyclamen never used to interest me before. But the parade of beauties at your place is drawing me in bit by bit. ‘Tile Barn Nicholas’ is mesmerizing. (Is there a whole ‘Tile Barn’ series?)

    The last picture is of course the best. It’s fun to think of all your friends from day care sacked out on their comfy cushions at the same time.

    • Nell says:

      Or is that a Palmer Cox donkey? Whatever, it’s still weirdly endearing.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I do enjoy sleeping after a hard day at Day Care. All of my friends are equally tired, but happy. I bet there’s a book on the brownies here somewhere. The guy I live with’s wife really liked illustrated books. Drippiness sounds pretty nice (though there would be issues with a soaking-wet me hopping up onto the bed before I was dried with a towel). It’s so dry here. There was a Tile Barn Nursery in England. There are a lot of names. Sometimes you can get the named plants, here in this country, or seed from the plants. Cyclamen are pretty easy to grow from seed, even old seed. You can get tubers from Edgewood Gardens, Hansen Nursery, Edelweiss Perennials, and maybe some other places.

  3. Mark Mazer says:

    My eye was drawn to that ‘Parrots of the World’ book on your revamped shelves. Wm. Cooper’s illustrations are superb. I’m thinking Cindy drew artistic inspiration from them.

  4. mjkeane says:

    What do you do at Day Care that exhausts you so??? Hope it’s fun. And, yes, this one really is the best picture.
    What combination do you use when potting up the cyclamen? Plants with interesting leaves are wonderful in the garden. It’s fun to closely examine the variations.
    I need a new smart phone but am procrastinating. Don’t really care a lot about them. In fact, I hate the general attitude that we should always be available via phone or text. No thank you!!

    • paridevita says:

      Day Care is being in a sort of pen, with grass, and a chain link fence, and my friends. We all have the best time ever. And I really like the people who take care of me. The guy I live with says that in a way it makes up for me not having someone else living here who would cuddle me and stuff. The soil-less mix used is about one part peat moss, one part perlite, and two parts paving sand. He gets the sand at a box store. (It’s important not to get “play sand”, which is too fine.) He pretty much had to get a smart phone because he’s selling his mom’s house, and all that stuff. And you know he worked for the phone company for thirty years so he is obsessed with being able to communicate. Not that he does a lot of communicating, but like if he had to.

  5. bittster says:

    Glad that you were able to enjoy a few glimpses of the sun. It’s here as well this morning and I’m not sure what to do with it although it feels nice now that the wind is blowing and the temperatures have dropped. Be careful with that phone. You’ll be under nearly constant surveillance and there will be so much more evidence of nearly every nap taken and snack eaten.

    • paridevita says:

      The sun is out here, but the water in the bird bath is frozen. The guy I live with said it was time to set up the bird bath heater. People kept telling him “You can do this on your phone”, and he would just look at them. Now he can do those things. Some are actually important.

  6. ceci says:

    I get sooooo tired of phone worship. Plant and dog worship seem much more alluring and sensible. The cyclamen pictures are SO tempting, although I have never had much success with them in the past.


    • paridevita says:

      Cyclamen tubers without roots are sometimes difficult to get to root if you just plant them in the garden. Squirrels will dig them up. The guy I live with claims that a certain purebred border collie—I can’t imagine who that could be—dug up a bunch of tubers that didn’t have roots, and ran around the garden with them, when he was a puppy. Those cyclamen never made it.

  7. Lisa says:

    Such a cute rabbit print! And such a cute purebred Border Collie sleeping photo, of course. I love the camera on my iPhone. It takes better pictures than I ever thought a phone would, especially really close close-ups. I tried the “real” camera a few days ago, but the phone is so much easier to use.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with still likes his “big” camera (DSLR; the crocus pictures were taken with it), but the phone camera is nice. And it is easy to use. I can’t use it, though. The rabbit print has been here forever, according to the guy I live with. Probably not totally forever, but close to it, I guess.

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