below seasonal normals

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about some stuff. You may remember me from such stuff-related posts as “The New Thing”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.

Yes, I know the things on the pantry door could have used a bit of straightening, which they have gotten now, and which kind of ties in with other things I have to say, but notice how cozy I am lying on the bed upstairs on a very cold day.

The guy I live with snuck up the stairs and took a picture of me, like he did in the last post. I got into a cute pose, which is not all that difficult for me.

My life here is very rough, as you can tell. That’s my personal pillow, too.

But let’s go back to that first picture, if you can tear yourself away from pictures of me. I know that’s difficult.

I’m not sure if this picture has been shown before, but next to the wall calendar is a picture of Chess and Slipper sitting on a kitchen chair. (As well as a collection of tags. And a quotation from Jack Kerouac which has been on that little chalk board for ages. He lived not too far away from here in the late 1940s; the house is still there.)

I thought you might want to see this, if you haven’t before. They were first cousins and loved each other a lot.

When Slipper died, on the back patio here, with the guy I live with holding him, Chess stood at attention, guarding his first cousin, and then did the same, in the car, when Slipper was taken to the vet. It’s sometimes hard for the guy I live with to stand and look at this picture.

I live in an interesting house, don’t you think?

It’s been cold here. The guy I live with says it will be cold here until it’s not, which I don’t find very reassuring, but on the other hand I like cold weather, like purebred border collies tend to do. I do wonder if the guy I live with might lose his mind, since almost no gardening has been done since the middle of November, which is not very usual for here. Temperatures are “below seasonal normals”; in other words, cold, cold, and more cold. And then cold again. Followed by–you guessed it–more cold.

For some reason I’ve never shown any pictures of the plants upstairs. It could be that they’re not all that hugely fascinating. Some of them are just waiting for the end of winter, which the guy I live with says might be some time in the next three thousand years, and others stay up here all the time. But at least there are plants here.

The plumeria had a rough time a year or so ago but it recovered. The guy I live with said that it’s about fifteen years old and it might be time for it to think about flowering.

The view from this upstairs bedroom is a bit gloomy. 

It started to snow again today, and the guy I live with stuck his head out the door and yelled “Stop snowing!” But it didn’t. It’s supposed to snow again day after tomorrow and the day after that. “And until the end of time”, the guy I live with said.

On to something a bit more interesting, now. Well, maybe not that interesting. Sort of interesting.

The guy I live with took some pictures of himself to post on Facebook. He’s not like an egomaniac or anything and doesn’t really like looking at pictures of himself, but since he starts radiation tomorrow he thought it might be nice to show a picture.

So he started taking pictures. Pictures, pictures, pictures. Finally he found one that didn’t make him look like “a complete doofus”.

He said this was pretty good, and I agreed, but then, when he was looking at it a little more closely, he said that it looked like his left eye was lower than his right eye. “My left eye is not lower than my right eye”, he said, and went to the mirror to check. It wasn’t.

He thought about this for quite a long time, checking the mirror again and even doing some measuring. I mean, seriously, he’s not vain at all but this looked really weird to him.

An awful lot of thinking went on for a few days after that.

It turns out that his head was slightly tilted to the left. He wondered about that for a little while, but of course he does tend to tilt his head that way after so many years of talking on the phone. And he certainly has been talking on the phone a lot, lately.

You may think that all of this is completely ridiculous, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. He took over three hundred pictures to try to get his head level. Eventually he had a hard time keeping a straight face when looking into the camera. “Level head”, he kept saying. That’s pretty much of a stretch, if you ask me.

So that’s what’s been going on. Seriously. Stuff like this. Worrying if one eye is lower than another. And complaining about the constant cold. Which I like. (The cold, not the complaining.)

Until next time, then.

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25 Responses to below seasonal normals

  1. Linda says:

    Our winter is over here in the deep south & I envy you a little of that snow. BTW, love that 1st pic. It took me a minute to spot that sweet face.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I was trying to be discreet. Or something. The guy I live with says you might find the snow boring. It has been this way every day this year, so far. Some slight changes, but basically the same weather every day.

  2. Lisa says:

    Well, if the guy you live with doesn’t have a level head, he probably never did, and you love him just the same, right? Right? Mani, you’re taking too long to think about an answer!

    Tell him we’ll be thinking of him during his treatments.

    At least you can still walk outside, even if it’s snowy. We have had so much rain it’s soggy all over, and swampy in some. (And this is NOT the rainy part of Oregon!)

    How nice to have such a sunny room upstairs for plants. I have a dark house. The only time it’s light, besides when I turn on the lights, and even then it’s dark, is when there is snow on the roof across the street and it reflects in my front door window. Then I dream of having a skylight put in.

    • Barb K says:

      Hey, I’m in S. Oregon too!

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with said he has thought about skylights. This house faces east and west, and there are no south-facing windows, which would be nice, though hot in the summertime. He had his first radiation today and he said it was nothing. His friend went with him and the whole thing took ten minutes. The head thing is pretty funny. Now he’s noticing the slight tilt, from time to time. He has spent hours and hours on the phone dealing with his mom’s estate, and walks around the house with the phone cradled on his shoulder. Just like the old days.

  3. Nell says:

    I’m glad you like the cold, Mani. It must make your upstairs bed and personal pillow setup even cozier by contrast.

    Here in western Virginia, there have been even fewer days when garden noodling has been possible than last winter, which was itself a precipitous drop from “normal”. Winter weeding allows a gardener to stay ahead of Japanese honeysuckle, garlic mustard, privet, autumn olive, and the like. Rain or snow every week since Labor Day means we’ll be starting the season Way Behind if/when the sun reappears. Feels as if TGYLW has the correct estimate of about three thousand years…

    I tell myself how good this is for the trees, to have a recharge for their deep root systems, but it’s not helping my mood as much as it did back in November. The important thing is not to lose my mind and order a bunch more plants — spring is going to be enough work as it is.

    Very best wishes to your guy through the treatment period.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the upstairs bedroom, the little bedroom, is very cozy, and we sleep facing the east, like they say to in A Pattern Language. This has been a very long winter for the guy I live with. Pretty pleasant for me. But, you know, he is finding this whole cancer thing to be transformative. Maybe that’s not the right word. We really should have a talk and I could do a post about it.

  4. Nell says:

    Re: level-headedness — One of my shoulders is lower than the other, and the amount of stretching and scrunching it takes to create the illusion of symmetry shows in a strained facial expression. So my practice for a while now has been to go with the flow, however wonky and meandering.

    • paridevita says:

      I am pretty perfect so it’s hard to relate to human imperfections. The guy I live with says they’re not much of a big deal. He just needs to hold his head straight when he takes his picture.

  5. Barb K says:

    Hey, Mani, reading about you allows me to stop feeling sorry for my self (briefly) about the frigid February we are having. Are you symmetrical? Who could tell with all that hair? Did TGYLW grow his plumeria from one of those sticks or did he get an actual plant? My 2 both rotted but I understand they have to spend a good part of the growing season outside in the sun, and they have to branch before they will bloom. Looks like yours is about due. Good luck to him during and after treatment. We are all rooting for an easy go of it.

    • paridevita says:

      I am fairly symmetrical. I’ve never measured myself, but the guy I live with says so. He got the plumeria from Miles’ 2 Go a very long time ago. It had a few rough years, but he gave it some Epsom salts and that made a difference. Thanks; I’ll tell him, and maybe we really should do a post about the radiation and stuff. He does not feel sorry for himself at all, about this, but does about the endless cold winter we’re having.

  6. Barb K says:

    Hey Mani, reading about you makes me stop feeling sorry for myself (briefly) about our frigid February. Are you perfectly symmetrical under all that hair? Looks like your Plumeria is due for some flowers. I understand they have to be outside in the sun for bloom to occur. Mine, of course, all rotted, even after the sticks rooted. Tell TGYLW we are all rooting for an easy go with the treatments.

  7. Tell the guy you live with, Mani, to clean the bottom of his mouse and the surface upon which it moves forthwith. Then check the batteries lest the mouse become as frozen as the outside world. I like the plant room. Out here someone can throw a plumeria stick on the ground and it would immediately start growing and leafing. Given that kind of yard, you, being a perceptive border collie, can understand why we find a snowy yard beautiful. And you do inhabit the best world, Mani, cold to romp in and investigate outdoors and cozy, soft warmth indoors. The Chess and Slipper photo is a darn good photo-as-photo, and also heartstopping with poignance, not sure whether that is a good state to enter very often. Oh well, pine trees and snowdrops. Tell the guy we are always ready to read about transformation. And we like the Facebook photo where he smiles better, although this tilted head one is good too. The spot-the-cute-face photo is excellent and the right-up-close portrait is wonderful.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with replaced the mouse and now it’s being even weirder. Time for a completely new mouse, I guess. He sent the smiling picture to his friend, and his best friend, and his sister, and they all said they liked it. The thing is that he was actually smiling in the one I posted but his lips were so chapped it was hard to smile very widely. The bridge makes his upper lip kind of dry, but at least he can smile now. There is certainly plenty of stuff to laugh at around here, too. Starting with you-know-who.

  8. Meow mewo Mani yore photoess are lovelee…LadyMew *swoonss* when shee seess you….iss lij=ke you have a spell on her….Shee told mee you ree-mind her of her Foxhound Rebecca. Mee not know how a hansum male Border Collie can ree-mind anyone of a purrty fee-male Foxhound. Hu’manss are sorta weerd aren’t they?? An wee hear you ’bout THE snow…wee have had so much mee want it gone. Wee had fureezin rain last nite an LadyMew went inn runnerss to mail a card an shee was slippyslidin efurrywhere!
    AS fore yore PawPaw hee iss furry hansum!! An hee doess not need to wurry ’bout hiss eyess….LadyMew doess that too! Again Hu’manss are weerd an furry entertainin rite Mani??
    Guud Luck to yore PawPaw an enjoy yore snow Mani…
    ***purrsss*** BellaDharma

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I guess I would have to agree that I am pretty attractive. The guy I live with says I am a “tricolor saddleback with radar ears”. Saddleback because the black doesn’t go all the way around my tummy, like usual. So I am two different color types. Very advanced. We don’t have rain here in the winter. Not even the freezing kind. Just snow. It’s usually—not this year—quite warm in the winter, warm enough for rain, but it only snows here. Winters are actually pretty dry.

  9. tonytomeo says:

    It snowed in Malibu today. That is near Long Beach and Los Angeles. It also snowed a little bit farther inland, like in Rancho Cucamunga. My colleague in Mid City Los Angeles is also concerned about his plumerias. Unlike the guy you live with, he really is a doofus.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with has been to Malibu. That was back in the 1950s. It has snowed there before. He also said that it snowed in Las Vegas. “A city official, who asked not to be named, said that a snow removal program just wasn’t in the cards, and he hoped that if road conditions became dicey that residents would simply stay home, and not take a gamble with the wintry conditions.” There are a lot of laughs around here. He said he might call his cousin, who lives near MacArthur Park, to tell him what kind of tires are good for snow.

      • tonytomeo says:

        To those of us who grew up without snow, tires are irrelevant. We just won’t go anywhere until the snow goes away! It think that it actually snows more often around the Los Angeles region than it does in San Jose just because the mountains there are the first things that the weather runs into as it comes ashore. In San Jose, the weather must get over the Santa Cruz Mountains first, so the East Hills are the ‘second’ obstacle that the weather encounters as it comes inland.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with said that Hobbits prefer to stay in bed when it’s snowing. I like that idea.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, it is probably a good idea; but Hobbits are creepy and have hairy feet like . . . . well, anyway, it would be nice to stay in bed when the weather is unpleasant.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with is talking about a place called Sun City …..

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