four plus three equals seven

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you up to date on what’s been happening, as well as talk about some serious stuff, the way I sometimes do. You may remember me from such posts as “An Unexpected Thing”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I usually sleep in this direction, rather than the other way. 

I love my couch, as maybe you can tell. I’ve already told the story of the couch, more than once, but I really do love it. All the purebred border collies who have lived here have loved the couch.

Sometimes the guy I live with hogs the couch, but he never makes me get off so he can hog it. He sometimes takes a nap there, and I guess back when there was Opera Day here, he would lie on the couch while an opera was playing on the CD player, and Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, would sleep under the living room window, which is also a nice place to sleep.

It rained, and then it snowed. I know this is May, and so does the guy I live with, but snow happens here. It doesn’t make that much difference, really. It melted, and then it was gone. Things are pretty green here. Green for us; maybe not so green for gardeners elsewhere.

The rare tulip, Tulipa butkovii, still looks good. This picture was taken with the phone, as the sun was going down.

The water in the canal suddenly stopped flowing (we’re not sure why), and so now the canal looks like this. Not very bucolic. 

So things here have been kind of different here lately. I mean, they’ve been very different for quite a while, but now they’re different from that, even. Things have settled down, as far as the first different part, especially for me not being left alone for a couple of hours every weekday, but in the past few weeks things have been going on here which usually don’t go on here. I wouldn’t say it was totally weird, just different. Maybe pretty weird. I have to think about it.

It started when a bottle of soy nail polish remover came in the mail. I really wondered about that. Then a couple of days later, there was a bottle of nail polish, which also came in the mail.

Then the guy I live with painted a couple of his fingernails. I had never seen that before. He removed the nail polish and gave the bottle to a neighbor.

He said the color was wrong and I thought that would be that. But no, another bottle arrived, and he painted his fingernails, then removed the polish, and said that would be that. The color was wrong again. Some people said he could go to a store and look at nail polish, but he said no to that.

By now you are probably wondering what this was all about. Well, so was I. He kept showing me the fingers on his hands, four on one hand and three on the other. Those were the ones that would have painted nails.
He even called his niece to see if it was okay if he showed up at her wedding, which will be soon, just to see if it was okay if he showed up wearing nail polish. She said it was.

He said he also asked a number of other women if they thought this idea was okay, and they all said yes.

Of course if this had happened years ago everyone would have totally freaked out. Totally freaking out about infinitesimally minor details was the way of things, as well as continual criticism and advice. (The guy I live with said those two things were pretty much the same.) But now he could do it.

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks after this idea had entered his mind that he looked at his hands and said “Four plus three equals seven.” That’s the state of the prostate cancer on what’s called the Gleason Scale, 4+3=7, which told the doctors the cancer needed to be treated.

Well so no nail polish. I was a bit relieved. The guy I live with is done with the radiation treatments and goes back in July for a blood test.

Meanwhile since this was all done he decided to take yet another picture of himself and post it on Facebook. At first it was going to be a picture of him with dark-red-painted fingernails, so I was really relieved when that didn’t happen, though it took him like 600 tries to get the picture right. (One reason for so many tries is that he had covered up the focus lamp with tape, because the light was so bright, and so about 550 of the pictures weren’t even remotely in focus.) He used a timer and walked over to the front door like a hundred times for six pictures at each little session.

This is him. He said he couldn’t smile more because his lips were chapped. I don’t get chapped lips.

And that was that. No more trying to figure out why the pictures weren’t any good, or trying to figure out what to do with his hands. Which don’t have polish on some of the fingernails.

Now back to gardening stuff. I’m sure you’ll be happy about that.

The goldfinches are happy too. I don’t know why the shed always comes out blue in these pictures because it’s green, but the goldfinches kind of go with it. We found the owls a few houses down, in a back yard, on a walk when we went down the coyote path.

The guy I live with and his friend went to the plant sale at Denver Botanic Gardens. He didn’t come back with an enormous number of plants. Maybe about ten. But he and his friend had a good time together, like they always do.

And because it rained and snowed, there was a lot of water in the creek, so I got to explore the sand bar. It was pretty interesting. Sandy, too.

Well I guess that’s all. The snow didn’t wreck anything, no one around here has painted nails, no more trips to radiation (for now), though there is one more tax appointment (number eight), so things are pretty much the way they always are, which I like.

Until next time, then.

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35 Responses to four plus three equals seven

  1. Mew mew mew yore hansum PawPaw was tryin nail polish….LadyMew said maybe hee iss a Goth Guy….mee has NO idea what shee iss on ’bout do you Mani??? An like you there wee had a bit more snow an then melted an then a few warm dayss an back to freezin tempss with a North wind….FISHSTICKSS!!!
    Mani wee love yore snoozing photoe; you are so ree-laxed lookin an so furry….Lookss like yore walks are goin well. THE Owlss are speck-tackular! It must bee pawsum to go fore wlakss an meet frendss along THE way…..

    Funny thing: Mee an LadyMew were think ’bout you an yore PawPaw an wunderin how you both were an Voila’ here you both are!
    Wishin you a wunderfull back-to-normal week there!
    ***purrsss*** BellaDharma

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I think what the nail polish was all about is like acknowledgement that things are different, though I think that’s not going to last. And he thought it would be as different as possible. He told me what a “Goth” was and no way is he one. He’s almost 68, for one thing. It’s pretty fun to see the owls, though they are also a bit scary.

      • Mew mew mew mee did not think yore ‘guy’ was a Goth…..neether iss LadyMew…shee iss 63. Shee sayss shee iss a ‘happy hippie’!!!! What efurr THAT meenss? Now those Owlss are purrty ‘Goth’ mee thinkss……

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with said that one time a friend of his wife’s came to visit, and they went into a “Goth” store. Leather and stuff. The guy I live with stood outside on the sidewalk, pretending not to notice.

      • Mew mew mew mee can see yore ‘guy’ standin there purrtendin hee was NOT inn front of a Goth store! Too funny Mani! 😉

      • paridevita says:

        It’s pretty true. He said he slipped into the book store next door, anyway, because there were lots of books to look at.

      • LadyMew said shee wuud have headed to THE bookstore too Mani!! Mew mew mew… 😉

      • paridevita says:

        I hear that bookstores are pretty great things. I don’t read much, if you didn’t know.

      • Mew mew mew Mani THE way you rite mee thott purrhapss yore ‘guy’ reedss to you or maybe you can reed on yore own….
        LadyMew has helped mee with mee ritin….
        Shee reedss a mystery book a week…shee lovess to reed! 😉

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with usually reads a few books at a time. Takes forver to finish them. So he started re-re-reading Ross Macdonald, starting with The Moving Target. Doesn’t get any better than that.

  2. ceci says:

    Terrific self portrait, somewhat echoed in the second owl picture. Serious but not menacing, in my view.

    Garden green is indeed relative; mine, after a rainy spring, is exploding with bigger and bigger leaves; the paths are becoming blocked with huge hostas, etc. Almost claustrophobic, especially compared with your more refined plantings.

    Nailpolish, why not? We have a neighbor dog who sports claw polish after grooming appointments but always seems somewhat self conscious about it. I hope it is a soy based polish!


    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with spent a huge amount of time trying to take his picture and began to feel ridiculously vain, when I guess the real intent was to show that things are not terrible. But no nail polish. For now. It seems really green here because it rained, for once, in spring, rather than snowed. I mean it snowed, but not a huge amount, so it was really the rain. Most people would say hardly any rain, but it was good enough for us.

  3. Julie says:

    Excellent self portrait. Nail polish or not. My three border collies (one in each color) send their regards. They always enjoy reading your posts.

  4. Mark Mazer says:

    Are you blessed with other finch species at the thistle feeders?

  5. A thing we share in common, Mani: I like things the way they are too. Nothing wrong with same ol’. That dude in the portrait could carry the nail color, easily. Working a symbol is an excellent thing. Those owls look pretty dude-ish too. That rare tulip is so loveable — now that would be a nail color to show. Those of us who’ve been reading along, Mani, can tell Spring has come to your garden, which also looks great in a coating of snow. Is there a filter that can show that shed’s authentic color? Although the color pictured is fine too. You are such a Star, dear dog.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; you can see the real color here: We don’t know why the point-and-shoot thinks the shed is blue. It’s the same color as the trim of the house, which was going to be completely painted last October but things happened, the way they do. The nail polish, well, it would only be worn once, next week, and then removed. So it’ll just be imaginary, like so many other things.

  6. Nell Lancaster says:

    I love the change in the owl’s expression from one image to the next; the second one is distinctly scarier than the first. Still, excellent to know they’re in the immediate neighborhood. Here, we’re very stoked about the bluebirds nesting somewhere in or near the backyard; at the pace they’re food-hunting, it can’t be long now until the chicks fledge. One memorable year a pair here celebrated the success of getting four fledglings off and hunting on their own by taking a long, playful bath in the bird bath (which they hadn’t gone anywhere near in the months since they arrived).

    • paridevita says:

      That’s the male and female; we’re not sure which one is which, because supposedly the male is larger in the subspecies native to around here, if that subspecies, pinorum I think, is really native here.
      The guy I live with said that once when he and his wife were going to the Nepalese restaurant nearby, she spotted a bluebird and got so excited they had to stop the car, but no one had a camera. We do see them every now and then.

      • Nell says:

        Smacking my forehead after taking another look at the owls; I must have been looking only at their eyes to miss so completely the dramatic differences in their feather colors and pattern.

      • paridevita says:

        They are different, aren’t they? We’re not totally sure that they’re the same ones that lived next door this winter, but they might be.

      • Mark Mazer says:

        “male and female; we’re not sure which one is which, because supposedly the male is larger in the subspecies native to around here, if that subspecies, pinorum I think, is really native here.”

        Sibley notes that across all of the subspecies that the females average more browner and more heavily marked.

      • paridevita says:

        Ah, thanks; we’ll call the larger ones female, then.

  7. Nell Lancaster says:

    The shot of your snowy moment in May plus the one re-flaunting the flaming Tulipa butkovii reminded me of a site I ran across last week that shows species tulips in their habitat ( Most are in rocky elevations in the ‘Stans, right after snowmelt. There were at least twenty different kinds, but of course not the rare beauties you all are growing. Does T. butkovii still exist in the wild, and where was it originally collected?

  8. Nell says:

    Poking around the intertubes produced an answer to the question of location: apparently (per they’re endemic to Uzbekistan.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, the guy I live with says that if you look at a copy of Buried Treasures by Janis Ruksans, there’s a picture of J.R. crossing a river on a rope to get to Tulipa butkovii. I suppose a few bulbs were collected, and then nursery stock grown from the resulting seed. (His nursery no longer ships to the U.S., which may be just as well.) For some reason we never got an email with your first comment. When people comment, we get an email, and respond just like any other email. Though if the userid changes in the slightest way, email alias or name, WordPress wants an approval, so it’s necessary to log on to the site for that. Still, it was weird.

      • Nell says:

        I just used my first name in the second comment, which is probably what caused the holdup. Glad you got several wonderful things while the Ruksans window was open, even if it might be safest for your finances that it’s now closed.

      • paridevita says:

        Well it must have been some weird WordPress thing. Or weird email thing. He ordered from them (check out Chess’s post, The Happy Elephant) and also from Lithuanian Rare Bulb Garden, so I guess some money will be saved. And probably spent elsewhere. Though, really, much less money is spent on plants these days. Compared to the past. Stories could be told, or so I hear.

  9. K Bottomley says:

    I planted eriophyllum lanatum oregon sunshine 2 years ago and they are blooming this year already. I believe that you have some of these. Quite nice, very strong yellow which is nice compared to all of the grey rock in my yard. The previous occupant river rocked the whole yard so in an attempt not to look as if Fred & Wilma Flintstone live here I have tried to use native plants such as these to provide color. (Oregon Coast). Any suggestions as to other plants of this type to use would be appreciated.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, the guy I live with really dislikes “tooting his own horn”, and is not a professional horticulturist, but there is a book dealing with all of that stuff, from his past life.

  10. tonytomeo says:

    I’m glad I can’t see the nail polish. I don’t like it on men. One of my best friends wore it on a few fingers, and he had ugly hands anyway. When we were kids, some of the girls painted the nails of the hens. That was weird, and didn’t last long.
    I am sorry about the health problems. (I don’t want to spell it.)

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