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 all the latest news from us. You may remember me from such posts as “Radar Ears, Rabbit Feet”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I think you can see the fairly dramatic change that’s taken place here. It was 61 degrees F here today. If you remembered my talk on converting Fahrenheit to Celsius, you’ll know that 61 F is 16 C. (The other one like that is 82F is 28C, or vice versa, of course.)
We have a new “ornament” in the garden. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s unbelievably attractive.
Yes, it’s a trash can. A trash can with a purpose, though.
The guy I live with spent some time cutting down all the grasses in the last couple of days. These are mostly native warm-season grasses, which is why this all looks so brown. The remains of the grasses went into that handsome trash can, and will eventually be transferred to one of the fancy compost piles that are in a part of the garden you don’t often see in pictures on this blog.
It takes forever to make compost here, because it hardly ever rains, but the guy I live with just says “Whatever”, and piles stuff into the compost–well, they’re not really bins, just these things made of rabbit wire that you pile stuff into.
The compost does attract various rodents, but I guess that’s okay, too.
Things are happening here. Can you see all the bees on Crocus ancyrensis ‘Golden Bunch’?
Ancyra was the ancient Roman name for Ankara in Turkey, if you needed to know that. We usually see these crocuses in February, but a lot of things are late, this year.
Cyclamen coum is flowering. In some years there would be flowers forming in December, but not after the winter we just had.
There’s even a white one.
Some people say the one with white flowers isn’t as hardy, but the guy I live with says that doesn’t make any sense at all.
This is Crocus sieberi ‘Firefly’; it was planted a very long time ago.
And Crocus tommasinianus. This is a self-sown (really, ant-sown) seedling.
Then there’s this. The guy I live with isn’t sure what this is.
Maybe it’s some kind of hybrid.
There are still a lot of snowdrops. I hear it’s pretty weird to have them in flower this late in the season.
So that’s the flowers part. I have to show flowers, because there is the word “gardener” in the blog’s title.
Some interesting things have happened lately. Even interesting to me. Because of course I had to hear about them.
First, the car. The car the guy I live with bought for his wife, and that’s an important thing.
I should back up a little and explain that ever since his wife died, right in front of him with no warning at all, he’s had this low-level fear, which he lives with (two therapists couldn’t really help with that), but sometimes it comes to the surface, and I can certainly tell when that happens. It happened with the car.
The car not wanting to start, at times (though eventually it always did start) freaked him out, so a couple of weeks ago he called a car dealer and ordered a new car. (He thought he could just drive over to a car dealer and buy a car, but no; the cars were “in transit”. And by “car” he means Subaru Outback.)
In the mean time, he thought and thought and thought (you should have been there, to see all this thinking) that maybe the problem was with the battery. He doesn’t drive much, and that has a bad effect on the battery.
So his friend drove down, really to take him to the ear doctor (I’ll get to that in a minute), but he came home with a new battery.
The next day, he tried to get the battery out, but the connection to the positive side wouldn’t budge, so he asked a couple of neighbors if they had a special 10 mm socket wrench. Neither of his neighbors did, but one, whom I like a lot, came over, and took a look at the battery cable. He’s eighty years old, but in a couple of minutes he got the connector off, which kind of irritated the guy I live with, but also made him happy. He gave our neighbor a bottle of wine and some other stuff.
After the guy I live with installed the new battery, the car didn’t start the first time, but did the second time.
Now he’s still not certain that the car will start every time. It makes less difference than before, because at least he replaced the five-year-old battery. Covering all the bases, like they say. (That’s a baseball metaphor, even though the guy I live with hates sports.)
But there was an even bigger deal: the visit to the ear doctor. I could tell that the guy I live with was nervous, and that’s pretty unusual, since he goes to the doctor all the time, which is what I guess you do when you’ve had cancer, and going to the doctor doesn’t bother him normally, but this time it did, because it was about his hearing.
He had a hearing test. He thought he was going to fail it, trying to hear all these tones.
They did all sorts of other ear-related things, too. Weird sounds vibrating in his head. The nurse said she had to check this frequency and that frequency.
Then he went into a waiting room.
The doctor, who was half the guy I live with’s age, came in, and said the tests didn’t find anything “scary”, like tumors and such. The guy I live with said that he’d already had the fright of his life, watching his wife die; he does tend to talk like that.
The doctor explained that tinnitus was a fact of life, and the guy I live with said he could live with that. (He pronounces “tinnitus” correctly, with the accent on the first syllable. I don’t know if the doctor was impressed or not.)
But the doctor also said that the guy I live with’s hearing was better than his. He has like the hearing of a twenty-year-old.
Imagine his relief. And the subsequent talk about having radar ears, just like me. You wouldn’t believe the stuff I can hear.
Music is a very important part of our life; I know that tomorrow is the 195th anniversary of Beethoven’s death. Another big deal. We purebred border collies can be very sophisticated, if you didn’t know.
Until next time, then.