yet another change

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.

Well, so, anyway, that’s the news from around here. I would say “from around hear”, but that might be too much.

Until next time, then.

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29 Responses to yet another change

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Tinnitus SUX! I have been dealing with it to some degree for as long as I can remember, even when I was young. It got worse with age, particularly through my 30s. There are some frequencies that I hear constantly, which blocks them out when they actually occur. I mean that since I hear them all the time, I can never actually hear them. Rhody hears so much more because he, like you, is a canine type person.
    By the way, have you ever seen Sesame Street? If so, do you know who Oscar the Grouch is, and where he lives? His home is rad, and has even been on the Sesame Street Home and Garden Tour.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with has had it for years, but in January it got louder, with hearing loss. Now that his hearing has been tested, and is excellent, he can live with the tinnitus.
      I’ve never seen Sesame Street. We watch Big Bang Theory, over and over again, and The Simpsons, and Jonathan Creek, and Q.I. Same episodes repeatedly.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh my! You watch too much television. At least Sesame Street is educational, . . . or it was when I was in kindergarten. Pure bred border collies are likely more . . . advanced than I was back then.

  2. Paddy Tobin says:

    All four ears of the household are now so keen and tuned that not even a mouse can stir without being detected. I imagine that even a crocus breaking ground outside will catch your attention – not to mention owls at the far end of the garden, or slithering snakes or other creatures. “Well wear” is what we say when someone gets a new car – though a Subaru Outback sounds as though it is somewhat more than just another car. Safe driving! I presume it will have a comfortable seat for a purebred border collie; it really should!

    On the matter of grass and compost heaps – here, we have exactly the opposite effect from the addition of grass. Here, it adds moisture and almost immediate heat to a compost heap which is a great help to move the process of decomposition along.

    The flowers are looking beautiful, by the way, especially the crocus!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The birds are shredding the crocus flowers, though, which annoys You Know Who to no end.
      Our metal friend is more than just a car; it has asymmetrical all-wheel drive, so it can drive around ordinary SUVs struggling up snowcovered roads.
      Very common car in these parts. He can blend in with everyone else, which is what he really prefers.
      All of the garden trimmings here are bone-dry, though if they’re piled up for a couple of years that changes a little. He gets about a wheelbarrowful of compost every ten years.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        Such a car would be an extravagance here – well, we hardly need something which can drive in snow! Gardening without compost would leave me without a position in the garden – I am the compost maker!

      • paridevita says:

        It is sort of an extravagance, but the feeling that we can drive through three feet of snow without getting stuck is a pretty good one. He still has to be careful on icy roads, though.
        I have a position in the garden, too. Squirrel and rabbit chaser. Very important.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        He will drive in style and you will chase with skill.

  3. Elaine says:

    Lots of good news for the guy you live with. Had to laugh at ‘radar ears’. My dad could be in the middle of a crowded noisy room and still pick up any mention of his name or a topic of interest. We used to tease him with the moniker ‘radar ears’ too. Also love all those beautiful crocus. Just starting here.

    • paridevita says:

      It is pretty good news, because he was freaked out about the hearing loss. He was really nervous about the visit, but it turned out to be okay.
      I could have said we’ve had crocuses in flower for months, but the winter-flowering ones, like Crocus laevigatus, took forever because it was so cold for so long.

  4. Tracy Perez says:

    I have had tinnitus for about 10 years. luckily it’s not constant but it varies in volume and is very annoying at times. The joys of aging.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s pretty annoying, and it makes it hard for him to sleep, but now he has these sleep videos on the TV all night, and that helps.
      Maybe having superior hearing makes it worse, or not.
      But one thing he did say was that the hearing explained why people never seem to hear him. Like when someone says “have a good day” and he says “Same to you”, they invariably say “You’re welcome”. He can hear what he says, but maybe other people can’t.

  5. Mee-yow Mani you know so many innterestin thingss!! Wee did NOT know Ankara was called Ancyra an mee has an Aunty an Couzin kitty livin there!!
    Yore Crowcussess are lovely. all THE flowerss are lovely!
    Our Snodropss have come up butt nevurr opened; it has been two chilley an today is tryin to snow….
    Mistur Guy that Tintynite-uss must bee aggravatin! BellaSita Mum has it moderately an when it happenss shee sayss” BellaDharma can you answer mee ear? it’ss ringin’!!”
    Mee thinkss that iss furry funny ๐Ÿ˜‰
    You know what else iss innterestin? THE fact yore Guy an BellaSita Mum have Tintynite-uss an have RADAR heerin! So does shee! Shee heerss soundss no one else can heer!! BellaSita’ss Nanna had smae thing an shee cuud heer when peeple whispurred an shee was quite old…..
    Wee hope Spring stayss ‘spring’ there an you can get more gardenin’ an nice walkss inn!
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

  6. barbk52 says:

    I have always assumed that my tinnitus, which has gotten worse lately, was caused by loudly barking dogs. No? The commenters on this blog are all highly intelligent, as is the blogger’s person, and they all seem to have tinnitus. Therefore, extra intelligence must cause tinnitus. Lately I have been unable to hear the rain hitting the roof at all. Oh, there hasn’t been any.
    The flowers are lovely. I wonder if there is only one suitable bloom month lately, so they are all crammed together. It seems like that here….

    • paridevita says:

      The best months for flowers here are, well, every month, though lately not so much in winter. Summer is kind of an off season here where there are things in flower, but the garden isn’t centered around that. Bulbs in autumn, winter (sometimes), and spring, and then native grasses in summer.
      The ear doctor explained tinnitus to the guy I live with, who usually remembers everything (he remembers everything anyone has said to him for the last forty years or so–not a great thing), but, really, he was so nervous until the doctor told him about his excellent hearing that he didn’t pay complete attention. Something about cells dying. I guess tinnitus is normal in humans, and that blood pressure medicine, which he takes (the high blood pressure is inherited), can also contribute.
      I don’t think loudly barking dogs can cause it, but then, I’m prejudiced.

  7. Low-level fear, huh, I guess I know what that is. Tell the guy you live with I sympathize. In the photo with the very excellent trash can, what is the cage-enwrapt object which dangles from a hook? Inquiring minds do want to know, if not exactly an intelligent mind since I am spared tinnitus. I do have bad hearing, though. I do like the part where you show lovely flowers, Mani, since we also garden here, under much different conditions. We are currently donating compost material to the city and not our own bin, which situation makes me *grr.* However, my husband declares dealing with turning and distributing makes his back hurt–it’s an aging back–so I’ve decided to be graceful about the city’s obtaining our treasure. And thank you, dear dog, for valuable clarity: your garden is centered around bulbs and native grasses. I will look with new eyes. Although you’d think I would’ve guessed by now.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, in truth, the guy I live with has compost piles because otherwise people might think he’s a nut. Which of course he is.
      And all the work done today hurt his back, too.
      The thing in the cage is a suet feeder. It’s for the downy woodpeckers and nuthatches and flickers, but the squirrel tries to get at it like a zillion times a day, so I have to run out and chase it away. There used to be a baffle but that broke. (It was old and cracked; appeared in our yard one day some years ago.)
      I guess the low-level fear is maybe PTSD from his wife dying in his arms with no warning at all. It surfaces from time to time and it can be rough, but it passes.
      Like just today, when there was news of a fire up in Boulder. This has become a thing, now. Even with all the snow we got, it can dry out here in a day or so.

  8. ceci says:

    Good news on the hearing loss front – its no fun, and potentially very limiting in terms of daily life. I appreciate much younger doctors a lot these days – for one thing there are no much older than me doctors practicing, and for another they are closer to their education and therefore hopefully up to date. The cyclamen pictures are amazing, little treasures hiding on the ground.


    • paridevita says:

      The guy Ilive with says thanks. He does prefer non-alarmist doctors. Everyone who saw at the urology center and the cancer center was really great, and he likes his regular doctor pretty well, too. So all around a pretty good experience.
      There are a lot of cyclamen here. I forget if I ever said they came from a friend that the guy I live with corresponded with for over twenty years, but never met.

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