Friday, September 17, 2021

Stokesia and Furious Foxes

Our Stokesia is blooming, finally. We bought this plant a couple of years ago, and it had flowers that first year, and then Dave put it in the ground and last year it did nothing. We weren't even sure it was going to survive. I guess it just needed to become acclimated, though, because this year it has not only this flower but lots of buds.

The charger problem was solved to everyone's satisfaction yesterday. It was decided that the library would not resume lending computer chargers (yay!), that kids would be expected to bring their own and we would send people to the technology office in an emergency. I also have a charger beneath my desk that I will use to charge student computers in a pinch. So we have a few solutions but I won't have to struggle with managing all those loaner chargers as I did before.

I'm sure this whole issue sounds whiny to anyone outside the library, but trust me -- it was a nightmare. I'm thrilled to be done with it so I can focus on books.

I'm getting some long-overdue tasks done. I ordered some new pillows for our bed online from John Lewis and found to my surprise that I could arrange to have them delivered for pickup at our neighborhood Waitrose. (John Lewis and Waitrose are the same company, I think, so that makes sense.) Dave went and picked them up yesterday and I was so happy to throw out our old pillows -- which we've had for more than a decade -- and put those new ones on the bed. They're softer than our previous ones and there's a bit of polyester off-gassing going on, which hopefully will subside in a few days!

I also ordered some new shoes, because mine are really worn. Dave and I had inadvertently bought the same style of shoe and we could never keep straight whose was whose, so this time I made sure to order a different style. I suppose it doesn't matter if we wear each other's shoes but I'd rather have my own.

Finally, I cleaned out some of our potted plants. I tossed three non-performing pelargoniums, a dead cyclamen, a past-its-prime sunflower and our horseradish, which was looking ratty and never again prospered the way it did years ago. Sometimes you just have to move on.

The foxes in our garden were a nightmare last night. At least, I assume those are foxes -- I can't imagine what else they would be. I was awakened around 1 a.m. by all that noise and took my iPhone to an open window to record it. They made such a racket that I fully expected to find blood all over the patio this morning, but no. Nothing. Were they playing? Mating? Who knows.

Olga perked up her ears but did not get out of bed -- another sign that she is taking life much more easily these days. A few years back she would have been throwing her body against the back door to get out and mix it up with those critters.


  1. "Psst! Whisper this quietly. Mr Reed has got an emergency charger under his desk. I'll ask to borrow it first and then you borrow it at lunchtime. I will get Donny and Mary-Lou to borrow it this afternoon. By the end of next week he will be screaming like a goddam fox!"

  2. The noise could be cats fighting maybe? Foxes can make an awful racket though! What a beautiful colour that flower is. I have not heard of Stokesia. Your knowledge of plants always impresses me!

    1. Definitely not cats! Cats are more yowly than that. (Is "yowly" a word?)

    2. yowly = "tending to make yowling sounds".

  3. We have this with the foxes at the moment. We have a couple of this year's young foxes visit and I think that there is a dispute with the older foxes over territory and that is what all the fuss is about. Yesterday I found a large seashell out in the alley and a large pot had been knocked over in the frenzy. lol
    Sometimes it sounds as though someone is being murdered.
    I think the mating comes after Christmas Steve and the whole thing begins again.

  4. Sharing shoes? I remember one of those old "Love is when. . ." Love is when you share a toothbrush. No it isn't. It's disgusting.

    As shoes mould themselves to the wearer's feet no amount of love will make them satisfactory for two wearers - with the exception of slippers and Wellies (rubber boots). Talking of the latter: Is there any more fun than borrowing a pair of wellies from your host, several sizes too big, going for a mud sodden walk in the country? Squelch.

    Yes, Steve, your charger story did sound a bit "whiny". I hope you'll give me a gold star for not having mentioned till you yourself did. My thought yesterday? Poor Steve, how would he run a country? Not that Boris Johnson would be able to cope with the administration of a few chargers.

    Your garden is a treasure trove.


  5. Oh that noise! I remember raccoon fights (or whatever) during the night when we lived in Connecticut. Also expected to find blood and guts in the morning. I can just imagine what a headache lending out chargers would be in a school, especially when that’s not what your mission is. Stokesia sounds like a disease. “We lost great-aunt Hyacinth to the Stokesia. Poor dear.” Shoes are not something to share regularly.

  6. Those sound like great suggestions for the charger issue. As far as sounding whiny goes, sometimes the smallest things are the biggest irritations and make life unpleasant; eg., a splinter, a popcorn husk caught in one's teeth, a wood tick ... fill in the blank yourself :D

  7. I don't think I could have stood by the window and recorded all the noise. I would have taken a bucket of water to toss out on the animals. One of them was certainly being hurt and I just could not stand to listen to it and do nothing. I would not be able to go back to sleep either. I know, I'm a softee when it comes to animals hurting.

    Your Stokesia is beautiful. It looks like what we used to call Bachelor Buttons. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

  8. Good that the charger problem has been handed on.

    Can't you go to shops and buy things now? I am longing to be able to do so. I am thinking I need new pillows, nice soft ones.

    Yes, I'd rather have my own shoes, underwear, socks, toothbrush and towel. Memories of how how intimate you may have been with your partner fade in your memory.

  9. [Revulsion alert!] I'll never forget the obnoxious guy I once worked with who observed with interest that I'd bought some new pillows at lunchtime. "Oh yes" he said, "pillows get really disgusting; it looks like you've pissed all over them but it's only head sweat."

  10. I had not realized foxes could be so loud. Enjoy your pillows.

  11. I've had the same pillow for probably that long (maybe longer?). It's a contour pillow that I got back when I was having neck issues & now it's my favorite thing. I sometimes take it when we travel. But it probably is disgusting under that clean pillowcase.

    We need to do some yard cleanup. The bee balm has long since stopped providing anything useful for the birds and butterflies and bees. It's just out there all brown & needing a trim!

  12. I think those foxes were singing. Now what they were singing about, I have no idea and some of it sounds rather painful.
    I've had some of my pillows for decades. More than two, probably. They're feather and some of them are so thin now that the pillow cases add to their bulk considerably. I can't give them up.

  13. Very interesting fox sounds there. Definitely something going on... maybe territorial.
    I keep thinking we should go to the store and buy some new pillows. And then I forget about it all day until I go to bed.
    I'm glad you got the charger problem worked out at the library.
    Lovely flower.

  14. You are very busy and then the fox has a loud party and wakes you up.

  15. Carlos and I wear the exact same shoe size, but I agree about the way shoes start to adapt to a certain foot, so we don't ever share those; or toothbrushes.

    That racket is horrid.

  16. Yes, wear your own shoes!
    Hope nature quiets down in your lovely garden so you can get some sleep!

  17. I've seen a few foxes on our property, but never heard them. That's really annoying!!! Now, I do occasionally hear coyotes and that's a very creepy sound! Even our outside dogs (all of which are tough characters) stay close when the coyotes are prowling.

  18. Buying pillows is so difficult. I guess that's why one of mine has turned into feather dust. It's still doing the job, so why change?

  19. perhaps they were having some territory issues. we need new pillows but how do you know if you like one until you sleep on it.

  20. Holy cow...that is quite a racket going on in your back garden. Hopefully it won't happen very often.
    Thanks for the robber fly info. That appears to be exactly what that insect is. Sounds like the Dracula of the insect world.

  21. Rural foxes are very shy and quiet compared to their city brothers and sisters.
    I seldom hear them here , although plenty are around

  22. What a serenade! Though I doubt it was for your benefit. Thanks for making the effort to get up and capture it for us.

    Congratulations on the solution to the charger problem. On to book challenges!

    Chris from Boise