Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Chair Incident

I apologize if things have seemed a bit repetitive around here lately -- the dahlias, the bird feeder, sunbathing Olga. I guess that's the nature of life during summer vacation! Every day I've toyed with the idea of going to town and doing something cultural, but in the end I always stay home. I just haven't gotten enough of the garden yet.

I realize that may not be true for all of you. When I was Facetiming with my brother on Sunday, he mentioned my blog and said something like -- "The PLANTS! Enough with the PLANTS!" But what can I say? At this time of year the plants and birds, Dave and the dog are my life.

Thanks for the slug-fighting hints. I do realize that I could easily start killing them if I wanted to. I just can't bring myself to do it. As much as the slugs and the snails drive me crazy, I figure they have a right to live too. I just have to do my best to keep my tastiest plants out of their reach. (Though I have been known to throw a slug about as far as I can across the garden, so I can deceive myself that I'm allowing it to survive while probably simultaneously killing it.)

Having said all that, allow me to foist upon you more bird calls! I recorded this with my Merlin app while sitting on the back garden bench yesterday afternoon. You'll hear the racket from the rose-ringed parakeets, some burbly little robins and a pigeon. There are supposedly also goldfinches in there, though I have no idea which calls are theirs, and there's the distant music of the neighborhood ice cream truck. Ah, summer!

Of course I sat out in the garden reading yesterday, polishing off another hundred pages of "The Running Grave." I also mowed the lawn, cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the house. We have a friend staying here over the weekend while we're in Madrid and I don't want the place to be a pig sty.

Also, I had a bit of drama:

This is a folding chair that came with our flat. We have two of them and they're not super-sturdy. Well, yesterday as I set it up in the garden, I stepped on some uneven ground and fell on it, smashing the chair and causing me to pitch sideways into a flower bed. It was quite a spectacle, I'm sure, and it caused Olga to leap up from her bed and run away. Lassie she is not!

I was completely uninjured, as were (amazingly) the plants in the flower bed. But the chair, as you can see, is toast. I'm amazed it lasted this long, to be honest.

Speaking of honest, that's honesty, in the top photo -- the sunlight coming through its new seed pods shows off the seeds quite well. As you can see, its leaves have also been slug-munched!


Moving with Mitchell said...

Yes, that’s honestly honesty. My mother always dried it for the house. As for your plants and gardens, I can never get enough. So glad you didn’t hurt yourself when you destroyed the chair. Olga did exactly what our cats do. Shocking!

Sue in Suffolk said...

Sounds like your brother isn't a gardener!

River said...

RIP chair, and glad you didn't get hurt.

roentare said...

I had a similar chair like yours which broke last year. It broke my heart too

Sabine said...

I have gone through various stages of personal karma saving measures with the snails and slugs and they have all been detrimental to both sides involved.
I am no slug whisperer nor do I believe in a higher slug/snail being. It's each out on their own and as far as I see it now they can have a great time munching the flowers but when it comes to veg I have no mercy. I kill.

Ed said...

I downloaded the Merlin app a few days ago and was playing around with it. After I made a recording, it automatically puts a bunch of different sample calls every bird it detects under the main recording so you can identify when each type of bird was chirping. I thought it neat and really complicated things since one type of bird can make a lot of different sounds. I have yet to figure out how to save the recording and upload it to a blog though.

Ed said...

P.S. I looked up the name of the book I was telling you about previously and perhaps obviously it is called, "The Feather Thief."

Jennifer said...

I haven't thought of honesty in years. My grandmother used to have dried honesty in the house. It's so pretty when it's green lime that!

I'm glad you weren't hurt when the chair gave way!

Boud said...

My honesty is looking about like that. Later I'll collect seeds and keep the dried plants with my collection. I love the silvery seed pods.
I don't mind plant and dog stories at all. I don't know about the rockstar chair destruction though. Only ten years there and you're breaking stuff, some tenant.

Bob said...

I like the garden shots because your garden is so lovely; as well as Olga is a sight to behold..

As a person who is clumsy, I'm glad the only thing hurt was the chair, and maybe some pride and ego?

Ellen D. said...

Good thing you didn't hurt yourself right before your trip to Madrid!
I always enjoy your posts, Steve.

ellen abbott said...

Madrid? I thought y'all were going to South America.

No worries, I like your posts about the garden.

Marcia LaRue said...

Your garden tours, your walks showing the local graffiti, the various postcards you purchase, plus the venues where you purchase the postcards ... your blog is a remote viewing of you, where you live and, for the most part, your daily life!
There is nothing boring about that! So, keep doing what you do!

Susan said...

I also like your garden posts. There is always some challenge in the garden. While you deal with slugs (and the Russians), I am working on reducing my grassy areas. A new small orchard has been planted. Last year I spread white clover seed on the grass, and this year I have large areas of clover. The bees love the flowers and the clover is not bothered by our current high temperatures (90+ degrees F). While the grass burns the clover is green!

Red said...

Well that's a good bird call recording.

Debby said...

Lassie she is not! That made me laugh out loud. At least if the dog is ever in actual danger, she can save herself.

I think I remember Cro's chair doing the exact same thing!

Sharon said...

Those parakeets give your gardena bit of a tropical feeling. You have such a fabulous garden, it could never be boring.
Glad you didn't hurt yourself while tackling that chair. I have a chair similar to that one that sits in a corner in my office room. I used to have four of them. Hmmm....I wonder what happened to the rest.

Jeanie said...

I'm glad you survived the fall into the garden and nothing but the chair had damage. I get the posting thing -- sometimes there's just nothing new to say. And when you do a daily, what else is there to add?

Are you in the heat dome or having extensive heat? We are. High 80s, but humid so the heat index is in the 90s. I got my walk in early and even then it was rugged. Outdoor theatre tonight if it doesn't rain. Hopefully it'll cool off a bit by then.

That Olga. If it helps, Lizzie is no Lassie, either!

Kelly said...

Since I know you weren't hurt, I'll go ahead and admit I was laughing out loud at the entire paragraph below the chair photo! Our dogs have always scattered at times like that, though one of our Rottweilers did come back and check on me once when I fell while we were running. I think it's only because I dropped his lead and he was confused. 😂

Ms. Moon said...

Can anything make us feel less dignified than toppling over in a chair and then breaking it? Or toppling over the chair itself. Whatever. That chair has served its days of usefulness.
I think you are summering correctly.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I wish the chair incident had been caught on camera. Sounds like a slapstick episode from a silent movie with you as a rather dim-witted Stan Laurel.

The Bug said...

I'm sorry, but I had to laugh at the vision of Olga running away. Ha!

P.S. I am NOT tired of all the plants! As you know, you'll see the same flowers on my blog throughout the summer :)

Pixie said...

Well I'm glad you weren't hurt in the chair fiasco.

I'm almost done reading "Red, White and Royal Blue". You're right the book is better than the movie and the sex is very steamy:)

Margaret said...

OLga running away made me giggle. No Lassie indeed! My cat wouldn't lift a paw to help me either. I haven't found the blog negative at all--but then I like a judicious amount of venting. Would have loved to have your acrobatics captured on tape.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: Self-preservation is always an animal's first impulse!

Sue: He sometimes is. To be fair, I do go on a bit about the plants. :)

River: Yes, I lucked out!

Roentare: I guess nothing lasts forever, and if your chair was exactly like mine then it really wasn't THAT well made.

Sabine: Fortunately we're growing no veg! So this is an aesthetic as opposed to a survival issue. :)

Ed: Oh, I haven't seen that function on my Merlin app. I should look for it. When you make a recording, you should see a little "export" icon beneath it (a box with an arrow) that allows you to save it to the files on your phone or Airdrop it to your computer. I'll watch for "The Feather Thief"!

Jennifer: Yeah, I usually don't dry it, though many people do. I like it growing and re-seeding itself!

Boud: Ha! We're like Led Zeppelin, trashing a hotel room! I don't think these chairs even belong to our landlords. I think they were simply abandoned by a previous tenant.

Bob: Well, if anyone had seen it, maybe pride and ego. But fortunately I was alone except for my valiant canine companion.

Ellen D: Yeah, it would have been terrible timing!

Ellen: We are! That's NEXT weekend. Madrid is just a short overnight trip to see some friends.

Marcia: Well, I'm glad you're enjoying it, Marcia. I try to keep it interesting!

Susan: It seems like replacing grass is ALWAYS a good idea. Grass is so high-maintenance! Maybe I should get some clover seed?

Red: Those parakeets are noisy!

Debby: Well, she can try, but she's also pretty old so she doesn't move that fast anymore.

Sharon: I'm sure they splintered underneath some hapless visitor!

Jeanie: No, it's BEAUTIFUL here right now. Temps in the low 70s during the daytime, I think.

Kelly: As I said to Mitchell above, animals always go for self-preservation first! There is no heroism in the animal world.

Ms Moon: It did feel ridiculous and very surreal. I was lying in the flower bed thinking, "WHAT IS HAPPENING?!"

YP: That's what Dave said! He was hoping the Garden Cam was trained on me at that moment. LOL! (No such luck -- it's facing another direction.)

Bug: I feel like I know all your plants, so I love those pics to see how they're doing. :)

Pixie: Right?! We have that book in our school library but it's marked "high school only"!

Margaret: Well, I'm not sure how judicious it is, but venting you'll occasionally get! LOL