The Flowers, Nestled All Snug In Their Beds

Another weekend chore checked off!  I’ve finished with the flower beds.

This year, I’ve decided to stick with the zinnias, which were great last year.  I’ve gone with orange, yellow, and two unknown color types:  state fair mix and Magellan mix.  To give the beds even more color, I’ve lined the rear of the beds with Victoria Blue Salvia Farinacea.  The planters have pink and white geraniums, with some of the other flowers mixed in at random.

I’ve got dirt under my fingernails, I’ve torn loose the same patch of skin on the palm of my hand that always gets torn loose because the heel of the hand shovel rubs against it as I dig — and I forgot, as always, to wear a garden glove — and I am a happy camper.  I always try to plant as soon after Mother’s Day as I can.

The Penny Chronicles

Today the old boring guy took Kasey and me for a walk.

It was too hot for a walk.  It was way, way too hot!  The sun made it too hot.  The sidewalk made it too hot.  The fast walks of Kasey and the old boring guy made it too hot.  And every time I tried to rest for a while in the shade and the cool grass, the old boring guy would pull me forward to walk some more.  Seriously, what is his problem?

When we finally got home, I went straight to the water bowl and drank about a gallon of water.  It felt very good on my tongue.  Then I spread out on the cool wood floor in the kitchen, closed my eyes, and I felt better.

I should start calling him the old dumb guy, because he’s not smart enough to stay out of the noonday sun.

Help! What Is This Thing?

We recently came into possession of some antique items of all shapes and sizes.  The purposes of most of them are obvious, but some of them are stumpers.

Consider this item, for example.  It’s made of tin, and in the shape of a book with a handle configured like a human ear.  When you open the “cover” of the book, you find a hinged metal interior lid with a transparent plastic cover.  At each end of the interior lid, also on hinges, is a triangular piece of metals with fittings.  The interior of the “book” also includes a single red candle.

I’ve figured out that you are supposed to flip out the triangular hinges on the interior lid, place the candle in the fittings, and light it.  But, for what purpose?  Is this a kind of votive candle holder that was handed out on some special occasion?  Or, is it a precursor to the modern bedroom reading light, intended to give the 19th century book-lover some light by which to read after the sun goes down, without disturbing their bed mate?  Is that why the entire contraption is in the shape of a book?

I’d do an internet search to try to solve this puzzle, but I wouldn’t know where to begin.  Can one of our intrepid readers provide some guidance?

A Satisfying Saturday Morning Clean-Up

The boys are gone, back to their new home bases.  It was wonderful to see them, but with their departure the house feels in a certain state of . . . disarray.

There are beds to be stripped, clothes to be washed and dried and hung, clean towels to be folded, and sheets and blankets to be tossed in the air as beds are remade.  There are dishes to be gathered and brought to the kitchen, scrubbed, and put into the dishwasher racks.  There are bottles and cans to be collected and put in the recycling bin, counters to wipe clean of bread crumbs, and napkins and wrappers and stray debris to pitch into the trash (always thinking, as the hurled item lands in the trash can, “two points!”).  When I got up this morning, I began moving from room to room, straightening up and leaving one room clean before moving on to the next.

It is good to hear the clang of the washing machine lid as clothes get placed inside, the hum of the clothes dryer, the swish and swirl of the dishwasher.  These are the happy sounds of a house being cleaned and restored to a semblance of order, and Saturday morning is a good time to accomplish that chore.

Now I sit, drinking my coffee and feeling a sense of satisfaction, and I think:  what flowers should we get to put in our flower beds this year?  The feeling of accomplishment from my early morning clean-up exercise gives me the incentive to tackle a little gardening this afternoon.