Saturday, October 13, 2018

I like them apples

Fall is here now - it's brisk bordering on chilly, and the market is overflowing with root vegetables and apples. I spent hours yesterday cleaning the plants on the deck and hauling them inside - last night was 4 degrees. So now my house is full of greenery, the 10 foot high oleander and the gardenia which is still blooming, the geraniums, the coleus, the thick, heavy jasmine, and a few others, stuffed into every available sunny corner.

Later today Thomas comes to finish sawing up the solid wood of the ivy remnants, bringing Eli with him for a sleepover. I've filled the little room next to the spare room with the boys' toys that were in the basement, so there'll be lots to do, though apparently Eli is bringing his Monopoly game, so I know what we'll be doing. I haven't played Monopoly for years. I want to buy Park Place, which as I recall is dark blue, like all the best properties.

Here's E. B. writing with such wry humour about his beloved Fred, again:
November 1942
Monday. Noticed this morning how gray Fred is becoming, our elderly dachshund. His trunk and legs are still red but his muzzle, after dozens of major operations for the removal of porcupine quills, is now a sort of strawberry roan, with many white hairs, the result of worry. Next to myself he is the greatest worrier and schemer on the premises and always has too many things on his mind. He not only handles all his own matters but he has a follow-up system by which he checks on all of mine to see that everything is taken care of. His interest in every phase of farming remains undiminished, as does mine, but his passion for details is a kind of obsession and seems to me unhealthy. He wants to be present in a managerial capacity at every event, no matter how trifling or routine; it makes no difference whether I am dipping a sheep or simply taking a bath myself … His activities and his character constitute an almost uninterrupted annoyance to me, yet he is such an engaging old fool that I am quite attached to him, in a half-regretful way. Life without him would be heaven, but I am afraid it is not what I want.
            This morning early, after I had milked and separated, I managed to lose my grip on the bowl of new cream as I was removing it from under the spout and lost the whole mess on the floor where it spread like lava to the corners of the room. For a moment my grief at this enormous mishap suffused my whole body, but the familiar assistance of Fred, who had supervised the separation and taken charge of the emergency, came to my relief. He cleaned up a pint and a half of cream so that you would not have known anything had happened. As charboy and scavenger he is the best dog I was ever associated with; nothing even faintly edible ever has to be cleaned up from the floor. He handles it.


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