Tag Archives: Diane Henders

Smackdown! (Or Not.)

Whenever something strikes me as odd, funny, or otherwise blog-worthy, I drop a little note in my blog file.  This week I discovered two entries in close proximity:  “tornados vs. earthquakes” and “facial tissue vs. bathroom tissue”.  I half-expected to see “Godzilla vs. Kong”, but I guess that’s been done.

So apparently it’s smackdown time, or at least I assume it is.  Those were the only notes I made, and I don’t actually remember what I meant to say about them.  But what the hell, I ain’t a fiction-writer fer nuthin’.  So here goes:

“Tornados vs. earthquakes”:  I’m hoping to never find out firsthand which of these would win in a smackdown.  But I do know this:  I feel less threatened by earthquakes.  Which is silly, since I live in the most active earthquake zone in Canada.

Tornados strike terror into my heart.  There’s something so damn personal about them.  An earthquake shakes up everybody equally, but a tornado circles around to scope out its potential victim(s).  Then it extends a finger of destruction down from the sky and WHAM!  It smites its target, taking out one building while leaving another standing untouched only a few feet away.  That just freaks me out.

I’m tempted to give tornados the win for sheer intimidation-factor, but I don’t want to tempt earthquakes to provide me with a comparison.  We’ll just call that one a draw.

“Facial tissue vs. bathroom tissue”:  Until I moved to a house with a septic system instead of city sewers, I didn’t see the point in differentiating between the two tissue types.  I’ve since found out that bathroom tissue is designed to fall apart rapidly in water, thereby not plugging up my septic system.  (Thank you, toilet paper.)

The only other difference seems to be that bathroom tissue is often made from recycled paper, although the label wording is a bit vague.  The first time I saw a package of toilet paper blazoned with “Recycled Bathroom Tissue”, I was seriously concerned.

I had visions of some poor schmuck employed in the Sewer Department, painstakingly separating, um… let’s say, ‘the wheat from the chaff’… and feeding the salvaged bits into a giant bleach barrel.  At least I sincerely hoped there was a bleach barrel.

Much to my relief, I discovered that the recycling source was other types of domestic paper.  Whew.  But honestly, there was nothing on that bathroom tissue package that specified what it was recycled from.

So facial tissue gets points for strength, and bathroom tissue gets points for beneficial wimpiness with sinister undertones.  I’m going to call that another draw, just in case toilet paper is ungracious about defeat and decides to take revenge on my pipes.

And that’s my equivocation for this week.

*

P.S.  We’re having guests for a while so my next post will be August 28/19, but I’ll still check in to reply to comments.  Wishing everyone a happy summer with no smackdowns of any sort!  🙂

Book 15 update:  I hit Chapter 3 this week — it’s great to be writing again!  Arnie and Aydan are off on an adventure, and John will join them soon.  Things get interesting when secret agents go on vacation!

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Hmmm…

As I’ve noted before, the universe seems to store up its oddities so it can dump them on me all at once.  Apparently this week its goal was to leave me just slightly disturbed.  (Some might argue that I’m already permanently disturbed, but pshaw.)

The first thing that left me feeling a little off-balance was the fact that I’ve been calling friends and family to see if ANYBODY wants some zucchini.  There’s only so much I can eat, freeze, and dehydrate, and I passed that limit after the first thirty zukes.  (And that was only two pickings.  I’ve been picking every second day since the beginning of July.  Math majors, don’t bother adding that up – it comes out to “far too many”!)

So I phone.  I always get voicemail.  (Is that a hint?)  I leave my message offering free zucchini.  And then…

*sound of crickets*

They never call back.

This leaves me feeling just a bit… odd. Ordinarily I’d consider it rude if somebody completely ignored an offer of free food; but after all, we are talking about zucchini here. Zucchini is like that overly friendly coworker who keeps proposing weird-bordering-on-creepy social activities every weekend. Maybe it’s the thought that counts; but you’re not sure you want to encourage those thoughts.

(And that leaves me wondering whether I’m that coworker and I’m just too oblivious to realize it. These are the things that keep me awake at night.)

My next “Um… what?!?” moment came when I was doing some research for Book 15.  I began typing ‘Is it legal…’ into Google, and this is what popped up:

Seriously? Marrying yourself is the top Google search? How would that even work? And why?  (And don’t get me started about all the animal questions.)

My next ‘Uh-oh’ arrived while I was picking another big basket of cucumbers, as I do every… second… day.  (I may have to start breaking into people’s homes and leaving fresh produce behind.)

Anyway, there I was on my knees in the patch with all the bees working away at the blossoms… which were very near a certain place that’s quite dear to me. As I eyed the large bumblebee buzzing millimetres away from my crotch, I was reminded of the old joke about the guy in the dentist’s chair who reaches over to gently grip the dentist’s testicles and say, “We wouldn’t want to hurt each other, would we?”  I lack the testicles, but now I understand the trepidation.

And last but not least: I usually drink my morning cup of tea outside on our front porch. We still haven’t got our concrete poured, so my chair sits on a piece of plywood. And the other day when I glanced absently at it, I realized that it contained the face from Edvard Munch’s The Scream:

Am I right?

I’m here to tell you that it’s seriously disturbing to glance down and see that between your knees.  But I guess it’s better than an irate bumblebee.

So I’m slightly unbalanced as usual, but I’m still staggering forward.  How was your week?

Book 15 update:  I’ve almost finished Chapter 1!  And I’ve made another attempt at book cover redesign — what do you think? (See below.)

                       

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Down The Rabbit Hole

Last week I mentioned that in addition to my shoe breakdown, my deodorant had also failed. That got me thinking about sweat and its associated etiquette. (Sweatiquette?)

I lived most of my adult life in Calgary, where it’s so dry that your sweat glands have to work overtime just to keep you from shriveling into a desiccated mummy. Perspiration was never a problem there.

But it’s humid here on the West Coast, and now I get clammy clothes and a sticky sheen on my skin just from strolling down the sidewalk.  So here’s my dilemma:

When you a meet a friend you’d normally hug, is it more awkward to say, “Don’t hug me, I’m gross and sweaty”; or to go for the hug and subject them to full sweatitude with a bonus whiff of gamey armpits? (And why don’t I have friends anymore?)

When I consulted the internet (about sweatiquette, not my social problems), I was confronted by an ad demanding, “Are you a heavy sweater?”

I blinked away the mental image of a bulky cable-knit pullover.  Nope, last time checked I was still a regular-weight human.

And down the rabbit hole I went.

‘Sweater’. It’s kind of an icky word when you think about it. I mean, I guess it’s descriptive enough:  When you’re cold, you want something that might induce sweat; so you put on a ‘sweater’.  But, ew.

Our friends in the U.K. more politely call them ‘jumpers’; but even though there’s a lower ick-factor, the word makes no sense at all. What does jumping have to do with a garment you pull over your head?

Although I guess it makes as much sense as our North American ‘jumper’: A sleeveless, collarless dress worn over a T-shirt.  (As opposed to a ‘jumpsuit’, the one-piece coverall worn by skydivers who jump out of perfectly serviceable airplanes at high altitude. At least the terminology is logical even if the sanity is questionable.)

And that reminds me of a joke:  “Parachute for sale.  Used once.  Small stain.”

Which brings me full-circle to sweat and other bodily emissions:  If anybody ever forced me to skydive, I guarantee the stain would be a large one and the parachute wouldn’t be salable afterward.  The person who coerced me probably wouldn’t be in great shape, either.

And that’s the bottom of this week’s rabbit hole.  (Should I mention that a rabbit is also a ‘jumper’?)

Happy landings to all!

Book 15 update:  The first words are on the page, woohoo!  I’m thrilled to be writing again — I’ve missed Aydan and the gang. 🙂

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A(nother) Sticky Situation

Unlike my sticky situation a few years ago, my latest debacle involved fashion, not glue.  And I’m here to tell you that when the words ‘sticky’ and ‘fashion’ get used in the same sentence the result is, um… undesirable.

As you may recall, I hate dressing up.  I haven’t bought new clothes in nearly ten years and I don’t have a clue what’s stylish now; but I’m pretty sure the wide-legged pants and bell-bottoms in my closet are passé.  (Or maybe not; what do I know?)

Anyway, I had a few panicky moments when I consulted my closet an hour before I was due to present my talk last week; but I did manage to get dressed.  From deep in the archives of my plastic shoe boxes I dug out my two pairs of comfortable dress shoes, and I was halfway out the door when I realized there was something sticky on one of the soles.

I rushed back, stuffed my feet into the other pair, and hurried off to the Civic Centre… only to discover that we were locked out.

When we finally got inside with only fifteen minutes to spare before the presentation, I rushed around setting up my projector and laptop.  Then I retired to the bathroom, hoping to dry the sweat that was rolling off me in the stuffy atmosphere.

That’s when I realized that, in my trauma over dress clothes, I’d forgotten to re-apply my deodorant. And I’d worn a sleeveless top. Every time I raised my arms, the pit-stink nearly knocked me over.

Okay; fine. The front rows were at least six feet away. The air conditioning was kicking in. I could carry this off.

So I dove into my presentation, getting totally immersed as I always do… until I realized that my damn shoe was sticking to the floor and un-sticking itself with an audible snap each time I moved.

For shit’s sake, what had I stepped in this time?!?

I ignored it as best I could and finished the talk; and everybody eventually trickled out.

That’s when I discovered that I hadn’t stepped in anything.  During their long contact with the plastic shoeboxes, the synthetic parts of the shoes had undergone some kind of chemical reaction.  The leather upper was fine, but the sole had turned into a gooey mess.

There were sticky black marks on the floor where I had stood; and a big piece of one sole had torn loose to flop around like a clown shoe with every step.

As I skulked out of the Civic Centre, Hubby helpfully remarked, “You left a piece of your shoe back there.”

I’m proud to report that there was only a smidgen of vulgarity in my response as I squelched my sticky way across the parking lot.

So the vindictive fashion gods have won another round. I’m afraid to even speculate what they’ll do for an encore; but if I’m lucky it’ll be another ten years down the road.

Maybe I’ll wait until then to buy new dress clothes…

Book 15 is under way!  I had a great plotting week — the subplot is mostly done and I’m working on the details of the main story.  Hope to start putting words on the page this week!

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Bird-Brains, My Butt

I love living out in the country where the air is a tapestry of birdsong and our little feathered friends forage busily in our gardens.  We have everything from the drab but melodic Hermit Thrush to the brilliant Western Tanager; the giant and crazily prehistoric-looking Pileated Woodpecker to the tiny Anna’s Hummingbird.  But unlike my blogging buddy Elephant’s Child, I don’t have any beautiful bird photos to show you.

And that’s my beef, right there:  No photo ops.  In fact, half the time I can’t even get to the binoculars.

I’d comfort myself with the knowledge that they’re wild birds so they never stay in one place for long; but that’s not actually true.  They’re not flitting around, alert to the slightest threat.  No; they’re flaunting themselves within full view of my windows, sitting there only a few yards away and preening.  Even the hummingbirds perch for minutes at a time.

But no matter whether they’ve just landed or they’ve been snoozing there for five minutes, the instant I head for the binoculars, the birds fly away.

One might argue that they’re getting spooked when they see my movement through the window.  I’d like to believe that… but I don’t. I can walk over and stand inches away from glass watching them, and they never ruffle a feather.

But just let me reach for the binoculars that live permanently in the corner of the living room, and the birds zip away, never to reappear until I’m at least ten paces away from the optics.

Reaching for the camera is even more futile.  That doesn’t even require any movement on my part — all I have to do is think about the camera and the birds take off.

So not only can they tell the difference between me casually crossing the room on my own errand, and me crossing the room to pick up the binoculars; but they can also read my mind.

Bird-brains, my butt.  Those little suckers are smart, and probably telepathic.  I just hope they don’t decide to organize and attack like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

But if there’s no blog post next week, you’ll know what happened.

*

P.S. Speaking of bird-brains:  Last night I had a great time presenting Write Your Book At Last at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.  But… at the end of my talk, I forgot to ask if anyone was interested in more in-depth workshops.  I’ve posted topic outlines on my Workshops page, but I won’t set dates unless there’s some interest.  Please drop me an email if there’s a workshop you’d like to attend.  Thanks!

Exciting news:  The audiobook for Book 2, The Spy Is Cast is now in production!  Its tentative release date is in October, and the rest of the series is scheduled to follow it into audio format ASAP.

And… I’m starting Book 15 this week!  Hooray!  🙂

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My Taste Is All In My Mouth

A couple of years ago I confessed my utter failure as an interior designer in Fail! and Fail! Part Deux (Or Is That ‘Duh’?).  It was embarrassing, but at least after I departed that career long ago (to everyone’s relief, including my own) I figured I was pretty safe from future colour-related embarrassment.  After all, there are lots of other people who can’t create attractive colour schemes, and they get through life just fine.

And I have gotten along fine, other than a minor issue twenty years ago with house paint that turned out to be a revolting pale candy-pink instead of off-white.  (But I was the only one who had to live with that particular mistake; so no harm, no foul.)

But this week my self-esteem got slapped down again:  At the dollar store, where I was buying balloons for Hubby’s aunt and uncle’s upcoming 60th wedding anniversary.

The clerk paused halfway through ringing up the sale.  “Are you sure you want these purple balloons?” he asked.  “Were you looking for black instead?”

I whipped out my reading glasses (which I obviously should have been wearing in the first place).  Sure enough, the balloons that looked black in the package were clearly labelled ‘purple’.

“Yes,” I said with relief.  “Thank you!  I’m really glad you caught that.”

He smiled.  “I figured you must have gotten them mixed up.  Purple didn’t go with the other colours you’d picked out.”

I stood gaping wordlessly.  The other two colours were pearlescent gold and dark red.  He was right:  The third colour was supposed to have been black; but I would have thought deep purple, dark red, and gold would be fine together.  It certainly wouldn’t have occurred to me to question somebody about them.

Maybe he knew something I didn’t.  Maybe the balloons are actually vivid purple and screaming red when they’re inflated. But I still wouldn’t have flagged that as a mistake; I would have just assumed someone was decorating for a Red Hat event.

(And now I’m giggling, because if you follow that link to the Red Hat Society site, there’s a heading in ornate script that reads “How It Farted”…  Okay, fine; it actually says “How It Started”, but I can’t help seeing ‘farted’.  Clearly I’m childish as well as colour-impaired.)

Anyway, it’s a sobering thought that even a middle-aged male dollar-store employee has better taste than I do. I’m comforting myself with the fantasy that he’s actually a talented designer moonlighting as a store clerk for amusement, between his lucrative contracts with upscale clients.

At least the party decorations will look okay, because I didn’t choose the colour scheme — I was only the minion dispatched to buy balloons.  So with any luck I’ll make it through another decade or so without any further hue-miliation.

Meanwhile, I’m going to go and eat some of the yummy cinnamon pinwheels I made the other day.  At least I know there’s nothing wrong with my taste there!

Cinnamon Pinwheels
This recipe is tasty but not too sweet… like a cross between a biscuit and a cookie.  (So you can eat lots!)

Dough:
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix to form a soft dough. Sprinkle worksurface with flour, sprinkle dough lightly with flour, and roll out into a rectangle about 12″ x 20″ and ¼” thick1.

Filling
1¼ cups brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 egg
Enough milk to make it spreadable (start with about 2 teaspoons and add more as needed)

For the filling, mix the flour and sugar thoroughly, then mix in the egg. The mixture will be damp and crumbly. Add enough milk to make it barely spreadable. (Too thin and it’ll all run out before you can get the pinwheels on the pan.)

Spread the filling over the dough rectangle, being careful to push the filling out to the ends; but leave about ½” of the dough bare along the long edges at the top and bottom. Sprinkle liberally (or to taste) with cinnamon.  You can also sprinkle on nuts or raisins if you like.

Cut the dough rectangle into quarters2. Beginning from one of the long edges in the middle (yes, the gooey part), roll the first quarter like a jellyroll, out to the naked edge of the dough3. Slice the roll into rounds about ½” thick4 and place them on a parchment-covered baking sheet with lots of space to expand5.

Bake at 350°F approximately 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned. (You may have to adjust the baking time considerably, depending on how big and thick you’ve cut your pinwheels.)

*

1 Despite the layer of flour underneath, the dough usually sticks to the counter when you roll it out. Don’t panic. You’ll have a ridge of loose flour along the edges of the dough rectangle after you’ve rolled it out, so just take a thin metal egg flipper… (Spatula? Whatever those things are called.) …and slide it through the flour and under the dough. It’ll push the flour underneath and free the dough at the same time.

2 This will give you a roll about 1½” in diameter, which yields a baked pinwheel about 2″ to 2½” in diameter. If you want bigger pinwheels, you could make larger rolls.

3 Only do one roll at a time, and only slice as many rounds as you need to fill your pan. If you roll and slice the whole thing, the filling will ooze out before you can get it all baked.

4 You could cut the rounds thicker if you want a more ‘biscuit-y’ size and texture, but I prefer them more cookie-like.

5 Don’t worry when the roll squishes flat and your pinwheel looks like some weird alien/amoeba thing. Just lay it out on the parchment and push it approximately into shape. When it bakes it’ll go back to being roundish.

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Don’t Diss My Beaver

Monday July 1 was Canada Day, and I realized it’s been a few years since I wrote a ‘distinctly Canadian’ post.  It’s time I did, because somebody needs to defend the honour of our national animal (again).

Apparently our own esteemed Canadian, June Callwood, once said, “The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off its own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees.”

When I read that, I was crushed.  (Although not as severely as our dumb beavers, I guess.)  I had defended the beaver’s noble image back in 2011.  Surely there was some mistake.  Could I still be proud of our Canadian icon?

So your intrepid reporter delved deeply into the matter.  (Okay, fine; I spent a couple of minutes searching the internet.)  And it turns out that beavers do not, in fact, bite off their own testicles.  Whew.

That little fable started in ancient times.  They believed that if a beaver was cornered by hunters attempting to kill it for its castoreum (the gooey musk which the ancients incorrectly believed came from its testicles), the beaver would bite off its own testicles and throw them to the hunters, thereby escaping with its life.  The legend went on to say that if pursued by a subsequent batch of hunters, the crafty beaver would scurry to a high place and lift its leg to display its nutless status.

On to ‘modern’ times (the 17th century).  That’s when Sir Thomas Browne noted that a) Castoreum comes from the beaver’s anal glands, not its testicles; and b) Beavers don’t even have external testicles – they’re inside its body, so it’d be kinda tricky to bite them off.

Ha.  So once again the noble beaver rises above a scurrilous attack on its reputation.  (Although apparently beavers do occasionally get crushed by their own falling trees; but I’m gonna give our plucky little rodents a pass on that one.  Even professional lumberjacks sometimes have accidents.  It’s not stupidity; it’s just bad luck.)

And while I’m on my soapbox defending Canadian icons, I also want to address poutine.  First:  We Anglophones usually say ‘poo-TEEN’; but the correct pronunciation is rendered with a Québécois accent, which softens the ‘t’ to a sibilant ‘th’ and accents both syllables equally:  ‘pou-thsinn’.

But pronunciation doesn’t matter as much as authenticity.  I’ve run across some horrible bastardizations of the dish, and I want to make sure no innocent reader of mine believes that mess is actually poutine.

Check out the top right photo in this Wikipedia article.  That’s how poutine should look.  It’s NOT heavy opaque gravy poured over grated mozzarella — that’s cheese-fries-with-gravy.  Real poutine has clear savory sauce and nice big cheese curds that are so fresh they squeak when you chew them.  Don’t be fooled by poor imitations!

So that’s my community service for Canada Day.  Now, let’s have some poutine, and bring on the beaver jokes!

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…oh.

We have houseguests this week, so it’s a shorter post today.  Here’s a little cartoon that occurred to me moments after I cursed the aphids for ganging up on my baby fruit trees last week.

I guess the aphids don’t have a corner on that kind of ‘stupidity’…

 

And, in other news…

I’m doing a short public presentation in mid-July.  There are so many artists and writers and other creative types here on Vancouver Island, I thought it would be nice to offer my writing and publishing experience, for what it’s worth.

I’m not sure whether it’ll be a help, an inspiration, or merely a shudder-worthy cautionary tale; but I hope we’ll all have some chuckles in the process.  I hope to see you there!

Publishing and writing presentation by bestselling e-book author Diane Henders

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Gator Bait

You know how sometimes you notice an unusual object, and then suddenly you’re seeing them everywhere?  Apparently this is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon:  There aren’t actually more of the items than before; you’re only noticing them more.

Okay, fine.  That makes sense.

So… why have I been seeing plastic alligators this week?  I seriously doubt that there’s a plethora of plastic gators lurking in the small towns of Parksville and Qualicum Beach and I’ve simply failed to notice them until now.

But on Friday I arrived at the art centre for my painting group, and there was this:

Yes, somebody had posed a small plastic alligator on the handrail. With a potato chip in its mouth.

I blinked. Looked again.

Yep, it was still a plastic alligator eating a potato chip.

I glanced around, but nobody was lurking nearby with a video camera to capture the reactions of passersby. (Or if they were, I didn’t spot them. For all I know, my befuddled expression might be all over the internet in a Punk’d video by now.)

I drew a deep breath.  Ooookay, fine.  Nothing to see here, folks; just move along.

So I went into the building and forgot the whole thing for a couple of hours. But when I came out, the gator was still there, noshing on the same chip. It might still be there for all I know. (*Update: The gator was still there on Friday but his chip was gone, and the poor little guy was looking hungry.  Maybe I’ll take him a new chip next week.)

Assuming that this was a one-off experience, I filed it under ‘another example of weird shit that happens to me’, and got on with life.

Until the very next day, when I attended a potluck for our local Rhododendron Society chapter. Now, let me just say that this is not a group of youngsters. I’m 55 years old and my face shows every one of those years; and yet one of the members patted me on the arm and said, “Oh, how nice to see young people taking an interest in rhododendrons. Are you attending the local college, dear?”

So it’s not exactly the milieu where one might expect to encounter a plastic reptile. Particularly not stuck to the ceiling in our hosts’ dining room:

I didn’t spot it for quite a while; but when I did, my mouth dropped open.  ANOTHER plastic gator!  (Turned out it was a gecko; but I didn’t realize that until I zoomed in for the photo.)  Anyway, I was agog.

When I buttonholed the host, he explained that their grandkids had several of the little toys.  Whenever they came over they’d throw the critters at the ceiling, where they would stick for hours or sometimes days before finally dropping off.

I probably should have asked how long that one had been up there (especially since it was poised over the buffet table like the Gecko of Damocles), but I was too busy feeling relieved that I wasn’t hallucinating plastic reptiles in unlikely locations.

I haven’t seen any more in the past couple of days, but now I’m alert for the opportunity.  If there’s a gator to be had, I’ll spot it.  Baader and Meinhof would be proud.

Has anyone else seen plastic reptiles in public lately, or am I just gator bait?

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Flipped Off By The Bird

It’s that time of year again, when even the mildest-mannered gardener turns into a homicidal lunatic.  I wasn’t mild-mannered in the first place, so I’m in full Rambo-mode.

Why, you ask?  (Or maybe you don’t; but tough noogies.  I’m going to tell you anyway.)  Yep, once again I’m locked in a life-or-death struggle with garden-raiding critters.

In March, Hubby took down last year’s bird netting so he could double the size of our strawberry patch.  We now have 22 raised beds, an area 60 feet long and 20 feet wide.  After much anticipation (and much weeding), the first few berries began to blush a couple of weeks ago.

The robins swooped in immediately.

“That’s okay,” I thought.  “It’s a giant patch.  There’ll be enough for all of us.”

Ha.

Robins do not share well.  Nor are they considerate berry-pickers.  When I went out to pick ‘my share’, I discovered that long sharp beaks had plunged into almost every berry that had even a touch of red, and about half the harvest was gone entirely.

Then the robins got possessive.  No longer did they fly away when I approached.  I had to chase them off, waving my arms and shouting obscenities.  (The obscenities probably weren’t strictly necessary, but they made me feel better.)

Then it got to the point where they’d only move about ten feet despite my bellowing and arm-waving; and as soon as I hunkered down to pick the pathetic leftovers, they’d settle in a couple of rows behind me and chow down all over again.

The worst part was their derisive clucking and chirping.  I just knew those little feathered bastards were laughing at me.

So, up went the netting again.  As I secured the last gap, I shot a triumphant look at the robin perched outside the perimeter.  “This is your own fault,” I lectured.  “If you hadn’t been so greedy, you could have still been eating nice fresh berries.”

He let out a loud chirp, flicked his tail at me, and flocked off.  He didn’t have a middle finger to jab skyward, but I got the message loud and clear.  Now I know why they call it ‘flipping the bird’.

At least my berries are ripening unmolested now.  But… last night I spotted a rabbit checking out the veggie garden.

AAARGH!!!  GRAB THE CHICKENWIRE; I’M GOIN’ IN!

Do you ‘enjoy the relaxing hobby of gardening’?

The giant strawberry patch

 

This is how they’re supposed to look: No ugly beak-gouges, just plump beautiful berries. YUM!

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