Some Saturday Afternoon Blathering

man talking clipart 001

It is a wonderful day here in the suburbs of Dallas, where blandness isn’t just a destination, it’s a way of life.

The sun is shining and it is a very comfortable 60 degrees or so (16 C).

Some of the trees are changing colors.  Some have lost all their leaves.  Others are still completely green.

I have roses blooming on a mostly-ignored (and thus very hardy) rose bush near the corner of my house.

November Rose

Apparently, it thrives on neglect.

However, the canna lilies were snuffed out by a very mild frost we had earlier in the week.  Though they normally stand about 6 feet tall (in their stocking feet), they now measure about 9 inches head-to-toe and look like they were rolled upon repeatedly by a playful elephant trying to scratch his back upon the ground.

I don’t understand canna lilies’ weakness to frost.  I have to keep them beat back with shovels and weed-eaters (the horticultural equivalent of a whip and a chair) in the driest, most hellish months of summer, but let the temperature dip slightly below freezing, and they throw up their hands (fronds) and say, “Death lies on her, like an untimely frost; Upon the sweetest flower of all the field!” and then expire in a most un-picturesque fashion, like the compost bin behind a “Kale Kreations” restaurant.

The leaves from my neighbor’s fig tree lay thick on my side of the fence like giant brown potato chips.  They crunch when I walk on them, but they are thick, like kettle fried potato chips.  They’d probably leave scars upon my feet if I weren’t wearing fig leaf resistant shoes.

I know should pick the fig leaves up and bear them away, but I am a little leery of doing so.  Adam and Eve tried that, and look what happened to them!

Some birds have rediscovered that I have bird feeders in my back yard.  The feeders have been there for the better part of a year, but about five or six months ago all the birds in the world decided to shun my back yard.  I don’t know why.  Bad Airnnb reviews, perhaps?

I suspect the crows.

But then again, I always suspect crows.  They are very suspicious creatures.

Now, however, the birds have returned, as if my back yard is Capistrano.

However, rather than swallows, they mostly consist of tiny little sharp-dressed fellows in gray and black and white.  I think they may be Carolina chickadees.

I have never had a reason to say “chickadee” before without getting a visit from the HR department, so this is kind of cool.

Carolina Chickadee

But, whatever they are, they are most welcome.  I even went outside to put out fresh seed for them.

They are brave little chaps.  One of them clung to the feeder and chirped very aggressively at me, as if he were saying, “I will fight you!”

But then he realized I was re-filling the feeder, and so flitted to a nearby fence post to swear at me and to wait impatiently for me to perform my duties so that I could retire discretely to the servant’s quarters downstairs.

I have nearly finished off my 20 oz (half a kilogram) bag of Brach’s candy-corn that I bought about a week before Halloween.  I allow myself a small serving (6 or 8 pieces) every other day or so.  There’s no particular reason I do this, other than the bag is sitting right beside my chair, and so is a lot closer to me than the 75% cacao chocolate bars that I prefer, which are downstairs in the fridge.  I am prevented from retrieving them by my own laziness, which shall be my undoing someday.

Plus I hate to waste the dollar or so that I spent on the bag of candy corn.

On the plus side, I’m sure I have achieved my annual intake of wax, candy shellac, and sugars.

I was surprised to note in the ingredients that these things contain actual honey.  I suspect that there is only one actual molecule of honey contained in each bag, thus allowing them to state, with a straight face, that their candy-corn contains honey.  It probably also contains just as much gold, frankincense, and myrrh as it does honey.  They should list those in the ingredients, too.

And now fun-time is over and it is time to get back to the Saturday chores.

For my house is saying:

Dust lies on her, like an untidy froth; Upon the suede-ish sofa and all the knick-knacks!



  1. And here I thought I would be swept up in some beige story about a cul-de-sac in Texas. I was so wrong! I laughed out loud reading this…which is ultimately the most I’ve done on this November day in British Columbia (which is both bland and grey). Thank you for this! Such a great little gift for this Canadian girl missing roses and candy corn.
    Also, I always blame the crows. Or most birds, for that matter; one look in to their eyes and I know I can’t trust those f*ckers!😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Meg! You’ve made my day telling me that you laughed out loud at something I wrote. I live to make people laugh, or at least smile.

      We should work out some sort of foreign exchange for grown-ups. I could come live in Canada for a while, and you could come live in Texas. I long so much to have 4 distinct seasons!

      And yes, the crows are always at the bottom of any shenanigans. They bear watching.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay. Went to Texas on my vacation this year. Well kind of. Let’s just say I drove through it. It seemed to be the. Blandness Capital of the world. We did stop in Austin and swam at Barton Springs and could see the skyline of Austin while swimming. So that was cool. Other than that my opinion of Texas is that there is too much of it. But I did enjoy this post! I’m a big gardener. I could identify with your musings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Texas is indeed huge! So huge that it has very different regions within it. There is the desert west. There is the Hill Country. There is the piney-wooded east. There it the coast. There is the pre-desert and semi-plains area of the north (towards Oklahoma). Where we are here in Dallas, we get a smattering of all of the above. Scrubby trees, semi-arid, flat as a pancake.

      And it is indeed big! I read just this past week that El Paso is closer to Needles, California than it is to Dallas.

      There was an interesting article in the Atlantic entitled “What’s Closer to Texas Than Texas Is to Itself?”

      I once drove from Dallas to San Diego, and the entire first day of driving was spent in Texas. It was quite eye-opening.

      And I’m not bragging … I’m complaining. It takes forever to get ANYWHERE in Texas. 😀


      • Wow. El Paso is closer to Needles than to Dallas? That’s a big state alright! We drove through the southern part coming from Tuscan Arizona. I was disappointed that I only heard one Texas accent. But I least I got to hear that one! I told the guy too and he was shocked because apparently he didn’t think he had an accent at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, Texas is definitely losing its identity. There has been such an influx of people from around the country, drawn here by the booming economy, that the things that used to make Texas Texas are fading away (including the accents). That has accelerated in recent years by the huge influx of immigrants from around the world. Unless you go out into very rural areas, you really won’t find much of the “old Texas” any more. It is all leading to the “generic-ization” of Texas.


  3. I am jealous. For some reason, all of my birds left with the hummingbirds in early Sept and no one has been back to visit. NO ONE. This week I’ve had a few Mourning Doves and a few Blue Jays. That’s it. This is unheard of and I hear the same story throughout Maine…and now Dallas! I have just a little hope, though. I saw a couple of the Jays eating the fallen apples under the tree. They should be good and fermented by now. I’m hoping they will get ‘hard cider’ drunk and and call all of their buddies over for a party. Here’s hoping!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s about all I see, too: mourning doves and blue jays and crows. When I go places other than my neighborhood, I see lots and lots of grackles (nothing unusual there). I’ve never gotten a huge variety of birds in my neighborhood, but there is definitely a shortage this year, even of the birds which are usually well-represented.

      Liked by 1 person

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