Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jimeny cricket my arse

First of all, let's get one thing straight. I don't care what anybody says, Jimeny cricket was a GRASSHOPPER. There. I said it. I don't want to hear about green crickets in china, I don't need a lesson on insect classification. All I know is that there is a GRASSHOPPER. Now that we have established that, I wonder if somebody might want to inform his relatives that they are not allowed to take over the garden. See, I had to go pick plum tomatoes from the garden today. It is getting colder, the season is winding down. And if I want to use them before they are damaged by frost then I have to go pick every day. The best and most prolific plant happens to be located under the three horrendously large sunflowers my DD planted back there. Lovely, and the birds will be thrilled when the gigantic heads mature and the seeds are ready. These suckers are a good one foot across, that is a LOT of sunflower seeds. Anyhow, it seems that some very large and menacing looking grasshoppers have decided to live ON and IN the sunflower leaves and stalks. They are big. Did I mention they are big? I can handle a grasshopper as long as it is no bigger than two inches long and is not in my hair - once it is in the hair all bets are off. These grasshoppers are in the three to four inch range. Let's just take a moment to ponder that. FOUR FREAKIN INCHES LONG. A bug, that is FOUR BLESSED INCHES LONG. A heavy, four inch long grasshopper sitting on a leaf a few feet above my head is a recipe for disaster no matter how you slice it. Remember the hair thing. I am convinced that they are sitting there waiting for the right moment to drop down onto my head, and thus cause my brain to short circuit upon finding a FOUR INCH LONG BUG IN MY HAIR. I am pretty sure the pure horror of that would cause me to implode, leaving nothing but a puddle of tomato sauce and a bemused and confused pug wondering where mommy went. She would wonder that of course, until her little brain cycles to her next thought (most likely about crackers) and she forgets she ever had a mommy and goes back to sniffing grass blades and barking at everything that moves. I know she loves me and always looks happy to see me, but I wonder if it is a look of "Yay! You are home mommy!" or more along the lines of "Yay! Somebody is here! Do I know you?". Love her to death, in a bless-her-heart way. Anyway, back to the garden. I was supposed to cut the zucchini plants at the ground because they were getting away from me, and I was finding baseball bat sized prizes every time I went back there. The leaves were huge and spiny, and frankly it was making threatening gestures at anybody that walked by. I was getting concerned for DD and Ruby, both of whom like to poke around amongst it's leaves to find what interesting things might be lurking there. You know, a gigantic squash flower, or an odd bug, perhaps a zucchini large enough to live in. That sort of thing. I do believe I saw it reaching for the dog when she bounded through, and when I bent to pick a tomato I distinctly felt it's hot breath on my neck. I turned around quickly and it went back to lurking and waiting - thank goodness. I haven't dredged up the nerve to do the final CHOP yet. I'm ascairt they are gonna fight back! My multi-coloured swiss chard is also very tall and lush and scaring me a little. Some of the leaves are so thick and glossy, and over a foot long (not including the stem). Other years the rabbits helped me keep it in check. This year they feasted on the watermelon and pickling cucumber vines and snubbed the chard, aiding and abetting the takeover. It is hard to sleep some nights, knowing your garden veggies might be staging a coup. On the knitting front....there is no knitting front. I haven't touched any knitting. I have been working solely on DD's poncho. Irresponsible of me, in the face of the looming holiday. But her birthday comes before Christmas, and really she could use a nice warm poncho early. The days are getting so cool, especially the mornings. Myself, I do love a cool crisp morning. DD, not so much. Although she is a slave to fashion and it is like pulling teeth to make her wear a coat. Fashionable sweater that is beautiful but unlined and thus ineffective against the chill? Yes. Thin spring jersey knit jacket that is lovely and colourful and matchy but thinner than rice paper and thus does nothing to stop the cold? Yes. Crocheted ponchette that has stripes of colourful puffs alternating with fun fur that is to die for, but less protection from the wind than fishing net? Of course. But an actual warm coat, functional and useful? NO WAY. There is a reason why the new poncho is fingertip length (I hope LOL) and made in tedious single crochet with bulky yarn. To her it is a lovely poncho. To me it is FINALLY WEARING SOMETHING WARM. I am such a mother. I am almost done, and I promise a picture once I have worked out the last few details. I am really quite proud of it, as I didn't use a pattern and just winged it. Wung it? Whatever. On the home front, DH has been obeying the "no tv until homework, dinner, dishes, and chores are done" rule. He is not liking it, he says, although I can already see a difference in his demeaner - I know he sees the progress he is making and it makes him feel better about himself and motivates him to do more. And he isn't missing any of his shows either, just bypassing the crap he didn't even want to watch but did because nothing else was on while waiting for his programs. And it is getting easier to get DD to finish her school assignments because there is no TV on to distract her. Nothing fun and interesting about watching us fold laundry, might as well do your reading! So far it is working. Now if only I can convince them that picking tomatoes with me is a daily chore, so I don't have to brave the grasshoppers by myself. Or risk being molested by the zucchini or mugged by the chard unaided.


mtnester said...

Dances, it sounds like gardens are wild jungles, fraught with perils! I am such a house-bound suburbanite; I had no idea!

To avoid the potential trauma of a grasshopper-in-hair debacle, how about wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat? (You might need to pin it on, so it won't slip off when you bend over to pick tomatoes.)

Laura Gardens in Desert said...

What a funny read! I really enjoyed it.