Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This is how you grow

Despite the fact that I've lived my whole life within 30 miles of where I was born, I've always been really interested in and curious about people from all over the world. I'm grateful to be an adult at this point in time, where the world is literally at your fingertips via the internet and people can share information instantly. Discovering blogs and blogging has been a real delight, as it gives me a chance to indulge my love of learning about everyday life in far flung places. I've also been working to learn Spanish this year, and in my clumsy attempts to practice speaking it I've met and gotten to know some really interesting people.

I love this.....

And speaking of meeting interesting people, and clumsy attempts at speaking Spanish.....

A nice older couple visit the bookstore where I work almost every evening to sip espressos and share a dessert. They're distinguished looking people, the owners of one of the nicer jewelry stores in the area, and originally from Colombia. The husband has a big, warm smile and is unfailingly friendly and courteous, so I finally got up the nerve to tell him I'm trying to learn Spanish. His response was "Wonderful! Don't be ashamed to practice or afraid of making mistakes. It's how you learn!" Which is true, and so we began practicing a little whenever he comes in. One subject I can usually do really well talking about in Spanish is my dogs, so I decided to tell him about Ginger and George. It was going fairly well at first, but I tend to get nervous and a bit tongue tied after awhile when a native speaker is listening. So after going on about how wild George is, and how much extra energy he has, I said, (or meant to say) "We walk our dogs every day." The man looked at me funny for a minute, and then started laughing. And I, totally clueless, kept saying "What? What did I say?" while he laughed and laughed.

Unfortunately for me, the verb for "we walk" and "we eat" sound similar. I had just told this nice gentleman that we eat our dogs everyday! Nice!

Yo no come mis perros!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Flowers in October

I've decided that I love geraniums.

I bought two pots bright red geraniums at the beginning of the summer. I had never had any before, and I was very impressed with them. They were inexpensive, bright and cheerful, and bloomed profusely for months with very little care. The plants were utterly exhausted last month and I considered throwing them out, but then I remembered Cro from Magnon's Meanderings once mentioned successfully overwintering geraniums. So instead of trashing them, I cut off the dead foliage and spent flower heads, potted them up with fresh soil, and left them alone. Now it's mid October, and there are fresh, bright green leaves and a few flowers blooming! It's nice to have some summer flowers left at this time of year. We have long autumns and mild winters here, and the first frost typically doesn't happen until around mid November. I think there's a good chance I can overwinter the plants, but even if I can't, they've been a really great value for the money.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October in the chair *

It's difficult to believe September is done and already we're entering the home stretch of 2014. October is usually a nice month here. The days are pleasantly warm, the nights are refreshingly cool, and leaves are just beginning to change color. We won't have our first frost for about a month yet. It's a great time to plant bulbs and perennials for next year, and the perfect time for transplanting almost anything. Speaking of which, here is my market impulse buy from yesterday:

It's a miniature potted rose bush that was on sale for only $15. It's large and covered in buds, and should continue to bloom for the rest of this month. I potted it up into a nice, roomy container and now it's brightening up our patio. The latter half of September seemed full of gloom and angst for me (probably partly due to the rapidly shortening days) and I felt I could use a small spot of color and cheer. The tiny, blood-red blossoms are just perfect, and they make me happy every time I enter or leave the house. Not a bad deal for $15!

Inside, I've done a little bit of fall decorating. It's been mostly easy stuff, like candleholders with fall motifs and changing out the "summer" kitchen linens (dish cloths with sunflowers) for the "autumn" ones (leaves, pumpkins, fall colors). I also added some seasonal decorations to our dining room table, just to pretty it up a little. We hardly ever eat there.

It's truly hard to believe that it's October, and Halloween is right around the corner. I love the cooler weather, but the short days really dampen my spirit. And of course, October means the winter months are almost here, which I always dread (for a variety of reasons). So I try to enjoy October, and Halloween, partly for that reason--it will be January before I feel like things are back to normal and I'm my usual cheerful self. In the meantime, there are some nice seasonal distractions to be had: knitting, hot tea, the fireplace lit in the evenings (soon, but not yet), movies, and books books books. It's the best season for serious reading.

And a good season for walking, too. I've been walking the dogs more now that the weather is cool. Not only are we going for more walks, but they're longer than they were in the sweltering heat of summer. It's been really, really good for George. The more he exercises the better he behaves. Ginger, of course, is always perfect.

Somebody loves cool, sunny days.
We often walk George with a weighted
backpack to help him burn a little more excess energy.

Happy October to all!

* Today's blog title is from my favorite short story by Neil Gaiman.