Snails and My Crazy Tomato

snail on red brick

A few nights ago I went out for an evening walk and came upon this snail. I thought it was picturesque.

Ever since I have seen snails. EVERYWHERE.

I feel bad for people who both live in the wetter areas of Canada and attempt gardens because after a good rain…or the hint of maybe rain, those guys make a beeline for the good stuff.

I don’t worry about myself though because this year I decided to play slo pitch instead of have a plot at the community garden. My alternative was to try my hand at a deck garden.

And things are going pretty well!

Mint in the moonlight

I have The Mint that Won’t Die going strong as ever.

Freezer lettuce

Freezer Top Lettuce (in TWO varieties!) for my salad cravings—salad on demand really as there’s never enough to stock up.

upside down tomato

And last but not least the Crazy Upside Down Tomato.

No really, crazy.

Up until two, three nights ago (actually, the same day I started seeing snails actually…) all of the vines were growing UP. Then one morning I opened the blinds and discovered ALL THE VINES WERE NOW GROWING DOWNISH.

Crazy tomato.

Anyway, since I’m seeing snails everywhere concern for my fledgling garden (actually it’s my skills, which are fledgling, the plants seem to be OK) is growing.

Because…snails can climb, right?

Well, at least I’m prepared for the inevitable. I hear rough surfaces bother snails bodies and I haven’t swept the deck in months.

Bad Habit #1 Reheating Coffee

I have an admittedly bad habit. I like to microwave my coffee.

Bad Habit #1 Reheating Coffee

Yes, you heard me right. I’m not so busy I forget to drink my coffee and have to heat it up. I just enjoy heating up a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

My husband doesn’t really like this. And our marriage nearly ended the first time he “cleaned up” the kitchen by rinsing out the 1/4 full pot. (Total exaggeration but I was pretty miffed.) Nope. Don’t do that.

There’s something in me that just looks forward to getting home from a long day at work and heating up a welcoming mug of cafe. Despite what people think.

Well, now that it’s getting to summertime temperatures I have to remember to put the leftover coffee in the fridge. Not because it’s going to go bad sitting out at room temperature for a few hours. No, not that. Let’s take a closer look at the image shall we? With a little black and white for effect.

THERE’S A FLY IN MY COFFEE!

I am so thankful said fly was discovered before I set to drinking my “welcome home” beverage.

And boy did my husband laugh when I cried my sad story over the phone to him later. Boy oh boy.

Flying Insects vs. Car Windshields (Battle to the Death)

I don’t know if you guys are into podcasts but if you are, you probably listen to Stuff You Should Know. I say that because it’s always hovering around the Top 10 Podcast list in iTunes.

And if you listen to Stuff You Should Know (SYSK for the cool kids) you probably heard the podcast on Blood Spatter. That’s right, I said spatter, not splatter. The podcast was totally gruesome and I had to turn down the volume for most of the podcast (blood + guts = gross) but I did learn the term is “spatter” and not “splatter.”

Another introduction I could have used for this edition of Stupid Animal Battles is tell you about this time I went to a friend’s place and she somehow convinced me to sit through two episodes of Dexter, season two. Gross! Yet interesting.

You see, Dexter works by day as a blood pattern analyst and by night as a serial killer. He’s quite the complicated character.

All this to say I saw a poster in Washington state a couple weeks ago teaching kids the different bug splatters on their car windshields. Yes, you too can be a bug pattern analyst (just like Dexter?) by learning the blood splatter patterns. Except for me I keep wondering why it’s “splatter” and not “spatter.” I mean, what’s the difference?

Here’s a theory: it could be because of the size of the evidence. Blood leaves a small trail and thus is a small “spatter,” while a splattered bug on the windshield is large and smears everywhere if you don’t have the pink washer fluid.

Note to self: Listen to podcast again

Second note to self: Get pink washer fluid

I don’t think we need a scorecard for this one. If a bug and a car are travelling towards each other the car will win. Anyone who has ever driven in the prairies in the summer knows this.

Although the poster is really fun and creative, my problem with it is it shows the bugs mostly intact. But if you’re travelling at US interstate (or Canadian freeway) speeds, I don’t know if the bugs are so readily identifiable. Can someone go on a road trip and let me know how it goes? You can go all CSI if you want. I’d like it.

Why Won’t Wile E. Coyote Ever Catch Road Runner?

Well I asked and I received (the question: what should the next battle be?).

Coyote vs. Road Runner

I think this is a good place to admit I’m a bit traumatized by this cartoon because I always, always, always rooted for Coyote and was always, always, always disappointed. Bitterly disappointed. I never laughed, but I always hoped.

But one day, there was this episode.

I don’t remember exactly how it went but I do remember the coyote actually caught the roadrunner. Really! In a dinner plate and a lid, like in the picture. And I was so happy. Finally! After all that chasing! You go coyote!

So the coyote brought his prize home, but (of course) when he lifted the lid the roadrunner was gone. GONE! With no notice!

HOW did he do that? WHERE did he go? WHEN did he get out? We were watching the whole time!

It was a turning point for me, because there was no longer justice in cartoons. I knew then Wile E. Coyote, Genius, would never catch his prey. Never.

There’s a book called Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist, written by the cartoon’s creator Chuck Jones. In it he he writes the rules Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner live by. Since you’ll find conflicting evidence in the actual cartoon, let’s say these are more “guidelines.”

  1. Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “beep, beep”
  2. No outside force can harm the Coyote—only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time
  3. The Coyote could stop anytime—IF he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: “A fanatic is one who re-doubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.”—George Santayana)
  4. No dialogue ever, except “beep, beep” and yowling in pain
  5. Road Runner must stay on the road—for no other reason than that he’s a roadrunner
  6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters—the southwest American desert
  7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation
  8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy
  9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures
  10. The audience’s sympathy must remain with the Coyote
  11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch the Road Runner

It’s the last rule that makes me especially sad. I don’t think I could watch the show anymore. I’d be too forlorn. Poor, poor coyote. You will never win.

Except, well, then I found this video on YouTube and now I feel hopeful.

Ish. Hopeful-ish.

Honest Ed leaves Toronto

After the adventures of 10 to 2 island, Chris and I headed north towards Ottawa (vaguely) and stopped in the heart of Cottage Country.

I wish I had Wikipedia’ed Cottage country a year ago when I first experienced the culture shock that is middle Ontario. It would’ve saved me a lot of stress.

Actually I’m totally lying. There is absolutely no stress in Cottage land. It’s all hanging out and fishing and mosquitoes and rain and…plumbing.

Not even attempting to match the craziness of 10 to 2, Chris had a long list of tasks, which he was hoping to complete in the near future, including replacing PVC pipes (with some pretty funky outdoor plumbing, which was clearly added to the cottage well after it was built) and ripping up and replacing 40-year-old linoleum.

I was slotted to stay a few days. The first day was great. We played tennis, had lunch in town (OK, “town”), cooked steaks for dinner and talked about our feelings. (!)

And then it started raining.

The rain would stop intermittently (in half hour installments I soon learned), in which we seized the day and did a bit of plumbing (I supervised and took pictures of flowers. And ate pretzels), went fishing (caught my first fish! I even reeled it in) and fought off onslaughts of mosquitoes. I totally lost that battle.

Look! I caught a fish!

The day after I think was ripping up the floor day. It was neat because underneath the terrible floor was unfinished hardwood and in between the two floors was a layer of old newspapers from 1953.

As Chris worked I read through all the old happenings of Cottage country. Every story or so I would yell out for his attention and read whatever I had found at the top of my voice. Chris is a very patient man.

I loved this story called Honest Ed Leaves Toronto.

My favourite section was travel. Crossing Canada by Greyhound was pretty awesome back then. Well, it was probably just as cramped and stinky as it is now, but it was half the price and included hotels and meals.

Chris is pretty tech savvy and since he’s decided to make the cottage his semi-permanent residence, he picked up a rocket stick so he can have internet at the cottage, if nothing else. Because of that, I was able to plan and execute an Independence Day adventure in New York.

However, because of my newish plans (I was hoping this would happen but nothing was set in stone until the cottage) it moved up the need to do laundry. However, since it was raining on Canada Day all our friends who were going to come up and spend the next day or two up at the cottage bailed and I had the chance to wash my clothes.

You know, it really was a relief not to smell like a bus lady anymore.

Now that I’d been off the bus for a week, I wasn’t looking forward to it nearly as much as before.