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Chaos on Twenty Seventh Street

As you know I’ve been limping around the house, and Memphis has recently had surgery so she’s limping around the house. Was that enough chaos for one spring? We decided to have a few rooms of the house painted, to freshen everything up for spring. This included our bookshelves. We have a lot of bookshelves – and that means we have books all over the house.


One thing we had not considered is the natural law that says Newfoundland dogs have a magnetic attraction to wet paint, especially Newfoundland dogs named George.



We hired Mike the Painter to do the painting. Mike does a great job at fair prices. He can also handle just about any other wacky job that comes along.

“Hey Mike, we need a temporary ramp where the deck stairs are.”
“A ramp?”
“Yes, for Memphis, while she’s recovering so she doesn’t have to do stairs. It has to be long enough to lessen the angle, sturdy enough to support dogs and humans, covered with outdoor carpet so she doesn’t slip, and of course inexpensive enough that we can afford to do it.”
“OK, no problem.”
Now it’s easy for Memphis to get out to the back yard without the difficulty of stairs. She can handle the ramp no problem at all.

Speaking of ramps, pretty soon my little ramps crop in the forested area of the back yard will be appearing. For those who have never had them, ramps are also known as wild leeks. They look like smallish tulips and smell strongly of onion – and they have a strong delicious flavour. I used to gather ramps in a forest not far from the city that has been seriously encroached by a housing development. When they started the development in motion I brought home a shopping bag full of ramps along with the soil they grew in and planted them out back. I’ve just been ignoring them since, letting them slowly spread. Let me say they spread very slowly. This is why, if you have a ramps spot in a forest you should only take a little each season, enough for a couple meals. It doesn’t take long for a ramps patch to get depleted when they are dug out faster than they can spread.

I know some other forests where I can find some ramps, and most years I bring some home while I’m out after morels. This year with my broken ankle there will be no spring foraging for me, so I plan to harvest the first meal of ramps from the back garden. My brother has suggested I fertilize my little ramps patch to encourage them to spread. I hadn’t thought of that because of course nobody fertilizes the forests where I usually find them. However, it ought to work so I think I’ll try it this spring.

Meanwhile, Memphis is recovering well. When we can’t watch her, she has to wear an Elizabethan collar so she doesn’t pick at the staples in her incision, and that is clumsy for a large dog, but she is tolerating it. She hates (HATES) taking her medication. For a while I was successful burying pills in toast but now she’s hip to that and she’s very suspicious. We’re managing but pill time is a trial around here. She has another several days of antibiotics and a few more pain pills as well. On the positive front, she’s limping around with confidence and she seems to be comfortable. I’m hoping that later in the summer both Memphis and I will be able to wander about in a forest looking for summer mushrooms (I look, she wanders). George of course loves that too!


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