Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yes. It IS nice.

Hi, nice oranges. I will pillage you now.

I know that the holidays are long gone, but I did some stuff during my time off that I want to tell you about, mostly so that I can show you pictures of my dog because she's adorable and I barely ever show pictures of the pets.

Also, I feel like I should show photographic proof that I appreciate AND take advantage of this glorious place in which I live because I'm getting reminded pretty regularly that "it must be nice" to live in a place where fresh produce just grows freely from the trees around my house at any old time of the year.

These reminders may have something to do with the fact that it's, like, 7 below zero across the better part of the Midwest and it's making people crabby and you don't soothe cold crabby people's nerves with pictures of sunny California and oranges, but whatever, this is my way.

I'll show you pictures and tell you a story about how I don't let any of it go to waste so everyone can just stop saying things like it must be nice to just go out in your flip-flops in January and pick an orange off your neighbor's tree because that is exactly what I did over the holidays. A lot. And it WAS nice, thanks for asking.

For the story, now. The one that will make you hate me either a lot more or maybe a little less or maybe it will just reinforce your current feelings about me which might also be nothing. I don't know - you have to tell me these things. But I won't change. I'll just know how you feel.


Once upon a time it was about three weeks ago and I had about 10 days off of work thanks to all these holidays and some saved up vacay time.

During these days I decided that I was going to indulge in all the things I like best by not trying to do them all at once. Instead, I was going to do only a few, or one, a day, so that I could really enjoy not having to rush through them because I have to go to work tomorrow and dinner's not going to cook itself and my Blackberry is going to explode if I don't check email.

So, like, one day I knit almost all day and a few days I cooked and baked and I went on a lot of nice long runs and went snowboarding and hung out with the dog and Bubba and every day I drank freshly squooze orange juice.

That's right. One of the things I love is freshly squooze orange juice. Especially when it comes from a friend's tree and when that tree is within walking distance to my house so that I can hike the dog over there and have her haul the oranges back in her dog pack.

For the record, this is not considered "dressing your dog". A practice that I do not condone.

I mean, hey, I like fresh juice, but I'm not carrying 10 lbs of oranges on MY back. What do I look like? The dog? Pffffft.

So, on a few occasions during my time off, I saddled the dog with her empty pack, walked over to my lovely friend's house (where I have an open invitation to pick fruit) and gently pillaged her orange and lemon trees.

And don't get all, are you sure that's good for the dog because she loves to have a job, this dog. And when I bring out the backpack and we get to walking or hiking, she becomes very focused and peaceful. At least, that's how I see it. Perhaps she is just cursing my name so severely that she doesn't have energy to lash out at every passing squirrel, but who knows. I choose to think she's Working by walking with the pack and that she likes working because it gives her a purpose beyond the slaying of every squirrel or field mouse. (Another story for another day. Ew.)

Jada's very serious about her role in the picking, too. She walks around the tree with me and lets me fill her pack up even before she tries to taunt my friend's kitties out from their hiding places with her woeful dog whining. Even though she loves kitties more than anything in the whole wide world, except maybe possums, and usually wants nothing more than to be left alone to chase them. Which we don't allow. Since we have a cat at home who should be allowed to live in a peaceful environment without the constant threat of chewing.

Mama, I'm full now and would like to go home to my squeeky gingerbread man.

Whatever. What I'm trying to say is that she's a very dedicated worker and no cats were harmed in the picking of this fruit.


And after the picking of fruit and the returning home to find that I had the whole day ahead of me, I got out the juicer that I was sure was going to be a waste of money back when I impulsively purchased it, and squooze myself some juice.

Every day until the oranges were gone. And then I got some more and made more juice. And then I counted my blessings that I live in NorCal where citrus is ripe on street trees in January and that I have a dog that doubles as a pack mule.

I got this milk bottle for 25 cents at Goodwill. Don't tell anyone I use it for juice.

So, just go ahead and say it must be nice because it is and at least I am not the one around here that just lets their fruit fall on the ground for runners to slip on when they're out for their long run on Saturday mornings.

I mean, or whatever.


  1. Finny, I generally like you. I look forward to reading you and when I only have time to read some of my Reader, you are one that I make sure not to miss.

    Today? Bite me.

    (It was -18 degrees this morning. Now it has warmed up to about -8 degrees. Yes, below zero. I know it's colder farther north, but still- this is COLD.)

    Enjoy your fresh oranges! :P

  2. Yes, it surely IS nice. I say this because my parents used to have a tangerine tree at their old house in Tucson and I have many fond memories of swinging in the hammock, eating tangerines and spitting the seeds at our dog.


    But speaking of dogs . . . look at that face! And the curlicue tail! LOVE.

  3. I second blondie. that's all. ;)

  4. It was so cold here today that they canceled school in most of the state of MN. In fact, way, way up north where I happen to live, it was more than 50 below, with the windchill and all. They have already closed some area schools for tomorrow and it is 6pm.

    On that note, seeing your photos of fresh oranges gives me hope. Like somewhere people are not suffering. And since we are looking at relocating, California is looking better and better. Maybe next winter I, too, will be picking oranges instead of jump starting my Honda.

  5. Blondie - OMG! 18 below? That is not right. I will eat an orange for you. Right off the friggen tree.

    Kristin - Um, how'd the dog do with seeds stuck in his/her coat? Funny. We used to spit watermelon seeds at each other (the family, not the dog and I). Good times. Thank you, also, for admiring my dog with me. She is very cute, I think.

    Katie - Thanks ma'am I hope you can stay warm!!

    Alevin - 50 below? Is that even a temperature we can reach on earth? Do you live in space? That is scary. Please, consider California. You can drive to the snow if you need it, but you don't have to endure any temperatures with "below" in them.

  6. Well, it was -18 here this morning, but I don't hate you and your fresh oranges. I like winter (not -18, that's just crazy-but this too shall pass) and I like knowing there are places I could go for vacation where there are actually oranges growing RIGHT NOW.

  7. All I can think about is those new California tourism commercials....

    I am jealous of the fresh oranges... but I will settle for our blueberries and raspberries.

  8. I don't have the orange trees here, growing on the streets for my eating or squoozing enjoyment, but I have the heat. Oh! but I can walk to the beach and wiggle my toes in the sand. If it weren't for having a job...I'm just a tad closer to San Francisco than you and on the coast...
    Sorry all you peeps out there in frozen land. I could not do what you do!

  9. See, it's because you live in NorCal and NOT SoCal, that you even have friends with orange trees whose houses you can go to and pick oranges. Because if you lived in SoCal, no one would give a rat's ass about you or let you touch their damn tree. Just sayin'. Not that I'm bitter about living here again or anything.

  10. Jada looks lovely. Juice does too. We have an orange tree in our yard, but you have to sqooze about 4 dozen oranges to get a shotglass full of the bitterest liquid you'll ever pucker to.

  11. Finny knits. Finny gardens and cooks. Finny runs. Finny works. Finny blogs. So when does Finny sleep?
    You are one of my favorites!

  12. I've been a lurker for like...forever. Just wanted to say I am living vicariously through you today. Today it is bitter cold in upstate NY, and there is nothing I would like more than to taste a fresh picked piece of fruit.

  13. I'm not really a fan of the ol' OJ but the dog and the backpack. Boy am I jealous! So cool, so very very cool.

  14. Yep - my orange trees are full to bursting with oranges right now.

    I've been trying to show restraint (which is hard) by not teasing my New England friends (who are currently wearing every piece of clothing they own and are still cold) about what winter is like here in Central California (I'm in Fresno, but I grew up in Santa Clara). I try to say things like "Oh, but the heat in the summer is TERRIBLE" except for the fact that...


  15. You know people don't really like you, right?

    But Jada sure looks cute!


    How much training did it take to teach her to wear something like that, and not want to just chew it off? Not to mention the fact that you had to beat down her free will and accept her life as your pack mule! LOL

  16. Hee hee ... you used your dog to haul stolen oranges. Awesome.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.