Be someone else

Max hates his kitty costume.

The kitty costume isn’t working out well. (Max hates it.)

But it’s fun to be someone else. Plants do it all the time.

Meyer Lemon

Here is the Meyer Lemon masquerading as a fruit vendor.

greenhouse cucumber

This is a greenhouse cucumber, but it’s pretending to be a pole dancer.

Last year we had such a great little greenhouse crop from these cucumbers (Rocky hybrid).  I had two pots of them then; this year I have four. The cucumbers will be about four inches long and picking one in winter feels like winning a prize. It might be that a little risqué dance music would move the plant more quickly up the pole…

tiny cucumber

But they are already growing tiny cucumbers.

hollyhocks newI cut back these hollyhocks after the blooms died. Now they are pretending to be spring plants. I think it must be a defense mechanism to — you know– keep them cheerful with winter coming. (I use chocolate.)

concrete rabbitHere’s a bit of concrete impersonating a bunny.

This bunny once belonged to my mother. It’s been in my garden since her death, two summers back… A couple months ago I got a call from her, in a dream.


My telephone rang, and there was her voice. I couldn’t make out what she was saying, but it sounded important.

“I can’t understand you,” I said.
She repeated the words.
“It’s a terrible connection!” I said, and then,”Can I call you back?”
But she was gone.
I keep waiting to hear from her again, and wondering. Wish I’d gotten the number…

rabbit mask

Here is an antique mask, and it can turn anyone into a rabbit. I hang it on the wall like sculpture. It was originally made for children, but now, oddly, it frightens them.

Who we are shifts around a little, depending upon where we find ourselves.  I met an Oregon artist once, named Jed Thomas.  He felt that we all wear masks, all the time.

Masked Men -- Jed Thomas I have this painting of his, #3 in a series he called “Masked Men.”


 When we dress in holiday costumes at least we are deliberate about it, and aware, and it’s fun.

Westie & bowtieI don’t think we’ve got it yet Max. Surely your terrier soul objects to looking like a dandy.  And the soul is the important part. So we’ll keep working on it, and maybe by Halloween…

About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in bamboo, my 19th century house and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Be someone else

  1. Poor old Max – he’s obviously a very patient dog – I must say your post is kind of surreal, which appeals to my other self, not the sensible one.

    • linniew says:

      I’m afraid ‘sensible’ is typically not the dominant adjective in my world Elaine– I’m just so glad your other self approved. Max loves it when I get out the camera because I pay well in dog treats.

  2. Chad B says:

    My other self liked this post too. It makes me pause to consider the masks I might be wearing these days.

  3. Fay says:

    Poor max, you must have lot of dog treats. I loved the disguised chloroplasts, quite obliging (dog treats too?) how id you tempt the cement, etc. Jeds work if that’s it is nice.

    • linniew says:

      Poor Max—but he is totally in charge of everything around here. Well you know about terriers, Fay. Most of my other photo subjects aren’t mercenary so Max gets all the treats. I love Jed’s art, it’s always dreamy and strange.

  4. Holleygarden says:

    Yes, I have spring bulbs coming up that are masquerading as fall bloomers. The weeds continually try to masquerade as some type of garden plant I’ll want. And the ivy masqueraded as a desirable plant long enough for me to (unwisely) plant it. Love your antique bunny mask!

    • linniew says:

      Hi Holley
      You just can’t trust plants I guess. I have ivy too, from my mindless youth. I fight a continual war trying to keep it in its designated region, which does not include totally engulfing the house, as it believes. Someday I must write about those vines, really quite frightening.

  5. Grace says:

    Isn’t it interesting that things we had as kids are now considered “antiques”? I is a gettin’ old, dear friend! When I was circa 5, my older sister dressed up in a costume with a similar mask–kind of mixture of cute and creepy which I suppose was the whole idea. I like the “pole dancer” cucumber. In fact wouldn’t that make a cool cultivar name, Cucumber somethingorotherishus “Pole Dancer.” LOL There is no disputing that I wear a mask, all the time but still I’m not as enigmatic as Jed’s depiction. In fact I’m starting to hear the Batman theme in my head. 🙂

  6. I think Max’s alter ego is a bit of a dandy!

    • linniew says:

      Oh Bridget you just liked him in that bowtie– but you know he hates even being clean let alone dressed up. These photo sessions take maybe 3 minutes and then he’s back to the digging or, like yesterday, chasing a mouse up a leg of the picnic table.

  7. Roberta says:

    The bunny mask does have a frightening quality to it but I like it. It reminds me of the authentic Grimm Fairy Tales, the truly frightening ones – not the sugar coated bedtime stories. Sadly, I don’t have much of anything in my garden these days. The only new thing to pop up is a mystery melon. It could be cantaloupe. I’m going to let it grow. I love a good surprise. Not the, “You’re fired, enjoy the weekend” kind (boy, that was a surprise!), but the wait and see garden kind of surprise.

    Make sure to pay Max well. He deserves it.

    • linniew says:

      If you knew how hard I tried to grow a melon this year you would be more impressed with your ‘volunteer’ one. I hope your surprises get even better right away.

      Max is overpaid, AND he gets health coverage, including dental, and retirement.

  8. Max is so cute and patient! Great post!

    • linniew says:

      Thanks Butterfly!
      I agree that Max is cute. It is a weapon, and I am powerless before it. He does know a lot of words, including “stay” and “wait” –for the very short term. He puts up with my costuming or sitting him on a tractor or posing him under a bed only because he knows that I have cubes of cheese in my pocket (poor pocket) and I’m ready to pay. Beyond these issues though, he is a sweet and responsive dog who has never met a human he didn’t immediately love. And his favorite place to be is outside together, working in the garden.

  9. Max is a star, but you are really a pair of actors, I want to see a photo of both of you pretending to be some one else…..How about Dorothy and Toto? As always you make me smile, you have that gift. X

  10. Alberto says:

    Uha! Great Max in disguise!
    Usually I don’t wear masks though, only a heavy make-up.
    Look, about make-up… I think your pole dancer is a male… You have such an open-minded greenhouse!

    • linniew says:

      You are very perceptive Alberto. Not that I know the gender of the cucumber, but that it doesn’t make any difference at all 🙂

      A beautiful pink sunrise here this morning, not freezing outside but getting closer. I just started a fire in the stove and I have my coffee and I wish you an awesome day. I also wish you would elaborate regarding “Scorbutics.” Because Kininvie says it’s about heavy metal music and the dictionary says it’s about scurvy and I’m still confused…

      • Alberto says:

        Yeah sorry, I made me clear on the other post! 🙂
        But I forget to make me clear about cyclamens! We only have strongly scented cyclamen in the woods in Italy, They are a darker shade of yours and foliage is not so attractive though, so I guess I was talking about the species that Kininvie did. I mean I didn’t say it just to make you kneel in the mud… I’d never do anything like that to a lady of your age…

  11. Oh Max in his little cat ears,,, does he know how cute he really looks or is he just being modest? I think he loves all the attention really!

  12. Angie Case says:

    Max whispered to me that he’s really a pirate at heart! Garden still looks good. Isn’t it getting close to frost time for you? We’ve already had 32 degree temps. My plants are all dead and creepy looking and the trees are dumping mess everywhere. I live in a haunted house and likely won’t have trick or treaters again this year. Unless of course, you and max decide to stop by!

    • linniew says:

      Hi Angie
      Yes we had a light frost this week. Doesn’t enhance my garden. So envious of your ghosts– I keep waiting for my house to evolve some–I may have to haunt it someday myself. If no one knocks at your door at least you can enjoy any unclaimed chocolate.

  13. Very funny and quirky essay. That mask is creepy.

  14. cynthia says:

    I like that thought – that we all wear masks. I’m going to unmask one of my inner selves at Halloween and be a librarian (i’m not really one, but love books and libraries). Wait, did I just say I have multiple personalities?

    • linniew says:

      It’s okay Cynthia– that multiple personality thing is going around. I love your librarian alter ego and I’m just so glad you will be letting her roam free on Halloween. Maybe though, you won’t be able to reign her in again….:)

  15. b-a-g says:

    Blogging is a bit like wearing a mask.

    • linniew says:

      Hi b-a-g
      Yes I really expected someone to make that comment right off. The internet is always a mask, whether we like it or not. I find it interesting though that it is also a kind of equalizer. I have lived, in the past, where the value of an automobile was a large part of the definition of a person. At least here in blogland we are what we write, to a great degree.

  16. Sheila says:

    That phone is a blast from the past. My husband, who is a therapist, had one in his office for decoration and a child asked him what it was.

    The Internet is a mask but also a revealer.

    • linniew says:

      We used that black phone in a bedroom until rather recently, when it quit working. It is more of an antique every day. The ringer would wake the dead, so it’s appropriate in my dream story. I agree about the internet, every medium offers something singular to communications.

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