Remember my spice storage problem?
Yes, those are boxes. Metal mesh CD storage boxes from Target, to be exact. Andrew has admitted that the alphabetized box system, and I quote, “does work pretty well.” So, HA. HA HA HA. HAAAAAAA. Admittedly, there have been a few kinks, like how it is remarkably difficult to find boxes that are the exact size and shape you want. And how I originally bought three boxes which turned out not to be enough, so I went back to Target to get more, but Target claimed never to have heard of these boxes. I went to two different Targets and even brought the SKU tag to scan at the price checker, and… nothing. Nothing online either. As far as anyone could tell, those boxes were not sold at Target – or anywhere else for that matter – and I had apparently manufactured them myself as an elaborate hoax.
But last Friday I was at yet another Target much closer to the Target* where I originally bought them and lo and behold, there were three metal mesh CD storage boxes sitting innocently on the shelf! I only needed one more, but I bought all three in case they vanished again. So now we’re good, except for the fact that the boxes don’t fit properly on the bottom shelf of the cabinet because of a ridge thing in the back, but WHATEVER.
And, now that I’ve talked for entirely too long about my spice storage, let’s talk about walnuts. Did you know that walnuts look like this?
Neither did I! We’ve been finding these in our backyard since we moved in three years ago. The first year, there were three or four of them. This year, they filled up half of a 30-gallon trash barrel. This suggests an increase in numbers. It should be noted that we do not actually HAVE a walnut tree on or near our property. The closest one is across the street, but the squirrels’ very favorite place to eat the walnuts is in the trees overhanging our backyard. They are also extremely fond at throwing the walnuts down into our yard. Two points if you hit the horseshoe pit!**
It was while cleaning up those 15 gallons of walnuts that I finally figured out they WERE walnuts. We had been wondering and wondering what the weird green fruits were, but it was not till I picked up my fifty-thousandth disintegrating green fruit thing that I noticed there was a hard, walnut-like pit inside. Then I further noticed a lot of what looked like walnut shells all over the place, and… wait… maybe THESE are walnuts. Is this how walnuts grow?
Turns out, yeah.
At any rate, about thirty seconds after I had picked up the last rotting walnut and dragged the barrel back to its place, I heard three thumps followed by a squirrely sounding shout of “Two points!” Muttering, I went back to the end of the yard to gather up the fresh walnuts. I had already taken put my gloves back in the shed, so I picked them up bare-handed.
You know something else about walnuts? In between the green skin and the familiar walnut shell is a layer of – if you'll forgive me for getting technical here – black smutsch.
And it was while holding one of the gnawed walnuts in my gloveless hands that I discovered why the squirrels throw so many of the walnuts to the ground, uneaten.
Worms. Worms in the black smutsch.
If you need me, I’ll be washing my hands.
*This brings the Target count to four, but it does not include the other Target I can also get to. This is a lot of Targets. Just thought I’d point that out.
**We do not have any horseshoes, just two pits with dangerous metal spikes sticking out of the ground. They came with the house.