Punkin in a Pumpkin

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Meet Ms Kali Eva Arlene, our little dolly.

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It's seriously winter here, with blowing snow this morning, and cold. Down to 35-below during the night, with windchill. And now:

No more weather talk.

Everett and I had a nice little visit Tuesday night between him getting off work at six and my meeting at seven. I heated up some frozen food for supper at his house and bought a small cheesecake for his 25th birthday, which was Sunday. His gift was a hardcover book titled Why Does My Cat Do That? He figured he already knows the answers, but seemed delighted anyway. It had been quite a while since we'd last sat down together, and it left me wanting more.

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Snow Quilt

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I’m curious to know what others do while brushing their teeth. Do you stand and look in the mirror? Do you pace around your house? What?

Sometimes I step into the hallway and peruse the collage that covers one wall. There are so many images there that it’s almost like seeing it for the first time.

Most often, though, I step up onto the oak toilet seat and look out the window. Today the garden area appears to have been quilted.

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I have asked a certain new grandpa to forward my favourite photo of our little darling, and as soon as that's done and her parents' permission is secured, I'll post a photo of the wee girl who's made grandparents out of us.

Plain Old Peace

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Morning:
– black coffee on the couch – clear counters & table ready to wash dishes – make bed – wash and dress – eat two slices of sunseedy wholewheat toast – gather heaping basket of laundry, carry it to the basement, start first load – fold three quilts from furniture and bring out table to leave them handy for laps later – make and drink delicious apple/banana/strawberry smoothie – phone sister Joan in Kelowna and discover she has been updating her blog – sweep bathroom and hallway floors – sit down to catch up on Joan’s blog – look through window toward barn and encourage myself to bundle up and trundle out there with meat and kibble for cats – respond to texts from sister Karen – read an email from a friend – plan to get up and get going, fill birdfeeders –

Afternoon to come:
– sweep kitchen, dining, living, bed and office rooms – put roast into oven at 1:30 – do the dishes – chop & bag more tomatoes – do my exercises so my back never ever goes out again like it did that one torturous month – spend some time organizing a written piece for a local charity – follow up on some ideas resulting from last night’s meeting – make something to have with that roast that I won’t eat much of, if any, beyond tasting – and so on. More dishes – folding laundry – whatever comes up! Tonight I’ll probably be sighing when I remember I didn’t clean the porch — again.

There is always lots to do, even when from the outside it may well look like there is nothing to do or as if nothing is being done. The list is neverending, constantly added to. Days fill up and toddle past.

If you haven’t looked her up already, please let me introduce you to Joan — one of two Best Sisters Ever:

http://joancarolineart.com

Playschool

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Colouring has been, at least so far, all about using  colours that appeal to me in the moment.

At first I took an inordinate amount of time choosing each colour. Then I had a laugh at myself. It’s not brain surgery  and no one needs impressing. It’s all about enjoyment and relaxation, and there are four books full of mandalas and other drawings. It’s not as if it’s the end of the world when I don’t particularly like the finished result. Those make excellent mailing envelopes. The ones I want to see again? Left in the books, which are flipped through occasionally.

I’m still not skilled in choosing colours that, together, make an impact. And I don’t handle the markers with confidence either, even after several months at it. But some of the completed pictures are pleasing to my eye and were fun to do.

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It’s a gloriously sparkly blue-sky day as I write this, so I’m lying on our bed because the window faces south and the sun is beating in hot upon my legs. I love this room when the sun shines in. A batch of bread is on its first rise. I’ve been outside twice — once to the barn, and a second time to fill the bird feeders, as I forgot the first time. Honestly what good are daily habits if we don’t actually keep to them?

Sunday, after I’d worked in town the previous two days, was pretty much a loss. I was lazier than usual and got behind on the dishes. Emil was here with a cold and even though he’s capable, I try not to leave him in the house alone in winter. In case of fire, if he did make it out there’d be no place to keep warm (whereas if I’m home I help him exit fast and grab my car keys on the way). So I missed a gathering of the Likeminded Ladies in the afternoon — they are a small group of my mother-in-law’s friends who opened their arms and hearts to me when I moved here 15 years ago. (The moniker is one I gave the group because its members share many interests, not because they have hive-mind! They don’t.) I also skipped choir practice in Margo that night, avoiding the half-hour drive through the dark.

Just as when we put in a particularly long production day at the local news office when I worked there, I was wiped and the following day was a write-off. I don’t like that. Maybe I should take vitamins on work days? Or maybe I’ll soon adjust; these are only seven-hour work days, after all, and they’re not too taxing.

 

Kittens Without Mittens

The three kittens were toasty in the brooder house with sun streaming through the glass wall facing south. But after dark and without insulation, the cold would be far too hard on them.

Even their mother would have to seek a warmer place to survive winter nights to come. She might move them across the yard to the barn eventually.  Meanwhile, going between the two places for her own food and water leaves her vulnerable to predation herself, especially with the snow we now have — at least four inches of it to slow her progress.

Feeding her at the brooder house isn’t the best option either, as the smell might attract other animals.

How to help? We could put an insulated box in the brooder house, but Mama would still be travelling to eat and drink and a fox or coyote could lay in wait, hiding between the old granaries on her route.

Moving young kittens — these may be about four weeks old — is risky business and can be disastrous. Mama cats have been known to turn careless or worse, abandon their babies, as if to say “You think you can look after them better than I can? Have at ‘er.”

In our barn there is a young tom too — their daddio.  However, he’s a luvvie-bear and we’ve had a tomcat that looked after kittens instead of killing them, so … we took the leap and carried the squeaking three to the barn, where their mother had already been for hours. We set a styrofoam cooler with a lid up on a shelf; a hole was cut into it for an entrance; the kittens were tucked into it along with a swath from a bale.

Dressed in all my winter gear, I waited to see if Little Mama would come out of hiding. The kittens mewled and came out to explore. The two adult males came and sniffed at them. The two remaining spring kittens did the same. I sat at some distance in hopes Mama would respond to the babies’ cries, and she finally did. Unfortunately there was a cat kerfuffle along a wall and she bolted over there instead of up onto the platform, where her fall kittens had by now retreated into their box.

By this time I was getting cold. Since I saw that Ma knew they were there, I left the barn and came into the house to warm up. A couple hours later I went out again to see how things stood. Little Mama had moved them to a different insulated house inside the barn; she was on the job. Things were looking hopeful.

Mama has been skittish since we got her last fall, and has never let us near.  Her spring litter was well hidden, so that by the time we discovered them they were big enough to run away at sight of us. They come to be fed but keep a wary eye upon us, and one move makes them dash away. This new three, having been inside our jackets and cuddled and petted, might not be afraid of us. If they survive.

Once I get through my coffee and start moving around, I’ll go out to feed the adult cats and see how things stand this morning.

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I have coveted this sign at the Rustic Havens store for some time. It’s large — three feet long — and metal, and wouldn’t suit our bedroom “decor” in the least. But I like its message and that’s where I’d hang it. However, it’s 90 bucks and there are a lot of more necessary places for me to put that money.

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Ms Moose Drops In

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As the gal showing me the ropes at the store said yesterday, it looks like we’re inside a snowglobe. This morning the scene puts me in mind of a Christmas card. The first thing I’ll be doing when I get to the store at 10 o’clock to open the door is shovelling snow.

I’ve already been wearing ski pants and winter boots. Now my parka will come out of the closet.

A she-moose visited our back yard yesterday before we left the house. When the back door was cracked open for a photo, she lay down – to make herself less visible? – and when we each went out to start our vehicles, she got up and walked a few feet into the bush, where she remained, stock still, till I drove out of the yard at last. I thought my singing as I walked to the barn might spook her, but no.

It wasn’t busy customer-wise but I found shortly after arriving home that I was exhausted. Duckie was desperate for a sit-down with me so I poured a glass of red wine and settled into the armchair for a few minutes before starting supper. Later I made the mistake of refilling the glass. It meant I was out of bed at 2 a.m. to take an anti-inflammatory in order to avoid a migraine and get a decent sleep. Why oh why do I keep forgetting my limits when it comes to alcohol! So not worth it.

Next Up

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My latest stack from the library. Saskatchewan has a fabulous inter-library loan system. The Conservative provincial government cut library funding drastically, which would’ve scuttled the service, but there was enough of an uproar to make them back off and reinstate it.

Unfortunately they shut down the bus company and now there’s no passenger service between rural communities and the cities where we are required to travel for so many medical tests and treatments. It’s a serious hardship for low-income families and seniors who can’t afford to own a vehicle or don’t drive.

I’ve been up since six, awakened by the church bells alarm on my phone. I’ve had a bath, and coffee with my fella, and am about to do last night’s supper dishes before getting dressed. I plan to leave the house at nine, and this way there’s no rushing or stress, no hurry to get the cats fed or the snow and ice off Little Green before I drive away.

Poor Duckie Doodle will have an adjustment to make; he’s accustomed to having me for company day in, day out.

Off I go then.

Before the Battery Dies

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Whoops, almost forgot to post today. Been out and around quite a bit: errands in town this afternoon, choir practice in Margo this evening. Snowing through the dark, beautiful night.

It’s always so nice to see lifetime acquaintances in my hometown – or anywhere I run into them, as far as that goes.

Tomorrow and Saturday will be busy days, busier
than most of my days over the past year. I’ll have to get moving in the morning — wish me luck gettin’ “to the church on time!”

And now to phone Emil back. I missed his weekly call.