Saturday, March 09, 2013


They said it would rain and it did rain, though not enough to wash away the snow, which is a shame. If I can't ski on it, or find beauty in its freshness, then I would like it please to go away.

Not surprisingly, I focused my attention on future fun projects. I've already planned out major garden expansions (I did that in February, when every northern gardener goes hog wild with ideas and spends too much on seeds and to-be-delivered-in-May bare root plants). So I focused on forthcoming breaks and slightly more distant vacations.

But first, there was breakfast. Isis has been joining us for the morning meal. He seems to be respectful of my desire to keep him off tables (whereas in the sheep shed, there isn't a surface that he hasn't inhabited in one way or another) and I am grateful for that.

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Lately, we've had multiple cat visitors to the farmette. I bang pots and make loud noises when they come. I feel Isis is vulnerable in the territorial squabbles that inevitably take place between him and vagabond cats. Isis is getting old. I know a thing or two about not wanting to fight anything or anyone when you get older.

Ed, however, is always intrigued by cat visitors. He talks about cat projects that we should take on once Isis is no longer with us. I listen, respectfully but without enthusiasm.

Over the years, of course, I have come to quite love Isis (except at night, in bed). But my affection for animals pales when compared to Ed's passion for all things that move on fours (or, in the alternative, waddle on twos) and can't speak any language, let alone the English language. He even likes these guys:

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I photographed them for you today on my way to my yoga class, but they are no special subject for me at all. Any Madisonian, or person living south of the city will see more geese -- in the fields, geese on the bike paths, geese flying in pairs or in clusters, geese just hanging around -- more than  one could possibly want to in the course of a day. Two years ago, our city decided that there were too many geese here and, with permission from the federal government, they set out to shoot some 350 of them. (There were protests. Some geese were indeed 'removed,' but we continues to have a lot of geese.) I would like to believe that someday, these Canadian geese will reacquaint themselves with their true national origin and fly north, like they're supposed to. Ed, on the other hand, has a soft spot even for geese.
They poop everywhere! -- I'll protest.
You mean they fertilize our soil -- he'll retort.

So after yoga, I try hard to work on my classes, but I find myself instead finishing up details of spring break planning and then, with a shift of focus, I begin my annual ritual of trying out summer adventure ideas on Ed. What will tickle his fancy is a true life's mystery.

Finally, in the evening, we put aside the leftover tomato soup for future nights. Ed has suggested that we try take out form a nearby Indian restaurant.

And here I just want to say that trying out restaurants was a lot more exciting before the advent of Yelp or Tripadvisor. You would venture forth because someone told you that the place is a good bet and more often than not you'd come out entirely satisfied. These days, I'll read a published review and then, just to be thorough, I'll go on to read what the general populace had to say about it. Even the very best places will have their detractors. The lesser eateries will be overrun with condemnation:  "bland!" "we were poisoned! Avoid this place at all costs!" "they treated us like scum!" "reheated, dry, tasteless" -- on and on. It can take the anticipatory spark out of dining out.

In the end, Ed does pick up foods from Taj (which may well be the closest restaurant to the farmette at only 4.4 miles door to door). And it was fine and so far, neither of us is sick. I know that's setting the bar low, but honestly, on a gray drizzly March day, I think staying healthy and focused is a good enough goal to set for oneself.