Tuesday, February 28, 2017


We sit in the front room eating breakfast. The three girls parade through the front yard, all senses tuned to the sighting of coveted bugs. We watch their formation -- Java always straggling behind, Henny now alongside Scotch.

Each day is just a little tense because the nocturnal predator that comes to the barn keeps outsmarting us. He can't seem to trap him or scare him away. Honestly, we don't even know what breed of animal he may be.

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Ed, forever the designer of complicated tools, wants to set up a 24 hour video monitor, using skype and an ancient discarded iPhone of mine (the one with a battery that caught fire some ten years ago, so let's not get too down on just Samsung).
We could at least see what we're dealing with.

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It's a warmish day, especially for the last day of February. They say thunder, they call for rain, but I see none of that -- just dense fog, one that makes even the city blocks fade and fizzle into nothing.

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I pick up Snowdrop and tell her that it's not good walking weather. How about a trip to the library?
She is delighted!

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Our snack is at Paul's coffee shop across the street. And this just thrills her, because not only does she get her favorite croissant, but, too, there is now a table with chairs just her size. Heaven.

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Too, there is a clean blackboard and fat chalk pieces for the artistically inclined.

Her Picasso talents pour forth.

No, not done yet!

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That's beautifully expressive, Snowdrop!

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Back at the farmette, she takes a quick walk with the cheepers...
I'm not even going to tell your mommy that I let you take off your jacket in 50F (10C). (Perhaps I think of it as the one warm day this week. Tomorrow we get snow again.)

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Inside -- well, much of the usual. Sure, she does do other stuff beyond dish out toy cakes and tea for ahah...

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(Here's another favorite: putting what we call the gaga character behind a wheel chair, while the little girl with the pigtails, affectionately called "Snowdrop" looks on.)

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Nap time, snack time, book time, lots of book time and finally -- good bye Snowdrop, your parents are here to pick you up.

Ed and I turn our attention to the video setup in the barn. The tripod, the iPhone, the skype. I watch from the farmhouse.
It's too dark in there!  -- I tell him.

He puts in a brighter bulb and fills a dish with peanut butter.

And now we both stare at his computer screen. It's all so perfectly positioned! The light's just right. We're in business!

But within minutes, mice appear. Oh yes, we know that: mice love peanut butter. We are feeding a busload of mice. They'll produce more mice. This is so wrong!

I search the fridge for alternatives: something that would tempt a predator but not mice. I find it: chicken sausage.

And so here we are, one ear tuned to the presidential address to the Congress, the other ear and all eyes tuned to the barn, as replayed on the computer screen in real time. A reality show! Politics and chicken sausage. Predators and politicians.

It is a very strange night!