Thursday, November 07, 2019

farmette life 9

Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world's heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.
(Sara Teasdale)

I have before me a sunny day, bookmarked by clear, starlit nights. Ed used to say that a cloudless night sky at sea is magnificent! There is nothing that stands between you and the stars.

I do not doubt it. But our comparisons are feeble. Do either of us venture out into the forest on crispy clear winter nights? Or do we merely look up on our brisk walk from car to house to sheep shed to barn and think "nice!" and then quickly move on to return to the comfort of a warm house?

My morning check of the thermometer shows that it's at 15F (that's close to -10C). After that, I no longer can read it because the lively kittens have knocked over the base of it on the porch. They also trampled over and inadvertently turned off their own heating pad. Good goin' little guys.

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(The shed cats are at the door to greet me every morning; Dark Blue looks a little wild here! She's actually a very pretty cat)

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Despite the chill, it's pretty outside. Sunshine is always your friend on wintry days. It reminds you of all that you otherwise neglect to consider in this season of short days and long cold nights.

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As I clean up the shed, I want to scold the cats (a pointless exercise, but it makes me feel good) for bringing in the occasional rodent. But then of course, I see the upside of their feline presence: it is the first November at the farmhouse where I have seen no traces of mice! For us, that's huge. Mice are destructive, bacteria laden, hard to catch critters. Eleven cats are keeping them away from our home. I am grateful.

And I am glad that, for the most part, the cats are not birders. I have not seen a decrease in the bird population at the farmette and though the cats do like to spy on all things that take flight, in the end, they seem to prefer going after mice, chipmunks and squirrels.

(when the morning sun hits the crab apple just so, the colors are exquisite!)

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Sometime in midday, I learn that Snowdrop is once again under the weather. Her mom takes her home. That means I pick up only Sparrow at school -- something that puzzles him greatly. It's funny -- when she is in the room, he tries to match her forceful presence. He stands up for himself! But when she is not there, he is at loose ends. I need to remind him of the possibilities.

(he did water play at school, which necessitated in a change of clothing; I pick up a little jail bird today!)

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(Sparrow loves to build Duplo towers... from the bottom down!)

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(go get your boots! time to get going!)

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I bring him home in the early evening, staying for a while to visit with the sick girl and her mom.

And only then do I turn my attention to grocery shopping for the week. It's late. But I have no time for it tomorrow or the next day. And so I try to imagine what I will be cooking next week, weaving through the aisles too tired and hungry to really care. Food. In cart. Pay. Go home. To animals and finally, at some beastly late hour -- to cheeper eggs for supper and a quiet evening on the couch, thinking about starlit skies from the warm safety of the indoors, as the thermometer does its nightly plunge into territories I would prefer not to explore.