A sunny day broke the dismal pattern of rain and gloom which has persisted since the weekend.
J. trundled his new wood splitter out to the end of the dooryard where he stacked the bigger chunks of maple harvested from a friend's yard last spring.
The neatly sectioned pieces of firewood can be loaded onto Snort'n Nort'n, then driven to the carport or the woodshed for storage.
It seemed as though the sun had just gotten round to slanting in the kitchen and dining area windows when it was gone, sliding behind the woods.
The setting sun cast a pale amber glow across the creek, while leaving the yard
and the east meadow in shade.
It seemed only minutes later that the moon began its climb up an apricot sky.
I was sweeping up wood litter in the carport, already noticing the night's chill.
One final blush of color toward the south-west.
Inside on the table near the sliding doors are two Christmas cactus purchased yesterday.
The first Wednesday of each month is 'senior discount' day at a chain store grocery in the next town.
I dislike the term 'senior citizen'. I don't consider that we have arrived at the 'elderly' stage.
But--since we qualify for a 10% discount, by all means, let's take advantage!
J. dropped me off at Krogers and drove to the Lowes Home Improvement next door.
I encountered a display of winter flowering plants before I had pushed my
shopping cart more than a few feet.
I have mourned the loss of my nearly 20 year old Christmas cactus--the one uprooted, mauled and destroyed by resident kittens--these were 2/$5--before the discount.
The one on the left is nearly the shade of pinky-red of my lost plant. The one with the creamy white buds is--just because!
Thus far, these have not come to the attention of Willow and Co.
Willis came in with the firewood and sprawled in front of the fire.
When I touched him, his stripes were well-warmed.
What is there about a cat which can make a solid brick hearth look this comfortable?
I am in disgrace tonight regarding the fireplace doors.
J. has been sweeping up the chips of bark created from his wood splitting, scooping them into a bucket and throwing the bits into the fire.
The bucket wasn't available when I decided to 'help' by tidying the carport. There were tufts of cottony looking insulation flying about [J. and D. blew insulation into the attic space yesterday] dried leaves which had collected in corners and the debris of bark. I swept it into an empty cat litter sack--the kind made of heavy paper finished with a semi-water-proof coating. I stuffed the bag at the back of the fireplace.
I noted a few minutes later that the burning sack had rolled forward and was very close to the glass doors. It was blazing too much to open the doors and attempt to poke it back.
When J. walked in with an armfull of wood he saw that the glass door on one side had cracked into the proverbial million pieces.
By the time he had dealt with the mess, smoke had billowed through the rooms.
Doors were flung open to the chilly night air.
Windows were raised.
We coughed and flapped.
The cats ran about and leaped onto the window sills, peering out into the dark.
J. has been talking about a fireplace insert to use the wood heat more effectively.
That has now become more of a priority.
Meanwhile, the doorframe has been wrapped in a sheet of aluminium foil
and the screen behind it drawn across the opening.
Fortunately friend Willis was not reclining on the hearth during this episode!