Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kentucky Winter

Daffodils were one of the first things I noticed when we viewed this property nearly two years ago and decided to buy the little farm.  That was at the beginning of March and the yellow trumpets were just starting to unfold.  When we returned March 20th, we were met with sprawls of daffs [called March lilies here] spreading across green fields and along roadside ditches.

These stalwart buds were photographed yesterday in the south-facing patch beside the carport.

Today a morning rain persisted half-heartedly through a day that became ever more grey and dismal.
I went out late in the afternoon to empty litter boxes and gather my kindling twigs. The rain was turning to fat squashy snowflakes. 
I have a sinus/head cold [misery!] and was unpleasantly chilled by the time I returned to the house, my wellies leaving damp muddy tracks on the basement stairs as I carried in my twigs.
D. drove up tonight for a visit--chortling that school has been called off for tomorrow.
Admittedly Kentucky roads are narrow and winding, and when they are sheltered by a ridge hulking up to the north, any ice that forms on the roadway is slow to melt.
Still, the near panic with which an inch or two of snow is greeted here is amusing to this family, having spent most of our winters in New England or Wyoming.
I have kept the sliding door shut today, not wanting the damp chill to seep in nor the cats to go in and out with muddy paws.  They have been disgruntled.

M. and G. arrived mid-morning with M's latest culinary triumph--easily the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had.
Several of them went down very nicely with a mug of tea.
He added dried cherries to Betty Crockers classic recipe.

Willis exercises his privileges as a cat who lives outside but is allowed to saunter in and stay for awhile.
Sometimes he takes over a prominent spot such as the sofa or curls tidily on the hearth rug. He's been known to roost on the shelves above the fridge, hiding cosily behind several large crocks.
I am monitoring his indoor visits quite warily at present.
J. knew that Willis had spent the evening indoors on Friday, but couldn't locate him to put him
outside at bedtime.
Where the canny feline hid, we can't imagine, but there he was was next morning, smugly eating
kibble in the kitchen.
I spent most of my time in the basement room for several days working to finish a quilt, using my laptop in the livingroom for a few brief minutes online.
When I entered this room on Tuesday it had a suspicious 'whiff.'
A cat had 'peed' in the middle of the guest bed!
The puddle had dried, but the odor was unmistakeable.
"But you didn't see Willis do it, " argued G. defending him.
NO--but the only other time we've had misplaced cat pee, Willis had also spent the night in the house.
On that occasion J. woke suddenly and unpleasantly just after daybreak as Willis let fly --down his back.
Enough said!
I have washed a considerable amount of bedding this week--hanging it out to air dry as much as possible, then bundling it into the dryer to finish.

I remade the bed with sheets that smelled of January winds, spreading a quilted coverlet and topping the bed with a favorite smaller quilt--one of the first ones I had machine-quilted at the shop where I eventually became an employee.
I love the muted floral fabrics--very becoming to Mrs. Beasley the Cat.


  1. "Sheets that smelled of January wind" - lovely!

    Our daffs are showing here too - hopefully they're not going to be blasted by snow coming soon.

    Hope you're feeling a bit better now MM.

  2. Sounds rather like the mixed-up weather that we're having here in England, where we also fly into a panic whenever there are a few flakes of snow!
    Fenland - the fens of Cambridgeshire were once a low-lying marshy area which flooded frequently and were used only for summer grazing and wildfowling. They were drained, mostly employing Dutch engineers, and now support rich arable crops. Wicken Fen is a small undrained area. However the peaty soil is disappearing from the agricultural land - shrinking as it dries out and then simply blowing away - and some conservationists want to return the land to its former wildlife-friendly landscape.

  3. Wow, that's early for the daffs, we have the snowdrops just starting to flower here but it has been very mild. The weather man is predicting cold to come and there was frost on the top of the cars this morning.

    I sympathise with you over the cat pee smell, we have a black unnuetered tom (the kittens father) who pays us a visit from time to time and leaves us a tiny droplet outside the back door, boy does it stink....

    On the subject of toms, do you know if he would still try to mate with our Polly the mother of the kittens (she has been nuetered). She came in the other day with her neck all wet through and very frightened, I was wondering if he had tried to get her. He is a nuisance but very, very wily and flies off even at the sight of me, we have tried to catch him but no luck.
    HOpe your head cold soon goes, there is nothing worse.


  4. Ah - cats shut in. Know all about that as there's often an outside cat shut in mum's flat overnight, when Keith has left the kitchen door open all day to plug his power tools in across the yard. No naughtiness on the beds, but the inglenook fireplace turns into a latrine!

    Willis must be in disgrace now . . .

    Love your quilt - do I see a piece of my favourite material there? (The one I used to edge Tam's towel with).

  5. I would love to see your areas daffodils all over. It's too warm for them down here so I just enjoy seeing them in blogs.

    Do hope you are feeling much better soon.

    Naughty Willis, peeing in the middle of the bed. We have an indoor/outdoor girl who goes out at night, as we don't want any accidents happening.

    Even though felines do this, we can't help but still love them.

    Hope your day is a good one.


  6. I like the name March lilies for daffodils, sounds more poetic. I have three stray cats that we feed and have made a shelter for, Owlie, Callie, and Mama Cat. I'd love to domesticate them, but I'm afraid they too have lived out in the wild so long that I'd end up with the same type of surprises you did with your Willis. Can't catch them anyhow. They are wiry! It looks like you have more snow than we do up here in Michigan! I really miss it.

  7. we have had the unpleasant encounter of being "pee'd" on. D came home off of the truck very early in the morning, and came to bed, a few minuites later, he jumped up, squaking that someone pee'd on him. It was one of my adorable long haired females who thought that he didn't belong home, and made sure that he did!
    Love the quilt, it is Mrs Beasley, it just goes with her.
    Its winter here, got very cold the last few days, when it was 69* earlier in the week.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. My daffs are coming up too! We use to have a cat who was a secret "peer" we had to change the carpets before we could sell the house, if we hadn't loved him so much we'd have sold him too!
    They close the schools if the wind blows too hard down here, but given the way folks sue, if they didn't close and something happened you KNOW someone would sue them.

  9. Willis is, I am sure, the American Cousin of our young Lucy. That long stretched out look is identical!

    Sympathies with the cat pee. With four of them here, accidents do sometimes happen when someone is shut into the wrong room for longer than a cat can bear.

    Mrs Beasley looks perfectly at peace on her clean, fresh quilt.

    I hope your cold soon goes on its way.

  10. It is wonderful to read that you are working on your quilts again it really two years ago that you first saw your new 'home -to- be'...another three months and we will see the first daffs up here and I will be happy that Spring has arrived.
    We use a Rug Dr spray ...often ...we have several naughty ones who pay us back when they are annoyed and then there are the accidents ...those I find it hard to be angry about.

  11. No daffodils flowering here yet but there are snowdrops and crocus' and vrious other bits and pieces. Hope you are feeling better, colds can make you feel really miserable.

  12. To those of you who have daffodils in your gardens: ours are now shuddering under the first snow of the season. I don't know if the buds will recover and bloom when warmer weather returns, or if the cold has blasted the buds beyond repair.
    John: Thank you for more info on the fens--I am interested that for a relatively small country the UK has such a variety of geographical features.

    Denim: J. would relate to your D's experience as he was highly insulted at being peed upon by Willis. Mrs.B's muted fur color does look rather nice with that softly faded quilt.

    BB; Speaking of the quilt, the hollyhock fabric was one I loved and bought in quantity--it appeared in several quilts. It takes a long time to use 3 yds of fabric when its cut into a 3" patch or a 2" strip. The last of it went into the huge flowery quilt I use on our bed in the summer.

    Angie; Its hard to believe that we've been here nearly two years--its been an unexpectedly demanding time. I'm pleased to be making quilts again--I do need to learn a bit of moderation in the time spent at the sewing machine.

    FL; I'm having to adjust my concept of perennials here in KY--plants such as delphinium which I loved in New England do not stand the heat and humidity of our summers. Surprisingly, rugosas don't flourish either. I look at your lovely roses and wonder which of them might do well in
    our zone 6.
    DW; the tabbie pattern is so alike the world over--I am fascinated by these cat markings. I see variation in a white bib or white paws, but the stripes are so beautifully arranged.

    Janet; We gave up on carpets as our feline residents always head for one when they feel a hairball coming on. There's one room in this house we haven't renovated--a lipstick red carpet from the 80's---errr!
    Rowan; I found some snowdrops languishing in an overgrown bit of garden here--attempted to move them to the edge of my new border. This spring will tell whether the transplant was successful.

    Al; There is something about wind-dried sheets that is very homey--this time of year they often need a few minutes in the dryer at the end of the day, but the fresh scent persists.

    Jane: Through these warm, green December and January days I wondered if I was missing snow. Two days of it and I think my memories of snow are more interesting than the actuality!

    Re cold: still sniffling a bit, but nothing too devastating. Our family next door now has it--there are worse germs than this one, but a cold does make one rather self-pitying!