Tuesday, January 21, 2014

North Wind Doth Blow

Daybreak was a shading from night into a dull grey landscape--it is as dark now at noon as it was at 7 A.M.
We have been slow and puttery this morning, J. putting on heavy overalls and jacket before heading to the barn to feed Pebbles and the calico cat sisters.
I lingered by the fire, drying my hair.
The cats have been restless, their usual attitude toward changing weather.
The north wind is howling, sending cold draughts around the windows of the bedrooms.
One of these rooms houses my desk and PC. I've closed the inside wooden shutters and sit hunched over my keyboard.
Cold dark weather is forecast for the remainder of the week.
I find it interesting to note that I dress for the comparatively cold days of  Kentucky much as I did for winter in Vermont and Wyoming, where 'cold' meant temperatures anywhere from 20 to 40 degrees colder!
The boy cats have decided that, for now, they prefer being indoors to out trolling through the tall bleached grass in search of meadow mice.
J. has built a fire in the shop and betaken himself out to his current tractor restoration project.
I spent several hours with him yesterday helping to mask and tape tractor and wheels for painting.
It has been nearly 16 years since I worked in a friend's auto body shop, much longer than that since my son taught me to 'mask' for him when he painted vehicles.
Perhaps it is true that no skill thoroughly learned goes to waste.

I changed the layers of quilts on our huge bed on Sunday and bundled aside the thick charity shop comforter.
Teasel inserted herself into the folds creating a cozy nest.
The house, this blustery day, is littered with cats who have come in from the cold!

The dooryard is alive with cardinals and juncos, picking frantically for food to sustain them through the cold.
I miss having birdfeeders.
We gave them up last winter when it became apparent that the boy cats are avid and deadly hunters.
Both juncos and cardinals like to feed on the ground.
During the bitter weather two weeks ago [when the cats preferred the hearth] I flung birdseed on the gravel of the drive where it sweeps into the back yard.
The birds are still picking there.
I rarely have a good photo as they bob about or fly up as I press the shutter.

I've considered bringing my smaller sewing machine upstairs and setting up shop on the dining table.
Starting the fire downstairs doesn't seem a good option unless the cold deepens and we need again to protect the pipes in the back hall.
J. dumps an armload of wood beside the fireplace each time he comes in.
My fabric and 'tools' are all stashed downstairs in the big family room, but surely one of my 'works in progress' could live upstairs for a few days to pass the hours of bad weather.
It is a temptation merely to huddle near the  fire, settling into my rocking chair with a tipple of books piled round me, a mug of tea at my elbow.
This I feel, will not do!
A few kitchen chores call me--then, perhaps [only perhaps] I will be inspired to be a good 
steward of my time.


  1. Your home sounds like ours. Everyone, including cats, hunkering down near the wood-stove while the -20 weather continues. I'm passing time with small projects and tea-breaks, of course. 57 days 'til Spring...yes!

    1. Yesterday turned into a 'hunkering' day here with few accomplishments beyond feeding the stove. Something tells me I should be OK with this!

  2. Your cats look very cozy. We keep our 2 bird feeders way up high out of reach of the cats, each feeder is hung on a nail right under the eaves of the roof. I bought a tall bird feeder today made by Droll Yankee and love that it is easy to fill and was made in the USA.

    1. When we had bird feeders out, most were hung out of my reach, so Jim had to refill them. The bird victims have usually been those unwary ones who like to pick up what other birds spill beneath the feeders.

  3. We are able to feed the birds (seeds) on the windowsill and with a feeder in the Damson tree by the kitchen window. It wasn't quite so safe for the birds when we had the stonework blocks still in place against the chimney (from before our time). Theo regularly bounces off the windowpane though, as he jumps, mouth open!

    Keep warm and enjoy your sewing upstairs for a while, although I dare say everything you put out will soon be covered in cats!

    1. The sewing didn't make it upstairs! Instead I read a favorite old book with a succession of cats vying for my lap.
      I like that mental picture of your Theo!

  4. We've got cold weather coming day after tomorrow, but probably no rain or snow-just wind clouds. Stay warm!

    1. It appears that most of the country is having an 'old-fashioned' winter in defiance of 'global warming.'
      Our theme here is that country folks can survive!

  5. It is not so cold here in Essex, and I feed my birds from seed hangers and a bird house. We have two resident collared doves in the garden, and a sparky blackbird who tries to keep the myriad of starlings away. I noted on someone's blog that starlings had been imported to America in the 19th century because some people felt homesick for them......

    1. I have heard that about starlings--they are a plague most anywhere in this country.
      We have mourning doves here--and I'm thinking perhaps a pair of collared doves two season past. The shape of a dove is so appealing--smooth and pretty.

  6. I think enjoying the dark winter days sitting and reading or sewing sounds like the right thing to do. It's a natural instinct to slow down and hibernate in the long dark days of winter. I haveseveral bird feeders and enjoy watching all the birds that come to our garden. Not so many unusual ones this winter as it's been grey, wet and miserable but not particularly cold so far.

    1. I'm thinking it is alright for me to have a quiet week--when it is cold life shrinks to the necessary tasks. Jim is here this time to take over the heavy work of wood carrying, I'm concentrating on food to bolster us. Reading an old favorite book yesterday was a treat.

  7. Your cats all cozy and warm looks so cute. They know they have a great thing.

    Bring some sewing upstairs and enjoy sitting by the fire.

    Love and hugs to you and J ~ Have a great day ~ FlowerLady

    1. These are indeed pampered cats. I have to fight them for my rocking chair by the fire--there seems to be a waiting line!