Not down time by choice!
Jim and his siblings carried home an unpleasant 'souvenir' from their recent Alaska cruise: a really nasty respiratory virus.
Needless to say I wanted no part of it and promptly vacated the matrimonial bedroom for the small pleasant room at the far end of the hallway.
With determined zeal I wiped down surfaces with disinfectant, changed hand towels several times each day, added chlorine bleach to the dishwater.
It seems I might have spared the effort.
By Wednesday evening I too was ill--classic chills, fever, throbbing head, aches and weakness.
We have both coughed until the muscles surrounding our ribs feel torn from their moorings.
At that, I will likely recover from that symptom long before Jim.
I am blessed that I can read a good deal even when ill.
I've sat, blanket wrapped, in my rocking chair, tissues and tea to hand, then toddled off to my bed to the thick smothering half slumber that goes with this sort of thing.
I began a re-read of 'China Court' [Rumer Godden] on the way to Tennessee last Friday, wedged into the backseat of my daughter and SIL's car.
I expected to finish the book over the weekend, but a nephew's 18 year old daughter had a haul from the area second hand bookstore and offered the loan of something rather out of my usual zone of interest.
This was an engrossing and horrifying [true] story, the medical terminology softened by the author's compassionate portrayal of the family involved.
I finished the book in time to hand it back on Monday morning before our return to Kentucky.
'The Hatbox Letters' [Beth Powning] is a fairly recent book and another re-read.
I was surprised to read negative reviews for this book on 'goodreads'--many reviewers found the pace too slow and the details of locales and seasons too detailed.
As in my first reading of the book I was immersed--Beth Powning describes ancestral homes and gardens in New England--where I was born and lived much of my life.
Her descriptive phrases conjure the scents and sounds of old homes as I recall them, and the tracing of family history which forms one of several plot lines, is dear to my heart.
'Journey to Munich' [Jacqueline Winspear] is the latest in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series--one of the better ones.
I have bumbled outside for a few minutes each day--long enough to water plants on the porch and to clean the cat litter boxes.
This morning the air was less humid than it has been and I felt less feverish, so decided to walk to the barn. I knew that F. and B. were away for several hours, so I could visit the goats and the barn cats without concern that I might still be contagious to humans.
Shadow-cat [on the right] is most effusive whenever I go down. When I start back up the lane he follows, mewing soft-voiced, twining insistently about my ankles.
There is a certain point in the lane when our own resident cats strut out to challenge Shadow.
This morning it was Nellie.
There was no altercation, only a bit of bristling and some low key muttering.
As always, Shadow turns back. If I stop to watch, he mews wistfully, but knows not to push his luck.
Shadow-cat winding himself around my clogs.
During the 10 days of Jim's absence I weeded and spread mulch in the perennial strips.
This week has brought torrents of pounding rain and created a rivlet that has torn through the lower end of the garden.
Nothing I can tackle in the way of repairs until I am well.
The tattered butterfly, seen this morning, is likely too dramatic a symbol of how I am feeling.
I am impatient with illness [and if truthful, rather resentful that I have the 'souvenir' without the holiday!]
While I wait for aches and coughing to diminish and energy to return I shall continue to read and sip honeyed tea.