Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not Quite Spring

I watched from underneath a cozy heap of quilts and cats as daylight filtered in pale stripes through the interior shutters of the east-facing bedroom windows.
The cats trooped down the hallway with me and milled impatiently as I opened the living room curtains
to look at the day.
I pulled on my first-thing-in-the morning assortment of warm clothing, replenished the fires, measured coffee.
It seemed judicious to dole out the dollops of tinned cat food before venturing outside.
Decidedly chilly.  I fed Willis and Co and scurried back inside.
As soon as J. exited the bed I snatched the sheets and bundled them into the washing machine.
By the time they had chugged through the cycles, the sunshine had sulked off behind dour grey clouds.
J. topped up the bird feeders and once again the goldfinches amused us with their
fiesty jostling for position on the cylinder of niger seed.

A light snow fell last evening--snow over muddy ground.

Pebbles emerges from the barn lean-to where J. serves her hay and grain.
Pebs has never had a lovely full mane and forelock.
This winter she is so grizzled you'd think something had gnawed at her hair.

The barn kittens after breakfasting in the carport retreated to their sleeping bags in the
strewed hay of the barn's east bay.

Willis, gallant boy that he is, left his snug bed to accompany me on a very brief walk up to the tobacco barn.

I did peg the sheets out on the clothes line, flicking slender rims of ice from the wooden pegs.
At 3 p.m. the sun came out long enough to offer encouragement and to nearly dry the sheets.

As always when the weather is dark I turned to baking.
Today's treat is Lemon Bars--I love the shortbread crust.

I have "felt the cold" lately, although surely the weather has been less than frigid. Since this room and the bedroom across the hall don't benefit as much from the wood fires as the "living" part of the house, I've rather minded being in here for any length of time.
I'm still reading the usual blogs, just not taking my chilly fingers out of my pockets to type many comments or to keep up with letters.
Even the mid-winter doldrums won't last forever.
Its a time for wrapping my hands around a mug of steaming tea,
curling up by one fire or the other with books and seed catalogs,
a time to plan projects rather than to carry them out.
In such a short time the flurry of starting seeds, gardening and harvesting will begin all over again.
"To everything a season..."


  1. Your barn kittens are growing sturdy and looking well.

    I expect Pebbles is getting ready for her spring moult. The lengthening days seem to trigger changes in their coats. I`m sure she will be glossy and shining again when the grass (or Dr Green as they call it here) begins to grow.

    I know just how you feel about that sense of a season almost turning, but not quite.....I keep looking at the seed packets and wanting to plant, but it is still too cold and there are weeks of winter still to pass.

  2. The barn cats look as though they have very snug and luxurious accomodation! I need to buy a new clothesline before I can start hanging washing out this spring, the old one snapped during the freezing temperatures last December. It's a rare winter day that anything will dry outside in England but soon I'll be able to put the washing outside again - I much prefer it after it's been in the fresh air.

  3. Hmm - I have some packets of seeds, but nothing will germinate here yet. My fingers are itching to get going though.

    The kittens have grown well - especially Willis, who looks quite stocky (like our "Little Whale" who is as broad as he is long!)

  4. We are having a few warm and lovely days as "teasers"--promises of springtime. "Not quite spring" can be an impatient season--and I'm already spoiled knowing that planting time will come in April, so much earlier than any place we've lived before!
    Some early mornings or at nightfall I catch a faint wiff of awakening earth, and this morning in spite of another grey day the cardinal was singing his courting sone!

  5. Brr, I'm so not a winter person, snow is lovely to look at in pix but not to live in. Do you ride? We kept horses when our daughter was young and horse mad.
    Your cats look so contented, would love to have a kindle of cats but we can't keep them outdoors here.

  6. Thanks for taking a look at my blog. Regarding working with the beads, there is only one of them that is a pest, Willow, she has only to hear me put a foot on the stairs up to the workroom and she is there before me. I haven't the heart to shoo her out as she is quite different in her behaviour when she is with me on her own.( there is competition for affection between the 5 of them, as you might guess )
    Generally she sleeps on a chair beside me so is not too much trouble.
    I love the barn cats, it looks so cosy for them.

  7. I love the pic of the barn kittens too, although barn cats now seems more appropriate! Willis has beautiful fur, doesnt he?

    Leanne x