A grey morning warmed into mid-day sunshine.
We were anxiously awaiting a visit from J.'s cousin and family who had gotten a later than planned start to their 2 hour trip from TN.
I did some tidying, set a kettle of my favorite beef/barley/veg soup to simmer, made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
That done and the kitchen neat, I put on my trusty old down vest, located my small pruners and tackled the woody stems of perennials poking through the blanket of leaves in the borders.
J. moved firewood, swept out the carport, then went to the upper garden to begin the laborious task of clipping back the blackberry canes.
Temps of around 60 F brought out a few sluggish flies and some small fluttery brown moths.
The three boy kittens [nearly cats now] trundled back and forth following J. then discovered my heaps of stems and twigs which made for wonderfully imaginative 'hides.'
Their stalking and pouncing is a delight to watch, but their movements are so quick that my camera doesn't catch their 'airs above the ground.'
Little Edward gives the pavement of the drive a good sniff as he comes to join his brothers.
Several bluebirds were busy in the yard this morning--bouncing between the lower limbs of a maple, fluttering down to teeter on the catyard fence.
I can only hope that they are wary.
These young cats have already proven themselves 'mighty hunters.'
I trimmed twiggy stems for about two hours and had come in feeling a bit stiff and ready for a mug of tea when our guests arrived.
Hugs all around--some moments that verged on tears as we spoke of the son whom G. and P. lost so tragically during November.
Their son's fiancee was with them--a stunningly beautiful young woman, perhaps a bit bewildered as we spoke of times past and family members no longer with us.
Daughter G. and her husband M. arrived with more food to share, more recollections to ponder.
We hated to part with them when it was time for them to leave for their older son's home in TN where they will stay through the holidays.
I long for more of these sunny afternoons, although a must-do/should-do list awaits.
As I write I can glance out the unshuttered west window and see the bright moon, like a slice of melon on a dark sky platter. My dear old Eggnog kitty is warm on my lap. Teasel is on a blanket on the red chest of drawers, diligently washing her silvery grey paws.
Charlie-cat who has demanded to be outside so much lately, is sprawled on the bed behind me, while his daughter, Mima curls up beside him.
I have some reading to do here at my desk before I call it bedtime.
It has been a long and busy day.