Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Capricious Spring

Spring arrived this morning with blue skies and bright sunshine, but with temperatures that
were definitely crisp.
There was a light frost on the grass when I stepped outside at 7:30 A.M.
In honor of the vernal equinox I brought out the spring/summer quilt--made several years ago with flowery fabrics and center squares in glowing yellow prints.
Bobby McGee immediately made himself comfortable on the quilt.
[Bobby is a darling cat--the smallest of the three boys, but the most independent.]

By mid-afternoon, blue skies had developed a slatey look and the wind had gotten up.
On an errand in the dooryard I felt the unmistakable sting of tiny snowflakes which blew down from a passing cloud.
An hour later sunshine again shimmered off the glossy leaves of the wind-tossed Magnolia tree.

The goat willow tree in the front yard is full of fuzzy grey pussywillows.
I would love to cut some to place on the sideboard in a pitcher, maybe walk down the road and pick some daffodils to go with them.
Sadly, any sort of 'arrangement' or 'bouquet' is a magnet for the cats, who disarrange, drag stems out of the jug or vase, often dump water.
Too many times I've forgotten to safely shut away a pitcher full of blooms at night and come out in the morning to find shredded flowers and pools of water.
So, no pussywillows indoors!

Pebbles the beloved horse is 27 this spring.
She has slowed down noticeably, spending more time lying in her stall.
In the past 5 years she has experienced several bouts of founder/laminitis which have undoubtedly left some degree of permanent damage. Jim limits her access to pasture and serves her a grain product formulated for 'Senior Horses.' During especially bad spells she is dosed with bute.
She has been outside a good deal today in all the variations of weather.  I suspect that her knees bother her--and I sympathize with these painful manifestations of aging!
She has her bad days when I feel certain we must soon, in kindess, put her down.
Then she revives and is almost spritely.
One thing hasn't changed: she relishes her food!

My efforts at 'spring cleaning' have continued spasmodically over the past week, spurred on by the pleasant prospect of guests who will arrive tomorrow.
D. enticed the kittens with my fluffy duster.
Here Bobby McGee snatches at it.

D. has had to retrieve the duster from Bobby and Edward--who evidently mistook it for a bird.
I am reminded almost daily that keeping cats complicates the process of maintaining a tidy home.
Cat hair is an endlessly renewable resource!
Today freshly washed quilts have bounced and flapped on the clothesline.
Four loaves of bread cooled on the counter beneath a blue towel.
Several unbaked pies were tucked into the freezer; a smaller one, hot from the oven and oozing blackberry juice, was served to J. as he took a break between phone calls and work in his shop.
The cookie jar is filled and a plate of cookies [decadent with both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips and dried blueberries] and a still-warm loaf have gone home with the friend whose wife barters huge brown eggs from her flock of hens for baked goods from my kitchen.
I spent a sleepy half hour in my Grampa Mac's old rocking chair by the fire, a cat in my lap, and a glossy magazine spread open to pictures of gardens in Wales, Leeds Castle, Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm.
Now, a mug of green tea and several hours of reading and writing at my desk.
[The big desk will be off limits for several days as it shares the space in our little guest room.]


  1. Spring is just as elusive here. It is raining hard this morning and is bitterly cold.

    It is so difficult to take that final decision with a much loved old horse.There is a saying
    "Better a day too soon than a day too late."
    but actually deciding on that day is very hard. With the old palomino mare, we will have the same heartbreak as you before next winter, if not before.

    Lovely to see Bobby McGee relaxing on your spring quilt.

  2. I echo DW's comments on Spring!!! We have a few daffodils but they are being battered by the wind today, which is a bitter one.

    I hope that some sun on Pebble's back will make her feel better again. As long as she is still enjoying life and you can control the pain of arthritis/laminitis damage, that's the main thing. You are doing all you can by the sound of things.

    I will swop you my day for yours, as sitting down with a cat and a good magazine somewhere warm sounds very attractive! I am taking photos and about to list my "collectibles" on eBay . . . I have Carrots galore for a carrot cake too, so will probably bake that later.

  3. Among other things, I love all of the baking you have been doing.

  4. I understand your feelings about Pebbles, old horses seem to be up and down, just as you accept that it's time to say Goodbye, the rally round again and take a new lease of life.

    I always enjoy photos of the cats and hearing about life so far away from our little Island.

  5. I love the colours of your quilt ....its gorgeous.
    I totally understand where you are comming from about cats and vases of flowers. At night I shut them in the downstairs loo (flowers not cats), and during the day I put them high and where I can see them ...and they still manage to eat the contents or strew them around.As a result flowers are rare ....they even eat my dried twiggy things!!!
    Sounds like you have been busy in the kitchen and it all sounds so yummy xx

  6. Lovely post, - glad you got time to sit for a bit, after all that baking, and do hope you enjoy your company and those who are lucky enough to eat the home baked bread and pies!

    My daughter's cat is very naughty about flowers in the house, but Callie sits amongst them and shows the greatest respect and appreciation. Nobody has taught her otherwise, I guess, - she is the lone cat in the house.

  7. Love the colours of the quilt,and hope that Pebbles rallies round for summer at least. Winter is such a cruel time but the promise of spring brings a new lease of life. Deep snows up north here and a bitterly cold wind for all the poor sheep stuck in drifts - a very late spring.