Monday, November 25, 2013

Keeping Up With Myself

Last week began quietly. Misty mornings gave way to several bright but chilly days.
We drove to Casey County on Monday, to the whole foods store where I can buy unbleached flour 
in 50 # bags.
The rest of the week, looking back, seems to have been one of mundane tasks--the rounds of caring for pets, meals prepared, laundry and such attended to.

During much of the year I go outside each day in the expectation of some fresh marvel of growth--vegetable seeds sprouted in the garden, a rosebud opening, some new delight in the fields or gardens.

Now, with the approach of winter, there will be little variation in the landscape.
There will be a scarcity of things to photograph as I bundle up and trudge the boundaries of the farm.

This very twiggy nest is lodged in one of our three year old cherry trees.
The tree seems to have no idea that it is meant to blossom and produce fruit for pies.
The nest is so rough and spiny that I can't imagine young birds being comfortably raised there.

A few frozen apples cling desolately to the trees, food for the birds.

Bobby McGee has clambered into the branches of the maple nearest the carport.
He has been inspired by a crowd of bluejays.
I trust the jays can look out for themselves. They are the largest and noisiest of our dooryard birds.

Bobby, down from the tree and wearing a 'what next?' expression.

J. bought [yet] another vintage tractor early in the week.
He and D. went roaring off to bring it home.
[ I declined an invitation to be part of the expedition!]

The tractor is proclaimed to be a desirable model.
I'm not convinced.
It 'runs' but doesn't 'start' which presents rather a conundrum to my mind.
M. called me outside to witness this attempt to get the tractor running. 
D. is in Snort'n Nort'n backing around the field at speed, towing the tractor.

The tractor has 'fired up' with an immense billow of smokey exhaust.
I find I am not at all interested in the details of what must be done to make the tractor a viable and sale-worthy piece of equipment.
The day after this venture J. came down with a bad cold and spent much of his time for the remainder of the week huddled in his big chair by the fire.
I am not the 'ministering angel' type but I did keep him supplied with hot tea and brought home from the market a package of delectable green seedless grapes which I felt were suitable food for one who was ailing.
I had no intention of being vulnerable to this germ, but it caught up with me on Saturday evening.
I decamped to the bedroom across the hall, snuffing and rasping while J. indulged in paroxysms of coughing ensconced in the king size bed of the 'master bedroom.'
The cats, as always at such times, were delighted to have two occupied beds in the house--the better to wander back and forth offering the comfort of their furry presence.
We have been sharing the preparation of light meals.
I've felt justified in keeping to my rocking chair, reading, doing some hand sewing or merely enjoying the warmth of whatever cat chooses to curl in my lap.

J. purchased the fireplace stove second-hand last year.
The built in blower has never worked.
J. decided today that he has sufficiently recovered his health to dismantle the whole thing and tinker it.
He was kind enough to build a fire downstairs and I think I shall shortly retreat there.
I can hear the shop vac roaring, but haven't ventured in to ask if the project resulted in the blower being restored to operation.
I have made a kettle of soup--venison supplied by M., cut into tiny bits with onion, celery and carrot likewise, stewed tomatoes, barley, a bay leaf and a bit of thyme. J. has requested popovers to go with the soup.
[He has also given a lengthy and detailed explanation of why the fireplace blower is still not working.]
It is nearly dark at a few minutes to 4.
I shall gather my furry friends into the safety and warmth of the house and spend the evening in indolent recuperation.


  1. May you and J be completely well soon.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving ~ FlowerLady

  2. Rainey; Thank you for the get well wishes--I'm determined this germ won't spoil the holiday!

  3. My life is full of mundane tasks and chores as well but, hopefully, that doesn't mean my life is mundane -grin-.
    We're expecting rain tomorrow and snow Wednesday; please God, let the wind stay elsewhere.

    1. Sandy; I love my country lifestyle. There are many repeated chores from day to day, but always some little thing to notice and ponder. And there are books--and music--and quilts to make--and the cats for company!
      Very bleak and cold here today also. I hurried out to dump kitchen scraps and scampered back in to the fire!

  4. Please take care. Colds and flu are miserable company.
    When project take the male's attention, I try very hard to stay out of it. Likewise he takes little interest when I am doing something...but I generally get a "what's this for or that for", especially when I am trying to lay out quilting stuff and my rotary cutter to even up fabric.
    Its very brown and very uneventful here also. The only thing that exciting happened to me is very late yesterday afternoon, when I was coming back from town was I almost hit an owl that flew from somewhere and cut across my hood of my car and gave me a startle. It was small, but big enough to make a dent.
    Have a wonderful, Thanksgiving holiday.

  5. Vicki; Good to hear from you! Yes, it is the 'brown' time of year--more so in your area than here.
    I had an experience with an owl years ago--hadn't had my license very long. It was just dark and a great horned owl suddenly floated down into the road ahead of me and danced about with its wings spread--rather startling.
    I am always thankful if I am not required to 'help' when J. starts some fix-it project. I immediately become all thumbs!

  6. Get well soon.
    I remember lots of tractors that refused to start to order when I worked on the farm; I can't say I would have forked out money to buy any of them!
    Your comment about your "mundane tasks" brings to mind something John Lennon said about life being the stuff that happens while you're busy planning something else!

    1. John; My Jim has met very few vintage tractors he didn't believe he could resuscitate, but there have been a few that defeated him.
      A good deal of life is about the daily routine--most days we can find something of interest in the ordinary!

  7. Seeing that nest, I'm so glad I'm human! Perhaps it was lined with the softest of moss and down?

    1. Em; The nest was just high enough in the tree that I couldn't see the inside. I've found many nests blown out of the dooryard trees which have been cunningly lined with our old horses' hair. I hope that one had a comfy inner cushion as well.

  8. Hope you are both well soon, have a lovely thanks giving and stay warm xx

    1. Jill; We are staying warm--one on each side of the living room fire--coughing at each other. I think we wouldn't be welcome guests at the family Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. This, too, shall pass and we will be ourselves in a few days.

  9. Keith and Danny have shared a nasty lingering cold too, but - touch wood - I have so far avoided it. I hope you and J are both completely over it soon. I had a little snigger at you buying grapes for the invalid . . .

    Ah yes, the mundane. Plenty of that happening here too! I spent 6 hours holed up in the car yesterday whilst Keith was at an auction, but I remembered to take my quilting project with me so made good progress with that.

    I hope that J has both got the blower on the fire fixed, as well as the starter on the tractor. I am glad Keith doesn't restore tractors - I can just about share his interest in militaria etc. Mechanical things are another matter!

    1. Jennie; If I had minimum wage to compensate me for the hours spent waiting in the truck for J.--at an auction, a salvage yard, at the back 40 of some 'old boy' with a tractor to sell, I should be able to indulge in quite a buying spree! I never go as far as town with J, that I don't carry with me a pile of books, magazines and maybe some needle work.
      The on-going issue of the stove blower is perhaps worthy of its own post--when I can stop coughing!

  10. Hullo MM,

    It's been a while........

    Life prevents me from writing or reading much these days but every now and then I get the chance to pop back to a 'weel kent' {well known} spot for a wee while.

    This made me smile, reading of the foibles of us mere men from a wife's perspective and reminding me there should still be time to stop and enjoy the garden and woods no matter what else is going on in life.

    As always,


    1. Al; I have missed your well crafted essays but assume that gainful employment has limited your time for creative writing and pondering. The patterns of our lives do a lot of shifting over the years. Even at our busiest we do need those moments of quietly pondering our surroundings.

  11. This is one of the funniest posts I've read. I had Tom come in to look at pics, and he wondered if the tractor is a Ford 8N. We had one of those once for about five years. Our current one, not new by any means, is a 1981 Ford 1700. When he read the part about 'run' and 'start' it was quite familiar to his own experience. A purely delightful piece of writing which we both really enjoyed. And I love the first picture. It is perfect. A horse, mist, and the sun on that hill.

    1. Nan; I have carefully taken down the details of the tractor: a mid 60's 35 Massey Diesel. I have tried over the years to demonstrate a suitable enthusiasm for the tractor restorations--but there have been too many to keep up with.
      J. immediately expressed interest in your tractor, rattling of horse power specs, etc.
      I'm glad you liked the photo of Pebbles the Horse--she has been a part of our 'landscape' for many years.

  12. Tom says to tell J that it is a diesel. :<)