On my way to bed last evening I noticed Teasel wedged into the basket on the bench near the front door. Bobby Mac usually lays claim to this spot while Teasel prefers the rug in front of the wood stove. She is a beautiful and photogenic creature--very much MY cat.
She greets me each morning with front paws raised--like a child wanting to be picked up and held, and that is what must be done.
She is a warm and weighty armful, snuggling and purring with all the stops out.
Jim had a tractor delivery/pick up to make this forenoon. He invited me to go along, and since it wasn't a long journey I agreed.
The old  Dodge Cummins, 'Snort'n Nort'n,' is the most road-worthy of the trucks at the moment.
There is always a sense of deja vu when I clamber into the cab, for this is the truck acquired during our Wyoming years and used for many trips into Utah, Idaho or Montana gathering building materials for a series of houses.
I got through several chapters of The Seagull during Jim's stops.
I'm really trying not to rush through the book. I tend to devour whole paragraphs at a glance and finish a good book much too quickly.
Tractor trading accomplished we roared home. Jim decided he needed to take the car and run to the local repair shop where work is being done on his number 3 truck [no, don't ask!]
I have been eyeing the mixer presented to us this weekend by daughter Gina.
I have what might be called appliance anxiety--the first few times assembling and using a new gadget I am braced for the clatter of improperly placed parts, a whining motor, splattered ingredients.
Of course I figured it out with the help of the instruction booklet and the big beater made short work of mixing the dough for oatmeal cookies.
I was putting the last tray in the oven when Jim breezed through and announced that now he needed to deliver truck number 2 to the transmission repair shop in town--which meant I was required to follow with the car to collect him.
He graciously conceded that he 'might be a while' and I could finish my cookie project before heading out. I served 'tea' to the cats, washed up their dishes along with the bowls, spoons and measuring cups from the cookie bake.
I took along my camera to record the devastation left by the huge chipper that has been at work where trees and shrubbery grow close to the roadway.
The chipper is similar to the bush hog which Jim uses behind a tractor to mow rough pastures and verges. The huge commercial thing is mounted on a retractable arm and is raised to gnaw and shred branches within its reach.
I understand why this has to be done. Our area has a lengthy growing season; invasive shrubbery and small trees can crowd the verge of the road, limiting visibility. Hand trimming on a large scale wouldn't be practical, so in comes the giant machine.
The result isn't pretty. Branches are ripped off, tree trunks are gashed, leaving behind shattered stubs.
There were few glimpses of sunshine today--a hint of pale grey-blue in the sky when we returned from town. Jim mentioned that he hadn't taken time to eat since breakfast, what with all his errands.
I thought for a moment, suggested we stop at the corner cafe for a pizza.
While our pizza was baking we were introduced to a new neighbor--she and her family have moved into an Amish property purchased from the same man who previously owned our farm.
We commiserated with her as she rather resignedly reviewed the temporary upheaval of living in a house where electricity and modern plumbing are slowly being installed.
Darkness was settling in as we drove up the hill to our own farmhouse. The cats greeted us as though we had been gone for many hours. The fire was in need of serious attention.
We are snug inside this evening while rain drums on the roof.
The weather forecast for tomorrow isn't promising;
we are surely stuck in the doldrums of mid-winter.
We have an ample supply of firewood.
The pantry and freezer are well-stocked.
I have two new books to enjoy when I have finished The Seagull.
Sewing projects simmer on the back burner of my mind.
The pace of life may have slowed--but I never find it dull!