Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Another Unstructured Day

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 [1992] 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!


  1. The rhythm of your day seems similar to mine (though minus the tractor element!!) Like you, I hate to see the bushes and young trees ripped and torn - they do the hedgerows with a flail which has the same effect. Driving back from Malvern on Sunday I noted with delight a hedgerow which had been "cut and laid" in the Brecon fashion. A treat to see proper traditional workmanship still being carried out.

    I have a mixer just like yours and I have to say, it makes short work of mixing a cake on the days when I really don't fancy doing it all by hand.

    Snap - I bought and read The Seagull in the past week or so and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can understand you trying to make it last! Can I recommend Rose Tremain's "The Colour" as your next new book. Set in the settler times in NZ (starts in the 1860s), it tells of how one woman copes when her husband sets off for the goldfields . . .

    1. Jennie; I daresay the mindset when someone is buying and selling--'trading'--as a source of income, is similar whether one deals in items large or small. The truck issues are something I need to keep at a distance just now. Jim appears rather sanguine about the repairs [?]
      I've made a note re the Rose Tremain book. If only I didn't gallop through in my reading, but its a natural pace--I can't slow down.

  2. Good morning dear Sharon ~ I feel like you when I get a new gadget of any kind, trepidation. I've still a new sewing machine to use, as I don't remember how to do it all, haven't really needed to use it, so I procrastinate. I also have a new printer that I got around Christmas, haven't set it up yet because of all the remodeling upheaval. All in good time.

    I enjoy your posts and thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts and share your photos. You inspire me.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; I wish I'd thought of the term 'trepidation'--its a perfect fit for my skittishness regarding a new gadget! Jim bought a 'smart' TV several months ago when his old TV 'died'--it took a visit from the techy grandson to get some things up and running. My approach seems to be if something is working at all, don't push the buttons and ask for trouble!
      Remodeling is a process--we have to keep reminding ourselves that once the mess is finally cleared we'll be glad we got the project done!

  3. Interesting writing about your, quite busy, life. The Sea Gull looks good will put it down on my next order for something to read. I love the way life folds round you, the cats, the tractors and the people.

    1. Thelma; Retirement produces a different pace, doesn't it? We are thankful to still be sturdy enough to work at the things we like to do.
      "the way life folds round you"--that's an insightful way of putting it--life in Kentucky has certainly wrapped us round, more than we expected.

  4. The 1992 Dodge is still a good-lookin' fellow! We used to eye those "Cummins" diesels when we were in need of a new farm truck, but always ended up with a Ford. Your life really doesn't seem so different from ours - minus the cats, for we have a dog.

    1. Chip; Jim looked at the Dodge trucks when they came on the scene--much too pricey for us! He bought the '92 as a nearly 10 year old truck which had seen good care and it has been through several refurbishing since.
      We aren't actively farming, whereas I think you are, but the patterns of living in the country, working through the seasons, are indeed similar.
      We had our last dog--a Border Collie--in Wyoming.