Thursday, January 22, 2015

Are You a Man or a Moose?

Caretaker’s Log, Monday, January 19, 2015

Three weeks today.

In the upstairs bathroom, I'm combing out my hair when I see a moose out of the corner of my eye. There's nothing like morning moose. He's in the yard, right below me foraging for food. His mom comes along after a bit. They make their way around all the buildings, dig up what there is to eat, and then go on to other fields. The cat doesn't seem to mind the visitors just as long as I let her up on my lap when I’m outside.

There might be a mouse living in either the generator shed or the incinerator shed. There are lots of tracks around the doors. Maybe it's a mouse that wants to live in either shed.

My snow-skier has an extra layer of snow. More abominable snowthing than yesterday.

The fire is being temperamental.

It snowed about an inch sometime during the night.

I call Jesse and leave a message. I call Grandmama and get no answer.

I make eggs and potatoes for breakfast.

I eat my breakfast.

Jesse calls me back.

I go out to ski, starting in the east field. The lone moose is in the reeds. I circle around the field and go up the road toward the first gate. As I round the last curve, I see a dark shadow at that gate. Moose or man? It's the lone moose. He's beat me up the hill.

I ski back down.

Mama and baby moose are now in the reeds.

The cat meows until I pay her attention.

I bring in some wood.

I call Grandmama.

I sit and read on the couch for a while. I get a bit chilled so I go take a hot bath.

I'm restless or something. I walk around the outside of the house. Talk to the cat. Wave at the moose foraging in the reeds. Try my hand at another snowthing, but today the snow is too powdery.

The sky is pink tinged. The snow a pale, pale rose.

I work for a bit.

Scout snowflakes dart around preparing the way for a wintry onslaught perhaps.

I record the weather.

For the first time since I got here I eat quinoa for dinner. I eat the last few leaves of romaine lettuce.

I work. My word count has tipped 10,000. This seems like something.

I decide to go to bed an hour earlier than usual. I read for a bit and then call it a night.

Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I get up at eight o'clock.

There are magic snowflakes in the air. Magic because the sun is out and I can't see the snow clouds from where I am. The flakes catch light like prisms, like sparkling glitter flung into the air.

Mama and baby moose are staying chill and cool out in the reeds.

I do the crossword with my first cup of coffee. I get all my morning chores done.

I talk to my mom while I make breakfast.

Then I get right into cleaning mode. First cleaning the upstairs bathroom, then sweeping the stairs, then cleaning the downstairs bathroom, sweeping the den, vacuuming the loft, vacuuming the piano room carpet, vacuuming the living room carpet, sweeping all the floors, mopping up the snow smudges and dirt off the wood floors, and wiping the newspaper ink print off the table where I eat and apparently, where I've been doing the crossword puzzle each day.

Much better.

I call my grandmother.

I kick off my boots and sit in the clean living room and read for a while.

I make a salad. It is delicious. I have enough lettuce type material to make two more salads. They have to be eaten this week.

The sun hits the barren trees in the east turning the mountains a soft bronze.

Today feels cold. Even with my gear on. Inside and outside. This is a strange phenomenon, it's 17° for crying out loud.

The clouds have been completely wonderful all day.

I record the weather. Why has it felt so cold all day?

I eat fake tacos (walnuts, black beans, and spices in a lettuce wrap) for dinner.

I write for a while.

I watch a show.

I write a little bit more.

Tomorrow I’ll sit, I’ll write for longer. That’s my planning ahead.

I get in bed, but it’s cold. So I gather the two blankets I’d ditched when the weather warmed up and put them back on top of the other seven. It’s definitely a nine blanket night.

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It was a cold night. The low reached a chilly -22.5 degrees. The cat meows at me as I start the fire.

It’s so cold that I put on another long underwear shirt over the one I already have on. Why didn’t I think of that yesterday when I was so chilled?

There’s an awesome hazy cloud moving from the northwest ridge over toward the southeast. I go out to look at it and there’s the lone moose in the reeds behind the woodpile. About forty feet of space separates the two of us. He doesn’t mind me watching him eat. He doesn’t even mind when I talk to the cat who is meowing plaintively for me to come back to the porch and sit down so that she can jump in my lap while still being in the sunshine. He just stands there and eats his breakfast reeds. After I’m back inside I see he’s abandoned the reeds and gone out to the west field. I lose sight of him. 

I eat breakfast. Get the fire going nice and strong. Do the morning chores. The day is getting away from me already.

I pull the second pair of snowshoes out of the store room and try them on. They’re a fit! They'll stay on. To prove this theory, I gear up, adding a scarf to my regular outfitting, and head out. They work like a charm. My goal is the first fence line up the dam road. I make it. These snowshoes are great. I have an hour excursion and then go back to the Lodge.

Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are a powerful trinity.

I take a bath. Wash some clothes. Talk to Grandmama. Talk to Michaela.

I write.

It's -4.9 when I go do the evening walk around. Venus sits to the left of a fingernail moon. The lone moose crosses the east pasture. The cat is in her house.

I make a cabbage, onion, mushroom in peach juice stir fry. I put it over rice. It's pretty tasty.

I write.

I wind down.

Although I’m sleepy, I’m reluctant to go upstairs. It’s so cozy and warm by the fire.

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