Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Breaking Hair

Caretaker’s Log, Sunday, January 4, 2015

I get up at ten minutes to 9:00. I keep waking in the early hours of the morning and I'm not feeling rested when it’s time to get up. This isn't that unusual. It's been a while since mornings were my best time. Once I'm up, though, I'm okay.

I do my morning chores.

I water the plants.

I work more of the puzzle than I should. What will I do later? Maybe I'll draw pictures on the blank side as my brother suggested and work it that way. I listen to more of the Nero Wolfe audio book while I piece things together.

I talk to my grandmother.

I eat an apple.

Finally, disgusted with it, I go up and wash my hair. While the tub is filled with water I wash some laundry too. I feel much more civilized human now. I hadn't washed my hair in those days of the -30° weather (or after). It had seemed too cold to do much of anything. Whenever it’s cold and I’m thinking of how long it’ll take for my hair to dry, I'm reminded of the story Steve Jones told once about when he had long hair. He was in Alaska at the time and he went outside with wet hair. His hair froze solid in the -40° weather and when he touched it it broke off in chunks. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I don't think I made that story up. I’ve used it as a cautionary tale for keeping long hair long. It's not that cold here today. It's safe to wash my hair.

I hang my clothes up near the fire. My shirts, not wrung out well enough, drip and drip.

It's been overcast most of today with flurries off and on. For me, it's been a lazy Sunday. I’ll work this evening.

At six o'clock, I record the weather. The moon is full but hidden behind clouds. The comet that is supposed to be visible is blurred out first by the moon and second by the clouds.

I talk to Phinehas and he tells me I can fix my character's dilemma in the attic with an atomic bomb, rat skulls, or old film stock.

The chipotle soup is pretty good on the second day, especially with half an avocado added in.

After dinner, I work for a little over an hour. Although my character gets out of the attic he promptly goes into the garage and starts rewiring the electricity. I should have used a bomb.

The fire is burning blue.

The clothes are almost dry.

The skylights in the upstairs bedroom are blanketed in snow. A lot has been going on without my knowledge since the sun went down.

Washing my hair is about as close to a makeover as I get. I feel much better about myself.

Caretaker’s Log, Monday, January 5, 2015

I get up. Morning chores are set in motion.

There's about an inch of fresh snow and more coming down.

I eat some granola for first breakfast and put my ski boots on. I ski up the hill, up the road to the first gate. It takes me twenty minutes to get there. It takes me seven minutes to get down. I only fall once in the transfer from the road snow to the deep snow that heads out into the field. I ski across the field and then back again. I'm at the ranch in time to reset the amp hours removed to zero on the hydro system just like I'm supposed to.

I pet the cat while I sit on the porch to cool down. It's a sweltering 32 degrees.

Light flurries fall all day.

I have eggs, potatoes, and a banana for second breakfast. I feel a sort of obligation to use up foods (such as potatoes) that I don't normally eat. They’re fresh. I won't have fresh forever.

Passing by the back room window, I see a moose up on the far north slope. He stands in front of the property line fence. Then suddenly he jumps it!

Today marks one week that I've been here.

I work for half an hour in the afternoon.

I talk to my grandmother.

I work a lot of the 1500 piece puzzle while listening to a new audio book.

I do my nightly walk about-- marveling at the stars. I'm glad the nights come early, I'm glad of starry nights. I look for the Lovejoy comet, but no luck. I don't really know exactly where or what time to look.

Surprisingly, since there had been a pile of snow in the precipitation bucket earlier, there's not a trace of liquid when I go to measure it. I guess that's what comes of 33° weather-- evaporation.

I bring in wood. I go back out for a second armful and the cat greets me by the woodpile. I squat down and she jumps in my lap. We stay there for a while, me petting her and watching the glow of the moon as it inches up over the mountains. The cat tips her head up and touches me nose to nose. I think that’s the cat equivalent of a kiss. “I love you too, cat,” I tell her. We stay there for a long time.

Dinner is chipotle soup with half an avocado.

I listen to more of the audio book while I am moon gazing.

I'm not feeling happy with the direction of the story I started. I pull out my notebooks and review my research. Forget attics and electrical rewiring. I scrap what I've done and start over. We'll see where this goes.

Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'm a bit sore from my skiing yesterday. I'll get out again this afternoon.

Breakfast is a green smoothie.

I open up the five pound bag of French roast coffee that was brought out here for me. Good coffee is all about the right blend. This is a good cup. I start an inventory of the other food that Karen got on my behalf. There are things like tahini, coconut milk, and rice crackers.

It's a lovely morning, clouds dress the sky and the sun warms me through the living room window as I work a crossword puzzle.

The cat is sitting up on her log with her face turned toward the sun.

After breakfast and the bulk charge finish I go for ski. Which ends up being more of a snow plowing through the deep snow. I make it the first of the hills that leads to the dam. The snow is deep. I'm going to have very strong legs when this is all said and done.

The cat and I hang out when I return.

I take a bath to rinse off.

I eat the last of the chipotle soup for lunch.

I talk to my mother.

I work more of the puzzle.

When I go outside to take pictures of the swirling fog in the far west field the cat follows me into the snow. She's a glutton for attention. Back up on the porch I let her on my lap. We’re fast friends.

I do my evening walk around in reverse, starting at the snow board and measuring stick, going next to the precipitation bucket, and then finally to the generator shed.

The sky has been amazing all day.

I eat sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and garlic and scrambled eggs for dinner.

The world had turned white with low flung clouds, a ghostly night fog. I go stand out in the cold to see it. The land feels other worldly, strange, misty-edged, and a bit out of focus.

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