Caretaker’s Log, Friday, January 16, 2015
The clouds are Wizard of Oz, Kansas tornado storm moody. They layer the sky dramatically. I go out to photograph them before I built the morning fire.
The moose are in the northeast field. Two grazing, two passing through. Maybe the fifth moose loves being alone.
The wind brings in more clouds, darker clouds and it starts to snow a little at ten o'clock.
The cat’s feeling rambunctious. She runs around, climbs up things, and then, done with that, gets back in her house-- out of the gathering wind.
I straighten up around the lodge, put some things away, put other things in order.
I call Grandmama while I prepare brunch. Three eggs scrambled, one sweet potato sliced and baked.
It snows gently throughout the afternoon.
I sit at the desk and watch the flakes spin and fall as I write.
There is a moose up on the hill, hunkered down in the snow. It stands out black against the white backdrop. In fact, there are two resting moose up on that hill. Actually, there are three moose up on that hill. It's hard to keep track of all these moose.
A bit later, I see there's a moose in the west pasture. And another. Is that all five accounted for?
The moose entertain me all day long. There's the lone moose. There is the mama and baby pair. And there's another pair I like to think of as brothers named Jake and Jim. The brothers come across the pasture, jump the fences, hang out by the woodpile, come through the open fence, and run across the front yard! It's very exciting. Though the cat doesn't think so. She hides up in the roof.
0.03 inches of precipitation. 0.5 inches of snowfall.
Darkness falls. It might still be snowing.
I have the last of my soup and the last of the leftover Socca bread for dinner.
I hear the pitter patter of little feet in the ceiling above me. I think that means mice. I think that means the cat needs to step up her game.
Caretaker’s Log, Saturday, January 17, 2015
It has snowed, a two or three inch addition to my surroundings while I’ve slept.
I wake up in an ambivalent mood which tilts over to a bad one when I remember that the recurring hack of my email happened again yesterday. My tech friend says it's not a true hack, it’s a latch on to my email and that I have already taken all the proper precautions to ward against future annoyance. There's not much else I can do, he tells me, except to go that one last drastic step and change emails. It's annoying. It's especially irritating to know that many of the agents I've queried for my books are receiving a bad link every other month or so. Not to mention my friends.
I take some deep breaths. Dispel the mood.
The mama and baby moose (though this baby is getting bigger every day) are foraging in the west field.
I open up my fifth can of coconut milk. The coffee tastes extra good this morning for some reason.
I eat leftover oatmeal for breakfast. It could stand to take lessons from the coffee.
It's a really beautiful day. The evergreens hang on to snow like shawls. Faint clouds contrast the blue into blue and lighter blue. Shimmering particles hover and dance in the cold morning air.
I talk to the cat about the roof mice. She paws my hand when it idles on my leg as if to say, "You've got two hands to pet me, use ‘em both."
"It's your job," I remind her, bringing the subject back to the mice.
Back inside, I work a crossword puzzle and turn some music on. Petra’s Thankful Heart cycles through on the playlist and I'm reminded to be thankful. What is a bit of email spam in the grand scheme of things?
The song is followed by Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, but hey, whatever.
Nothing gets rid of frustration like a good workout. And what's a good workout but some wood splitting. I go outside and split wood for about two hours. That's probably an additional week or ten days’ worth of wood. I like the secure feeling of having a lot of ready to burn wood on hand.
I grab a few things out of the root cellar. I take a bath. Wash my hair. Wash clothes.
I chill out for a while.
Six o'clock is weather time. 0.15 inches of precipitation. 1.8 inches on the snow-board. 24 inches on the ground.
Dinner comes right after the weather.
Michaela calls to tell me about having Shea, our niece, come out with our family for a boat cruise on Lake Ray Hubbard where Michaela works weekends. Shea told Michaela the highlight of the evening was being able to pilot the boat. Shea is three and a half.
I'm worn out. Nothing like high altitude and wood splitting to make a girl feel alive. And ready to collapse.
Caretaker’s Log, Sunday, January 18, 2015
I wake up groggy with sleep.
It's 30° out. So warm.
There are two moose in the far west pasture.
About a quarter inch of snow has fallen sometime between bedtime and now.
Surprisingly, I'm not as sore as I expected to be from wood splitting. Perhaps the muscle relaxation techniques I used--hot bath, Tiger’s balm, heat, and stretches--did the trick.
Random flurries spurt down. It might really snow some more.
It's Sunday, I water the plants.
After breakfast, my belly full of quinoa tortillas, black beans, eggs, and green salsa, I kick off my boots and stretch out on the couch. I read a bit. I gaze out the window at the millions of tiny snowflakes blowing past, at the clouds traveling over the treetops. I listen to music.
It's a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Eventually, I rouse myself and get to work. A book never wrote itself.
The wind passes over the open ground, squeezes through the tiny cracks in the living room windows, gathers voice like a benevolent lion. Snowdevils race across the pasture.
It's the perfect day for writing, windy and stormy out, cozy and warm within. I'm up to 9181 words. Time will tell if the story comes together or not. At least in this rendition my character is not constantly performing home repairs. That was exhausting.
I go out to get some fresh air and to bring in some wood. While I'm out I remember a video I saw the other day in which the speaker asked an adult when the last time he had stuck out his tongue to catch snowflakes was and the man couldn't remember.
I stick out my tongue to catch some snowflakes.
Around the corner, by the incinerator shed, I build a snow-skier since the snow is wet enough to be formable. A bit of carrot for the nose, dark embers for the eyes.
At four o'clock every day the cat expects me to refill her bowl whether or not it needs filling. Of course I do it. What she really wants is her afternoon ear scratching. I do that too.
I call Phinehas because it's Sunday. At six o'clock I ring off to record the weather. I eat a quick dinner and call him back.
I call Michaela and leave a message. It's one week until her adventure begins.
I write a little.
Michaela returns my call.
I work a little more.
The wind hasn't lost any of its voice.
I watch a show. Eat a whole bag, my third out of four, of barbecue potato chips. Totally worth living in the moment.
It was 30.00 degrees when I got up. It is 30.00 degrees when I head up to bed.