Friday, February 6, 2015

Grease, Electrolytes, and Snow

Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Up and at ‘em. After the regular morning chores, I undo the grease trap doors and clean out the gunk. It’s smelly. The goop is stored in plastic bottles, kept in the incinerator shed, and taken out and disposed of when the roads are drivable again.

It's snowing.

I check the charges on the generator batteries and the spare batteries. The charge analysis for the spare generator battery says, "Replace Battery" so I put the spare 12 volt battery in its place and set this one aside. That's two out of the four monthly chores done for February.

I eat eggs and potatoes for breakfast.

It's still snowing.

I post a blog.

I talk to my mom.

I make a joyous discovery! Karen did get me guacamole packs after all. I find them hidden under the bread and cheese in the storeroom freezer. There are also two giant bags of wild caught salmon fillets. It's like a present.

The snow comes down fast and steady. Millions upon millions of perfectly unique snowflakes.

I go walk around. Clean up the wood chips and dirt off the porch. Bring in some wood. Catch some snowflakes on my tongue.

It seems like I've been moving all day. I take twenty minutes and go sit on the porch to watch the snow come down. The cat, ever the opportunist, gets on my lap and cozies in. The snow falls silently. All I hear is the rumbling of the cat’s purr and the occasional drip of snow melt coming off the roof.

I make fake tacos to have for dinner.

I call Grandmama.

The snow is coming down in earnest. I sit at the table and watch it-- a giant snow globe through the window. It'll be dark soon.

I eat the fake tacos and use one of the individual-sized guacamole packs as a topping.

I finish reading White Oleander.

Michaela calls from the boat in the marina at Ixtapa. She’s living her dream, snorkeling, cavorting with dolphins, and getting stung by jellyfish. I’m here, in winter, in the wilderness, living one of mine.

I write for a bit.

I watch a show. Off to bed.

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It has snowed all night. There's an additional eleven inches of snow since I recorded yesterday's weather. The snow still falls.

The cat gets up to see me, has a bite to eat, drinks some water, and then curls up in her house and goes back to sleep.

I go out to take some pictures and my camera says Battery Exhausted--everything wants extra sleep today. Not me. I've got things to do.

I drink my coffee. Work a crossword. Eat breakfast. Talk to Karen who will be on call to troubleshoot for me while I do the battery equalize. I start the EQ charge. First, I fill all the battery cells with distilled water. This water mixes with the electrolytes so they don't freeze, equalizes the battery voltages between cells, and loosens the chemical bonds on the battery plates. I read that out of the manual.

Second, I start the generator and change the system program from invert to equalize.

Now all I have to do is wait. It takes two to three hours for the equalize charge to complete.

While it's going, I trudge around in the snow. It's fun this deep.

I sit with the cat.

I dig off the snow from the Wild Hydro pit. Just because. Just in case. It seems like the thing to do.

I clear the doorway and path into the generator shed.

I shovel the snow away from the incinerator shed door.

I shovel off a good bit of the snow from the porch. The cat is not impressed.

I brush the snow that's collected around the satellite on the roof.

That might be all I need or want to do.

The EQ charge is still running.

The snow still falls.

The EQ is completed. I put everything back the way it goes. I text Karen to say it’s done. That's three of the four monthly chores out of the way. The fourth one is the simplest.

I eat soup for lunch.

I've only seen one moose today.

I write.

Snow blows off the trees, dislodged by the wind like perfect smoke signals, but what their message is I have no clue.

Weather time. The snow count is less impressive than I thought it would be. The wind must have carried some away. Only 6.2 inches on the snowboard for today. 0.37 of an inch precipitation. 34 total inches on the ground.

I eat the leftover fake tacos.

I write. My character is on track to solving his mystery. Now I just have to figure out what that mystery is.

10:40 and the snow storm is over. The sky is clearing. The waning moon shrouded by thin clouds. Jupiter a bright, fine companion. I would have liked one more day of snow.

Caretaker’s Log, Thursday, February 5, 2015

The wind blows in from the north, dusting off the trees and carrying clouds of snow across the yard.

After having a week’s worth of specific chores to do, today seems undirected. At first.

I make some quinoa surpreeze. It'll be the only real batch. I just used my last zucchini. Though quinoa surpreeze was named surpreeze because it was originally a hodgepodge of whatever was around--always a surprise.

I make a spinach, zucchini, mushroom, potato, egg scramble for breakfast.

The cooking, the dicing, the cutting, the cleanup, the meditative nature of time in the kitchen is soothing. Now I can get on with the day.

It's 41° and rising. No snow today.

I write the afternoon away.

I always look out the windows when I go through the den, scanning the landscape, looking for movement, checking for wildlife. This time I see something. A dark thing—small, or at least smaller than a moose—slips down the bank toward the river. It’s disappeared by the time I’ve trained the binoculars to where it was. Possibly a beaver. I go outside, but there’s no vantage point high enough that I can get to quickly. And it’s too far and arduous a trek to get to that place by the bank. At least in time to catch a glimpse of the mystery thing. I’m sure I’ll see it again. Sometime. Probably.

The wind has been a dominant feature all day.

The cat and I check all the weather things. The wind and the warm weather have compacted and blown away four inches of snow.

I eat quinoa for dinner with one of the newfound packets of guacamole.

I write some more. Now is not the time to second guess the story. Just keep on writing. Things might be coming together. It’s too soon to tell.

The moon is being dramatic as it plans its rising. Foreshadowing with white against a scattered veil of clouds. Casting a silver lining over one dark, impressive blot in the sky. I watch the moon as it lifts its domed, bald head up over the mountains. Bright, two days short of full, eager to rule the night.

I open a box of Shiraz.

The evening slips through my fingers. Time for bed.


No comments:

Post a Comment