Friday, February 27, 2015

Summer Plans in Winter

Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, February 24, 2015

After the morning chores, I put away the puzzles that have been on the table for so long now. I've got a short list of little tasks I want to do before I have guests next week. Things like taking out the trash, straightening up, cleaning out the fridge. Putting the puzzles away was on that list.

I post a blog.

After breakfast, I call my mom.

Then I gear up—though not as bundled as yesterday. It's 24 degrees when I head out. I ski across the pasture, up the dam road hill, past the gate, up to the broken tree, and up the hill that overlooks the area where the dam is. I catch my breath, admire the really awesome clouds, grasp the ski poles, and go. Down.

I blaze down the hill. Faster than fast. I wipe out spectacularly a few times. Twice my momentum carries me along in the down position until friction takes over and stops me. It’s thrilling. I am much more skilled at getting up after watching those videos the other night. I'm a tiny bit better at handling speed. I'm learning how to correct direction and keep my body forward.

I go all the way down. Across the pasture and up my bunny slope on the main road. Up and down twice and then I call it a day.

I sit with the cat.

I get cleaned up.

It's 36 degrees. Such a warm difference.

I call Grandmama.

I send out some emails.

It's not until I go out to do the walk around with the cat that I see a lone moose over on the far side of the Kinky Creek road bridge.

I write.

I finish reading The Princess Bride.

I make salmon, rice, and green beans for dinner. I do much better with the salmon this time.

I write about my character’s childhood.

I watch a show.

It's a warm night. The temperature has only dropped to 24 degrees. Practically summer.

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Each morning (if I'm lucky) begins with waking up. I'm lucky this morning and get up a little before eight o'clock.

It's a day to cross things off my To Do list. I bag up last month's folded laundry. It's been sitting on the kitchen counter for all of February. I collect the trash and take it to the incinerator shed. I burn the burnable trash. I take the laundry to the laundry room in Willow cabin. The linens will be washed at the beginning of the summer when all the water is turned back on. I don't have to do it by hand.

I clean out the refrigerator. I wipe the puzzle dust and fire ash and regular dust off the table. I fill up the diesel dust bucket. I bring in some wood.

I eat the last of the granola for breakfast.

The wind blows giant snow devils from field to field. Some snow sifts down from clouds that promise more than they give.

I make a double batch of granola.

The sky clears up. Another storm rolls by.

I clean up the granola dishes.

I make sauerkraut. I've been meaning to do this since I got here. There’s still more cabbage in the root cellar. I'll make more after I test this first batch.

I clean up the cabbage dishes.

I refill the jars in the kitchen; pecans, cashews, walnuts, raisins.

The cat has killed a bird. She's playing with it on her porch. Such joy for one, such sorrow for the other.

The sky clears. Another storm filters by. The sky clears again.

I try my hand at making spicy seasoned pecans. They're okay. Not as killer as the ones my dad's coworker makes.

Michaela calls. She says it's hot where she is—so hot. I can't even imagine that as I look out the window at the falling snow, look into the living room at the blazing fire.

It has snowed on and off all day long, but there is only a trace amount of accumulation on the snowboard and in the precipitation bucket.

I eat tuna for dinner. There is now really only one can left. A big can. But only one.

I download a couple of books from the library onto my reader.

I write.

I get an email from Porgy. Change of plans. The trip is canceled due to not having working snowmachines for the government men. Fortunately, I wasn't desperate for anything on my wish list so I don't think I'm disappointed.

Caretaker’s Log, Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm boiling water for coffee and running the kitchen water to make sure the pipes are clear when the phone rings. It's Jesse. We talk about summer plans and a possible fall trip.

My sauerkraut is looking very nice.

Karen has offered me a summer job working at the ranch near Cody. After reading what's involved, I accept.

I spend the morning and early afternoon sending queries to agents for my two books. Three queries for one. Two for the other. It's a surprisingly time-consuming thing to do.

There is one moose in the east reeds. There is at least one moose, possibly two (if those are ears I see), in the west reeds.

To clear my head, I put on my gear and go out for a ski. I’d just planned to go to the first gate, but it only takes me eleven minutes to get there. That's no time at all. I go all the way to the top property gate in a record time of thirty-three minutes. I'm back at the lodge in another twenty-two. It was a nice run all in all.

I take the dead bird and put it out in the snow behind the wood pile. It’s the best I can do for a burial. RIP, little bird. The cat comes along with me. I think she's really trying to tell me her food bowl is practically empty. Apparently she doesn't eat the little birds she kills. It’s not very circle of life, cat. I fill her dish when we get back.

Karen says I'm in for the summer job.

My grandmother calls. She's excited that I'll be a ranch hand. Jesse had told her about the job possibility.

I take a bath.

There’s one moose resting in the snow up on the southwest hill.

There's another moose munching reeds in the east.

Porgy emails to say the trip is (tentatively) back on for March 4th. I'm not holding my breath.

When I go get the precipitation bucket at the weather time I see a beaver in the river. I take the bucket inside, grab my camera, and go back out to get a picture. This is the closest a beaver has been this season. I want to see what my zoom will do. I can get it close enough to see icicles on the beaver's whiskers.

It's snowing.

For dinner I make a rice stir fry adding artichoke hearts and heart of palm.

I get a late start writing. In the midst of it all, I research how to detect bug listening devices. How to check for taps on phones and how to know if your car is being tracked. I finish up sometime after 9:00.

I watch a show.

I go up to bed.

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