Caretaker’s Log, Monday, February 9, 2015
I lie in bed and watch the clouds scroll past through the skylights. Then I'm up. Chores are all done by 9:15.
A snowstorm passes over leaving new flakes to make new glitter, gems, fairy lights on the ground.
A moose is off in the back field eating reeds. Make that two moose. After a bit of munching, they gallop across the field and disappear into the trees.
The real storm arrives—I felt it coming in my joints.
I post a blog.
I make a spinach, potato, and egg scramble for brunch.
It snows gently. I have a feeling that I need to go outside and ski, but it's an obligation, not a true desire and I allow myself to be just where I am. Inside. Inactive. With my mind at work.
I read some more.
I eat my first can of pineapples. The whole can all at once. 4.5 servings at 70 calories per serving. I need all the calories I can get.
I watch the moose come out of the trees and head back to where they started from this morning. Back to the reeds.
The cat and I check the weather things.
I eat quinoa for dinner.
When I look at my calendar I’m reminded to do my last monthly chore. All it consists of is dumping half a cup of septic tank treatment into both toilets. Easy peasy. Now all the monthly chores for February are complete.
It's six weeks here today.
I watch a show.
I read for about 45 minutes. Then I head upstairs to bed.
Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I make granola while I do the morning chores. The phone rings. "Darwin Ranch, this is Amanda," I say as I normally do when I answer the phone. There's a long silence and then a man's voice. He says he thought he'd called a place that I don't quite catch the name of. I'm about to tell him he's got the wrong number when he says, "Maybe you can help me." It's someone from the veterans club or firefighters department or something like that asking for money for their money drive. I proceed to tell him I'm just the winter caretaker of a summer guest ranch located in an isolated spot. "You must really love that," he says. Maybe he can tell by my voice that I really do. In the course of the conversation, letting him know I can't reach a post office in order to mail a check, I tell him that I get snowmobiled in because it seems like bragging to tell him I came in by helicopter this year.
There are two moose in the northwest reeds.
Icicles hang from the eaves. I knock down the ones that drip onto the snow and make my path to the generator shed treacherous. Though I’ve redirected my path off the porch so that I don't have to slide on that ice anymore. It was a proactive step on my part to shovel a new path. I was very proud of myself.
Breakfast is granola.
I sweep the kitchen. Under the thick black mats in front of the stove and sink there's a fine layer of black dust and a good selection of my hair. This shedding happens wherever I am.
I go for a leisurely ski uphill. I'm not in any hurry. I'm just enjoying the day. Some scattered snowflakes fall. It's so peaceful. I've gotten nearly to the point at which I’ve arbitrarily selected to turn around when there's a sound like a clump of snow hitting snow or… a moose snorting?
Like an animal, I freeze and listen. Silence except for the creaking of the trees. When I start to move the sound comes again. Of course. It's hard to isolate it from my own noise to really know if it's a moose or not. It happens one more time. Okay moose, I hear you. I make it to my turnaround spot and then go back the way I came.
I take a bath. Wash my hair. Wash some clothes.
I talk to Grandmama.
I talk to my mom.
A wild, heavy snowstorm lets loose. It snows for a couple hours. 0.2 inches of snow on the snowboard.
The mama and baby moose are on the east side of the lodge now. They’re on the way to completing a good portion of a circle from the northwest reeds to the northeast. It's all connected by their tracks.
I make a tuna salad for dinner. I don't know when the last time I had tuna was. I speak a blessing into the air for the fish. Thank you, I'm sorry.
It's weather time.
I eat my dinner on crackers with Monterrey Jack cheese.
I write about the end of World War II, the physicists who Robert Oppenheimer said had known sin, and the fallout that covered the earth during the atomic bomb testing.
I watch a couple shows.
I read for a while in bed.
I go to sleep and have heavy dreams.
Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, February 11, 2015
The baby moose is in the front yard. I take pictures through the windows. The mama comes along the path I use every day to get to and from the generator shed. She steps along, inches away from the porch. I’m glad I was a little slow in getting outside this morning. That would have been a shocking trail encounter—for both of us.
I go out to give the cat her water and to make sure the bulk charge is running. The moose put distance between them and me. They head across the yard and out the front gate.
The cat wants to play. She’s showing off her clawing skills against the porch chairs and the porch boards. She swats at my gloved hand.
I ski for an hour. Twelve times up and down my bunny slope.
As I’m unclipping my skis I hear the high pitched whine of snowmachines. There are at least three of them. I sit in the porch chair whose snow has all melted off and the cat sits in my lap. We listen as the engines build and fade. The sun shines down on us all. I never see them.
I bring in some firewood.
I rinse off.
I eat a snack. Apples and tahini.
I finish reading Smilla’s Sense of Snow. It’s a good book.
I eat another snack. Mandarin oranges and pecans.
I open a new puzzle and separate out a handful of edge pieces from the pile.
The moose crosses the west field down in the creek’s groove. All I see is ears and the top of its back.
Weather time. Last night’s low was -2.
I make tuna again for dinner.
I call my grandmother.
I wash the day’s dishes. I let the breakfast dishes sit in the sink all day. Not my usual MO.
A bit more writing.