Saturday, April 4, 2015

Beavers and Ducks

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I’m a good deal sore from all my skiing and yesterday's spectacular fall. I get up a little later than I have been lately, stretching long and leisurely when I finally rise.

Coffee. Crossword.

It's snowing soft flurries. It's about 20° colder today—the high so far only up to 29.

I have bananas and tahini, cheese and crackers for breakfast. I read more of the Swedish series as I eat.

Later, I start the book that Loring brought me to read by Porgy's suggestion. It's about Robert Oppenheimer and the secret Los Alamos city. It's relevant to my own book which is based around the subsequent atomic testing of the 1950s.

I post a blog.

It's Wednesday so Michaela calls.

It's a lazy day. I go out to check the Hydro system. Things are still good. I have an apple for an afternoon snack.

At three o'clock, I go outside and check all the charges, the two batteries attached to the generators and the two spare ones. This is a monthly chore. They're all good.

I sit with the cat and watch the flurries fall and then disappear as the sky clears.

Then, unable to stand it any longer, I sweep and mop up the mud I've managed to track in over the past couple days because I haven't been taking my boots off right when I come inside. That done, I feel much better.

I have music on all day.

I read some more.

I eat an egg scramble with mushrooms, garlic, and potatoes topped with fresh avocado for dinner.

Just before seven o'clock, I go out and have my walk around with the cat. She runs ahead of me, excited to take our rounds. All is well in the dusk laden world.

I drink some of the airdropped wine as I sit down to write. I write. At one point, I get up and dance to a Karen Carpenter song and then to Ray Charles’ Hit the Road Jack.

I'm not in the mood to watch a show so I pour another glass of wine and sit on the couch and read more of 109 East Palace—the Los Alamos story. Then I start the tenth and last book in the Martin Beck series. All the while, music plays in the background.

Caretaker’s Log, Thursday, April 2, 2015

I get up at 7:30. Have my coffee and work a crossword before I call Karen at nine. It's the battery equalize day. She'll be on standby in case of any problems. I tell her I'm about to get started and we talk over a few other things while we have each other on the phone.

Out in the generator shed, I get the cells filled with distilled water in record time. Only twenty minutes. Then I start up the generator and the charge is begun. While I wait for it, I clean out the grease trap. Then I add CCLS to the septic system. Once the EQ charge is done then that'll be all the monthly chores completed.

I have the last of the granola and a banana for breakfast.

I think the red tail hawks are back in town. I might have seen an osprey earlier as well.

The EQ charge is done at 12:30. So much accomplished all before lunch. I eat an apple as a snack.

I put on my skis and start out across the field. It's been under freezing since yesterday. The snow is ice topped and slick. Not ideal conditions for skiing. I go for ten minutes and decide that's enough. I take off the skis and walk back to the lodge. It's safer and easier and quicker.

I read some of the Oppenheimer book. I read some of the Martin Beck story.

I have tuna for lunch.

I write.

I see two moose in the west field. They trot along, moving fast and then they vanish into the red willows.

I call my grandmother.

The cat and I do a walk around. The snow is good for walking so we take a tour along the fence line.

Back inside. I go up and take a bath with Epsom salts. Wash my hair.

Weather time.

I make kale salad with avocado for dinner.

I watch a couple shows. It's midnight before I go to bed. Way past my bedtime.

Caretaker’s Log, Friday, April 3, 2015

As a result of staying up too late and having dreams of staying over at someone's house who I’ve only met in real life once and trying to sort out situations with keys, I'm a bit groggy when I get up.

Karen had said Paul and Greg plan to airdrop me stuff today. I want to be up and ready when they fly over. Greg emails that they should be here between 9:30 and 10:00.

In the meantime, I have a cup of coffee, work the daily crossword puzzle, get the fire going—last night's low was a chilly 1.7 degrees, I check in at the generator shed, bring in wood for the day, and give the cat fresh water and more food.

Then the cat and I walk across the yard and go sit on the fence to wait. We're listening for the sound of a plane's engine. We wait. And wait. At 10:01 there is still no plane. A brace of ducks, thick and quacking, fly overhead. What is it about ducks that is just so funny?

A white bird with black wing tips (not the shoes) plummets and climbs through the open air, shrilling every now and again.

Two geese have their beaks under their wings, resting in the snow on the bank next to the river. They stay put. Maybe they regret leaving the south so soon.

10:23 AM. Still no plane. I wonder at what point do I worry. I go inside and check my email. Greg was written to say the plane wouldn’t start and they may try Mission Airdrop again in a few weeks. Although airdrops are always exciting, this might be better for me. For by that time all the fresh stuff Dave brought in will be gone.

Thus free from waiting, I eat breakfast, have a second cup of coffee, and read.

At one point, I looked up just in time to see a moose trot across the west field and disappear into the trees. A moment later and I would have missed the whole thing.

I write most of the early afternoon away.

I eat an apple.

Then I curl up on the couch with a book. I close my eyes for a bit.

After a while, I get up, put some music on, wipe up the mud someone keeps tracking inside because they won't take their boots off at the door, cut up a head of cauliflower, garlic, and mushrooms, and prepare some asparagus for dinner.

I call my grandmother.

I eat half my dinner and then go walk around. The cat is already out roaming. She joins me. I climb a fence but the cat doesn't follow. I glance back at her and she's frozen in place, tense. Suddenly, a large, dark thing darts out of the willows and down into the water, mouth full of reeds and brush. It’s the beaver. I'm probably more startled than it was. It looked a lot like an R.O.U.S.

It treads water and watches me. I curse myself for forgetting my camera and snap some photos of it with my phone. I watch it tread water and blink. It's got its eyes on me. Waiting to see what I will do. How much of a threat will I be? I go and get my camera, but by the time I'm back it's gone. The cat and I make a circuit. We see the harbinger of spring while we’re out. The cat would like to make a meal of it. She heads toward the fence and the robin flies away. I say goodnight to the cat and go inside.

I finish my dinner. Record the weather. Look through old pictures trying to clean some space off my phone.

Phinehas calls.

I do a bit more writing.

Intending to go to bed earlier, I have my glass of wine and read. No shows tonight. Then I run the water in the kitchen and bathroom as I do every night to keep the pipes from freezing. I head up to bed. At 11:15, the phone rings. By the time I get downstairs it’s stopped. I guess I have a cruel prank caller. I fall asleep at some point in time.

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