Friday, May 1, 2015

Frog Hunter

Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Maybe it’s the sunshine, maybe it's because it's my sister's birthday, but I'm in a good mood today. A singing out loud kind of good mood. I do all the usual morning things. I take my second cup of coffee to the porch and sit in the sun while the birds flit and perch and the ground squirrels carry on in their own way. The cat likes morning porch time.

I have scrambled eggs and potatoes and spinach for breakfast.

I leave a happy birthday message for my sister. I leave a voicemail message for my mom.

I go back outside. I read for a little while. When it's time, I reset the ah removed to zero then I go inside and post a blog.

I alternate my hours between the front porch, working the jigsaw puzzle, and talking on the phone.

I talk to Jesse. My grandmother. Michaela. My mom. Loring. He wants me to get some information off the Wild Hydro’s alternator. When I call him I say, "I have an embarrassing confession to make. I don't know what an alternator looks like." Before calling him I had tried to look online for pictures, but couldn't find anything definitive. He describes it and I'm all set.

I read some more.

I eat a head of cauliflower. I'm almost out of all the fresh food.

I take a walk along the river. There's a duck. Frogs fill the air with soft singing. I haven't heard that sound in so long.

I make quinoa for dinner.

I work more of the puzzle.

Phinehas calls.

I write some on the short story.

I work the puzzle until it’s past time to go to bed. Puzzle working can bring out my obsessive side.

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It's a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day. I get the inside things done so I can go out and take advantage of the morning light.

I look for and measure some things for Loring.
I sit on the porch with a cup of coffee.

Michaela calls while I'm making granola.

I go to the back storeroom to get some supplies and happen to look out the window just in time to see five bighorn sheep on the top of Sportsman's Ridge. If I'd come along a second later I would have missed them altogether. They've already vanished out of sight.

I make a double batch of granola.

I finish the jigsaw puzzle. There is one piece missing.

It's noon by the time I eat breakfast.

About two o'clock, I put my hiking boots on and go up the hill to the professor's cabin which he's named Toad Hall after Toad’s elaborate mansion in The Wind in the Willows.

On the way there, I see an osprey with a fish in its talons. I hear frogs. I see the swans, a whole gaggle of geese, two gaggles of geese, and a score of ducks.

I try to hunt the frogs down, but I can't see them in the marshes. I get close enough a couple times to make them stop chirping but I don't see them. I do see some tiny tiny little silver fish darting near the surface of the water.

After I've recrossed the field and the treacherous bridge I go up the main road to the first gate. A good part of it is clear and dry. Although there are a couple north facing sides still covered in slushy snow. Although there is plenty of mud.

I get back to the lodge and take a bath. Call Grandmama. Start some rice and salmon. Build the first fire of the day to beat out the chill in the room.

It's been in the 60s for most of the day.

I work on the short story. I watch a couple shows. Darkness is setting in later and later. It’s dark when I head upstairs to bed.

Caretaker’s Log, Thursday, April 30, 2015

It rains in the early morning. The drumming drops against the skylights awaken me, confuse me, and then I remember how rain sounds.

I must not have slept well. I'm groggy. One of those days when thoughts are easily distracted. I stand in front of the dish drain and stare at the dishes trying to remember what I was going to get. What I was going to do.

The light in the refrigerator flicks out when I open the door.

I finish the third Kurt Wallender book and then take the book loaned to me by Loring about wartime Los Alamos and the making of the atomic bomb to the front porch. The sun shifts behind a steady stream of clouds and eventually I go back inside.

I read for a while on the couch.

Then I can’t stand it anymore. I get to cleaning. I dust, vacuum, and mop the living room. I dust, sweep, vacuum, and mop the piano room. I sweep the stairs and the den and spot wipe the tracks of mud I’ve made. I clean out the mouse droppings in the back storage room. I sweep and mop the kitchen. Finally, I scour both bathrooms. It’s a nice feeling to have a clean place.

Kathy emails that the work crews may arrive as early as May 13th and as late as the 18th. She asks if I would be game to cook for them. Going from cooking for one to cooking for up to twelve people will be an adventure. I’m game.

I talk to my grandmother.

The sky clears to a sharp blue late in the afternoon. It’s a beautiful day. I get some walking in looking for bags of charcoal for Kathy.

I eat breakfast for dinner. Use up the last of the spinach.

I do the evening walk around with the cat. The morning’s rain left 0.03 inches of precipitation. The cat has been crazy all day. Running about, rolling in her favorite dirt patches, and darting in front of me with insane glee. You crazy cat.

I write. I think I’ve finished one of the three short stories I’ve been working on. It’s tricky to go from a novel to shorts—the pacing is so different. The endings are worlds apart.

I watch a couple shows. Drink my glass of wine. See the earth turn dark as night sets in.

The lodge is nice and clean.

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