Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Cat Days of Spring

Caretaker’s Log, Saturday, June 6, 2015

I'm awoken from a deep, dreaming sleep by a door slamming. For moment I forget there are people here. Then I'm aware, I'm truly awake. I reach over and glance at my clock. It’s 7:00 AM. I go downstairs.

Porgy has coffee going. Gerry has made toast for his own breakfast. He's trying to get out first thing. I make steel cut oats with fruit and syrup and set the table. Laura comes in. We eat breakfast.

Arnie arrives just as I'm finishing the dishes. He gets to work staining the lodge.

Gerry leaves. I'm not sad to see him go.

Laura, Porgy, and I go up to the Wild Hydro’s dam and clean out the silk in the intake pond. That task is much quicker with three people going at it. Back at the ranch, Laura flushes out the Wild’s pipe and I restart the Hydro.

I see the cat skulking up a hill. I go call for her and she comes trotting over. We hang out near the barn for a while.

I put out lunch things, make some soup, scramble eggs for myself, and then call everyone in for lunch. We eat. I clean up the dishes. Then I have time to post a blog.

A rain storm passes over. Arnie hopes it goes by quickly. He can't get much done in the rain.

Porgy leaves around four o'clock. I bake a batch of cookies, use up the last of the coconut flour. The cookies come out perfectly. Maybe the humidity in the air helped. The previous batches have been a lot more crumbly.

As an aperitif I have the last of the rum with orange juice. I make tuna for my own dinner. I record the weather. 0.03 inches of rain. Arnie says he wants to work until dark but for Laura and me to go ahead and eat without him. I go out and stand by the fence near the barn waiting for Laura to tell her I can set out dinner if she wants. Laura is ready for dinner. She's been working hard all day cleaning, burning burn piles, mucking dams, etc…

The cat comes running down the hill when she sees me there waiting by the fence. She's meowing the story of her day and I spend a moment with her and then go inside to get Laura's dinner. Over dinner, Laura and I eat and talk. I feel like I'm blabbering. It feels like a lot of conversation. Afterwards, Laura tries to make some phone calls and I leave her to it and go out and sit near the barn with the cat. It's raining. Harder now. When I see Arnie has gone in I tell the cat I’ll see her later and go to get him his dinner. The cat follows me back to the lodge and sits with a somewhat sad expression on her face when I leave her there alone.

Arnie makes some business calls trying to get a crew out to finish the work.

The cat seems sad that I've moved her food dish to the barn. She looks through the window from the table in the covered porch and then she's gone.

Arnie eats. I keep him company. Then I clean up the dishes. It's easy to do with only three people.

I take a glass of wine upstairs. Work a crossword. Catch up the day’s events in my notebook. Read for a little bit.

Caretaker’s Log, Sunday, June 7, 2015

I'm downstairs at some point fairly early. I start breakfast things. Scrambled eggs, fruit, yogurt, bread. Arnie is already working. Laura probably is too.

It's Sunday so I water the plants.

After breakfast, I clean up the dishes.

I go outside and the cat comes running my way. She's meowing with a frantic tone in her voice. I sit and pet her for a while. Then she jumps up and I go with her into the barn and see she is almost out of food. That was reason for panic. I fill up her dish and she, purring, eats.

Laura and I clean the chimney. It’s slightly easier with two people. When we’ve run the brush through the chimney three times I clean up all the soot and get the living room back in order.

I wash some laundry in the washing machine which is now hooked up.

I make quesadillas for lunch. Laura is always so appreciative. Arnie comes in to eat when he gets to good break point in his work. He's trying to get as much done as possible. He also wants to leave by 4:00 PM. He has another job to do the evening. He’s also always appreciative.

I take the laundry from the washing machine and hang it on the line outside of Willow cabin. The mosquitoes have started to come out. This place is definitely much better in the winter time.

Arnie leaves about six o'clock.

I call Grandmama.

I change the sheets on my bed. I hear a voice calling for me and I go to the top of the stairs. It's Arnie. A tree has fallen across the road and we go out and try to get a chainsaw going. With no luck. He decides to try and use a pulling system with his truck. It must work, he doesn't return.

Laura has gone up to the dam to check on things. She says she'll get her own dinner when she gets back.

I record the weather. The cat is waiting on the porch for me when I come around with the precipitation bucket. I sit with her until the mosquitoes get too fresh.

I make tuna for dinner. Porgy calls to check in and say that Kathy is concerned that the stain will be too orange. He asks me to send her some pictures. I finish my dinner. Then the cat and I walk around and take pictures to send to Kathy. Laura comes back. Three deer cross the road and go up the hill toward Industrial Park. I email the pictures to Kathy.

A bunch of workers may come tomorrow. Or they may not. I’ll be glad when my cooking for crews days are over.

I take a bath and wash my hair. I watch a show. Drink a glass of wine. It's past 10:00 PM. Late. Time to sleep.

Caretaker’s Log, Monday, June 8, 2015

It's a quieter day. Just Laura and me. I don't get out of bed until eight o'clock. Laura makes her own breakfast. I make coffee and then make my own breakfast.

I see the cat at some point. The mosquitoes have arrived in force. Being outside is less pleasant with them and their shrill whine a constant sound in my ear.

Arnie calls. He's bringing a crew of six guys tomorrow. With that warning, I take out a pile of food from the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw.

Then I drive the blue suburban down from Industrial Park and park it in front of the barn. I bring around a shop vac and some cleaning supplies and clean it out. It'll be the vehicle I take myself in to the other ranch.

In the afternoon, I do some laundry. I start to pack up my things. I'm set to leave on Thursday.

Laura gets her own lunch. I have a fruit snack.

The day gets away. Peaceful. Nice. Productive.

The cat and I take a walk to the root cellar. Back in the kitchen, I make two loaves of banana bread. I eat tuna for dinner. Laura eats some leftovers. I offer to make her something fresh, but she's okay with fending for herself, using up what is there.

After dinner and the cleanup, I take my computer upstairs and watch a show. It's 10:30. Time for bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

I didn't take a single picture with my camera all day.

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