The floors were wood, no sign of linoleum or tiles.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The floors were wood, no sign of linoleum or tiles.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I didn't report this, but we had temperatures of 26 degrees some days, and all our snow was gone. But then on April 17, it was 19 C, and the next day it was .3 and snowing. It snowed for three days, and we accumulated more snow in those 3 days than we did all winter.
Today, spring is coming back, and again the snow is melting. I took this picture of a disgusted looking robin last Tuesday. He and his mate were sunning themselves in the morning, after having flown here from some less frigid clime for many days, to enjoy a day of balmy weather followed by a week or so of blizzards and frozen food. I notice there are a really high number of robins this year -- I see flocks of them now which I don't recall having seen before.
Speaking of flocks, this group of waxwings (there were almost 40 altogether) visited my crabapple tree yesterday. I apologize for the distant perspective, but I had some help from the mastiffs once I grabbed the camera and was only able to take the pic from inside the house.
In farm news, we have fixed the front waterer. I needed to get an appliance switch and a blockheater cord, and after some wiring and fiddling about with innards, the thing is working. Next up will be the waterer in the back, which is a more commercial cattle waterer -- most of the parts are available at the Co-op. But it needs some plumbing repairs and the whole element/heating/thermostat assembly will need replacing. Companies supply thermostats with these units, but after talking to farmers you find that they all disconnect the thermostat because it tends to corrode and fail, and instead hardwire the element to the electrical box. Because these units have a float mechanism to supply water instead of a pump, the heating element (which keeps all the plumbing from freezing) is just turned off at the breaker box when it's no longer winter. I guess these waterers are more popular where the weather is milder and the farmers are taken by surprise by frost.
If you are at all interested in birds or the non-human world, I recommend the book I'm reading: The Mind of the Raven. It depicts the fascinating lives of ravens, which are extremely intelligent creatures with complex social behaviours. More complex for example than a group of teenagers on a sofa playing xbox. I've always found the reluctance to believe that animals think both a blockheaded example of human arrogance and a lack of imagination. I remember first encountering that idea (that animals are incapable of thought or reason) in a philosophy class. But since these academic notions are usually hatched from detached observation, I would invite the philosophers to observe a group of people in a mall and ask them to prove the notion that mallgoers are capable of thought simply by observing their behavior. The chattering masses indeed. The missing ingredient in scientific observation, it seems to me, is empathy and imagination. If a scientist can't imagine that elephants communicate on a subsonic level, how can he or she hope even to observe that?
Next time you want to call your cat, look at him and say, "meeee" in a high voice. "Meeee" is a cat syllable that means "come here". It's always useful to know a foreign language.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
And finally, here is my new dressmaker's mannequin, straight from New York. Isn't the internet great, it can take you anywhere, even when it's foggy and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Read email. Surf and work on sweater.
Put on soothing music -- "The Scotch Humour" by Chatham Baroque. So far so good.
Let cats out. Let dogs out.
Fill dog bowls with water. Clean up drool mess after dogs take drink and walk around kitchen.
Post poem on blog for poetry month.
Get dressed, go outside and fill front waterer, back waterer. Feed chickens. Water chickens. Put escaped hen back in enclosure.
Get dog food ready. Let dogs out and in, same with cats.
Feed dogs, feed birds, feed fish.
Vacuum floor of dog cookie crumbs, dog hair, cat hair, feathers, dirt.
Clean kitchen. Do dishes. Put dishes away. Let cats out let cats in, open screen door window so cats can come and go.
Put escaped hen back in enclosure. Renail 3 boards in corral fence.
Collect empty feed bags and boxes and put in fire pit for disposal.
Close window. Let cats out. Let dogs out. Let cats in.
Put yarn collection in Ziploc bags, attempting to vacuum out air and zip up to save space.
Apparently burn out motor on Electrolux while performing above operation.
Go fetch spare vacuum from barn (Kenmore).
Plug it in, figure out how it works, use it on test areas of carpet.
Open it up to ensure bag is not full, find instead huge mouse nest composed of old bag and contents thereof. Set aside until I can go get Kenmore bags.
Go online to find reviews of vacuum cleaners in case I have to buy new one. Notice that "the Shopping Bags" have filed reviews of Vacuums under V and also Vibrators. Read Vibrator review. Don't recall seeing that episode.
Water horses. Put escaped hen back in enclosure.
Read one chapter of “The Hand-Sculpted House”.
Round up Rustler (Rusty) for his ride with neighbour. Help neighbour saddle & bridle Rusty. Give Daytona compensatory treat.
Take dogs on hike.
Comeback, have coffee, let cats in.
Brush Rusty, water horses. Give horses sweet feed.
Move the Dally Llama out of front pasture where he was getting picked on by stud, to back pasture.
Collect eggs. Put escaped hen back in enclosure.
Get wood for stove. Fill front waterer again.
Light fire in stove. Make coffee. Write this note. Do more laundry. Notice strange sound coming from dryer, find that exhaust hose has become disconnected due to duct tape failure. Go to barn and fetch gear clamp and screwdriver and reattach exhaust hose to dryer.
Notice Electrolux is working again, must have been overheated.
Just as the Sun takes umbrage with the day
And falls toward her lover, Night, so I
Do fly to you. When occupations weigh
This soul with ritual earth, and enemies
Of flight predate with routine avarice
These errant wings until they seem too bound
And torn to rise above the artifice
Of crumbling ambition, I gather round
My thoughts of you like little stars and rise
Into the face of heaven. There I dream
Your luminous face, beautiful and wise
In constellations for the earth to see
And envy, that I possess with Night
All beauty on earth and all heaven's light.
Love Sonnet 11
If you would press your lips against my heart
Against the soft symmetry of time, if
You would caress it, your absent mouth part
Its rhythms into hours, and stretch the stiff
Monotony of days into nights deep
And yielding, if you would blow its glowing
Blood into ashes, into that thick sleep
Beyond desire and slow patient knowing
Of another, if you would save me from
My heart and the liquidity of time
Melting me away from you, I could summon
An infinity of mornings, long in
Love, a perpetual spring of desire
Between your flesh and my heart's liquid fire.
Copyright held by me.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
These fellows will be in for a shearing this year. These are just the boys (there are about 12 boys, and about 18 girls in total). I say about because I haven't counted the two geldings.