Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is It Over Yet?

Things sure have been mighty quiet at Shim Farm Central this month.  I had considered writing a post about snow shoveling, one of my prime occupations this month, or whining on about the weather, but we've "been there, done that" with a few posts too many already this year.   Still, I don't want to turn the calendar page over without commemorating February with one more post.
Today we woke up to more snow - really, what's new?  Snow.  That's what's new.  I'm not complaining, just stating the obvious with a tone of resignation (and slight despair) in my voice.  It did look glorious outside, the trees were all heavily snow-packed, and as an added bonus, it was hovering just around the freezing mark which is a nice change from -20C.  The power flickered on and off all evening the day before, but we didn't lose power, so there's that to be grateful for.

This has been a long, hard winter, and February is the jewel in the crown of the season.  Everyone's remarked on it, so it's not just a figment of my imagination.  Hopefully, spring is just around the corner because I'm about ready to crack at the seams.

I've played a rousing 2,540 games of Freecell this month, just the sort of repetitive crap my gray matter needs to keep firing during this time of year.  Of course, I could be doing infinitely more interesting things with my time, and although I'm already regretting the time wasted, I consider it therapy.  Yeah, therapy.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

(I did manage to get the ribber for my CSM up and running again, but that's another tome for another day).

I haven't taken a lot of photos this month, and they're prime blog fodder.  No photos - no posts.  But the other day, I snapped this one of Crappy Cappy and the Tessalator:
This is as close to a still-life as they come in our house.  Plywood floor.  Two cats.  A vacuum cleaner.  Tools.  Plus a suitcase.  That pretty much sums up our lives.  (And the green mallet?  Our favorite tool, bar none.  The base is stamped WOOD IS GOOD and that's all I'm gonna say about that).

Crappy Cappy (I really should stop calling her that, because she's anything but) is such a sweet, curious cat:

Just look at her.  You just want to take that fuzzy little face and squee-squee-squeeze it.  She's on the tiny side, so we're calling her a Vermont Coon Cat.  That's just like a Maine Coon cat, but half the size.  Bless that little Miss-Stripey-Pants, because she sure is a dear little cat.  Here she is gracing the drill press conveniently (not!) located in our living room.

Eric's still working on the proverbial missing link upstairs, namely the frame around the master-bedroom door, hence the tools on the living room floor.

Eric says he's going to make true on his threat to move the drill press upstairs.  That would mean we could theoretically finish the floor downstairs, even if the upstairs isn't quite done.  Actually, I'm not sure I'd qualify the status as "not quite done".  Let's just call it "construction rustic".  That's our decoration period, and we're probably stuck in it for the rest of our lives.
This is going to be the structure around the door frame upstairs.  I'm not even going to entertain the thought of nagging Eric to get the job done, because I of course have played exactly 2,540 games of Freecell this month.  Everyone's on the path of least resistance in February and collectively, we're no exception.

BobCat, for his part, has made a new enemy in the neighbourhood.  Some unfixed male cat keeps wandering around our farm, marking his territory.  Soon, very soon, our Havahart trap is going to be set up, and that tomcat is going to find himself at the vets for a quick snip-snip and that problem will be solved, too.

With the weather getting milder, Bob's main occupation is going in and out of the house so often I need to grease the hinges on the front door before they wear out.  The unfixed tomcat is not helping his case.

This is what the little bugger does when he wants to be let in, about 3 minutes after he's let out:
He puts his face in the window, and using his paws, swats at the front door.  With the melting snow, his wet paws make a "kwee-kwee-kwee" squeaking sound, alerting me to the fact he wants to be let in.  It's not at all irritating, no...not one...little...bit.

Upon coming in, he'll walk to his food dish, because his servant might have added a few kibble, and then about 27 seconds later, he'll go back to the front door and asked to be let out again.  Sometimes, though, he'll go to the front door, ask to be let out, but will then make a beeline for the patio door, which obviously annoys me to no end.  Or maybe it's Bob's way of telling me I need more exercise this time of year.  Thanks, I suppose.  Whoever said dogs have masters and cats have servants was very, very astute.

Bob's mellowing out though.  He still spends most nights on the bed hogging my hot-water bottle, and has only once woken me at 5AM  this winter, asking to be let out.  When he starts doing this on a regular basis, that's my cue to let Bob sleep in the barn at night.  This spring, we'll see what Bob likes better - the barn or a warm bed?

Right now, Bob's settled in on the back of the sofa, right behind my head.  His purring is non-stop and I'm grateful he seems to have settled down for the night.  Now I better go and fix him his hot-water bottle, and hopefully beat him at his own game.  If I make things perfect enough, he won't entertain the thought of going outside again tonight, and I'll enjoy a night of uninterrupted sleep.

And on that note, lest you fear I've completely lost my get-up-and-go, here's a February sunset for your viewing pleasure:
With a few hours left to go, I'm going to turn the calendar over to March, and rejoice like I've never rejoiced before.

Out, February, out!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snow Daze

Ahhh, yes.

It's mid-February, the most hap-hap-happiest time of the year.  I hope my facetiousness is shining through bright and clear.

(And I have no clue why I'm breaking into rhyme, but I'm blaming the weather for my insanity).

(And what, pray tell, is a street sign doing out in the middle of a field?  Why, it's a marker to indicate the snow mobile path).

We had another big dumping of snow last Friday.  It was tame compared to what most of the East Coast got, yet it was still a prohibitive amount even by our standards.  By this time, we have so much snow accumulation, we go outside with fists raised when it starts to snow, and yell, "Bring it on, bring it ON".

Talking to the elements is generally the first symptom of Cabin Fever.  It's all downhill from here, skis optional.

All joking aside, this winter feels interminable.  For the first time, we've actually uttered the words, "We should sell the farm, move some place warm, some place mild...temperate...sunny", as our voices trail off.

Believe me when I say I revel in the change of seasons.  I love spring, summer, fall...and...wait for it...winter.  But this year, we've had a prohibitively cold winter.  A snowy winter.  A windy winter.  This morning, it was -8C and it was RAINING - the kind of rain that hits your windshield and freezes instantly.  The only antidote is to crank your car heater full-bore, super-heating your car to ensure you can look out the windshield.  Of course, you're in your winter regalia:  a down coat, a sweater, a muffler wrapped three time around your neck, and a pair of shearling gloves.  You reach your destination stifled, over-heated and parched, silently cursing this infernal season.

Ahhh, winter.
The cats are fed-up.  The dog is depressed.  I'm suffering what I've termed BWS:  the dreaded Beached Whale Syndrome.  (I can safely diagnose Tessie with the same illness above).  I am in love with the sofa, the wood stove, and have been eating myself into a chocolate-induced stupor.  Next stop: scurvy.

I don't know what the antidote is.  Maybe it would be a week down south.  Maybe it would pass if I didn't have to leave the house until April.  I went out for a nice long walk with Cooper yesterday, about 6 kilometers over the fields.  It was beautiful outside, but when I got back, I felt like I'd over-done it.

This morning, even Cooper stood at the top of the stairs and let out a long, protracted high-pitched whine, the kind he makes when he's hurting.  I know just how he feels.  I felt the same way, buddy.

Ahhh, winter.
I'm going to take a cue from BobCat and Schatzie, and go find myself a warm sweater, a warm spot and a sunbeam, and roll with Mother Nature's punches.
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