Friday, May 24, 2013

May in Photos

RIP little Schatzie, the ancient thorn in my side.  We had to have her euthanized at the beginning of March, and somehow I never found the words to tell the blogosphere.  Her health started to deteriorate rapidly, and rather than prolong the inevitable, we made the decision to end her life in a humane manner.  She lived with us for 8 years, and considering she was 20 when we adopted her, she lived a good, long life.  I always joked that I gave her palliative care for the last 8 years, but in truth, the last 3 were very demanding.  We miss the old girl, though.
Somehow, going from a dead cat to a turkey vulture seems morbid beyond belief.  These birds are so big, it's hard to comprehend.  When they circle the thermals, they are immense in the sky, and dwarf all other birds.  I've zoomed in here - the astute will notice the light standard in the bottom right of the photo looks like it's that close, but in reality it's over a kilometre away.
I waited and waited for my swallows to return this spring.  Maybe Cappie gracing the beams in the barn beside the house didn't look like the welcome committee they imagined, because for the first year in over a decade, we're swallow-less.  I'm really, really worried about this.  We've had a hard spring so far, with a really big frost about 10 days ago that annihilated the asparagus and grapes.  As it is, it's the end of May, and for the record, it was 8C this morning, and tonight, the wood stove is on.  Things don't bode well for the swallow population with conditions like that.
Tessie's quite the character.  The three cats have found their new places in the house sans Schatzie and Cooper.  I call the new dynamic "BobCat and his Harem".  The two girls provide Bob with just enough attention, and while the younger Capucine pounces on Tessie quite relentlessly some days, it's a very harmonious, easy-going sort of peace that reigns supreme.  Tessie's our sensitive, independent one.  Capucine's boisterous and pats me on the shoulder when she needs petting.  And BobCat's staked Cooper's spot on the bed, and most mornings, I wake up to both Bob and the Cappers, staring at me from the foot-end of the bed.
Spring sprang suddenly, and at some point in April, we traded winter boots for sandals.  We went from heating to using air-conditioning in the space of a week, but then things normalized.  The heavy frost mid-May even frost-bit the tender ash leaves that had just begun to sprout.  In 12 years here, it was the first time I can remember something like this happening.
Capucine is such a regal looking cat.  Her personality is larger than life, and she loves being petted and fawned over, but only on her terms.  She has so many little chirps and meows, and is very vocal.
It's hard to believe Tessie the scrawny stray became such a chunky girl.  She has the nicest, fluffiest fur I've ever seen on a cat.  It's funny how I'd never, ever had a tabby cat, and within a year, we find ourselves with two.
We've had a lot of rain in May.  For the first time in a long time, the field across from the house is planted with wheat.  I think it's been corn for the past 5 years, and if memory serves, it's been wheat only once in the last dozen.  It seems to be the flavour of the year, since most fields in our area were planted with wheat this spring.  The fields are now verdant and brimming with life.
Speaking of brimming with life, this was our tap water about a week ago.  The town even had the gall of putting a notice in our mail saying it was perfectly potable, but there were some "clarity issues".  You don't say?  I don't even want to shower with it, much less drink it.  Since then, the quality has improved, and hopefully with the added rain filling reservoirs and lakes and rivers, we won't encounter another 5 month-long boil water advisory like we had last year.

And that's May, in a nutshell.


Miriam said...

Wow, you were really socked with tragedy this spring, weren't you? I'm glad your home is still feeling full of animal love and company.

We had lots of strange weather at this end of the country, too - like you we went from winter grey and drizzle to summer heat and dryness in about 5.3 seconds. We have never had to irrigate in May before! It's back to normal now - just after I gave in and transplanted my cukes and melons early, of course!

Shim Farm said...

Yup, Miriam, it was really hard. Just the thought of putting Schatzie to sleep (I hate that euphemism, but there it is!) was really, really difficult. I didn't want to end up with an emergency euthanasia in the middle of the night and having to drive into Montreal, so we scheduled it, and while I don't have any regrets - since I do believe her time was up - it was really hard to do.

And then when Cooper died, well, that did me in. I seriously think that having to put him down (another crappy euphemism) would have been the end of me. He spared me that pain, and for that I need to be grateful. I just hoped we could have had a few more good years together. We miss him so much, we still have tears well up in our eyes and a lump in our throats thinking about him. I know there's another dog out there, waiting for us, but we need to give it some more time.

Man. It is SO cold outside, it's unreal. I just came back from the woodshed to discover there is no more split wood! Eric saves all the big back-breaker logs for when he's in the mood, and that's all there's left. (Whodathunk we'd be heating at the end of May, anyhow?) But I made-do by cutting some left-over construction wood with our handy little Dewalt circular saw, so all's good. Tessie is already lying on the hearth rug, toasting her rotund little belly, all four legs sticking out in the air.

Hahaha, nothing like transplanting too early to change the weather. I always joke I can end a dry-spell by washing windows, each and every time LOL! This must be all my fault!

Oh well. I've got a banana cake heading into the oven, so it's not all bad. I'll hunker down beside the wood-stove with the cats and knit a bit. There are worse places to be.

Robin said...

Oh no, not Schatzie too. What a tough past month or so for you. I'm glad to see you put up another post as I had been worried about how you were doing.

We had a fire for a couple of days this past week too. I couldn't believe it as I thought we were done with the firewood thing until fall. The weather has been so odd this spring.

Shim Farm said...

Hi Robin, yes, it's been a depressing spring, pet-wise, after a really depressing hard winter. The house feels strangely quiet now. In the morning, all three cats go outside for their rounds, and the silence is deafening. It's such a weird feeling.

I knew I'd miss Cooper, just didn't realize I'd miss him this much. In fact, there are days where I can't even begin to fathom that he's gone, but of course he is. Both of us see and hear him everywhere. It's amazing just how many cruel tricks the mind can play!

Ugh, our weather - it rained all night, it's going to rain all day, but some areas closer to Quebec City received 4" of snow overnight, so I'm not complaining about the rain. But things are positively verdant outside, our little pines and the cedar hedge are so green it looks like we live in a rainforest. I'll get worried when moss starts to grow...

Hope everyone at Farm Folly is doing well. I was thinking about you and drywall yesterday LOL, wondering how your renovations are coming along? Eric starts 3 weeks of vacation tomorrow, and hopefully, he can get some stuff accomplished during that time. I'll keep you posted LOL!

Take it easy!

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