Friday, September 30, 2016

A nice morning walk

Last spring when I found out an occasional walk in the woods didn't hurt my knees too badly as long as I took my time, I intended to continue walking once or twice a week as long as I'm able.  
I forgot to factor in heat, humidity, and mosquitoes.  

This morning, though, was crisp and bright.  The grass glistened with dew, and there was a light breeze blowing that would likely keep mosquitoes from being a bother, so I went out.  I grabbed the walking stick I bought at a tractor show this summer, a jacket, and my camera and sauntered away from all connections with Internet and electronic gadgets.  

Cora's mom's two mares followed me closely at first.

They were really staying close, but got bored with the game before long.

I ventured out a few days ago, but the mosquitoes were so bad and the weeds were tall, so I didn't get far.  As you can see here, Cliff mowed the path for me since then.

Isn't it strange how some of the ugliest weeds have the prettiest blooms?

What's this in the middle of my walking path?  I'll never tell.

Did you ever feel as though you're being watched?

Looks like somebody has a plan for deer season.

When Cliff and I used to walk daily, Mama Kitty went with us.  Never underfoot, but she'd trail along at a distance in all seasons.  I was very pleased this morning to see that she hadn't forgotten.  She didn't go all the way with me, but I had her company for half the trip. 

I encountered no mosquitoes, but plenty of spiders had spun their webs all the way across the walking path.  I used my trusty walking stick to tear down the webs ahead of me.

Back at the house I had to pull a lot of stick-tights off my jeans below the knee due to one section of the trail not being mowed.

Which got me thinking about how some old folks used to call stick-tights "beggar lice", a most peculiar thing to call part of a plant.  

Peace. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

This blogging slowdown (and kitten cuteness)

I've thought about it a lot lately:  there are reasons why I don't blog as much these days.  

First of all, there's Facebook, which I've mentioned before.  It's so easy to make a picture album and share events there without spending a lot of time or thought. 

But a big factor in my blogging slowdown is this:  I don't do as many things as I used to.  When I first began, I had a horse and rode often.  Later we had the motorcycle, and that gave me stories.  There have always been the topics of gardening and canning, but I'm pretty sure my garden will only consist of a few tomatoes and peppers from now on, with maybe some experimental, novelty crop alongside them just for variety and adventure.

Remember when Cliff and I went for walks every day?  Not possible nowadays.  It's too painful for both of us.  Now that the hot days are over, I intend to mosey back to the woods at least once a week when the weather permits, just so I can stay in touch with nature.

I have lost a great deal of the enthusiasm (for anything) I used to have, and I really don't know what a person would need to do to recapture that.  

Am I unhappy?  No.  I still rejoice to see the sunrise.  I enjoy the changing seasons as much or more than in the past; it's easier to get through winter now, just because time goes so fast that it really doesn't matter how cold it is... it's spring almost before we can turn around.  

Probably our biggest joy, mine and Cliff's, is the little girl we babysit.  She's gone to Iowa for ten days or so, but I can guarantee you Cliff will daily be found looking through the pictures and videos we have taken of her since she was six weeks old.  We will discuss the cute, funny things she's said lately and talk about her intelligence.  By the time she is back with us a week from next Monday, we will hardly be able to contain our enthusiasm, knowing she is returning.  We might see her a day or two earlier than Monday, though.  Her Majesty often insists that her parents take her to see Donna and Cliff after she gets home from an extended absence.  They tell us that she chatters about us all the way home from Iowa.  Yes, we are still enthusiastic about that child.  I honestly don't know what we'd be doing with ourselves if she hadn't come into our lives.

I adopted two new barn kittens a couple of weeks ago, and I am enjoying them.  Cliff wasn't eager to bring more cats on the place, but Cora loves cats and kittens and he'll do almost anything for her.  Our two old cats aren't child-friendly.  Besides, Mama Kitty and Jake won't live forever, so I thought we needed to get replacements now.  I first shut the newcomers in the part of the barn where I used to milk cows, because I didn't want them running away.  Of course, that means they had to potty somewhere IN the barn, so you can imagine the smell they are causing.  After a couple of days I unblocked the entry hole where cats come and go.  They venture out at times, but that part of the barn is home to them.  It's where I feed them, after all.

Mama Kitty is just now starting to speak to me again.  She wasn't happy with the interlopers, and went on a hunger strike of sorts for awhile, just so she wouldn't have to share any space with them when she ate.  Big Jake, her son, at first refused to enter to the barn unless I was there with the kittens.  If one of them approached him, he laid back his ears, growled, hissed, and left.  
Here is Cora holding the kittens the first time she met them.


This was one of Titan's first meetings with Grady.  Now, Titan loves chasing the old cats because they run, so it is a game to him.  However, these kittens stand up to him and he isn't sure how to handle that, so he just stands on the alert, hoping they will run.  


I first gave this kitten the name "Pink", but Cora wanted it to be called Buttons, so that's his name.  He is a purring machine and would happily sit on a lap and be petted all day long.  Believe it or not, he is also the most ferocious of the two when it comes to a showdown.

These are low-resolution pictures taken with the iPad and downloaded from Facebook, but you get the idea.  At least I don't have to wait five minutes for each picture to load with low-res.  


  This was just taken a few minutes ago.  Both boys are eager eaters.  I give them some canned food once a day, but they're happy eating dry food.

The gray tom, Grady, (a name chosen by a good friend) has never purred as far as I know.  He's very tame but prefers not to be held and petted.  If I restrain him in my lap for long he will protest by meowing until I let him hop down.  He is the most playful of the two boys.  I took an old lawn chair to the barn to make it easier for me to enjoy my "kitten therapy".  It's great fun just to sit and watch these two chow hounds chasing and playing.

I will have them neutered when they are four months old.  I could do it earlier, but because of the pitfalls of being barn kittens (they could be stepped on by horses, run over by a car, or eaten by a coyote) I'll wait as long as possible so my money isn't wasted.  If something should happen to one or both of them, there are more where they came from.  I know this probably seems cold to my cat-loving friends, but things are different on the farm.  I don't want to say they are disposable, but I guess in a way they are.  

Peace.