Now, where did I leave that?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Of Plans and Dreaming

This weekend was supposed to be about Spring: prepping a couple of the raised beds for cold frame planting, pruning the grapevines, starting arugula and mesclun seeds in a couple of big containers (recycling bee hive boxes, actually), and making a big sheet of felt for a  (secret) project Linda & I are working on (okay, that one isn't specifically about Spring).

Yeah, not so much. Snow (an unexpected 7"), working a half day Saturday (which I never ever have to do on a Saturday), our combined attention span of a crow on speed & subsequent excitement over a new project, an unexpected passing, and general lack of preparation waylaid almost all of that.

Friday night Linda went into the room where our two older cats hang out during the Winter months to feed Dottie, who gets daily medication and supplemental chicken, and discovered that Susie had died sometime that afternoon. We know it was afternoon, because Linda had spent time with her in the morning as she watered plants and such. It was a shock; Susie was almost 14, but had a clean bill of health from the vet just last month, despite being a very fat cat (she was on limited rations and a lower calorie food, but was still a very big cat). We suspect it was a heart attack. Susie was a funny, crotchety thing, who came to live with Linda when Linda's mom passed nine years ago. For years, when we said her name, Susie's response was a growl. But she amused us with her crankiness, and she thrived once we moved here. An indoor-only cat the first four years of her life, here she was the first one outside even when the weather was cold, and loved stalking about her queendom. She was the only cat who always came when called--without bribery!--and when she deigned to acknowledge us, it felt like a gift, like we'd achieved a certain worthiness. It was an unexpected and sad loss, which creates a need to readjust for Dottie so she doesn't become isolated. They weren't friends, and yet they kept each other company, two old ladies who were used to each other's quirks. Dottie will spend alot more time in the main part of the house now, with the rest of the crew.

Saturday afternoon, I decided to tackle the felt. Well, it's been quite awhile since I last did this kind of wet felting, and I was quite unprepared! I had to stop every few minutes to gather the suupplies, create the olive oil gel soap, remind myself of each step in the process. The final product was laid on the treadmill to dry away from Pip's claws(hey, at least this way the treadmill actually gets used!) many hours after beginning.

We realized that the snow wasn't conducive to prepping the raised beds Saturday, but planned on at least pruning the grapes and planting arugula & mesclun Sunday. Instead, we researched how to prune grapevines,  then grocery shopped, found a vanity & faucet and flooring for our planned bathroom remodel, wandering back and forth between Lowes and Home Depot, taking photos, looking at samples. Next thing we knew, it was 3:00 in the afternoon. We put away groceries, then were about to get back in the car to go buy the vanity since it's being discontinued, when a thought whispered in my ear. "Hey Linda, didn't we buy a vanity back when we first moved here for doing the upstairs bathroom remodel?" (aforementioned conversion from half to full bath never actually happened, and we've now changed direction and are opting out of that one in favor of doing it downstairs where all the plumbing already exists). "Ya know Ashling, I was thinking the same thing", my beloved replied. Up we trekked to the once-imagined bathroom that is now a storage room for....everything, including the clawfoot tub we bought at an antique store for that remodel. Much digging, tugging, craning, wrestling later, we did indeed find and haul out the vanity bought back in 2008. While not what I had in mind for the this particular reincarnation of the existing bathroom, one can't justify buying one vanity when another is ready & waiting to be called into service! So we have our vanity & sink, the tub, and have chosen our flooring (and in doing so discovered the person we were considering for the remodel left out some important info and won't be getting the job). We saved alot of money, discovered we can do alot of the remodel ourselves, and patted ourselves on the back(s).

No vines were pruned, no seeds planted (in fact I was a tad surprised...then not so surprised... to discover that the planters Linda offered for the greens in fact need to be assembled, which we didn't get to) projects completed. But we had fun planning and imagining, weighing options, designing, meandering. Well, perhaps seeds were planted, just not the kind in neat little packets. And so today I'm daydreaming....of Spring, of sunshine, green grass, tiny tree buds, seedlings; of Spring's purples and yellows, her sweet, heady scents and secrets unveiled daily. I'm dreaming of days spent working with Linda in the garden then soaking in our soon-to-be clawfoot tub, of dinners eaten together on the back porch as the sun sets. I'm dreaming of the new batches of maple syrup and first tender asparagus spears from the farm market, the  latter served with fresh eggs from our hens and fresh greens from our gardens. I'm dreaming of Sunday morning coffee sipped as we wait for the first hummingbird sighting of the year and talk and plan and dream some more.

What are your Spring dreams?

Friday, March 8, 2013


I'd taken today off as a personal day for a doctor appointment & errands, but it turns out we closed for the rather unexpected weather, so now it's a snow day. Yay! May not be able to get to the doctor appointment, but that's okay. The weekend forecast will have us in kissing distance of 50 degrees....this may make pruning the grape vines and prepping the raised beds a challenge, but it's so perfectly beautiful, I can't complain!