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?


Akannie said...

What a wonderful post...and RIP Suzie. I always feel blessed when a pet dies a quick and peaceful death, and I always hope that I will get the same.

Spring thoughts are switling here too, as we've gone through the seed storage, discussed and ordered potatoes, and are awaiting the delivery. Planting those yummy fingerlings again...labor intensive as they are. lol

We are warming up and the grass is greening and the poor raggedy chickens are almost finished moulting. Speaking of them, I need to run out and find them some chickweed...

Love to you and Linda. And good luck on the remodel. I am always finding stuff that I bought for a purpose ...sometimes, alas, after the fact. lol

Our Neck of the Woods said...

I'm so sorry about Susie. All loss is hard, but such an unexpected loss like that is really tough.

Sorry the weekend didn't go as planned. Hopefully next weekend will be better :)

Mary said...

I'm sorry your cat is gone. It is hard to say goodbye when they've been part of our lives for so many years. It's good you had a project weekend to keep you busy. That snow will soon be gone and the garden will be all yours. Have a good day. Blessings...Mary

Jen said...

I love your description of the spring you are looking forward to, and I'm sorry about Susie.

Your story about the vanity made me laugh--that's exactly the kind of thing I do!

Willow said...

`Oh you definitely have me hankering for my garden and you just had to mention fresh asparagus ... back out to the market I go Lol

Raindrops and Daisies said...

Good Morning Ashling
and Greetings from Ireland

I just wanted to pop by and wish you
a very Happy St. Patrick's Day.

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!



so sorry about your loss..losing a pet for what ever the reason is painful and sad..Goddess bless you and your family

Linda said...

OH So sorry about Suzie... She had a wonderful life with you...My girl Hattie will be 19 in a couple of months but I see how she is slowing way down ..I only pray she goes quietly to sleep when the time comes....RIP Suzie... I am with you...I am waiting for the hummingbirds to arrive, warm air & greenery everywhere.....Your bath sounds similar to mine...we did alot ourselves too... saves alot of money but we had alot of fun we are tackling the downstairs one soon....Post pictures when you & Linda finish it.....I would love to see it...

Have a great week Ashling!!

Nancy J said...

Suzie would have known it was time, not wandering outside to find a shady hedge or tree far away, but in your home, with love already by her side that very morning, and indeed every day she lived with you, A blessed happy life, yes sadness, but joy that she was happy,loved and cherished with you both.Spring garden plans, wonderful.Hope the vanity lives up to its nanme!! Cheers from Jean.

Willow said...

Hi Ashling
Just popping in to wish you a wonderful Sunday Hope eveything is well with you the past few weeks and that you have just been busy in the garden, Have missed you.
Be Well