Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fat Cat & Late for Church

Since Christmas Eve, we have been attending the small Lutheran parish five miles down the road in the tiny village of Puposky. It has been probably 8 years or more since we've attended services anywhere, and we are truly enjoying having a church again.
We messed up today, though. Last week we misread the bulletin and showed up for church an hour and a half late today. The parking lot was empty. Next week is the late service, not this week. For the first time in my life I was more disappointed about missing the service than annoyed with the mix-up. It is a wonderful feeling to hunger for the Word of God. As substitution, we all read the suggested devotion and Bible passage for this second Sunday after Epiphany when we got back home. Now on with the day...
I intended to write something this morning about Kitty. The subject of my story seems to have gone muddled. But since I have her picture loaded, I will tell you a bit about our daily life.
Winter precipitates a love-hate relationship between Kitty and me. I am so allergic to her that even her presence fills me with dread. And yet I admire her sassy meanness and sense of entitlement. For being an 11 year old barn cat on a farm without a barn, she is remarkably svelte and agile. But she still holds a grudge against me after 10 years. You can see it in her eyes...
Kitty lived in the house the first three months after I adopted her. By January, when my youngest was four months, we realized he was deathly allergic to cats and we were faced with some intensive measures to make sure he could breathe. Kitty had to go. She was unceremoniously booted outdoors in January of that year. She had a heavy coat and shelter outside so we knew she would be fine. But she clawed our window screens to shreds in protest. I held firm, and after a few months, Leif and I could breathe again.
Kitty moved with us when we built the new house. She has trained all three dogs to respect cats. One step out of line and they get a swipe across the nose. She leaves her headless prey on our doorstep, and eats my anise hyssop right down to a stub. She tolerates the boys, and adores Clancy. She glares at me, I glare at her. She rubs against my leg, fully aware that I have to boil clothing that comes in contact with her.
And come the bitter days of January, she exacts her revenge...I am filled with remorse for her outdoor status and I will let her in -just for a few minutes- to warm up on our heated floors. Quite sure she has been usurped from her rightful reign of the house, it seems she never leaves. Every time I let one of the dogs out or in, she slips in as well. Once in, she demands her food and hot water, then slides into a closet to sleep it all off. As she very well knows, I easily forget she's in, and so she goes hours undetected. At long last she might decide to shift her weight a bit and the dogs attack at full speed the mystery noise by the back door-only to get swatted on the nose if they realize too late it is she that was sauntering unannounced across the floor. If Clancy or the twins are around, they will boot her out for me. Or else I have to put on Clancy's gloves to heft her out. Insulted, but not daunted, she gives me a dirty look over her shoulder, and slinks off around the corner to await the next time a hapless dog rushes through the door. Inspite of my medical needs, Kitty always seems to get her way.
I know I am fighting a loosing battle with Fat Cat. By summer, long after Kitty has been thrown out for good, I will get around to cleaning the closets. I will realize too late what has given me the horrendous allergy attack.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pretty Anna

Bramble Anna Belle just keeps getting closer and closer to my heart. She and her best friend, Rachel, please me more and more every time I think of them. Even though I have my wishes, I don't care what color or sex of lambs they give me because I know I will like them.
I took this picture a few days ago, before the frigid temperatures moved into the area. We are all just trying to stay warm. The ewes are getting some corn/molasses once a day to keep their calories up. They are frost covered but active. The younger ewes like to pogo hop around the pen each evening. Unicorn has been leaping straight up in the air every time I go out to feed. (It's hilarious how something so big can still leap like a lamb!) I figure if they can goof off that much at -35 degrees windchill , they must be fine.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Last night, as I was hauling water to the sheep, a sudden golden light set everything aglow. It was just like magic. Since I haven't posted for a while, I wanted to run to the house to get the camera. But I was almost to the ram pen with the buckets so I just finished my chore. The stunning light had faded to a sorbet sunset by the time I got outside to take a picture. And the photos, of course, don't really do the clouds and colors justice.
Sunsets are so lovely this time of year. I didn't understand the science that creates such beauty when I was really young. I believed God knew people would get sad in winter with only white and grey across the landscape. So he gave us raspberry sunsets and lemon-orange dawns. Even though I've learned that sunlight has to travel through a greater slice of atmosphere at this northern latitude in winter, and the long red/orange light wavelengths are less likely to scatter than the short blue light wave lengths, I don't think my original, innocent explanation is incompatible with science.