November 10 – Yesterday was a great day to be outside working, but I hate to think of that big icy blast coming down here from Canada in a couple days! Sixty plus for a day or so, and then it’s time to stay inside and hope that we won’t have snow! As a kid who wanted to be out with the snowmen and sleds all day, I couldn’t quite understand why Mom and Pop went out only when they had to–to work, to the store, or to help my brothers break ice off the creek so they could fill up the buckets with water and pour it into the big copper boiler on the stove. Now, I understand!
But we have such different conditions from those my parents had in the winter. I really don’t have to go anywhere if the roads are icy or if the snow plow has filled our driveway once again. With plenty of food in the cupboards, many jars of home-canned food on the basement shelves and food in the two freezers, we don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store. And the laundry? I much prefer hanging the clothes out on the line, but during the wintery cold, the dryer is my friend! Back in the Pennsylvania winters, Mom hung the clothes on inside clothes lines, stretched from the corners of the various rooms. Oh, well, at least there was plenty of moisture given off to make up for the dry heat given off by the wood stove or the big “heater” as we called it, in the living room.
On Sunday, Dale worked at winterizing the chain saw, the weed eater, the push mower, and the riding mower, while I cut back the cone flowers in the back yard and on the front hill. Had to be careful that I didn’t slide down the hill, as the grass was pretty slick. I was afraid to push the full wheelbarrow back up to a level piece of lawn, too, for the same reason, so I pulled it up backwards, glancing over my shoulder now and again to make sure I was not going to trip over anything. We spent an hour or so raking up the lawn around the chestnut trees, mostly to get the burrs taken care of, so the ones still to fall out of the tree can be seen, and we won’t have to go rummaging through the leaves to find them. That new burning pile has grown very big already with all of the cutting and fall cleaning we’ve done lately.
Good to see about a dozen robins out in the back field. Guess they might have stopped for a bit before moving on south. We have a big family of blue jays, a number of goldfinches, and various kinds of woodpeckers. Dale also mentioned that he had seen a bluebird getting a drink from the big pan near the feeder.
Last year a cat lived in our barn, but we hardly ever saw it because of our dog. Although she was just trying to be friendly, the cat would have nothing to do with her. She could easily climb up to the barn roof and leave the dog standing on the floor, with no possibility of ever getting to her. I did get a couple pictures of her while she was climbing high up on the shed roof by the barn. But after that, we didn’t see her again, until a couple of days ago.
As we were getting ready to walk the trails in the pasture, a cat suddenly jumped out of the bird feeder box and inched her way near me, wanting to be friendly maybe, but not trusting humans. She walked slowly towards me, then scampered off again. She repeated this exercise time after time, until she finally let me touch her at bit, if not pet her. In case we didn’t see her again, I asked Dale to take a picture, but she was too scared to stay in one place for more than a few seconds. But two days later, she was in the feeder box again. Why? She had been eating a big pile of old cheese that Dale had tossed out, thinking a possum or coon might enjoy it. This time she came over to be touched and petted a bit, making little humming and purring sounds.
As we began walking, she stayed right with us until the corner of the field , then watched us continue on our way. I turned back towards her a couple times, calling, “Come on, Kitty. Come on for a walk,” but she just sat watching us. A bit later as we walked farther and farther from her, she jumped up and ran on those short legs as fast as she could. Well, guess what? She walked the trails for the entire mile before jumping up into the bird feeder box to see if there was anything tasty awaiting her. Bet that’s the first time she had walked the entire trail in three different pastures!
Today she was waiting in the garage, all ready to go to the chestnut trees to see what I would be doing. When Dale came out later, she even made friends with him and let him pet her repeatedly. When that job was finished, she scooted back to the bird box to see if some good angel had dumped more cheese into it. Well, not yet! But Dale asked me to get a big piece of cheese from his stash in the freezer, peeled off the rind, and put it out for the cat. Tonight he set out some dog food for her. Just a bit ago, he looked out the back kitchen window, then came in to announce, “Well, she’s out on the back steps!” Having lost our Dawg a couple months ago, we were not planning on having any more animal pets, but… – CHRIS