It has begun…
If you look way past the beloved laundry line, you can see a little tractor in the distance, making its way to and fro as it finally digs the ground up in preparation for planting. All this with the belief that the weather has turned the corner on to Spring Lane. I’m not convinced. Winter Way doesn’t seem so long ago!
Crap. He appears to be done for the day, and that only means that I must retreat inside and start dinner. And I was having so much fun watching him do the dirty work. (But hey man, I did plant my herb garden while he was hot-dogging it on a north-south axis.)
So I guess that’s it for Action Figure Pete today. Oh but he did get some lawn mowing in just before a thunderstorm threatened the perimeter. So that goes to show you that Action Figure Pete rarely rests during the Spring season.
I didn’t let her in to our house with the intent that she would catch mice. But when Gray Ghost the stray cat came in from the cold, I couldn’t help but see the possibilities. Mouse-Catcher Extraordinaire. She has the claws and the gumption. We have the shelter and a prime mouse location. It seemed like a win-win situation all around. And indeed, she did catch a mouse in the house shortly after she moved in. (And in fact munched on her late night snack while we tried to sleep. That’s kind of gross, but let’s face it, there’s lots of gross around here. I’ll have to do a manure post some time to prove it.) Anyway, it appears that Ghost felt she fulfilled her duties after catching that one mouse. Because now, she does a lot of this:
Which is okay, and looks downright relaxing. But Ghost, there’s a mouse on the loose! Case in point; I opened the drawer in my sewing alcove to reach for a brand new spool of thread…only to discover that the bulk of it was one knotty-looking ball of a mess. What!? How did that happen? So I opened another drawer, and found more knotty-looking balls of a mess. Mice. Mousies. Mommy-Mousies feathering their nest with MY thread. And where was the cat during all this mousiness?
Oh yeah, I know. Resting. On Bowzer’s bed. Cat, I’m going to have to lay down the law here. You’ve got a one-mouse-a-month contract. So you better put on your fierce face and bare your one fang. (She has one fang, did I tell you that already? It’s quite cute actually.) So don’t look at me like that…I know you can do it. And I know you can read this. I know you go on my computer at night because you have opposable thumbs and tap away cruising through all your WebCat sites. No wonder you’re so tired during the day. Oh, and one other thing…get off the kitchen counter!! (post script: love you cat, just as you are)
Apparently we’re having a little Spring delay here in Wisconsin. It’s mid-April and I’m still seeing snowflakes and wearing my dumb bubble jacket. I thought that jacket would be looking at the inside of a closet by now but instead it’s still reporting for winter apparel duty. I’m tired of it. And it’s probably sick of me. We did have one almost Spring-like day last Saturday. I took advantage of it by dragging fallen limbs to my newly-established stick pile by the driveway. I even got Stage 1 of my herb garden expansion plans completed. And….opened the outer door to the Milkhouse Studio for the first time since Autumn.
This was no easy feat as there was still a chunk of ice impeding the smooth sliding action of the door. So I did what any other polite farm lady would do; I took a hefty metal farm tool and started wacking away at the ice accompanied with a few choice words, none being Please or Thank You. But I was able to get the door somewhat opened and I stepped inside to survey the melting ice. Yep, things are loosening up in there. No more ice-fishing in the milkhouse this season.
It looks like Accuweather is telling me that we’re in for more gloomy, cloudy, rainy, cold weather through April 30th. So any time that the sun manages to get a grip on things here, I better run outside naked while I can. Oh wait, did I say that? I meant without Bubble Jacket. Sheesh, gotta keep things PG around here. But if this gloomy weather hangs on for longer than 2 weeks, I may very well be running around crazy-naked-screaming anyway. No I won’t. I don’t like being cold. Still PG.
Oh, during one of our brief spells of sun, I got a cryptic call at work from Pete. “There’s a chicken on the roof”. That is all he would say. I thought, “how do I decipher this?” Did one of his cousin’s wife’s chickens finally fly the coop, cross the road and end up on our roof? Is it dead? Is it alive? Or is there a more subtler meaning to the phrase, you know, like one of those trick spy phrases known only to those who have been briefed. I wasn’t briefed so I had to get through a whole day of work before coming home to find that there is a chicken on the roof:
Except that it is a rooster if you want to get technical about it. And it’s certainly not alive. And it’s on the roof of the garage. So naturally I got the Pete-lecture about how only the highest building on a farmstead gets a weather vane. And as the barn is the highest building here and already has its weather vane, this one plays second fiddle to the “real” one. So take that weather vane. But at least you’re up there pointing away, so please, please point us to some sun.
When I can see this shadow etched on the upstairs hall after I come home from work, I know the days are getting longer. This is my home version of Stonehenge. It may not be as accurate or as mysterious as the original, but I know that when I see it, it can only mean that the sun is dangling above the horizon just a bit longer each day. And that is a welcome relief. Warmer days are coming. And even though my car showed an outdoor temperature of 12 degrees this morning and then fell to 8 degrees within the half hour it took to get to work, I remain optimistic that the sun will warm our cold ground, the snow will melt and I might take off my stupid bubble jacket. And bubble vest. And giant space boots. You get the picture, I want Spring weather, and only the shadow knows.
March always gives me great hope that spring is just around the corner. It won’t be long now till we get a hint of warmer weather and less threatening snow storms. But being unruly, March won’t give us our spring without a fight. There’s still the threat of another storm system moving in, appropriately timed for the Monday morning commute. But as a precursor, let’s just call in the fog machine. And turn it on high. That’s what March did for us today. It gave us fog and lots of it for most of the day. I have to admit though, it was pretty cool. Fog makes everything a little surreal. (Just ask Stephen King, darn that Mist) Come to think of it, I did go to the grocery store in the fog. You would think that after having seen “The Mist” I should know better than to do that. Fortunately I got out alive and didn’t run into any tentacled creatures on the way home, but did see some beautiful forms take shape in the white landscape:
Why, even my beloved laundry line took part in a little Fog Drama.
Good for Laundry Line to take part in The March. Really though, I’m ready for the weather drama to die down a bit, and for the lion to turn to a lamb. Any day now. I’m waiting.
What do you do on a snowy, winter day after a slightly hair-raising commute home? Oh I know…poke around in the barn. I thought that perhaps I’d ski a bit, or just tromp around in the snow. But Pete suggested that I climb up the ladder into the hay loft. I’m not sure why he suggested that, but it didn’t seem like such a bad idea. In fact, there is something entrancing about that barn when I’m in there all alone. I suppose it feels like walking into a cathedral of sorts. I’m sure I’ve said that before. I’ll probably say it again at some point.
After a bit of stomping around and making the floor boards creak, I climbed back down the ladder into the lower level of the barn which is a little less cathedral-like, but no less fun in which to poke about. I mean there is stuff down there. Unknown stuff, old stuff, stuff that Pete has forgotten about. Stuff that requires a closer look:
And then there’s the stuff that makes your skin crawl:
And in my world of creepy-crawly, that would be spidery stuff. Now would be a good time to take a broom to all those cobwebs. Get that feed room cleaned up, get that door hung straight:
But I like a good challenge, so I’ll leave it for someone else!
(ha, just kidding, it’s on my invisible to-do list)
Whitewashed, glass-tiled, cool in the summer, cold in the winter. That is the milkhouse that has become my studio where I hope to get back to my basic roots of drawing, painting, and at some point, printmaking.
And just in case you think this is all about my artwork, I'll be posting about daily life on a small, working farm as well. And since I didn't grow up on a farm, and have no idea what to do in many cases, you may find a few amusing anecdotes as I grow accustomed to life here.
This will be an evolving, and in all probability, ever-changing site as I figure things out. So stick around and let's see what happens!