Saturday, December 17, 2016


Okay, we've traded the wind and rain for freezing temperatures (it's 28 degrees this morning).  It's not unusual to find a mouse or mice in the feed bucket as I start barn chores, but they normally pop right out and go about their business with a full tummy.  Yesterday, however, the mouse in the bucket was barely moving, probably suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia.  I lifted him out by the tail, but the poor wee mite was too weak to walk, let alone run, and lay shivering on the stand.  Nothing for it but to hold him in my hand (which was none too warm, I fear) and wait until the shaking stopped.  I put him down by the entrance to a mouse house and sent him on his way with good wishes as he wobbled none too steady to what I hoped was the warmth and protection of family.  What a way to start the day.

It was grand to come back up from the barn and see smoke curling around the chimney, knowing I'd be walking into a warm house to thaw my frigid fingers.  Without the wind, Stove had decided to cooperate before I'd left.

Ralph has his own way of getting warm.  He torments Celeste, in this case, by slapping her face repeatedly until she's had enough and takes off running after him, followed by a wrestling match.  Her flicking tail is clearly saying, "One more time, big boy.  Do that just one more time and you've had it."  If these two were my Kids when younger, I'd soon be hearing, "He touched me, Mom!  He touched me for no good reason!"

I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen, a good place to be on a cold day.  Potato soup from the freezer made a most satisfying dinner.  The sun had come out, but sure didn't raise the temperature.  Bess and I went out at sundown and it was cold enough to make my eyes water.  Clouds over the Sierras say loud and clear that it's not yet over for them.  Those to the right are down toward Yosemite.  Neither Bessie nor I dawdled while putting the kids to bed, and she beat me to the door on the way back.

It was a good day.

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