Thursday, April 26, 2007

In Vermont

I've arrived! WF is back home, holding down the fort, serving a meowing Bill. A quick jaunt to the library after a couple days of intent exploration. Since travel is fairly rare for me these days, I make sure to run around as much as possible when I do get out and about. I love this bus idea: imagine, a polite guy with a really big vehicle pulls up just for me, on time, greets me and provides a nice place to sit down, all for $1.25? I was the only airport bus user, and when I found myself in a suburb near here, no one had ANY idea about the bus schedule (why would they use THAT thing?). I don't use the bus back home because I live too far out, but WF is a devoted user while in town (doing errands while I'm at work). Very nice.

OK, less words, more details: Drank carbonated Maple Sap for my co-op dinner at the City Market. Mmmmm! Actually quite a good marketing idea; much less energy required than boiling down the sap to make syrup. Was tasty.

Got over the Purple Shutter Herbal shop, noted this essential item on the shelf. Ha!
Ooops, library closing. I'm off! Be well, more next week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Burlington Bound

Eeek! I am leaving for Vermont very early tomorrow morning, hoping for a good little writing/soul connection retreat. (I know, that may sound cheesy and perhaps flaunting my single, no kids freedom to just GO on my own if I want, at least for a short trip! I feel appropriately sheepish, somehow.) I do hope the relaxing and productive soul-searching starts after I get there, because there's still plenty of stress/distraction here!

Working late, unfavorite work projects going haywire right before I'm to be gone, WF and I grumped at each other because I was late leaving work (we carpool, something that I believe in greatly in theory, but in practice sometimes is a pain in the backside), cats still causing me to fret a bit, and now the place I'm staying (a fairly informal homestay kind of thing) just called looking for me... I got the dates wrong on our informal email reservation thingee. Eeeek, again! I'm still tempted to spend more time on the computer looking up bus schedules and addresses of interesting places, but it's nearly TIME TO GO!

Deep breath. Perhaps some Rescue Remedy (tried it for the first time myself last night: I think it works!) Wishes for better vibes for the rest of this experience... So I guess I should get off the computer and start packing, right? Right.

I'll check back in next week. I have a feeling spring here will take a bit leap ahead while I'm gone: update when I get back! WF will hold down the fort, armed with some exacting Bill-cat care instructions. I'm crazy, but I mean well. Peace and good spring wishes!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Spring is springing

A few signs that spring is FINALLY coming to our neck of the woods:

Lake Superior is MOSTLY free of ice: I took this video at the beginning of the month. The water is moving again, a big difference from our skating adventures of just a couple months ago. The "dark eyelid of doom" is just my camera showing it's age: the lens flappy things (technical term, y'know) don't always open all the way anymore.

The largest GREEN thing in our yard so far: Rhubarb. The cage is to prevent complete destruction by chicken; they love the stuff. I don't think it's good for them, so spend most of the summer fretting about them picking at the enormous plant that will rise from these sprouts.

I've heard mixed reports about the nutritional benefit of Rhubarb, but it's definitely a prolific "fruit" in this part of the country. Perennial dessert source: gotta love it.

But the chickens are finding a bit of approved greenery: grass! Peck snap, peck snap!

Maybe more movies soon...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Natural Cat Care

OK. I really don’t intend to make this a cat (or political) blog, but here goes anyway: Bill-cat had a bad weekend last week, so I returned to consulting “The New Natural Cat” by Anitra Frazier. Bill’s feeling better, perhaps thanks to a whole array of remedies described in that book. WF thinks I’m a bit over the top, but Bill still seems to enjoy life, and I wanted to help him out. It’s great to see him eating and acting like himself again.

I DO think that perhaps I’m skirting that line into “crazy cat lady” but I’m trying to tell myself that this is useful learning for PEOPLE health, too. One of the things that worked well for Bill was Rescue Remedy (he was really agitated and expending calories he wasn’t taking in, poor guy). I’ve never even tried it on myself, but a friend swears by it for herself and her cats. And really, if it works for a CAT (can’t just be in HIS head, eh?) that bodes well for humans.

I’m also making kombu broth (easy to do, because we eat quite a bit of kelp around here: yum) and he loves that, too. Good minerals. Vitamin C for stress, and a lowered protein diet for the fading kidneys. I mix more canned pumpkin into his food for fiber. Tasty nutritional yeast makes him want to eat more. It’s empowering to remember and use these things, feeling our way along with these natural remedies. I’ve used some “modern” remedies for Bill as well, and need to figure out how far we’ll go with that. A hard decision.

I hate how I can’t just trust modern American doctors/vets to use a more holistic, nutritional approach for pets or people... everything they prescribe needs to be researched and taken with a grain of salt, knowing their typical perspective.

But for now, I’m back to some evening-weekend-busy-work-work, then off to Vermont next weekend for a short, cheap retreat. Anyone familiar with Burlington? I love planning trips, but haven’t had much time to breath lately. Deep breath, thinking positive germ-fighting thoughts. I've been around too many crowds this past couple weeks, the germs might be getting me. Off to bed!

Sad World

Ack, I’m still here, really. Just crazy-busy-swamped, mostly with work and some fretting about the cats. The world, of course, is crazy too. News from Virginia is very very sad, but it frustrates me how the media pounces upon “dramatic” death and ignores the “regular” variety like the all-too-frequent deaths in Iraq. Why is the flag at half-staff for those students and not for the Iraqi women and children who died in the markets this week? Sigh...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Celebrity Cat

I love this town. Yesterday, I was working/attending an event that includes thousands of people throughout many days.

The local semi-celebrity Weather Man was present, working a booth, and I stopped by to introduce myself and say hello. Recall that I do not own a TV. He and the well-connected WF are acquaintances from years back, but I’ve never met the guy.

In an area where the TV viewing audience is at 100,000 people plus and many other people were waiting for his autograph, what does Mr. Weatherman say to me?

He asked after the health of a certain Bill the Cat. (!!) Apparently Mr. Weatherman had been to our house about 9 years ago and met Bill.

Bill certainly IS a memorable kind of cat. Meow!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Oops. Have blog. Should write on blog. DO intend to write on blog. Must first do this work-work weekend thing, this evening thing, this reading thing, this cleaning thing, then more blog writing. Someday soon. Later.

For now: all still snow, not spring. Chickens fine. Cats fine. Work busy. House messy. Family fine. Global climate, economic and equal rights situation not fine, but what's new?

Carry on, really do intend to use this space more later, soon, somehow! Thanks for checking back. Peace!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring into... Snow!

Ah, spring. It’s the time to watch for returning birds and the first green things. It’s a time of warmer temperatures, of subtle changes. Why, it’s even time to get out the lawn furniture and enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck...

Just remember to wear your parka and snowpants.

Yesiree. That was our deck this evening. The weather is ahead of me this week; here’s a glimpse of the weekend’s ice:

And yet another one of today.

This shouldn’t surprise us TOO much- I can remember making a big snowman on May 10th about 10 years ago, and tucking yellow daffodil into the snowman’s scarf. But when we’re home tonight amidst lots of cancellations, etc again, it’s hard to believe winter’s back quite like THIS! WF reports that he measured 10 inches of snow in the yard; thank goodness for the trusty old ‘91 4WD Toyota station wagon; it helped us "plow" the driveway this evening even though the snow was as deep as the hood in some places.

This is NOT my favorite season in the North; all mud and fickleness. We’re running the generator right now, since the sun hasn’t been out since sometime last week. It’s the time that we get jealous of those further south, and annoyed that the popular media is all about flowers and planting and baby chicks right now. We MIGHT get some more baby chicks this spring, but I hope the hens hold off on the broodiness until we get some REAL spring. WF has gotten around to starting a few seeds indoors for the garden, but my mind hasn’t quite switchedover to the spring/summer mode yet. Maybe I’ll go do some snow shoeing, a fine April activity in Minnesota.