Mad Tortie Nap

I'm still using it!
I’m still using it!

If you look carefully, you can find a Mad Tortie under the lavender. No, she’s not dead. She’s just resting. Basking in the sunshine is heavy work, after all. Emphysema Joe is to the left, offscreen, humming a little Dead to keep her company while he tends the green. She doesn’t even twitch when Norbert yells at Moxie for digging in the compost. (“GET OUT OF THERE, YOU’LL CATCH A COLD!” “I AM THE SQUIWWEH WHO HAUNTH THE NIGHT, I HAVE ANTIBODIETH!” You can imagine.)

I may have, after taking this picture, crept up to make sure she was still breathing.

She was. She blinked at me, breathed a small kitty “leeme loooooone, Mum,” and went back to sleep.

I almost envy her.

Quiet Exuberance

budding

Spring has come early, indeed. They hyacinths are blooming, the crocuses have already sprung forth and begun to fade, daffodils are everywhere, and the few cherry trees that are usually the first of their kind to bloom have been joined by quite a few others. The snails have begun their slow munching march, and the garden teems with earthworms. I know most of the rest of the country is under ice right now, and I am very sorry for it. Soon, though, I think spring will spread.

This is, however, an amaryllis, given to me by a close friend. A little bit of spring brought inside, a quiet exuberance. Every time I see it, I smile, and take a deep breath.

Winter always comes, but so does spring.

Many Grief

ohai

Miss B: OHAI. WHERE YOU GO YOU LEFT YOU LEAVING?

Me: I just went downstairs to get–

Odd Trundles: WHERE YOU GO? YOU LEFT. FOREVER.

Me: We needed a can of–

Miss B: YOU GONE FOREVER. WE MANY GRIEF.

Me: Look, it was less than two minutes–

Odd Trundles: MANY GRIEF. MUCH EAT PAPER BAG.

Me: What?

Miss B: …HE DID IT.

Apparently, whenever I go downstairs to fetch a can of diced tomatoes, they think I’m never coming back and Odd Trundles decides he’d better get a head start on eating anything even remotely edible to prepare for the lean times ahead.

*headdesk*

Still Here

spring

A ramble in the park woods with B is pretty much always a good idea, no matter the season. It’s February, and yet spring has already blown in, somewhat lionlike. I keep telling the crocuses and hyacinths and cherry trees to be careful, but they know better than me, it appears.

They almost always do.

The rains are a little bit warmer now, and the earth is no longer resting. It’s teeming, and that subtle scent of small things waking up is everywhere outside. Sweet daphne and some heather are blooming, too early, and the few cherry trees putting out flowers are humming happily. I hope the mason bees wait for the apple trees at least, or the favas.

I was not quite surprised to see these vine-bushes leafing out already–they’re generally the first to test the wind, so to speak. They told me nothing can be put back in the bottle, that spring has arrived whether I want it to be cautious or not, and that they appreciate my concern but they’d be just fine.

Mouthy little things. They get a little sullen in high summer, but other than that, they’re more than happy to give advice. The firs and cedars are grumbling in their sleep, rising toward wakefulness–they generally wait until the deciduous ones have made a showing before they start rolling over and peering at the alarm clock, so to speak.

It’s here. It’s begun. Another rainy spring, and I am surprised to find myself still here. These fellows, though, don’t seem surprised at all. They greet me like an old friend, and there’s few things as comforting.

Growing Early

crocus

They’re coming up, gold and purple, everywhere I put bulbs in. I keep trying to tell them we may still have a cold snap, but they are optimistic. So are the daffodils; they are green swords ankle-high and stretching. Some favas have come up where the squirrels hid leftover beans from last year–I can almost forgive the fuzzy little bastards.

Almost.

The now there is rain on the roof, the street is a river, and I am certain every bulb below the surface is drinking deep and preparing to risk everything by growing early.

Seems like a dangerous spring has sprung.

Odd and B, B and Odd

B and Odd

Ever since he was a frail, sickly puppy, there have been some days when Odd Trundles cannot settle or sleep unless he is as close to Miss B as he can possibly get. We often (half)joke that she reminds him to breathe. When faced with something unfamiliar, Odd’s default is to hide between my ankles, but if for some reason that shelter is unavailable, his first instinct is to glance at Miss B for guidance.

Miss B was used for breeding too early in her life, and still has medical problems resulting from that. Additionally, if she can’t herd something, she’ll attempt to mother it. Really, it was a stroke of luck we came across Odd, because from the instant he showed up, she’s been ready to unceasingly guide, correct, boss, and direct him about. Odd, bless him, needs such constant supervision, and B’s need to supervise is large enough to cause problems if not properly directed.

Really, they were made for each other. It hurts my heart to think of the inevitable, but I know that if Odd ends his sojourn on earth first he’ll wait for her spirit to tell him what to do, and if B goes first, Odd will have someone waiting for him when he goes.

Such is love.

Bloodstone

bloodstone

Learning that high emotion can short out electrical equipment was an expensive lesson. Fortunately, chunks of bloodstone ameliorate the effect. This particular stone is courtesy of Dina James, my beloved Left Hoof of Darkness. It has its work cut out for it.

At least the light bulbs aren’t exploding anymore. That was always a bitch to clean up.