Thursday, December 11, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday morning the cat sounded like she was suffering from an asthma attack. I peeked into the dining room to see what was up. There she sat, on "her" chair by the window, wheezing over a wild rabbit who was daintily cleaning up spilt safflower seed on the other side of the pane. Poor Fern!

Since it was getting no action other than from rabbits, I moved the window feeder to the other side of the house where all the other bird feeders are, to see if anyone (anyone? anyone?) is brave enough to check it out. So far, still no takers.

The birds are not even too interested in all the straw I spread around the backyard Tuesday night. It was typical Indiana gray complete with drizzle, which was turning my churned up backyard into a mud pit. Betsy seems genetically incapable of avoiding mud, so in desperation I paid premium price for two bales of straw. I think I need two more, but at least now the meter readers and I can traverse the yard without turning our footwear into concrete boots.

Spreading the straw brought back memories of my previous life, living in the country and gardening and raising chickens, and an even earlier life of horse wrangling at a summer camp. Bales of straw still break apart in "books" and it still looks like spun gold scattered across the ground. I wore overalls and actually carried tools in those funny little pockets on the legs; the pocket of my hooded sweatshirt collected bits of chaff. Wednesday morning when the dog went out, the straw was stiff with frost under her feet.

I have a habit of "borrowing" photos I find on blogs, to use as wallpaper. Right now my PC at work displays a sheep under an apple tree on a New England hillside. That sheep makes me ache a bit for the country life I left behind, and I wonder if I will ever go back. Thanks, Sheep Gal.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying my home improvements more and more. Sometimes it's the little things, like the carriage lights outside the patio door that illuminate part of the backyard at night. Sometimes it's how pleasing the colors that my daughter picked are. Sometimes it's the security of a new roof, the comfort of a new furnace, the enormity of everything I have done over the past few years to make my house my own.

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