Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, December 29, 2023


It's finally freezing overnight, which is helping with the mud. It's still too warm during the day but that ends this Sunday. If the weather took requests, I would ask it to stay in the twenties, please. No minus signs would be very nice. Thank you. Alas, it doesn't work this way.

I started listening to The Book Woman's Daughter, by Kim Michele Richardson yesterday. I listened to the first one, Book Woman, sometime this year. I liked it and so far I am liking this one. There are so many good books out there. Mark has been busy with end of the year tax projections for clients. Then he has an audit he has to get to, so no rest for him for awhile. I don't know what he would do if he didn't have his work and the physical labor of the farm, other than drive me out of my mind. He is not a relaxed person! There was a time I was always busy. I got over it.

My sciatic nerve has been angry for about a week. It is truly a pain. I am not in much of a mood, so it's good I have the digital library to keep me occupied. Dinner has been anything simple. I had leftover pork roast in the freezer that I cubed, put in gravy with broccoli and served with egg noodles. This was about as simple as it gets, other than food delivery, which we don't have access to. I have enough for two more meals. Hurrah!

 Happy Friday my friends. Two more days of 2023.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

It Was A Restful Day

Well, I made it though a very wet, dreary Christmas Day. It was peaceful and felt good to feel zero stress or pressure. I have an up-tightness that I have never been able to shake, so the simplest of things becomes a deal. Not yesterday. No big meal, just an easy shrimp scampi for dinner, soup for lunch. I watched a movie on Prime, listened to a book and overall chilled. It rained all day. Between Sunday and Monday, had it been snow, we'd have about 4 feet. Western Minnesota is being hammered by an ice storm. That is the absolute worst. We stay about freezing until Sunday. Hopefully all the standing water will go away before then. I did make an adjustment to my schedule in acknowledgment of the holiday by putting off Monday laundry till today. I am flexible.

This is about what it looks like for the week. We are edging toward winter.

Monday, December 25, 2023



Sunday, December 24, 2023

Cats and Other Things

I had a couple of days away from electronics, not with any thought to it, but because my brain was fogged up. I started to wonder about myself. I'm feeling cognitive at the moment. My brain was mimicking our weather....heavy fog.

So today is Christmas Eve but you wouldn't know it here. Not one thing Christmas. I just wasn't feeling it and with the plans cancelled I didn't need to think about it. The son did send me a text a couple of days ago telling me I was right, she's not ready. I'm sorry for her but glad I made the right decision.

So....more interesting topic; meet Blackie McCool. He is one of the four kitties born in the barn in 2015 to a stray kitten I didn't get spayed soon enough. There had been a handsome tuxedo fellow hanging out here for awhile and then, along came kittens. Mr. McCool took after pops. He's moved back in and stays inside much longer than Tabs Hunter, aka Crabby Tabby. He's a big, sweet boy. It's good to have him back in the house.

This finally happened on Thursday. The auger quit working at the end of last winter. Bill said he would look at it and finally did on Thursday. After much deliberation he accidentally pulled the auger out and then he put it back in. We think it had somehow slipped out of the arm that turns from the motor. It's working like a charm now. It makes a difference in that very hard to heat room.

I ordered a pair of glasses Friday and I should have them in seven to ten days. Maybe. Otherwise, nothing much happening. Our weather is not right. It will be in the upper 50s F today and tomorrow with rain. Really strange. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Blurry-Eyed Lady

I had an eye exam yesterday and it was about time. My glasses had broke so I was wearing a very old pair. Let's say I wasn't eagle-eyed in them. My distance vision has improved slightly and my eyes are in good health. Hurrah! I spent the rest of yesterday blurry-eyed from the drops. I was so dilated I could see only the iris. I had black eyes. Now I need to buy glasses. 

Otherwise, I'm still suffering the consequences of my over-zealous exercising. The PT told me not to exert myself too much and I didn't think I was. What I thought and what my body knew were very different things. Lesson learned, I'm in worse shape than I thought.

We are having strange weather. My app shows us in the 40s F into January. What? It's bizarre. It's more like October. I made chicken stock, I know..shocking, and will turn it into soup, I think with dumplings. They sound good to me. That's about it from here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


Hey, all. Nothing new here except I have changed our Christmas plans after giving it a lot of thought. My DIL's mother died in August. Her children absolutely adored her. They are still raw and grieving. I don't see the point of coming here to spend a couple of hours with us when it's probably the last thing she wants to do. There is no need for it. Matthew actually agreed with me. I said the middle of next month, far enough away from the holidays to let it just be brunch, celebrating my birthday a little late. There's enough stress, I don't need to add to it. And, it doesn't matter to me whether we see them at Christmas time or later. So...I took care of that yesterday. I don't know that I have ever uninvited anyone before. I could feel his relief. 

Otherwise, same old, same old. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Boy Kitties

Mirroring one another.

 Tabby left. Gatto right. As it should be. Gatto is always right.

Another mild day in December. I'm on recovery duty at the moment. I got carried away with an exercise to un-pinch the piriformis muscle. When that tiny little muscle gets pinched it makes life miserable. Now, not only is it bothering me, but my thigh muscles are on high alert. I just never learn. Moderation? Huh.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Got Some Gatto

This young rascal has been a member of the household for a year.

Last year it was about -20 F and the poor boy was freezing. Today is supposed to reach 49 F. It's really strange to be so warm in December. If it had been like this last year he wouldn't have asked to come in. He is, finally, settling down. He still has the crazies, but he is not so aggressive. I would put him between 1.5 and 2 years old. I cannot believe I am actually calling him a good boy!

Last evenings quick and flavorful dinner.

Sunday, December 10, 2023


The sum total of my day.

Saturday was a day of watching an old western, reading (listening) a book and baking a loaf of bread. Other than focaccia it's been since last spring that I made bread. It felt good to get my hands in dough. Now to get my hands on some dough......

Saturday, December 9, 2023

No Snow. Lots of Cats

Good Saturday Morning.

December is certainly speeding along. I'm not able to keep up! The two barn cats, who used to be part-time house cats until Keetah came to live here, are now both coming inside. They tend to eat and run. The Hills Diet food seems to be gourmet. There are now times I have five cats in the house. I'd have never believed it. See, you can teach an old dog lady new tricks.

We are having an abnormal December, no snow and mild weather. Very strange. It isn't typical Christmas weather in this neck of the woods. We are either going to Matthew's or they are coming here on the 23rd. I hope they decide to host. I am not decorating....not very holiday-ish around here. Also, his wife is vegan. I can handle dinner with a tomato sauce and eggless pasta, but I haven't a clue about a dessert. I guess I can use margarine to make a galette crust. See, writing about it made me think. Some of those brain cells are still working.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023


The last time I ordered groceries the shopper substituted a large block of chocolate for something I wanted that was out of stock. I didn't know what to do with it, so I made walnut bark. It's sweeter than I'm used to, but it will pass.

It's quiet around here. No sign of Christmas. Gatto being the main reason, I also don't have any interest. Bah, humbug. As with so many, Christmas has never been a joyful time, but one I had to pretend to be happy about. I know I'm not alone in this.

Change of tone....I made stock, I know, hard to believe, from a pork roast bone a couple of days ago. It will become potato, beans and pork soup today. It's a cold and dreary day and soup sounds like just the thing. December without snow is depressing. For me.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Take Comfort Where You Find It

Frieda enjoys our late afternoon book time.

So do I.

I plan to make an arrabiata sauce for dinner today. I haven't been using the tomatoes I processed and froze. I think it's time for some sauces. Maybe that ultra-simple focaccia as well. The medication I started a couple of months ago, an add-on to the fluoxetine, has helped my mood and motivation. I am still struggling with pain and fatigue, but I am also finding ways to live and work around it. Wellbutrin comes with a strong warning about alcohol, it can cause seizures, so I have given up my couple of glasses of evening wine. I survived. Feeling engaged in life means more to me than wine. Which is saying a lot.