the earth is sodden.
i don't remember the last time i saw the sun and there's none in the forecast for the foreseeable future.
on the bright side, the temperatures are mild and the Lowering Gloom is pleasingly atmospheric to my ancestral climate preference.
it's all trickery, however, because it's still only January and winter is far from finished with us. it's very tempting to let one's mind wander into the realms of garden planning and i did indulge myself by doing a teensy bit of clearing of the spot where i envision a couple of new rambling roses. i was on my way back to the garage with the wheelbarrow and some implements, having just mucked out the chicken coops and i thought, "well, since i'm here, it can't hurt to just scrape away a bit of the gravelly bits and pull the remains of weedy things"
i felt justified in rewarding myself for having to fight off the effing rooster.
as you do.
he was unintentional, mind you, a layer-that-wasn't and we thought we'd give him the benefit of the doubt.
turns out he's a bastard, just like Gabriel was.
(his name is Mr. Rochester - girl-child and i are bemoaning the waste of perfectly brilliant names on two jerk-face roosters)
but we can't keep him.
i don't enjoy having to carry a stick with me every time i go into the garden, and once star-boy ventures out when the weather picks up, it'll only get worse. i can't blame the rooster, he's only doing his job, but Sebastian's ASD comes with running and flapping and joyful vocals that are apparently construed as a threat.
so he'll be moving on.
Mr.Rochester, that is, not Sebastian. ;)
i don't know what R (our neighbour and poultry-man extraordinaire) will do with him....but i know, without reservation, that it's done respectfully.
Elvis, our first rooster, was such a gentleman. he spoiled us, i think.
so, no more roosters.
speaking of poultry....
there was a gorgeous great red-tail hawk hanging about last week. normally, that'd be a grand thing. except that s/he helped her/himself to one of our hens. i was on my way to take Emma-dog for a walk around the pond and just happened to glance into the vegetable garden (which is completely fenced) and there the poor wee thing was -- what was left of her, anyway.
it was upsetting, although not as much as the raccoon attacks last spring -- and i'm not sure why. perhaps because the raccoon losses were due, in part, to our own carelessness, whereas this was just nature doing her thing. there's not a lot we can do to deter the hawks, other than just be around and about so they don't get comfortable hanging about in the trees. the ravens aren't patrolling because they're not nesting yet.
nevertheless, B removed the body from the garden and put her out in the 'usual' place for the ravens.
in my strange, heathenish way, it all seems very deep-earth and blood-sacrifice...an acknowledgement of the cycles of life-death-life.
or perhaps that's just me being too much in my story-head just now.
or perhaps i'm more strange and heathenish than is socially acceptable.
in other news...
i bought myself a new vacuum. it's a Miele and despite getting it at discount because it (allegedly - i can't see it) has a cosmetic flaw, it was WAY more money than i've ever spent on a vacuum. ever.
so much so, i was a bit queasy for days afterwards.
but, to align with my values of good stewardship, i'd rather spend more money on better quality, longer-lasting items that are repairable and aren't likely end up in landfill in two years. i did my research, and the Miele came highly recommended for all of those reasons.
plus it's fabulous.
i almost enjoy vacuuming now.
right, i feel a cup of tea coming on. and a slice of fruit loaf that i baked this morning. i'm trying to clean up my diet -- more on that in another post -- but beavering away at my current WIP seems to require the accompaniment of cake.
so i compromised with myself and baked a tea loaf that's loaded with fruit and only a bit of brown sugar. it's really quite good, if i do say so myself.
i'm not one for zealotry, so a bit of compromise goes a long way to longevity when one is trying to make these sorts of changes, wouldn't you agree?
** all photos from our deliciously gloomy walk this morning