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Monday, February 28, 2011

Anyone Seen an ATV Cover?

Overnight, the temperature inched up and the wind picked up from the south. I could hear snowslides on the metal roofs of the house and garage, and the wind whipping the cover on my ATV in the lower meadow. And when I woke up - it was gone! I pulled on my boots and walked out to the fenceline with our neighbor to the north, walked it up to the gate between our properties, and went through his place, back up to the county road. No ATV cover. Could be in Otis Orchards by now. Snow coming down in big flakes, but melting on contact.

This afternoon we're taking Blue to the vet. For the past few years he's been accompanying us on walks through the hills, but he's become lethargic, drinks and urinates frequently, and has elevated blood sugar levels. He might have become diabetic not that he lives in the house and has had all-day access to dry food with high carbohydrates. Hope not. It's hard enough treating human diabetes. He's an old cat now, 14 or 15. Wondering how long he'll be with us.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Will It Ever Stop?

I don't usually watch local news. Spokane isn't really local for those of us who live in Shenanigan Valley. But, I'd just finished reading Cooper's Last of the Mohicans," a free Kindle download. Took a while to get into the rhythm of the 19th century writing in approximation of 18th century language, but it served to remind me of the art of screenwriting. The Michael Mann film - which I love and watch every time I run across it on TV - has little in common with the book except the names of the main characters (what happened to David Gamut?) and the rough outline of allies and enemies in the French and Indian War. But I'm done and waiting for the national news to update the nation (except, of course, for FOX watchers) on revolution in north Africa.

KHQ showed footage of Wednesday's storm and accidents that tied up traffic on I-90 near the Rathdrum exit. I drove past it on the way to Coeur d'Alene and decided to take Seltice on the way back to Post Falls. Didn't help. Northwest Blvd. was bumper to bumper on ice, which threatened to cause sideways skidding with the slightest forward motion. Seltice wasn't as slippery, but still bumper-to-bumper in both westbound lanes right up to the Rathdrum exit. Then, it was clear sailing (as it looked to be as well on the highway). Fortunately, people drove with good sense and little hurry. Yes, I stopped for supper at the KFC near the intersection, but it still took me 2 1/2 hours to drive to CDA, pick up some documents at the county building, and drive home - about the same time it would have taken me to drive from Laramie to Casper back in Wyoming. Unless there was nasty weather on Shirley Basin highway or near Elk Mountain, which was usually the case.

The snow came down heavy in a strong sidewind all night, but Thursday morning was beautiful. Cold, but sunny, with no wind. I strapped on my snowshoes and broke trail into our lower meadow in search of my ATV cover, which seemed to have blown off during the night. I took the failed results of wheat bread from our malfunctioning Panasonic breadmaker, and threw the crumbs to a flock of turkeys near our norther property line. The turkeys have become unnaturally tame, and didn't run until I started up through the trees on our first hill. Back down our driveway, I saw shallow cat tracks and wondered if it might be from Tom Quinn, the big unneutered tabby who had been living in our woodpile since summer, but was now missing; the sweet-faced female tabby who showed up on our front porch for a meal one night; or the big white-faced tabby with white paws who strolled through our cat-hobo-jungle for some dried food another night. Then, back down the driveway toward the house, with very cold hands. On a whim, I cut across the meadow toward the uncovered ATV and found the cover on the ground, mostly covered with snow, where I'd apparently left it after cutting some applewood that had been lying near the treeline for more than a year. Memory's not what it was - either age or too much surgical anesthesia.

This morning, the temperature outside the kitchen window read zero. Stayed in all day reading Cooper and drinking tea. Even when retired, Saturdays are special. No government offices open, no business to conduct.

More snow on the way.