In the cold

After a mostly mild winter, the weather has turned quite cold.  We’ve only had snow once and it was gone by the next day, but we may get some this week.  I sorted all the seeds that must be started inside into weekly envelopes.  I’ll start the first seeds this week in the storeroom. When they sprout, they go either into the greenhouse or go into the bay window in the livingroom.  I start seeds every week from now until mid April. Then nothing till the beginning of July when I start a second crop of basil and cucumbers.  Then in late August I’ll  start the fall cole crops like Chinese cabbage.

Woody has been working on the greenhouse.  In the off-season, we tend to use it for storage of tools and garden stuff.  This weekend we’re working on the storeroom as the long sink [a remnant of my ex-husband’s photography when regular single lens cameras ruled the picture taking] that gets covered with stuff during the long months when I’m not starting seeds. Most of the seedlings go out to the greenhouse once they germinate, but the tenderest ones – like eggplants and basil—go into the bay window, much to the disgust of the cats.  We have to place chicken wire over the seedlings to protect them. Xena likes to eat them and the other cats want to walk or sit on them.

With both contests off to WOMR and the winners notified, and the mss. from the poets in my June workshop not due till May first, I could actually return to reading for pleasure and instruction. I got to finish Indira Ganesan’s AS SWEET AS HONEY and WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan.  Also I’m on to Maria Gillan’s latest poetry collection, WHAT BLOOMS IN WINTER.

I have dabbled in watching the XFL both Saturdays  but so far am not committed.  It’s hard to form any attachment to the teams as they feel arbitrary and vary enormously in ability not only between teams, but among the players in every team. So far, only the quarterback and some of the players on both offense and defense on the Washington Defenders stand out for me.

Mingus has become very loving, much more affectionate than usual for him.  All our cats are affectionate, but he’s the least effusive normally.  Maybe he has noticed that the ones who seek us out and climb on us get more attention.  At twelve, he’s still learning.  He is also more accepting of Xena’s washing and cuddling. 

I wrote and rewrote two poems this week. I’ve done serious decluttering in my bedroom and am pretty satisfied with everything except my vanity.  With my office, I work at sorting the piles of papers that seem to accumulate faster than I can deal with them. The paperless office for me is a big bad joke. Dale and I cleared out boxes of old files, some discarded, most sent off to the University of Michigan’s graduate library – they bought my papers about twelve years ago.  There’s a whole climate controlled room there just for my archive.

I don’t play with the cats enough, especially the girls who are energetic players.  I feel guilty about it. I’d feel bereft without my cats, but I sometimes think it’s a terrible and selfish indulgence to have cats, especially young ones like Schwartzie and Willow, at my age.  I  was a better catperson when I was younger. But then I remember they’re rescues and far happier here than other options for homeless cats.  They seem to like their lives well enough.  Mingus, the oldest, is sometimes grumpy and demanding, but the others all go around acting quite happy.  They do play together, all of them, usually in twos, as well as cuddling, again always in twos.  I’ve had fouu cats who made a furry pile all the time, brother and sister, mother and son. These four have more volatile relationships, sometimes kissing and washing each other in any combination, sometimes spatting. In the same hour, they can go from lovey to swatting, then curl up together half an hour later.

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