Try, Try Again

Ah, the best laid plans.

A meltdown or two, plus a murderous cat, can go a long way towards derailing the relaxation train. A good many of the nice things on our list actually happened: bread was baked, projects saw progress, sketches were sketched, “the best lentil soup I ever had” was consumed, and biscuits were baked in the shapes of hearts and teddy bears. So, there was a decent enough balance. I just think we’ll have to try again for a true day of Retreat.

The hike, well that was the kicker, really. It ended up being a funeral procession for our little friend Gillian Gilfeather, known by his loved ones as “Gil,” who we found deceased in his tank late yesterday morning. I had spent the last month and a half researching and rehabilitating him from a sick critter into a once again vibrant, interactive and funny little (well, if little is being at least as long as my forearm) aquatic friend. We’ve had him around for quite some time and when he got sick, I was sure there was nothing I could do for him. I mean, it’s hard to even just describe what the heck he is, let alone doctor him. The details probably aren’t interesting if you don’t have an axolotl amongst your family members, but he made a most remarkable recovery and we were very fond of him.


I don’t know why it took so long, now that I think about it, but a few days ago, one of the cats discovered that there is a gap in the aquarium lid, right next to the filter, and that this gap is just big enough for him to fit his paw through. He had his arm in up to the shoulder when I caught him in the act. At the time, I didn’t know he’d done damage, and we placed a rock over the opening in the tank lid. I’m sure I don’t need to tell the rest of the tale, but Gil (the guy on the left…Li’l, on the right, had passed some time ago) is now buried under a mound of snow by a stream and the cat is in my lap, licking my chin. I’m not sure how long I’ll continue with calling him the cat but he’s in the mushpot right now, as far as I’m concerned, even though he likely thought Gil existed solely for his sport and potential sustenance. And yes, I know it’s not as heartbreakingly tragic as losing a…different kind of pet, but it was a bummer, especially after making him well again, and it just sort of set a somber tone for the rest of the weekend.


The Murderer. The handsome, purring murderer, rubbing all up on my fiber. I forgive him.

O was sad, surely, but is already wondering when we’ll get a new axolotl. So it goes.

After the burial, we did make quite a bit of progress with planning for this year’s garden. We can probably get by with a minimal seed order this year, as we have quite a bit of seed leftover from last year and we’re going to try starts for some of the longer season veggies like onions, tomatoes, peppers, and melons. We just don’t get enough light up in these dark woods to start everything from seed and with the greenhouse demolished, we have a lot less space for growing our own starts this year, anyway. Point: Spring dreaming is in full effect.


So, this morning, it’s hearts for breakfast and warm tea as we get ready for another wicked cold snap to set in. A slow start today, hopefully starting our week on a positive note.

I’ll save up the chia recipe for tomorrow. We weren’t really feeling like photographing comfort food yesterday…we just wanted to be comforted.


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