Friday, January 25, 2008

Comforts of (a) home

A perfect latte, with an iced tea chaser

I think our new house is finally starting to feel like home. Naturally, we haven't finished unpacking even the things we plan to unpack. I am utterly unable to do my own work here yet, since it's far too easy to become distracted. I'm also beginning to resent having to leave the house to go anywhere... like, you know, to school, in order to work. One of my friends recently suggested, "... I think you should teach it not to eat the humans. Badly trained houses can be as bad as libraries -- except libraries spit you out eventually." Wise words, I think. So, I'll work on that.

Add to this more misunderstandings over the last month with my supervisor, Lady S, and all this combines to mean that I haven't written a thing on Big D in months. Months. October, to be precise, when I worked frantically to pull together a conference presentation. My Next Written Thing for my committee is so late it's almost early again. Blah.

At least the cats have settled into a routine, even if I haven't. They quickly established their respective nap spots. Ford can most often be found on the bed, but when he's feeling sociable, he joins us in the living room and sleeps under the coffee table.

Apparently, this is comfortable. Who knew?

Tiger's favourite spot is on the top of the couch, where he has his very own Tiger-sized dent...

... although sometimes he prefers the afternoon sunbeams from the back door:

Yes, the chairs are there specifically for the cats

Our backyard is lovely, and I'm told it will be full of leaves and greenery, and possibly even flowers, come summer. The previous owners seem to have been outdoorsey-types and took good care of the yard. There is some debate about the nature of the tree in the middle of the back yard.

I say we have a well-pruned pussy willow tree. Daniel is suspicious. But there are fuzzy grey buds on it that look for all the world like pussy willow catkins. The buds were there where we moved in November and have never gone away, even in the coldest of cold. See?

So in the meantime, while I kill myself with NOT working, I try to enjoy the little things that make me feel more at home. Our espresso bar, with the Fully Automatic Espresso Machine of Much Awesomeness, for instance.

In the background there, you'll see that the previous green-thumbed owners also left us a potted orchid, which I thought was very sweet. There's an excellent chance I'll kill it, but I'm trying not to. At first, I was ever-paranoid that it was poisonous and the cats would try to eat it, or that it would die as soon as I poured water on it. In the weeks after we moved in, I tried to give it away more than once, but each person who said they would take it left without it. I've now resigned myself to having an orchid in the house. The cats are not at all interested in it, for now, and it's in a place where they don't jump up. If that changes, of course I'll rethink keeping it.

I think it's a phalaenopsis (I lost the little plastic thingy that said what it was). The two existing (pink/white) flowers finally fell off after several weeks, another bud appeared but never opened, and then it, too, went away. Am I supposed to do anything besides water it now and wait for it to hopefully flower again? Should I cut off the old flower spike now that it's finished this bloom cycle? Guess it's probably worth a trip to a nearby nursery for orchid food and advice.

I am so hopeless with plants. They require a patience that I lack - something people find amusing when they look at my hobbies (needlework, knitting, general wool-wrangling) and the type of research I do, all of which is highly detail-oriented and requires a lot of patience. But I assure you, growing plants requires a very different kind of patience - the kind where I must cede control over to nature. Keeping an orchid and having unknown things grow in my backyard continues to remind me that there are things I absolutely cannot control, which has been some comfort while I continue to stress out about my lack of work productivity.

At least there is wool. There is always wool. This wool is more of the neverending supply of Dorset cross, prepped by hand into combed top using my single-pitch Viking combs and a diz. I've slowly begun to wash the remaining two fleeces again, now that I can navigate the stairs to the basement and get to the laundry sink.

the newest spindle, a Forrester, walnut, no hook


Patti Blaine said...

Bridget, Could it be a magnolia? They have big grey fuzzy buds all winter long here.

Your house looks wonderful!!

Sonia said...

I love that you have your dining room chairs positioned by the door for your cats! We're so accommodating to our feline charges!

Bridget said...

Patii, I suspect you're right about the magnolia. So, I should have maybe two weeks in May of big, beautiful flowers, and need the rest of the summer to clean them up!

As for the cats, what's even funnier is when we sit down to dinner, the cats take the two chairs at the table, and we have to move the chairs from the door so that all four of us can have a seat.

They are so spoiled. I am their humble servant.