Friday, December 22, 2017

Housebroken (?)

Thursday was blah but productive. I cleaned the furniture deep into the seams and washed all the floors in case my guests are concerned about cleanliness in a three-pet household — with good reason. I had to stay home to be here for the delivery of my reading lamp that never came.
And baking the cake wasn’t too bad at all. I had to keep things covered and move things around at times but it went better than I anticipated. It was the same with the salad. Once the cats checked things out they were content to do other things. I took a relaxed approach to the day. I wasn’t in a hurry and the cake looks great!
Darrell’s wife Elaine called to say Darrell is coming over to teach me how to use my generator. I keep saying it: The guy is gold! He is so kind to me.
Tonight, Jay and Robin come for dinner. I’m making my favourite salad today and scalloped potatoes. Tonight I’ll cook some broccoli and I’m barbecuing pork loin. I’ve got ice cream to go with the cake.
At the risk of breaking the spell I can report on progress in the Sheba housebreaking department — maybe. And the credit goes to Fred.
Fred decided he wanted to drink water from Sheba’s dish — either there or the toilet. And Sheba seemed to take umbrage. She wouldn’t drink out of the same bowl even though she and Fred sleep together every night.
Animals are funny about water. They don’t like standing water; they like it moving — hence their interest in pee and toilets. Sheba, therefore, started insisting on drinking rainwater from vessels in the yard. So I set out a container just outside the door right beside my office and she quickly learned to scratch at the door to get access to “her” water.
And that seemed to lead to her learning that she can ask to go out to you know what. That’s one reason. The other is that I take her out with me every time I get wood and she increasingly lingers in the yard after I come back inside. The end result is that for the past few days there have been no indoor improvisations.
Housebreaking is a process of imposing adaptation — of habituating to new routines. And that’s what I’ve been through too: First to rural life and then an even greater change in my opinion to living with animals. Well let me be honest: To living with a puppy. Mind you, Bengals are a challenge too and I have two of them.
Managing the separation of garbage, the local mail system, my well and cistern system and keeping the fire going 24/7 complete the essential tasks of my housebreaking and I feel I have everything pretty much down pat now. It’s wonderful to wake in the morning with that confidence (and the delight of reuniting with my pets).
I may be feeling good because I’ve experienced and survived my first long power failure. Plus, now I know what I need to do to be better prepared for the next one.
There’s also the comfort that comes from having a place for everything and knowing where everything is. I’m not searching for things all the time any more. 
For the next week the temperature is supposed to hover around zero. When I go to the woodshed I search for wood oozing with pitch because it creates the roaring blaze I need for these cold days to keep my house toasty warm.
This morning I’m making a fancy Waldorf salad. Then I’m off to the village to get the rest of the supplies I need to bake the scalloped potatoes and some pork loin to barbeque.
Tonight’s dinner celebrates the arrival of the Solstice. I feel like a Pagan because the Solstice means so much to me. I am an optimist so I think of today as the first day of longer days until Summer — not the first day of winter.

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