Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Domestic Perils, Again

The dried lavender I kept in the hall was too dry. Do you know what I mean? It still smells amazing, but bits were going everywhere, and it was dusty, but of course you can't dust dry flowers, because the bits go everywhere. Anyway, I was taking them out to the compost, when I remembered that herbs, like lavender, rosemary, oregano, make good nest box material... pretty, and practical against pests. I left the whole bunch on the counter top. The hens fuss with it, and the flowers, those bits, go everywhere, but in a pleasing way. And even over all of the farm smells, I can smell the beautiful lavender. I like this kind of tidying up, where one good deed leads to another. Our hall is looking better, dusted and refreshed, and the hens, certainly, appreciate the touch of elegance dried flowers bring to their space.

If you have been following our quandry about the cat drama... we think we have figured something out. But, first let me go back: There were was some high energy antics on the porch, and a pot fell over. It may have hit a cat, or maybe the plant stand hit a cat. We know for sure that the noise and scare of it freaked all three of them out, and they scattered and one of them made a distressing wail. We checked each of them for bumps and breaks and they seemed ok, but they were not. Sakamoto hid. He would not come out of hiding, not even for food and that is simply unheard of! Feynman was incensed, hissing and growling, puffing up mad! And he positioned himself, always between Sakamoto and Cairo. Cairo was utterly confounded. And this tense stand-off and drama was what we had to deal with for days. Feynman was dogged about keeping Cairo away, would chase him, attack him. Sakamoto was only concerned with staying out of the way, and Cairo looked increasingly victimized and distressed. We tried seperating them, re-introducing them with treats and affection. We had to keep them in different rooms, and rotate them, and everytime we thought things might be improving, Feynman would dig his heels in and react to Cairo like he was the worst kind of villain. It was a stressful 4-5 days. Increasingly we had more frequent moments of peace, of possible reconcillation. And the good news is, we do have a cease-fire.

Here is what we have figured out: We believe Feynman must have very very poor vision, and under duress, he is wary of many things, including the black and white cat, that he seems to believe has broken into our house. If he and Cairo are nose to nose, it's as though nothing was ever wrong, but when Feynman sees Cairo, at a distance of, say, 2-3 feet away, he is wary, suspicious. Now we notice Feynman can even be circumspect about us, or things that appear suddenly. He startles easily, and stares at people, or even high contrast patterns... like our bathroom floor, or Cairo, the black and white cat. When we adopted him the woman in charge of their care assured me that his weepy eyes were just a reaction to the environment, he's fine, she insisted. Well, the weepy eyes have never stopped being messy, concerning, and when the vet saw him, he didn't think any treatments we going to make a difference. But Feynman has always had half-closed, drowsy, weepy eyes, and I think we will ask our vet, again, to take a look. And this is the point when I imagine Professor Feynman with some spectacles, and I think he would look darling. Black rimmed glasses, nothing too heavy. If you've read all the way to this point, and kept track of all of the characters and plot, then I should like to send you a prize, maybe a Chickenblog Merit Badge. I should come up with something like that. Thank you for reading this riveting tale!


I intended to post more. I have a load of pictures, deep thoughts, and other musings, all ready to go, but really what I should be doing is more of that tidying, dusting, refreshing. My Mom and Dad are coming to town, soon, and other family, too. And Geoff and Max are still plugging away at their work, and... it's busy here. Really really busy. One more thought... the more I clean, the more I find that needs to be cleaned. It's almost a shame I started in the first place. (Just the kind of twisted reasoning that gets me in a mess, I am sure.) I went in for scrubbing our kitchen cabinets, and they got gummy. So I ordered the special cabinet cleaning, goo-gummy solvent and tried again, and it's helping, sort of. Wow. It's likely I don't have a point to make here. But maybe, please, say something encouraging, something to give me courage and faith, because I am surrounded by domestic perils, and daunting tasks, and I don't see how I can ever achieve the kind of shiny success I am after, and I do wonder if I can get close to bringing order, if we shouldn't put the place on the market, and move to an Island, live in an open, rambling house, that isn't very big, or too precious, or a treehouse? I don't know. This may just be blatant, overt avoidance. When's lunch?


Katie said...

Putting dried lavender in with the chickens is brilliant. I am going to borrow that idea! We recently cut back our sage for the year and we should have given it to the chickens!! Imagine - their coop would smell like Thanksgiving dinner! ha!

I can empathize with wanting to achieve the shiny, clean success at home. I'm an utter failure! Try to be gentle with yourself. It's never as bad as we mothers think it is!!

Nicole said...

Some days really feel like that, don't they, some days things just feel overwhelming and discouraging. I'm not sure what to say that will give you courage or faith, but just know that you're not alone! We are doing a big renovation of our retirement home, and some days, it feels like it will never end and we will just be in this weird limbo forever. Well, there will be a time after this, right?

Little Dorrit does... said...

I hope the cease-fire is still holding. It does sound as though poor Cairo has been scapegoated by Feynman for whatever occurred at Pot-gate. Maybe Cairo needs some kind of camouflage body-suit to tone down his high contrast b&w fur until the feline frenzy dies down!?

Words of Encouragement: your home always looks lovely - colourful, warm and welcoming - so any housework above and beyond what you normally do should only be undertaken if it pleases/satisfies you to do it. Remember that it's the lovely people who live in your home that your Mom and Dad and family are coming to see, they won't be looking for their reflections in the bottom of the saucepans, or putting on white gloves to run their fingers along the skirting boards checking for dust. I know for a fact that your camera will soon be filled with photos of happy people enjoying each other's company and having a whale of a time. Photos of happy cats enjoying each other's company? The jury's still out!

Laura Bray said...

I am sure your home is lovely. It must be as you are person who offers her hens lavender for their nests!

For me, the trick to my homemaking has been to keep myself from doing too much at once. I used to go all in, wipe myself out, pull out my back, and then let it lay fallow for too long. Now I put on a timer for one hour, two or three days a week, tackle one area, and when the timer goes off, I walk away. I just keep cycling through my home, focusing on one area each week, so I know I will get back to whatever I didn't finish. It's surprising how quickly things become "ship shape" this way.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Hello, Katie! Ok, sage chicken? That's hilarious. I am not going to be able to keep a straight face from now on, every time I *add herbs* to the chickens!

Ah, now: You can't say you are "an utter failure," without making me want to jump to your defense, and say any encouraging, supportive thing I can think of. And, with this in mind, I am going to be mindful of the other thing you said, and "be gentle" with myself... you, too, Okay? Be gentle with yourself. And thank you for helping me.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Nicole. I think you said just enough, and starting with listening, and empathizing... it makes a nice difference to safely say what I am feeling or thinking, then have friends respond with understanding, offering their support.
I am re-reading all of the comments, here, and feeling like I have back up, good company!
As for renovations? Oh, goodness, they do feel as though they will go on forever! But we know that's not true, so courage! I am in a similar boat, and I can see it's going to take days and days and days of courage!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Little Dorrit! You really did hang in there, with the whole cat melodrama! I am happy to report that the ceasefire is holding. Feynman still shows signs that his vision is not top notch, and we will keep an eye on that. I am so relieved that the hissing and growling has stopped.
Your vision, the happy people and all of us having a whale of a time... that is exactly where my focus should be, and my trust. I'll do all I can, without agonizing (too too much) and after that, all of my attention should be on enjoying the many blessings. Thank you for helping me see a clear path forward.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Laura Bray, thank you... it is a lovely home, but I cannot deny that it's a lovely home that has been a little too neglected, lived in, and full of busy people with many interests, hobbies, projects, and happy living. And it's all of that that I should be mindful of, because we have been happy and occupied. Messily, happily occupied.
Your method sounds brilliant! I think it's what I do in a pinch, and the part I want to practice more diligently is applying myself more frequently... I used to be a warrior and clean all at once, under pressure, but that's simply not possible anymore. Like you say, you throw your back out, or shoulder, or whatever. But I am going to start again, and employ your timer technique, apply more daily discipline, even if it's only in small doses. I am encouraged by this reasonable suggestion... thank you!