This little creature right here is why I’ve missed posting for the past couple of days. Why? Because we’ve never had a kitten in our home before, and we’ve sprinted to get it ready for our new addition.
Everyone, I present Autumn!
She’s a pure-bred Maine Coon from DreamCoon cattery down in Richmond, Virginia. No, Autumn isn’t her official name… Autumn is for us to use in our home, one of the three required names for a proper cat. Don’t believe me? Well, I’ll just refer you over to the authority himself:
“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey –
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter –
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum –
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover –
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
― T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
Why a new cat? Well… After Nala, we weren’t interested in another critter for a while. But… We sorely missed having a furry creature in our home; in fact, it didn’t really feel as much like home without one.
So Cindy and I discussed the issue at length. Continue Reading →
Think spring will never get here? Au contraire, mon ami! You have just 52 days remaining to bring your A-game to the table in preparation for the annual cherry blossom madness around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. And madness it is, with thousands of photographers, dog-walkers, joggers, latte drinkers, selfie-snappers, sun-worshipers, and bloom-lovers all crowding into the same venue.
f/8 and be there!
I was going to post more snow images, but figured we’d already been saturated enough with all the media coverage — so here are some blooms instead. I took these in our yard last year, just eight weeks from today. Just think… in four fortnights (or less!) we’ll begin to see color again!
Below is a time-lapse video of the blizzard from Purcellville, Virginia — some 16 miles due west of us.
As I was recuperating in the kitchen from my earlier shoveling attempts yesterday, Cindy called me into the living room. She had heard a monster snow blower just start-up down the street and we both marveled through our window at how powerful it was. It was one of our neighbors, the one that has a penchant for the latest and greatest in yard care technology.
I scurried out of the house, hustled down to him, and popped the question — could I convince him to do our driveway as well?
Turns out he just bought this Cub Cadet 3X snow thrower a couple of days ago (I don’t know the exact model), was still smarting from the price tag, and welcomed donations to the cause. I gave him all the $20 bills I had. No, he didn’t ask for as much as I gave him, but it was much cheaper for me to pay him than to pay for all the doctor bills and physical therapy that were sure to come if I shoveled that much snow by myself. I also helped justify it to him by asking for two passes — one at the middle of the storm, and one after the snow had ended.
And we worked together. He was able to easily deal with the lighter amounts of snow that were closer to the house, and I helped break up the drifts that were twice this depth down at the end of our driveway. Took about 30 minutes, if that.
Thank you, sir!
Due to the high winds, the snow depth varies from about 18-inches close to the house to nearly 40-inches out near the street. And this is just the halfway mark…
About 18-inches so far. About head out and begin clearing snow.
For all of you that are crestfallen by the mega-storm that’s raging outside now, just think — all of that snow will feed the little plants and seeds down in the soil, and within a couple of months we’ll begin to see brand-new life as a result!
Did you know that six of the historic lockhouses (but not this one) along the C&O Canal are available to rent for up to three days? I had heard that you could, but didn’t know any of the specifics — which can be found here.