Into seclusion on Zen mountain

Being in the 60+ category, I have joined the folks in seclusion at the latter part of this last week.

Ma and I are here away from everyone waiting for things to calm down.

Ma still works from her office and I am trying to catch up on things around the homestead.

Staying safe

When the word came out this last week, towards the end, that even our “essential” group at work had the option to stay home, those of us 60+ , I decided to take it. Ma has been worrying about exposure to me…which in turn, I was concerned bringing something home to Ma.

Though things were fairly quiet around work, we do have construction going on and a fire alarm from that sent me into  more than a dozen guys from both fire department and the construction crew out of Metropolis , face to face, shoulder to shoulder. None of them wearing gloves or masks…which would be a pain in the work they are doing and they are all younger of course. Due to the noise from the machinery, I had to pull down my mask to yell into the ears of both groups trying to track things down and figure out a plan ” B”. I seriously doubt that my odds are so bad that I could have gotten something from that set of conversations but it is still enough to make me a little twitchy.. Time line still has me way at the beginning of when anything would show though I am not exactly counting the days to see if it does. When the word came out, I watched as a few more folk were released before I got the ok and I was definitely getting irritated over it, once again , worrying about what I could bring home.

When I got the go ahead, I sat going over the two options , contacting union, my dist. super and Ma. I felt guilty no matter which choice I took, but in the end, I decided I would rather feel guilty at home with Ma than guilty at work and every time I walked through the door at the homestead.

Still sinking in

We have no idea, of course, how long this will go on or what the powers above us will decide as to what we will do next. In the mean time, I have enough chores that I will still have a boat load when I go back to work so no getting bored for me. I am also fortunate enough that I am not stuck in an apartment , we have acres and miles I can wander if I need.

It is hard for this to sink in as yet, that being home is what I ” should ” be doing, rather than it being a slacker option. I always assume that when I am not at work, I am letting them down..and the whole, ” I am sooo going to pay for this when I get back. ”

Good thing I am here

So, last weekend , Ma and I worked out in the gardens and Ma ended up messing up her back.

A few years ago, Ma hurt herself pretty badly trying to help me move a raised garden frame; 3′ X 10′ … I, of course, blame myself for letting her try.

The thing is.. it is permanent damage so when she goes out and does more than she should but far less than what she wants to do , she gets hurt and spends weeks recovering. Hours on the phone for work only helps to set her back up worse so it is long and drawn out before she does better .

The other morning, Ma seized up, fortunately, while I was here. I am little help for her, but I was able, at that time, to do some good. I know she would have gotten out of the troubles even if I wasn’t here , but, it was a lot better that I was here to give a hand and a back to the problem and get her back up.

Not in too bad a shape

As far as supplies, yes, we will run out of the extras, things we do enjoy but don’t need, but I think that we should be fine otherwise…with the exception of Ma’s meds.

I mentioned last week that the stores decided that 7am-8am would be a great time for all of us ” seniors”….well, of course, no pharmacy at that time and what ” senior” would need medication?..Dumbasses… So, I’ll have to mask up and do it during regular hours during ” their” 90 some hours a week for younger folk rather than our 4 hours a week for the target group….. Is it just me or does it sound a little badly calculated ?

“Seniors”; those of us 60+…. That, of course, includes all of the folk that can not drive themselves as well as those that need to use the carts…not to mention the fact that a lot of us are slower than we use to be….Now..even IF we can find what we need in say a half hour… Can you do that ?.. Then we all get to stand in line together with whatever checkouts are open… Now you might say: ” Well, use the self checkout. ” Except, I can’t see well enough to do it nor could before this all started…and still, there are usually at least one of those down and the others tend to keep setting the bells off even when Ma is running them..and she knows what she is doing. So now I am trying to figure these things out, the bell is going off, the checker has to come help me, people are lining up , trying to get out in our allotted 60 minutes and I am getting irritated, which we all know is not going to go well for anyone….and in come the hordes of younger folk, a lot of whom don’t care about this virus, wearing no protection, as they don’t feel they need to worry.. Standing around , face to face, chatting in the isles and checkout areas, while those of us old folks are getting overwhelmed by it all… Great Plan.

ON to Zen

So, now we are caught up in that respect, let’s move on to Zen Homestead .

The weather is fairly chilly up here with snow falling most days, if only ” Just fer lookin at” highs mostly soaring to 40s when we are lucky and 30s more often.

When Ma is not working, I have the wood stove warming the house. The cooler temps are making a dent in our wood room , not a big deal, just unusual for this late.. If I run too low, I’ll hit the wood shed again. We are still working on the wood I left come mid February.

It is nice to be at home, watching the ” kids” come through during the hours I am normally away.

The wild turkey are finally coming through again now that they don’t need snow shoes.

The bucks have finally dropped their antlers, I’ll probably take a walk about to look for sheds if I am home fore much longer.

Bunnies are doing that spring bunny thing; playing leap frog. Soon there will be more of them hopping about , I am sure.

The hummies are going crazy. Three feeders, two by the porch where Ma and I sit to chat with them, and a third in..well duh.. Hummie garden, on the other side of the house. Now I know they use all three, but while we sit out there, the bulk of them come whipping in to visit, chasing each other inside the covered porch between Ma and I, or using the porch in flying ninjas moves, hiding as they hover behind Ma or myself, then when they see another come in, they fly out to get them. It is incredibly fun to watch these guys. The funny thing is, I can see the porch area from my office, and there is no doubt that more come in while we sit out there. When Ma and I are in the front room, also with windows facing the porch, the hummers will fly up to the window; looking in at us until we come back out again.

The third feeder is close to the door to the shop. When I run out to work on things, the little guys will fly over there, hang around that feeder to chat with me through the door or watch Ma while she works in her office. It is far from unusual for one of the hummers to fly through my open door to the shop and hover over me as I work on something, occasionally chirping if they feel I am doing something wrong.

Coyotes kids, of course, are packed up; the four eldest doing the walk about on their hunting lines, and, of course, they stop to hang out as well when they see us…Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to go out to hand feed or pet them. We may get within feet of each other from time to time, and I have stopped attacks on people’s dumbass pets that wander all the way over here, pissing off my kids, who in turn feel it is only right to EAT them… A word or two and they stand down, tromp off to the tree line and pout until the kibble decides it was a bad idea to come into Limpy’s..and my territory.

No signs lately of our elk but I know they have been fairly close.

Song birds are beginning to come in, I need to get the ” Fly-N-Go” stocked up for them least till we run out of seed. I know the predator birds would like to have the buffet restocked.

Bobcat Kitty came through the other morning while Ma and I were standing on the deck. She just came tramping up the fence line, around 15 yards away.. Saw us, heard us, and then made her way on up into the North woods as usual… Again , she had three kits last year and twins the year before, all of which she brings into the yard to show off to us…feet away.. She is comfortable here. When we had the heavy snows , she sat on a berm in the middle of the driveway to sit and watch Ma in her office until she got bored, climbed down, rubbed against my truck..err. apparently, her truck now… then slowly ambled down the drive to do the same thing again to our tractor..and Innie… Seems that we have been claimed by her…duh..

Final thoughts

Keeping things short so my eyes don’t get any worse than need be..

I am working around the place while we are in seclusion while Ma continues to work from her office. I know I’ll never get caught up, maybe once I retire…and then ppphttt maybe a few years in.. So I have no concerns over getting bored.

I am also working on the “red” guitar…which is driving me nuts.. The wiring is correct and everything works.. until I slide the pieces into the cramped space in the body. At this point, there is no way to make more room so I’ll have to pull everything out yet again and check the connections and repeat until I manage to get things in without doing whatever I am doing wrong.

I also got a little farther on the bass guitar. I finished sanding and got the stain on it. It is a dark green. I have some buffing to do before I start laying coats of oil onto it, but getting closer to that.. I managed, in an attempt to make it look more streamline, to make the head a smidge too small for the tuners I had for it…crap.. so had to order a different style tuners.. not happy about that, should have checked as I was working…oh well. AT least the wiring will be a LOT easier on it when I get to that point…which is a long ways out from here.

Finally, I started working on my music ” Projects” . I have a friend that actually likes my music and needed them on CDs. At present, I have around 60-70 minutes for one and around 30-40 for the second.. The rub is, none of the songs are finished. Moving all the files from my old comp to the new comp…well was new.. Managed to scrap a lot of my work..and I even managed to lose the finished files…what the hell right?

Oh well. As I am my own one-man-band , I just have to go in and put things back together again… Yeah… No, I will not be finished before I go back to work. I will be happy to get them all back down again as well as mixed and mastered.. At least on this comp I have an external drive where everything is together so that I don’t toss them into the ether again.

Ma is dealing with her back as well as work as well as having me here all the time.. I think her only saving grace is that I tend to wander around the property and out in my shop or worst case, in my office with headphones on….I know I drive her crazy with my; ” What can I do for you? “ all the time..


Zen things were quiet

The sky still in predawn, Ma and I walked out to the porch. I, carrying both our coffees so that Ma had one less thing to balance as she used her cane to sit.

While Ma looked at her tablet,seeing what was new in the world…and more importantly in the knitting and spinning world, I walked around the deck, looking to the south for elk, then to the north, when I saw movement.

Limpy stood on the other side of the small fenced orchard of ours , looking at me

” Morning Da. Umm… No leftovers? “

” Hey Limpy. Sorry Dude, not yet, come back in a couple and I’ll have them out there for you. “

” Slacker..” Limpy muttered.

” What was that? “I queried, cocking my head to the side watching Limpy as he mirrored me.

” Ummmm..Limpy wants a cracker?”

” You realize, don’t you, that; that was a terrible response.. right? “

Limpy shrugged and began to pad off past the pit, Mama, Rhey, and Dennis in tow. Each nodding to me and grinning as they stopped to look.

Dennis, stopped, at the rear of the pack as is normal, watching Ma and frowning.

What’s wrong with Ma?”

” She got hurt working in the yard. “

He stood watching Ma for a bit then said; ” What can I do for you? “

I stood grinning as Ma’s lip curled slightly.

” Nothing Dennis. Thank you. You are getting left behind again. “ Ma replied.

” Oh Crap!” Dennis began to run to catch up with the pack as Rhey stood at the berm,  shaking her head and rolling her eyes at him.

” MOUSE!”  Dennis stopped so suddenly that his rear legs almost went over his shoulders. His nose to the ground, he began to sniffing in circles trying to find the hole.

Rhey looked at me in disgust . I looked back, shrugging my shoulders. She huffed, giving him one last withering look , waved to us then over the berm to follow Limpy and Mama.

Dennis, sniffing, began to paw at the ground. ” Heeeerrrreeeee mousie mousie mousie. “ Sticking his nose in the hole he found, dirt began to fly over his back while he dug. ” Come to me little mousie. Come to Uncle Dennis. ” With a yip, Dennis leaped back, a mouse attached to his nose before it fell away to run off through the tall grasses.” He bit me! Wile I’ll….” He ran off in the direction of the mouse until, stopping he looked over his shoulder for Rhey to come help with this horrid Ninja mouse, only to find the pack was gone. “Crap! Gotta go! Bye Ma Bye Da. Tomorrow again ok? “

” See ya Dennis.. You goof.” I called out to him as he ran over the top of the berm.

Things quiet once again, I started to sit went Lass came whizzing in to the feeder.

” Morning. ” she chirped.

” Morning Lass. How are you today? “ I asked quietly.

” Early bird gets the juice before Hummie comes chasing us all off I imagine.”

Moments later, in flies Hummie and Mrs. Hummie chirping a good morning while Mrs. sat at the feeder by me.

” Get up! Everybody wake up! Get some juice and go play!..Before I chase you all off . ”  Hummie chirped in his loudest voice from the fence next to my office.

Soon, several hummers came flitting in to grab a drink…. Including Liam who didn’t care about Hummie’s grace period, chasing everyone off ” his” feeder..and Hummie’s.

Hummingbirds as thick as mosquitoes covered the deck and into the porch, chasing each other, flying around Ma’s and my heads.

Lass whips in , hiding by the door to the house as one of the other hummers flies by looking for her. Once it passes the porch entry, she flies out to tag it from behind and off they go again.

The evil twins flying in mock battles around the deck, beating wings against one another as they spin in tight circles slowly flying higher and higher until one or the other whips back down to the deck level again , only to start all over once more.

Hummie chases the kids off the south feeder while Liam chases them off the north feeder..and then things get crazy.

Multiple hummie chases going on over the deck and into the porch , all at the same time , all the while , the twins continue fighting each other.

Ma and I are laughing as we sit, literally, in the middle of the hummie wars.. Several minutes pass by as this swarm  only gets crazier… Suddenly.. Everything stops.

Both feeders, covered with hummies, everyone wore out, they all sit quietly and have breakfast as we watch the sun begin to brighten the mountain top.

Clouds heavy enough that we will unlikely see the rays today, at least make the day present. A light snow begins to fall as I stand back out on the deck again , having made my way between the feeders without dislodging any of the hummers.

I look back to the feeders to see several dozen beady little eyes glaring at me.

” What?” I asked as I grimaced at them.

Hummie clears his throat. I look to him shrugging.

” Make… It.. Stop!” He said between pursed  lips.

” Ummm …sure Hum…”

About that time… the snow let up.

” Thanks.. That’s better.” Hum said.

I looked to the skies, shrugging, just in time to get the first of a quick hail storm in my eye. ” Gawhh!” Shaking my head as I picked the ice out of my eye. ” Looks like ; Just another day on Zen Mountain. “

Hummie glaring at me again as hail fell about him. ” Whatever. “


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