Silly Groundhog
February 24, 2012, 2:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized



Despite the recent first snow of the season, Phil the Groundhog appears to have made a mistake this year.  According to the seeing of his shadow on February second, Phil predicted six more weeks of winter  (click here for the 2012 report in the Washington Post).  But I think humans misinterpreted Phil’s prediction because here at Black Cat Cabin daffodils are about to bloom and last night spring peepers, tiny frogs that are heralds of spring in these parts, performed their first concert of the season in the ponds here on the farm.  Spring Peepers in February!  Truly remarkable.

I personally fail to recall such signs of spring so early in my nearly half century of  a lifetime and I can’t say it is a problem for me.  In fact, it is rather nice to have spring when my body and brain want it, in late February, because every year around this time I sort of loose my steam and start to hate winter.  It is as if I am solar battery powered.  All Spring, Summer and Fall I store up energy from the sun that is used to stave off the cold and dark days of winter and by mid -February I run out of that power.  The cold seems colder.  I appreciate less the bare trees and minimalism of winter landscapes. The muscles in my neck knot up from bracing against chilly temperatures. The colors of winter  somehow fade as much as grays and browns can and I long for warmth and brighter colors. Waiting for spring begins to take up a lot of energy and patience.  This affliction is commonly known as spring fever and I get it in spades.

But this year, just when I need it most, the signs of spring are here.  The grass in the yard is already green, flowers are blooming all over town and the silence of winter has been broken by the happy song of the Peepers.

Today the temperature is predicted to get up to 75 degrees and you can bet I will be outside recharging my batteries as much as possible.


Winter Finally Comes to Black Cat Cabin
February 21, 2012, 6:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Day before yesterday it started to snow in these parts.  Not unusual for February but a bit unexpected this year due to the unseasonably warm winter we have had. Daffodils are blooming already for goodness sake!  Anyway, we got our first real snow of the winter and I was glad to see the farm in all it’s winter white finery.  It was truly stunning.

Here is a picture of the front of the cabin in the first couple of hours of snow:

I love to walk in the snow so I bundled up and wandered around a bit in the early hours of the snowstorm to take in the beauty of the woods and fields then hunkered down with my daughter to an enchilada dinner and the final episode of Season 2 of Downton Abbey before going to bed.  At some point in the night (P estimated around 11:00pm) the power went off- not surprising as it went off twice during Downton Abbey sending me into fits as the dish had to reboot for about 10 minutes each time).

The first indication that the power was out was how cold the air in my bedroom  was when I awoke around 6:00am.  I forgot that the pump for the water in the house is electric and that we would not have running water or septic until I had already used the toilet. Agh!  And wouldn’t you know I had planned to wash my hair that morning.

These are pictures of the farm in the early morning after the snowfall:

My daughter was home from school due to a fever the previous day which broke in the night leaving her energetic, cold and needing to work on a school project she neglected during her bed rest the previous day. The wood stove just wasn’t going to cut it for heat and we couldn’t stay in the house without working plumbing at any rate so we dressed in the semi-warm sun room and headed for Barnes and Noble where we spent most of the day in the cafe working on her project and meeting the other people who spend their workdays in coffee shops for whatever reasons.  By 5:00pm there was still no power so we went by the house, threw a few things in an overnight bag and drove 57 miles to my mother’s house to shower, eat a hot meal and sleep in warm comfort.

The electricity is back on now which is good because I am tired of so much driving.  I am thankful, though, that we had somewhere to go.  The entire event has made me appreciate the creature comforts of modern living as well as come to the realization that I have almost no survival skills – or at least I am too lazy to adapt to life without central heating and running water.

Sun room
February 15, 2012, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was a gorgeous day.  Warm for mid-February, 60 degrees and sunny.  Sadly, I was gone from the cabin most of the day and missed the opportunity to enjoy the non-electric heated warmth.

But when I did arrive home around 5:00pm, the sun still shining and the flower bulbs ready to pop any day now – sure signs that soon spring will color the farm again- the sun room was toasty warm.  I am basking in the solar heated comfort of the sun room as I write this and know that I will miss this space in Black Cat Cabin most of all when we move in the summer.

Manhattan Snow
February 11, 2012, 1:43 pm
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I am taking a little break from Black Cat Cabin and have ventured up to NYC for a couple of days to get some much needed counter country urban vibe and lead some yoga for some private clients.  Being in “The City” feels very strange  after living in the cabin.

I am reminded how hot New York apartments are as I sit typing this in my friend Candace’s chic upper East Side apartment. The wind only comes in here if invited by an open window. The walls and floors are sealed up tight.  One could comfortably walk about the place in a skimpy nighty in this the dead of winter where flannel pajamas, lambs wool slippers and a thick robe are necessary at home this time of year even if the weather has been unseasonably warm.

Twenty stories above the earth there is a lack of life, no stink bugs buzzing about, or lady bugs crawling along the insides of lampshades, no braying burrows or sounds of galloping hooves or geese honking in the field, no skunk spray or barn smells wafting in the night air. Those signs of life that invade the senses at Black Cat Cabin are replaced with the sounds of cars whizzing along the highway along the East River, barge horns, sirens, a sort of amalgamated industrial smell.

This removal from nature has me a bit out of sorts even though I once lived in Manhattan.  I am more aware of the effect that the city and all its man made stimuli has on my body. It is confusing.

Apparently I am not alone in my befuddlement. Even the light little snowflakes dancing outside the large picture window are confused. Rather than obeying the laws of gravity, they are flitting about all over the place, some traveling sideways, others actually floating upward and some making lazy circles but very few headed directly down.

The irony of course that it is snowing at all here.  It rarely snows in “The City” as the city itself generates so much heat that though it may snow in the neighboring areas it usually just rains here. The snow is not sticking on the roads or sidewalks or buildings today, the street below appearing to be wet rather than snowy.

There has been no snow on the farm yet this winter.