Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The trickle rate is increasing, anyway...

We've had a couple of lovely afternoons here at the Gulch. Snow on the ground is mostly reduced to shade-sheltered patches, with afternoon temps in the mid-fifties. I've gotta hand-wash some clothes today, so of course today the wind is coming up and I'll spend the afternoon chasing laundry. :^( On the other hand, a windy afternoon will probably dry up the remaining mud.

The boys and I hiked out to the Lair site. I set a water bottle under the tap and set water to trickling, and the trickle rate had increased to the point where I couldn't just go away and come back in a few hours. So we trekked out into the wash toward the road, then climbed a hill and made a big circle back to the Lair. The boys love to range on their own, and you can stand on the top of the hill at this point and watch them bounce over and through gullies below, appearing and disappearing among the junipers, making their leisurely way back to Uncle Joel's approximate position. By the time we got back, I had a full bottle waiting. I'll pick it up later when I go putz with the never-ending paneling job. After laundry I'll have a couple of new empties to fill.

Ghost has long since gone past resigning himself to Little Bear's existence, and you could now call them friends without stretching a point too far. In certain matters there's no question who's in charge, but he doesn't insist on deference on every point the way Grampy Magnus used to do. As alpha dogs go, he's pretty laid back. Ghost has always had an almost schizophrenic personality in one sense: He was always the most independent of the dogs, preferring to go his own way and even disappearing for entire weekends to move in with the weekender neighbors. On the other hand he's a lover of routine and can be a real baby about it - on our recent trip to the city he spent five days making a pathetic spectacle of himself and never just settled down and enjoyed the adventure. Even Click the Cat handled it better than he did - as long as she knew where "her baby" was, she was perfectly content with a nice warm house and the chance to terrorize the resident cat.

LB doesn't seem to care whether routine is adhered to or not - he prefers not to be immured in the scriptorium first thing, making his view abundantly known that a morning walky is first necessary before we go to the cold dark place so Daddy can stare at his box. But beyond that, he pretty much wants to do whatever I want to do. He doesn't even object to Gitmo, though if treats weren't involved he might take a different view. I'd love to be able to take him with me when shit-shoveling, but he probably wouldn't deal well with the horses (Ghost definitely wouldn't) and when I leave him in the Jeep he expresses his boredom by eating important components of the interior. So we don't do that.

All in all we've settled nicely into the winter routine. I'll remember the late cold snap for quite a while and there's still damage to the water system that needs fixing, but I'll reserve my weather-related bitching until the next one. If you don't mind cold toes, ever-present dirt, hauling water from remote locations and a rather uninspiring diet, it's not at all a bad way to live.

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