Either stalactites or stalagmites – one or the other

I know one goes up and one goes down but whichever ones these are, they are an excellent visual example of it being too bloody cold – I will tell you that.  Ghastly, darlinks!

The swimming pool has ice swimming in it.  These shots were taken in the afternoon by the way. All day the Farmy sat in frozen shock. 

The big birds  decided that the verandah, in the weak sun, which was really just weak light, yesterday, was a nice place to hang out. 

Kupa is appalled at the dirty windows someone must get caught up on the housework.

In fact, it was so cold in the night that  icicles of condensation froze  inside the milking pump, which resulted in a rather frantic mechanical operation and much sighing when i tried to milk and could not. Daisy ate her first breakfast in the milking parlour but without being milked, was led back out to her own room, where she waited quietly with Queenie watching the pump saga with interest.  We  finally discovered a third set of frozen blockages in the air hose. Once it was fixed she was called back in and had a second breakfast and finally was able to release her gift of milk. 

I warmed the pump all day for the afternoon milking but I am terrified of unattended heat-lamps in a barn full of animals, even though they all have an exit, so the 60 pound pump has been hauled in for the night and is resting on the kitchen floor sticking out its feet at inopportune moments to trip us up as we go past. What a performance.

“It’s going to be a long winter.” said Our John disconsolately. He so reminds me of Eeyore sometimes. In fact I call him that sometimes but only when he is reading the paper and I know he is just pretending to listen!

Look at that sunny lie of a Daily View. 

Cold and colder. I think that thermometer says we got down to 18 (-8C) in the night.  And it is desperately cold again this morning.

However, there is talk of a slight warming over the next week or so.

EIGHT sleeps until I  fly to California on the first leg of the journey. I think I have counted them right this time. I am hopeless with numbers.  I need to find books to read as I travel.

I have discovered an interesting new awareness in my reading since I started writing.  I seem to be reading on two levels simultaneously. I read what the author wrote and I am also reading how it is written. You would think that this would diminish my pleasure in the reading but in actual fact it has heightened my enjoyment. Lately I am tasting properly the words of other authors, chewing on them and mulling them about as well as reading their stories. But intertwined if you like. I hope that makes sense. I think I am reading as a writer, which means I am learning. Good.

I am reading After You’ve gone Gone by Jeffrey Lent. He pretty much breaks every rule there is but with confidence. And it is beautiful. He relishes language.  His love of words and ease with them gives him permission, if you like, to reorder them. Hmm.

Anyway. Today I hand in the draft of my novel to be counted by the Nanowrimo robot counter. A momentous moment. Then we must drive up to Chicago to visit a family in mourning. The surrogate milkers will have their first solo milking this evening. I am trying very hard not to leave them pages and pages of ‘helpful’ instruction!

Have a lovely day.




50 Comments on “Either stalactites or stalagmites – one or the other

  1. So much for you do do and a trip to Chicago to fit in too. At least Daisy got TWO breakfasts, which can´t be a bad thing! And the only way I remember the difference is that stalactites hang down as they have to hold “tight” to the roof or ceiling 🙂

  2. Morning Celi. We’re chilly here also. About 25F. I think the girls will need some hot chocolate after chores! Be safe on your trip to Chicago and it’ll be good for your surrogates to have a run-through.

    • yes it will be good, and I have to stop myself running around and getting everything ready for them, they are more than capable.. c

  3. Sorry to hear of your loss. Your journey is definitely coming round fast! I believe it’s tights fall down, mights hold on. But I could have that completely the wrong way round! Travel safe. 🙂

  4. Have fun! I a so excited for you!

    My teacher taught me the difference between them. She said “When the mites go up, the tights come down.” It was such a mental image, I have never forgotten. You have stalactites.

  5. we finally got some snow too. i love winter! you can remember stalactites because they have to be tight to hang from the ceiling!

  6. Brrrr, that is chilly. Is the milking pump too big to put in the house? What about just the hoses? I have no idea about such things. We have a composting toilet at the cottage and the manual says that if you want to use it in the winter, to build a small insulated box around it with a 60 w lightbulb on the inside, apparently it’s enough heat to keep things from freezing.

  7. I was taught the difference between stalactite and stalagmite this way: Stalactite has a “C” so comes from the Ceiling, Stalagmite has a “G” so comes from the Ground.

  8. I ALWAYS leave pages of instructions for animalsitters when we’re away – and that’s just for a few beasties! By rights, you need to leave a novella at least! (Or maybe I’m just a control freak!)

  9. Oh heavens, So cold already! Seems winter is quite a lot more hard work than summer with everything freezing and causing problems.
    Always so much going on C, can’t wait for our vacation for a bit of R&R for you.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. Sounds like there is never a day of rest on a farm. How do you manage it all and still find time and energy to write and read? Do you sleep?

  11. What you read is how you write. You read marvelous books Celi. I’m counting the sleeps and adding new things to my valise… today a tiny lavender filled pillow for the plane. It helps one relax and perhaps nap. Such excitement. So much to look forward to. V.

  12. You have had quite the day starting with that frozen milking machine. I am curious. Do you leave the water in the pool all winter? Won’t that destroy the pool with the contraction and expansion due to temps?

    Safe travels to Chicago. This will be a good trial run for the surrogates.

    • It is an above ground pool that has a lot of give in it, plus if you take the water out -it collapses in a very expensive heap! I asked that question when I first came here too! c

  13. Goodness, that IS cold. We have no idea here in Sydney of what it’s like to be really cold – we whinge when it’s 0C. Stay warm darling. And re your travel – I know it’s not your thing, but a Kindle would really help your packing, and it’s lovely and quite booklike to read (although it doesn’t smell like a book!).

  14. Before I read your sentence about “reading like a writer,” that was going to be my comment! It’s an important step, and I don’t think it diminishes our reading pleasure. I’ve taught a writing class on reading like a writer, and I think it’s invaluable. If it’s a short piece, I sometimes read it once for pleasure and a second time for “analysis.” We can learn from what other writers do well, and we can also learn from the times when we stop and say, “hmm, now what IS the writer doing?!” Anything that brings the reader up short–whether it’s lack of clarity or when something just doesn’t add up—deserves a second look. We learn by recognizing what *doesn’t* work, too, or when, as in Lent’s case, the rules get broken but the writing still works. I’ll have to get that book.

    • It is a very interesting change, and although Lent breaks the rules to his advantage, sometimes he does draw me up short and I have to backtrack to see what he meant. I am not sure his writing always works but it is .. deep.. I guess. Rich. But I cannot skim his writing which in itself is a learning experience. thank you Gerry.. c

  15. When you’re young you read for story; when a few years pass for story and the way it is written; when you have read an awful lot of books [what a way to say when you have aged 🙂 !] you basically read for the last!! Uhuh: this does come from personal experience 🙂 ! Oh, they say 41 degrees C ++++ rain here at the end of the week: which is worse?

  16. What? Your windows aren’t spotless? What do you do with your time, Miss Celi! LOL! Please send me a friendly wave as you breeze through SoCal, okay? 🙂 8 sleeps…I like that!

      • Weather is really “easy” right now. We ate our Thanksgiving dinner picnic style outdoors. I didn’t blog about that…it felt a little cruel! We have some midweek rain coming, but it will still be warm. I am sure you’re going to have such a wonderful trip and the weather and family time will warm you through your long winter! oxo

  17. I think you are on your way now… I will catch up to your departure day in about an hour 🙂
    You might be interested in the book Reading Like a Writer. I bought it and have yet to read it but it has received good reviews. x wendy

  18. d’accord knowing about writing to appreciate good books. The downside is my impatience with bad writing which once I enjoyed for the sake of a good story.

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