Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sad news

Astrologers believe that when Mercury is retrograde, things go wrong.  This week, Mercury definitely is retrograde.  It was intense and sad for me and for many people I know.  My neighbors came over to tell me about a near catastrophe at their pond the day before, when a visitor's child almost drowned in the pond.  We sat in my yard when they told me of this hair raising experience, and all of the sudden my Mom, who was weeding the garden, called me over to her.  Our cat Oscar lay dead in my flower bed.  There were no signs of struggle, no wounds.  He looked like he was sleeping.  The kids, my Mom and I stood around him as we held each other and wept.

I really, really liked this cat.  Although I'm allergic to cats, I let him come inside in the evenings so we could pet him and give him some love.  He always hung out with me in the garden, hiding behind bushes and rubbing up against me when I sat down.  I miss him.

One very small consolation is that

1) We found Oscar and don't have to wonder what happened to him.

2) He died surrounded by flowers.

And of course, life goes on, Mercury retrograde or not.  Fortunately, I have plenty of work to take my mind off death and misfortune.  I am working furiously on my online cheese making class, perfecting my e-books, collecting recipes, taking pictures and making movies to demonstrate techniques.  You can learn how to make this yummy marinated chevre if you take my online class!  

The veggie garden keeps me busy, too.  I swear, the plants (and the weeds) grow half an inch a day.  I spent two hours weeding it today, and tomorrow the boys will have to hoe the potatoes.  I'm staying on top of things - it feels good and looks great!

The visit with my Mom from Germany is going marvelously.  Lots of bonding happening, and lots of walks in our beautiful backyard.  These photos are all literally in our backyard!  Remember, we live in the wilderness!

And don't you worry - there is plenty of time for ice cream with Oma, and freshly picked strawberries with whipping cream!  Gotta show those Germans that Americans can do gourmet food, too!

Let me leave you with a very short little movie that my ten-year-old son Luke made all by himself.  He has been watching me make movies for my online class, and he is trying it himself.  He is filming his parkour moves that defy gravity.  Oh, to be young again!  I'm proud of him.


  1. Sorry for the loss. People in general have a tendency to forget how important animals can become in someone's life.
    My mind is being occupied with the death-theme as well lately, but that might be because of my job as a churchyard gardener and caretaker.....

    1. Ron, what an interesting job you have! Bee keeper and churchyard caretaker!

    2. I'll never forget the church grave yards in England. It profoundly affected me to see 500 year old grave stones and think "now here were some people. 500 years ago. they lived their lives. just like me. probably had families, felt love and all the emotions that humans feel. forgotten as ancestors died out." It made me rethink what I thought was important. Another step in shedding the stupid stuff of my life and making as much of life as I can. Love, Renee

  2. OK That Lukas is terrific! and I had a good laugh at the boi-yo-yoing at the end!

    Yes, good you found him. In the flowers. Was he old? He looks exactly like our cat Charlie except for the long tail. Charlie has a stump tail. We had a cat and a small dog that just up and disappeared. I have to make sure my imagination doesn't run away with me. Coyotes are all around here. Oscar wasn't taken by a coyote. Whew! You gave Oscar a good life. We love them so.

    I'm going to send you a link to my blog when I have the next chapter uploaded. You are going to be amazed at the difference between your forest retreat and our dry land ranch.

    On your list of equipment for cheese making: How much of everything and what sizes?

    1. Oscar was only four years old... Yep, we also have coyotes. And mountain lions. But there were no wounds.
      Yes, send me a link to your blog!
      About the online Cheese making class: it says on the supply list how many chevre molds to order. As for mold sizes for the other cheese: if you will make small rounds (2# cheese) with 2 gallons of milk, order the small size. If you want to make bigger rounds (4# cheese), order the bigger Tomme molds. As for cultures and rennet, I recommend ordering one small of each I listed. If you really love cheese making, you can order bigger sizes later on!

    2. Oh I can see why you be even sadder then. Unexpected and young. I hope you can take comfort in knowing you gave him a loving home. Nature hardly ever shares with us her reasons or gives explanation. Make every day count Corina. We never know what's coming tomorrow. I know you know this. Love, Renee


    you've been to California, right? I just can't get over the contrast between your lovely place and our hecka dry place.

    1. Wow, it really IS dry where you are! Thanks for sharing your pictures! I left a comment on your blog about the blossom end rot.


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