At the farm. What with all the snow in Portland, ice on the freeway, holiday stuff, we haven’t been able to visit. To see what winter looks like here. Probably not too much to do in the way of farm work in this strange stretch of sub-freezing weather, but we have a new little old desk for the chick-room to deliver. Books to read. Netflix discs to watch, now that we’ve learned how many gigs a simple streamed movie costs us down here.

On the way south on Tuesday, we stopped at The Whole Nine Yards to see about my Christmas present: a rescue chair (what we have instead of rescue pets) that Amy, a Portland artist, will transform into a cozy chair to accompany the above mentioned desk. Here’s the before shot:


We got to the farm to find that the wind had blown the tarp off the middle burn pile. Larry got right on it, as we see here: IMG_0743 (1)

Not much snow, but it’s pretty anyway.IMG_0741

We settled in. Went grocery shopping. People, upon hearing that we have this place, will ask what we do about food. Shop in Portland and bring stuff down? No, people, we do have groceries in Corvallis, most importantly, Trader Joe’s. Market-of-Choice when we’re feeling upscale. (Yes, you’re right. I always feel upscale.)

“Do you smell that?” I ask. In the entry hall, but by the time we haul the stuff out of the car, we don’t notice anything. Dinner, and the first chapter of “Madam Secretary.” Whew! We’re hooked.

“No, I really smell something.”

“Smells like a dead animal,” Larry says.

“Yeah, but it kind-of smells like gas.”

We don’t have natural gas in the house, but there is propane for the fireplace and water heater. Does propane have that gas smell? Google will tell us. Bad idea. Seems those clever chemists, wanting us to be safe, have installed a warning aroma in their product. No idea how that would work, but it smells, Google tells me, like a dead animal.

Sweet. What to do? I research a little further, and the advice seems to be that we should immediately vacate. Okay, that is not going to happen. You know Larry, you know me. I panic, he asks if I mind if he goes to bed. Fair enough, but first he agrees to open windows in the affected areas. Upstairs, opening the windows in the bedrooms, we look out and see the light on a slope that looks like a search light from those pesky black helicopters. I swear someone is out there with truck lights illuminating the field of snow. Larry says I’m just not familiar with the luminous quality of snow at night time. Beautiful and eerie.

We go go bed, windows open. It’s 18 degrees out there and we pile on the blankets, burrow in. I lie awake, but morning comes anyway. We call Tyrone. How is it possible that we can smell propane in the house? It isn’t. It’s probably — you guessed it — a dead mouse. They can chew their way into the most impregnable home.

And on that subject, seems we have acquired a visiting cat. Who leaves poop on our porch. A hundred-acres and she has to use our porch as a litter box? All cats are female, according to Larry, so don’t bother asking.

Today we’re going to a meeting at Benton County to plan a time-line for the work on fencing that our grant will fund. The painters are here, repainting our bedroom. As Larry says, the room’s getting a little smaller with all the layers of paint, but we’re still making it work. And now it’s lunch time. Hmm.