” Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me.”

A dismal, dark day is becoming the norm. No change in the weather until Tuesday at the earliest. It’s cold: the temperature was 36˚ when I left for breakfast. I know March can be a raw, snowy month, but I’m hoping for something better. I saw a yellow bud in the garden this morning. I don’t know what flower it will be, but I was excited to see color. My clothes today are blue and grey. Even I am drab.

The feeders are empty, and I noticed the suet feeder must have fallen. I’ll have to bundle up to go out to refill the four feeders and rehang the suet.

I have new mice news. For nearly two weeks, none were in the trap upstairs so either they had become quite cagey (ha!) or there were no more. I chose to be optimistic and figured I’d relocated the whole population so I decided to move the trap to the cellar. Maddie loves to go down there, and I know there are mice in the cellar. When I had the two Siamese cats, they stayed in the cellar for hours. The death count was 17: 16 of theirs and one by drowning. Yesterday I checked the trap and I had caught my first cellar mouse. He is now living a mile and a half from here. I wish him well. This afternoon I will check the trap again.

This is the first winter I’ve ever hibernated. We don’t do trivia on Thursdays, and I haven’t seen a movie in a while. I don’t even grocery shop anymore. I wake up every morning and try to figure out the day and if I have anything on my calendar. When I do, I groan a little. I like being home reading and wearing my cozy clothes knowing I can nap should I so choose. I do other things like an occasional cleaning rampage, and the other day I organized the recipes I had snipped from newspapers and magazines. One of the folders I labeled Make These, and I will.

Sunday used to be my busiest and my least favorite day of the week. I’d empty the litter boxes, run the dishwasher, go to the dump, change my bed, do laundry and correct papers. I’d go to bed early as I used to get up at 5 or 5:15.

Looking at that old list of my Sunday chores gives me a bit of a chuckle. Now it takes me three or four days to accomplish the same tasks. I’m no hurry.

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18 Comments on “” Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me.””

  1. Bob Says:

    The hibernation in winter instinct is buried somewhere deep in our reptilian brain stems. When we are young we overcome the instinct because we are so busy with family and work. As age creeps up we become less busy and the hibernation instinct rears it’s ugly head. My father retired in his mid fifties and lived until 86. He hibernated every day summer of winter by taking lots of naps. In his retirement he became an avid reader and would sit in his recliner, which is required for retirees, read and doze, read and doze most of the day. As he aged it was hard to tell which became dominant during his days, the dozing or the reading 🙂 He would interrupt his reading naps by shopping the super markets for marked down meats, preparing meals for himself and watching TV.

    Sorry to hear that the mice have returned. I think that the word is out in the mice community that you will only trap them and not kill them. They are never going to leave you alone until you get a killer mouse trap and become a rodent executioner. The word will get out among the mice to avoid your house at all costs 🙂

    Today the sun is shinning again and the high should be in the lower 70s. No rain is in our forecast until a chance by next Sunday. That’s a long way off for a weather forecast.

    • Bob,
      These mice are not repeats. These are in the cellar, two floors away from where the others were. I have had mice in the cellar forever. My Siamese caught them several years ago and now Maddie hunts. Around here you’d be hard-pressed to find a cellar without mice. Upstairs is clean of the beasties which is why I moved the trap. I read that mice have homing instincts up to a mile so the others were taken 1.14 miles from here which means no way home!

      I don’t have a recliner!

      In the summer I am hardly in the house and am out in the evenings often. I have season tickets to two playhouses and movie night every Saturday on the deck. I have also company for dinner on the deck fairly often. It is in winter when I rest up and hibernate and, like your father, read a lot. I figure I need to gather my energy for the summer.

      I want that sun and the 70˚!!

      • Bob Says:

        So you think that the cellar mice don’t communicate with the upstairs mice 🙂

        You and I are too young for a recliner and I realize that in the summer you will have more activities. However, I still think that winter brings on those deep feelings that our cave dweller ancestors had during those long winter nights. People in the Northwest, like in Seattle, actually buy racks of florescent tubes and bath in the light to chase away the gray sky winter blues. It’s called light therapy.

      • Bob,
        Maybe I ought to listen more for tiny, tiny sounds of Morse code!

        I don’t disagree about the winter and hibernating. I remember an episode of Northern Exposure when they all wore light hats. The lights shined in their eyes, and they loved them so much they wouldn’t take them off.

  2. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    It feels dark and lonely. I’ve only had an a few hours sleep. I was planning after a week of staying home with Jewels, to attend a concert tonight– Nancy Schimmel with Judy Grahn, but I can’t go, as Jewels is in the hospital again, and it is touch and go. She is such a little fighter.
    Gently Waving,
    Lori and JMC

    • Lori,
      We are all saying healing purrs for Miss Jewel, even Gracie. We all hope she’ll be just fine and home soon begging for food!

      Thinking of you both!

      Waving back!

  3. olof1 Says:

    Quite the opposite here and it will continue for at least a week according to the long term prognosis. But we all know how accurate those are 🙂 But I’m hoping that they for once are right, especially on next Friday when I’ll drive to the garage to get the thingy fixed so my car can pass the inspection.

    Sundyas are laundry days but I still have that to do before I do anything else. Otherwise I try to keep Sundays free from anything I don’t like 🙂 It’s bad enough to go to sleep early as it is a working day tomorrow.

    No mice here yet, not even down in the cellar. This must have been a good winter for mice so they have stayed outdoors most of the time.

    Have a great day!

    • Christer,
      I am so tired of this weather. I want sun!!!!

      You have such a long winter I don’t begrudge you the sun and a spring-like day. Enjoy them while you can!

      When I worked, Saturday was my day to do whatever I wanted so it was my favorite of all days.

      This is the second bout of mice I’ve had. The first one was years ago. I hope I am as successful getting rid of them!

      Have a great evening!

  4. Jay Bird Says:

    You made me chuckle! Anything on your calendar makes you groan. Indeed! Such a retiree thing, reveling in having nothing scheduled for a day. Playing golf on a beautiful day with three good friends still gives me a little “ugh” feeling. Seems odd, but surprisingly common among the retiree class.

    • Jay Bird,
      I always thought I’d be busy doing all the fun things in life, but, as you said, I revel in having nothing to do all day. I guess 35 years of working, of being busy every day, made me long for doing nothing!

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    One of the things I noticed about retirement is that I quickly came to resent it when I had to be somewhere on a certain day at a certain time. It doesn’t matter that it’s someplace I want to be. It’s the fact that I have been pinned down to a date certain that I don’t like. At this point in life, my days should all be ad libbed. 🙂
    I hope your cellar mice hunt is successful. At least the weather may be a bit better for late night drives.
    It’s another odd day up here. There was a bit of sun and then there was a bit of snow and then there was a lot of sun while it snowed. Rocky and I sat out on the steps and got some vitamin D and snowflakes on our heads. 🙂 Now it’s dreary and grey. The sun is sort of shining through the clouds but not in a way that shows any enthusiasm for the job.
    Enjoy the rest of the day.

    • Hi Caryn,
      That’s it exactly! I feel the same way!! Ad libbed is perfect!!

      You’re right. Some of those nights were really cold, but Gracie never minded the ride. She thought it was exciting. She’ll take any ride but the mouse runs are great fun!

      No sun at all the whole day here. It is even colder now that it was this morning. The day is just plain ugly!!

      I took a nap-it made the whole afternoon!

  6. Birgit Says:

    I need rest after this weekend! It wasn’t lazy at all. Yesterday a short chorus concert and today a 6 hour rehearsal for the European competition including a show rehearsal on high heeled shoes plus 5 hours by train and tram. Now I’m looking forward to the Danish TV crime series, a hot cacao and sleep.
    Thanks for the lovely music.

    • Birgit,
      The high heeled shoes are enough to exhaust me. I can’t even remember the last time I wore them. A 6 hour day is way beyond me now, and I applaud your commitment!

      Your evening sounds comfy and restful.

      You are always welcome for the music. It is my pleasure.

  7. Birgit Says:

    Just found a sweet short mouse song: “Our mouse is a very very fine mouse, with 2 cats in the yard…”
    Sounds familiar? Yes, Crosby & Nash. Track 1 here:

  8. Bert van Lokhorst Says:

    I learned that if you want something done, give it to someone busy.
    The time when I could be that person is long behind me.
    Today will be 9 degrees Celsius. Later in the week it will even become 13-16! So there is no doubt about the arrival of spring down here. Later today I’ll make the first effort to clean up the garden, but plans may still change.

    • Bert,
      I used to be that person, but now I could care less at how accomplished I am during the day! I figure I earned these days of leisure, and I’m going to make the most of them.

      I’d take the 13˚. We don’t get any higher than 40˚ , 4˚ for you.

      I love your last line! That’s how I live each day: maybe my plans will change.

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