Category Archives: Halvor

Friday evening and Saturday afternoon fishing; and Effieland’s garden

We joined millions of caddisflies at the pond after dinner yesterday, and they were worth the bother of being swarmed by tiny bugs tickling our faces. The fish we aspired to catch love to jump up and catch and eat caddisflies, and they become so excited that they seem eventually to work up an appetite for our pretty enameled steel lures. In a little over an hour, we had each caught four trout–one short of our allowable limits–but it was growing dark. My husband cleans each fish as soon as it’s caught, and puts it in a bag with ice until we get home and put all the cleaned fish into the freezer to await canning.

This afternoon we returned to the pond  after lunch, when no caddisflies were assembled; we caught just two trout each. The twelve from our two fishing outings are now in Mason jars, steaming in the canner.

I was delighted to see that the turtles have just returned to the pond.


Effieland protects Effie from errant dogs, other cats, raccoons, eagles, hawks, coyotes, and cougars (which are rare and we’ve never seen one on our property, though one accosted a man in his barn a few miles away). Effieland also protects our grapes, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, flowers, turnips, and Effie’s catnip.

Effie tiptoes through this Spring’s first flax.

Effieland’s first strawberry blossom of the year

Halvor suns himself outside of Effieland. Effie does not share her space too commendably.

Effie’s catnip grows in a pot on a shelf above her reach. I give her leaves and she lets me hang out with her.



Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Fishing, Halvor, Home Life, Photo Galleries, Seasons

The chicks are growing up, Halvor turns to farming, and Effie remains the monarch of Effieland and the house

The little chicks are growing up, and in about four months they will become producers of eggs. Vic built them a larger hutch, and, thankfully, they no longer require heat lamps.

Halvor appears to have taken over the tractor, but I don’t think he has a key. . .

She who rules Effieland and its adjoining house


Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Cats, Chickens, Effie, Halvor, Home Life, Photo Galleries

Springtime in Effieland and its tenuous beauty

Grass is such a wonderful place. . .

and a wonderful thing to eat!

Outside the bounds of Effieland, Effie’s people have lilacs in bud.

 Halvor hangs out under the spirea garland, which has a few surviving branches in bloom after significant frost damage.

A few sprigs of garland survived.

Now budding are the few tulips that escaped consumption by deer.

Effie seeks shade beneath her chair. It’s a beautiful warm day!


Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Halvor, Photo Galleries


p1020604Effie is a slender cat, but she is nonetheless very proud of her tummy. . .

p1020607Waking or sleeping, Halvor knows that his bigness is part of his charm. . .


Filed under Cats, Effie, Halvor, Photos

Effieland and its feudal Lady

p1020589cHalvor has a supervised visit in Effieland. Effie greets him warmly; Halvor greets her in kind.

Moments later, her mood changes. She takes a swipe at him. He hisses at her. It makes me anxious and I miss the shot. I open the gate for Halvor; he is desperately ready to leave. I assure him the tiff was entirely Effie’s fault. I promise him I will work with her on her hospitality.

p1020590“I’m just not a play-group person. . .”


Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Cats, Effie, Halvor, Photos

Things I learn from my cat (when I pay attention)

Our weather is beginning to moderate somewhat. The temperature here at Rabbitbrush and its fenced centroid, Effieland, now exceeds freezing, and rain is expected. Our deck, lawn, and fields, like the hills beyond us, remain covered with high-boot snow. Effie has patrolled her holdings off and on throughout the day, but for the most part has chosen to remain indoors, napping, moving between nap venues, looking out windows, asking to be let out but remaining in while she contemplates the advantages of both sides of the door, and snacking.

Halvor loves his tenancy in the shop, where he has a stack of blankets for a bed, food and water, and a litter box. I check on him and let him out for a while when he desires to go out. When I see him sitting at the shop door again, I let him back in. He has it pretty good here, and I’m glad he seems to know it, because I am happy he likes hanging out with us. He is courtly toward Effie, and she appears at times to adore him. At other times they seem chagrined with one another. Who knows why. . .

The expected rain arrived, propelled by deep-toned gusts of wind. Effie is indifferent; she is indoors, after all, without risk of compromising her comfort. She often finds strange comfort in opening cupboards and banging them shut. It’s a Cat Thing; I wouldn’t understand, not even after a year and a half with Effie and 17 years with Coolidge, her predecessor. There are certain things that cats do, and I have no idea why they do these things.

I am convinced that cats teach in their sleep, and they also teach while their people sleep. Cats I have known have found it most important to teach me who they are, that I am blessed with the incredibly good fortune of having them in my life, and what they require of me. They will also devote a portion of their curriculum to their food preferences.

Cats are really pretty straightforward about the parameters of shared lives. They rule with finely honed claws in soft fur paws. They also possess keen teeth. They also sleep, look out the window, and look up into their person’s face as if they beheld an epiphany.

Don’t be fooled. Just feed your cat when she first yowls near her bowl; lay off grooming her when she first commences shredding your hand; do not administer a playful tummy rub while she is sleeping—and no one gets hurt. . .See how easy life with cats can be? ^-.-^



Filed under Action & Being, Cats, Effie, Halvor, Photos

All things snow

A comforting snow–like a blanket–is falling and rapidly deepening.

p1020539The snow nurtures our dormant aspen.

p1020540The snow encourages camaraderie among our hens.

p1020542A quick stolen kiss on the porch!

p1020541“Where is everything?”
And, the snow revives Effie’s sense of awe and wonder.


Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Cats, Chickens, Effie, Halvor, Nature, Photos, Seasons, Weather