Day 284...Icing Sugar on the Hills

It was truly going to be one of my coldest nights last night but, fortunately for me, I have been able to use Jason’s sleeping bag and I was warm as with a hot water bottle and Hobo, who insists on getting in the sleeping bag with me as well! My own sleeping bag is supposed to be good for minus seven degrees but it’s not proving quite as fab as it ought to be! Please don't get me wrong so far as Hobo is concerned, I encourage him all the way because I actually adore this crazy cat. He has become a great mate so in my more insane moments, I can talk not only to him but to the chickens as well! Perfect really!

I had a great night’s sleep without seeming to waken as often as usual, eventually stirring pre-dawn to do my normal weather checks and get the daily torture under way. I liken it to checking a lotto ticket; always in the hope that it’s a winner but, of course, it never is. Rather like my weather, for sure. I’m ever hopeful but, just at the moment, it isn’t obliging. I send a couple of early morning messages, then get on with the rest of my day, including a trip over the hills this afternoon to visit the city and spend time over there for the next day or so. Let's face it, I want to see the new, fresh snow on the hills from last night. Also, tomorrow is Saturday and I am heading into civilisation to spend some time checking out a couple of markets, one of my favourite past times.

As I drive out of the gateway from my cottage today, I over-steer a little bit more than usual and, what with the track being very wet, Cuzzie is now stuck in the mud. But, after three or four attempts using my faithful orange plastic ramps, we are now back on track, driving on hard gravel again!! I have to laugh at myself, stuck in the mud, wheels spinning, going nowhere fast. Thank goodness for the ramps; saved by them yet again! Ten minutes later, I am heading up the farm track for a lunch of hot soup and a chat before I left the farm. Following my earlier incident, I decide to walk up their driveway today as I lack the confidence to drive up the steep hill. A little while later I was back on the road. A lot of the ranges are covered in thick snow and even the lower hills around Takaka have a light dusting. To me, it looks like they are sprinkled with icing sugar! It’s all very beautiful but, try as I might, my pictures don’t really do justice to the scenery. On a daily basis now, I’m noticing more spring flowers in bloom and, every day, I see newborn calves and lambs. There always seem to be some that arrive way too early and I wonder whether or not they’ll make it.

This evening I drove more carefully up and over the hills and I’m happy to say they were dry with no signs of ice on the roads, thank goodness! Cuzzie and I are now safely on the other side of the hills and looking forward to a couple of fun days. The weather’s going to be sunny but really cold according to the forecast. Which is good because I’m badly in need of some sunshine and some time away from pacing. Someone put it into perspective this morning, something he always seems able to do: "To be honest, you’re only waiting on some fine weather; really and truly that’s not the biggest issue in life!!” The daft thing is, he’s right because I’m fretting about something I cannot change, something over which I have absolutely no control. It will happen if and when it happens. Then, and only then, will I be able to paddle again. For tonight and for the next few days, I’m taking a chill pill.

My smiles today:
Newborn calves and lambs.
Daffodils, I must plant some on my return home.
Cuzzie's wheels spinning in the mud!
My plastic orange ramps. They saved me yet again.
Snow on the hilltops.
The thought of market days.

My thoughts today:
Don't stress over things you cannot change. Funny, someone should have said that to me yesterday!

In the meantime, there may soon be lambs to help feed on the farm and there is the arrival of the whitebait season (yippee) to look forward to. More good reasons to stay in the South Island!

Goodnight from Red. Ma Te Wa.

The car ramps.

The car ramps.