A frosty morning, the Christmas tree has a coating of white icing and looks more festive now than it did in December. walking on grass is like crunching glass underfoot and the air has a stillness that makes you stop and listen, no birdsong this morning....
I found an old pair of binoculars and have been watching two wood pigeons on the pine tree opposite my bedroom window some afternoons - they huddle on chosen branches watching the world go by, fluffed up for warmth, there must be a nest nearby hidden from view. The sky this morning was pink beyond the tree line.
Ambercat doesn't like the cold and suffers a bit of arthritis, so on a frosty morning her excursions are limited to a quick trot round the perimeter and then back indoors. A blogging friend (thank you Pompom) recommended some aromatherapy for her - frankincense in particular (which I have yet to acquire) - so I got interested and read a book about aromatherapy for pets - you offer up the chosen oils and the animal will indicate which one it likes best, simple enough - you don't apply it to the skin or fur but place it where it can be inhaled and appreciated. I have experimented. Amber likes lavender oil and tea tree oil placed nearby, warmed in oil - healing, cleaning herbs - I think she is enjoying them.
Update on the aromatherapy: (and thanks to Nancy whose comment prompted me to add this): cats can be harmed by some oils as their liver breaks down toxins differently to ours. There is a wealth of information on the internet, some advocating lavender oil for cats (and tea tree oil too) but only if of premium grade quality (i.e. not perfume grade), used diluted and not applied directly to the animal.
My view is that the oils should only be used in a large, well aired room to make it smell pleasant and the cat should be able to leave the room if she doesn't like being near it, it shouldn't be placed close to her. Oils should be WELL DILUTED- a couple of drops in a carrier oil that is then put in water for an oil burner or a few drops of this dilution dabbed on a light bulb is sufficient - I mostly put mine on the light bulbs. I am aware Ambercat doesn't like cinnamon or clove oil whether in the diffuser or in cooking! and this is listed as harmful to cats so not surprising - she also dislikes citrus oils near her. I think natural oils used carefully are far safer than the synthetic plug ins we were using last year by the way but anything that we or our pets inhale should bee used with caution - which is why I thought it would be wise to put this update on.
trusty camera still has black spots on the lens, but it will do the job for now
She also likes catnip and prefers to help herself, she's not greedy. (This is the catnip pot, a souvenir from a trip to Florida a few years ago being put to good use).
Indoors we have colour in the form of oranges - we have been buying them by the box. We have colds - the body craves what it needs... my little orange tree is shooting out fruits in sympathy. In the garden I have a baby lemon tree, it has been growing outside and the cold shock has brought it into bud - if I bring it inside now we can smell the blossom.
I am having trouble letting my holiday become a distant memory, I am still there, floating like a starfish in the sea and the real world is only washing in at high and low tide. I certainly am still enjoying that holiday!
Don't you think that the right kitchenware inspires? I am not a cook, but hubby is - when I see my orange casserole dish out I immediately want it to be full of hot, warming food with chunky vegetables, red wine gravy, fluffy potatoes.
... and on cosy home days like this it's nice to bring out my favourite gingerbread tea set...
I have a Susan Branch calendar - I like her illustrations and quotes - it is very American in style - I look up the quotes and read about the authors - sort of educational?
I dabbled with my silk paints yesterday, my Tricia Guild books inspired me...
Today I am off to the library - I am hoping lots of books will have been returned - I like looking on the 'just returned' shelf to see what everyone else enjoyed - sometimes I find books I wouldn't ordinarily have picked out.