Friday, March 30, 2012

The Bike and the Neighborhood Cat



I was planning on having a sunny day to go out and take some photos, but it stayed cloudy all day yesterday.
I enjoyed myself anyhow and got some very nice shots.  Just frees the mind.

It helped that the neighborhood kitty showed up to enhance some shots. She saw my Harrods green bag with cat drawings on it and was freaked and growling at it at first. Had to do some sniffing. Could she make out the cat images?  Seemed so.
This is the same kitty who goes along with her owner and the dog on walks up the path.  She now ventures on her own on some pretty extensive hunts.



She really is a beauty.


                                                                                                          Copyright 2012 Stepka

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Too Cold for Bees...

....But not for flies, I guess.


                                                                               copyright 2012 Stepka

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How I Feel This Rainy Morning

Now that is one heck of a yawn!
Nice to see that his teeth doesn't have any tartar build up.

Question?
Does looking at a cat yawning make you want to yawn too?
Does me.  

                                                                                                                        copyright 2012 Stepka

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bookcases

Since I brought up the subject of books and the possible demise of the paper bound books someday - I was thinking about how the bookcase had in the past turned more into a curio cabinet in homes, though curios are going by way of books also it seems.
Curios - those curiosities one use to find on travels and brought back home to remind them of an adventure and far off lands.
Somehow through the years, curios degraded into the world of trinkets and bric-a-brac - generally grouped classified into the dreaded term Knickknacks.  There are knickknacks and then there are 'knickknacks'.

I am proud to say I have vintage knickknacks that share my bookshelf - definitely not as much as I used to.  Even I like to keep things clean and in their place, but I have my little collections.  One of my favorites is my menagerie of animals, mainly dogs, since I just happen upon those more than any other creature.  Metal is my favorite medium and all the creatures must have a certain look in their eye.  They must speak to me in some way.  Looking at them today, they all seemed to be looking in one direction and ready to just hop off the shelf and set off for a group walk.


American decor magazines seem to intend to have everyone's home spic and span and neat as a button - eliminating all excess clutter.  Bookshelves, if they are present, have a few books on one side with a big vase or art object next to it.  Less is more, so the saying goes.
Sometimes though, it is just downright boring. 
I think that is why I love certain British magazines - they can be clean style wise, but still show the homeowner's personality and character through unique furnishings and collections.
Every home needs a few knickknacks! 

                                                                                      copyright 2012 Stepka  


Monday, March 26, 2012

Books as a Decorating Element, and the Fate of Hardbound Books


       
                                      photography by Mark Bolton

I saw this image in my favorite magazine - British Country Living, March 2012 - and it really gave me a flashback to the old farm house.
We had a dark stairwell going upstairs and books and catalogs and a mismatch of paper products always somehow landed on the side of it, creating a never ending heated conversation between my mother and us siblings about it never being clear.  Of course, our piles did not have this clean, colorful look.  But I did not think books on a stair would become a decorating element.  It does save on buying new bookcases!

Now I see books used as decorating props all the time in magazines and home furnishing catalogs. With a discerning eye one can organize books by colors and shapes as they show in the stairway photo, and make it look rustic and interesting. I see books piled high on bookshelves with their paper edges outward to give an even ivory textured look.  I have even wrapped book covers in kraft paper for window and store displays to add to a more contemporary look.

Years ago it was a trend to use old, vintage leather books in displays and there were display prop companies you could buy 100 or more books from, pennies on the dollar, to place in shop displays.  Most of these books you could not read because they were from Europe. My friend from Denmark, who worked along with me in display could read them.  Pickers just loaded tons of books from Europe and shipped them over to the USA, not for people to read, but to use as decoration.  Interior designers would place foreign language and English vintage books in home libraries to create a sophisticated look in a home, never to be read.  Sad but true.

Now we are in the age of Kindles.  What will happen to that solid, paper book that one used to have to buy?
Remember Star Trek?  One of the other characters would catch Captain Kirk relaxing in his room with a glass of real, old brandy and a real, vintage book from the 21st century.  Both rare, both cherished.

He even wore an old pair of reading glasses that were just ego dressing, not needed since everyone in his century now had perfect vision.  Can't wait for that!

The future is here. Personal libraries are already being housed in virtual worlds. Very convenient, so very easy to move with you, though definitely not as pretty.  But as long as writers, virtual books, and readers do not become obsolete, then the world will still survive.

But I do wonder the fate of our local public libraries.
Will they become virtual also - just websites you can log onto to "check out" virtual books and magazines?
And Bookstores!?
Nope.  I just can't imagine not having a local bookstore.
Banish the thought.

                                                                                       copyright 2012 Stepka

                                                                                      

Friday, March 23, 2012

Resiliency

Last week when it was raining to no end, the farmer, whose farm I pass on my way to work each day, had a cow down.  I had seen he had lost a cow just the week before - birthing - so the prospect must have been devestating to see another cow down.
She was not going down without a fight...not on the farmer's or the cow's part.

Each day I came by I saw a different scenario. Most days I would see the cow laying down either under a  tarp, miserable and head down, waiting out the rain - but laying on a pile of fresh green hay.  Other times during a dry spell, the farmer was out there in the pasture,  hoisting her up with a belt attached to a loader on a tractor.  She'd just be standing there on shaking legs surrounded by hay, but she was standing. One day she even was munching some hay.  Each day, I would wonder if I would see her spralled out on her side, a good fight lost.

As days went on, I saw her eyes slowly clear, her head come up.
The rains finally came to an end and on my way home a couple of days ago, she was gone - so was the tractor and loader.
I really thought she had been looking healthier, so I hope she'd had made it.

Today I went by the farm and looked for her.  No sign. 
But when I came back, I noticed a cow in the next pasture near the fence that looked very familiar.
Her tail was filthy and her ribs were showing quite a bit, but she was eating the new grown green grass like there was no tomorrow.

Yeah!

                                                                                           copyright 2012 Stepka

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wildflowers

I never know when I drag my camera out with me down the road, what I will find.
I will be taking shots of this and that, but I usually end up deleting most shots. 
Then sometimes I just fasten onto something.
This time it was a wildflower - just one of a million down a country road.



                                                                                                          copyright 2012 Stepka

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Door to Nowhere

Sun is back and starting to see bees and even bumble bees out and about.  So in honor of Spring...here is a very short missive about bees and hot, humid Midwest summers.


The back door of the old farm house opened to nowhere.
Well, not really.
It opened to a 20 foot pit.
Dad had dug a huge hole behind the house when he and mom had married, promising his new bride a new bath and laundry. 

During the hot and humid haying season, we would have that door to nowhere open, only a screen door keeping us from plunging over the edge, as we leaned our faces into it to catch any possible cross breeze, waiting in trepidation for the putt-putt sound of the John Deer tractor hauling yet another wagon of hay for us to unload.

Below the screen, the old excavation had left a crack in the foundation leading into the side basement… the egg cellar.  Not only did it store eggs gathered for market in its cool recesses, but also my father’s old bee hives.
Where there be old hives, bees follow.

I can still hear their steady drone as hundreds of bees flew back and forth through the crack, pollinating all those alfalfa blossoms in the fields, and my mother’s beautiful peonies and roses in the back garden and beyond.

Very busy bees, living happily in the egg cellar, until they were extracted after dad finally built the new bathroom and laundry…
30 years later.

                                                                                                copyright 2012 Stepka

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jon Katz's Ghost Story

I was surprised to see Jon Katz post a ghost story right around the same time I had written my one about our old haunted storage room.  See post for March 9, 2012.

Old farms, old history, and lots of old life energies.

Here is the first part of his story....check out his site for other additions to his story. 
Gives ya the heebie jeebies!
Then again...I had more than my share while growing up on the old farmstead.
I will have to share more of mine ..later.

"Me and Rose on the Path:  A True Ghost Story"

I told this story to Maria recently, and she was shocked I had not told her before. But she persuaded me to share it. It is a true story and it happened in 2003, and involved me and Rose. And one other.
About a half mile into our woods, off the path, there are the crumbling stone foundations of an old farmhouse, long abandoned, but almost surely a farm belong to the Scotch-Irish settlers who came here before the Revolutionary War. I walk by it almost every day, and have walked around in it. I have an old inkwell and pot from that house and I notice that the dogs always give it a wide berth.
One evening, a few months after I came to Bedlam Farm with Rose, we were walking along the path. It was just before dark and misty, and I remember hearing the owls and crickets firing up in the woods. We were on the way back, and Rose suddenly stiffened and growled, lowering her ears and looking ahead. I was surprised – a bit unnerved also – to see a tall, thin figure come down the path towards us. The man was very tall lean, lanky and was wearing a slouch hat and a brown cotton shirt and leggings. He had a carved wooden walking stick, and he  wore brown and muddy leather boots and I could see right away that his clothes were torn, covered in dirt. Rose’s mane went up, and so did the hair on my neck. There was no one that I knew who would be walking down my path as night fell and striking purposefully towards me.
As he moved closer, I stopped, and for a moment, I thought I saw the big red barn right through him, as if he were transparent, or so think that he was almost porous. Rose whined, whimpered, and backed away, the first and only time I ever saw her do that. I looked around for a stick to grab, and reached for my cell phone, which I realized I had not brought. I was new to the farm and not yet at ease there and I thought I ought to follow Rose and climb up the dirt mound next to the path and run for the farmhouse or the road. There was no one to call, no one to hear me. Perhaps so thin a man was not strong.
Then I took a breath and gathered  myself. I was not going to run on my own path, my own farm. I was just skittish. The man strode quickly towards me, as if I were not there, and about 50 feet away of me, he simply vanished. He was not there. I rubbed my eyes and looked around and was reassured to see Rose growling and looking along the path, sniffing the ground. She was spooked. So was I.
I never saw the man again. But when I walk past the foundations along the path, I always say “hey.”

Here is a link to the second part of his ghost story.  Enjoy.
http://www.bedlamfarm.com/2012/03/12/ghost-story-cont-foundations/

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Reminder of Sunny days

I had gone downtown a few days back (when it was nice and sunny) to the restored train depot to shoot an incredible array of daffodils blooming there.  Just gorgeous! I played a bit with photoshop on the photo below.  Love the shadows they cast.


                                                                                                   copyright 2012 Stepka

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tornados and Rainbows

All I remember is the steamed up window panes and me reaching one finger up over the windowsill and drawing it down over the wet surface.  My mother was there and for some reason, my Aunt on my father’s side. Excitement and tension were in the air inside the dining room that day. It was dark though mid-day.  Tornado warnings – not watches - were being spoken of on the radio.  I was probably 5 or 6 at the time?
A neighbor who helped out at the farm came in and spoke of shoring up swinging doors on the shed next to the barn…but that’s about all I clearly remember.
Only years later did I hear the story about how my father and brother who had been feeding the cattle on a pasture miles away, actually crawled under the truck for ‘safety’ when the tornado roared by.  My brother remembered the freight train noise.  He would have been 11 or 12.
Miraculously, no one in the neighborhood of nearby farms was hurt, but the damage was amazingly extensive. You could still see it 25 years later. I am sure someone’s barns and sheds on other farms must have flown off over the rainbow.  The major reminder for years to come on our farmland were the uprooted old growth trees in our woods and the very strange oddity of a chicken coop, right above the house in the apple orchard, having just appeared the next day, still standing in the very same spot, but completely upside down on its roof. Luckily, the chickens had been moved years earlier to a new coop down by the barn.
Yet, I never feared storms. Then again...I did not live in the 'flat' states where tornados were prevalent. 
 Storms usually broke horribly hot and humid summer days where I lived.  Lightning, thunder and wind brought wonderful cooling rain and air, excitement and of course, if we were lucky - a rainbow.
My brother and I from would actually look in the distance during tornado watches to see if we could see any funnel clouds in the distant horizon.  Running to the cellar never even entered our mind.
It brings to mind a great story Hemmingway wrote about his days as a reporter on the front lines of war.  He was in the war zone having a drink with buddies one day and all of a sudden, they started getting shelled. All his war buddies started for cover, under tables, in corners.  Hemmingway just sat there finishing his drink, commenting afterwards that a shell could very well land on top of a sheltering table as easily as where he sat finishing his drink.
Yes, we did have a cellar, but it also contained bees – nasty bees. 
Being enclosed in a small cellar with extremely nasty bees or facing a tornado under a truck?  What choices.                                                                                
                                                                                                      copyright 2012 Stepka

                                                       Somewhere over the Rainbow

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Anticipation


I was watching thru my view finder, trying to capture the very moment when this droplet finally let go.  I was distracted for just a second and it was gone. Just one of a million droplets falling off fresh new green shoots.  Spring is almost here.

                                                                                                           copyright 2012 Stepka

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just Another Rainy Day in Hog Paradise

Rain has returned to Northern California.


The hogs are wallowing in their beloved muck.


Just another day in hog paradise.

                           
                                                                                                           copyright 2012 Stepka

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First Year Anniversary - The Garage

Wow...  I actually have kept up this blog for a whole year.
And to celebrate, here is a cute story about Fitz - of course.

The Garage
Having just eaten his evening meal, Fitz rambles to his usual after dinner position in front of the inner garage door.
You would think that having been out all day, he would just like to curl up and take a nice nap before “nighty night” time, but no, the draw of what may lay beyond that door is just too strong.
Most nights he will jump up on the small round table next to the door and if I am not paying attention, I will soon hear a pitiful mewling sound.  With huge dark saucer eyes, he looks straight at me as one big paw reaches up, gently tapping on the door knob.
This cat really has it down.
I have tried to ignore it, but really – who could?  It’s just too damn cute.
So I get up and open the door ajar just wide enough for a cat’s body to enter.  We both peer around the door’s edge into the darkness and then look back at each other as if to say, “Yup, might be scary monsters in there.” Yet Fitz looks back into the void, positions himself, and jumps lithely into the black.
I used to turn on the light for him, but that would take all of his fun away - and scare any wayward mouse that may have come into the garage thinking he had found a safe haven for the night.
Honestly, I have never seen him catch anything, but the possibility is always present and must be ventured.  More often than not, especially during warmer months of the year, I will find him an hour later curled up on a scrap of old quilt in the corner, comfty cozy, and sound asleep.  Upon me gently coaxing and softly saying, “nighty night time”, his eyes will blink very slowly open and a new protesting series of short meows are issued, letting me know he does not want to be disturbed from his slumber.  Gathering him up in my arms, I carry him out of the garage and gently place him on the wool blanket on the sofa where he curls himself back into a ball and falls directly back to sleep.
The adventure can continue tomorrow.
                                                                                                  copyright 2012 Stepka



Monday, March 12, 2012

Poofy Skirts



Mom would dress me up in cute satiny or chiffon dresses on my birthday and for church.

I do remember loving the poofiness of them.
But what to do with those skirts? 

She would dress me in other more practical wear for the farm…solid cotton dresses and even pants sometimes, but going to town or school, it had to be a dress.

I begged her to let me wear pants to school.  Other girls’ moms let them wear them.
Nope.

Then one day at the drug store, as I was looking thru the comic book rack, mom came up with a neighbor …who looked at me standing there shyly, with all my cute little crooked bangs, cute little town dress… and then her eyes went down to the great big scabs, scratches and bruises all the way up and down my legs.

You see, I was very much so, a tomboy, farm girl.
Inevitably I would be riding my bike full steam down our gravel road hill and not quite make the turn around the granary. Scrambling around the hay mow looking for kittens did not help any either.

Mom agreed that I could at least wear pants 'under' my dress after that.  No more embarrassing lifting of eyebrows at my battle scars from others.

                                                                                            copyright 2012 Stepka

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Haunted Storage Room

If growing up in an old large, rundown farmhouse, in the middle of nowhere wasn’t creepy enough, just add a dark, narrow stairway leading up to an old, extremely terrifying portrait of an ancestor reputed to be a witch - and an old dark storage room.

Once removed, old family stories do not hold the horrors and shame that the same generation had to face.  Once removed, and grown up, you can look back and logically understand that my great grandmother, whose photo portrait I had to face each night while going up the stairs had had a very tough life, and her face showed it. Sitting next to my very distinguished looking great grandfather, my great grandmothers lined, craggy, and unsmiling face, hair pulled back unrelieved and taunt, bore witness to each and every hardship that was a farmwife’s life, surviving in the frontier that was the 1800’s.  She survived years after my great grandfather passed only to slip into a world of her own, wandering sometimes a few miles away from our farm, to show up behind some unsuspecting neighbor and scaring the be-Jesus out of them.  So much so, that my grandfather had to post a type of bail for her, a thousand dollars (a huge amount in the early 1900’s) to keep the state from placing her into an asylum and promised to keep her on the farm.  Rumors spread through the neighborhood that she was a witch.
Reality was she most likely had Alzheimer’s.
So how did my grandfather make sure she stayed on the farm?  I never really thought about that, but I have a feeling I know which room had been hers.
Had her room been the ‘haunted’ storage room upstairs?

The room, originally a bedroom with its own separate closet, had had three windows in it at one time, open to the world. During my childhood however, they were perpetually shuttered with heavy fabric nailed to the upper sill. One dim bare bulb in the ceiling was the only source of light.
A large, plain brass antique bed filled the back of the room that always called to mind the Princess and the Pea bed, since my mother had piled high on it, old quilts, linens and feather quilts that had been used years past and no longer. Under the bed were old waffle irons and other items she had received on her wedding day …never used.  A huge old box of disintegrating old family photos was shoved next to them, double and triples of photos of people I did not know and never would, their names lost with succeeding generations.
And everywhere on either side of the room, were boxes and boxes of old clothes, just stuff and more presents opened but never used, having been silently declared by my mother as their being “too nice” to wear or use?

At the other end of the room was the closet, the heavy door having been lifted off its hinges long ago, leaning against the opening, stacks of National  Geographic  and other old magazines piled precariously throughout, my father’s old Sunday suit, and coats hanging off one rod on the side.  The moth ball smell will be forever burned in my nostrils.

The storage room always gave me the creeps.  It got so bad at times that after running quickly in and out for whatever item my mother had sent me for,  I ended up locking its door on the way out (from the outside) locking ‘whatever’ in - so ‘whatever’ could not venture back with me into the rest of the house.

Creepy – Yup.

I also had a dream that kept repeating itself over and over about that room. In it, there was a little crawl space door next to the storage room’s actual door.  I would crawl through it into the room’s closet and something horrible was in there with me.

Years later, when I was grown, sometime after my father had passed and we were cleaning out his things in that closet, I remarked to my brother about how creepy that room had always been to me.
He nodded his head and then proceeded to tell me about a bad dream that he had a few times when he was young about that room.
…Something about a little crawl space door leading into the closet of that room.

                                                                                                                copyright 2012 Stepka

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What I Love about Thrift Shops...

....You can walk into a shop and you find a precious, very affordable painting that needs a good home.


I have no idea how this little painting landed up where it did...but it landed in a home where it is greatly appreciated.  Talk about capturing the essence of an animal.  Wonderful job.

French Pop - Carla Bruni



I love simple songs in all languages, especially French.
Here is the French President's wife in a former career as a songstress.
Maybe she still records?
I have no idea exactly what she is singing about, but it is definitely
very haunting, a bit sad, and very lovely all at the same time.
I don't care.

When I was working in a small boutique, I was playing a French song on the I Pod.  It was a cute, upbeat little ditty, that I really enjoyed and sounded very much like a children's lullaby.
A French couple came in and listened to it for a bit. I asked them what it was about and they told me it actually a song about the horrors of war.
Sometimes it's good not to understand the lyrics.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Strangers at the Door

You know how they say pets resemble their owners – well, Fitz definitely does not resemble me, but I definitely see my old farm girl self in his reactions when it comes to strangers at the door.

Fitz will be relaxing on his pillow on the desk upstairs, all mellow, then his head will shoot up, his gaze steadily fixed into the empty space of the hallway and beyond.
His radar senses pick up something I cannot hear – a strange vehicle in the driveway.
A strange human has arrived.
He listens for a while.  Just by looking at his posture, you can tell if the person is heading toward my door or the neighbor’s.  If mine, a sense of panic gathers in his orbs.  An interloper, someone to offset the interior balance.  Must hide!

If he is downstairs and hears someone not familiar coming up the porch steps, he is poised at the bottom of the stairs, literally one paw on it, ready to bolt, eyes bulging from the sockets, looking at me, questioning my sanity, if he sees me start heading toward the door to let some ‘stranger’ in.

Funny thing is - I realized one day after observing his reaction, OMG!  Fitz is me!  Well, the 40 some years ago me.

Privacy was taken seriously on Midwest farms. Even “dropping by” your neighbors unannounced was frowned upon.  Farm life was hard work and 24/7.  It was not respectful to stop in when you knew they may be busy baling hay, sheep dipping, milking or the 10 million other projects a farmer had to do each day. First, you were usually a complete mess.  If not hands deep in axle grease, you either were just plain filthy with dirt or much worse, if you know what I mean.  It was practically a given that If you had company, the ‘visit-ee’ had to stop what they were doing, sit down, and offer coffee and snacks.  It would be a major project just to clean yourself up!   As for the house?  Well, farm women were working their butts off just as hard as the men folk, so up keep of the house was not exactly a priority.  Yes, unannounced visitors were just too stressful to deal with.

Staring at Fitz’s bulging eyes and readiness to bolt – I could relate.
I could actually see in my mind’s eye, a tasseled headed farm girl, with very crooked bangs, her head peaking around the door to the stairs, ready to bolt upstairs, after seeing a strange car venture down the hill into our drive.  What did they want?  The house is a mess!  I’m outta here!  No one’s home.

Tomorrow, horrors of horrors for my poor Fitz, I am having a new mattress delivered.

He will survive.
I did.
                                                                                                copyright 2012 Stepka



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crazy Beautiful Day








                                                                                       copyright Stepka 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Morning Sunlight and Flowers


Had to take the camera out for a quick shot...beautiful morning light.
                                                                                                                 copyright Stepka 2012

Lone Cow

                                                                                                       copyright 2012 Stepka

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cat Wars



The Siamese in the Sun


The neighbor’s Siamese slunk around the corner of the garage as soon as I opened my front door to go out.  My cat Fitz had just ventured out in the same direction a few minutes before; leading me to believe the stalking process had begun – once again.

You see, Fitz is an "only child” and always benefited from the luxury that other cats, other than the occasional feral, just kept out of his territory.  Even though I share a fence with my neighbor, they always either had a dog, whom Fitz could just look down and hiss at from a safe distance on top of the fence, or a semi-retired, somewhat feral black cat that minded his own business.
When my new next door neighbors moved in a few months back, with them came a pair of kitties including, the soon to be, bain of my Fitz’s life, the Siamese.

I was somewhat uncertain how Fitz would handle it, but upon the first glimpses of the new pair next door, each just kinda stared at each other without any major hissy fits.  I was very much heartened one day a short time later when my neighbor reported she had seen Fitz and her other yellow kitty sitting next to each other in her yard one day, seemingly just hanging out.  Yeah!

Well, it was great while it lasted.  Then the horror happened.

 Fitz has his own little kitty door, so he can come and go as he pleases while I am away at work – the only rule being he must be inside by dark.  When Fitz was still a young, adventurous kitty, these rules just did not seem to stick in his little kitty thick skull.  One night I was up till 2 AM waiting for him to venture back thru that kitty door.  Luckily, he is older now, and can appreciate the warmth and the anticipation of a good meal waiting for him when I drive in.  So even though I may not find him inside as I step in, he comes a running after I shake a bag of kitty treats at him.  A very good boy.

One night a couple of months back during the onset of winter, I came in the front door, and saw Fitz on the floor somewhat strangely looking at me (in hindsight), then at the couch, then at me again.  I really didn’t pay much mind until I was even with the couch and glanced over - the neighbor’s Siamese was curled up, eyes half closed, enjoying the warmth of my nice wool throw.

I stopped and said, “What!” actually quite loudly in surprise, wherein the Siamese woke up with startled eyes and expression of “Whoa, caught!” and bolted to the floor and the kitty door, Fitz on his tail, fur bristling.

That was the end of the peace talks.

Territory is relative – but boldly venturing through Fitz’s personal kitty door and making oneself at  home without invitation- that is WAR.

I had found the Siamese inside on my chair a few times since then, the usual scenario, I would arrive home and he would bolt with Fitz at his heels.
I noticed for a while thereafter, Fitz would not venture out of the house much, choosing to sit upstairs at the window looking out or at the kitty door looking…and waiting…for any possible breach.

It seems to have settled down, some sort of truce established for now.  I have not seen the Siamese inside my house for quite some time.
Yet, the stalking continues.  Outside, where one goes, the other follows at a distance, forever vigilant.
The Peace Talks continue – War forever on the horizon.

                                                                                                                    copyright 2012 Stepka