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Life goes on.

Things are finally settling down here at the Manor after all the wedding excitement. Daniel’s father headed out on Saturday and my parents wandered off home to Roanoke today. We got our usual grocery-shopping trip in, I got a final exam done and a couple midterms, with one more to go on Monday. Today I’ve even managed to fit in some spinning, I’m nearly to the bottom of the bag of heathered purple wool that my Mom got me some time ago, and as I practice predictably the spinning is getting better. We’ve also managed to pull together the packet for Daniel’s adjustment of status so he can stay in the country, and got to work on the woefully late thank you notes for the wedding.

Briar Rose and Noodlehead are the only two cats we see outside, and I still have no clue what happened to Briar Rose’s kittens. Grace is buried on the back acre, at the foot of a little clump of sassafras trees, which I felt was appropriate. When land is clear-cut, sassafras is the first thing to spring up on it, growing off its tap roots like weeds. Since the flavoring extract from the roots was banned due to an association with liver cancer, the trees have no great value, and since they die off quickly when overtopped by other trees, people tend to disregard them as, more or less, worthless weeds that will go away if you ignore them hard enough. They are not unlike my Manor cats in this. But I cherish my little sassafras trees, who are for the blighted back acre valuable agents of resurrection: they supply dead leaves to rebuild the topsoil and their tough roots help break up the rock-hard clay dirt. And I cherish the Manor cats, adorable little personalities that they are.

Grace was not a terribly social cat with most humans, but with me and with other cats she was pure love, head-bumping us all in the excitement of feeding time, rubbing on my legs and the heads of other cats with nothing but pure joy that once again the thumb monkey was here with the good stuff. She was getting nicely round, putting on a thick winter coat and a bit of a layer of winter fat, as well. She had a name, she was known, she was loved, and I miss her.

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