Tuesday, March 30, 2010

There's A Kind Of Hush

There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)  by Carpenters

I went to town Friday for feed and some groceries as #1 daughter and Sir T were coming. Driving by the river, that one song phrase above was the only thing that came to mind. Everywhere you look there are signs of Spring.  The calendar says it is Spring but we are perched right on the cusp.  Everything is just waiting to break out. 
A couple of warm days and everything will start to bloom in earnest.  But Mother Nature is still letting Winter breath down our necks.  Friday night was a prime example of that, it was in the teens and 20's again.

Saturday morning "hush" was no where to be found.  With chainsaws buzzing and the "ground crew" yelling instructions or warnings to each other it was rather noisy.  In two hours we went from this....
did some of this ....
and this....
The next morning there was nothing left

except the logs that the man wants to have the mill turn into some lumber for him, a stump begging for a planter, and some firewood from a hickory tree that came down after the pine.

Sunday after brunch, the man and I went back to town to help a friend and go to the lumber store.  #1 and Sir T left for home with the rabbits that finally got faces sewn on...
Today everyone left for work or school and I started on the laundry that was avoided over the weekend.  Getting bored with that rather quickly I went to play in dirt.  I transplanted 54 tomato seedlings from the peat pellets to three inch pots.  Some that got started in the three inch pots have multiple seedlings in them and need to be seperated and transplanted into bigger pots but I am running out of space inside so they will be getitng moved out to the greenhouse this week. 

When the rain stopped for a while in the afternoon, #2 daughter and I transplanted about 20 forsythia plants.  In front of them we transplanted the mystery lily and irises.  I don't expect much from it this year but next year it should be beautiful.

Having made sufficient progress on the shawl, to please myself...I rewarded myself and started the Fluidity baby blanket.  Sometimes things just catch my eye and I have to make them for no apparent reason and Fluidity was one of them.  I am switching from round knit lace to square knit lace right now, and can't wait to see it done.  Of course you do realize that there has been no progress on the shawl but I will return to it... eventually but now it is back to the afghan.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Age Old Question

What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Around here we changed it to...What came first, the turkey or the egg?  And the answer is easily answered, it was the turkey.  Yesterday the littlest nephew came flying through the door telling me I had to see this egg.  He said he saw the gray turkey by the greenhouse and this was laying there....

And yes it is a turkey egg.  Our first turkey egg ever!!! Now to just find a tom for the two ladies so they can hatch out some babies. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fickle March

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer
in the light, and winter in the shade."- Charles Dickens

Yesterday the birds were so loud as they went about finding food and mates.  I had the windows open and couldn't hear the tv so I shut it off.  I would much rather hear the birds.  The deer are coming down earlier and staying later to eat every sprout of green, including my flowers.

I heard peepers the night before but last night was another noise.  At first I didn't know what it was but the man said it was frogs in my pond croaking away. 

I have not had a fire going in days however, today's winds and knowing tonight is going into the 20's will have me back at it again.  But the tomato seedlings are growing just fine and will need to be repotted before the weekend.  The lettuce I planted the other day is up but the peppers will take a while.  I still need to plant the dang brussel sprouts but I keep forgetting.

Yesterday I was in baking mode.  I baked another pineapple upside down cake for the man and then I did two loaves of banana bread, apple/plum kuchen and cinnamon rolls.  And in between/after that I finished the baby afghan.  I am going to make a pair of booties and send it off.  This morning I worked on the finishing off the shawl but as it is garter stitch I quickly got bored and started doing paperwork.

#1 daughter and Sir T are coming up Friday.  Plans are for another St. Pats dinner and taking down a tree.  It is a big pine which drops branches in every snow/wind storm and leans toward the house.  Should it decide to fall #2 sons bedroom would be in my kitchen and my kitchen in my root cellar.  My brother does tree work for a living and has finally decided to cut it down for us.  It is that old thing, the plumber has leaky pipes, the roofer has a leaky roof, well I have been waiting for 2-3 years.  I knew he would get to it... eventually...I am just glad it is before it fell! 

And not to be as fickle as March, but I better go find something to take out for dinner, finish the paperwork and filing, take the dogs for a walk and hang the laundry.  Maybe I will even get the shawl finished...but I wouldn't count on it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Rain Day?

"All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair-

The bees are stirring - birds are on the wing -
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!"
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Work Without Hope

Saturday was the first day of Spring.  I walked outside to see another flock of geese were flying over.  I huffed because I still had not seen a robin and went about the morning chores.

Later in the morn, I stood with a cup of coffee in my hand, looking out the window and there he/she was!  And like the flood gates were open I started seeing them everywhere.  A damn flock was out there!  What an amazing beginning to Spring.
The children left to go visit their father and when the man came home from work, we went to Home Depot...again.  I do believe that he purposely forgets things so that we can go strolling throughout the store every weekend.  And how is it possible to have gone into a store as many times as he has and forget where things are located?  Why do we walk miles up and down aisles with the cart filling up when we only came for brads or caulk?  And slowly, it dawns on me we spend more money when he comes shopping with me than if he just sent me AND that the longer we spend searching for things and buying them, the less time he has to actually do any work!  Yes, I know I should have caught on sooner but he buys me lunch and my mind has been solely focused on seeing a robin.  Now that I have completed that task the blinders were off and I resurfaced from my daze.

He played Mr. Innocent and took me for Chinese.  It must be something in the food because I walked out thinking how can I be so mean as to blame him of subterfuge when he just worked five ten hour days and one 5 hour and is it wrong that he just wanted a little down time before doing more work on the house.  The man plays me like a fine tuned instrument...he threw in yarn to make an afghan as if I need anymore!

Which leads me to a problem.  I usually do not have several projects started at once.  Right now I have a pair of socks, a shawl, a kippah, a baby afghan, the rug punch and something else that I forget but know is sitting in a bag by my chair.  On top of that, I fell hard for the Fluidity and Yggdrasil afghans.  I refuse to start another project but the ones on the needles no longer hold my interest.  And now that long awaited Spring has arrived, I know I should be out in the yard working.   So I said "Thank God for rain days"  because I might actually finish the baby afghan today if I don't find something else to do.  OK, It is not raining yet but we are suppose to get some and if the man can use subterfuge so can I.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So let it be written, so it shall be done

So let it be written, so it shall be done.~ Rameses II Ten Commandments

Yesterday I was writting about the robin's appearance or shall I say lack there of.  I wrote..."If he waits much longer the geese will beat him here."

Today I was out raking the garden of last years growth (which should have been done last fall but we won't go there) and the geese started flying over....

and I still have not seen a robin.

But regardless it has been a wonderful day.   I pulled all of last years plants and raked everything into a big pile which we will light off tonight.  I came in to eat a salad and went back out.  I raked the flowerbeds that surround the garden, then did the rhubarb and elderberry side.  The chives, lovage, daffodils, day lilly, iris and tansy are coming up.  So is the rhubarb...
Being out there I dream of the colors which will soon be evident once Spring decides to stay. Until then I have to content myself with this flashy drake
and Mr. Rooster' feathers and wattles. 
I proceeded to clean the greenhouse and then I started raking the pond garden and realized I had nothing out for dinner.  Decided on a clean the fridge night and put some eggs on so the kids can have egg salad sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.  Knowing the rhubarb is coming up made me go to the freezer for some of last years.  I made a rhubarb grunt and now I am off to a long hot bath before everyone gets home.  Tonight I will be painfully exhausted but it will  be that happily content exhaustion.

I could start liking this weather.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day 2010

My uncle almost always walked into Mom's house singing a song.  Usually it was "I must have been a beautiful baby I must a been a beautiful child When I was only startin' To go to kindergarten I must have  drove those other childs wild!".  He took a little artistic liberty on that one.  Another favorite was..."Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way. I can't wait to look in the mirror 'cos I get better looking each day To know me is to love me I must be a hell of a man. O Lord, it's hard to be humble but I'm doing the best that I can."  

But you knew it was St. Patrick's Day when he came in singing..."When Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.  In the lilt of Irish laughter You can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay. And when Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, they steal your heart away"  He would then exclaim that Bing Crosby had nothing on him... a little gilding the lilly for sure. 

Randomly bursting forth in song seems to be a family attribute.  Luckily we marry individuals with hearing problems or a whole lotta patience.  But anyhow I forgot to sing "When Irish eyes are smiling" to the wake the kids up this morning and sang my standard "oh what a beautiful morning".  They love it!  OK maybe that is pushing it a little.  I love it and they just groan but I am sure they would have really loved the Irish eyes smiling song. I will have to remember that next year.

So today I will be making the traditional dinner.  And since this day is supposedly the traditional day to plant pea's or cabbage depending on what you read and where you read it, I will be planting.

Did you know.... St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic. ~Adrienne Cook

No I didn't know that either.  And I am not planting pea's or cabbage.  I am planting brussel sprouts and peppers so the tomatoes have company. 
I might go throw some lettuce in the greenhouse too and do some clean up in there as the chickens got in and made a mess.  Maybe I will see a robin while I am out there.  I finished the gray wool,
the daffs, hyacinths and bleeding hearts are popping out of the ground so the robin is long over due.  I hope he didn't get lost.  If he waits much longer the geese will beat him here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Acres Ornithology

“Nothing is so beautiful as spring -- when weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring the ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing.”~Gerard Manley Hopkins

Well I don't know anything about Thrush's eggs but I do know a little about duck eggs.  Around here they are a sure sign of Spring.  The chickens production increases and the ducks start laying again.
Years ago, when I first got ducks they layed pretty much all year but the older they got the less eggs they layed.  But one thing you could count on is that they would start to lay early in the year and would continue until you let them set on them.  Then they would sit and hatch some but not lay again until the beginning of the year again.
My ducks are now getting old.  As my chickens production has already increased, I was looking and hoping and yesterday I was rewarded for my diligence!  Two duck eggs!!!!, which the man ate for breakfast this morning.  But when I went out this morning.... two more!!
I am "Happy as a duck in water”  Yeah, I am easily entertained.  Now I am just waiting to see the robin.  I have heard rumors but I have to see it to believe it.  I didn't believe this either...
two pileated woodpeckers.  They must be mates as they usually chase other's away.

There is still four inches or more of snow on the garden but I finished carding the last of the gray shetland this morning...only 5 ounces left to spin.  I know that is what is holding up the robin and Spring so I must go finish it.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Changeable March

"March is a month of considerable frustration - it is so near spring and yet across a great deal
of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our
yards seems light years away."- Thalassa Cruso

The temperatures are getting warmer and slowly the snow is melting.  Since there was a sizeable amount of snow, I doubt we will see the lawn or garden for another week or so, barring no more snow storms. 

The chickens have found a nice little patch that faces south.  They spent yesterday under the pine tree, scratching for seeds and bugs and taking dust baths.  The old pine suffered some damage in the last storm and now that is has melted it has uncovered the branches that we have to haul away.

This weekend was spent doing absolutley nothing. nada.  The man worked 1/2 a day on Saturday and then went for a hair cut.  The younger two went to see their dad for the first time in 4 months, so you would think that if we didn't have to run them somewhere or stop to feed them that we would get more done....we visited friends and then sat and watched tv and the chickens.  Oh, regular chores like the animals, barn cleaning, laundry, and dishes got done but nothing more.  And unexplainably after of weekend of rest, we are exhausted!  The alarm went off this morning and neither of us felt like getting up.  I finally got irratated enough to move my arm to hit the snooze button.  Nine minutes later it was blaring again.  We decided having to drive the kids to school if they missed the bus wasn't worth a couple of more minutes sleep and got out of bed.

So all day I have been forcing myself to motivate.  I went to the doctor with the man, then when he went to work I did some laundry, made a pineapple upside down cake,
knit for a few minutes, carried the boards outside to stain them... but all I really want to do is take a nap.  I am hoping standing in the sunshine will wake me up.  I need to make phone calls for carpet installation and an eye doctor appointment.  My self's are arguing, I could be Scarlet and think about it tomorrow...and listen to my other side say "never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."

I do not mind giving up a day to spinning or knitting but to give up valuable time to a nap even when you are exhausted still seems wrong...so hi ho hi ho it's off to work I go.  Maybe I will see a robin while I am out there.  I know,  I will think of it as training because..
...things are growing!!!!! 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Find vs Seek

Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it. ~ J. Petit Senn

I turned the page on the calendar Monday morning and that was the quote. I have to admit I found great happiness in turning the page. I was so busy this past weekend that it did not even dawn on me that we were changing months. I heard it on the news!

The man and I did alot of shopping. Then we stained/installed some more trim, painted walls, made curtains, bought carpet, changed light fixtures in two rooms and put new weather stripping on the front door, baked bread and planted seeds. Most of what got planted was paste tomatoes for this summer’s salsa, soup, sauce. We priced the deck but have to wait to borrow a trailer to pick up the wood and wait for the ground to thaw! But it is something to look forward too.

Yesterday, the man stayed home from work with a sore throat. #2 son is still taking meds for strep so the man figured he better get it checked. Turned out he has a sinus infection and post nasal drip was causing the sore throat, so he is now on antibiotics for that.

This morning, for the first time in over a week, everyone left for school or work. I started to go through and put books back on the shelves that we had taken down to paint. Then I found myself reading some…Some books you can give away and then others have to stay.  There are two books that always get put back and they are so different.

The first one I bought while I was in a book club 10+ years ago. It is called Simple Pleasures. Everytime I pull the books out to dust I re-read a little. It is just a small book telling you to find pleasure in the smallest things…the smell of coffee brewing in the morning, the sound of the waves rolling up on the sand, ice cold sheets on a hot summer evening, etc. I read a little and put it back, because if only for those few minutes of reading I put the world on hold and was reminded to appreciate all the small things life gives us that may get overlooked in the hustle and bustle.

The second book was given to my grandmother in April, 1913. When I was young my mother read it to us but we weren't allowed to touch it until we were much older and she knew we wouldn't ruin it.  When I had children, my mother passed it on to me. It is called The Hole Book. It is about when a gun accidently went off and the bullets travels. You can actually read the whole thing here.  We loved seeing the hole go threw all the pages.  To us it was better than any pop-up book.

It is odd how some things just pull us in and hold us, so even when trying to downsize you just can not let go.  So as I go about the rest of the day I will keep in mind the little things that gave me happiness this morning.  And I will leave you with a picture of something else that gave me happiness....
I got an amaryllis for Christmas and it finally decided to bloom.  It must have been waiting for March also!