Sunday, March 27, 2016

three snows on the robins

Yesterday we visited our recycling center and Dennis, the overseer of the grounds, told us spring is now on the way. For there have now been three snows on the robins. I hadn't heard this before and was tickled that this outwardly rough fellow had such a cheerful message to share.

Our maple is swelling, the rhubarb is seeking the sun, the lenten rose if full of bud. How could we doubt his message. 
This Easter morning we are listening to recordings of holy week and easter services from years past. Familiar voices from the pulpit, the choir stalls, the balcony. Simple and complex harmonies of praise and thanksgiving. Instrumentation both humble and bold. 
Despite worldly turmoil, the sweet benediction of "plenteous redemption" is everywhere here on the ridge.
May you feel it also this Easter day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

eggs just right for the three bears...

After nearly 5 years raising chickens we found the largest egg to date Tuesday March 15, smallest arrived just two days later.

Isn't Mother Nature amazing?

green eggs and longer days

At our latitude and longitude today is the vernal equinox… sunrise 7:12, sunset 7:12. This evening at sunset we'll stand in the middle of our road facing west and watch the sun go down directly in front of us. Sure do love knowing the next 6 months will be more light than dark.
With spring in the air it's hard not to clean up the garden. Each day's walk about shows signs of new life. Planting seeds and tending to last fall's cuttings now lovely plants incubating inside helps some. But I'm eager. It's just a bit too early for SW Wisconsin. And I do miss easy access to my favorite garden centers. Each spring I would buy enormous pansies for my porch planters. And I miss the lovely pussy willow I raised and had to leave in my city garden. Pansy and pussy willow are such good companions. Don't you agree?

There is hope on the pussy willow front...
after trying several times to raise plants from cuttings

last year's tenderly tended cuttings look as if they've survived their winter in a south window of the potting shed being given a handful of snow from time to time for hydration. I've brought them out to the south facing porch for stronger light and an easier time of keeping them watered. And for their cheerful company.
We'll find the perfect permanent spot for them in the ground this spring, and if the deer leave them alone and the moles don't uproot them with their horrid tunneling I may yet have enough to gather

and to fashion one or two of these. An easy and most satisfying activity.

(Did you notice that sweet galvanized pail in the photo with the potted cuttings? Found it among the antiques in a local quilt shop.)
I do love pansies. They are also one of Jerome's favorite flowers. In honor of the equinox and spring and all things green and growing, I finished this pillow this week. It combines two of my favorite textile arts, cross stitch and quilting. I used a couple of my Bernina's decorative stitches to quilt the back but didn't want to distract from the front so used a thread that appears to disappear. I have to say my camera skills are a bit lacking. The colors aren't exactly true in these photos.

I'm happy with the outcome and as it sits on my reading chair it does a lovely job of standing in for "real" pansies for now.

Today is also a certain saint's day. I've never felt compelled to wear green or pretend to have a drop or two of leprechaun's blood. But I think it's quite an amusing coincidence that the first egg of the day today was a green one. And speaking of green eggs, we had a bit of a surprise on Tuesday just before dinner.

This has got to be the largest egg we've ever collected. Can't wait to see what surprise is waiting within.
Happy equinox. Happy spring.

Monday, March 14, 2016

mid March Monday joys

For a long while now Anne has been working very hard at paying attention to what brings her joy and posting a list to share, often on Mondays. Thank you, Anne, I think today is a good day to give it a try.

Spending a few days at quilt guild retreat to work on these:
a  quilt to wrap comfort around a victim of abuse:
front view folded over back porch glider
back view pieced with leftovers
and a  hot dog pillow case   for someone in hospice

folded with opening at  the bottom view
Pruning the grapevines on a 60 degree sunny day in the company of my hens

Summer birds calling to me from every corner of the farm.

Seeds tucked into soil and nestling under grow lights.

Eating supper without needing overhead lights and being able to tuck the chicks in afterwards compliments of daylight saving time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

the first of March

40 years ago today I stood before my calendar and thought this:
the next time I turn the calendar my life will have changed forever.
For sometime in the coming March days I would be saying Welcome to the world to a wonder who would change my life forever.
I haven't turned to March any year since that magical day without thinking: Thank you Anne.

And today once again my heart is full of this amazing gratitude.