Tuesday, October 06, 2015


The stunning thing about a garden is that is never quite done until a deep frost sets in. Would you believe it, on my early morning walk from the coop, I encountered these:

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And speaking of nasturtium, as I look at my remaining photos from the day, there definitely (and quite coincidentally) appears to be an orange theme to them.

So, a hurried breakfast...

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... A quick drive to Snowdrop's home, where I greet the waking girl and plunge her into her tub and then pause for a pre-breakfast photo, where she is mildly amused with me...

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Energized by food, she does a lot of standing up/sitting down/standing up/sitting down... I'm exhausted by watching her efforts!

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Let's do some music, little girl!

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And lest you think I'm just too serious for that playful little girl, well I'm not. Here's our camera-on-self-timer game:

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Still, the girl has intense periods of thoughtful seriousness about her.

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Until she doesn't.

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In the evening, Ed and I recoup, regroup and watch a PBS show about E.O. Wilson and the study of ants. I would not have mentioned this except that it is so fitting to what topics my mind strays to these days.

Monday, October 05, 2015


Three things -- I say to a groggy Ed, as I come back to the bedroom after letting the cheepers out.
I don't know if Isie boy liked the leftover fish I gave him. He's meowing outside, which means either that he wants more, or he hated it and wants something else.

What else? -- he's waking up now.
I pulled some weeds on the path to your shed and got tangled in that damn prickly plant and now I have a thousand seeds in my hair and each one has to be individually removed.

You know that label on the can of paint I used on the walls yesterday? You know how we didn't understand why I had scribbled over it "upstairs trim?" Well that's because it's glossy and we used it on the baseboards. The touch ups that I just did on the walls all over the farmhouse? It looks like someone spit on the walls.

So I guess the painting project isn't quite finished. There is a P.S. to it -- cover up the cover ups.

On the upside (and the day is one with endless upsides), the purple asters are dazzling, the gaura ("whirling butterflies")  is still going strong...

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... and breakfast in the front room is splendid.

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And it's Monday and so Snowdrop comes to the farmhouse, this time for an unusually long visit, as her parents have an evening event to attend. She arrives just as I'm about to dump my fruit and kefir on the oatmeal. We're tickled to have her company for breakfast (she herself has just woken up and has yet to be bathed, clothed and fed)!

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what'you guys doin'?

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I want what she's having!

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the berry's fine, but I think I like my stuff better than kefir... (it's an acquired taste, little one!)

She is such a patient little girl. Finally -- we are done, she is bathed, fed and dressed and ready for play.

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Oh, there are the usual favorite toys, but our time together here always includes dancing...

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... and Ed play. It still surprises me no end how quick he is to want to poke her, hurl her, laugh with her...

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... and she just laps it up.

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I tell her, too, that we must give bread to the chickens. You need a sweater, little Scottish lassie. It's cool outside. (In fact, only the sweater is from Scotland.)

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Here we are -- favorite scene, favorite routines, favorite cheepers...

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And now is the time for quiet play. Indoors. Looking at favorite books, including the unwieldy Richard Scarry tome.

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The farmhouse hours go by so quickly. More play, more music, more food (oh-oh, does she need a haircut?)!

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We take a walk, she and I, while Ed goes over to help the young couple with a house issue. It's different here, on the rural roads, isn't it, Snowdrop?

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Different, but equally lovely. She lets me know that she is happy.

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Ed comes home at the same time that we return from our walk.
Hi to you!
Hi to you too!

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Our evening is again full of play, full of music. She helps me toss the salad and the three of us munch on raw carrots (she lack a set of top teeth to make this a very successful enterprise). She assists in piecing together an extension to her play floor and she uses every item of furniture to hoist herself up on her two feet.

Snowdrop is nine months old today. Remarkable. Was it just a few months ago that I was wondering when she'd be able to hold up her head?

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Sunday, October 04, 2015


Though each day unfolds in a delightful fashion and brings with it not a small number of lovely events, there are always one or two moments that have a special magic to them. Today, one such fleeting minute happened before I was even fully awake.

Ed had been up late and so I offered to let the cheepers out. The day was gray. For once, I didn't bother looping the camera around my neck. There would be no pretty strips of sunlight out on the fields. The flowers are less and less photogenic. I toddled over to the coop and thought to myself how much easier it was to do this in the summer, when the morning air was warm and inviting.

As I was returning to the farmhouse, I looked over my shoulder and noticed a very young deer hovering to the edge of the great flower bed. I'm still enough dazzled by a deer's movement (if not by its destructive habits) that I love to photograph these guys when they show up. Should I get my camera now? She'll be gone for sure when I come back. Deer scamper off at the slightest noise of movement.

But when I come back she isn't gone.

Butter has meandered over in that direction and the two of them spy each other and assess the situation.

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The deer comes closer.

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Butter, who stiffens every time she hears a strange noise, displays great indifference to this intruder.

The deer's friend peers from behind the barn. I gather this is not their first visit here. Is it safe -- she seems to be asking. Butter glances at both of them, then moves on.

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Ah, but now they also have Scotch to contend with.

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And of course me. Still, they proceed to their grazing spot...

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And even when I come up on them from the rear, they let me get close (which simply means that they're still young and stupid, or that they find that what the human hand plants for them is worth the risk).

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Knowing that I will only regret making them feel welcome and safe here, I take a few quick steps in their direction and sure enough, they scamper off.

You'll understand that, except for breakfast (in the front room today!)...

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... the daylight hours had few other memorable moments: House cleaning. Hrmph. And it gets worse: I had to go to the mall to return a clothing item. The mall on a Sunday -- hrmph!!

Too, I stopped by Auto Zone so that the kind worker there would do a code reading as to why my engine light is on.  After, I report my findings to Ed. Maybe we fixed the problem, maybe we didn't.

And finally, I had to finish sealing the patio door and painting both the damaged wall inside and the yellow siding outside. Ah, but now the patio door project is finally completed! Yay!

And there are still more challenges to the day. House issues, car issues -- they suck at our energy levels even as we try hard to not let them fill our waking thoughts.

But here's the upside to all this foolishness: if you've fretted about this or that, isn't it grand to let it just go? If you know you have the young family coming over for dinner, shouldn't cooking the meal now take precedence? Yes it should. And the young family comes and Snowdrop plays...

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And when we sit down for our Sunday dinner, everything vanishes except the meal itself.

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 And Snowdrop eats her kale and spinach cracker and you just want to smile and smile.

Saturday, October 03, 2015


You could say that this was an ambitious day, despite the fact that we spent the first hours luxuriating in a reclining position, deep in conversation about the morality of war and globalization (we do not disagree on either) and not getting onto breakfast until close to the noon hour.

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I caught up on indoor chores and had little interest in working outside. I am not yet used to the chilly winds. I give you just one farmette photo:

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But in the mid-afternoon, I pick up my daughter and Snowdrop...

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where are we going?!

... and we drive to a place where I took my daughters when they were just a bit older than this sweet child. It has been one of our favorite autumnal hiking destinations -- Indian Lake. Time to immerse the little one in the magic of a nature walk.

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it's really windy, dear girl: you need a jacket

It's a splendid hike!

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A first for the little one, but surely to be repeated again and again.

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It's wonderful to see Snowdrop appreciate the forest, the bouncy step, the brisk air...

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The leaves are just in the very first stage of autumnal color.

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But already Snowdrop knows how to bliss out in the magic of the season in this very beautiful place.

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At the farmette, the light is already fading when I return. Each day, the cheepers retreat a few minutes earlier. I heat up left over chili and think back to walks I've taken with my own girls when they were so very young.