Sunday, April 12, 2015


If Sundays have a certain repetitive pattern to them, this one broke away a little and ran on its own steam.

It was a sunny morning, but I wasn't brave enough to take breakfast to the porch. The sun room is a grand alternative!


We work outside then, but there is less of a rush and more attention to detail. I have, right now, seven very large flower fields to work with (I began calling them fields when I realized that they have little similarity to a perennial border), and one massive one to add where the brambles have been dug out. All this would be a burden to most, but to me, these fields are my tender babes. I know the soil well. I know the irksome parts, the difficulties, the weeds that threaten -- which ones and from which side. I know what I have to do to make the flowers thrive and I set to it in much the same way I would set to anything looking to me for care and nourishment. It is deeply satisfying work: I'm at the level of the soil in spring and early summer and spraying water on warm summer evenings. At the end of the season, I put my feet up and think -- I've done okay by you!

(the girls, happily trampling over the new field being readied for flowers)

(the bed along the gravel driveway is, right now, displaying crocuses)

(sometimes, when I open the front door, I am greeted by ... Butter.)

And so today, I continue to use pitchfork after pitchfork of chips and I dig out what doesn't belong and I am utterly happy to see the progress my babes are making.

And still, at times, I have to pause. Life is more than the farmette -- I tell myself, as I throw down the shovel, the clippers, the pitchfork.

I lure Ed out on a bigger hike -- one along the Ice Age Trail. We've done every segment within hundreds of miles of here, but this one is especially pretty  and not too far. It starts next to a goat/diary farm and makes its way up one hill and down the next so that in just a couple of hours you can get quite a workout.


It's a delicious time to be out in the forest!

(there's just a little bit of green at the edges...)

(midpoint selfie)

In the evening, Snowdrop and her mom are to come for dinner, but since the meal preparation isn't complicated (pan fried trout with a wine and caper sauce and buttered snap peas), I offer to help my daughter with her own yard work just before.

She and Snowdrop want to assist, but glancing at the littlest girl, I see that she is unlikely to be of much help yet...

farmette-35.jpg I send them off on a walk while I tend to the weeds. Working in someone's garden is like cooking in someone's kitchen -- you don't know where to begin and you haven't a clue as to the final vision. And where we have layers of lovable wood chips at the farmette (they let go of weeds with greater ease, even in clay-ish soil), this yard has pebbles and rocks, which create a new challenge.

Finally, I am home and cooking dinner and Ed and mom and babe are here and it is a very Sunday-ish moment indeed -- with time to sit back and take in the beauty of a very bright evening.


Perhaps it's wrong then to say this Sunday hadn't a predictable pattern. It had the warm April air. Outdoor work. A stellar hike. And a meal together. And a moment to soothe Snowdrop. Yes, a Sunday as it should be. As I would want it to be.



  1. Looks like a lovely day, Nina. And kismet - we have the same color of tulips on our respective tables. So pretty, aren't they!

    Today, we also started work on our yard. Well, kind of. We went and bought some alyssum and hyacinths for the front yard, after all our yard is still a work in progress. LOL! Not that yours isn't. You most definitely put a lot of work into your yard!

  2. I love that name, "Ice Age Trail," so evocative of ... something. Maybe the Clan of the Cave Bear series which I totally :lived" in.

  3. Ice Age Trail... new to me and a fascinating thought! Which roundabout leads me to wonder...
    Do you plan the plants in your "fields" (love that!) to be indigenous varieties? I'm looking forward to your photos of fields in summer. And to Snowdrop playing in the dirt as you garden!

    1. Lee I and Charlotte: the Ice Age Trail, found here:, is probably our most beloved trail, because of what it represents -- an effort to make a contiguous path a thousand miles long, tracing the Ice Age formations (after the most recent glaciation) across Wisconsin. We have both given over many hours to trail maintenance (and Ed to trail building) and we've trekked many (most?) of the segments -- some long enough to require pitching a tent. To hike it is to put yourself in a vast expanse of land and time. It's always magnificent!

  4. Oh, Nina, here I am thinking that I get a lot done, but I would have worked in the garden OR gone for a long walk OR worked in daughter's garden and made dinner. Possibly two of those things but not three.

    Yesterday morning I cooked and stored a few favorite dishes for my mother, who is going home from rehab, well recovered now from her fall. Then I planted purple and Orange pansies - I love those colors together, opposites on the color wheel, very striking - in a big container at the front entry. Then I swept the front walk. That's it!

    Then we watched the Masters tournament along with our traditional Four Peel Gin. :)

    1. You have exquisite taste in food, drink and flower color! :)

  5. I do miss the Midwest springtime, especially when the trees have just the beginnings of green, and so I am enjoying it vicariously through your daily record of it.

    1. Of course, there are better springs and there are more challenging ones. This ranks as one of the best so far. Warm, breezy, delightful. May it last! :)

  6. Another beautiful day vicariously enjoying your spring rituals.

    As long and cold as the winter must've been, I somewhat unawares. It oddly puzzles me that spring is here. I have yet to call Mr. Campbell who helps me with my property. Um, he actually does it all, which consists of blowing all the leaves into the woods, turning the soil to loosen weeds, and then spreading a bazillion bales of fragrant pine needles around my home. My inner clock is off kilter. It doesn't seem possible that the time has come to coif my property. Perhaps it's because I never ever thought I'd be here to experience the transformation again. I confess it's all a bit confusing... but jolly good!


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