Sunday, September 06, 2015


I would give our farmhouse cleaning work today an A for effort and a B+ for execution. By the time noon rolled around, I'd been up for five hours and the thrill of cleaning and tidying was definitely waning. Still, there is never a shortage of work around here -- only a shortage of will and of time.

I began my day as always, around the coop area. I did a thorough job of cleaning the little hut and changing the wood shavings inside, pausing to watch the hens dance around each other, still cautiously, but not belligerently.

[By the way, I never did explain that they are Oprie and Apple to commemorate the day they came to live with us -- a day where I was also bringing home cakes for Snowdrop's baptismal weekend. You'll recall, perhaps, that one cake was the traditional French Opera cake and the other -- a Tarte Tatin, which is nothing more than an apple upside down cake, caramelized in a pan rather than just baked in the oven. So, Oprie and Apple.]

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In these early hours, I profit from Ed being still in bed, in that early morning haze of tranquility and unawareness and I chop down a tree that was a relic from days when there weren't any flower fields spinning off the courtyard. The tree -- a ghastly thing with prickly spurs nearly two inches long still has roots that will force new growth, but for now, I don't have to look at it. Yay.

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Neither of us are motivated to do a thorough Sunday housecleaning. Ed has a list of small repairs to attend to and I just did a fine cleaning job last week, but then one thing leads to another and before long, we are pulling out the refrigerator and vacuuming the cobwebs in the basement and honestly, it feels like I am getting the place ready for some secret inspection. (You could well ask -- who cares if there are cobwebs in the basement?)

It's a hot day -- almost too hot to eat a late breakfast on the porch...

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But I am very much aware of the fact that it's the last of the hot days this year and so the outdoors beckons, because honestly, I prefer feeling a touch warm to being chilled by a blast of cold morning air.

The garden is still holding its own. Our expectations aren't high and so it continues to pleasantly surprise us.

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the last roses are always the most beautiful

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looking toward the porch, from the west

And so we work hard and sweat a bit but our list of must-dos grows smaller, in anticipation perhaps of the inevitable new breaks and malfunctions that always come along.

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In the afternoon, I play for a while with Snowdrop. She is now officially eight months and one day old -- something that is so obvious if you're with her, even as you can't believe that she has accumulated this much wisdom already in her young life.

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(her lovely greeting face)

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(I'm into working through books today, grandma!)

We go for a walk -- the three of us: Snowdrop, her mom, her grandma. She is so used to this routine that she seems quite content, despite the incredible heat.

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(a walk? we're going for a walk?! Yay.)

After, a few more minutes of play...

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...and I'm off, on Rosie, scooting home. This is the best time to ride a motorbike -- when the hot air feels buoyant and strong against your frame as you speed along the rural road. I remember when I used to come visit, before moving here. I thought then how beautiful the landscape is! I still think that as I turn in toward our dirt driveway.

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The evening light on an early September evening is stunning.

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Simply stunning.