Monday, May 02, 2016

farmhouse Monday

In a surprise move, Ed beat me to the chicken coop this morning. In other words, I had the luxury of watching the sun fill the bedroom as it rose to a blue sky.

And over breakfast, in the sun room, he surprised me again by asking -- do you really want to extend the front flower bed a few more feet? It's looking so good!

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Well yes, but I'm running low on flowers to plant. This morning I was moving and dividing. That wont fill another empty flower bed.
I suppose we could go to the Verona ladies and pick up a few more day lilies.

Ed can be very unpredictable.

The fact is, we are so immensely lucky this year. The northeastern states had a more glorious March but then a more frosty April -- that's bad news for may flowers. Several nurseries offered to work with you to slowly replace all you may have lost to the rise and fall of temperatures. France had an even worse case of heaving: I read that the Loire Valley may have lost a significant portion of the grape crop to an unexpected hard frost mid April. We had none of this. I've complained of the cold and of the grayness during parts of April, but we have been progressing nicely with a warm up now and we never suffered the severe weather that so damaged the planting season for others.

And so I suppose we're celebrating this year's good fortune.

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Even our annuals never once needed a blanket for the night. (Though I do wish the chipmunk family would feast on something other than what I've planted in the tubs. Ah well. We share.)

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Of course, it's Monday and so Snowdrop spends the day at the farmette.
Where did the chickens go?

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Her mom happened to dress her in blues and I have to smile at the appropriateness of this for an early May day which still is so full of yellows and gentle greens.

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Want a dandelion, grandma?

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I let her pick one daffodil...

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And I try to get her to take in a whiff of our white lilacs, which are just starting to bloom and which fill the air with the most beautiful fragrance, and she is great at the exhale, the protracted ahhhh! -- but I'm not sure she fully appreciates the headiness of the season. She smiles indulgently when I rhapsodize over a lilac bloom.

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Or maybe she does understand? The draw of the outdoors remains so strong for her. Too, there are the cheepers. She wants to be close to them and she keeps going back to the coop area to chat them up.

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Do they understand each other? Do they all speak a basic language of life that we, adults, later rip apart and shape and mold to our own needs? She reaches out and makes cooing noises and the cheepers don't run away. I swear, they listen.

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(All that time with the chickens means that her shoes need a thorough rinse. Hold her, Ed while I scrub each of them down!)

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Lunchtime. This girl is such a good eater! And no one loves berries (which today had the addition of cherries) as much as Snowdrop! Such an appropriate bib for her.

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Want to try a fork, little one?
Spear and pounce, eh? You spear, I'll pounce!

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In the afternoon, Ed moves loads of wood chips to expand the flower bed.

What are you doing, grandpa Ed?

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The cheepers hover. Snowdrop likes that.

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Yes, there is time indoors. A small amount of time!

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And in the evening, I drive over country roads...

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... to the Verona ladies (or one of them -- the one whose heart is with day lilies) and I talk petal length and blooming time and all the other crazy things day lily people talk about. (But let me admit this much: often times, I will pick a day lily for its name. You already know about Prairie Moonlight. Today I reached for Channel Island and Gentle Shepherd and French Lingerie, though I still think the best is last week's choice of Nina Winegar, which looks good next to today's Gentle Ed.)


  1. You know you make it really hard to choose my one photo per day! (Jim Brandenburg is still my photo hero.) This time it seemed extra tough... but in the end, I went for Snowdrop leading Java because Java looks so cool and because Snowdrop looks so determined!

  2. Your thoughts about the language of chickens and little kids makes me think of the book 'The Tomten' (Astrid Lindgren, who wrote Pippi). It's a wintry children's picture book, but magical.


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