Friday, April 13, 2018


Wet days are a gardener's reprieve. Not much can be done outside when the cold rain comes down. What a relief! Two days of work calls for a moment of rest: a pause so that you can think about what it is that you're doing out there. It's an interesting idea, no? Gardening requires thinking!

I have seeds that need to go in right about now, but there has to be strategy in their application. If I scratch them into the now relatively weed free soil, the cheepers will scratch them right out. That wont do. I have to outsmart chickens! That may be tough!

Too, we're going to try once more to do a broad application of buckwheat, right where I plowed down old raspberry canes. How and when and where to do it -- that still needs some thought.

Our tomatoes have sprouted under the warm lamps Ed has set up for them, but we have no idea where to plant them. We had small yields two years in a row. Was it the fault of the soil? We don't know. Where should we plant them this year? Neither of us have a perfect answer to that one.

And finally, I did succumb to the February cabin fever purchase of some online perennials. We're expanding the roadside bed. They should go there, but I want to fit a few new faces close to the porch as well, so that I can stare at them with amazement and delight. How to do this? Think, think!

In the meantime, the little cheepers have now decided that the edge of the box (it is such a high box! how do they do it?!) is a fine place to be. Ed and I are resigned, like the ineffective "parents" that we are: just on the edge now! not an inch further, you hear? Ha! How long before the itch to go further lands them (oh horror!) on a piece of furniture? How do people contain their young chicks anyway??

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We eat breakfast in the front room because we are sure that if we are in the same room as the chicks, they'll only try harder to join us and I'm sorry, but I am not ready for a breakfast for the five of us!

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In the afternoon, I pick up Snowdrop.

She is not a happy camper. Her nap was interrupted, I neglected to stuff her snack in my purse for the car ride back, the rain is unpleasantly constant and cold, and she cannot control the heavy umbrella that she "borrowed" from her parents. Any smart grandparent will tell you that this is not time to suggest puddle play.

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She begs for a story in the car and after a few minutes of listening to my usual improv (sometimes I can make it come together, sometimes I stumble), she relaxes.

By the time we are at the farmhouse, she is nearly her usual smiling self. But offer her a baby chick to pet and her guard goes up. This is not a day for taking bold steps and experimenting with brave new gestures.

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Magnets and books. These two thing fill our time today.

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And yes, Snowdrop is the chipper little bunny, telling long stories, using remarkable phrases just to try them out...

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And still, I know that she is fighting tiredness.

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Evening. It's quiet in the farmhouse. There is promise of ice, sleet, rain -- all rolled into a weekend whole. We're waiting for this terrible horrible weather to strike us again, but in the meantime, all is quiet.