Saturday, August 04, 2018


There came spring, then there came summer. And then came August, where everything just paused for a while. The garden puffed out magnificently last month and now it's slowly receding. Everything is still lovely, beautiful in fact, but the crispness is gone (perhaps in part because we have had no rain for weeks) and the sheer numbers of flowering plants goes down.

Ed tells me that for the week I was away, nothing was clipped and it all still looked terrific -- voluminous in part because the spent flowers blended with the unfolding ones so that the entirety seemed abundant.

I smile at that. He looks at the flower beds with a sweeping glance. I study them, take photos of them, remember where each plant lives. I see things he does not see.

(Looking out from the porch, before any trimming and clipping today.)

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This morning, I am glad to be working outside again. Lilies depend on me to look their best. I like that.

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And never forget any and every other flower that's full of dazzling color right now....

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Still, it's an unusual morning -- unusual day in fact, because at the end of it Ed is off to sail a boat as a favor for a friend (and of course because he does love to sail). And so we had spent the night reviewing stuff that we both need to get done before he takes off. As a result, I'm tired. (I'm sure he's tired too, but he dares not complain, because he is off on a trip of leisure, leaving me with rather a lot on my plate.)

How long is his sailing gig? Who knows. Old sailing pals are joining him for it and depending on their whims it could be a day, it could be a month. Well, we do know this much: he has to be back before the evening that I go back to Chicago at the very end of August because there has to be someone at the farmhouse always to take care of the cheepers!

Or, we can let them be and cross our fingers.

I say to Ed -- will you hate me if I simply cannot manage to put them away and they get eaten by predators?
Nah... We'll just get new chicks next spring.

Well I might worry about putting them away each night. Ever since a predator invaded their coop about a year ago (and took one of them for his supper), they never retire to sleep there. They fly up to a barn beam and doze on it until Ed comes, all 6 foot 4 inches of him, with arms at least the length of a yardstick, and lifts each one in turn, and places her in the coop. I can't reach those spaces, so Ed has placed old tires for me to climb so that I have a better shot at it. But when you disturb their dozy time, the cheepers flap their wings and become enormous and hard to hold onto. Plus they could use a visit to the nail salon.

I can but try.

Ed's not sailing across any ocean or sea, but he may as well be, because he wont be reachable. A million and one things require our attention at the farmette. When I go away, I coach him nearly daily on my stuff. It gets done. More or less. But his own tasks -- stuff I need to do in his stead -- that's more challenging. And we're in a month where I'm not exactly looking for additional challenges.

We have an early breakfast -- our last one until, well, I don't know when. This week? Next month? You cannot pin down people who are on a sailing adventure.

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We then start squeezing stuff into the remaining hours of this day.  We start off with an early morning meeting with a community gardens expert of sorts. We need to get the ball rolling on the planning process for the park allocation next to us. Right now it looks like it will be developed as a gardening space. All nine acres of it. To make this work well, you need people who have done this before. We listen, take notes and resolve to get on this once this month, this transitional month is behind us.

And then I take a wonderful pause from the current farmette chaos and meet my daughter and Snowdrop at the farmers market.

We are in the thick of vibrant market colors! Tomatoes, of nearly every hue!

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I stock up on brussels sprouts, bok choy, peas, corn, eggplant, tomatoes. My suppers are likely to be eggs and veggies for the next month. I love to spend time cooking more elaborate meals, but never just for myself. Dinner preparation to me is an act of love. When I do it just to feed my hunger, the creative edge grows dormant and I concentrate on other things, like simplicity and creating something that is "merely" fresh and honest.

As for Snowdrop -- she is radiance supreme!

Oh, I am so reminded of another mom (my younger girl), just a few days back, snuggling her own little girl as if the world depended on it.

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I take far too few photos today. Snowdrop rolls on the grass, climbs the gazillion steps inside the Capitol building, she romps, jumps, spins and grins and all I have for you is this picture, showing off her tomato filled cheeks.

(Tomatoes! Grandma, are these purple or pink??)

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Oh, and here's a playful shot of Snowdrop slouching in her stroller, sunhat in place. Again, I am reminded of cousin similarities. Same blue eyes, same love of outings and adventures.

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The rest of the day is a whirl of consequential and inconsequential tasks. Grocery shopping, packing, mowing, clipping, watering, washing, plugging, cooking, cleaning, downloading, searching (have you seen...?).. and so on. And the garden blooms on... (I especially love now the tall lilies on their thin long stems: they look like butterflies dancing in the breeze.)

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In the middle of the coming night I will drive Ed to the bus stop. Stay safe and be back soon!