Friday, March 08, 2019


On my drive to grocery shop, I was listening to my usual Public Radio station, enjoying, as I always do, their morning classics, enjoying, too, the emerging sunshine that promised to begin the melting of the heavy snow cover.

The radio host was introducing a work by Clara Schumann and in so doing, she noted a few details of Clara's life. What a woman! I read a little more about her later in the day and I had to shake my head in dismay at how tough a life can be. Perhaps you know a little about this talented musician? I'll throw out just a few poignant details: Clara was under the thumb of her domineering father (after an early divorce, the mother was kept away from her daughter), though from what we know -- he taught her much about music. The girl was performing at age 11 and she continued to write music and give recitals until her death at age 71. Not that this was easy for her. Clara's husband, the famous Robert Schumann, was mentally sick and he died shortly after being committed to an asylum. They had eight children -- four predeceased Clara. She was left with a handful of grandchildren to take care of too. She survived wars, cholera epidemics, deafness. She always was the family's breadwinner. She was, in other words, heroic.

It's International Women's Day today -- a holiday that never quite gained traction in the U.S., but was much touted in the Poland of my childhood. Women often walked home with red carnations on this day, gifted by their employers. A red carnation can take a beating and it surely got that in the course of the commute home on crowded buses and trams. It took many years before I could consider a carnation a real flower -- it always looked as if it was made of tough, synthetic material.

Personally, I liked the holiday and looked forward to some day getting my own annual carnation. In the end though, I was never an adult woman on March 8th in Poland. I left the country at age 18 in January. I didn't think it was a permanent departure, but in fact it turned out to be just that. When I would tell Americans that March 8th was Women's Day, they'd look puzzled. Huh? What's that? Somehow Hallmark never caught on to this one.

What a gorgeous day this is! All that was promised -- delivered! Sunshine and just above freezing. I'll take it!

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Awesome threesome...

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Plus our superstar!

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Stop Sign is not sure he's such a superstar...

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Breakfast is sudden and rushed and with an Ed work pal.  At the last minute, Ed opted to go on a work trip and so the morning meal, a thing of beauty for me (and I think for him as well) was a tad curtailed. As is the image of Ed, just because I like the image of the flowers better than his facial expression!

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In the afternoon, I pick up the little girl and excite her no end by offering her the outdoors once more. We walk the blocks of her school neighborhood in the way that we always walk them in better, warmer weather days.

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Snowdrop is due for a haircut and so we do have a destination, but we have a bit of a wait before her appointment. She and I hang out at the Lakeside Cafe. I'd brought a book with me. It keeps us amply entertained.

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(At Bang, the haircut store, waiting.)

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Just about done!

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Snowdrop's mom comes to pick her up. They have some visitors in town and so the two of them head home...

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(oh, those big snow piles, still everywhere!)

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Back at the farmette, the cats are active! 

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Stop Sing keeps tabs: if I fill Whisker's bowl, she goes to it and works hard on eating it down. She makes her statement and asserts her territorial rights, albeit in a quiet way. I like that about her: she does not pick a fight.

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Late in the evening, Ed comes home. We are back on The Topic, reviewing, trying hard to figure out our animal strategy going forward. I offer one extra piece of information: this afternoon, I saw a huge possum heading toward the barn. I mean, that guy was huge!

And finally, we both come around to the same conclusion. It's the only one that makes sense, we think.

Tomorrow. We'll work on putting it in place.