Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday in six chapters

chapter 1: Do Not Neglect the Day Lilies!

If you're going to set for yourself the task of clearing away spent lily blooms, then it's important not to fall too far behind. Especially in the week when there are people passing through, who may enjoy a well tended garden. (My younger daughter asks me -- would it look that bad if you left them to their own fate? The answer is complicated: most gardens I've seen let the lilies be. But most gardens are not built around day lily plants. Mine are. The lilies dominate in many spaces and believe me, the beds do not look as magnificent with spent flowers drooping from long stems.)

But tending the garden should not creep too much into time spent with visitors (the younger family!) who are here only for the weekend. The conclusion? Get up even earlier than their wee one (who herself rises at 6:15)!

And I do. And I work quickly. I do skip a handful of beds and even so, I snip off upwards of 700 blooms. And I'm back in the house by 7.

Memorable images from my morning work:

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(The bed to the west of the porch is quite dense this year. I'll have to reign it in a bit next spring. Note that most of the lilies here have not yet bloomed. They're August lilies.)

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(The Big Bed is quieting down. One of the readers proposed that I do an album of the Big Bed through its seasonal changes. It's an excellent idea! A great winter project!)

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(One doesn't have favorites among kids and grandkids, but one does tend to find delight in a selection of lilies each year. These girls are definitely up there for me this summer!)

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(The lily bed by the porch in the early morning is only partly unfurled for the day. The flowers will open up right around breakfast time!)

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chapter 2: Good Morning!

Well now, there's stirring in the farmhouse! 

We ready ourselves for the day. ("Mom, do you need some more cream?")

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And of course, there is breakfast. Primrose ate her way through her fruit bowl as together, she and I were preparing the fruits for all of us. But there's still oatmeal! And kefir, and yogurt, and really bad coffee for some of the older folks. (My new machine did not arrive on time. Ah well. It made for a good story all weekend long.)

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Youngest, oldest. He eats she eats.

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And now my daughter arrives with her two kids...

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chapter 3: The Blueberry Adventure

Snowdrop had been eager to go to the blueberry patch with her cousin. Finally, this morning, she has her chance to lead the way!

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Everyone wants to be in on it!

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True, it is a little bit hot and a little bit buggy. But we get our berries! The two girls are the experts here: both have picked the warm little berries before.

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Having sampled the fruits (and reaffirmed for Primrose the connection between what she eats and where it comes from), we follow the path back to the farmhouse!

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... with a pause to have Primrose get to know our cheepers up close and personal. We have very well behaved, non-intimidating chickens!

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chapter 4: The Band of Cousins

There is a slight scuffle as to who should pound the xylophone. Bring out the drum. Two more sticks to distribute. We have a band!

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After a very loud performance, we (thankfully) settle into quieter play. The key here is to take possession of the reader's lap. It's an ever-changing configuration of little ones.

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So ends the farmhouse romp. The younger family is packin' up.

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chapter 5: The Brunch

I had wanted to fix brunch for everyone, but it was pointed out to me that this would require too much time in the kitchen. Our days together are not long. I've cooked dinner. Let's eat out on Sunday!

And we do. At Sardine.

(waiting for the last two gentlemen to arrive)

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Snowdrop does her marker sketches, Primrose attempts to do the same.

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Sparrow, who likes tall people, has a conversation (of sorts) with the waiter who admires his teething biscuit.

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And now it's time for everyone to leave and go home. This home, that home.

I'll take all the hugs I can get!

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Good byes are so hard.

chapter 6: Back to the Farmette Flowers

At least the flowers haven't gone away. They're there to comfort, to inspire...

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But it is awfully quiet this evening at the farmette. Ed and I plant some peas, then I throw one last glance at the flower beds.

Hi, Dance...


Hi little kitten, hiding in the lily field.


Flowers, cats, kittens. Gentle moments with my sweet partner in crime. Daydreams about future days, when the farmhouse will be buzzing with the sound of young voices again.