Thank you all so very much for your comments - we are still 'internetless' - ugh! It should be up in the next week sometime... until then I'm just borrowing internet here and there... I won't have time to answer each of your comments individually today, so a big blanket THANK YOU to each and every one of you. I miss you all terribly too!
Life on a farm.
I'll be helping at our new place on Wednesday mornings with general upkeep. Yesterday dawned bright and sunny, but on the cold side. I wore a warm fleece jacket and a down vest - dressing in layers because the weather can be so changeable in April. I was sure to bring some bottled water and of course my camera, all in a handy fanny-pack.
I met Bonnie at 9 and she outfitted me with some sturdy leather gloves, a rake, a large garbage pail and she also brought some pruning shears. She chose to work along a trail which passes by a large ponderosa pine. The pine has shed so many needles they obliterate the ground for several yards beyond the base, also covering the trail. We spent our time gently raking away the topmost layers of needles from around the bunches of grass and away from tender young shoots hiding under the prickly blanket. We disposed of the needles over the bank of a shady part of trail a short distance off, which had no debris - so the needles will eventually break down. Bonnie told me the California Quail, of which there are many here, they love to scatter the needles. The Quail are so quaint - to me they look like they wear a little grey and black suit - and I especially like their little comb which sits over their face and bobs along when they scurry.
KILLDEER FEIGNING BROKEN WING
I learned what the call of an osprey sounds like too. There are many little critters about. My friend Becky came to visit (we have a standing date for wednesday afternoons, which I look forward to all week long) and we lit out to the orchard to take some pictures of a kildeer's nest. Mom and Dad Kildeer were not at all impressed with our intrusion - and they both skittered several orchard rows away from us, from where they both began a 'wounded wing' act to try to lure us away from the eggs in their nest. We tried to work as quickly as we could to capture our photos.
As you can see, there are three eggs in the nest... but if you look closely to the left (double click the photo to make it a bit bigger) you can see a rock to the right - its remarkably close in color and texture to the eggs, in fact when Becky and I were searching for it we had a hard time as it was so closely camouflaged to the ground around it.
To learn more about the Killdeer - you may want to visit the WHATBIRD website by clicking HERE
On the domestic side of things, I've unpacked every single box I can see - and I KNOW I'm still missing one. In fact, it's the box I wanted to unpack the very first, so I have to carefully search l the hidden corners here (and there are a lot of them!)
I claimed my kitchen yesterday by making bread. Somehow, baking bread and filling the house with it's warm and yeasty smell makes the house smell more like a home. I love making bread - I come from a long line of women who baked bread. Some of my fondest memories are of coming home from school to my mom's fresh bread. I think she began to bake bread at home when we lived in isolated communities because there were not bakeries or stores (the supplies at one place had to be boated in - they came up once a month on a big boat called the Northern Prince) But I also have to think it would have been cheaper to make as well, with eight hungry kids to feed. Whatever the reason, I can still smell it and see it in my mind.
I also loved my Gramma's homemade hot crossed buns she made each easter and christmas and her dark caraway seed/rye bread. She sometimes put sunflower seeds into the rye bread and I loved it toasted and soaked up with butter.
Isn't it the little things which cause us the great pleasure? For me, one thing is baking bread, for you?
Money cannot buy these things... Make sure you stop and identify what brings you peace and joy, and strive to make these simple things part of your life. Too easily the busyness of this world we live in can suck away what we need and crave. Find out what is the one thing you recall with joy from your childhood - turn off your tv and close your computer for a tiny while and set aside an afternoon to just enjoy. You won't regret it. Let yourself create your own happy moment, to be savored later when you need a place for your mind and heart to rest on - when you don't have the choice... Taking time away like this allows you, especially when you share these times with family members or friends, to contemplate on the rich gifts our Lord has given us through engaging with each other. Have you ever done dishes or baked, side by side with someone and not had some contenting time or good conversation together? Done a puzzle together and shared the satisfaction of building it? Enjoyed a friendly game of some kind? Took a walk...
"As I got older I became aware of the folly of this perpetual reaching for the future, and of drawing from tomorrow and from tomorrow only, a reason for the joyfulness of today. I learned, alas! when it was almost too late, to live in each moment as it passed over my head, believing that the sun as it is now rising is as good as it will ever be."
by Mark Rutherford
No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear,
But grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
by John Greenleaf
"Some have too much, yet still do crave;
I have little, and seek no more.
They are poor though much they have,
And I am rich with little store.
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live."
by Sir Edward Dyer
A Christian is one who does not have to consult his bank book to see how wealthy he really is.
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven... for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:20, 21
I must run for now - I miss you all very much! I will post as soon as I am able!
BARB'S HANDY TIP #240
Build a Birdhouse
Even though you might not live in the country, you can attract some country to your yard by building a birdhouse. The following is a terrific site which will supply you with all the information you will need to build a de-luxe condo for your feathered friends: