gratitude sunday

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gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • April days — the snow has finally melted; the world around us is turning green again; and nature following its cycle, bringing us rebirth and renewal
  • Meeting lots of great people at the Red Barn market yesterday — had a fun day, even if James forgot the sunscreen and came home looking a bit like a raccoon :-)
  • Memories of our good friend Chris from Spain; we heard this week he had died Wednesday after a brief but devastating illness. He was one of the first people we met when we moved to the village and indeed one of our fondest friends there. James and he kept in touch after he relocated to the UK and we to the US. In his last correspondence, he had hinted of an illness but provided no details. RIP, dear amigo
  • Fun film matinee with my husband one dreary day this week — perhaps the plot was a tad predictable, but the genius actors make up for any other shortcomings; thoroughly enjoyable!

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  • Work being done to help preserve this important part of not just our local history but the national industrial history as well (shot taken from the movie theatre lobby, btw)
  • Dandelion salad — no matter what the calendar says, spring has never truly arrived until the dandelion harvest; I more or less follow this recipe, except use “fakin’ bacon” instead of the real stuff
  • Help I am receiving to assist in putting together all the required paperwork to get my BIG THING approved — apologies for not being able to reveal more about this yet, but I will as soon as I am able, fx! :-)
  • The small pile of birthday cards that arrived in the mail yesterday, which I’m saving to open tomorrow :-D
  • Mac n cheese and garlicky greens for dinner
  • Making plans to visit good friends in Philadelphia in May — can’t wait!
  • Sunshine, after several days of rain
  • Our little greenhouse, which may be petite is size but is working hard to keep our seeds and young seedlings warm and growing well :-)

local traffic

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After more than three years of birdwatching here at Baldy Hill, we had the good fortune to provide dining services to just about every woodpecker known to these parts except for the Northern flicker. Yet we knew they were in the area because callers on the local weekly radio birding program reported sighting after sighting, causing me to lament (perhaps to the point of whining a bit) to James, “Oh, why don’t the flickers like us?”

Until yesterday — I was in town visiting my parents when I received a text from James, accompanied by a photo he’d just taken. The pic was dark, as the bird was sitting in the afternoon shadow, but it was a flicker, no doubt. And I was ten miles away. Oh well, I could hope he wasn’t just passing through and would be back….

And he was this morning, just a strikingly beautiful as I imagined — the polka-dotted breast and the streak of red across the side of his head, gorgeous! His stay was short, only about 10 minutes, before a grackle moved him along. We of course hope he’ll be back — all birds are welcome — but if not, we’re still really glad he stopped by. :-)

 

new ground

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Like in much of the Northeast, the winter’s snow is receding quickly and we find ourselves amidst a resplendent mud season. It’s our fourth thaw here at Baldy Hill and I’m no longer bothered by the muck or the dogs returning from our walks with filthy bellies from the wet dirt they’ve kicked up along the way. I’ve learned mud season is a bridge we need to cross before we can start spring’s much anticipated digging and planting.

But while the ground here is swampy, the skies have been mostly blue, discolored only by an occasional cloud and the thousands of snow geese that have been streaming overhead this past week. The light has shifted just enough indoors to show off the winter’s overlooked dust bunnies, so our spring cleaning has begun in earnest as well. And in my spare time, I have been exploring some programs that may allow me to go back to school and receive retraining, allowing me to break new ground as well in a different career path.

For now, though, there are still seeds to plant and a bit more waiting time, so we must be patient, no matter how greatly we look forward to the return of color, life, our spring.

 

gratitude sunday

gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • Signs from nature that spring is truly on its way

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  • Early morning light

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  • The adventurous and undaunted spirit of our Leni

 
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  • The peaceful, stunning beauty that follows a storm

 
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gratitude sunday

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gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • The opportunity to meet some really great people at the craft show yesterday — always awesome to meet folks with similar loves and interests!
  • American Routes, one of my favorite programs on NPR these days; just heard Mike Cooley of the Drive-by Truckers, one of my all-time fave bands, followed by Marty Robbins, whom my mother saw live many times back in the day — great music for a Sunday evening
  • A yummy pasta bake for dinner tonight; it’s yet another snowy winter day so a belly-warming meal is in order once again :-)
  • A lighter schedule this week, which will allow me to catch my breath after the super-busy days we’ve had lately
  • Time this afternoon to organize my studio and workspace; I need to do this regularly or else I find it too easy to become distracted, plus I always find things I’d forgotten about — today it was some vintage cotton feed bags :-)
  • Two hundred years officially of my hometown, which kicked off its bicentennial celebration today!
  • A message from my uncle in Florida — my parents will be visiting him and my aunt later this month and he’s requested some of James’ homemade chutney and other goodies
  • The print I have the painting above. The original is a watercolor by Edmund Henry Garrett called Cottage Garden, Warwick, England and is property now of the Met. I find it difficult to be patient for one’s own garden at this time of year, especially with so much snow on the ground :-)
  • Leni’s continued uneventful recovery from her spaying op last week — her stitches are scheduled to be removed on Tuesday and then we can finally let her jump and run and dive in snow banks to her heart’s delight
  • Finding a super present for niece’s birthday later this month
  • Health insurance again, starting today! We’re lucky to have overall very good health, but it’s still a relief
  • This fun little book arrived this week for me, thanks to a gift certificate from my brother (thanks again, Peter!)

gratitude sunday

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gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • An almost 70-degree (!) temperature turnaround today from earlier in the week — to be able to sun oneself outside without wearing a parka, a hat, a neck warmer, thick gloves, snowboots, etc. this afternoon was pure joy, perhaps even more so knowing the warmer weather will be very short lived
  • Our pumpkins: Last year, we decided not to plant any pumpkins because we still had plenty preserved from the previous year’s bumper harvest. However, a few volunteer plants grew and proved even more productive than the previous crop! (We grow primarily this variety, btw.) Which has meant a revolving winter menu of pumpkin soups and curries, as well as pies, custards, and the super delicious pumpkin spice cake James baked this week — yum!
  • Receiving the answers I needed to a couple of important questions I’ve been asking myself the past couple of months.
  • A fun time with my friend Patty Monday afternoon
  • An uneventful operation, without any complications, for our puppy Leni, who was spayed this week. Of course, the real challenge is keeping her activities limited for yet another week when her internal drive is almost always set to go, go, go! :-)
  • Remembering we always get more done and faster when we work together as a team
  • Our imperfect, in need of a good clean, but always comfy-cozy, home — some folks close to us learned this week they have to leave theirs rather unexpectedly in a few weeks, which made me all the more grateful for our own, and reminded me never to take it for granted
  • Catching great sales this week on tea towels and underwear —  clean “drawers” for spring has become an annual tradition ;-)
  • Our cabbages: Last year we decided rather last minute to plant some extra cabbage. Like the pumpkins, we had great success with the cabbages, which also stored well in our cellar. Last month, we fermented the remaining into three types of kraut, all of which have turned out very well. And for the first time almost a year, our crocks are taking a brief vacation (until after the spring harvest!)
  • The extra hour and a half I gained this morning: For reasons too complicated to go into, yesterday I changed the time zone on my iPhone, which double-duties as my alarm clock. I promptly forgot to change it back, however, and thus found myself on Newfoundland-Labrador time for half of the morning, before a totally confused James set me straight. The 90-minute gift was one of the best I’ve received in a long time! :-)
  • Chocolate peppermint cookies
  • The hyacinth that I’ve been forcing bloomed this week — yet another reminder that spring is only 26 (!!!) days away!