may!

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This month, how can you not love it! The earth around us has just burst with life and greenness and busyness these past few weeks. And we too follow suit, with digging and planting and tending to seedlings, all the while we pack away the last reminders of winter, swapping heavy furniture and bed covers for lighter ones, roll up carpets and creating a summer “office” on the back porch, where the sweet scents of honeysuckle and wisteria mingle — absolute heaven. I love the early mornings, the fresh asparagus, dog naps in the grass, the birdsong, walking barefoot, sipping iced coffee, wearing sundresses, and getting my hands full of dirt. ::happy sigh:: Have a sweet Monday, folks! :-)

gratitude sunday

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gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • my BFF Julie, who celebrated her birthday this week. I love her for countless reasons and feel so fortunate to know she’s always by my side, cheering me on in life’s adventures
  • the good fortune that spared our magnolia tree from this past week’s frost. The overnight temperatures fell below freezing in the back garden but did not closer to the house, where the blooming tree stands :-)
  • checking off three “to do”  items this week on my list for “The Big Thing”, which I still can’t quite reveal but promise I will as soon as everything is finalized :-)
  • an uneventful checkup with the ophthalmologist
  • the people and critters on this planet that make me laugh every day and even when I don’t think I’m capable of it, these guys never let me down
  • Sunday brunch featuring pancakes (I use this easy recipe), James’ organic blackberry jam topping, and fresh whipped vanilla cream — soooo good!
  • the amazing aid people who dedicate their lives to helping people in the face of natural disasters, as is currently is happening in Nepal. James and I are survivors of the horrific earthquake that hit Pakistan almost ten years ago, and we remain grateful to all who aided in our rescue and kept us safe until that could happen. Please donate to the aid relief, as you’re able — thank you
  • fun afternoon on Thursday taking Leni to visit my mom, who loves her grandpup very much :-)
  • the lovely folks we met at the Mt Zion AMC’s SpringFling on Saturday — a great event again!
  • the return of green to Baldy Hill — with the space of just a few days this week, there was an explosion of plant life popping from their buds!
  • not to mention, the daffodil blooms, the narcissus, and the bluebells, too :-)
  • finding this quote, which really resonated with me this week: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — So true, Mr. Twain, so true.

 

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!)