june

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This month of June got off to a slow start, with day after day of cool damp rain. But now it has begun to show its true self and I couldn’t be happier. πŸ™‚ The skies are blue, the air fragrant with peonies and roses, and the temperatures have reached summer-hot. We have worked hard to finish much of the vegetable planting, and today I have started on the strawberry jam making. Our feeders have been busy with young fledglings, led there by parents likely ready for them to soon leave the nest, as well as the arrival this week of our favorite hummingbirds. Plans have been made for a trip to our local ice cream shop, too. The extra hours of sunlight, the fireflies signaling the end of day, the young deer stretching their new legs, the anticipation of summer festivals and trips to the beach all add to my love of this time of year and fill me with gratitude, for a beautiful June day is such a gift to savor. Here’s hoping you too can get outside today and enjoy the season wherever you are!

gratitude sunday

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gratitudeΒ β€” the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • Beautiful sunsets
  • Visits with my brother and niece — they don’t get to come off the “Cape” often, but when they do we make the most of our time together πŸ™‚
  • The annual “reset” that New Year brings each January — I am not one for resolutions, but I do value the taking stock, reflection, and planning for coming year
  • Our amazing chickens — yesterday was the first day since they starting laying a few weeks ago that all six gave us an egg (or as we joke “paid their rent” πŸ™‚ )!
  • The traditional burning ceremony our church holds each first Sunday of January — it’s always one of the best attended services and it feels great to collectively let go of the personal emotional baggage from the previous year πŸ™‚
  • Trying out a new recipe and it’s a successful! I made this cake for our family gathering on Monday and it was a delicious hit, yum.
  • Being given the contact details of a local farmer who sells organic chicken feed at a super price — we’ll save a lot of $$ buying from him in future (and he’s super nice to boot!)
  • This break from my studies and the grind of daily classes — I am starting to feel my batteries recharging and beginning to look forward to the next semester. πŸ™‚
  • But in the meantime, it’s been nice to return to fiction reading. With so much to keep up with reading assignment-wise during the fall, I was left with no time (or desire) for leisure reading.
  • New Year’s eating traditions: I love this part of the festivities. I made the traditional PA Dutch pork and sauerkraut for James (and I confess it smelled so good, for a second or two, I questioned my vegetarian status!) and I had sauerkraut with collard greens, Β beans, and soba noodles — a total hodgepodge of ethnic NY’s good luck foods but delicious nevertheless. πŸ™‚
  • The year that has passed — last year at this time, I had zero idea of what my life would like now, having just been made redundant a few weeks earlier. Sure, life is always uncertain, but I am excited by the direction my work has shifted in 2015 and can’t wait to learn more in the coming year!

gratitude sunday

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gratitudeΒ β€” the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • This handsome little guy, who has been a semi-regular visitor to our garden (but has the good sense not to sample the produce!)
  • Evening thunderstorms that break the heat of the day and bring breezy cool relief just before bedtime
  • Opportunities that take me off the Hill (Baldy, that is) and introduce me to new folks and places and worlds I’ve only dreamed of before
  • The knowledge that other homesteady types like us also face challenges in getting all the work done, have to put off projects from time to time, and often don’t get much weeding done after July πŸ™‚

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  • Another great market day on Saturday — we always meet the nicest people at The Red Barn. Many thanks to the new folks who stopped by and to our repeat customers too! πŸ™‚
  • Sweet peas popping out of their pods
  • Great fun at the local country fairs — cows, tractor pull competitions, and the best chocolate ice cream cones
  • A new knitting project this week — I often take a little break from the needles in the spring, but now that planting is done, it felt great to pick them up again πŸ™‚

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  • These six little wee-bits that arrived this weekend: Loretta and Tammy, Dolly and Emmylou, and Mother Maybelle and June Carter. Happy to report they’re all thriving and cute as could be
  • My collection of favorite childhood books — I tend to dip into them during the summer when I favor lighter reading
  • Another book, this one by Elizabeth David, which forever changed my way of thinking about summer cooking/not cooking; in a nutshell, June through August is one long picnic πŸ™‚
  • An open schedule this coming week, which will allow plenty of time to coo over the chicks! πŸ™‚

gratitude sunday

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gratitudeΒ β€” the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • a truly glorious month of May — visits with good friends and family, new restaurants to try, a new job for James (which he is really loving so far), our sweet puppy who at 10 months of age had a training breakthrough, when everything we’d been teaching her seemed to suddenly make sense (except for my yarn stash, which she’d still tear apart if given the opportunity πŸ™‚ )
  • the smells of May — to simply breath the air around Baldy Hill these past few weeks has been divine — honeysuckle, lilacs, wisteria, peonies, not to mention the sweet cut grass, wildflowers, lily of the valley….who needs perfume!
  • the return of fresh locally grown produce — nothing is better in May than asparagus by the bunches and box and boxes of strawberries πŸ˜‰
  • eating lunch on the porch, with little to listen to except for the birds and the bumblebees
  • the best of picnic foods: my mom’s macaroni salad, pickled red beet eggs, and sweet zucchini relish πŸ™‚

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  • visits to the garden center for yet another bag of potting soil
  • watching those seedlings grow, grow, grow πŸ™‚
  • the books of Dervla Murphy — just finished The Ukimwe Road, fascinating read as always, and so honest and real. I love her writing.
  • rain, finally some much needed rain!
  • rhubarb custard

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  • making time for regular drawing sessions again — feels great!
  • chocolate ice cream cones from the nearby drive-in
  • a rare firework display on Baldy Hill last night, as part of a wedding celebration — beautiful and a wonderful send-off to this lovely month πŸ™‚

gratitude sunday

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gratitudeΒ β€” 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 πŸ™‚
  • checking off three “to do” Β 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 πŸ™‚
  • an uneventful checkup withΒ the ophthalmologist
  • the people and critters on this planet that make me laugh every day and even when I don’tΒ 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 πŸ™‚
  • 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 πŸ™‚
  • 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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gratitudeΒ β€” the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • April days — the snow has finally melted; the world around usΒ 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 πŸ™‚
  • 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! πŸ™‚
  • The small pile of birthday cards that arrived in the mail yesterday, which I’m saving to open tomorrow πŸ˜€
  • 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 πŸ™‚

gratitude sunday

gratitudeΒ β€” 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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