I planned to send a newsletter with the Easter cards and just as I was working with the cards. Jack (the cat who always gets into trouble) jumped up behind my computer- which he knows is off limits- landed right on my old surge protector that I didn't know was faulty, and crashed my computer. So I am combining April and May together before it turns into a book.
I finally got all my garden planted and the peas, red beets, spinach, lettuce, and green beans are up and growing. There is nothing calming like digging in the garden, turning over nice dark soil of what used to be hard clay as you clear out weeds to get ready to plant seeds, feeling the warm sun on your back, hearing birds sing all around you while Tex suns himself, and rolls around on the warm earth feeling far removed from worrying about what else is going on in the world. I always marvel at the tiny seeds you plant in the earth with anticipation knowing the rain and sun will bring them back to life again and sprout forth into plants a hundred times bigger than what you scatter in the ground. And just when I thought all the cold weather was past lo and behold if we aren't having sudden freezes and frost this week right before Mother's Day. So yesterday I was outside covering up my tomato plants and tucking them in with straw (that are already blooming), mucking out the duck and hen house, closing up windows again, and putting more straw down to keep the animals warm and cozy. I have so enjoyed hanging out the wash on the line each week. It makes a person lift up their head as you reach up to clothespin the clothes and take a moment to gaze upwards into the blue sky bordered by newly green tree leaves while feeling gentle warm winds blow. So if you are feeling anxious find some dirt to dig in or go outside- even if you can only open up a window and poke your head out- for a bit.
The iris are blooming- a welcome sign after a hard frost last month killed most of my wisteria and the azalea blooms. I even have some roses blooming. Thankfully the purple money plants and pansies aren't affected by cold weather. Each week I think I will be able to put out my hanging flowers and window box container plants only for the temp to dip down so I have to be patient and wait.
What has been quite thrilling is seeing all the birds coming back. My bluebird parents are busy feeding their babies in the corner bird box, the ruby throated hummingbirds have arrived along with the rose breasted grosbeaks, but what is most exciting is to see some warblers up close, and for the first time ever see red winged blackbirds at my feeders- something I remember seeing as a child up North. Since I live in a wooded area, I’ve not seen any until now.
I somehow lost one little duckie one night- still not sure how that happened, but the other four are growing like weeds and have all feathered out. I had to separate them from the white drake as he began chasing them around to keep them away from his “girls”. The chicken roundup is going much better each evening as I’ve trained them to come running when I call as I throw scraps into the pen. They now come flocking whenever they see me outside- the greedy things- hoping for some food. But at least I can save my energy for other stuff. Dwight helped me put up some chicken wire along the fence at his workshop as a couple of the fat hens were squeezing through the fence. Tex patrols most of the fence line at the woods.
Easter Sunday was different from all the other years as the churches have been closed here in Tennessee. Some local churches had drive up services, but since the majority of our church folk are elderly we’ve not had church. I’ve wanted to get all the genealogy files Dana did through the years sorted and organized, but every day is so full of work needing to get done that the week goes faster than the hours, so I got the brainstorm and for the last month or so I’ve sat with Dana Sunday afternoons to figure out the genealogy files on both sides of each of our families. It has been quite the process as to begin with piles of paper with names and dates to me is confusing as the further back you go the more scattered and spread out it gets- Dana has gone back ten generations- and along with that Dana’s dementia that has been getting worse (his mind used to work like a computer and he always had all facts and dates at his fingertips) but now he would get confused and mixed up, which only made me more befuddled- kinda like the blind leading the blind. After Dawn got married Dana also did genealogy on Randy’s family too. I’m proud to say that we finally got the files all organized and labeled! It was quite the achievement. One of these days I need to put them all in a book as Dana spent years researching, spending hours on the phone calling family members to double check, and while traveling out on the road we hunted up numerous cemeteries as well.
So despite the pandemic raging all around, I have been keeping busy here at my little spot in the woods. God has been good to us.
Hoping this finds you staying safe and healthy on your end. Meanwhile I’ll try and keep things going on mine.
Until next month~