Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spring, It's So Peculiar

I love the constant change in the landscape, the beautiful color and fragrance of the flowers. But, I'm disappointed that the rotation of blooming shrubs and trees is so quick. I wish they'd hang around and let me enjoy them a while!

For example, last weekend my mom, aunt and cousin (xoxoxo) were here, and one day when we were driving down my driveway, my cousin and I noticed some pretty weeping purple flowers at the edge of the woods. Neither of us were sure what they were, but they were so pretty!

Just this morning I discovered that they're wisteria! Oh, cool. To me there's just something etheral and dreamy about wisteria. I went to take a picture of them to show Alana again when I tell her about it (hi Alana!), and they're already starting to fade. Geesh!

Hence, this wisteria picture is not mine, but one I found on the internet.

That seems to be that way with all of them. Here a week and then they're gone. Take the rhododendron... I have been watching those buds grow for two months and was so excited when the first couple started to open.... I was anticipating enjoying them for as long as I waited for them. but alas, that was not to be. They bloomed for barely more than a week and started to turn brown and fall. Hmpf.

Actually, here we are in front of those poor, spent rhodies...

Here's what has come and gone in the nine short weeks that we've been here...

bradford pear
crab apple blossoms
tulips (not in my yard, though. next year)
red bud
cherry blossoms
lily of the valley

Right now the creeping roses are in bloom. Whoa! Have I got creeping roses! There are a few in my yard, but I just discovered when I went to take the wisteria pictures, that I have them all along the edge of the woods lining the driveway and climbing up the hill... that's about the length of a football field! There are tons of them!

Again, not my image. Hopefully soon I'll capture some worth sharing.

So, even though the various beauties are brief, the satisfying part of it is all the new discoveries. And, I'm thankful that they come in stages so there's always something in bloom.

I wonder what I'll find in bloom next week!!

By the way... Mountain-Man Bob stopped by yesterday. He came to check on my cherries for me. He said they should be ready to pick in about 2 days... if I want to, he said I can get the darkest ones today and probably have enough for a pie! I may be cherry-picking this afternoon!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Want Chickens

These are Glen and Candy's chickens... their hens on the left and roosters on the right. Aren't they pretty?

Here are some of the girls. Candy raised them from little chicks. That's what I want to do, too. Start handling them early so they're comfortable with us.

The thing with getting them when they're little, you can't tell if they're boys or girls. Like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get. Glen and Candy got four handsome roosters from their nine chicks!

Yup, I need to convince my Mr. Douglas to build us a chicken coop soon so we can get started!

Farm-fresh eggs... Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm!

- - - - - - - - - -
The day I took the chicken pics, was the day we went to their house for skeet-shooting and four-wheeling.

This is the view of their property from the balcony. We were just there again for a BBQ two weeks ago... boy, oh boy, does it ever look different now! The landscape is totally changed with the trees full of leaves, the pond full, the garden growing... It's beautiful!

We decided to take the four wheelers over to their neighbors' house. They raise peacocks.

This one saw me coming near with a camera and decided to make his getaway. He hopped the fence and ran across the yard toward the woods. I was afraid he'd get lost, but was told they do it all the time. Candy said they often end up at their house hanging out on the porch beneath the balcony!

Country life... a different kind of adventure!

Friday, May 15, 2009

We Did It Again!

We were out meandering... just seeing what we see, when we came upon a sign for a yard sale. Sometimes we like to pop in to those just to see what's being offered. Most of the time it's a lot of junk... but other times there are great finds.

So, as we pull up to the house we see that they're just wrapping it up. But, as always, we strike up a conversation.

In no time, we were invited up on the porch and provided something cold to drink.

We sat and chatted for two hours with the homeowners, Pepi and Lynn (this is Pepi)!

Okay, since this happened before at the goat farm, you're probably thinking we're buttinskies who don't know when to leave, but I promise that's not the case. "We really should go," we said. "No, no," they say, "Stay, have another drink."

Nice view from the porch, huh? This, by the way, is a sheep farm. {{grin}}

And there they are out in the pasture. "You want to see them up close?" Lynn asks. "Sure!"

They've spotted us.

"Mama, what are you doing bringing those strangers out here?!"

Lynn rattles their food container so they'll come in the barn.

"We can't, Mama, those people are there!"

"Okay, maybe if we run past them really quickly!"

Back outside, and they're wondering, "What are you still doing here?"

"Mama, what are they still doing here?!"

"You go home now." (I love the face on the white one.)

Okay, okay, we can take a hint. Let's go see Pablo. He's The Boss around here.

No, he's not a polar bear. He's a Great Pyrenees. Goat/sheep farmers do seem to love that breed. They are evidently great protectors of the herd.

And this is Snickers, Pablo's next door neighbor (she's not in the pasture because she's due to deliver a little one any day).

Meanwhile, with our having left the pasture, the sheep are able to relax.

And we're finally on our way home after a very lovely, unexpected visit with what have become new friends, Pepi and Lynn. We left with two jars of Lynn's homemade jam and one butternut squash that they harvested from their garden last season.

Two days after our visit, they popped in to let us know that Snickers had delivered her baby the night before... "Would you like to come take a look?" Absolutely!

Snickers with her little girl (unnamed at that point), less than 24 hours old. Snickers is shedding her winter coat. Pepi and Lynn say this type of sheep shed rather than needing to be sheared.

Aw, mama and her baby.

Snickers is coaxing her to nurse.

And, of course, before we wandered over to the porch for another long chat, we got to hold her!
Joe liked that a lot...

So did I!

Surprisingly, Snickers didn't seem to mind; though we wore gloves so she wouldn't be put off by our scent.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meet Mr. Douglas

Yes, this is Mr. Douglas. But he's not the one I'm talking about.


I have my own version of a city-dweller gone country ... my Mr. Douglas.

He's from New Jersey... right on the outskirts of NYC. He thought he was going rural when he moved to Cape Coral, FL. And, truthfully, when he arrived there nearly thirty years ago, it was pretty rural.

Now, it's filled with congested streets, too many traffic lights, and crowded neighborhoods...
at least, to suit what our taste has become.


So, off to the mountains we go where there's a bit more land to stretch out on.

Oh me, oh my, oh... a bit more land to take care of! The prior owners were getting up in years and hadn't done much in the way of yard work for several seasons.


Have we got out work cut out for us...


clearing, trimming, removing...


...the chores! {{sung Green Acres style}}

Then again, with the chores come those big "toys" to get the job done.


This makes my Mr. Douglas happy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm a Conquering Warrior!

That's right.

I donned the armor.

Equipped and prepared for battle, I took an offensive stance and faced my foe squarely.

{{ Drum roll...}}

The ivy went down and I came forth... unscathed!

{{ Hear the eruption of the Hallelujah Chorus! }}

It's all in how you approach it; it requires care and diligence. It's important to know your enemy. Last time, I didn't even know that vicious little plant was lurking (and couldn't really have identified it if I did know) and I forged ahead haphazardly. That foolish move caused me much discomfort!

But, having learned an important lesson the hard way, I came out on top this time!

{{ Cheers, applause! }}

Seriously, though... I've kidded a lot about the garden armor, but for those of you that have had your nose in the bible more than a handful of times... isn't this so allegorically God's armor and the unseen battles we fight in the spititual realm?!

Check this out...

Ephesians 6:10-18 from the NIV:

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Isn't that something.

So, as I prepare for the battle in the garden by putting on my so-called armor... it reminds me that to overcome the trials and tribulations of this world, I should also put on the Armor of God...daily.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Something Adorable

This is a treat; guaranteed to make you smile.

A little boy and his dog...
or maybe that should be a dog and his little boy.

Thanks for sending that, Mom!

(Am I just being paranoid, or does it look like they're playing in poison ivy?)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Flowers at My House

This post is all about Spring and the flowers we inherited on this property...

There's 10 acres of "mostly wooded" land here. This shot gives a glimpse of the mostly wooded portion, with a lovely cluster of irises here at the edge. At the time, there were just two buds, now it's littered with them, and some are open.

When we were weeding last weekend, we didn't make it this far. You can tell that this bed needs to be cleared out. Take a closer look and see if you see what I see! Yes, it's my latest enemy... stalking me; taunting me, daring me to take another step closer!

It's appeared over here at the stairs, too. Oh, it looks delicate and innocent. But it's sinister!

And I don't know what this is, but it looks guilty and I'm not trusting it.

Anyway, on to more appealing subjects.

We have Lily of the Valley! These remind me of Syracuse. We had them all along the back of our house on Spalding Ave. Who remembers that? Summer picnics and the fields beside the house... those were the days.

Rhododendren getting ready to go nuts! (And a mountain-view, to boot!)

Rhododendren blossoms.

The stone wall out front which Joe is eager to pressure wash! We were clearing out and cleaning up this area (and still have much to do) when I got the poison ivy!

Here's a close up of the pretty orange flowers over there. I'm not sure what they are.

There's this flower with them... and I can't identify it either.

I think these are azaleas. If so, they're a bit sickly looking; like they've been around awhile. We might pull them after this season and plant fresh ones.

Ooh, my Zeila. She's our pretty, pretty, princess; and seen here with one of our big clusters of irises.

They're so beautiful and delicate.

Especially drenched in morning sun!

We're gonna have cherries!

And we're gonna have blueberries!

Make that two different kinds of blueberries!

A healthy, happy peony bud. There are many of these!

Little wild daisies over at the other edge of the woods.

There are 4 or 5 shrubs of Chinese Snowballs (Viburnum) .

The Snowballs again.

Lilacs - the butterfly was a surprise visitor which is why he is, unfortunately, out of focus. He fluttered off before I could get a clear shot.

So, that's that. I am blessed!!

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18