Sunday, May 21, 2017

Purple and blue hues...








The purply-blue skies are providing the rains that are making our country green up and grow lots of grass and hay and flowers.  The reservoirs are filling up too.  It's an exciting time.  The earth is slow to awaken this spring, but it's coming.  We have gone from the golden pea, daffodil, and dandelion yellows to more purple and blue hues of chives and allium, columbine and creeping charlie on my garden steps, catmint and violets, and the wild-growing blue flax.  The iris are just about to open too!  I love seeing the varied colors of spring coming and going.

As you see by my last picture, we have got the yearling ewes in and they are ready to lamb any day.  Since these will be their very first lambs, we will not fuss with them, but let them have their lambs on their own without our intervention.  Oftentimes when you fiddle too much with these yearling ewes, they get nervous and take off and leave their lambs behind.  We'll keep watch on them from field glass distance.  If the weather turns extremely wet for a long period, we will get them to the Big Barn, but still let them alone for the most part.  I love seeing newborn lambs on the green grass of May!

My gardening is slow-going right now.  It's just not been warm enough to plant too many things.  We had a low of 29* a couple of nights ago so we aren't totally out of the frost yet.  So I've been busying myself outdoors with mulching.  I brought over a couple of old, rotted, round bales of hay and set it on the bank near my yard.  I've been forking it up and wheel barrowing it here and there where I need it.  I've been mulching shrubs and trees and flowers, and I've thrown a good bunch of it over the potato patch.  I've also been tossing a lot of mulch over my veggie beds.  I don't really need it much yet, but I will, and I figure it might as well lay on the good soil and rot a little more and keep the weeds in the dark.  Later I'll tuck it around  new plants.  I plan to deep mulch everything in the garden when plants get large enough, that way I'll conserve water and soil moisture as well as make a good weed barrier with it. The mulch also helps with keeping water from running down slopes and hills.  The worms will love it, and so will I.  Needless to say, I'm feeling it in my hands, arms, and shoulders, but I'd way rather fork hay and push a wheel barrow and have something to show for it rather than do aerobics.  (I don't like exercise.  I'd rather do physical work.)

I've been taking a few Epsom Salts baths to relieve my tired body and I rub my achy spots with a  homemade magnesium butter.  I think it helps me sleep better at night besides soothing my muscles and joints.   This is the recipe I use from Wellness Mama.  You can also buy magnesium lotions and creams online like this one.  I like to rub it into my feet before bed.  I think it helps keep my feet smoother and it really feels good too.  The big plus is you get a good dose of magnesium right through your skin!  Have you ever tried magnesium butter or magnesium lotions for stiffness and achy muscles?  I think it's great.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Spring!  What colors are blooming where you live?

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair... ~Susan Polis Shutz

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day and a recipe




Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas out there!  It's been a nice day in my neck of the woods with a little lawn chair sitting, a little iced tea, and a little book and magazine reading.  I did also do a little mowing with the rider, but just a little bit.  I'm trying to be more restful on Sundays.  However, I know several mamas out there who are "on duty" this fine Mother's Day.  They are nursing sick children, feeding hungry babies, disciplining unruly toddlers, and moving college students home from school.  A mom's job is never done, really.  We must always be able to see the good and be thankful for each day and each duty and each Someone that God gives us under the sun.


Today I'm sharing a picture of my flower patch and my lawn chair sitting spot along with my rhubarb patch.  It's growing beautifully.  We had a nice thunderstorm overnight and it was just the thing for the rhubarb as well as all the other green things growing.  I also want to share a recipe with you for Rhubarb Salsa.  I know!  Can it really be good?  Yes!  It's fabulous!  OnlyDaughter brought some out a couple days ago for us to try and we all loved it.  I insisted that we make another batch so we did and we tried it out on the rest of the families here.  Even the kiddos liked it.  I'm sorry I don't have a fine picture to show you, but we ate it all up!

Rhubarb Salsa
Serves: 4-6 persons
 
The rhubarb replaces tomato in this unique salsa. To balance the tartness, I've added some honey and the kick of a jalapeno will bring it together for a surprising burst of flavor!
 
Ingredients
  • rhubarb (1 to 1½ cups) diced small
  • ¼ cup of sweet bell pepper, diced (I used red and orange)
  • 2 tablespoons of diced white or red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of diced scallions
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced (used red pepper flakes)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of honey (raw if you have it)
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 cups of water in a saucepan to boiling. Blanch rhubarb by placing in the boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds. Quickly remove the rhubarb and place in a colander. Run cold water over the rhubarb to stop the cooking process. Blot the rhubarb with a paper towel to dry.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the bell pepper, onion, scallions, jalapeño, and cilantro. Add rhubarb and mix ingredients.
  3. In a small separate bowl, dissolve the honey in the lime juice and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle this dressing over the rhubarb salsa and stir. Add the salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
This recipe comes from Simply Fresh Dinners 
so if you want to see a beautiful picture of the salsa, you can click over there and see how wonderful it is!  I wanted to tell you that I didn't have jalapeno so I used red pepper flakes.  I didn't have scallions either so we added a little more onion.  I had lemon juice instead of lime juice.  I also threw in a tablespoon or so of diced Hatch chilies from my freezer.  So you see, you can fiddle with this recipe to your tastes as I always do as I did.  We at our salsa on corn chips and later that night I had it on my tacos.  Scrumptious! 

Some of my fondest memories are picking rhubarb at my Grandma & Grandpa's farm.  It was a prized fruit and Grandpa took good care of it making sure to heap on the decomposed horse manure every fall.  We kids would eat the picked stalks raw, dipped in sugar.  (We also ate crab apples and choke cherries fresh -- SOUR!)  Do you grow rhubarb?  What are your favorite rhubarb recipes?

Monday, May 08, 2017

Potatoes and Pie...

 One of my favorite seasons 
is Rhubarb Pie Season.
Do you know it?
We only have it for a short time in spring
and early summer.
Such a treat.
I make a rhubarb custard pie (recipe below).
It's our fav!

My tulips are blooming like crazy and it's been so windy that I decided to cut a few and bring them indoors to enjoy.  I think the snow and early rains have really helped to bring up the tulips varieties that I haven't seen in a long, long time.  It's exciting to see old friends that I planted years ago.

Today Peach and Toodles helped me plant potatoes.  It's so nice to have littles, who are closer to the ground, put the potatoes in the hole I spade open. 205 hills of potatoes planted!  I had scab on my potatoes last year so one of the ways I am going to try to avoid it is by planting a variety that is scab resistant.  I planted Red Norland.  I'm waiting a little longer to put in the rest of the garden veggies and flower seeds.  We could easily have a frost yet this month.
.................................................................

Rhubarb Custard Pie with Crumb Topping

1unbaked pie crust
4 cups chopped rhubarb

Put rhubarb into crust.

Custard:
Beat:
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 T. flour
2 eggs
Pour this custard over rhubarb. Spread evenly.

Topping:
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c.  butter

Cut in butter into flour and sugar so it resembles small peas. 
Sprinkle over top of pie spreading it evenly to the edges.
Bake in a 350* oven for 1-1/2 hours. Pie will be dark golden in color and have a dry crumbly top.
Cool and serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream and coffee.
 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Work and rest...

 
 


We've been branding bunches of calves and moving pairs out to summer pasture.  We de-wormed the lambs and wow, have they ever grown!  Watching a big set of twins lambs nursing on a ewe that's not much bigger than they are is quite a sight.  We're getting to the end of the calving season which means we will be on the cusp of the next thing.  It seems we no sooner get done with one major job and there's another one coming right up behind it.  A few more brandings and we'll have all the cows and calves turned out to summer range and then we'll be ready to start making hay.  It appears we're going to get some hay depending on how much more rain comes our way.  And there's fencing.  Always fences to mend or to take out and replace with new.

Last Sunday I spent some time doing a little yard work and as I walked into the house to fix a mug of tea, I thought to myself, "I'm going to do my resting in the yard and appreciate the work I've been putting into it."  It seems so often that I spend hours and hours of time weeding, digging, planting, mowing and trimming and then spend very little time appreciating it, resting in it.  I took a couple magazines with me and enjoyed a quiet and refreshing time reading and looking around me and being thankful.  It was a gift, and I took the time to receive it.  Do you ever have to remind yourself to receive the gifts all around you?  I do.  It seems I get so busy with everything I'm doing that I forget to take it all in.  To just sit and be and rest and receive.  I want to be more deliberate about that this summer.  I love everything about gardening and I'm gung-ho to get things done, but I need to remember to enjoy the process, to slow down, and receive the rewards of work well done or even partially done.  

I read a fine quote from one of the magazines I was given.  

"It's not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret to happiness."
~James Barrie  

I think that's very true.  I'm not about seeking my own happiness, but I think it is a contentedness that we all desire --being content with what we've been given, whether much or little.  Whether we have a pot of daisies or a whole field of them, it's good to let our hearts be satisfied and be thankful in that.


See you next time!  Be blessed!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring snow...

 It snowed all day yesterday.
Heavy, wet stuff that melted at first and then accumulated.
We received about 6" on top of the slop
 which amounted to .6" in the rain gauge.
The low temp last night was 25*.
Brrrr!

 I spent most of yesterday indoors sewing.
I made these stretchy headbands for the little girls using
girls' tights and made clip-on flowers from silk and cotton voile.
(I didn't cut my flowers as fussy as M. Stewart did)
They turned out quite springy.

This is my second time making this Dutch Almond Puff.
It is so delicious and feels very fancy, but it's easy to make.
I spread mine with apricot jam and then drizzled it with a glaze and sprinkled on nuts.
So good with coffee or tea.
I found the recipe on Bonnie's blog:
(Thank you, Bonnie!) 


Danish Almond Puffs
 Cut together until it resembles a coarse meal:
1/2 cup of butter 
1 c. flour
Add 2 Tbsp. cold water
Mix into a dough.  Then press into two 3x12 rectangles on an ungreased baking sheet. 
Next boil:
1 c. water 
1/2 c. butter
add 1 tsp. almond extract
Remove from heat and add:
1 c. flour
3 eggs one at a time beat them in.
Beat until smooth.  Spread over the pastry rectangles and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.  Combine:   2 c. powdered sugar, 4 Tbs. cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/8 tsp. salt.  Beat the frosting until smooth.  When the pastries are out of the oven spread jam down the middle.  I use raspberry jam and caramel apple jam.  The when cooled drizzle the frosting on.  If you remember sprinkle with ground nuts. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Potential...

 The third year on my asparagus.  It's just coming up!


 Above, tiny lettuces emerge.

 Onion starts.

 Above, garlic is peeking through!

 Rhubarb!  Rhubarb!
 Grape Hyacinth along the garden path.

Daffy-Down-Dilly has come to the Country!

I realize that my photos here are less than spectacular when you consider that so many, many others places are sporting Full Bloom Spring!  We are definitely in Spring-mode now, but our start is slower than most, I think.  Where you see mostly dirt in the photos at the top, I see great potential! 

The first couple of photos are showing my third year asparagus.  Three spring ago, I wanted to find asparagus plants to start in my garden, but they were all out, so what did I do?  I bought a packet of  asparagus seeds and started them.  They came up beautifully, but there were no stems to eat that first year.  The second year I had some nice asparagus but it is said that one should not pick it, but let it go to seed and allow the roots to further strengthen and grow.  By last fall, we had a little bit of rain and the asparagus sent up shoots and I decided it would be just fine if I picked those few tender stalks.  Oh my, but they were delicious!  Now it is spring once again, and THiS Is THe YeAR I gET TO PicK!  Can you feel my excitement?  Where you see a lot of brown mulch and just a few stalks of asparagus, I see great potential for many, many stalks and lots of spring suppers of steak and asparagus or burgers and asparagus or fish and asparagus or maybe some bacon-wrapped asparagus.  

The third photo down, you see the tiniest of lettuce leaves breaking through.  I suppose they were planted last fall and didn't quite get sprouted before the cold weather came.  I'm so proud of them for lying dormant through the winter and poking through this spring.  How much more joy I have to see them first thing this spring!  Now I feel like I have a mini-head-start on the lettuce.  I did actually seed some lettuce yesterday, but these are growing already, right beside the seeds.

Onion sets and garlic are spearing through the other dirt-colored photos.  More potential!  And then there's the Rhubarb!   Potential Pie!  One of my most favorite pies!  I never freeze my rhubarb because I think it gets too watery and rubbery once it's thawed, so when the rhubarb is ready and fresh-picked, it's Pie Time.  Anticipation is half the fun of rhubarb pie for me.  It seems I savor the whole experience so much more than I do with other pies.  I even have a big batch of pie crust dough ready.  I roll it out, put it into pie plates and freeze so I am at-the-ready when the rhubarb is.

The Grape Hyacinth and the Daffodils have been putting on a show in my mostly-brown garden beds.  After a cold, snowy winter, brown never looked so good.  Then the green starts coming through and then bam! full-blown COLOR.  It's a gift. 

Today the Littles -- Peach, Toodles, JohnDeere, Kitten, Chief  and I went for a walk-about.  There are two baby calvies in the corral now that Peach and Toodles are feeding with a bottle every day.  We had to go visit with them and run around with them.  The calves like to chase and frolic with the children like little playmates.  Then we went for a look and a touch with the baby chicks and turned out the hens.  The most important thing we did was to go bird watching.  The older girls begged for it.  The boys went back with JLo while I took the others birding in the tree patch.  We saw the Mountain Bluebirds and Peach said she's seen them in and out of the hollow tree with a hole in it.  We're hoping they are building a nest in there.  We saw many robins, many warblers, and a Loggerhead Shrike.  So much fun!  So much potential for nests, baby birds, and big birds in the days to come.

What kinds of potential are you seeing?


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Simple Things...

 Sheets, kitchen towels, tea towels, and table cloths 
snapped wildly on the line on a windy day-after-Easter.
All of our family came to celebrate together.
The extra laundry and dishes and dirty floors remind me there 
were lots of wonderful people here laughing and having fun together.
We ate very well too!

A little Easter gift to myself and to the ladies of our family.
I love orchids, do you?


Kite flying.
Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Let's all go fly a kite!
(insert children smiling and squealing!)


The Peeps have arrived! 
We picked them up at the feed store today.
This year I chose to get 25 Black Stars,
known for their egg laying superiority.

 Grape Hyacinths popped up a couple days ago!

The daffodils bloomed just in time for our Easter dinner table.
We've had an inch of rain today, just after we planted two big bare patches in our front and back yard.  We did end up digging up the septic line, and I'm thankful our men could do that work with the help of a backhoe rental.  Now the lines are running perfectly, but the yard is in need of new grass.  This rain will give our newly planted grass seed a good start.  
Water is such a basic, simple thing, but a most important need here.  The green grass is growing in the pastures now and the cows and sheep don't want to eat hay any longer.  They're happy with fresh, green sprouts.

What green things are growing where you live?

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Lessons from Madame Chic...


I've been doing some reading from a very special author named Jennifer L. Scott.  She's a wife, a mother of three, and she works from home and makes home her life's work.  Her first book, Lessons From Madame Chic, 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris, is her one of three which focus on beautiful living.  When I think of "chic" I think of something far beyond what I can attain in my everyday life or in my occasional fancy-going-to-an-event days.  But Jennifer makes me think differently  about the term chic.  It is more than French style and fashion, but instead it is a refined quality of gracefulness, manners, and good taste.  To me, that sounds like a way of life, something I want in my everyday, at-home life.  We all try to look our best and be on our best behavior when we are in public, but isn't it just as important to be at our best every day, and to enjoy our lives and our homes and our loved ones every day?  This is the message that Jennifer Scott has for us:  take joy in every single thing that you do each and every day.  Do everything with purpose, take your time, see the beauty in it.


I started the Madame Chic books out of order so the first book I read was At Home With Madame Chic.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and just knew that my daughter and daughters-in-law would love it too since they are at the same stage in life as Jennifer.  They are all young wives and mothers at home with small children.  It is a rewarding time of life, but also a very busy, high-energy time that can often leave a young woman feeling far less than chic by the end of her full days.  In this book, Jennifer gives her readers tips to make the days more organized and less chaotic,  more beautiful and less mundane.  Many ideas she learned directly from her Parisian host family whom she nicknames The Chics, but she also learned from Marla Cilley (aka: Fly Lady) and Emilie Barnes, two authors that I read and was encouraged by back when I was a young mom at home. (Sandra reminded me in the comments about Alexandra Stoddard's books which I also read and loved.)

Today I was reading chapter 2 from the first book, Lessons From Madame Chic, which is entitled: Deprive Yourself Not.  To quote Jennifer, "I have never consistently eaten better, nor enjoyed my food more, than when I lived in Paris with Famille Chic.  This was a family who, gastronomically speaking, led a rather enviable existence.  Breakfast consisted of toasted tartines with real butter and homemade jam, among other delights.  Lunch was leftovers from the previous evening... or a quiche and salad.  A typical weeknight meal would be something like leek soup, followed by roast chicken with braised endive and new potatoes, followed by a salad, followed by a strawberry tart and finally the cheese course."  Now that sounds like some dining that I'd totally love to experience day in and day out, wouldn't you?  By the way, all of the meals were prepared by Madame Chic herself!

Dining on such delicious foods was never followed by the comments, "I wonder how many calories we consumed at this meal?"  Never!  That would not be chic.  But instead, the diners' appetites were deeply satisfied not only by the thoughtfully prepared meal served to them, but also by the intentional experience of eating together on the best dinnerware with cloth napkins, and taking pleasure in the relaxed conversations of the family at the table.  (Very chic!)  Jennifer lets us know that she did not gain weight while she was in France even though they ate very well.

Think of the difference in a typical American breakfast: driving through Starbucks and grabbing a bagel and a coffee and eating it on-the-fly as you scramble off to work or to an appointment because you are running late.  Compare it to Jennifer's Parisian breakfast:  an early morning breakfast prepared just for you to enjoy, taken at the less formal kitchen table, sipping a cup (or bowl in France) of tea or coffee with a slice of last night's strawberry tart and a bowl of fruit over yogurt while the radio plays in the background.  I know how I'd rather start my day!

Jennifer tells us further in this chapter that snacking happened rarely so when it was time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, everyone was hungry and ready to experience the meal of the day.  She gives us a tip on how to dine well and she calls it The Delicacy Technique.  "Think about how you would eat a delicacy if it was placed in front of you.  You wouldn't mindlessly jam it into your mouth while you simultaneously check your iPhone, would you?  You would bring the food to your mouth slowly, taste and savor it.  You would discuss it.  You would enjoy.  Just imagine if you did this with everything you ate.  If you treated mealtime as sacred--no matter what the circumstances."

Let me say that I occasionally eat in front of the computer or TV, particularly at noon if Hubby isn't here to eat with me.   When there were children at home, I never did this.   We all sat at the table, said our blessing and enjoyed our lunch as a family.   I don't want to become a distracted diner.  I want to be an engaged eater of delicacies, even if the delicacy before me is a grilled cheese sandwich!  Honestly, if you think of the amount and varieties of foods we have to eat on a daily basis in America, we should be always grateful and mindful of the true delicacies of foods we have compared to so many who have so little.

I'm sure I will have many other tidbits to share with you from this book, but I wanted to give you a taste of something delicious to read and experience.  I shared my book, At Home With Madame Chic, with OnlyDaughter and yesterday we were discussing it.  She told me, "Mom, I think this little book is going to change my life."  Now that's a testimony for you!  She is excited to share it with other young mothers.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Homemade Le Poo Pourri....


For those times when the bathroom smells like
 a fresh cow patty or the chicken coop,
you need homemade Le Poo Pourri.

Perhaps you've seen the famous video-ad for the original
Poo Pourri.  Click here -- It is SO funny!
We all know about those unspeakable stenches
that emanate from the bathroom, 
but what to do if we have none of the original
Poo Pourri on hand?

Make some!
and fast!

Here's how.  
In a small spray bottle mix:
2 tablespoons of alcohol
20 drops or so of your favorite essential oils
Shake.
Now fill up the bottle with water and shake again.

Before you go #2, squirt 4 sprays of Le Poo Pourri
in the toilet water.  Then do your business.
No stinky.

For good measure, 
you can give the room a little spritz or two.


I have also used my homemade Le Poo Pourri
in the mud room when the dogs are making a stink.
Or when I can't be sure I've gotten rid of all traces of
cow manure off the rugs. It helps.

This spray helps with kitchen odors too.
Enjoy!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Breathe....


...then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. ~Genesis 2:7

I've been thinking about breathing lately.  It first started when I was watching an interview with a then 94 year old woman who taught yoga.  Tao Porchon-Lynch is now 98 years old, and I think she still teaches yoga.  When she was asked, what is the secret to her vitality and health, she answered, "It's about the breath.  Breathing takes away fear."  As I thought about when I first learned some yoga poses, I remembered the instructors teaching how to deeply breathe through each pose, and I remembered how effective it was to then focus on the pose or the stretch at hand.  I also remember the instructors saying, "Smile." I liked that part.  I don't practice yoga as a meditation, but I do enjoy it as a way to stretch and exercise for my health.  I find it relaxing too.

Later on I was reading from The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge where the protagonist, Mary, is reading from the diaries of her late Aunt Mary.  The diary told of her mental "terror of impending disorder" and how tired it made Aunt Mary day after day.  She wanted nothing more than to live in the country where there weren't so many social things pressing in on her fragile spirit. Eventually, she did move to the English countryside where she found peace and solace in breathing deeply the scents of flowers and fresh air and appreciating the beauty of her own garden.  Nature spoke to her weary soul --  every bee and butterfly, bird and tree. Mary knew she would have illness and depression in the winter months through the years, but she anticipated spring and knew she could hold on until then. She still had times when "she lost her reason" but she felt she could breathe in the openness of the country.  Do you ever feel that it is easier to breathe when you go on a country drive or when you take time to walk into nature and take it all in?  I live in the country and yet I need time to walk, to really look, to appreciate nature, and to be thankful for all of it.

A friend from church recently had a mini-stroke.  They didn't know why because she was in very good health.  She went to Mayo Clinic for further examination and the cause was stress.  She had been working very hard ranching beside her husband day after day, and her doctor said she needed to do less and relax more.  I don't know if the doctor said it, but I can imagine he might have said, "You need to breathe.  Deeply."  

One verse from the Bible that I am very fond of is this:  "Be still and know that I am God."  (Psalm 46:10)  Another translation says, "Cease striving and recognize that I am God."  All day long we strive, don't we?  We want to do more.  We want to do our best.  We want to perform up to the standards set before us.  Even upon our beds, our minds are racing, planning, anticipating, hoping, fearing.  Where is our rest?  When do we get to be still, breathe, and know that we are in God's hands?  Believe me, I know well that of which I speak. 

I remember seeing one of my granddaughters hurt and upset.  She was crying and breathing so hard that it made her situation worse.  The more she cried, the more desperate she felt, the faster she breathed, until her mother said, "Just breathe with me -- slow breaths, in your nose, out your mouth.   Just breathe."  And together they slowed everything down.  The crying subsided, the fear abated, the breathing calmed, and the hurt was tended to.  

Why is it that we find it so hard to slow down, to experience the little things, to focus on the here and now, to be in the moment, to just breathe?  To just be.

As I took my walk this afternoon I thought about the animals I was seeing around me:  the cows chasing their calves, the sheep grazing in the hay field,  the geese floating in the reservoir, the pair of  antelope running at breakneck speed.  Were they worried?  Were they trying hard to be themselves?  Does an antelope worry that his speed is not fast enough?  Does the cow get upset that her baby is bucking and playing too much?  Does the goose have concerns about his ability to float as well as the duck?  No.  They are all content to be exactly what God made them to be. They can breathe, they can be still and know. 

And then do you know what I did?  I stopped walking so fast.  I purposely slowed my pace.  I made an effort to breath deeply, still walking, but breathing with intention.  It's a different feeling.  It's both exhilarating and relaxing.  

What do you think of the breath?  Of breathing deeply?  Of taking time to relax and to just be?  Thank you for taking time to read my scattered thoughts.  You are sweet to come this far with me.  Now let's breathe together.  And smile!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rainy results...








Over the past week we've had some warm temperatures, snow run-off, and rain!  There are puddles in the pastures, goopy gunk under gates, waters in the wadis, and we are happy as Herefords in a hay yard!  Yup!  It appears that we are going to get some spring showers and some wetness.  Even today we've had a few sprinkles and there's more in the forecast. 

We worked all the mature Hereford cows through the corrals and barn a few days ago and sorted them up by calving dates, three ways.  I was the gate swinger and all that muddy goop was where I was pushing cows through to their appropriate pens.  I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my job because not only was there mud to slog in, but there was warm sunshine too.  Perfect for this ranchgirl.

All of the cows are now out in their designated pastures doing what they are supposed to do:  eating grass and having their calves.  So far we've had no problems, but there are about 400 head yet to have their babies.  Driving out to check cows is like a daily Easter Egg Hunt, our eyes search and search looking for wet baby calves with their mothers licking them off and suckling them.

Around the home and gardens, I've been raking up dead willow branches in the backyard and digging out clumps of grass and weeds from amongst the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth spears that are shooting through the moist soil.  It's so exciting to see the new life happening right before my eyes.  It's days like these when we are so glad to live in the country and watch cows calving in the pasture right out of our front windows.  I told Hubs the other day, "People would pay to have our views and see what we see out of our kitchen windows -- even for a weekend."



On the topic of birds -- Peach, Toodles, and their Mom spied these Eastern Bluebirds in the tree patch next to their house.  They were  so kind to share their photos with me!  Will the bluebirds stay or migrate further south?  I don't know, but they do like rotted trees with holes in them for nesting, so it could happen that they decide to stay with us.  We have a large amount of flickers who like to nest in our  rotted trees too so time will tell.  No matter what they decide, it's so fun to see their bright blue wings flying amidst our leafless trees.

On another note, the septic system is clogged.....again.  Likely the roots from the Willow tree are interfering.  We will find out tomorrow.  Bummer.

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." 
~Doug Larson
ring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/douglarson107646.html?src=t_spring
Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/douglarson107646.html?src=t_spring

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