Saturday, March 29, 2008

coq au vin

coq au vin, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

There's really only one way to take care of an extremely unpleasant rooster.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Puppy Tuesday

puppy tuesday, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

I could seriously take pictures of him all day long. I'll try to show some restraint. We are trying out the names "Goose" and "Tank", but we most often end up calling him "Little Man".

We had a wonderful weekend. It was a great start to spring break. Saturday's weather was the best so far this year. It was around 70 degrees and sunny. We all were sporting lightly sunburned cheeks.

The garden called. I planted shallots and a lettuce. Charlie butchered one rooster, two guinea fowl and a turkey hen. We spent the afternoon clearing vines out of the woods and cleaning up the streambed.

The turkey was close to 40 pounds. We roasted one side of the breast for Easter dinner. Oh, it was so good! The rooster is ready to become coq au vin. Tonight I'll cut it up and put it in marinade. Monkey has been begging to eat him for months. He attacked her and has since been in solitary confinement. And to think, at one time I worried about how she would react to eating the animals...

We planted more lettuce on Sunday afternoon. It's that time. Yesterday we set up shelving in the living room (we must garden when and where we can), and started flats of peppers, cauliflower and some lemon grass. Tomatoes are next. I need to get some peat plugs. We've had the best luck with them for tomatoes. It makes it really easy to pot them up as they grow. I am missing the greenhouse, but some day we will rebuild. We have the plans, it's just that money is oh so tight at the moment. Some days owning your own business is not so pleasant (but that's a whole other blog entry...)

Today just enjoy those bright blue eyes and soft, soft fur. That's my plan for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring to you!

happy spring!, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

My mother presented me with a box of daffodil bulbs from her yard the first summer we moved here. After almost 4 years they are well established. When she died, I searched for something to keep her memory alive. I miss her, (I didn't know such sadness could exist until she died), however these a lovely and gentle sign of her continued presence in our hearts. I didn't need to search so hard. They were here all along.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Puppy Breath

puppy love, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

This is the last thing we need at the moment. But how could we refuse? Who would dump such a creature?

I said we would foster him and I'd start training, but I'm in love. He needs a name...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My favorite little pixie

my favorite little pixie, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

We've been spending a lot of time playing in the woods lately, especially on the warmer days. Today isn't that warm and I'm stuck inside cataloguing photos and working.

This afternoon we'll be planting peas and some lettuce. It's also time to set up the growing shelves and string up the lights to start all the tomatoes, peppers and other goodies that will go out when the soil and air are warm enough.

I'm being cautious this year. Last spring taught us what mother nature is capable of tossing our way. Here's to keeping fingers crossed and row covers ready at a moment's notice. There is already a stack of fleece blankets ready to cover the young fruit trees.

For now we'll enjoy the last brisk days of winter and look forward to spring.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Peach Blossoms

peach blossom, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

The first of the fruit trees has burst forth. Our little Saturn peach opened up some of its blooms yesterday. Saturn peaches are supposed to be frost hardy. Let's hope so. They bloom very early (earlier than the cherries). I planted it last spring. It survived the terrible hard freeze and drought of last year. The plum was not so lucky... If all goes well, we may be rewarded with some lovely flat, white peaches this summer.

The blossoms are beautiful.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fiddle head

fiddle head, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

I've had questions from agaless, liz and others about starting the violin as an adult. In all truth, I didn't plan on starting it. The Monkey wanted to play the violin and I signed her up for a Suzuki class. A friend of mine teaches children. With Suzuki, it's very important for the parent to participate, so I rented myself a violin and practiced along with Monkey. Monkey amazed us with her ear. She can recognize notes and scales and rhythm with amazing accuracy. After about three months she lost interest. It was difficult for her four year old hands and she's an impatient sort (I have no idea where that comes from...). My friend thought that the violin wasn't the instrument for her - the piano might be better. And I didn't want to push a four year old, no matter how musically inclined, to play the vioin. So Monkey became a Suzuki drop-out. We plan on starting some sort of musical lessons next year when she's six.

I, however, really loved playing and continued with my friend for awhile. I bought my violin and committed myself to learning. I later switched to another teacher, mainly because of scheduling conflicts. I love my new teacher. She's young and passionate about music and playing. She's an accomplished classical player and a fiddler, who has worked on various recordings and plays in an orchestra. She challenges and encourages me - which is what I need. We sort of combine classical, Suzuki and fiddling to learn and that works great for me. I'm not her only adult student. However, most of the others played much more as children than I did . I played for about a year, and really remembered nothing. I do remember how to read music, which is a big plus. I don't remember that from violin lessons, but from my music classes in public school - when the arts were still taught and considered important...

There's a quote that has been stuck in my head lately. I have no idea who said it. I saw it on a refrigerator magnet. Profound, I know. It says, "It is never to late to become the person you want to be", or something like that. While I will never be a concert violinist or world renowned fiddler, I can enjoy making music. My goal is to be able to humbly play along with my musical friends.

I practice almost every day. Practice is easy when I'm working from home. I take a break from my work and pick up my violin. I do that several times a day. It's particularly good when I need a break from the chaos in the house. I go into the office and close the door and run through scales and bow exercises. It has taken a while, several months, to sound decent (at least to teh rest of the family). But my fingers have developed some muscle memory and know where to fall on the strings most of the time. I'm still working on my bow hand. I have arthritis in my right hand and wrist, so it's not as fluid as I would like. But the movements are helping my hand become more limber. It's good for me. Now that the weather is getting warm, I've been going outside on the porch and playing for the birds. I'm not sure how the new neighbors feel, but it has to be better than the noise created by the guinea hens.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What's up duck?

what's up duck?, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

The rather inquisitive look turned out to be for a red-tailed hawk flying overhead.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

trout lily

trout lily, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

I took a walk in the woods today with Gigi and Bill the Cat. Bill the Cat loves to go on walks in the woods. Gigi has taken to leaving her balls and frisbees along the trails. I told her I'm not carrying them home, but she pays little attention to me. She's sort of a rock star right now. She and I were on the news last night and today because we gave an agility demonstration at the Nature Center yesterday afternoon.

We found the first bloom of spring over by the upper spring. Later we found more down below the waterfall on the creek. I say "we", but of course I mean "me". Gigi was too busy loosing her toys and Bill was too busy climbing trees and leaping over logs.

Friday, March 07, 2008

After the storm - the view 4 March, 2008

I'm coming back from my self-enforced hiatus. I've been hibernating for most of February. I needed it. February is the worst month. But now it's March. We've had rain, the grass is greening, the tree buds are swelling (red maples are blooming), daffodils are starting to bloom, and green is starting to peek out of the leaf litter on the forest floor. It will probably snow again, but spring is coming.

I'm itching to work in the garden, but still must take it easy because of my back/hip. I'm down to one physical therapy appointment a week from three, so that's an improvement.

We've had a half an inch of rain today. That makes 2 inches for the week. There's a carolina wren singing outside my window and the bluebirds have moved back into their house on the garden fence. Bring on the longer days!