it doesn’t take much for a heart to glow

IMG_0885

Good morning friends!  After a raining evening we awoke to a glorious sunshine.  Rich took this photo of me at Seth’s little league game the other night.  ‘Tis the season.  Tonight we have three things going on; David at a track meet (really want to go), Seth at little league (want to go, slightly) and Caleb at a band concert (music trumps sports, IMO).  Therefore, the band concert is where I will be.

I was so tired yesterday that I went to bed at EIGHT THIRTY and slept all night.  I got up a couple times to get a drink but never fully woke up.  Then this morning, when Caleb dared to come right in the room to ask for lunch money, Rich got up to help him and let me sleep for another hour.  It feels so good to sleep again after months of restless nights.

As I sit here, I still feel like I could go back to bed and sleep.

However, I have dirty laundry washing, a load in the dryer, a big basket of clean n’ dry to fold, a cake in the oven (dinette), the dishwasher going, and am going out to lunch soon.  No time for sleeping.

DSC_0022

It’s also the time of year when I’m constantly going for the camera to take bird photos so bear with me.  Maybe you like birds, too?

DSC_1096

This one was from yesterday evening when it was raining (again).  I thought the drops of rain on its feathers was pretty.  It sat nice and still so I could get close.  I was out on the porch for a while as it rained, it suited my tired mood.

DSC_1098

DSC_1083

A Heron visited the pond, which is how I got out on the porch in the first place, as Caleb came inside to announce “There is a big bird by the pond, Mom.”

He wasn’t happy about it though because he does not want the fish eaten by a heron.  He wants to catch them himself.

In fact, when I see worms outside I think of Caleb.  Yesterday I rolled over a log and found a nice big one and put it in my pocket.  Thank goodness Rich saw me do it because hours later he had to remind me to get it back out again.  (I had changed out of my skirt and into jeans).  The worm was still in the pocket, as moist as could be which I am sure was a survival tactic as pockets can be rather dry places for a worm.  I said, “Caleb I have something for you,” and you should have seen his face when out came a worm from the pocket.  We put it in a small box with dirt in it for when he goes out to fish again.

DSC_1121

I kept telling him to smile and he just kept twisting his ears.

DSC_1054

Somehow a log ended up in the pond and all day it floats slowly around.  Sometimes I see it on one side, at times it’s in the middle, or the other side, but it always has a turtle or two on it.  I want so much to add a whole fleet of logs and see if each one will gain a passenger or two.  Maybe I’ll even add sails.  How charming would that be?  Turtle boats.

fullsizeoutput_6234

Irridescent feathers in the EVENING TIME

fullsizeoutput_6237

Different lighting (same spot) MORNING TIME…..  are you the same bird?  I can’t tell.

fullsizeoutput_6235

Sweet little bird and do you wonder how I got the yellow background?  My forsythia bush was in the distance and blurred out as the camera focused on the bird.

fullsizeoutput_6236

showing off a fine suit of clothing (made entirely of feathers!)

IMG_0895

David went outside in the evening to shut in the chickens for the night and caught a spring peeper.  I was thrilled.

IMG_0891

Spring is made more beautiful because of their sweet singing.  Look at those toes.

IMG_0883

I haven’t stopped reading the Newbery books.  I’m currently on this one and I love it.  I’m a forever fan of Nancy Farmer now.  What a bright and original mind she has.  This is the second Newbery book I’ve read by her.

IMG_0907

I made this huge pasta salad yesterday.

IMG_0900

But the rabbit got a dandelion salad.  (possibly more healthy)

IMG_0905

IMG_0909

IMG_0912

We babysat our neice!  She’s so so so cute and looks so much like Isaac (her dad, my baby brother).

After Isaac and Cassandra came back we ate pasta salad and hamburgers and played a game of PIG which I won (as always), humbly noted.

IMG_0920

Last but not least.

IMG_0921

The beautiful Marsh Marigold (New England wildflower).

******

Thank you for the comments left on my blog posts!   I do wonder sometimes if you guys see my replies, as I try to reply to most comments, can someone pretty please let me know if they are seen?  Should I bother?  Thank you. xo

Happy Wednesday, friends!
You are soooooo loved.

“Make someone happy, you can you know,
It doesn’t take much for a heart to glow.”

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but my heart.”

PS, the cake baked to a nice golden brown and smells so good.  I wish I could give you a piece!

 

 

 

 

 

 

weekending

“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.”  Erich Fromm

hellloooooooo

I have something to say to you!

The sun is shining for the first time in (what feels like) years!

How was your weekend?

I’ll tell you all about mine.

First of all, Rich came home super early on Friday to surprise us.  And with all the extra time, we decided to take the children bowling.  Dave didn’t want to go, so it was just Caleb, Seth, and Sarah.  We all bowled our best in the first game.  Rich got like 5 strikes and I myself got my new P.R. which was 113.  The next game wasn’t as good.  In fact, Seth made me laugh when they all watched me accidentally release my bowling ball in such a way that it went up in the air and then halfway down the lane with a boom.  I turned around in embarrassment and he said, “Mom, this was you,” he made the same motion that I did throwing my ball in the air, “here you go, Lord!”  

IMG_2045

It was much fun.

THEN

on Saturday……the boys got haircuts while Sarah and I went to a consignment store.

 

The clothes that I am wearing were the actual clothes I had worn to the shop.  The only thing I bought myself was a cute sweatshirt.  Sarah found a bunch of things, including this April Cornell dress.  I used to love buying Grace their dresses and was happy to find this one, and not only that but Sarah actually liked it, too.

Then we went to get the boys who were all done and waiting.

IMG_0808

When I pulled into the parking lot, I turned right and drove completely over the curb.  They all saw me do it with basically these same expressions.  They ridiculed me and Seth said, “Woman up, Mom!” in a rebuking way.  It made me laugh because I had worn a tshirt two days in a row that week with the words “woman up” on the front.  Apparently it made an impression on him and gave him the words to say when I ran over the curb.

fullsizeoutput_620f

We went home to change and I put on my new gray sweatshirt and then we left for baseball games………. it was FREEZING COLD and I was a big baby the entire time.  It didn’t help that Caleb’s team lost terribly.

57868809012__C422D805-4539-4FA1-97D6-6902E68E4A57

We did some walking around and around the field.  (keeping an eye on the game)

 

David had a friend to hang out with, Sarah read a book, and Rich sat next to me in our lawn chairs.  We also ate wraps and cheetos and I had a scone (which is why we had to walk).

fullsizeoutput_620e

Caleb catching.

He’s really good at it.  Funny note, a few years ago he became “famous” for making chicken sounds and everyone in baseball (including coaches) STILL calls him Chicken despite the fact that he has deep regrets and doesn’t make the sound anymore.

IMG_0841

Back home gathering eggs.   I was happy to find five, as they usually get eaten by the hens.  These were saved because a hen got broody and sat on them.

As you can see, the grass is turning green.

IMG_2063

Sarah fell asleep on me.  (heart melts)

 

Our college children each sent us a selfie.  Cannot wait to get them back home for the summer.  In fact, Rich and I are going to get Gracie this weekend.

IMG_0851

Beautiful Sarah; this is my favorite photo of the weekend.  Taken with my new iphone X! Portrait mode!  And…..she’s wearing one of her new shirts from shopping with me.

IMG_0853

We went on a 4 mile walk in the cold (she ended up wearing her Dad’s sweatshirt) and then went downtown for ice cream.

IMG_0854

A favorite place to stop for a bit is an abandoned house.

 

We picked flowers.

 

Took selfies and photos.  It was so pretty and felt secretive.

IMG_0865

I thought of my dad when I took this at someone’s house by the road in the neighborhood.  The wood is stacked so very carefully.  Art.

IMG_0867

When we got back home we found the boys watching tv and Seth sound asleep looking angelic.

 

IMG_0868

This morning I fried the dog an egg.  He waited just long enough for me to take a photo for the family group chat before he scarfed it down.

*****

It was fun to sit here and type although hard with these long fingernails.

Happy Monday friends, with lots of love!

(please leave a comment and let me know how you’re doing!)

“I never knew love had a sound until I heard you laugh.”

the second walk

Praise to the Lord,
Who oʼer all things so wondrously reigneth
Shieldeth thee under his wings,
Yea so gently sustaineth
Hast thou not seen, How thy desires have been
Granted in what he ordaineth

fullsizeoutput_61f4

Sarah wanted to go on another walk the next day so I agreed.

I also want to mention that on both days I had expressed longing to her that I wanted to find a feather.  I wished to find one.  I was looking.

fullsizeoutput_61f6

We admired an algae filled little stream in the woods, filled with the reflection of trees and sky.

fullsizeoutput_61f7

And saw frog eggs left clinging along an underwater (the clearest of water) branch that had fallen from the trees above.

fullsizeoutput_61f5

exploring

fullsizeoutput_61f8

We started to head home and to be different we left the trail to go through the woods and across the stream to home.

fullsizeoutput_61fa

Scattered among dry leaves we found a whole entire pile of yellow feathers!!

Not a brown feather, not a gray feather, not just one single feather, but many many bright YELLOW ones.

My first thought was “goodness, poor bird!” and my second thought was, “Well, I found feathers!” and my third thought was “Thank you, God, for the little things……for answering these tiny almost meaningless wishes we have, just to make us smile.”

If You care enough to answer in the little things, You must care enough to answer in the big things.

For Your good and glory.

Sarah said, “Check the bird application on your phone and see what kind of bird it was!”

And since you don’t necessarily need the bird to make a search (just the feathers), we stood there next to the pile and looked it up.

We decided it was a Northern Flicker, as they have yellow tails and wings, which obviously proved indigestible and were left behind.  We gathered them up.

fullsizeoutput_61fb

See the itty bitty red feather between my thumb and pointer finger?  Red as my nails!

fullsizeoutput_61fd

We took them home and let them soak in a bowl of warm soapy water.

Hours later, after Seth’s first little league scrimmage, and after I put the children to bed, I stood in the kitchen and carefully took each feather out of the water and arranged them to dry on paper towels.

fullsizeoutput_6200

feather art!

fullsizeoutput_6204

After they dried they fluffed right out again like proper feathers.  I’m saving some for my flying pig (stay tuned), sending a couple to Joanna, and putting a couple in my journal.  Some of them belong to Sarah.

fullsizeoutput_6202

Something else made me smile this week.

I had given away a book here through the blog to Dawn R and mailed it out to her.  After she received it she asked for my address (I had ordered and sent the book through amazon) and so I gave it to her.  I was expecting a thank you card but she sent a package with a sweet little bird, a book, a note, and a lotion (my FAVORITE KIND!!).  It made my day.  Well, at the same time I was ransacking the house trying to find my Birth Certificate and to my absolute astonishment in the midst of my papers I FOUND AN OLD CARD FROM THE SAME BLOG FRIEND FROM 8 YEARS AGO!!!!  ( I save ev.er.y.thing.) So, thank you dear Dawn R, you’ve really been an encouragment to me!!!

“We have shared together the blessings of God.”  Philippians 1:7

fullsizeoutput_6205

Last but certainly not ever least, 2019’s very first spring violet.

For Thia.

You are loved.

 

 

moss walk

fullsizeoutput_61e0

I was getting stir crazy so tied my boots on and went outside to visit a friendly cat and walk around.  I gathered four eggs and picked up some garbage off the lawn (tis the season).

Then, the schoolbus came and let off Seth and Sarah and suddenly I had a willing little friend to walk with me.  We thought we would go to the end of the road and back but she said “Can we go in the woods?” and naturally I said, “Of course!”

fullsizeoutput_61e2

fullsizeoutput_61e6

We couldn’t help but admire all the moss, I wonder if it was because it was the only green in the forest and it just naturally drew our eyes.  We liked how it lifted off the rocks just like a rug.  Sarah put it carefully back.

IMG_9622

We even reclined on moss.

IMG_9624

We saw the first frog eggs of the spring, always worth bending down for a look-see.  Sarah would NOT touch them.

IMG_9625

But I don’t mind the feel of frog eggs, I quite like it.  The water was like ice, though, and my motherly heart just knew they would need a few warm days in order to hatch.

fullsizeoutput_61e8

She was determined to take me to Murkwood, one of Grace’s old haunts that she found and named and showed to her little sister.

fullsizeoutput_61e9

Going on this walk made Sarah’s imagination kick into high gear and soon I was being called BrightHeart instead of mom.  Her name was FlameStar which I never could get right.  She seemed more like a TwinkleToes to me.

Mostly she said, “Come on, BrightHeart” but one time when I was in front of her she said, “Slow down BrightHeart, you don’t want to get too far ahead of your leader.”  And then I knew she really was imagining things.

fullsizeoutput_61ea

I thought I found a hedgehog but then I realized it was just moss again.

(I started imagining things, too)

fullsizeoutput_61eb

I carried this pretty twig the whole walk and guess what?  Sarah, I mean FlameStar, changed my name!!  To TwigHeart.  I wasn’t sure what to think of that.  I guess I have a heart of wood.

fullsizeoutput_61e5

This made my heart happy.  I saw in the distance a flow of sticky pine pitch down the side of a tree so we went over to take a look and discovered a tick STUCK fast to the pitch.  As I look at this photo I can also see a tiny black caterpillar stuck there, too.  The tick was still alive, too, but stuck.  I was intrigued but Sarah looked off into the distance and waited in disgust for me to be done.

IMG_9647

Skunk cabbage, I broke a piece off to have Sarah smell it and she hated it.

She’s particular about what she wants to experience.

IMG_9649

However, she loved the water… she loved the rocks …she loved the trees …she loved the moss.  She was happy.  Just please don’t show her ticks or make her smell skunky things.

fullsizeoutput_61ee

fullsizeoutput_61ec

fullsizeoutput_61ef

There are many different kinds of moss.  If you touch them, some are soft and some are rough, some are wet and some are dry.  Some look like tiny ferns and some look like underwater grasses.    Some is short like carpet, some is fluffy and makes you wish you were tiny enough to snuggle within it.  Some is bright green, it hurts your eyes, and some like the moss growing on this boulder, is the deepest darkest forest green.

 

tuesday morning

fullsizeoutput_5403

Good Morning!

The pie tasted even better this morning.  I just ate a piece for breakfast.  (more details on instagram).  Sunlight is flooding, FLOODING into the room and it’s glorious.  We’ve finally had warm springtime weather and I spent most of the afternoon yesterday outdoors.  I was looking forward to blogging but as soon as the door slammed behind the children going to school after a long spring break and I was alone in the house for the first time in forever, what did I end up doing?

C L E A N I N G

I turned on the tv and cleaned away to my hearts content asking myself who I was and why and how did I turn into this woman delighting in cleaning when she was alone in her very own nest?

And then, I read my book which is just getting good and un-put-downable, went for a brisk walk, watched the busy birds, and baked a pie.

This morning when the door slammed I grabbed my computer to blog.

fullsizeoutput_5404

Guess what play Sarah is going to see today?  And guess who was making her laugh while I took her photo?

fullsizeoutput_5405

 

*****

The Lord loves you not to-day, Christian, because of anything you are doing, or
being, or saying, or thinking, but he loves you still, because his great heart is full of
love, and it runneth over to you…….. Charles Spurgeon

SaveSave

first violets & secret garden quote

fullsizeoutput_53f1

For all the February babies, including myself, my son and my friend ~Thia~

Mary did not ask any more questions. She looked at the red fire and listened to the wind “wutherin’.” It seemed to be “wutherin'” louder than ever.

fullsizeoutput_53f3

I wasn’t even looking for them yet.  We’ve had almost entirely cold cold spring temperatures.  These grew in a warmer spot, by the kitchen door.  Oh it was such an encouraging moment to see these first deeply rich purple wild flowers.  I bent right down in the rain to pick them, knowing that soon there will be hundreds and thousands of them.

At that moment a very good thing was happening to her. Four good things had happened to her, in fact, since she came to Misselthwaite Manor.

fullsizeoutput_53f5

She had felt as if she had understood a robin and that he had understood her;

she had run in the wind until her blood had grown warm;

she had been healthily hungry for the first time in her life;

and she had found out what it was to be sorry for some one.

~The Secret Garden

Sarah and I have been listening together and enjoying it very much.  A beautiful book.

DSC_0362

“I found them in a book last night, these withered violets.”

I ended up closing the first spring violets in-between pages of poetry given to me by my friend Marcia, years ago.

____________________________________________________________

full & good

fullsizeoutput_53db

Things That Have Been Happening Around Here Lately:

  •  Rich has been away more than here. (business trips)
  • basketball with neighbor boys
  • Sarah had a brunch date with friends.
  • I bought a giraffe at an estate sale.
  • Someone gave me a gospel track — Rich said I must’ve looked in need of Salvation.
  • I yelled, “Get OFF the roof!”
  • I yelled, “WHAT are you DOING?”
  • One of our black cats ate a purple ribbon.
  • Sarah broke a rose fiesta bowl.
  • We had a warm weather day.
  • We had rain.
  • We had snow.
  • We had ice.
  • The boys had baseball practice.
  • We are listening to The Hobbit on audible to and from the fields.
  • Seth didn’t want to hold my hand on the sidewalk in town. (rite of passage)
  • This week is spring break.
  • David had an appointment this morning.
  • And is now back to bed.
  • I said, “If you ask me that one more time you are going to stand in the corner” to my 12 year old.

 

fullsizeoutput_53e1

’tis spring; come out
to ramble
the hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found.  a.e. houseman

fullsizeoutput_53e2

golden edges

fullsizeoutput_53e4

bluebird sighting at the suet

fullsizeoutput_53e6

One morning I could hear a bird singing and I sighed, “I wish I could identify birds by their sounds.”  The children got on the bus and a little while later I went to get in the car and was distracted by the bird that was making that same sound I had heard earlier!  So I learned what it was, a Red Headed Woodpecker!  I ran to get the camera……..

fullsizeoutput_53e7

It slipped the tip of its beak under the edge of the lichen to get bugs; making its calling noise the whole time.

fullsizeoutput_53e9

No human has a naturally red head THIS red.

fullsizeoutput_53eb

And then, a cardinal appeared.

fullsizeoutput_53ec

And a goldfinch.  It was a lovely bird morning.  I took the photos from the porch.

fullsizeoutput_53ee

The children spent the entire day outside on Saturday.  In my opinion it was our first spring day. . . . .absolutely gorgeous weather, bare feet, fishing, turtles, basketball, baseball.

fullsizeoutput_53ed

Caleb ran to show me the turtle he and Jack found.

DSC_0326

And like his big brothers before him, he named it and put it back.

DSC_0328

DSC_0331

And then they caught a nice fish.

DSC_0334

DSC_0339

I repotted some plants I started for my friends and family.  It’s been fun collected different planters and pots on my thrifting adventures.  I’ll have to do a blog post soon to show them off.

life is full and good

cold feet

fullsizeoutput_52dd

I just got back from taking old cornmeal muffins to the chickens.  I did what every other New Englander would do when it’s March 24, sunny, and 39 degrees.   I threw on a jacket….and sandals.

Parker the Dog couldn’t get any closer to the hens because of his Hidden Dog Fence.  He was very much longing for an old cornmeal muffin.

I have sent various children to the coop for the last three days and they all skipped back to the house cheerfully saying, “No eggs!”  “None?”  “No, they ate them!”  “Did you check the barrel?  They’ve been laying in the barrel lately.”  “Yep, there weren’t any!”

Just to be sure, I also went in the coop.  I found seven in the barrel and 3 each under two brooding hens.

fullsizeoutput_52df

I put them into the same bag I had brought the muffins.  By this time I was calling myself Stupid because my toes were turning pink and icy and I had sandy textured snow in my berki’s.  There was a bit more darn snow than I had anticipated.

I kept my eyes on the warm dry dock as I slipped toward it, planning to warm my feet.  Upon arrival, I kicked off my sandals to get rid of the snow and dry off.  One of them slid right across the dock and….into the pond.  Thank goodness for cork bottoms.  While Parker stood on the bank and leaned across the water with his nose stretched out toward my shoe doing nothing, I also leaned over the edge of the dock stretched out my arm to retrieve it.  “Stupid” I called myself.  I tapped my shoes on the wood to get as much snow and water off before slipping them back on to walk back to the house, keeping in as many of the bare patches as I could.  This must be why the children are always skipping into the house after they go to the coop.

fullsizeoutput_52db

I washed my dishes and 13 eggs.

And put socks on.

SaveSave

birds and blooms

DSC_0172 1

DSC_0177

American Goldfinch; in the trees at the dam by the stream

DSC_0180

Eastern Phoebe; wire fence by stream

DSC_0189 1

Black and White Warbler; high in treetops

DSC_0191 1

Ovenbird; in the woods (next pic shows the stripes on the top):

DSC_0197 1

DSC_0212

Tufted Titmouse; tree by my house

DSC_0215

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; bushes by the driveway (first sighting) It’s a small and very pretty bird.

DSC_0221 1

Sparrow; very common, however I loved him because he threw and stiffened his whole body into his singing.

It takes a powerful amount of energy to be a song bird.

DSC_0231

This bird was in the woods this morning, I identified it as a Veery using the Merlin ID app on my phone.

DSC_0234

Chipmunk frozen in fear in the woods because he saw me.

DSC_0244

Warbling Vireo; bushes on the edge of the field

(not positive about the identification)

DSC_0254 1

Catbird; I love the way they sing

DSC_0264

This unidentified hawk (?) made several passes over us all (myself and the little birds) which put a damper on things because he (I’m sure) likes eating little birds.  But maybe he was looking for mice?

DSC_0277 1

Common Yellowthroat; isn’t it’s black mask and yellow bib pretty?

DSC_0289 1

I think this is a Female Eastern Towhee but it was difficult to get a photo.  It was on the ground the whole time, scratching into the leaves finding food.  As soon as I found it in the camera frame it would hop out of it again.  The bird book shows a female looking like this with a white breast (which this one may have but I couldn’t see it).  A male Towhee was singing up in the branches which also led me to believe it was it’s mate.

DSC_0292

Male Eastern Towhee

DSC_0305 1

Mallard Duck; I sat on a boulder with him in the distance but close enough that I could still hear him quacking now and then.  Very companionable.

DSC_0306

Cardinal; isn’t it pretty with all the gray background and spots of red buds?

DSC_0311 1

Apple blossoms

DSC_0314 1

and Marsh Marigolds

The gypsy moth egg casings are hatching out which means that there are tiny caterpillars EVERYWHERE, it’s rather like a plague.  It’s a nature phenomena that I have never seen before in the 10 years we’ve lived here.  WAY too many.  So I’m hoping that all the birds (and chipmunk) photographed in this blog post like to eat them.

I brought home a branch of apple blossoms and put them in a blue vase by the sink.  I picked some white and purple violets, too.