Sunday, February 13, 2011

Of Birds and Gardens, Cooking and Spring

Today is one of those gift days that winter grants occasionally, a day when we can see the end of cold weather and the possibility that spring may really be not so far away. The sun is shining, there is a clean wind blowing, and wonder of wonders, I saw an Eastern bluebird when I was hanging out laundry. If you look very, very closely, you can see a spot of blue just above the second clothesline--I was so surprised when I saw him through the lens but wasn't fast enough to catch a good photo of his bright blue feathers. You can click on the photo to make it larger and then he's a little more visible.


Because today was definitely a hang-out-the-wash kind of day. The first load was dry in an hour, and the second load is almost dry. The freshness of line-dried wash is always a surprise; even though we know it will smell good, it is a shock to rediscover that scent each time I hang out the clothes.


And because the wind has been blowing, the ground is drying. That means that Larry could plow one of the gardens--the others are still too wet.


He also managed to burn off the lettuce bed; watching it carefully to keep the sparks contained in the brisk breeze. Later today he will rake it off stir up the soil and hopefully get the lettuce seeds planted and the bed covered with plastic. (I've linked to my post that told all about growing lettuce, if you're interested.)

Inside, I finished ordering the garden seeds, using our receipts from last year's mail orders to select for this year. Ordering online will save some time and I am looking forward to those boxes coming in the mail. I added a tomato that is new to us, but an old-timer called Black Krim, which I tasted last year at the Tomato Tasting Festival in Fairmont. We also opted for a mixed pack of cherry tomatoes which should provide some interesting variety for salads next year. Stand-bys such as Stonehead cabbage, Dwarf Grey Sugar peas (best snow peas for freezing in my opinion, and prolific and not so tall as other varieties) and others filled out the orders.

I have been wanting to make my own yogurt again and today seemed like a good day to try it out. I used to make it a gallon at a time when the boys were young, but like so many of the things I used to do, yogurt-making got pushed aside when I started working full-time. And like so many of those things, I am now adding it back to my life. It feels very good to be making bread, hanging out laundry, and all those other mundane tasks that make me feel really in touch with my life, slowed down and paying attention instead of rushing headlong through every day. It is a feeling I hope to have every day after May 10, when I will officially retire from my full-time job.

It's time to get back in the kitchen. Corn Chowder is cooking on the stove and needs my attention.

Tomorrow I will post a few shots from last night's concert with the amazing Battlefield Band. The two fiddlers defy description; it was an experience I will not soon forget. Such music!

8 comments:

Farmchick said...

The summers that I am home with my kids has become my favorite time. I do all of those "mundane" tasks and enjoy it all.

momalizzie said...

You are so busy!!! I love reading your blog and now I really can post!! Maggie showed me how tonight! I posted on her blog also. Can't wait to get my seeds in the mail and then the ground. I'm thinking I need one more garden put in...we'll see!!

Rowan said...

There's a lot of pleasure to be had from ordinary domestic tasks and so many women these days never have the experience. I've always loved seeing a line of washing blowing in the wind and a rack of freshly ironed clothes and bedlinen airing. I've always ironed my bedlinen and still do.

Granny Sue said...

There is something meditative for me about doing the ordinary tasks that sustain a household, Farmchick. When I got my teaching degree, I thought I would have summer off and that was a real plus. But I never worked as a teacher except as a sub, and at the library summers are busier than the rest of the year.

Liz, it is so good to know you can actually get online properly now! What a perfect Valentine's gift.

Granny Sue said...

Women were in such a hurry to leave those tasks behind, Rowan! And rightly so, I think, in some ways. But being able to choose to do them makes them more appealing. I admit I have never ironed bed linens :) but I can imagine the silkiness of them on the bed. Mmmmm...

Janet, said...

I checked out the potato soup recipe and it looks like something Charley and I would like. Not too fattening, either like some potato soups are.

Granny Sue said...

Janet, Larry and I like it without the addition of milk and cheese, too--the broth is finely flavored, and the potatoes...mmmmm!

Country Whispers said...

I managed to get a few loads on the line today too. It was a perfect day for it with all that wind.
Unfortunately, the temps. have dropped this evening and they are calling for snow flurries once again.
But that's OK because you can feel that spring is slowly on it's way.

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