Every summer I wait and wonder if my favorite morning glory will appear.
There are many of the deep purple “Grandpa Ott’s” and the pink “Carolina Morning” variety, as well as lots of white and light blue ones with blue stripes that start to bloom very early in the season. They are lovely, but by this time of the year I am pulling them out because they start to take over.
There is only one that truly makes my heart beat fast, and that one starts to open at the end of summer. It’s called “Heavenly Blue”, for a reason.
I saw the first one by the chicken run the other day and it made me feel so happy…that shade of blue, its unreal! Even if I am stressed and in a hurry or having a time keeping up with things, or missing something or someone, I have no choice but to stop and stare at “that blue” and fall into the moment.
When it was time for our “Sally” hens to be “harvested” a few weeks ago, I decided that I would be able to do something that I was not able to do with the previous 3 flocks we’ve had, and that is, to eat them.
I can’t do the actual killing, and I can’t even be around the killing of them, but really, since I am a meat-eater I should be all right with eating them, right? Some of my friends find that thought horrifying! I also have friends who cannot stand having the bones in the meat they eat because it reminds them that they are eating what was once a living animal. But really that is what eating meat is! We couldn’t have loved our hens any more than we did; we fed them homemade organic kefir and organic feed and scratch, and since they had to die one day, I believe they would want us to eat them!
I went back and forth as to whether or not we should get another batch of chicks, because I feel like we’re getting older, and I know that I might have to clean out their house once, plus maybe I don’t want to get attached to another batch of hens. In the end, I found myself calling McMurray Hatchery to place another order of “Black Star” hens.
Here is how they looked on July 21st when they arrived by post.
Then they started to get bigger and a few days ago I took a video of them coming out of their house. I decided to name them “Shanti” instead of “Sally” (my mom’s name) since I think it is good to say the word “peace” as often as possible these days.
For the next 2-3 years, these hens will be part of our lives, and I’m OK with that idea. Plus, I cannot wait until they start laying eggs because once you have had fresh eggs, it is not easy to eat any others. Om Shanti!
It’s the 4th of July! A big holiday, with most people not working, with lots of us going on picnics, parties, and maybe even going to watch some fireworks tonight: Awesome!!! Woo-hoo!!! Which is all good. But in case you want to know why we as a country celebrate the 4th of July, take a moment to read the following quote from one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, to realize what we are REALLY celebrating. Or should I say, what we should be celebrating. It all became effective 238 years ago today. And it almost seems as if it is time for some new form of government, or at least that is how I feel after reading the compelling quote below. Do you have the same feeling too?
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
~Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
The weather has been almost dreamy for the last couple of weeks. Well, except for the other night when there was a torando watch. Just a little FYI, we don’t get tornados around here. I went online and saw the radar of “something” approaching our area, and some horrific pictures on the weather channel of roofs getting ripped off in Nebraska and hail the size of elephants pummeling commercial buildings. I was scared. I am afraid of storms, hurricanes, tropical storms, and blizzards. I was even more concerned when I went to my favorite weather site, Ray’s Weather, and he wasn’t saying anything, just those red colored warnings and watches that make me nervous.
Well, nothing happened and the next morning I woke up to yet another dreamy morning, did my chores to get my body moving, and took the final poppy picture. So long beloved poppies until next spring!
I’ve been making a lot with rhubarb since it is the season. I always make this wonderful swiss pound cake with rhubarb and the classic and always delicious swiss rhubarb custard tart, and that’s usually enough for us. So when I saw this recipe for “Naughty Rhubarb Scones” on one of my favorite food blogs, Food52, I thought I would take a look and make it. I didn’t use the heavy cream, but used the kefir I make, and it was so delicious. And that means a lot since I really don’t like rhubarb – it was so delicious, you should make it before the rhubarb season is over. Click here to see the original recipe.
I hope you are enjoying this beautiful life, in whatever way you choose. And since I no longer worry about things since they might not happen, life is becoming a wonderful dream.
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I wait and watch every spring to see where the poppies will appear. No, not the Oriental Poppies (pictured) because as we all know, they come up from the same basal root year after year. I must say that this year they are putting on a spectacular show, and as a poppy lover I am just thrilled! I know this is not the first post I’ve written about my poppy joy, but I just can’t help it. They don’t last long, and they are so beautiful. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any children, because I am sure I would have named them “Poppy Joy”, “Oriental Poppy”, and/or “Opium”.
That sense of excitement of not-knowing is only attributed to the “Breadseed Poppy”, because those are the ones that come up from seed…here, there, or someplace else. And they are all about to open! I always find them coming up in my garden beds someplace different every year, and I like that because it is kind of crazy and not expected. I can remember back in 1994 (hey that’s 20 years ago) when I made my first garden in Switzerland, it was so very neat and lovely with flowers all around the edges. Along with getting older and letting-go of so many things in my life (including that perfect order in my beds), I kind of let the garden have its own life, with me just giving water, some food, and some tilling (oh, I almost forgot the weeding part, which I call “yoga”). I just planted some blue bachelor button seeds in one of the beds, just because I love the color “blue”.
There is one poppy coming up and about to open in the next day or so right under the chicken run. I don’t know what color it will be, but how I love surprises! I saw it coming up under the flowering quince bush a few weeks ago and had to clip back some of the branches so that that one poppy will be able to get the sun it needs to open. I hope I can get a good shot of it with my camera, because I am sure you will want to see it as much as I do.
Already we are around 15 inches or so under the amount of rain of what we had last year at this time – so far so good. After last year’s sad 70+ inches of rain, my gardener’s heart almost broke in two, but once you have the experience of smelling the witch hazel, the lilac, the rose-scented daffodils, and the calycanthus after winter, and just seeing the flowers, the roses, the peonies, and then tasting the basil, the lettuces, the cucumbers, the parsley, the cilantro, the gooseberries, the raspberries, the swiss chard, the beets, the mints, the carrots, the roses, the peonies, and of course, the beloved tomato right off the vine, well, how could there not be a garden in my life, even if I get old and can’t move very well. It is absolutely essential for me to anticipate joy in my daily life, and that is what a garden brings to me.
Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature. The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness. The feelings of joy and love are intrinsically connected to that recognition. Without fully realizing it, flowers would become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves. Flowers, more fleeting, more ethereal, and more delicate than the plants out of which they emerged, would become like messengers from another realm, like a bridge between the world of physical forms and the formless. They not only had a scent that was delicate and pleasing to humans, but also brought a fragrance from the realm of spirit. Using the word ‘enlightenment’ in a wider sense than the conventionally accepted one, we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants. — “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle
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