Hi! I’ve been meaning to write, but I’ve been a little discouraged lately and hate to bring that here. I have been trying to avoid the internet and staying immersed in gardening and baby animals, and things that generally don’t make me feel upset. The weather betrayed me though when we had multiple nights of freezing temperatures weeks after our typical last frost date. I did my best to protect everything: vegetables, annual flowers, fig trees, grapevines, and Japanese maples with tender new leaves. It was so much work, but thankfully I didn’t lose much, mainly just most of my marigolds and a few zinnias. According to the ten-day forecast (I check obsessively), we are in the clear now. It’s been quite warm the past few days. A second wild swarm moved into one of our empty hives last week, so now we have two hives! After losing all of our bees last winter, that’s pretty exciting.
I look forward to visits with the baby goats each day. I named the little buckling (he’s the white one), “Dobbin,” for Captain Dobbin in Vanity Fair (we considered naming him after Little John but decided against it), and the doeling is “Tasha,” for Tasha Tudor of course. Seth and Keats don’t acknowledge the name Tasha and instead call her “Skunk.” Both babies are incredibly sweet. Dobbin insists on sitting in my lap and will fall asleep there if I have time. Tasha will do the same but isn’t quite as insistent as Dobbin on being in my lap.
I won’t even pretend that I’ve been a very balanced person lately. The only part of my schedule that I’ve stuck to is my morning rosary. I’m doing a terrible job of planning meals and keeping up the house, but I’m hoping to get on top of that this week. I’ve been hyper-focused on preparing garden beds, planting seeds, and growing flowers. I’ve had a difficult time getting the soil in my new raised beds right and between that and the frosts, I was a mess last week. It’s like everything hinged on things going well in my garden. (Feeling a little more balanced now. A little.) We picked up a trailer load of well-rotted horse manure a few days ago and I spent an entire day moving it one wheelbarrow load at a time, spreading it over each and every bed. It was so much work, but I couldn’t stop. At the end of the day, I laid down in bed completely wiped out. I could use some more manure, but I’m not sure there will be time to get it. Jonny is very stressed with work right now and has little free time. He has more to do than ever and is working seven days a week (still from home). We are so grateful that he has a job, but he’s just gotten word that his pay will be cut due to losses incurred because of COVID. He’s working more for less, and trying to figure out how to make up for the loss in the tiny cracks of time he has left. I need to get my own act together so I can better support him.
It’s interesting to observe how these months of isolation have affected each of us. Beatrix has become obsessed with slime. She’s a slime expert now and has gone through almost an entire gallon of glue making different variations. I hope that somehow counts towards homeschooling because we aren’t doing much of that in an official sense. Larkspur is very focused on pet care. She spends hours researching food and toys. She worries over what and how much each of her pets is eating. After asking us for years for budgies, we caved and allowed her to adopt a pair from a friend whose pet budgies hatched babies. They have only been with us for a couple of days and are still settling in and are mostly quiet, but every now and then they sing. Last night, Keats was playing the piano and they started singing. They sounded so sweet and that made me happy.
Small things can easily become big things when floating through periods of uncertainty. That can be either good or bad. I am up and down in my moods and trying to do things every day that bring me peace. I know that when I have peace, I bring that to my family. A few days ago I walked through the woods with my younger kids to the beaver pond to see their new dam. Silas caught a tiny frog and handed it to me. I held it in my cupped hands for a few seconds and then released it back into the water. Watching it stretch its legs as it swam away made me happy. I always try to notice small things and make the good ones into big things. I think we all need to right now.
p.s. My Shaelyn shawl is finished and blocked and I love it.