Sunday’s Pleasures

After lunch today, I found Jim at the kitchen table with big bins of papers. He was leafing through heap after heap in a determined search for a particular farm document. He explained that he needed eight different pieces of information for a meeting he had later this week and he wanted to find at least one needed piece of information today. The rest, he said, could wait until tomorrow.

I suggested all eight documents could wait until tomorrow, noting what a strange thing it was to get worried about finding this document on a beautiful sunny afternoon. He said the things we got worried about at unusual moments was what made us individuals. He noted the weird way I had spent the morning. He had a good point.

A brush pile that had been down near the compost heap since LAST OCTOBER suddenly became my top priority. I was overcome with a BURNING NEED to move that pile. This pile had been there with more and more Ladies Bedstraw tangling it to the earth for almost ten months. It was not going anywhere and was almost invisible to all but the most observant and obsessive eye. Soon it was going to meld into the landscape so well it wouldn’t even need to be moved. But NO, I was going to move that pile this morning if it was the last thing I did. And when I clocked myself on top of the head as I heaved a big piece of brush into our truck, it looked like it might be my last moment. But it was not.

On one of my trips, I hooked William into riding shotgun. It was really fun to bounce across our hayfield in the truck to the bottom of the field where I was moving the brush. William was stellar at tossing the brush onto its final resting place without clocking himself as his mother had done.

Here he is getting ready to roll.

This thing about priorities….. I am a bit of a pinball out in the gardens. A long, long time ago I tried to be a list person. Plan. Color code with magic markers. Cross out with secondary colors. Mostly I found that I would put things on my list after I had already done the job so that it could look like I was making progress on my list.

Now its all a bit more random. I start with some idea of what needs to be done and usually this leads to other things. On Friday I decided to make Dilly Beans. I haven’t canned in about ten years. Just like that brush pile, suddenly those beans and my canning jars were calling.

I went out to pick the beans.


But I also needed garlic for the Dilly Beans. When I went to pull a head of garlic, I realized all the garlic needed to be pulled up. So I harvested the garlic with Riley at my side.

The Dilly Bean project was a success. I got a ridiculous amount of pleasure from lining jars of beans on Jim’s new pantry shelves. So today, after the brush pile activity, we did yellow Dilly Beans to compliment Friday’s green Dilly Beans. Because the water was hot and I had been leafing through my freezing and canning cookbook, I decided to can blueberries as well as yellow Dilly Beans.

This turned out to be the easiest canning ever.

While out picking blueberries, I saw our cat Mishka chase a wild turkey. This was perhaps one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Tiny toasted marshmallow colored Mishka leaping like a siberian tiger after a turkey several times her size. It took the squalking turkey a good fifty yards of running just ahead of Mishka before he remembered he could fly. He took off over me and I had the berries back to myself.

Because it was such a clear sunny day, I also made several Flower Essences. That is one area where I do make a list. I inventory all the mother Essences before the growing season and build a list of what needs to be made that season. The list is in a loose chronological order of bloom time. When we have a nice day, I look at this list and see what is blooming. Today I made Joe Pye Weed, the Fairy Rose, and Black Eyed Susan. I was lucky with the Fairy Rose because its just about to go by. But there was a beautiful branch of blossoms sitting right over the Arbor Garden pool just waiting for me today.

Did a little weeding too. After all my action shots of weed piles, I bet that surprises you!. Well here’s another one!

I also had to go over to admire the ripening peaches at frequent intervals. We have NEVER had peaches like this. I probably am asking for a hail storm the way I am so excited about the peaches.

Okay, I WAS tired after all this activity. Looking through a pile of papers at the kitchen table was sounding like a reasonable way to while away a Sunday afternoon. I decided to stop and settle down with a cup of tea and a book in the shade.

But the garden had plans of its own. One of the beehives swarmed. Suddenly about 60,000 bees were on the move. They formed an icicle of bees about 50 yards from the hive. The Angels told me to finish my cup of tea before going after the swarm. When I had finished my tea, I went down in the bee suit to move the swarm into an empty hive box, but the bees had started to move again! Lo and behold they went back to their original hive. I am so glad that they decided the grass wasn’t greener in another location and that I listened to the Angels about finishing my cup of tea. Angels move bees much better than people!

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