Robin sits like a little Buddha while Fate runs around him and tries to stare him down. I guess he learned from his mother that Fate isn’t going to bother him.
We sat across from each other at the table on the back porch, a pile of peat planters on one side and a stack of seeds on the other.
Jon perfected his technique by putting the soil in a bowl and spooning it into the small rectangular planters. Half full of soil he sprayed it to moisten then add two seeds, mostly Zinnia, but Cilantro, Basil, and Batchelor Buttons too. Then another spoon full of dirt and more water.
My method was a little messier as I scooped a handful of soil and sifted it between my thumb and fingers over the ten-pack of peat pots.
Then we wrote the name of the plant we hoped would sprout on each ten-pack and put it in the little portable greenhouse.
The greenhouse is as tall as me with four shelves for starter plants and a plastic cover with a zipper door. We moved it three times already and still aren’t sure it’s in the best place.
I never wanted to have children, but when Jon and I first got together I was in my mid-forties, and for the first time in my life I understood why two people in love would want to have a child together.
For me, it was the feeling of wanting to create something with Jon that came from the love that we had for each other.
We never gave birth to a child. But I feel as though through our art and the farm we have hand-made a life that nurtures creativity and gives birth to many small sparks of life.
That’s what I felt as Jon and I carefully separated the tiny seeds and patiently placed them in the small cups of soil, laying a thin blanket of earth over them, and providing them with the water and sunlight they need to grow.
We did this quietly, talking little, which is unusual for us.
I worried the work would be tedious and was ready to leave the bulk of it for Jon to do. But after filling 100 peat cups it only made me want to plant more seeds. So we went to the Hardware Store and bought two hundred more peat cups to fill.
That’s when I realized that planting the seeds with Jon felt more like a meditation or a prayer than a task to be completed.
When we were done and looked at our little greenhouse full of life waiting to come into being, I thought that we had done it again.
Even if none of the seeds ever sprouted, we had created a beautiful afternoon together full of peace and the hope of life.
Friday was Robin’s last day in the barn. Yesterday morning, I let Lori and Robin out of the barn to eat with the rest of the sheep.
Both Robin and Lori were confused at first running back to the barn thinking they would be fed there. Naturally, Lori caught on quicker than Robin, who ran back and forth baaing for a while.
I put some hay on the ground so Robin could reach it and eventually he found his place next to Lori and ate.
Before Robin was born Lori, Constance, and Merricat were often off grazing by themselves.
This morning the three of them along with Robin came running in from the pasture where they had been grazing together.
The little Romney family that Liz brought to us in the fall is back together with a new brother.
My Kitchenware Potholders are all done and for sale in my Etsy Shop.
I have six still available, a teacup, coffee pots, a jello mold, and two sugar bowls that I turned into Ice Cream Sundaes.
All these little drawings came from silhouettes of kitchenware on the border of a vintage linen towel. The details on the cups and pots were faded so I drew my own using my free-motion sewing machine.
All my Kitchenware Potholders are $20 + $5 shipping for one or more. You can see them all and buy them here.
Althought the grass isn’t really long enough for the sheep to graze on all day, we let them into the south pasture for a couple of hours today. And we let Robin and Lori out with the rest of the flock and the donkeys.
The last time we let Robin out with the other sheep, Liam gave Robin a head bump that knocked him over. After that Robin learned to get out of the way of any of the older sheep and the donkeys if they came at him with their head down.
Today after watching them for a while, Jon and I could see that the rest of the sheep paid little attention to Robin. And after an initial look from Fanny and Lulu, with their ears up, they too focused on grazing.
Robin seemed a little confused at frist about exactly how to eat the grass, but he figured it out quickly.
When it was time to feed the animals, they all ran back to the barnyard together, including Robin. But he couldn’t quite grasp eating hay with the rest of the sheep even though I put some on the ground for him.
He seemed agitated, looking for Lori, although she was right next him. So I let the two of them back into the stall and fed them separately. Robin ate hardily and for the first time I saw him drink water from the bucket.
That means he really doesn’t need to nurse any longer, although he still will, and as soon as the grass is long enough for grazing and we can stop feeding hay, he’ll be ready to be out all the time with the rest of the animals.
It’s supposed to rain next week, so between that and some sunshine, hopefully, the grass will be up in a week or so.
Pumpkin and Liam were born on Bedlam Farm six years ago this spring. Both are wethers, (castrated males) but they have very different personalities.
After Zelda died, Liam took over as leader of the flock. Even as a lamb Liam was more dominant than Pumpkin.
Pumpkin, who is Socks’ lamb is more skittish than Liam. He still runs if I try to touch him and isn’t as pushy as the other sheep even if I have a snack for them. He has a soft baa, almost like a whisper.
A mix between Border Leicester and Cheviot, Pumpkin has plenty of beautiful gray wool.
Even though he doesn’t like to be touched, Pumpkin will come up to me when I sit quietly in the barnyard. He’s a calm, gentle and handsome sheep.
“…Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are.”
I started putting my own stickers on my dish soap bottles when our Co-op began carrying bulk liquid soap.
I think I got used to having a label I liked to look at when Dawn dish soap started putting pictures of birds on their labels, after the Exxon Valdes Oil Spill. (Dawn soap was used to help clean the oil off some of the birds caught in the spill).
But the bottles of dish soap I saved to refill didn’t have ducks on their label. And the label was so big on one of the bottles that my stickers wouldn’t cover it. So I cut a piece of my I Am Enough packing tape and stuck it on the bottle.
Now whenever I do the dishes, I’ll be reminded that I Am Enough.
I don’t usually take pictures of flowers, but the Magnolia’s opened up this evening and with the sun behind them, lighting up the flowers and fuzzy buds, I was tempted to try and capture what I saw.
There are many times when I take a picture and it looks nothing like what I’m seeing. Those are the photos that don’t make it onto my blog.
But I feel like this time the picture I took expresses just what I was feeling as I gazed on our Magnolia tree.