Relaxing and The List

The flat rocks lining the gate

Pink blossoms on the highest branches and small pale leaves above our heads. Jon and I sat under the apple tree, with Fate and Zinnia lying next to us, the hens pecking at the ground nearby, and a warm breeze and bright sun.

I had a list of things to do, put flat rocks under the gate so Bud won’t be able to dig out, empty the bags of leaves around the foundation of my studio and move what’s left of the firewood into the woodshed.

But instead I sat with Jon watching Fanny and Lulu nibble at the grass.

“Lulu’s going to roll,” I said to Jon and we watched as she gingerly laid down on the circle of dusty earth and rolled on her back from one side to the other then hoisted herself up.  Then it was Fanny’s turn, the dusty dirt flew up from the ground around her.   When she got up, she shook her whole body in one long quiver, her dirt falling back to the ground, her dust bath complete.

We watched the Robins and Starlings scour the ground for insects.  Listened to two Killdeers circle the barnyard with their distinctive cry.  On landed and scurried on the ground with the quick movements of a sandpiper.

It made me think they have a nest close by.

Zip appeared in the pasture, sauntering towards us like a panther.  He walked past Fanny who was too busy to pay him any attention, under the fence and into Jon’s lap.  He stayed for a while dozing then woke suddenly and crept toward the stone wall where the chipmunks live.

I can’t remember being so relaxed in our own home.  I wasn’t even thinking of the list of things to do. Instead I picked some of the dandelions growing around us.  Jon and plucked out the petals, our fingers stained yellow, and filled a cup for dandelion tea.

That was yesterday, and this morning my list was just as long.

I don’t know if the cool temperatures and rain made it easier or harder to tackle my list.  It’s not fun moving rocks in the rain, but at least I wasn’t tempted to sit under the apple tree.

I only had to move rocks for half the gate.  The other half I’d done a few weeks ago.  So I got out the hand truck and got to work.

The rocks seem to work (I’m knocking on wood as I write this).  Bud made a few attempts to dig under the the one I put down earlier but gave up.  I think it’s too long a distance to dig.

Some of the bags filled with leaves that insulated the foundation of my studio all winter

When I was done,  I moved on to the bags of leaves.  They did a great job insulating the foundation of my studio all winter.  They kept the wind and cold air from blowing through the spaces between the rocks.

I was able to save five of the plastic bags for next year.  The rest had holes in them.

I dumped the leaves around the big maple behind my studio.  We don’t mow there and it’s overgrown mostly with wild mustard plants.  But some nettles are beginning to grow there too.

Stinging Nettles

They already grow in the barnyard, but the donkeys often eat them before I get a chance to harvest them for tea. Now there will be enough nettles for all of us.

I didn’t get to moving the firewood yet.  But there’s still time for that.  I don’t expect to get it all done today.  I’ll work on it slowly during the week after dinner.  I’ll get it done just in time to have more firewood delivered for the coming winter.

The Red Current bush growing next to my studio.  Looks like I’ll have lots of currants again this year. 

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Full Moon Fiber Art