April 2009


I’ve succumbed!! Reactivated my Twitter

If you follow me, I’ll follow you – I promise!!!!

All is well at Mountain Meadows this morning, and becoming more computer “literate” by the day……………………………

****************************************************************

Why, land’s the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts……Gerald O’Hara, GWTW

As the dandelions fold and close up their sunny countenance, and the bees buzz low to the ground, the geese announce their flight overhead trying to make it to the river before the sun disappears over the mountain top.

I am sitting in my newly made secret alcove in the garden, with the pine tree hiding me from view. The church pew has been carried to its final destination today, in a tiny hideaway cut out of the underbrush. Surrounded by honeysuckle, and wild thorn bushes, this little spot will become my place to sit and reflect on the day. Any time of the day in here is wondrous, but there is something special about dusk, when the birds are filling the trees, safely hidden, in their nighttime roosts, singing their goodnight lullabies to all who will listen.

There is a peace in there, where for a short time, the worries of the world, the news of the day, the chatter of tv, radio, and din of traffic are lost and forgotten. In a world of bad news, pirates, tea ‘parties’, and money woes, this little sanctuary will hopefully buoy my spirits up. At the very least, it will shield me from the cacophony of a world gone mad, if only for a little while.

The little hollow under the trees is my cave, my sanctuary, a work in progress. I can picture it in a month or so, with the native flowers emerging(trillium and lily of the valley), the heavy scent of honeysuckle in the air, and the surrounding greenery in full bloom.  The rock border is in place (altho not in this picture), and as the work progresses and the flowers bloom, I’ll share more pictures.

In today’s uncertain world, I wish you all a sanctuary to renew your soul…..

Step #1- bench in place, Step#2 flowers, cushions, cup of tea.....

Step #1- bench in place, Step#2 flowers, cushions, cup of tea.....

All is well at Mountain Meadows tonite…………………


That Green Acres theme song is running thru my head again!!!

I spent the better part of Easter Sunday outside- it was a beautiful warm day.

While driving down the road on an errand, a turkey flew out and over my car, and a fox squirrel narrowly missed becoming road kill as he scurried in front of me! The woodpeckers were tapping and calling to each other, the occasional  Canadian goose could be heard from ponds hidden in the woods. The trees all have buds, and the farmer’s fields are a verdant hue, a welcome relief from the gray of winter.

When I returned home, I hung out with the horses – the new little mini, Lilliput is just so adorable, and very imprinted on humans. She follows me around like a big dog!

Got some seeds in the ground – anemones, mammoth sunflowers, and am soaking hyacinth beans and moonflowers. Weeded out the front garden, and uncovered last year’s peonies that are coming up.

Took the dogs for a walk, and then later, walked back by myself, camera in hand, to get pix of all the woodland wildflowers that are popping up along the road’s edge. Managed to lose my glasses in the process – clipping them to my shirt with a clothespin was clever, but not too secure, apparently! I retraced my steps, but, the woods ate them up…………….

I was looking for the wild asparagus that is rumoured to grow here, but was unable to locate any. Morels are in season also, but have no clue where to find those!

The red bud are blooming, the wild dogwood have flowered, and the thorn bushes that cover everything they can crawl over, are sprouting little green leaves.

Spring is definitely in the air, and hopefully the last frost will come and go soon, so the gardeners in us all can be let loose on the soil!

The underground spring( complete with frog) that will soon be turned into a pond

The underground spring( complete with frog) that will soon be turned into a pond

Quince in bloom

Quince in bloom

The vegetable garden has been plowed and is almost ready to go!

The vegetable garden has been plowed and is almost ready to go!

Dandelion tea, anyone?

Dandelion tea, anyone?

With warm weather and all that is good, comes some bad - flies!!!

With warm weather and all that is good, comes some bad - flies!!!

Lilly, bathed in the glow of the setting sun...

Lilly, bathed in the glow of the setting sun...

Forest flowers

Forest flowers

Blood root? Anybody know?

Blood root maybe? Anybody know?

100_3241

Another one I have to look up!

Another one I have to look up!

100_3253

End of nature walk..............thanks for coming!!!

End of nature walk..............thanks for coming!!!

All is well at Mountain Meadows, waiting for rain and spring…………….

I got my Easter present last night!!! Her name is Easter Kiss and she is a miniature horse!!!

She is absolutely adorable, and I am definitely in love!!!!

She was born on Easter, her mother’s name is Chocolate Kiss. She is a registered miniature paint. I went thru a bunch of nicknames- EK, Kissy, Easter- then my brother said she is a lilliputian compared to my other two horses!

Now Gulliver’s Travels was, and is, one of my all time favorite cartoons! So, her everyday name is Lilliput – or Lilly for short( and she is short!)

Today is her birthday – she had a birthday breakfast of grain, mini carrots, and apples (we discovered she does not like apples !) She is 9 years old, stands 30 inches tall at the withers (shoulders) Miss Lilly is a little chubby, we will have to work on that – but has a wonderful personality.

I am keeping her separate from the big guys for a bit. There is always a pecking order within a herd, and the ‘big guy’ is the boss- and has already tried to establish that thru the fence! So, as tiny as she is, she is feisty, but I don’t want her to get hurt!!

She has spent most of her life in the company of cows and calves – so being with horses is kind of new. But she just wants to play and make friends!!!

Meet Miss Lilly:

Waiting by the gate this morning

Waiting by the gate this morning

Having her birthday breakfast!

Having her birthday breakfast!

100_3214

How cute is this????

How cute is this????

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All is well, and a 3 horse family, at Mountain Meadows tonite……

Since I live in the country, I don’t expect to meet the kind of person I met today.

While volunteering at the local thrift shop, there was a new volunteer. Her name is Margaret, and she is from Uganda. Her husband is a minister, and is taking a 3 month course at Eastern Mennonite University, which is right around the corner from the thrift store. The course is Peace and Justice, and he hopes to take what he learns back to his country to teach others. Margaret accompanied her husband to the US for his 3 month stay.

We got to chat for a short bit- Margaret is a very interesting woman. She does speak English, but occasionally a word or phrase will stump her!

I hope to see her again next week to talk more. Her life does not sound like it has been easy – very different from what we are used to here in the US.

Margaret lives in the country, rents a 3 bedroom house with 1 toilet, and shares it with 50, yes, 50(!) people!!! These people have come to Margaret and her husband  for safe haven, sometimes in the dead of night without even the clothes on their backs! They are running to escape from the rebels who attack their villages. Villagers and townspeople get out of their beds, with no belongings, hiding in the woods til it is safe, and walk to find a place that will take them in.

These rebels attack villagers in their homes and churches, using machetes to disfigure people who they decide are ‘of the demon’ or demon possessed. They take the girls for their ‘women’, and take the young boys to turn them into little machete wielding rebels.

Margaret is very hardworking, and rides a bicycle many kilometers to shop. She has a large garden- which she rides her bike 1 mile and a half to get to-by using the thrift store’s dimensions to describe it, it would seem her garden is about 1-2 acres large. The vegetables they grow are to feed their family, and the extra is sold in town. That money is used to pay for her 4 children’s education. Her children range in age from 11 to 22, and boarding school is expensive.

In the brief time we had to chat, it was very eye opening. I wonder if she sees all the donations to the thrift store as a testament to the materialism of Americans, versus the minimalism of her society. I will have to ask her.

I did ask her what she thought of Obama- she smiled and said that she liked him, and liked the fact that Americans would pick a man like him to lead them. Interesting………..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All is well, and awaiting Easter, at Mountain Meadows this evening…..

I just LOVE junque shopping!!! Volunteering in a thrift store is the best of both worlds! Volunteering helps people and being there feeds my addiction to junque!!!

I manage to find the coolest things in the trash also- and volunteers are starting to put trash aside for me!!! I don’t accept everything, mind you – but I do appreciate their efforts!!! My weekly monetary support thru buying cool stuff there helps their cause also!! At least, that is how I try to justify my spending, minimal tho’ it is!!!

The only thing not in these pictures is a very cool vintage , homemade blow torch. It will make a very good garden sculpture!!!

Some thrift store cast offs (not the seeds or the tulips!)

Some thrift store cast offs (not the seeds or the tulips!)

The vintage basket was $1.00!!!

The vintage basket was $1.00!!! The conch shells behind it also $1!

How cool is this tacky yet kitschy Contact paper - a freebie that will soon be put to good use.

How cool is this tacky yet kitschy Con tact paper - a freebie that will be put to good use.

100_3187

I have a habit of losing my any reading glasses. While helping a lady sort thru some clothespins to find the best ones (those are the older ones with a really tight grip) I kept one, and decided that this was a very good way to keep track of my glasses!!! I hate wearing them around my neck (too much like my grandma)- this is definitely more “me”!!!!

If I have time tomorrow, I may just drop in to volunteer for a bit – never know what treasures are waiting there – just for me!!!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All is well, and still a little chilly, at Mountain Meadows tonite…………


Sunday was a beautiful day to work outside! Warm and sunny, so I started out early in the barn. Took 2 of the dogs out with me, and a cup of tea, and started with the horses. Blankets off, breakfast, some work with the brush and shedding blade. then the hard stuff- getting the 100 lb bag of grain out of the van and stored away in the feed bin.

Since the husband has had shoulder then wrist surgery, he can’t do any heavy lifting (or at least shouldn’t when someone is keeping an eye on him!) So, I drove the van over to the barn, got the dolly and slid the bag out onto the dolly and dragged it up into the barn. I tried to count how many scoops of grain are in 100 lbs, as I scooped it out into the storage bin, but it was too early in the morning for that- lost count after about 5…..!!!!

My tiny mint garden on the side of the barn has about 25-30 new little mint stalks coming up. I weeded that and then it was time to move on to the other garden!

After the old house burn last year, I was afraid  the original farm flower garden was ruined. But, out of the ashes…….The tiger lilies are coming up and the peonies are back! Since I know weeding is not my specialty, I decided to make a brick border around the flowers and fill in with mulch.

The husband told me to take the 4 wheel cart to load up bricks, but I was going to use the wheelbarrow. The cart would have been too heavy to pull- as it turned out, the wheelbarrow didn’t work either – even with just a few bricks in it – the wheel got stuck in the ash, and started to tip over! So, it was back to hand carrying the bricks, 5 at a time (I am a frail thing!)

I am not quite finished, need about 35 more bricks- but now I have to really dig for them in the rubble. So, I will finish that another day!!!

The old farmer who used to own this property said there were rhubarb plants all over the place. I think I may have found just one – which would have been right outside their old farm house door. I pulled the weeds and grass off it, and marked it with some bricks. Now if anyone out there can verify this is REALLY rhubarb, I would appreciate it!!! Since I have only seen it prepackaged in a supermarket, I am pretty sure it is rhubarb, but would like a 2nd opinion!!!

The bees are awake and checking out the tiny wild flowers that are blooming- I tried to get a picture of the two kinds that were flying around – but every time the camera would make a noise – they would move out of the frame!!! So the picture below are kind of a ‘where’s waldo’ – see if you can find the bee!!!

The husband drove the small lawn mower around the hay fields marking off the groundhog holes. He and the neighbor will be filling them up with river rock. Their holes are a danger to the horses and bone jarring when a tractor wheel falls in one!

After lunch, I helped the husband mark off the spot where the new pole barn will be. He and the daughter will be building it, and hopefully have it finished before the first hay is cut and baled! Those 600 bales of hay need to be stored somewhere!!

The day ended with a visit from the owners of the miniature horse. They liked what they saw, and the little mare will be delivered to us sometime soon!!!! Can’t wait!!!!

Time to get off the computer and get busy with morning chores….

100_3152

My new star for the barn - thanks, Lennie!!!

My new star for the barn - thanks, Lennie!!!

Birdhouse on the barn

Birdhouse on the barn

Bird house on other side of the barn!

Bird house on other side of the barn!

Here are the bricks...................

Here are the bricks...................

Even with this few bricks, the wheelbarrow got stuck in the ash!

Even with this few bricks, the wheelbarrow got stuck in the ash!

Just getting started.............

Just getting started.............

Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo?

Rhubarb?

Rhubarb?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All is well, and a little less sunny, a little more drizzley, at Mountain Meadows this morning………………………….

Next Page »