Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Max is on duty these days. He will not leave the baby geese
and duck when they are in sight. His inbred herd instincts
keep them from wandering out of range.

It is loud on the farm these days. When we lay our heads
on our sweet pillows at night there are crickets, bullfrogs
(which are just now starting up, but haven't yet reached levels
that drive Uncle Jim bonkers), whippoorwills, distant dogs,
and coyotes. When I get up and sit on the couch with the
window open behind me waiting for the coffee to brew there
are dozens of birds calling, twittering, and tweeting. There
is also the loud buzz of the hummers as they zip around. Added
to that is the crowing of Joel's rooster, which we can hear even
though it is a field away.

I know these are sounds that can drive a person from the city
to distraction...but they are life and breath to us. They are
part of God's common grace to mankind and we love it. Add to
that sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, and onion, and once again we
say, copying the old puritan, "All this and heaven too!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Up and Down the Gravel:

It is not that there is a lack of goings on in Fern Nook...
but some of the oomph is lacking right now. So many things
I think to write about make me tear up and I do not want this
to be a place of sorrow.

The list of items and events that bring on the sadness is
amazing. The other day I was down in Dad's basement putting
something away and I saw a jar of G'ma Opal's pickles. I was
glad to be alone, so that I could be back under control before
I went upstairs sometime later.

Today I was dusting our family picture from 2000, and seeing
Mom brought the sorrow all over again. I really, really miss
those two.

However, life at Fern Nook has been full. We have been playing
musical garden with Aunt Jenny's tiller. Uncle Jim is the
official keeper of the tiller, and we all ask his permission to
use it. Joel has the biggest garden, I think. He'll probably
keep me busy freezing and cooking all his produce.

Joel has been hatching out all kinds of critters. He has a baby
duck and four geese right now. He brings them down in a bucket
and then lets them out to wander the yard. Max, his German
Shepherd, lives up to his name and shepherds the little birds.
It is fun to watch them cuddle up to such a huge monster of a

Billy graduates in a couple of weeks, that is if he survives his
senior EE project. It is much more involved than the senior
Comp. Eng. project he did last year. He has been gone from home
a lot this semester. We all miss him. Tyler is having withdrawl
symptoms I think. Really he has been having some sort of hive
thing going on. We can't pinpoint the reason for the hives,
but he is on a short dose of steroids to clear them up.

Tyler is also busy with school, work, and most important of all,
Turkey Hunting. He said the other day, "Mom, I love turkey
hunting, but I wish I'd get my turkey so I could stop hunting
and get some sleep." The gobbling has been scarce this year.

We have Iris, Columbine, Johnny Jump-Ups, and Clematis in bloom.
In a day or two my peonies will start opening up. We have three
early bird Hummers that have arrived. I imagine it will be a week
or two before the whole passel gets here. The other day we had
two Cattle Egrets by our little pond. Nearly every year we see
them for a day or two. They are snow white and look a little
bit like a heron. And most delightful of all, tonight I heard
a Whipporwill for the first time this year, though Joel told me
he'd already been hearing them.

The full burst of spring is here, and I want to hug it so it won't
fly by so fast.

Dad, Joel, Tyler, Jenn, and Hattie-cakes went to the river today.
Hattie went swimming. Kinsey has nothing on her now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Last Saturday, when the Martins were down, we spent the day at
Cave Springs. We have been going there all our lives.
G'ma Opal loved Cave Springs. She wanted to go every spring
to collect watercress from the fresh, cold water.

Dad gathered some cress, and he cut a few wild onions, and we
added them to our hotdogs. Hotdogs are good with watercress
and wild onion. I was reminded of the year I borrowed an
Irish Cookbook from the library and read about the Irish adding
anything green they could to their diet. They (at a certain
point in history) were short of veggies and would add cress
to their potato soup when they could. Aha, thought I, I can
do that. So I gathered the greens, went home, and made the soup.
The watercress really didn't affect the flavor much at all, but
all the kids turned up their noses at the green color.

This last Saturday turned out to be a sparkly day. The sun was
warm and bright, there was just a hint of a breeze, the fire
added to the fun, the water was cold (just ask Kinsey who went
all the way in...yes in the spring water and yes in April). The
cave was damp and echoey, just as a cave should be, the hiking was
fun, and the napping in the sun and getting a wee bit of a tan
was delightful. A good day.
Straight from the Fernnook Times (AKA The Prospect News)
last week:

"Both candidates for Naylor Alderman in the North and
South Wards were running unopposed for their seats.
Barbara Bell received 10 votes in the North Ward and
Barney Hornocks took in 14 in the South Ward.

All results from this election are unofficial until
they are certified by Ripley County Clerk Becky York
on Thursday, April 9."

(That one sent Sister Becky into a laughing fit. She is
not always used to our country ways....I think it was
the fact that an unopposed candidate garnering 10 votes
could still have an unofficial count.)

Also from the Fernnook Times this week is an ad. See if
you can figure this one out.

"For Sale
You Seine,
By the pound
or by the pond."