Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for You

Perfect for eating or for feasting the eye on a Thanksgiving Table.
It all came together perfectly, the definition of Synchronicity.  A perfect growing season for Persimmons, enough time and focus to prepare token gifts, an exquisite ball of yarn in all the right colors bought years ago with no possible project in mind, leftover paper lunch sacks from my husband's working days all came together to provide a tangible comment of appreciation to the neighbors who live on our dead end street.
Plus a note inside on what to do with Persimmons!
Not many people know.

I'm thankful for them. And I'm thankful for YOU.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Upping the Down Down

Emptier near the top (right) and puffy full near the bottom (left)
It's been slipping out at night.  Caught it just a couple of weeks ago for the first time as part of the routine Things I get to do today. The top row of our down comforter has twice gone nearly "empty." But gone where? A whole blog sometime back was dedicated to the puzzling situation and the efforts required to fill the top pockets with more down (from an old vest) to plump them up again.

The escape vent is slightly visible on the bottom right
of this square.
The downs traveling down have been discovered.  What appeared to be square totally stitched pockets turned out to have little escape hatches.  All the activity at the top of the comforter required to make the bed, pull the covers up under the chin at night, and a few arms flailing have chased the down down.  That would explain the very thick pockets toward the foot of the bed.

Twenty minutes of patting the bottom pockets next to their "escape vents" upped the down down.  Though some of the hens are scanty feathered around the neck, we in the house are now finally cozy.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Why is it always that?  Why do I not think of "Go to the bathroom" before I am bundled up with boots newly tromped through the mud?  And those items in the distant bedroom that were to go to the shed, muddy boots cannot come and fetch them.

Things I get to do today take me out into dirt, the rained-on, wet, wet earth.  Boots are perfect for my feet, but their tread is a sucker for mud.  If they've been outside, they are never clean enough to flat-foot on a hard floor, nor to tip-toe over carpet.  Nope.  Can't be done.

I rush into the house, only the tippest of my toes touching the vinyl.  Two plastic grocery bags slip  over the offending boots.  A quick overhand at the ankle, and the bathroom is in sight.  Grab the items for the shed, sprint to the back door and off with the bags.  Not bad for the after afterthought.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holidays Are Nearly Here

I can tell because the earth has her gown ready.  The fabric is a rich brown studded with brilliant pearl-sized beads in turquoise, purple and aquamarine.  Gold bugle beads with splashes of "gold-leaf" complete the design.  If sewing this fabric were part of the Things I get to do today,  I'd be a bit of a wreck.  Sewing beaded fabric is not for the faint in heart.  But Nature drapes herself in exquisite garb that needs no needle, no thread, and only observant heads turn to admire.  
The earth's beaded gown--ready for Holiday parties.  Porcelain berries, stems and leaves on damp earth.
Were a brown velvet covered with these colors and shapes, a dress made from it would stop the show!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Four and a Half Hens

How many do you have?  That's nearly alway the first question after most folks hear I have chickens. The answer is usually, "Five."  But the last month or so, the truth is, "Four and a half."

Petty coat showing on a tiny hen
We'd been away for ten days or so building a car port in Bend for our daughter.  Kind neighbors came twice a day to tend the five hens.  During that time a common but very strange-looking thing happened to my plumpest, most vigorous chicken.   Massive handfuls of feathers appeared in the coop.  Every morning they flowed out of the roost area.  Her caretaker was alarmed and removed the feathers.  She was nearly afraid to look for fear she would find a dead hen, naked and cold.

Grunge comes and goes in the fashion world,
but this style is never in.
Kate Perry Chicken, the most fashion conscious girl of the flock, was getting smaller and smaller.  By the time we came home, she was only half the size of the other hens and about a third of her own usual self.

But Nature is balanced, and all is well.  Kate is close to three quarters of herself again.  Soon her comb will be redder, her tail feathers tall, and plump will be her shape.  Things I get to do today will include counting my hens is whole, round numbers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall Fruit Salad

Glorious leaf colors come together though the fruits cannot.

Nature makes delicious combinations.  When fall leaves turn spectacular, their coming together is a juicy delight. I found the Persimmon, the Ginkgo and the Blueberries mixing it up during the Things I get to do today for fall clean up.  Best "fruit salad" I've seen in a long time.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Simple Pansy

From my mother's side garden--
a snow and Pansy arrangement.

A Pansy is not really an elegant flower. Because of their short stems, they aren't found in formal flower arrangements, bridal bouquets, dinners for heads of state.  There are probably other reasons as well.  It's a humble flower.

Rock-sheltered Pansy as
Fall turns briefly cold.

Most often Pansies grow wildly after self-seeding from the previous year.  They turn up all around the garden bed and will bloom wherever they are allowed to put down real roots.  That's not the lineage of  an elegant, long-stemmed flower.

North of Spokane: chilled and brave

But just before I stepped into my snow covered car, noticing the royal courage and contrast of this simple Pansy was the sweetest of Things I get to do today.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Speck of Sunshine

Ginkgo Biloba  shining all over my yard!

Today is Fall Grey.

Some days are deeply impenetrable in that dense, dark color.  Regardless, one can always find spots of brilliance and light, little reminders of the giant sun.  My Ginkgo tree flashes pure, clean yellow all up and down our street, the only radiant tree on the curb.
Fuyu Persimmons--ripe enough to eat.

My favorite of Things I get to do today is taste test a golden, sunny orb from the Persimmon tree.  Grey has no grip on my soul--not today!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Three Twigs in Their Pots

Twigs, even large ones do not hold much promise.  A columnar apple tree, when it's only a couple of years old, is really nothing more than a large twig.  Surprise, surprise.

Scarlet Sentinel in April
Our three apple tree "twigs" have lived with us for a year and a half.  Pretty flowers graced them in the spring, but they're still babies, and I expected nothing more from them.

Northpole, which we planted in the southern position, looked naked all summer until I paused at look at its base.  Three giant apples snuggled together with ruddy green cheeks under the large leaves.  Golden Sentinel at the far north was covered with pretty little green apples.  I did not thin them.  Some were stolen by squirrels, some fell to the ground and whatever I could collect were fed to the chickens.  The girls pecked them enthusiastically.
Making my mouth water even now.

Then Things I get to do today said to pick the funny apples on the middle tree, the Scarlet Sentinels. Most of the fruit had little black dots scattered about on the skin, reminding me of worms.  A knife split one crisply apart revealing a clean, bugless interior. Also on the "Things" list: do a taste test. The best of the bunch, the Scarlets, are sweet, tart, crisp.  So glad the trees are potted so that when we move, these "twigs" can go with us.