|Here we are enjoying the last sour cherry pie filling that Mom and I canned on the day of Alida's birth!|
Here are some of the cute fuzzballs that shared Alida's birthday with her. The mama was not impressed with my camera:
The weekend before Alida's birthday we enjoyed a lovely day outside planting more seeds, enjoying a picnic lunch with friends, and doing our quarterly Adopt-a-Highway run along our road. We had even gotten to a point in the weekend's garden work that Jason felt free to join us. It was really fun to enjoy a leisurely walk with friends - we did pick up trash and recycling but also enjoyed lots of good conversation along the way. It helped alleviate my annoyance at those who somehow can consistently fling things out their car windows and live with themselves - what I'd really like to feel more of is sympathy and grace because it seems to me that it is quite possible those that do not appreciate the beauty around them may not be experiencing as much beauty in their lives as I would wish for every person around.
Speaking of beauty, our spinach patch is one of the loveliest things around right now! We are so thrilled with how the spinach, planted in the fall, wintered over without any covering and is now set to provide us with luxurious spinach salads for weeks to come! I love seeing our girls crunching away at freshly picked greens. It is coming at a great time, as I'm down to one or two containers of frozen spinach. It's time to restock! And we aren't the only ones enjoying spinach - we've been picking the white and yellowed leaves for the ducks and they are quite impressed with that treat.
The ducks and chickens are loving all the green things sprouting. Kali's ducks have started laying again, after they took a longer break than any of us thought necessary! And we are all still very much enjoying "duckie" and his familiarity with all of us - though his dabbling has gotten a bit more intense as his bill has gotten larger and stronger. He is very cute how he likes to follow Kali out when she is doing chores. However, if he gets too far from the pen, he turns around and heads back to be with the others. And he knows right where the door is now. See for yourself:
Now this week we are enjoying having my folks around for a number of days. It has been lovely for a whole host of reasons! It has freed up Jason to keep progressing on the bathroom project on the days I'm at work, and we can now (really truly) see the end of the tiling coming into view. By the end of tomorrow, he should be ready to let it cure and move to planting onions before returning to grout the shower and bathroom floor. And then on to the remainder of the project. As I type he is working to finish out the mural - the finishing touch being a V of geese flying across the sky. Mom noted that this shower might cause some wasting of water as people will be inclined to look at all the features of the shower longer than would be necessary to get clean...
The girls have also enjoyed having grandparents around. Alida has particularly enjoyed daily teasing with Grandpa about her love of black olives and his dislike (which I believe is a bit exaggerated for the reaction is gets from her). They also enjoyed a trip to town with Grandpa which included a stop for ice cream and a visit to the library. They've gotten in on some fun projects with Grandma, including making laundry detergent and paper Easter baskets. Alida definitely enjoys have two additional book readers around!
For myself, I just feel completely pampered. It is so lovely to come home from work and have dinner ready to go. This morning I even took a few moments, while I was taking our monthly pictures around the property, to sit in the woods. I watched the chickens making their rounds. I had always wondered if they ever come down into the little pond. As I sat there quietly, taking in my surroundings, a whole group of them wandered down the bank and started drinking. It was a very peaceful and special moment for me. I want to find ways to carve out those little pockets of time in my days more often.