A give-away awaits with a special bonus for members of the Grimy Hands Girls' Club.
"For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."
Sometimes I just need to stop, brew a pot of tea, pick up a favorite book, and settle into my kitchen
rocker for peace...
...and the pleasures of one of my beloved old books, My Friend the Garden, by Fernand LeQuenne (translated from the French version). See the pieces of paper marking some of my favorite passages? Here is one of his old adages: "February warm brings spring with a storm." It surely did that today. Our first day of spring and brrrrr, it is cold and winter like.
So much is going on in our small and fragile world. I need to give thanks for the bounty and simple joys that keep me going, and I need to remember and offer up prayers for those who are not as fortunate.
Won't you join me for a few happy minutes in a small and well-loved (and used) kitchen? I'd take you out into the garden, but you'd want to hurry back indoors. The skies are dark, the winds are as blustery as a Winnie the Pooh day, and the rains have pounded my new seedlings into the ground.
I'll brew a pot of tea, take down the honey, and my Grandmother's pottery teapot, sugar, and creamer...
Slice and sautee some fresh-picked veggies...
...pull out the last of the cold-storage apples, pick a lemon, mix some sugar, spices, and berries...
...for a comfort food dessert.
I'll whip some cream with Zelda, my new/old mixer, a find from our local thrift store. Zelda doesn't weigh much so she is easy for me to use, and she came with a selection of bowls and attachments for grinding meat and...
...for squeezing fresh orange juice. Oh, and when she is whirring along and doing a great job, she has an aroma that reminds me of baking with my grandmother.
Jeff will juice pounds of oranges; I'll mash the softening avocados into a spicy guacamole sauce and process the pears for freezing.
Just a few hours of quiet work helps mend the tattered and frayed pieces of life. I appreciate every minute at home, but also love the times I've shared with others. This past weekend I presented talks at The Kindergarten Forum in Saratoga, California. This was probably the fourth or fifth time I've participated in the Forum, which I LOVE for its attendees who are educators still filled with a childlike sense of wonder. These folks are the first nurturers of the spirits of our youngsters, our most precious resource.
I loved this gathering. We had people writing poetry, making wool roving dolls, knitting, drawing, doing needlepoint, and even...
...spinning! Nobody in this group wasted any time.
We sang children's songs, did rhythmic storytelling (even some African stories), and shared a bountiful potluck meal together. That is author-teacher Anna Rainville leading the singing.
Today is my peaceful, stay-at-home time, but starting tomorrow things change. Our favorite house-sitter moves in, and we journey north to the home of author Rebecca Sweet for a special party and celebration of the book Garden Up! written by Rebecca and Susan Morrison. It is a fabulous book and should be in the libraries of serious gardeners everywhere. We will also get a sneak peek at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, which we will photograph and share in a future posting. Then ONWARD to The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, in Lexington, where I'll be giving a special presentation on Thursday evening and a morning after talk on children's gardens. On Friday afternoon, Jeff and I will be the guests at a special tea hosted by the Bluegrass Herb Guild.
I'd love to meet some of you after the lecture. This should be FUN!
Here is the wonderful gardening/cookbook From Seed to Skillet, written by Jimmy Williams and Susan Heeger, that some lucky reader will win. Leave a comment to participate. Members of the Grimy Hands Girls' Club will have double-luck if their name is drawn–an extra gift, which will be shipped with the book.
Here are just some of the envelopes, which I've stuffed with goodies. Jeff will print the labels (thank goodness I don't have to hand print them), and when we return from Kentucky, we'll mail them out to you. The first 100 charter members receive extra surprises (sorry, we've already closed the charter membership). All other members are eligible for special prizes, too.
Back to my book, then packing and getting ready for an adventure. I hope to meet some of you in person.
All joys to you,
P.S. Thank you Chinaberry.com for featuring Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars in this video.