Everything is turning green, and flowers are starting to unfold. The chickens are keeping very busy tearing apart the daffodil bed I planted so carefully last fall. They figured out how to pull scratch through the landscaping cloth I laid, and make themselves a nice, cozy hang out place, and basically destroy all my work. I’m reliving my lingonberry bush episode. They leave the gardens alone that are away from the house. They don’t have enough bush cover to get to them without feeling too exposed to the hawks. But the gardens close to the house? It’s a fight. I lose battles there from time to time. Daffodils are my favorite flower, and I’m sad I haven’t found a way for them to grow on our property yet. When I planted them previously in the flower garden down by the driveway the wind ripped the blossoms apart. I was told to plant them closer to the house to be protected from the wind. I hadn’t taken into account the chicken’s nature.
We’ve had a few cold nights, and had to bring in the seedlings that I’m trying to acclimate to the outdoors before I get them set in the garden. I cannot believe I actually did it this year! This is my first seedling victory year. I should celebrate. Actually, I should get them in the garden before they die. First things first.
I was blessed with some time last week to walk through an antique shop, and I found a 1880 edition of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. I honestly haven’t read them before, perhaps just some excerpts in the past in college. Knut thought it might take the crown as the oldest book in our house, but I looked through them and saw that I have an old Norwegian, perhaps Swedish New Testament that I bought at a library book sale that is undated, and I suspect older than that. It’s undated, so I can’t know for sure. We both love collecting books more than is what is good for us.
I wouldn’t say we’ve had any rest, but we have been home to catch up on a few things. Ingrid was sick yesterday, so I had to ask Knut’s parents to take the big kids to their activities last night. So I got to stay home and keep working on things. Knut has been working like crazy through my “honey do” list to try to help out as much as he can while he has the time. I expect he will be back in the fields by the end of the week.
I’m still working on the shawl for my friend, but I received a new skein of wool from a different friend in the meantime. It’s Abundant Earth Fiber, called “First Lamb.” It’s texture is just beautiful, and I can’t wait to knit with it. I’m not sure if it’s just a superb twist to the yarn, or the soft texture, but it is truly lovely. What a gift! I am determined to make myself something with it, but I haven’t decided what yet. With the amount I was given, I’m leaning towards a hat. Maybe my friend, Alicia’s Ahull, (shout out to another homeschooling knitting designer!) or perhaps Alana Dakos’ Rustling Leaves Beret. I really want a shawl or scarf in this too, so I’ll have to spend some time searching those on Ravelry too, and seeing if I like some of them under 250 yards. I do believe that planning and dreaming is one of my favorite parts.
Mom saysMay 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm
I would love to hear your thoughts on the Pickwick Papers after you’ve read it. Beautiful pictures that make me want to take a deep breath of good clean country air! The yarn looks absolutely luscious as well!
Gretchen saysMay 13, 2015 at 3:53 pm
Mom I miss you! I’m bringing my knitting project to the family reunion, so you will be able to see it in person soon!
Jayne saysMay 13, 2015 at 1:56 pm
Wow, what a wonderful find that book is! I love Dickens. The pink yarn looks just divine – gorgeous colour. Daffodils are my favourite flower too. Every year, I treat myself to some more bulbs – I have visions of daffodils meadows! Here in Australia, it is time to plant bulbs, so I just planted about 200 under our old apple tree. Apple blossom and daffodils – it should look gorgeous in September!
Gretchen saysMay 13, 2015 at 3:54 pm
We used to have a huge flower patch of daffodils in one of the houses I grew up in, and since it was pretty low maintenance it was assigned to me as “my garden.” I had so many afternoons full of imagination in that flower patch. I just wish I could get them to grow here!!
Elizabeth saysMay 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm
LOVE that colour of yarn!!! God bless you!
Gretchen saysMay 13, 2015 at 11:05 pm
Hugs to you Elizabeth! Blessings on your day too.
kim saysMay 13, 2015 at 8:06 pm
We could be friends in real life! 😉 I love old books but sadly am feeling the need to downsize…. and planning & dreaming on Ravlery is another favorite past time of mine. Your friend’s shawl is divine and she is very lucky….the yarn color is just so pretty. Our seedlings are growing right along here and I hope yours continue to do well–keep them away from those chickens!
Gretchen saysMay 13, 2015 at 11:05 pm
I’m on a major downsize too…at least in most things. I went through 3 closets today. My friend is having a garage sale next week and I was invited to participate so I’m trying to go through everything. I have no idea how I acquired so much junk. My father in law says that houses are actually vacuums. They are never empty long. I’m hoping to fight back the clutter better this time. Just to train the rest of my family now…
kim saysMay 14, 2015 at 5:52 pm
I love the vacuum comparison! Probably more true than not! We have been in our house for almost 21 years and raised 4 kiddos–imagine the stuff.
Sarah saysMay 13, 2015 at 10:34 pm
Sigh, chickens. I love having chickens but it is a constant battle between them for my plants!
Kim who commented above is my mom which made me smile; she and I both independently bought the “magic of tidying” this week since we both saw it pop up in several places online last week.
Every time I visit your blog I wish I could visit your farm and just sit and listen and watch, I’m sure that’s creepy to say about someone I’ve never met but I mean it in the least creepy way possible. Your blog inspires me, even (especially) when you write about your struggles. You are a few steps ahead of me with your older kids but you talk about things so similarly to how I think and plan and dream, and since I don’t really have any homeschooling mom friends yet, especially not any Charlotte Mason-y types as you seem to be – I feel a bit lonely, and find courage here! So really just thanks for writing. Your blog has been a breath of fresh air since I stumbled on it during my early Yarn Alongs a few years ago.
Gretchen saysMay 13, 2015 at 11:03 pm
Oh Sarah, I love it when you stop by the blog. I follow yours all the time too. I love reading about your life on the reservation, and I just KNOW that we would talk way late into the night should we ever have the opportunity to meet in person. I’m so glad you find encouragement here. That means so much to me.
Angela saysMay 13, 2015 at 11:52 pm
I love reading your posts and looking at your awesome pictures! We are also trying to downsize…not an easy chore! Is that Swedish Weaving sitting under your new yarn? I bought the material to weave something but my creative mind quit when I tried to figure out a pattern!
Gretchen saysMay 14, 2015 at 1:01 am
You know, it’s just an old placemat that’s part of a set I got from my great-aunt for my wedding. I think it was from Target back then. Ha! People ask me questions all the time about sweaters I’m wearing, and if it is my design or what kind of wool I used. Well…it’s from Target…pretty much 80-90% of the time. (I need a bag over my head as a crafter-lover-of-all-things-handmade, and also a Target junkie.)
🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, Angela.
Wendy saysMay 14, 2015 at 11:53 am
Darn those chickens! At least the chickens, though, are useful – every year I plant bulbs, and every year the squirrels dig them up. Sigh. I’ve never read the Pickwick Papers, although I have an entire set of vintage Dickens that rescued from my husband’s grandfather’s house after he passed away. Maybe I’ll put it on my list. That shawl is a great color – can’t wait to see what it looks like!
Gretchen saysMay 14, 2015 at 1:14 pm
Yes, chickens get a lot of grace around here! We have thought of penning them up in a run, but we have such a tick issue in our yard that we really want them in every nook and cranny to rid the yard of them for the kids. I just hate having to choose between flowers or getting rid of ticks!
Julie S. saysMay 14, 2015 at 6:28 pm
Gretchen, I follow your blog and really enjoy reading about your family, and life in general in the Midwest. I have a quick question. Have you changed the color of your text? I find it on the light side, and a little difficult to read. I won’t give up though, I’m too fond of what you write.
Gretchen saysMay 14, 2015 at 6:37 pm
I moved my blog to a new system, and I’m still figuring things out so this is very helpful feedback! I haven’t figured out how to adjust the color of the text, but I’m putting that next on my list to figure out now. Thanks for hanging in there with me!
Julie S. saysMay 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm
Thank you looking into this matter.
Nicole saysMay 15, 2015 at 12:27 am
I LOVE the Pickwick Papers. Ode to an Expiring Frog is just the best…. Lovely pictures!
Gretchen saysMay 15, 2015 at 3:29 am
Ha! Now I want to look that one up first…
Alexa McAllister saysMay 16, 2015 at 4:32 am
Hi there…I stumbled across your blog and do so love it. Such a breath of fresh air.
I had to smile at your “honey do” list. Indeed some jobs only take a moment with a man to do it but no doubt living on a big parcel of land creates a lot of work….my honey helped out for two minutes just this very minute to stomp in the green bin and compress all the garden off cuts ready for our rubbish pick up. The bin is too tall to try to climb in by myself…four hands, and a chair worked a treat 🙂
Reading your blog makes me want to get back to blogging again.
Alexa-asimplelife from Sydney , Australia