Lady Spring and the Easter Rabbit

It is the first day of spring and today began with an odd twist.  For those of your with littles ones around, or those who just appreciate a good story… Here is a little tale for your first day of spring…

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You see our pet bunny, Peter Rabbit, was missing.  It seemed he had dug a tunnel through the garden and escaped sometime early in the morning!  I was wrought with guilt because my son had warned me he would do just that and I neglected to move the cage so that would not happen!  I was reminded of this story I found last year for our Home school group from Suzanne Downs Website ( exact link couldn’t find today).  This tale kind of saved the day… and it all ended perfectly…

Here is Suzanne Tale of Lady Spring and the Easter Rabbit-

Lady Spring and the Easter Rabbit

Once upon a time, Lady Spring awoke from her long Winter’s nap. Just like last year, and all the years that came before, Father Sun gently tapped her on the shoulder and shone his warm light down on her to wake her.

Lady Spring dressed in her finest gown of sky blue, with a silken ribbon in her hair, and she set out into the meadow to greet all of the animals and flowers. As she walked, she listened and looked for the for the sounds and sights of Spring—children playing in the sunshine, families sowing seeds in their gardens, people celebrating the return of the season … but she saw no one. The doors were all closed, windows shuttered, and the yards and fields lay empty. Where were all the people?

A robin lit on a nearby branch to share his song with Lady Spring. She listened kindly and then asked, “Where are all the dear people of the village? Do they not know that Spring has arrived?” The robin tweeted a reply, for he had flown here and there and had picked up this news in the village: “The Winter was so very long … and so very cold, and everyone has been tucked in tightly into their houses for so long—I don’t think they know that Spring has arrived!”

IMG_1637Lady Spring had an idea. She called out to all the animals of the forest, and they gathered in the meadow. She told them all that the good people of the village needed their help. Someone must share the news that Spring was here. Who would do it?

All of the animals began to shout “Send me, send me!” and Lady Spring announced: “We shall have a race. The animal that can run all the way around the world and return here first will be our messenger.” The animals agreed.

The wild stag went first. “I am the fleetest afoot. Surely I will win the race.” And off he went. But when he got to the rocky hills, he started leaping from rock to rock and ended up playing there for many hours and forgot all about the race.

Next was the salmon. “I can dart through the water and swim with the tides. Surely I shall win the race.” The salmon began swimming as fast as she could, but soon the sunbeams dancing on the stream caught her eye, and she thought the sparkles of light were little flies. For the rest of the day she leaped here and there trying to catch them.

Then the hawk called, “I am the swiftest of all the creatures who circle the earth. Surely I will win the race.” He shot like an arrow into the sky and soared above the meadow, until down in a field, he spotted a mouse. He swooped straight down to get it and forgot all about the race.

The little rabbit went quietly on his way. He never looked left or right, but gazed straight ahead and held steadfastly to his course. Just as the sun was setting, he returned to Lady Spring in the meadow, completing his circle of the earth.

Lady Spring gave thanks to the humble rabbit and asked him to visit the village that night, sharing news of the arrival of Spring. The little bunny asked, “How will they know it’s true?” Lady Spring thought for a moment and then took a small egg from her pouch. She gently gave it to the rabbit and said, “Show them this egg. Just as the golden yolk shines inside the hard shell of the egg, so the light of the sun shines again and warms the earth in Springtime, so that new life can begin.”

The little bunny set out on his way with joy, and every year he journeys from house to house, village to village, bringing beautiful eggs to all the families and sharing the news that Spring has returned.

Snip, snap, snout, this tale is all told out.

IMG_8367Our tale ended almost as sweetly… Our Bunny , after his long trip around the world telling of Springs coming got a bit lost on his way home, but luckily just before dark he hopped past a man on the road.  “Are you lost little Bunny” the man asked.  ” Indeed” said the little bunny.  “Well I know where you live, your family must be worried about you, I will take you home” The kind man scooped up the Bunny, cradled him in his arms and walked the bunny to the little house down the road where the three children lived.  He knocked at the door and the children came running out in their pajamas, for it was just before bed, and the kind man said, “I think I have found something of yours!”  The children cheered and hugged the Bunny and the man!  “He must have been out spreading the word that Spring is here”, smiled their mother and everyone went to bed happy that night and grateful Spring was here!

 

 

St. Patty’s Day Peas and Potatoes

They say that Peas and Potatoes should be planted by St. Patty’s Day, which is today!  If you haven’t planted them already- go for it!  (Especially cause March is the new May around these parts!…you could have been planting peas since Valentine’s day really!)  If you have never planted either, there are a few tricks.

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Last years Pea crop planted on Valentines Day

 

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Some people pre-sprout and then transplant peas… I grow pea shoots and then mow them down and eat them as tender young things! Try them in your window sill, they are fast and delicious!

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Chittting potatoes is basically cutting seed potatoes into pieces with a few eyes each… making your potato seed go further

 

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Peas soaked in water overnight before you plant them swell them and give them a head start on sprouting in the ground.

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This weekend would also be great from planting cool season greens outside directly in the garden like Spinach, Lettuce, Mache, Cilantro, Kale, Chard, Arugula.  If you lay row cover it will keep moisture in and birds out so I highly recommend it!

Signs of Life

PaintingIt has been a long winter in more ways than one… we seem to have finally found our rhythm in it and I feel hesitant to venture out (juniper breezes scare me!!)  But we finally did and with this crazy warm weather we have spent a few consecutive days outside and are much better for it.  JumpThe world is waking up and life is buzzing everywhere!

Winter Jasmine

Winter Jasmine (Jasminium nudiflorum), always our first bloomer, followed by the over eager Apricot…Apricot Bud

Turns out my Kale and Celery are not completely dead after allCelery

and my trusty Chard weathered the winter just fine and is ready for a pick.Chard

There we a few of our favorite fellows who are not buzzing as we are, so we went in to investigate.Honey CombOur beautiful bees seem to have been attacked by mice!!!  But the left heaps of gold behind!Honey #4 joel

A bit of honey should help with our allergies right?!

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So onward we go, counting our loses and our gains and we begin again!

 

Leaf Day!

IMG_3346Sunday Afternoon- What a great time to start seeds indoors!  Today would be a great day to start cool season greens inside – kale, cabbage, chard, lettuce… if you have a cold frame or even row cover and are ready to begin your outdoor watering routine.. you could also start all those things outside today (especially down south Amber!!)I am also starting my sunflower and pea shoot sprouts so we can have fresh greens asap!!

 

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I have to admit I am missing my own Planting calendar this season, so I dug up a few posts from my archives from the days before I ever made the glossy pretty calendar… So for this year I thought I would just share with you some of my informative blogs posts, already written and ready to go!!  My gift to you to jump start your growing season!

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Here is the Recap from my seeding class from years past

How to make Homemade Potting Soil

How to make Wooden Planting Flats

Garden Planning

Bed Prep

Also, if you are a more hands on learner- My dear friend Amanda will be teaching an indoor seeding class next weekend at the wonderful Ampersand Learning Center.  I am sure it will be super informative and get you growing!

There are also some cool classes Home Grown New Mexico is putting on this season too that I want to check out, including a cool looking one called Evolution Gardening/Revisiting the Victory Garden in the 21st century Awesome!!

So no shortage of things to learn and do these days!  Let’s get Growing!IMG_5210

The end of the season

This morning I glimpsed through this blog of a gardener gathering up her garden bounty before the last frost (you may have seen it too) and thought, I should really do that today… or tomorrow, or sometime soon.  Thoughts like that usually take me about a week to actually accomplish these days, but when I went out side I found little Jacky frost had already made his way to my door!!

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Sneaky bugger!! So there you have it, first frost ten days earlier than predicted here in New Mexico and even earlier than Maine… though FYI New Mexico and Maine have very similar growing seasons according to Elliot Coleman, (a genius of a farmer from Maine).

 

 

img_3434It was disappointing for a minute, but then honestly a huge relief!  My garden has been tremendous this summer, but I have been a less than impressive gardener.  In fact my garden has just started to make me sad, as one more thing I haven’t gotten to tend to these days, as babies occupy me day and night!

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So it all worked out, and surprisingly I worked for 2 hours straight thanks to my new babysitter (as the baby chair is so charmingingly named!) and a very beautiful day and good timing on my part, (post lunch pre-nap, well feed, energetic kids).  We all were actually in heaven and I had some fierce gusto for ruthlessly pulling any and every fruit I could see and then tearing down the wilted vines.

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The season is not completely over, as I hope to have greens till Christmas, but it felt darn good to clear the deck a little…. well  kind of, now the work is in the kitchen with 40lbs of ripe tomatoes, 50 pounds of Green ones (seriously someone please just take them off my hands). This has actually been one of the oddest and unproductive tomato years yet, but again, I am grateful cause I couldn’t have handled any more!

img_3653I have decided I am doing only freezing this year as canning with one adult and three tiny children is a down right bad idea in this house.  The good news is, there is always next year! So off to the kitchen I go, adios garden, thank you for all that you gave us it will  nourish us all year and now, with a sign of relief we say good night!

Santa Fe Harvest Swap 2016

Honestly I am amazed I have pulled off raspberry picking, apple picking, salsa making & cider pressing this season with my three tiny people at my side.  It is only because I have had community to share and support the process, shepherd the children, carry the baskets, and wash up when the day is done.  I just can’t help myself but harvest like the mad woman I used to be even though I am often carrying one or two people while doing it.  There is nothing worse to me than to see food wasted, dropping on the ground when we live in a world where so many go hungry.  It just isn’t right and my deep instinct to gather and feed lives on even in my weariness these days…..so_3033

The time has come again to share what the good garden gave ya.

Come join us Oct 23rd for the 4th annual Santa Fe Harvest Swap to share and swap the bounty of the season!!

Sign up here and I will see you soon!!

And if you can’t make it but have more than you can eat this season, please remember to share with those who need it, there are so many who would be deeply nourished by your care.

Good Times

Most of you who read my blog know me and my family pretty well…and if you are new here (thanks to Soulemama’s sharing of our garden), Welcome, so glad you came!!

I write here mostly about gardening because that is what inspires me most….but these days life has been so intensely full, gardening is on the back burner, as I have been home with three children while my husband has been working in New Zealand for two weeks.

Yes there are all kinds of hard things going on in the world and I really have nothing to complain about, but if you have been one of the many angels to grace our homestead this summer with a meal, a helping hand or to whisk the kids off for a walk, you know that things have gotten pretty ferrell, somewhat chaotic and at times a bit bleak around here.

IMG_2695First it was “WE are out numbered” now it is just Me who is outnumbered and I simply can’t help and hold three tiny people all at once.  7 am and 7pm are intense to say the least!  I have only made it through because so many of you have helped us, and for this I am alive today, but there is that moment where every mother realizes, ‘ No one can really help me, because no one else is mommy to these guys and sometimes only mommy will do.’  Though luckily we have found some pretty close seconds!!

IMG_2635This afternoon, only minutes after our helping angel had departed, I found myself saying, “Where is Eva” one too many times.  This little 18 month old critter is getting into everything!! But finally after weeks on end of overwhelm, my stress broke into laughter ….

First we were peacefully doing laundry together when I stepped out for just a minute and returned I couldn’t find her,  ” Where is Eva?” I said.

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She had figured out how to get into the dryer and I hear her priceless, ” HI” and the door swung open and there she was, happy as a calm in her new favorite spot!

We finished the laundry and I had to sit down to nurse Oakley, within minutes I asked again” Where is Eva?”

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Of course, throwing my neatly chopped Chard all over the Kitchen floor!!  (Jaengus thought this was especially funny).  ‘Awesome’ I thought, and picked it up off the floor, “I am the only one who will really eat it anyways!”

It went on like this all evening, she was on a role… while I was trying to get dinner on the table I passed her water to hold her over…and one quick trip into the kitchen and back…and what do we have here, a baby fountain!! Soaking herself entirely in a matter of seconds!

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After dinner, ” Where’s Eva?” Now she has crawled up on the log, figured out the spray bottle and is giving herself and bath… IMG_2817

“Where is Eva?”now she has caught herself with her net…IMG_2810

There were of course a few things I couldn’t photograph, like slipping off to the backyard and climbing to the top of the swing set by herself and when I spotted her shouting “YEAH!!” at the top of her lungs and bopping up and down inches from the edge!! ( heart attack for me! not a photo opp!)

And while we were laying down to bed she wandering off for one last “Where is Eva?” for the day …. tearing up toilet paper bleery eyed of course!IMG_2820

Oh Eva are you a Cartoon or a real child? Either way you make me laugh when I want to cry and I love you for that, because sometimes that is all a mother can do!

 

Finding the New Normal

It has been over a month since Oakley was born, my third baby, that makes 3 under 5 years old.  I gotta tell you, this isn’t parenting thing isn’t for the faint of heart.  It is taking everything I have got…and I am getting a huge amount of help from my family and have been feed almost every day by friends, bless them all!!  Sometimes I do lay awake in bed sweating and think “what am I going to do when the meal train stops, Joel goes back to work and mom goes home!!”  …..But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  For now it is time for me and the family to find the new normal.  What is the flow of our days when mommy has to tend to baby’s need before breakfast? IMG_2295How do we navigate one small lap when all three kids MUST be held at the same moment, or worse need a diaper change at the same moment?  I admit it, sometimes one, or two does cry a bit while they learn to wait for mommies free hand and I must learn to spread my heart so wide to hold them all with it when my hands can’t reach.  It is stressful and I am tired, it is true, but I am finding new tricks, like singing more, as they can all hear my song equally.  I am holding them more and being even less ambitious than ever though that does kill me cause often all I want to do is get SOMETHING, ANYTHING done from start to finish without interuption…But it is getting easier everyday and we are all finding our way together.  I am getting many moments witnessing the beauty of my children while sitting breastfeeding and watching them play, something I honestly rarely do ( sit that is!)

Life is slow, but steadying and summer is the perfect time to let things unfurl and find their own equilibrium.  So I guess all this to say, no news is good news here from the nest.

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Wrapped in love

To stray from the rise of gardening spirit for just one moment, I simply must share that today is my daughters first birthday.  She was born in the evening, in front of the fire and her birth was indeed a fire birth if you will.  She is turning out to be a little fireball herself and I simply couldn’t love her more!  I love her so deeply, as all mothers do, but I am just astounded at how much she has taught me in this short year.

Her first lesson to me was “you can not do this alone”.  I love community and people but I can also be quite the loner, especially when it comes to hard tasks and challenges.  She told me loud and clear, “Gather the troops mama, you will need them this time around!”

So I boldly did.  I asked for something that required attention, care, focus and most of all time, which is solid gold to most mamas I know.

IMG_0310I asked them to weave together a net for Eva and I to catch us when we fell, ( which we in fact did about 5 weeks into her life).

IMG_0504I asked them to knit us a blanket to warm us with motherly love in the coldest, darkest days of the year (and what felt like the darkest days of my entire life at the time).

IMG_0321I asked for them to stitch us a rainbow bridge which we could cross over, into the many phases of our life together….

IMG_0502And so they did.  Without any hesitation, they got to work, rummaging through their stash baskets, finding a simple form for all to fit into, holding gatherings to knit and laugh and do what needed to be done.

 

Stitch by stitch, square by square we all prepared for the day of her birth, together in our thoughts of this little girl who would come and be a part of our woven fabric of womanhood.

Each hue handed to me with a prayer and a kiss tucked inside.

And then, ever so carefully and communally, the rainbow was woven together, stronger than any net ever made, brighter than all the colors in the universe, and warmer then any blanket on the coldest of winter nights.

I had it to lay my baby on the day she arrived in my arms.

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It caught us and cradled us, warmed us and brightened us, all because of the women who rose to create it.  They kept coming too, with food and flowers and friendship and still do, even a year later, and I have no doubt they will be with us till the end.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 11.09.09 PMOn this day I weep in love not only for my daughter and her wisdom but for the women who rise every time, in every way, every single day to do what needs to be done, to care for, to feed, to comfort, to celebrate, even to scold.  These are the women of the whole world and I am proud to raise up yet another woman on this spinning earth who I know will be taught by the very the finest, to do what needs to be done and to not be afraid to ask for help when it is needed.  I am proud of my women today and proud to be a woman who loves so freely, so fiercely and so necessarily!

I was also taught by my daughter, to give thanks for what you are grateful for and to sing that thanks to the world.  So sisters, Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, there is not much more to say than I love you.

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Adapted by Katie Feldspausch from ‘The Tapestry Poem’ by Corrie ten Boom

My life is but a weaving,
Between my world and me.
I cannot change the color
For Life works steadily.

The dark threads are as needful
In the skillful weavers Hand
Aside bright threads of rainbow
The world’s stitched up in my plan.

Often times It weaves in mystery,
And Many days of cheer,
Wrapping it all around me,
My world is far from fear.

Now the room is silent
And the wool will lay to rest,
The life weaved in this blanket,
Will forever be so blessed.

  • Read to me with the gifting of the blanket

Processing

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I have been doing a lot of processing lately- mostly thoughts & emotions, struggles & triumphs, births and deaths.  I have never really used this space to share these things, mostly because I am not really sure how.  When big things happen I don’t always know how to put words to them, I live through my senses and images come more naturally to me then words.  IMG_8720

I am not always sure what to do with all that life offers and doing is what I know best.  I feel good when I do, I get my hands in the earth and it grounds me.  I grow food and I feed and thus am feed.  IMG_8714

I bring life, but sometimes it is simply taken away.  There are times in life when things are out of my hands, I get disoriented and somewhat lost.

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Lately this has been true, I have been thrown off by what life has thrown at me and the way I process is by doing things that make sense to me.  Lately there has been a lot of processing internally and externally in this processing I am finding healing.

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If food is medicine then maybe food processing is therapy.  So in my muddled mind when my hands can do I am made whole again.  So picking and processing I go. Grinding the berries, sorting the seeds, whirling the blender. IMG_8766

Time to harvest the bounty and make the food and I feel it healing all the confusion of the world.  So I give thanks for the ability to be processed by my processing of the food that will feed in the months to come.

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