This Summer, Pat has been teaching the kids how to cook dinner and desserts. I am so grateful that everyone enjoys cooking, learning new recipes, and most importanly, eating!
Here is a drawing of Abe chopping potatoes to be roasted.
We've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen not cooking too. Since the downstairs has become HQ during this heat and humidity. It's been so hot that we have decided to begin a taco tasteoff. We are going to try tacos at a number of local restaurants and determine the best. In particular, we are looking for the best Al Pastor tacos near us.
It's the best kind of research project for sure!
What do you like to eat and/or cook when it's too hot to turn the oven on?
We have inherited lovely wheelbarrows, and this is one of them.
It has beautiful rust flowers eating through the acidic green paint.
And as useful as it s for hauling manure or rubble, I get so much pleasure out of its form, its design. .
It sounds a bit strange for me to say that I adore this wheelbarrow. So, I drew it. It's the most at home in Summer, I think!
do you have tools that speak to you?
In the garden, Penelope snips some lettuce for dinner. She might also share some with her guinea pig, Cinnamon. Behind her a bed of cilantro and dill has taken over and gone to flower. Too bad we don't have a salsa and pickle factory 😣
One of the many treasures we inherited at Spring Bird is this old school bell from 1886.
The Bartholomews installed it to use for retreats and gatherings. A leader will ring it to signal to all of the wandering retreat goers to come back, to regroup.
I will use it to call to Pat to come from the upper meadow nuttery, or to call the kids from the tree house. .
And occasionally wasps like to make their home inside of it.
The Bartholomews left a lot of other bells for us. Some ceramic hanging outside the house, and some small and meant for Swiss cows.
Martha Bartholomew would place a basket of bells outside the front door of the house, which does not have a doorbell. .
She would wait and see which visitor chose which bell to ring.
The night before we signed for the house, I dreamt that I gave Martha a bell - the kind a teacher would have on her desk. And this bell had no clacker. It was a silent bell.
I felt like buying Spring Bird was in a way taking away Martha's voice. I told her of my dream, and she, in all her wisdom, said you are my voice now.
I think we are part of this special club that gets to inhabit this patch of land, care for it, tend to it, love it, receive its love for us and share it with our communities.
I am so grateful and honored to be part of its story.
And you know, sometimes I ring the bells just to hear them.
This frog illustration is from the #summerissue of Woolgathering. I wrote an essay about my joy of catching frogs and releasing them at farm pond.
The experience always began in fear but ended in fun.
Swipe to see a toad that has been hanging out by the backdoor. .
I love hearing them croak and sing. And there are quite a few frogs swimming in the old pool. But that's a post for another day!
Did you ever catch frogs or toads?
This is a drawing of Pat and my love fern. We chose ferns instead of flowers for our wedding, and we have managed to keep one alive with us for 16 years!
The thing about our love fern is that it gets really dry in winter and loses a lot of the leaves. We keep misting it to remind it of warmer seasons, and when it seems to look half brown and crunchy, the seasons inevitably change. Spring returns the sun, which brings back the green.
And Summer brings back the humidity and warmth that makes the love fern lush and lovely. And it transfers to outside!
Occasionally we have to repot the love fern - to give it more room to grow. .
Somehow it keeps enduring.
16 years ago I could have never imagined that we have not only this love fern, but so many amazing, magical ferns at Spring Bird!!
We are SO fortunate to share our space with these beautiful, ancient plants! .
Do you have a love fern, or a love rodendendrum, or a love succulent?
We have a small horse barn at the edge of our property. Carved into its cement floor are the names of the former horse, Jenny, and her owners. .
It is perfect. .
And even though there are no horses in it now, when I am near, I feel a certain calmness and connection to a former way of living, one connected to animals, to seasons, and to cycles of life.
This is a drawing of Pat scooping feed for the #saxonyducks , currently grazing in the meadow.
He and the kids recently cleaned out the barn after bunnies passed away. .
It's time to make room for whatever is next! Probably just mice for now! .
But I have dream plans for this space. . . .
So. . . One of my passions is imagining stories about my cats. The kids and I giggle over cat backstories and love interests and all sorts of wild adventures that the cats might be engaged with. And as animals have come into our lives, our stories have expanded to include neighborhood cats, a hedgehog, a guineapig, and now a dog.
Many of you know of the Hey Ninja comic videos that I was posting awhile ago but had discontinued because of other commitments.
Well, those comic videos have evolved into a new project, the Feed Your Cat video series, which will tell stories about nature, curiosity, and taking care of one another during uncertain times.
This is my first video, which is riddled with errors and typos. Please forgive me. Sometimes done is better than perfect.
It's my intention to release these videos weekly , but I am thinking that might be more than I can handle. So, we shall see how it goes. Let's hope for every other week.
Please share with the kids in your life that might be interested and of course, Marbles and Ninja would be truly disappointed if I did not remind you to FEED YOUR CATS!
PS A Big Thank You to Penelope for being my superior voice actor and editor.
What a joy it was to spend the day building animals at the Plaster Cloth Animal Workshop at Spring Bird's Cottage. This workshop was part of the A Season To Make Workshop Series , which seeks to connect community with creativity and nature.
We began by choosing an Animal Card from the Medicine Card Deck by Jamie Sams, as a means to connect more deeply and spiritually with the animal world and the animal in us.
Then, we dove in to the mess of making armatures and slapping plastercloth onto our sculptures. We giggled and laughed through the lumps and bumps.
Making art can often lead to our feeling out of control, but we must trust the process. It will be okay. It might not be what we expected, but it will be something we needed. That is what this workshop reminded me about artmaking.
I was so grateful to the four women who participated and trusted me to lead them through the plaster cloth process. Some of our animal friends are still works in process. So, I will hopefully be sharing updated pics when I receive them!!!!!
The Workshop Process
Join us for the next Workshop
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.