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. . . .
Well, it has been a long time coming, but we finally got a dog at Spring Bird. Even though we had been talking about it for years and have spent hours scrolling through Petfinder, getting a dog seemed to happen so quickly. We went to a shelter in Huntley and fell in love with Lucy right away. She greeted each of us and gave kisses and belly rubs away readily.
As someone who never had a dog growing up, it has been such a joy to watch my kids interact with a dog. While there is such joy in having a dog, we are also learning so much about how best to train her. In response, we have had to adjust some of our behaviors. My desire to walk more regularly has been pushed to the forefront with multiple walks a day with Lucy. We are keeping the floors picked up and sock free, and I'm finally getting the help I've always wanted in the kitchen keeping the floor clean - thanks to Lucy!
I'm looking forward to learning how having a dog will affect how we experience the seasons. Like having a baby, having a dog is helping me to see the world through different eyes. She is so curious! I am also quite enjoying having a companion and cuddly friend.
Below is a comic introducing Lucy to you! I hope you like it!!!!
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Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.