Saturday, April 30, 2016
I tightened the chain a bit, loaded supplies in the Mule, and went to the road. I'm starting at one end of our place and working my way across. There were a few little cedars Juan had cut that were tangled in the fence so I cut those out and threw them inside the fence.
I had a second gate put in on the road because there was no way to access half of the properly without going through the longhorns' pen. There is a cedar on each side of it just outside the gate. Juan, the contractor that cut the cedar, hand trimmed them on one side. He would have done more but I was ready to be finished with contractors.
I was almost finished cutting for the day when my chain jumped the bar. I got it back on and was up and running again!
This was my first time doing the cutting. I sure missed my partner today but I found I had learned a lot working with him out here for 26 years. Of all the work we did out here, cutting cedar was the thing we loved doing the most. It gives instant gratification and opens up spaces, maybe a view. We mostly cut in the cooler months and every time a cold wind blows in I remember those times and feel the urge to load up the Mule.
We always felt closer to nature doing this than anything else we did here. Working a while, then taking a break, sitting in the shade drinking water, and listening to the wind rustling the cedars. That smell they release when they move.
And tomorrow and next week I hope to do more of the same!
Thursday, April 28, 2016
I've been gone for a few days so when I got home it seemed like the garden had really grown!
I planted one little nasturtium for my mom, who loved them. My Papa planted them for her every year when we were kids. One of the rare tender mercies he showed his daughter. It has its first bloom!
The garden path I added has settled and hardened. When I had the new fence put up the gate was moved to the orchard end so I could get the lawnmower in there without going through the vegetable garden. I like how it adds another element to that section.
The Texas Bird of Paradise is showing off by the bunkhouse. It's only two years old and it can take the cold weather where the Pride of Barbados variety can't.
Antelope Horn Milkweed, a native wildflower the Monarch butterfly caterpillars need to survive. We have several that come up in the yard every year.
We've had some rain so things are green here. The live oaks have put back out and the grass is growing, making Woodrow and Gus happy.
In the vegetable garden the tomatoes are blooming, the corn and cucumbers are up, and the peppers, squash, onions, cilantro, and pinto beans are growing. Something has eaten the basil. A dill plant came up from last year's seed; I cut some to put on potatoes and green beans for supper tonight.
The grapes are loaded with little clusters of blooms and we have a few peaches, not many, and the little plum tree has lots of plums for its size.
Looks like we've got the start of a pretty good gardening year!
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The rain woke me up, blowing loudly against the windows. I tried to go back to sleep, to pick the dream back up. Sometimes if I'm only half awake I can get back to my dreams. But the wind and rain were persistent and I never could go back and find him. The dream just evaporated.
It's been a crummy week. Lots of things going on that have made me feel sad and overwhelmed. Some big, some small. But even the little things seem determined to pile on. The lawnmower won't start and I'm in the process of learning to change the spark plug, waiting on the rain to clear out. Which shouldn't be hard after I've already learned to change the oil and replace the battery in the Mule. And the new washer makes a squeaking noise, like a belt squeaking or something. I'm ignoring that right now because it's not causing problems yet.
I used to have a sign that read "it's not the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe." I feel like one more thing going wrong, no matter how small, will be the one that does me in.
Everyone has these weeks, I know. I'm not special in that. But it's been that kind of week for me. It'd be pretty sad if the woman who completed her room addition almost singlehandedly was done in by a squeaky washer.
This afternoon late I walked back to the ridge, hoping to find some peace. It's been cloudy all day and the low light makes all the new leaves on the oaks such a bright green it looks unreal. As if someone edited the photo to an unnatural shade. I didn't find the peace I was looking for though I found some beauty.
On the way back I stopped to pick up a little skull fragment from one of the deer Rick or the boys shot in the last few years. We had a place back on the hill where we put out the share for the scavengers. When the cedar was cut this was cleared and the bone fragments are scattered.
Like the fragments of my life.
"I almost felt you touching me just now, I wish I knew which way to turn and go.......if I could only fly, if I could only fly, I'd bid this place goodbye to come and be with you. But I can hardly stand and I got no place to run, another sinking sun and one more lonely night."