I read a book several years ago that includes a line I've never forgotten:
Never complain about anything, not even the weather.
I remember that line often, but that doesn't mean it has absorbed yet. I do complain sometimes... Especially when we're breaking heat records here and God hasn't taken a turn watering the garden in weeks (careful now, I might get a flood for that!).
I'm not complaining when I say this, but...it's blasted hot down here these days!
Okay, so maybe I am complaining a little bit. Finding some forgotten photos of Spring today didn't help me feel any cooler.
Canadians, enjoy our most pleasant weather. We want it back very soon!
These are busy days on the Gulf Coast. The farmer is busy, the birds are busy, the festival-planners are busy, even the plants are busy...
...everything, it seems, is busy with something Springy.
I'm mostly "busy" with being lazy in the sunshine and breezes, because I know that soon Summer will come and along with that the bugs will come and the sun will get so close so as to smother me (or so it will feel). When I'm not busy-lazy, I'm hurrying up and planting while it's "time" for such things as planting.
Our family garden usually gets about as far as you see there, or perhaps a spindly bit further, but that's about it. I don't know if it's that we lose interest or that we need to do more to the soil (or perhaps it has something to do with that "laziness," hmm?).
But this year, thanks to the current economic crisis whatever, I think I'll try a bit harder to get these babies to grow to adolescence if not full-fledged maturity.
I should have waited until the official First Day of Summer (Friday, right?), but when I get a whim, I get a whim, so I switched my banner out tonight and turned the fonts as close to periwinkle blue ~ Florida sky blue ~ as I can get them. "Summery" is the word I think of when I see our Little Gal peeking over a railing at her Daddy's softball game recently.
And "Summery" is how I felt today, when, for the first time since my ankle injury, I was able to walk down our backyard hill to see my chickens (one of whom surprised us with a chick trailing behind her!) and my garden, full of zinnias that make me smile and rambling vines like yellow squash, watermelon and zucchini.
Here in the Deep South our weather shines best from October to May, but there isn't much to complain about the (hot, humid) Summer days, if you stop to pay attention to what's good.
So why can't we celebrate Summer a few days early?
Since they are too young to do the baby garden plants much damage, we took a bucket of chicken to the garden. I know, I could have said "we took our baby chicks..." but don't you think "bucket of chicken" is more hilarious? (I am so easily self-amused, let me tell you)
Most were scared to come out. I guess baby garden plants would look like huge trees to a teeny thing.
This one looks particularly confused.
That fellow (er, gal, we hope) above is a "Jersey Black Giant" breed. We haven't had that type of chicken before, but our little guy wanted his chickens to be black ones.
The ones below are all Ameraucana, or Auraucana, chickens. They are also called the Easter Egg Chickens by many (purists don't like this, but it's fine by me). This breed lays blue and green eggs, and ones that are rather pinkish. We have a few grown chickens of this breed and love those gals for their predictability (I want to know I have eggs waiting in the coop in the afternoon!), good mothering (if you so choose to allow it), and a generally peaceful attitude (always a desired thing in a barnyard chicken coop).
He isn't a kid who would strike you as creative. He's rough and tough, not afraid to carry around dead baby snakes (sorry), catch lizards, and get dirty; he plays (too much) Xbox, Wii, computer (I know...not needed...but Daddy works at an electronics superstore, so what can I do?). He's just generally all-boy tough.
Looking at him, you just wouldn't guess he's creative, too.
But aren't we all, really? Creative? No matter who we are, we're creative at something. It's just that so many of us have met with critics or gathered inhibitions along life's way until we no longer believe we can do anything well. So we say, "I'm not creative."
That's sad, because it's just not true. Children aren't born with those inhibitions. They naturally want to create, not worrying over whether they can make something well or not, until someone (even if just the t.v.) lets them know - or somehow instills the doubts - that they aren't particularly good at creating.
I don't want our kids to feel that way. ever. So for them, I try to offer freedom to create and freedom to follow whims. We keep things around for spontaneous creativity: tape, scissors, writing instruments, and plenty of other tools an artiste might need.
Our little guy, who is a natural pyromaniac, melted the end of a PVC pipe over several months' worth of bonfires until one day it looked like a head to him, especially with the addition of a pine cone attached with (of course!) duct tape.
He added a fabric-scrap scarf and cable wire as floppy, skinny arms.
The scarecrow and his maker's shy smile greeted me in the garden, where in a serious tone he asked if I'd like a "sculpture" for my garden. He added, in his 8yo innocence, "I think it's probably worth $200, but you can just have it. If you like it."
Why, yes, I would indeed. And yes, I do like it, very much. Together we found the perfect spot for a sculpture-scarecrow, in the corner of a raised bed planted with zinnia seeds.
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