Sunday, May 19, 2013

looking a lot like spring: a pea picklin’ diary

Really gotta get organized for Saturday’s fair at Algomah Acres.

Last night read Daphne du Maurier’s “The Birds,” the short story from which Hitchcock concocted the movie. For years, du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn has been a favorite of mine. Now, I’m discovering everything else she wrote.

Got organized, and a good thing, too. Carol of Art U.P. Style called with a nice candle order. She’ll be setting up at the FinnFest Tori in June, taking some of my beeswax with her.

Cloudy and in the 50s all day, then about 4:30 the sky cleared and the temperature quickly rose to 70. The petunias I potted up are enjoying that. And the daffodils seem happy.

The garage window petunias.

Such a wind! All day blowing hard with random gusts swirling things around. A couple of daffs were knocked down, so brought them inside, in a vase. Also brought the petunias in, except for the ones secured in the garage window. Sunny and warm; a Severe Weather Alert for conditions ripe for fire.

As he does on nice days, Elliott walked with me to the river, though he doesn’t really walk with me. First, he lags back, then, he barrels ahead, brushing my right leg as he passes. (Buster loved doing that with Queenie, giving her a little hip check as he whooshed by.) Once in front of me by a few yards, Elliott stops, sits, waits, I pass, then he does it all again.

The river has receded, leaving the bank I walk down covered with sand about halfway up. This has greatly cleared and leveled the trail. In the sand, deer prints. This morning, to clear head room, I snapped dead branches off cedars. Down toward the end of the trail a large patch of trout lilies is popping up. Elliott wandered around with me, then made a running leap at a tree, grabbed onto the trunk about four or five feet up, hung there a moment, bounced back to earth.

I wish Buster’s 7- or 10- or 15-year-old self was with us. Maybe he and Elliot would chase each other up and down the trail.

Patch of trout lilies.
First tick: 4:55 p.m.

First hummingbird: 7:55 a.m. He (or she) hovered right outside the window here by my chair and tapped at the window a couple of times. I put out the feeder, and late this afternoon I sat on the porch with a glass of wine and watched two hummies maneuvering. The feeder is large and has a roosting bar with about eight sippie holes all around, but if one hummie was asettin’ and sippin’ the other would pull up short, hover, zip away. Elliott sat with me, either unaware of or uninterested in the little birds.

The day started with a bird adventure even before hummie showed up—Elliott brought a live one, a wren, into the cabin. He let it go within moments, and I yelled. Elliott ran upstairs. The bird bounced against a living room window then latched onto a screen. I opened the front door and began moving slowly behind the bird. It flew into the kitchen, bounced against the big west window, then perched on the sill, which is below the kitchen table. I opened the kitchen door, got down on my hands and knees to look the bird in the eye, and quietly explained that his best move was to hightail it on out of here. And there he went.

All set for tomorrow (or so I think). First market of the year.

Up in the old choir loft, a fiddle player rollicked while down below people chatted and browsed and squeezed fresh bread. They sniffed soaps and beeswax and stood back to admire paintings and etched glass and ran fingers over soft, handwoven rugs. They listened to the lilt of clay ocarinas. They eyed gemstones and jewelry and pepper plants and leeks. They were tempted by peanut butter cookies and froggie cupcakes and samples of cinnamon mead and ginger honey. They learned about worm tea and worm castings. All the while, paper cranes dangled from driftwood, gently bobbing to the beat. When lunch was offered, people sat and ate chili and quiche.

Outside the old church, it drizzled and rained.

Who’s that guy in the window?

Last night, after the fair, I was pooped. With a fire glowing in the woodstove, I stretched out on the sofa and flipped through movies on Netflix, finally settling on “My Six Loves” with Debbie Reynolds. It always intrigues me when an actress plays an actress, and I wonder what it’s like being an actress playing an actress who finds six grungy but adorable kids and one mangy but lovable mutt living in an old shed at her little-used country home in Connecticut. Then meeting the handsome local preacher, who at first seems to be the gardener. No doubt where this is going: the actress, the preacher, the six kids, the dog, and the actress’s ever-present-funny-lady sidekick become a family. Are a family. They just have to realize it, and be it. The movie is full of mad-cap scenes and familiar faces, including David Janssen, Cliff Robertson, Alice Ghostley, Jim Backus, and the dog who played Horrible on an episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show, to name just a few. There’s one song, and toward the end there’s a fuzzy close-up of Debbie’s face, which I didn’t think was really necessary to the scene, but it fit the movie.

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