Sunday, June 5, 2022

A Day In June


“what is so rare as a day in June…”

There is nothing quite like a beautiful June day…the brilliant blue of the sky, dotted with puffy white clouds that float by as the scent of freshly cut hay or the perfume of honeysuckle wafts through on the gentle breeze. Birds singing, flowers blooming…ah, yes!

This is summertime in all its golden promise, before the heat and humidity send us scrambling for a cooler spot and the bugs and garden pests cause us any sort of aggravation and discouragement.  

This year first of June seems significant in another way…

We spent June 1, 2021 at the hospital waiting and waiting and waiting for the first surgery. (after his initial emergency room visit on mothers’ day and subsequent unsuccessful treatments) He wouldn’t be discharged until 12:30AM. (which made for a truly “interesting” trip home) This began the seemingly endless saga that included countless scans, visits to the Emergency room, surgeries and doctor visits. If he wasn’t IN a procedure, he was recovering, or awaiting the next one. It was an arduous ordeal, to say the least, with little opportunity to do anything else.

Eventually, he was referred to another surgeon at another medical center. This meant more tests and another surgery…that’s where we left off last month. He had the planned surgery, but they needed to wait a couple of weeks to decide what was next.

And, then on June 1, 2022, he went for yet another scan.

This time they were looking to see what the kidney function was after all the procedures and without the stent in place anymore. It was almost certain that they would not do the involved surgery that had been discussed (and the reason for going to the university specialist) but, there had been talk of removing the kidney, if it had failed completely.

Long story, short…the kidney is still functioning…although barely. But, there is no reason for any further surgeries. No kidney removal, no major surgery…he made it through.

When you get to the “we’ll just check on this in six months” stage of an acute health issue…it is cause for rejoicing, believe me.

So…June 1st this year is cause for some sort of celebration. Or at the very least a big sigh of relief. We did it! We reached the end of yet another saga. Now, maybe...just maybe we can think about other things for a while...

morning light on fuschia blossom

While we are in the odd place of adjustment to a life without the Market…still. We haven’t come up with any great and interesting new plan. (maybe we won’t) Between the pandemic and a year-long illness, things still feel unsettled and strange. The world in general seems a hostile and hateful place. However, there are still amazing things in the natural world that surrounds us.

It is said that being in nature grounds you…puts you in touch with yourself and the earth and just makes you feel better.

I am grateful that I live in a place where this is possible…that I have a life where this is part and parcel of every single day. A place where I can make a conscious decision NOT to focus on the awful, horrible, very bad stuff that is happening in our world today. A place of peace and beauty…and quiet tranquility.

Where I can acknowledge this “one perfect moment”. Enjoy it. Savor it.

So…I want to share that with y’all today.

baby grapes

the "woods" beside the farm

backlit fern

begonia on the front porch

angus cow taking a Sunday swim

bumblebee in the comfrey


(excuse the quality-it was 6am)
button buck in the barnlot
yes, he IS sticking out his tongue
and he very possibly went INSIDE the barn

calf reflected in a pond

catch-fly plant under the birdfeeder

country kitty

our "cute" little garden
this is the smallest the garden has ever been!

making hay across the valley
been watching this process, in this field for probably 20 years now


downie woodpecker in a fencepost

late frost on a dandelion

fuschia on the front porch

hanging basket flowers

indigo bunting 

inside a chard plant


locust blossoms




looks like I wasn't the only one checking on the fruit at the lane...

mulberries in the sunlight

oops, they saw me!
then they disappeared

multiflora rose on the fencepost
I don't care if this is a "weed" 
it's so pretty and smells SO good

sunlit rose in front yard

Come what may…the beauty of nature is always here…all around us…just waiting for us to notice. (or sometimes, not the deer, the bunny and the birds)

the first asparagus

little bunny washing his face

catbird watching me


fuschias after the rain

tiny mushrooms in the spinach

being Karma

baby ladybug

melon blossom

miniature petunias

morning sky

petunia on a post

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!

Canadian goose family out for a Sunday morning stroll




Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Sunday Walk in May 5 1 2022


 It’s the first of May! 

Are you celebrating International Workers’ Day? May Day? getting ready for Cinco de Mayo? 

 Maybe none of those seem quite right for you. Here is an interesting article on the origins of the holiday. May Day history While I will try not to get on my soapbox or go off on a political rant, I should say I am incredibly grateful for the people who fought (some literally died) to make sure the rest of us had reasonable work hours and weekends. While I didn’t have a weekend off for a large portion of my adult life, I am truly glad some people did. And, I am glad those folks spent a portion of their time (and paycheck) at the Farmers’ Market. Without weekend shoppers, I do not know how we would have made a living from this tiny piece of land, or had the opportunity for life-changing experiences.

 Whether you’re observing a holiday, or catching up on chores…I’m going to guess that no one is where we are right now. The one year anniversary of what I have begun to refer to as “the kidney saga” is rapidly approaching. In “celebration”, Tom has yet another surgery scheduled for this week. 

 Yep. STILL in the midst of the “kidney saga”… 

If someone had told me a year ago that we would spend over 12 months trying to get Tom’s kidney stone issues righted, I would have laughed…or at the very least argued with you. I thought I knew what they did for kidney stones. I had a kidney stone years ago, I felt horrible and thought I would die from the pain, threw up a few times, drank a lot of water, passed the stone and went on with life. I credit going cold-turkey on my caffeinated power drinks with the fact I haven’t had to endure that again. Truly THE worst pain ever. And, I’ve done the whole “un-medicated” childbirth deal. If it was any more serious, they would just “blast” it and the patient would be good to go. No real big deal. 

Anyway, such is not always the case, sadly. 

While everyone else is “getting back to normal” and putting the pandemic anxiety in the rear-view, Tom has spent the past year either in excruciating pain, going to the hospital, in the hospital, having another test or scan, on his way home from the hospital, recovering from surgery, and/or anticipating another test or scan. He has literally been to the hospital campus 25 times… 

That’s how we found ourselves heading “over the mountain” the other day for yet another pre-surgery testing/registration in anticipation of this Thursday’s surgery. 

Going to UVA medical center is never good news. From here it means that our local hospital cannot provide the level of care necessary to potential healing. All too often it means things are dire. (and dire is NOT a word anyone wants to use in relation to their health and/or well-being) While I am truly grateful that such care is possible and that we have the ability to obtain it, I can think of innumerable ways we would rather spend our time. (and money)

And, it’s beyond difficult to be grateful when you are worried, and have been worried for…well, a year. (just with this particular issue) Although, for the most part, we’ve endured the “self-isolation” fairly well. Meaning that our sanity is more or less intact, (although that was somewhat questionable before) and we’re still getting along. We’ve found plenty to do to keep us occupied. And, in case you wondered, among the FOUR pages of pre-surgery instructions is a paragraph that tells the patient (and anyone else living in the home) to “self-isolate” for 14 days before a procedure. With so many procedures in the past 12 months, it’s needless to say we are now probably perceived as total hermits. 

On the other hand, it’s Spring. 

nothing says spring quite like apple blossoms

Glorious, beautiful Spring… 

Spring that included an unexpected snowstorm not quite two weeks ago that left about 3 inches or so of wet, sloppy ice/snow/sleet all over everything. Then, it got brutally cold…well below freezing. Then, it got SO hot. And, last week, the first severe thunderstorm of the season spawned a small tornado not far from here and dropped nickel sized hail that covered the ground in some locations… 

Here are a few shots from the unexpected snow:

So…maybe spring is not so glorious after all. Or, maybe it’s just not what I (or anyone else) was expecting. 

That’s it. Expectations are the single biggest cause of disappointment and heartache. Maybe we should lower our expectations, or at the very least be far more open to other possibilities. 

Recently I took a course in “Writing through your Trauma” with Lisa Cooper Ellison  .  It was a GREAT course. Part of the assigned reading was a chapter from Dr. Fred Luskin’s book, Forgive, for Good. The one chapter was so enlightening that I had to buy (and read) the entire book.

I have read a LOT of books in the past year, but this one is at the top of my recommendation list. Dr. Luskin talks a lot about our “unenforceable rules”…those things we demand or expect from ourselves, life, other people. By allowing these rules to dictate what we will accept, we set ourselves up to be miserable and have problematic relationships. It has given me a lot to think about. 

So, I suppose the imposition of this “self-isolation” has been a good thing in some ways. 

 While life is nothing like I expected it to be at this point…I have found that accepting it as it is (or at least attempting to) and finding the small positives here and there make it far more bearable than if we simply railed against it all the time. 

In that vein, here are some of the sights from here on the hill… 

peach blossom




birch catkins

pear blossoms


chipping sparrows


wild crabapple tree

maple "helicopters" in the making

chicken feather

first strawberry

first tulip

glorious tulips




daffodils after the cold

Mr. Bluebird checking out the housing market

apple blossoms (before the cold)

peach blossoms


American robin

rufus-sided towhee

end of the glorious tulips

If nothing else, Spring is beautiful and full of possibilities. 

baby grapes

apple blossoms with what I hope is a baby apple

asparagus is coming
(don't mind the weeds)

baby mulberries

snap peas 
(Yay,the mouse didn't eat all the seeds!)

 I truly hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 

new life at sunrise
(calf at the farm across the way)

 Here’s hoping you’re finding some little bits of happiness and encouragement along your way. 

Thanks for reading.