On Monday evening, I had written (what I thought was) a really good post about the bank holiday weekend when my laptop had a funny turn and I lost the whole thing just as I pressed publish. I just shut the laptop and put it away - there was nothing I could do to find my lost words.
This morning, Tuesday, I tried again, but my heart was not in it, I could not get my words to be as lyrical and expressive about my weekend as before - so I deleted my feeble attempt and instead got ready for work.
Now, at the end of the day, as the sky fades from a rich blue into a soft dusty shade of blue and peach I finally feel ready to try again. But this time with new wafflings and stories.
Funnily enough - I only got as far as that and ..... closed my laptop. All story telling having fizzled. Hopefully this attempt (now Wednesday afternoon) will sort that out :)
Most folk will have noticed the painted stones which have popped up around their local area, mostly painted by children during the lockdown. After the initial flush of cute pebbles, it had gone quiet and I must admit to missing not being able to find them.
So yesterday, four of us (yes we are all from one household!) sat round the dining room table and painted pebbles to our hearts content. You could hear a pin drop there was so much concentrating :D
This morning, along with a pile of huge sunflower seedlings and a forest of tomato seedlings, the pebbles were quietly put on our wall and over the course of the day have equally quietly been adopted - it has put such a smile on my face :)
Some of our painted pebbles never made it out on to the wall - they were kept however another painting day has been earmarked to supply some more smile makers - watch this space! xx
To be able to walk out of my home, into the garden.
To be able to walk the dog through countryside from our home.
To be able to listen to the birdsong and watch fledglings learning to fly.
To be able to work in my greenhouse, growing vegetables and salad for the family.
To be able to hug my immediate family and see (at a safe distance) my parents, friends and neighbours.
These are things I am truly grateful for.
Thank you xxx
***The first entry has come through via 'bloglovin' and unless you are a member you will have to sign in - very simple to do and will give you options to see new and different blogs from a different platform.
Blogging and blog reading (and the internet in general for that matter), seem to have taken a back seat recently - oh don't get me wrong, I still dip in, I still post, I still read articles and search for recipes and crochet patterns, however the lure of the garden, the invitation of a good book, the call of the crochet hook have been so much more enticing.
I have, despite the pandemic and all it's combined horrors, found reasons to be grateful and I know that others have done too - so, (with the gentle prompting of Purple Threads) I will be hosting a Five on Friday - Gratitude link up post.
If you have found small gems in your daily life which have made you smile or given you that boost that gets you through the day - a lovely email, a letter through the door, a wave through the window or shared a conversation over the hedge (at the prescribed government advised distance!) or seen a parent (or two) albeit in an airy and open space - these are things that can gladden your heart.
Do join in, it can be a simple list of joys or a longer waffle expressing your gratitude about something which has made you smile. I will be adding a link up below my list of 'smile-makers' - lets share that gentle happiness.
Sending hugs to those who need them and even those who don't!
Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.
Ok, firstly - thank you for all your wonderful comments about my last post - and to answer a few queries...
Yes - he is definitely a he...he 'is all there' with the appropriate boy bits (chortle)
No - I am not expecting a sudden influx of squirelly folk moving into the garden as the male has very little to do with upbringing of the kits apart from the initial one night stand while the female then leaves and finds a new home to set up the dray for the kits.
Latest update - the little fellow has been practising being all 'growed up' and has taken to burying supplies - like little pieces of bark in the wood shavings pile - like I say - practising hahah!
He has his breakfast from the nutfeeder round about 8ish am then he is off in to the little woodland that edges the bottom of our garden and runs along the cobbled lane. Occasionally through the day I will see him bouncing around the trees or in the garden then from about 4.30pm, the little guy scampers up his tree, has his last nibble on the feeder then goes to bed.... what a life!!
Oh and the title of today's post - What goes around comes around? Well....
Neighbour : I have a bag of plums in the freezer would you like them?
Me: Ooh yes please
Two bags of plums later and some frozen rhubarb already in my freezer = several jars of delicious jam.
Give neighbour a jar as a thank you
Lovely Mad-cat Lady : I was shopping and found these...
Me: ooh thank you (as I open a bag to find a box of cat treats)
Lovely Mad-cat Lady: They were a good price and thought your girls would like them .... bye!
A bit later, pop over to her house with a jar of plum jam to say thank you only to be given a bag full of lovely empty jam jars to use for the next batch of jam!
Me: Could I buy a dozen eggs off you?
Farmery type Neighbour: Yeah, but I don' want any money for them
Me: ooh thanks - can I bake you a cake?
Farmery type Neighbour : ah that will be good ta. I'll drop off the eggs later
One chocolate cake later - I'd 'paid' for my eggs. The following Sunday .... another dozen eggs appeared at the back door ..... so another cake was baked and I 'paid' for those too.
Another week passed, then another 18 eggs quietly appeared, so I paid with a third cake. Now, a wordless transaction occurs every Sunday - eggs for cake. (Victoria Sponge has been the favourite so far)
Allotment friend : I have some excess tomato seedlings - would you like them?
Me: ooh thanks can I swap them for some sunflower seedlings? - they have all germinated
Allotment friend : Great! I can put them in my allotment
Last night two pots of tomato seedlings appeared at the back gate - bushy healthy little plants, tomorrow the sunflowers go up to the allotment - win win
Me : Would you like me to crochet you a rainbow for your window
Mature Artist friend : Yes please, that would be very kind
A few days later, knock on his door, drop off the rainbow, step back. He opens and swaps the rainbow for the most beautiful sculpture he has made for me - out of discarded items which another friend of mine discovered whilst dealing with a deceased relative's house and garden.
I have always been an advocate for financial-free transactions - a system of gentle barter and at the moment it is going well, I am still working on 'interdependance' and break away from 'independence' driven by capitalism, the old normal is edging closer and already I can see folk desperately trying to claw it back. I realise that even if we all attempt 'The Good Life' we still have to rely on the greater world for a lot of our needs, however, by reducing and simplifying those needs - surely we reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our reliance of big business. We should be rather relying on friends, family and neighbours - making us all more self-reliant and 'interdependant'.
Just thoughts - which need to be actioned. How are you all coping? Can you see a way forward that is better than the 'old normal'? Or do you hanker for the way things were?
PS the neighbour with the freezer full of plums? He has nearly finished his jar and has hinted that he has more plums in the freezer ..... would I like them. Definitely!
I thought you'd like a quick update on the saga of the squizzers.
The smaller one very quickly recovered himself and reverted back to being a wilding and kept a sensible distance, he still would still come for food from the shelf Youngest made and then after a day or three - was gone.
The larger lad (the one with the bloodied nose and suspect concussion) hung around, quietly hiding in the foliage, following at a safe distance and quietly appearing and asking for something to eat. He struggled to get up the tree without slipping.
As he healed, his bravado blossomed - considering we wanted him to follow his brother and skip off to pastures new - he chose to stay.
I was concerned that as he now was conditioned to think humans = food = kindness etc that he would assume that all humans were 'safe'. So we kept him fed so that he would not go off and ask some one else while I thought how we could get him to 'rewild' safely.
Then I had an idea - if we had a way of feeding him where we, the humans, were not involved then hopefully he would not come to us when he was hungry but choose to 'feed himself' in safety...
And Youngest made it beautifully!
Once we'd filled it, he and I had a little helper....
A wee beastie who once he'd inspected the nutstore,
helped himself to one and scampered over to me,
Jumped up on my camera and nibbled to his heart's content!
The last three days have been lovely - he has 'fed himself' without having to find us, he has started to explore the garden and seems to be ranging further and further and being 'all grown up and brave'.
There has been one lapse in that transition into being a wild squirrel and that happened today....
We had a short sharp shower and the garden was wet with dripping plants hanging low. I was down at the end of the garden emptying a weed bucket into the compost when I heard a rustling in the trees behind our fence. I looked up and saw a small and slightly soggy squizzer. He sat up and put both paws up to me - ran up my arm and sat on my shoulder, holding on to my hair. He quietly chattered at me. So I walked back up the path to 'his' tree, lifted my hand up and pressed it to the bark. The little lad scampered up my arm and straight on to his nutfeeder - happy squizzer! He did not want to get any wetter working his way through the garden!
One final photo - taken the day Youngest made the nutfeeder .... a small and rather warm squirrel having a peanut stretched out on his shoulder. The naughty squizzer was using his back feet to hold on to Youngest's collar to prevent slipping off! What a cheek! haha
On Saturday I was given a kilogramme and a half of the juiciest plums, except they weren't juicy at all - they had just been dug out of a neighbour's freezer and they were little arctic blockettes of solid purple ice! I was delighted and despite the very real threat of frost bitten fingers - I made plum jam.
The flesh was so cold as I began to whittle out the pits then it started to thaw, it became soft and the promised juice filled the bowl while kitchen filled with the scent of summer.
A goodly squish of lemon juice was added and the fruit pulp simmered for about 40 minutes to soften and become thick and dark - time to add the sugar.
The juice transformed into the most deliciously scented syrupy plum magma as it bubbled and boiled, a thick volcanic glorious gloop.
I filled seven jars of liquid purple gold and a small bowl took up the excess - we would eat this first. Then as a thank you, once the jars had cooled down and the lids had clicked tight, I took a large jar to the neighbour who'd given us the plums.
Hot buttered toast slathered in home made plum jam made my day - bliss.