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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hops, Hope, Charisma

I'm finally understanding why people like to come to Sulphur Creek Farm--I thought it was the food, me, the implicit invitation in a big and messy house, music, nature deficit disorder. But now I understand.

It's actually pretty simple: TomTheHusband and LuluTheMastiff are charismatic megafauna.

Larger than life and twice as charming, memorable, lovely, and kind, both with wonderful public presence (Tom's blessing "Lord, Lord, Lord", and Lulu lying against one's feet) and private loyalty.

Although, in my opinion, somewhat less charismatic when both are wedged onto the battered red couch watching North Carolina win yet another, Tom welded onto the action, waving a beer, and Lulu drooling rhythmically with her snores.

Before today's game was hops-planting--I came home from hospital rounds to an empty bean-pot, and at least eight bean-stained bowls. Tom, Jim, Keith, Keith's friend, Sumter, and maybe Joe spent most of the day in the drizzle, laying down mulch, planting hops, and hanging string vine supports. Jeff came to fix the shower, and Kabir stopped by to raid the fridge.

But for me, just a nap and a little down time with my megafauna, whom I love even when, temporarily I'm sure, those charisma scores hit rock bottom.

(Good thing for megafauna charisma that Carolina is winning. Trust me on this.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Springiest Eats

Well, Eric, Alyssa, Whitney, Peter, Kevin, and--I think--Caleb have taken advantage of the few clear days to plant all the seedlings from the greenhouse: onions, lettuce, kale, celery. Rain has put things about 3 weeks behind schedule, and is rolling in again tonight.

But oh, those lovely days: redbud, the gorgeous allee of blooming Japanese cherries along Murphy Road, wacko daffodils of every kind, frogs ratcheting their hoarse voices through the night, and stars, calves, and, of course, weeds. Even they--the little square-stemmed things that thrive anywhere anytime--have small purple blooms and are magic when carpeting the fields outside the juvenile detention facility off Briley Parkway.

And this has to qualify as best eats of spring: Sulphur Creek watercress salad with redbud blossoms.

Of course, we are having the first asparagus tonight, a Benton's bacon/spinach salad, and roasted beets fresh (though a bit tough) from the garden.

But still: watercress and redbud.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring. Daffodils. Frisbee team. Taxes.

Home from Texas. Missed a potluck. Peter and new WWOOFFer Alyssa are here, and there is much joy in Mudville at the impending return of Kevin. Almost as much mud as joy hereabouts...

Although the redbuds were out in Texas, all we have here are the daffodils. Heck, with daffodils who needs redbuds?

All hands except these working on a new section of deer fencing--the peas will be above-ground in a few days, tasty and tempting.

These busy today with taxes, laundry, organizing poems, grocery shopping, supper, pimiento cheese! All girls will be home for an hour or so around dawn: India is bringing a dozen frisbee-ites traveling back to Beloit from tournaments in Georgia through our kitchen for breakfast.

Spring is when a young man's fancy turns to love, it is said. Will not here detail all that an older woman's fancy turns to, but there is much to be said for the simple pleasures of surviving to see another spring, a vase of daffodils on the breakfast table, and a kitchen full of daughters, farmers, poets and enthusiasts.

And purple martin experts. (Tom's doing a lecture at Bells Bend Park tomorrow on the subject.)