|Storm headed in from the south|
Dark skies midday, but only a sprinkle of rain. It's still green, and the grass is lush and tall, but we could use more precipitation. The specter of drought never leaves us for long and we are thankful for every bit of moisture.
|Old friends, shady locust tees|
After the storm passes, Mike goes back to hanging a gate and I mow the yard. Last week Mike spotted seven snakes in one day, three rattlers, two bull snakes and a couple garter snakes. Mowing will help the snakes decide to steer clear of the yard and make it easier to spot them if they come close to the house. With grandboys and a pup, we are especially vigilant.
|Bell practices her 'eye' on Punch|
For now, we focus on having her bond with us for life, instilling the desire to please, to come, sit, down, and stay. We're watching her personality develop, reminding her that we are the top dogs, while trying to keep her safe and confident, avoiding bad experiences and harsh judgments that might limit her ability to thrive as a working dog. I often say that the dogs are worth their weight in gold. We couldn't run the ranch without them.
I've been taking time to draw and paint each time I'm at the river. It feels decadent sometimes, to wander off with a sketch pad or my little watercolor set, instead of heading out to work on the new fence or prune the fruit trees or any of the other myriad tasks awaiting attention.
I believe that work is a way of honoring place, of knowing it and knowing ourselves. But so is wandering, just looking at rocks along the river bank, admiring the softness of a fuzzy mullein, the way it catches light. Or sitting in the shade of a sprawling box elder tree, listening to the voices of birds that I can't name without seeing.
|Music box from the Black Forrest|
Back at the house, I notice the wooden music box on a corner shelf. Sent to us by friends in Germany, it has a playroom scene. When you wind it up, Beethoven's Fur Elise plays, a toy train revolves around a little boy, a mother jiggling a baby carriage nearby. Far across the ocean, our friends picked out this gift, thinking of us taking time to enjoy it with our grandsons and other children who grace our lives.
I dust off the music box, wind it up and place it in the middle of the kitchen table. While tinkling notes brighten the quiet kitchen, Mike and I savor glasses of fizzy water floating golden orbs of home canned peaches and topped with rare cubes of ice from the tiny freezer of our propane fridge. We raise a toast to 'slow life'.
From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef