Sometimes you can be in the doldrums so long that you don't even notice when the wind picks up and it's time to hoist the sails. This morning I think I feel a little wind, and I'm putting the sails out - figuratively, of course.
Summer is here, and the sights and sounds are unmistakeable. The early morning sun dances on the little ripples in the bayou. The horses' coats are shiny and sleek. The table in the tack room is full of tomatoes from Jerry's garden. The clack-clack of the big fan in the barn aisle, the swish of the sprinklers in the pasture, and the hum of the tractor are all signs of summer.
My breakfast this morning was red grapes and saltine crackers, eaten out in the pasture on the tractor. A big part of horse-keeping on a two acre hobby farm is the moving of manure. If your horses are running free on twenty acres, picking up manure is not an issue; but in a small pasture, you can't afford to let too much manure accumulate and kill what little grass you've got. I drive the tractor while Jerry scoops poop into the bucket. When the bucket is full, it's lifted up and emptied over the fence on the midden heap where it decomposes and makes good fertilizer. If you're a persnickety city type, the idea of eating breakfast while a manure-moving operation is going on probably doesn't sound appealing. What can I say? There's a wide gulf between city people and farm people.
The flower pots on our deck are a sad sight. I have to walk across the deck when I go to the barn, and the sight of pots of dead plants and healthy weeds has been nagging at me for quite a while. I noticed the other day that our two ferns appear to be dead, but two different varieties of moss roses are springing up in the fern pots. Where in the world did they come from? It's been several years since I cultivated moss roses. Oh well, I won't question a nice surprise like this. I pulled the few stray weeds growing with the moss roses and loosened the dirt with a hand spade. I watered these little volunteers and look forward to their colorful blooms.
I learned about a new pen as I was browsing around on the Fountain Pen Network yesterday - Noodler's flex fountain pen. I love pens with flexible nibs. If you press hard, you get a thick line. If you let up on the pressure, you get a thin line. All this variation in thickness and thinness makes for very attractive handwriting. But some flex nibs are troublesome. I once paid over $100 for a pen with a 14k gold semi-flex nib. It wasn't the pen for me, and I ended up selling it to someone who appreciated it more than I did. Noodler's flex pen has a steel nib and is only $14.00. Needless to say, I've ordered one and it should arrive by the end of the week.
While googling for reviews of Noodler's flex pen, I was led to a fantastic blog - "Painted Thoughts," the creation of an artist named Laure Ferlita. All her blog posts include sketches or watercolors. Check it out here: www.paintedthoughtsblog.blogspot.com
The afternoon is flying by - I'm off to write a letter!