Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Last April Day

"Nothing is so beautiful as spring."

This morning—the last morning of April—was a luminous green. A lot more flowers have bloomed since the last time I posted pictures. The redbuds have lost their blossoms and the dogwoods lost most of theirs. The trees, barely green a few weeks ago, have leaves in abundance. Here's what's green or blooming today:










Spring

BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         

What is all this juice and all this joy?         
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning. 


~

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Morels for Lunch

Yesterday, my husband decided to walk around a couple of our farms. On one of them, he found a tasty treat—morel mushrooms! If you aren't familiar with morels, there's info on The Great Morel website.


I'd thought it was a few weeks late in the season for morels, but the ones he brought home looked fine. I decided to saute some in butter for today's lunch. First I trimmed off the ends of the stems and washed the morels. 


Then I drained them . . . 


  . . . and sliced them.


I had some kale (my favorite green vegetable!) that I'd picked yesterday and figured that would go well with the morels and some organic ground beef I had baking.


While the kale steamed and the beef baked, I sauted the sliced morels in butter.


This is what I had for lunch today—bunless cheeseburgers (I'm diabetic and gluten-intolerant so no buns for me), steamed kale, and sauted morels.


Tasty, very tasty. Be warned, though. Once you've eaten morels, it's hard to go back to regular mushrooms.
~

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Green



The lawn, trees, and fields are all light green—and the greenness reminds me of a poem by Emily Dickinson: A Light Exists in Spring
A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period-
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.


Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay-

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.



. . .  and with the green, the flowers provide some color-contrast:





~

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter Morning 2015

This morning, I rode the golf-cart around the property to look at things in bloom. Most of the daffodils had already bloomed, but these were apparently late-bloomers.


The redbuds are just starting to bud.


The forsythia is ablaze, though.


Dogwoods still have a way to go.


These tulips are in deep shade, but still they bloom.


The big maple in the side yard shows promise.


The corkscrew willow and cherry tree have green leaves already.


Remember the A. E. Housman's poem about cherry trees from "A Shropshire Lad"?

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Yellow tulips near the wall.


They're also near the bridal wreath.


A cat is near the bridal wreath, too.


I'm a few months away from my "threescore and ten," and I sometimes need a bit of help to go about my property. But I'll never tire of looking at things in bloom.

~

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