Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Giving Thanks

I am sure, more than once, I have written about being thankful for the Internet, and wifi, for mobile phones, and cameras, for all the devices and technology that keeps us connected. This year, well could we ever have foreseen just how thankful we could be? Last April, Maria showed me how to do live, face to face video chats, helping me get comfortable with the process, and being "out there." And of course I have no reluctance to blog, share to Instagram, and text. More recently, my Mom persuaded me to add WhatsApp to the mix, and now we have regular chats with my brothers, and sisters-in-law, and Mom. I am thankful not only for the devices, methods, and options, but even more for all the people staying in touch, reaching out, connecting. I can count many friends, even near strangers, that have reached out to me, and that I have reached out to. We are all in this together rings so true, when a text appears and someone is checking in on me, asking how I am doing.

I am thankful for our pets, as well as the wildlife that we see around our home. Sometimes, the coyotes yip a little too close for my comfort, and I am not at all happy about the damages rats have done to idle cars, but cute bunnies, countless migrating birds, and resident birds, like owls and wrens, and quail, are dear. The goats are as sweet and ridiculous as ever. I have spent hours in their company, and they do my spirits a world of good. After their initial eagerness for snacks and affection, they will settle into a soothing, mellow pace, and it's impossible not join in, and chill. The hens. Oh, the hens have been just as expected... noisy, bossy, endearing, messy, generous with eggs, and feathers, pretty, curious, and funny. I am glad we had our old girls, the Chicas. I was relieved to acquire the Chiclets. And I could not have imagined a happier outcome than what we have enjoyed since the Happy Campers arrived. And I cannot forget to mention our cats, our cats who live inside, and might as well be small people for their personalities and antics, for the spaces they occupy, and engagement we share with them. Cairo, Sakamoto, and Feynman are good kitties, which is to say, they are soft, warm, scratchy, destructive, affectionate, needy, amusing, hilarious, messy, distracting, playful, curious, and cute.

One of the first things we did when we moved here was to remove a tree that was damaging the house with its roots. It was a shame to take it down, because it looked pretty, and at least one neighbor objected, until we explained about the house foundation. In place of one oversized and domineering tree, we had space to thoughtfully lay out a small orchard, including apples, a peach, plum, and apricot, and a lime tree. We have enjoyed fruit, and sharing fruit, every year since. And yesterday, when I decided to revisit a favorite recipe, I found I had no limes. I visited our tree, walking slowly around, and hoping. I found two, just ripening limes. Small gifts. I am thankful for our home, and gardens, for the improving soil, the native trees, the wild flowers, and the bees. And I am thankful for the lime, because I love to add it to this Cranberry Nut Bread recipe, from Oceanspray. I made a double batch. The recipe only calls for grated orange peel, but I dice up lime and orange, and throw in some of the fruit, too. I use, butter, not shortening, and the nuts I add are pecans.

There's more, but just now I need to take care of the dough rising for bread.


Teresa Kasner said...

Hi Natalie, I'm sorry for missing several of your posts but I just got caught up on them. I hope it's okay that I added your blog to my blog list because I don't want to miss one again. I like your spirit and I totally agree with what you said about the turnip in the White House. I swear his "reign" has taken years off my life. 52 days until he's gone. I cannot wait. Meantime 2 of my 3 kids voted for him and still support him and it's broken my heart so much. We shall overcome.

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Teresa, you are a sweet visitor. And you honor me by adding me to your blog list. Thank you.
Visiting your blog is like stepping back in time, back to the good ol days when blogs were busy places, full of visitors, updates, lots of engagement. I feel delighted to be included. As for the turnip... being rid of him will go a long way toward healing, but it's distressing just how admired he is, and by so many. I can never wrap my head around that. Stay well and hearty, Teresa... we all need to pull through this together, better and kinder than ever!