Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Some Happiness

The flower, I admit, is a ruse to lure you in, before I fill this post with pictures of Grace Hopper, our Chapulín! I might have some pictures of a cat, probably more garden pictures, but the rest will be goat, goat, goat! I am a goatherd, an idealized or romanticized rustic maiden in pastoral literature... I could not resist that definition when I looked up "shepherdess." It fits me to a tittle... I am a shepherdess, and not a lonely goatherd.
Seeing her in the ivy, I caught an earworm and sang under my breath, all day... Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey. A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

Speaking of romanticized and pastoral, Janece noted that our backyard is a vision of spring. A mama bird built her sparrow nest over the door to the backyard, and the mama bunny that lives by the garden bed is as busy as ever, but she always stops to visit. The bluebirds are finely feathered, and flirting. The quail are calling, so are the owls. An ideal, true spring!

My Mommy sent me a gift this week. This patchwork quilt, which has been a dear favorite of mine for many years, and is in my mother's memory since her childhood, when they lived on East First Street, in Los Angeles. She's pretty sure the women of the church made it, using collected scraps. It makes me think of my Grandmother, Eunice, and of a lifetime of hearing my Mom's stories about East LA, Roosevelt High School, the LA River, and trains, the fountain on Olvera Street, Nena, her friend downstairs, walking to the library, the dishes Uncle Steve brought home from Korea. It makes me feel in touch with so much that is sentimental, and I get lost in the prints, imagining was this a dress, a man's shirt? Cairo sensed something good, too, and was immediately drawn to the soft spot. He's hardly left it since I opened it on my bed. It's a perfect light weight for spring, not that he's sharing.

Mother Nature is making it abundantly clear: If I ever want to be a commercial farmer, oregano should be my crop, and Rosemary. Rosemary and oregano thrive here, with very little effort on my part. The calendula came back, but it's not as widespread as it was last year. No rain is to blame for fewer nasturium, and spoon-tomatoes, as well. The borage is thriving, so I assume it's a little more drought tolerant, which is why I am glad I decided to add more native plants to our front yard. The sages, manzanita, and ceanothus are doing well.

If you are wondering, neither Ada, nor Tasha, have budged on their stubborn refusal to accept Grace. Old goats! They couldn't be more cliché! And I, I suppose, could not have been more naive. I didn't think they'd bond immediately, but, yeah... I vividly imagined romanticized and pastoral scenes with Tasha and Ada frolicking merrily with the little one, bringing Grace into the fold, nuzzling her affectionately, and the three of them curled up, beneath a starry night, sleeping soundly, like loving sisters. Well, at least I can enjoy the whimsy and the sweet temperment of our Grasshopper, our funny Chapulín! We weeded, and planted. We dead-headed flowers, watered. We hopped up steps, and leapt from rocks. We walked all around the garden, front to back, and back, again. We tidied spots, and did some rearranging. She's good company, I think.
Grandma Eunice's shepherdess, gazing at me from the sweetpeas, and our peach tree in bloom. I have a new found appreciation for this month of April. Has April always been a pretty month? I cannot say, but this time, this year... it's lovely, and I am glad to be taking notice, and enjoying it.
Baby goats, flowerbeds, and heirloom quilts are gifts, real treasures that I appreciate tremendously. I cannot always be in a romantic frame of mind though, and I want to say that the trial in Minneapolis of the murderous police officer, the murder of Daunte Wright, attacks on the Asian communities, the daily evidence that racism, gun violence, hate, cruelty, and indifference, are truly woven into the fabric of this country... these truths devestate me. I turn to my garden, to making and sharing, to celebrating any joy and beauty I can find, in hopes of spreading love, inspiring compassion, and keeping my own fears and grief in check. Good things are better shared, and this must include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for all people.


Ruth McCormick said...

This seems to be an especially generous April, don't you think? Lots of flowers and bees this year, despite the lack of rain...or maybe because of it. Add some happy memories and an adorable baby goat.....close to perfection!

Teresa Kasner said...

Oh boy.. a baby Alpine goat! So.. are you going to breed her so she has a baby and you can milk her? Goats milk is wonderful! As I have told you I was the dairy goat 4-H leader for 5 years and we had 16 babies at one time! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

gretchenjoanna said...

Well, those are wonderful goat pictures!! The story of the quilt is really sweet. I'm exulting in springtime with you.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I think so, too, Ruth. A generous April, and pretty near to perfection. Maria and I were talking about it last night, and we thought that it could be how much calmer we feel this April, over last year. This time we have settled into the rhythm of pandemic life, and even have a clearer picture of promising prospects on the horizon. It feels easier to recognize the beauty, and appreciate the good stuff. We hope it sticks!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Teresa, I would be a lot closer to breeding her if you were our next door neighbor! I am priding myself on knowing my limits. I will have to settle for thinking of the goats as something more like vegetarian dogs. As it is, just one baby goat is keeping me on my toes. How did you ever manage 16?? But, reading your blog, and having an idea of all you do, I am not surprised you had the energy and stamina to keep it up. You are an inspiration!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, GretchenJoanna. I feel so thankful to have that favorite quilt, and the stories that come with it. Spring and goats, flowers, and more promising prospects... it's all welcome!