Category Archives: spring


Just a short post on an odd sighting this morning and a smoothie and muffin idea…First, the odd sighting. There was a lone robin outside of my kitchen window early this morning. I suppose the groundhog summoned him with some propaganda about the arrival of spring. Ha. Robins, as far as I know, do not all migrate, and if they do, it is to find food, not warmth. Many just go into the woods during winter and live off of berries. In the spring, they come out of the woods when the earth warms and the earthworms ascend and the insects arrive; the robins then become carnivores. Ha again. Last winter I expected to see a robin in early February or even January because our winter in the Deep South was exactly 3 days. This winter, however, we have had snow and below freezing temperatures; I cannot imagine that the earth has thawed yet. If you read my post yesterday, I wrote about leaving the autumn leaves on the ground for the small creatures of winter, well, they might be why the robins are paying me an early visit. Nature can be cruel.

In case you need a smoothie idea, I have one for you. It is really delicious and nutritious. I took an iPhone shot of the ingredients for you. Use the liquid in accordance to how thick or thin you want your smoothie to be. All of the produce is either from my yard or organic. The green powder is a super blend (mostly Spirulina) from the Health Food Store. And the organic lemon is frozen.

The muffins are apple cinnamon with Organic Flaxseed added. There are many recipes for these muffins all over the internet, all basic and simple. I just cut down on ¼ cup of the flour and added Organic Milled Flaxseed instead. All of the ingredients are, again, organic. Bon Apetit!


Please excuse the following obvious uncreative injection and my awkward silly cliché, but I think a Robin Williams’ quote always fits in nicely …

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

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Thinking of spring

DSC_0147Just a few words I found in some miscellaneous writing that I wanted to repost on this first day of March:

“It seems my mood is following the rhythm of the season, dark with welcome rays of sunshine. I don’t know that I could leave the South, I am too accustomed to the milder weather and its positive effect upon my mood. There exist a paradox, for while I love the silence, the stillness, and the reveal of winter, I fear the direction of my mood when the sun hides behind the clouds for too long. My comforting memories become puddles of tears and my reflection becomes a deeper voyage within, too deep. I expect the sun to be out tomorrow and perhaps I will spend an hour or so cleaning up in my garden, preparing for spring.”

Speaking of the garden, I have come to a more comfortable place concerning this place that I spend so much effort on. Instead of goals, goals that are lofty and unreachable most times, I have begun to just set a “timer” – one hour a day, when weather permits, in the garden – no clear direction, just sunshine, exercise and nature. I have found this takes away all of the stress of constant goals that are difficult to achieve and puts focus on the journey – the pure enjoyment and benefit of just being in a garden – it is a mind, body, and soul kind of experience and putting pressure on the outcome can void all of the benefit and sometimes replace it with a negative feeling of defeat…I vow to be an underachieving gardener…no frustration, just simple joy.

100_4209 I know spring is far away for our northern friends (and for me, 2 of my family members) but here, in the Deep South, it is very near. The buds on my plum trees are swollen and I have noticed a new assortment of birds, a bluer sky, and its promise stirring in the wind. I heard the songbirds this morning outside of my bedroom window – they are back from their winter journey – some passing through, some staying. 

100_3976Spring officially arrives on March 20 following the Full Worm Moon on the 5th. When the earthworms start wiggling to the top, the robins will come out of the woods, and spring will be here. For now, I will enjoy a few more camellias to cut for my kitchen and some lingering citrus as I say goodbye to the winter birds sitting on the wires and anxiously wait to follow the  Southern sun.


“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.”


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between winter and spring


I had so many messages about  my last post on the “empty nest” – just says how we, as mothers/parents, all feel so deeply and universally  about our children; we all feel the  heart tug of letting go. I did these funny angels to remember these times…



It’s the end of the day, the end of carnival season, and Valentine’s Day is soon. I lit a candle in the kitchen; one Elizabeth got for Christmas, and made some hot tea. I want to write a few words and cherish this February evening and the fragrance from the candle and the steeping of the tea make it a bit more special.

 I love this little pocket of holidays – beginning with Ground Hogs Day, then Mardi Gras (for all of us in South Louisiana) next to Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and culminating with Easter and Passover – so quaint and simple. And then, the first day of spring is in there somewhere. The weather is still unsettled and some days we must stay inside to rummage through our houses, sorting, finding, doing, and some days give us sunshine and we go in our yards to check the buds on fruit trees and move away the leaves to see what might be peeking beneath. I watch the small birds that are visiting in the side yard under my kitchen window, the ones that seem to make the ground move as they do. I wait for the robins to come from the woods and to see a lone honey bee in the sparse clover – it’s the cusp, a place between winter and spring, a place to watch how Nature moves so beautifully from one season into the other.

I look for the signs of spring while holding on to the quietness of winter, quiet here in south Louisiana anyway. I need more time in the winter. I want to write more and paint more, when spring arrives, I am outside putting together some sort of garden. I am so pathetic then, no discipline to stay inside.
It seems there is a conflict as to when spring will arrive according to the Almanac: “As you may have heard, Punxsutawney Phil, arguably the most famous prognosticating groundhog in the United States, did not see his shadow this weekend, which means spring is supposed to come a bit early this year. Of course, as we reported last month, we’re not expecting an early spring. So, now the race is on to find out who is right, the Almanac or the rodent.”


Don’t you love the lightheartedness of this? Amongst a world of virtual images and digital everything, there is still room for a groundhog and the farmer’s almanac trying to decide when spring will arrive! I feel happier just reading this – hope you do too.

I also feel happier looking at some still lifes in my friend, Tere’s early spring yard – so beautiful and so promising. Some people use paints to cover a blank canvas, she uses flowers…




and my favorite…

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things that matter

These days of spring are sudden and oh so sweet. The air is filled with fragrance – I, just this morning, noticed the ligustrum trumping the light fragrance of the mimosa and the gardenia. The birds are flying overhead in glorious formations and are singing sweetly to wake me up on Saturdays and Sundays. The honey bees are busy pollinating my garden and cleaning their little feet in the bird bath. It is truly an awakening and so beautiful, divine. It is difficult for me to stay inside these days – those cobwebs I wrote about a while back are still there. Who cares, I have to herald in this glorious season. I have learned a lot about myself throughout these 57 years and I have to finally admit – I am not really good at keeping up the inside of my house. I have to be amongst the flowers and then I have to have time to paint – so there you go…no time for much dusting. Again, I reference Miss Sue and I think of her house and the way she kept it – it was so authentic and wonderful. It was clean but not fussy. The dishes were washed and stacked neatly on the little rack next to the sink, the bed was made, the bathroom was scrubbed, and the laundry was hung out to dry – enough was done. The focus, however, was the outside beauty that found its way inside. The gardenias were in jars in the kitchen in May and the front room smelled of honeysuckle in June and there was a fresh cut magnolia from the tree in the back making the house smell like summer – these are the things that matter to me. I doubt that my children will ever find comfort in a childhood memory of a meticulously clean house, but if they are like me, they will remember the smells of spring and summer there in the kitchen.

I have been writing a memoir about my days with Miss Sue for years (I hope to finish it this summer) and there is a line in there about just this, “…. It was a fresh cut magnolia that would sit on our kitchen counter and forever define the scent of summer for me;  a bunch of gardenias that would make me remember her front porch and the fragrance in the still May air…” . This is what I think matters. But, today, I shall make a huge effort to stay in for a while and do things necessary in here. It is time to change sheets and hang them out to dry, and I want to harness the laundry room and not leave the kitchen til every dish is washed and put away – lofty goals for a day in May! First, I will head outside with scissors and cut gardenias and one perfect magnolia to “define the scent of summer”.

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Just a quick post of an Easter snapshot or a spring icon – eggs – either way, a symbol of rebirth. These are from my 10 laying hens – they are so much trouble, but worth it.

 Easter is many things to many people, as it should be, for me, I see it in direct harmony with Nature and God and a visual of rebirth and resurrection – the imagery and symbolism, I believe, are not random but placed so that our human minds can comprehend. It is a joyous time to rejoice, renew and celebrate, no matter what you believe.

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 Ahhh Saturday morning. The rain, not the alarm clock, woke me up this morning. This will be one of the early spring rains that nudge the already fat and swollen buds into bloom. Already the garden is so sweet smelling from the plum blossoms and the clover flowers. I hope there are bounties of bees this spring – I am not cutting some of my clover patches, just for them.
collecting honey last july
 The beekeepers will come in April and I hope there will be bees. Speaking of the bees, I shopped for a few vegetable garden supplies yesterday and was excited to see the notable presence of organic fertilizers and pesticides; I stocked up. I just wish people would lay off some of the poison.

” The more we pour the big machines, the fuel, the pesticides, the herbicides, the fertilizer and chemicals into farming, the more we knock out the mechanism that made it all work in the first place.”

David R. Brower
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Longer Days

I don’t know about the groundhog but I do know my hens are saying it’s nearly spring – they are finally laying again, longer days mean more eggs.
 I was at work today thinking about a lot of things – thinking about how beautiful the day was and how I did not see it or experience it . Now, it is gone. I have such an internal conflict with this type of thing – God gives us these beautiful moments and we are stuck inside. But then, I think, I should be thankful to have a job??? So confusing. I think that down deep my soul tells me I should be enjoying the beautiful moment. I don’t understand how I have gotten so far away from my beginning. I hope I find myself back there one day. In the meantime, I will be grateful for a job that gives me an income that helps my family. I am not writing this to complain – I am just questioning…
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The Ides of March have passed and St Patrick’s Day is here. March, the month that comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. The month that my mother and my twins were born and the month I was married, the month the plum trees blossom and the clovers cluster just in time for St. Patrick’s Day,  and the Full Worm Moon is in the sky. So much beauty happens in March and it is going so quickly away and I am so sorry to see it go. The sweet white blossoms have been shaken by the late winter wind and are on the ground, the bareness of winter is nearly gone and the new green of spring is peeking through the woods, making promises to us. I am trying to notice all that I can for it is all so fleeting and fast. Each time I turn over a scoop of dirt, I see fat earthworms wiggling but just for a second, the hens quickly see their movement and they, well, you know what they do. But then, we get the eggs, eggs filled with golden yokes and nourishment. The strawberries I so painfully planted in November now have little white flowers assuring me of red strawberries in June and the pear trees are filled with tiny pears that can hardly be seen now but will produce more pears than we can eat in August. I love all of the tiny holidays like St. Patrick’s and April Fools -no one has figured out a way to make them too commercial yet – they are still pure. Anyway, time for work. It is so difficult to leave these spring days and enter into a building where I don’t know if it is hot or cold, windy or calm outside. I question myself daily about this choice.
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