Well, I've been asking for a good soaking rain, and today, my wish has been granted. Unfortunately, the temperature had hit only 44 degrees when I spoke with an acquaintance who had been a bit farther inland (and therefore at an even cooler temp) and she had seen snowflakes falling. Ah, yes, Springtime in the Northland.
As I've been working at getting the garden planted, I've noticed that despite our frequent showers these past few weeks, and hardly any hot or even warm weather, the ground is dry. Our raised beds do tend to dry out faster than the field garden but everywhere I poke a trowel right now seems to be too dry. Roy's been planting some seedling trees in our woods to fill in spaces where we've had to take out dead and dying birch trees, and he reports that the ground is dry even in the woods.
Unless we've had a heavy snow winter or plenty of moisture in the spring, this season makes locals uneasy because of forest fire danger. A week or so ago, a thunder and lightning storm rolled through the area and a tall, standing dead birch tree near our daughter and son-in-law's house was struck by lightning and set afire. Fortunately, so very, very fortunately, FSIL (favorite son-in-law as he likes to be called) was driving home and couldn't help but see the flaming tree just off the road. He hurried to the house and he and DD (dear daughter) called 911 to report the fire, threw what fire fighting tools they had into their vehicle and went to try to control the fire as best they could until authorities arrived. The flaming tree ended up falling mere feet from a dry brush pile that had been left by a logging operation and if they hadn't been on the scene as soon as they were, who knows what would have happened.
Back to our current rainy day, I'm trying to use my time wisely inside today doing laundry and ironing and making soups for the freezer so we have something nutritional to eat on all the days this summer when I'm outside and the cook doesn't show up. (A pox on that cook.) Ground Beef-Barley is simmering on the stove now; Wild Rice with Chicken will follow. Except, with the price of wild rice at $10-something a pound right now at our local whole foods co-op, it will be Tame Rice with Chicken. And actually, I think I'll use previously cooked and boned duck meat from the freezer in place of the chicken. Hmmm, Tame Rice with Duck soup . . . just doesn't have the same ring to it.
I've often said I would be one happy camper if in the summer time, I had a live-in cook and house cleaner. Then I could play, play, play out in the garden all day soaking up healthy tanning rays from the sun and occasionally come in to my immaculately clean and organized house for a refreshing drink (homemade lemonade or sangria?) or a wonderfully nutritious meal prepared with fresh garden produce and perhaps locally caught fresh fish, maybe some home baked garlic bread, and, oh, yeah, homemade ice cream with our own strawberries for desert. Then I could leave the clean-up to said live-in cook while I took a shower followed by an after-dinner glass of wine on the deck with my husband before falling into a freshly made bed with sun-dried sheets that had been spritzed with lavender water . . . by the live-in laundress, of course. Wow. Who ever said I didn't have an imagination?
Sorry still no pictures of garden progress or simmering pots of soup or imaginary live-in servants to accompany this entry. I mentioned previously that it seemed we had a defective battery for our Casio digital camera. This was confirmed by my husband, who believes in going straight to the source, when he called Casio and related the problems we were experiencing. Ah, yes, they said, they have been having difficulties with the batteries in cameras recently sold. Glad to say they have a great public relations/customer service department and sent us a new battery jiffy-quick via priority mail. And this one works! However, our digital camera, along with functioning battery, was loaned out and left for a week long trip to