Saturday, April 30, 2011

Asparagus

One of my kids has written out the projects somebody around here needs to get on top of:
Obviously an ambitious child. I'm good with picnics and the beach. But I did manage to get the asparagus planted:
Dig a big hole in a corner where it'll never have to be moved, fill the hole with compost, mound up the middle and lay the first year roots around it like a spider:
It'll be three years before we can harvest. Often I put off starting a project because it's such a wait to fruition. So I've had to buy asparagus all these years. Now, it's ready to go:
Carefully roped of so no-one plants something else there. Three years of care
 then we'll relish that first stalk.
This is BoCho, a black cochin. Sorry it's off topic, I couldn't resist a cute chick picture.




Friday, April 29, 2011

Planting Peas

It's time. The first vegetable we plant is the peas. They are in one of the two raised beds. We alternate peas with carrots and beets. The peas enrich the soil and the carrots and beets can stay in late into the fall. Anyway, here's my gardener at work:
The beds have been enriched with compost and sifted, the drip drainage is half in. 
How did all those holes get there?
Oh.
One by one...
That's why we have a garden, not a farm. 
The only thing left to do is water, weed and cover so the crows can't eat the plants as soon as they come up.
Peas fresh from the pod are so worth the effort.



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fog Island

The restaurant serves a scrumptious mixed salad with grilled chicken. Can't wait till they open again. The actual island: fog so thick your camera gets droplets on the lens:
These were taken on an early morning jaunt to the Lily Pond in town:
at the parking lot on Liberty Street
down the boardwalk
mint poking up--teeny purple flowers
white johnny-jump-ups
apple trees in the mist
the picnic copse(where we eat our pb&js and apples in the summer)
willow branches
red buds beginning to open
Thanks for joining me on a damp spring morning. Wet shoes are a small price to pay for time spent in
quiet worship.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Morel Marvel

Look what my daughter found!
A morel mushroom. I've wandered this island for decades and never seen one. She knows of two places they can be found and won't reveal either one to me. Of course, she knows I can't be trusted not to serve them to the family. And some morels are poisonous.
Still, aren't they cool? Isn't God's creation wonderful?What's with the bumpy surface? So different from other mushrooms. I am allowed to serve puffballs in the fall, as there are no poisonous puffballs. Maybe I could grow my own morels, then I'd know they were safe. Maybe I need to go on a mushroom walk with an expert from the Maria Mitchell Association. That's one of the things I love about Nantucket: I can almost always find an expert in whatever interests me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sleeping Chicks, mostly

Here they are:
A one-second-ago pile of sleeping chicks. I think you'd have to use infrared or something to get them actually sleeping. Chicks are always on high alert. There's a reason Chicken Little was the one who started the Sky is Falling myth. The Buff Laced Polish chicks are especially watchful:
Their natural stance is kinda tall--they don't hunker down like the chicks in front. These three are the Three Stooges. I can't tell which is which yet as I can't tell them apart. Lizzy, the fourth Buff Laced Polish, has red knees. If you can still call them knees when they bend the other way. Don't you love those marshmallow puffs on top of their heads? 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Church buildings

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that, basically, the universe is going from order to chaos. A beautiful, well-constructed building will eventually fall down if not maintained. I've previously posted the condition of Summer Street Church's roof (check it out here). Now for the good news:
Yes! The church roof is getting fixed. And the  bell tower. Not the bell tho', one of its steel support straps is cracked and we're afraid to ring it. But how scrumptious to not go down to the church and empty buckets anymore. Now when it the rains come in the night I can wake up, think "the roof is sound", and go back to sleep.
The work crews, many volunteering from the church itself, have until the end of June to finish. That's Vacation Bible School week and the place will be swarming with kids.
Kids and scaffolding are never a good combination.

Lenten Rose

The hellebores are blooming:
Secretive beauty. Seen only by those who seek it out. Other beauties shout:
Forsythia. I love asking two-year-olds to say forsythia.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The question. An Easter meditation.

In the movie, Temple Grandin, an old man dies. Temple goes to the wake but refuses to "view the body", as she knows her friend is not 'there'. "Where did he go?" she asks. There are times in all our lives when we sit, peer into the abyss, and ask that same question.

Then, the next question, "After this life, where will I go?" If this shorter-than-a-century life is all there is, well, it's not enough. There is heart-stirring grandeur, yes:

Sweetness:

An occasional triumph:

Nantucket (not really Paradise, but beautiful nonetheless):
But still--not enough. C.S. Lewis wrote,"If we discover a desire within us that nothing in this world can  satisfy...perhaps we were created for another world."
Where will I go? To that other world. There is more than this short life. It is not meaningless. Jesus himself said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."(John 10). Easter is the answer to the question. Because of Easter, when those who believe in Jesus die, they go...home.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Young's Bike Shop

Yesterday I gave my daughter a ride into town to pick up her tandem bike. She had brought it in for a spring tune-up at Young's. It costs less to replace tires and tubes and brake pads on a bike than it does to fill up a car's gas tank. Except for dump runs and beach driving a car isn't even very useful in the summer--too much traffic. Biking is quicker. Just so you know, Harvey Young and his crew are getting ready for the season:
Just because you're the owner doesn't mean you can't wash cars...

Shiny.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chick Conference

WiFi, Lizzy and Tweedledee in conference.
This is my favorite chick picture so far. Aren't they sweet? I keep trying to get a picture of them all sleeping but the slightest sound wakes them all up, peeping.
Ah, babies in the spring, one of God's most delightful gifts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daffodils anticipate the official Weekend...

It's not quite Daffodil Weekend but they're blooming:
Beneath the bike shed...
at the end of the driveway...
under the Story Seat I took a picture of in Toby's little garden. 
Do you like the cement squirrel? A Tioli's find!
The grey lady brightens.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

Just today one of David's customers drove up with the license plate on the left. He'd just seen the one on the right and told her about it. Of course, they had to get the two cars together:

Classic. Gotta love New Yorkers.

Landscaping, sort of

You know those white shell driveways you see all over Monomoy and Sconset? They can be had for a song in the winter. First of all, you have to go to the Jetties parking lot with your pick-up truck. There's a huge pile of scallop shells, covered with seagulls, there from November through March. Get as many truck loads as you want and...
Shovel out the whole bed of the truck into the driveway. Wait three weeks for the smell to dissipate, and voila! Beautiful shell driveway. Repeat every winter to keep it thick. Bonus: the chickens peck at the driveway and get enough calcium from the shells to make their eggs practically unbreakable.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baby food

We ordered a bag of organic food for our 24 baby chicks when we got them. One can't get everything one needs on an island. Our chicks, ravenous, finished off the 3-week's worth bag in one week. Now what? Make our own.
Betcha never made chick food in your Vitamix! I took two cups of the layer pellets, which are 16% protein and added two cups cracked corn (from the Stop and Shop) to lower the protein level to 8%. Of course the little darlings pecked out all the corn first. On balance, it should be right. I see online that it's not too hard to mix your own. Except all the recipes call for meat scraps, which we never have. Now if they'd asked for fish scraps, that's another story. 
Eowyn here is growing flight and tail feathers:
She looks like a shield maiden of Rohan, doesn't she?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stop and Shop Shuffle

There are all sorts of goings on at the Stop and Shop. I, a creature of habit, find it disconcerting. Twenty or so years ago I wrote up a shopping list which matched the aisles of the store. The only thing that's changed is I no longer buy diapers. Now, suddenly, this:
Please, pardon our Appearance while we improve our store for your shopping convenience.
Improve? How is that improve for me? I had my shopping down pat. I knew exactly where everything was that I usually bought and could get out of the store in half and hour.
There were three aisles I didn't even go down. Now it's fruits and veggies as soon as you step in the door:

And again around the corner:
But apparently, at least for tonight, meat-eaters are out of luck:

Vegetarians Rule at the Stop and Shop.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

More Baby Chicks

They grow so quickly. Here's Tweedledee:
And her sister Tweedledum:
See how their flightfeathers are coming in? We've had them six days now. The temperature in their box is down to 72 degrees. It had to be 90 degrees the first few days, as warm as a mother hen would have been. Now we can take them out to play:
Playing with the chicks is such fun. Everything they do is tiny and awkward. They fall down all the time but pop back up like nothing happened.
I'll introduce the rest when they get their names.






Saturday, April 16, 2011

Memory Trails

Come for a walk with me along Lover's Lane:
This is the road that goes off into the woods at the no-longer-there extraneous stop sign on Old South Road. Believe it ot not, I met my husband on Lover's Lane. In the basement of someone's house at the Nantucket Christian Fellowship. He had and still has the warmest brown eyes. Er-hmm, I digress. The road is paralled by a path in the woods bordered on both sides by low bush blueberries.

 The Boy Scouts own a hundred acres in here which are loaded with blueberries in June. One of my kids got lost in here once and the Scouts found him. We baked them some chocolate chip cookies the next day. 
 
There are always structures being built in the woods. They just appear. Sometimes they have tenants.
I like to lie on the pine needles and look up:
The closest Nantucket comes to a redwood experience.

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