|Knightley and Emma at the chicken yard|
The chickens are always gathered near the door when I come in, after I carefully hook my escape artist Elkhound to the stake driven into the ground next to the chicken pen fence. The murmur of the chickens is an accompanying hum as I let them out into the yard and tackle the regular chores: filling the feeder and water bowl, opening the windows and turning the straw under the perches. As I work my mind drifts, usually to work that needs to be done during the rest of the day or to good times anticipated with friends. This morning nagging little worries annoy me about things that need to be done this winter. I think about the overwhelming job of moving books and shelves to the shop, about the stacks of merchandise still to be priced, the clearing of the land and the housecleaning and storage that needs to be done by spring. An unpaid bill perches atop the stacks of busyness to remind me that along with the preparations for summer I must continue to figure out how to make ends meet through the colder months.
A cackle from outside reminds me to toss out scratch feed to the hungry chickens. Their fluffy feathered rears bobbing after the corn makes me smile and the happy anticipation of the dog for the walk back home brings me back to the present. The little striped cat is waiting for her breakfast by the shop door. I make her allow me to cuddle her, despite her silent protest. When I retrieve the dog and begin the journey home, I relax into the rhythm of tree branches swaying in the breeze. The sudden and familiar rustle of a flock of doves rising out of the corn field gives me at least the illusion of safety in the comfort of home. I walk on, determined to fill the day with needed work and to push the worries aside. Things will get done; goals will be accomplished, even if not exactly on the schedule I think I want or need.
Barnabas the black cat comes trotting down the driveway to greet us as we near the cozy little cottage on Concord Road. Soon the dogs are playing happily and I am settled into my day's activities, with the thought of dinner with friends as reward. The wood stove crackles, the laundry sways on the line and a soup pot begins to simmer.
What I'm spinning: Hand dyed Texel wool from Border Springs Farm
What I'm knitting: Warm Hands Warm Hearts Mittens
What I'm crocheting: Everything is resting.
What I'm reading: Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Current sounds & sights for spinning along: Rosemary & Thyme mystery series
How the diet is going: Let's not talk about it.