Thursday, December 26, 2013


Knightley and Emma at the chicken yard
The regular chores of taking care of animals is generally a peaceful time. Getting up early to tend the fire and prepare the dog's kibble, enhanced with yogurt, green beans and a bit of canned food, allows me to watch the daylight brighten the horizons. The walk with Emma on the way to tend the chickens is a quiet time during the winter, with only a few birds darting in the undergrowth and an occasional mouse in the leaves to attract her attention.

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 knittingWarm 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.


Virginia said...

What a good surprise to realize you had posted to your blog again. I could have kept on reading. Your writing is wonderful. I miss listening your podcast. Hope this next year brings you everything you need and more and is filled with happiness.
I'm LovinglyMade on Raverly.

Leslie Shelor said...

Thanks for visiting! I am thinking about doing another podcast with a different friend. Maybe we can get it together by spring. I'm also hoping to continue with the blog. So much going on!

cyndy said...

Thanks for this post, Leslie!

It is so good to hear from you, and nice to read that the rhythm at Greenberry is still as peaceful as it ever was.