Thursday, May 27, 2021

Spring Brings Changes

May 1 – 19, 2021                                                              Most Recent Posts:
Greenfield Mountain Farm                                  A Visit from Carrie and Colin
Virginia                                               Right Through March to the End of April

One of the things most folks including me like about spring is that everything seems fresh and new.  Nature starts again and so can we.  A  time for new beginnings.  And especially this spring as we get vaccinated and life begins to get back to normal.


IMG_5672At the farm, the grass is greening and growing.  The two old Paulownia Trees in the yard are still blooming.  They were old over 40 years ago when we bought the farm and at this point I probably should cut them down but I just can’t do it.  They are old friends.  The birds are all over them especially the woodpeckers.  So I’ll let the trees decide how many more springs and hope they fall away from the house and I can fix the fence.  But for now their blossoms are lovely and fragrant.  I look forward to them every year.


The azaleas are all in bloom.  We put them in during our early years here.

The Iris are blooming along the road welcoming me as I come into the barnyard.


The deer are wandering through the fields.  They are not making much of a dent in rapidly growing grasses.

The turkey are courting.  The Tom strutting his stuff.  His lady fair not paying much attention.


The blueberries have flowered and set their fruit.  I have to fight the birds for it and have not found any way to increase my odds since they take the berries before they are fully ripe.  They don’t share very well me thinks.

Pansies (2)

My friend Pam gifted me with these  pansies and Johnny Jump Ups which are in full bloom. I love their cheerful spring faces and will be sorry when the heat of summer causes them to go.  But I understand as I will be going too at that point. Hopefully we will both be back in the fall.

Pansies (3)

Pansies (1)

May 5 (1)Thankfully during this unsettling time of pandemic at least one thing in my life stayed the same.  Happily that is my weekly book discussion with my friend Laurie.  No matter where I am, pandemic or not, we get together to discuss a book we’ve chosen.  That red thing is my phone with which I am taking this picture.


Two posts ago in ‘Right Through March’ (link above),  I mentioned we had just finished Late Migrations and now we are about to finish Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.   It’s a wildly inventive novel about Ursula Todd, born in 1910 and doomed to die and be reborn over and over again.   New beginnings one after another with slight twists on the life she is living.  Wonderfully constructed and serious food for thought.   What if????

And lastly, now that I am fully vaccinated, I’ve finally found someone who can deal with my heavy thick hair.  Thanks Marianne.  You did a great job on the cut.


I’m still not sure which I like best.   Long has so many more possibilities – braids, pony tails, hair pinned up in numerous ways or down long.   Short is way easier especially washing and combing which I can do with my fingers now.  A big plus is that I don’t have so much long hair all over everything.    But I do miss my wavy locks.   Although they may not look like it, these pictures were taken within 2 days of each other.  Different location and lighting makes my long hair look less gray than it was around my face.

It’s spring and definitely a new beginning.

IMG_20210527_095605421 (2)

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A Visit from Carrie and Colin

April 24-28, 2021                                                       Most Recent Posts:
Greenfield Mountain Farm             Right Through March to the End of April
Virginia                                                Poinsett State Park NOT Big Rig Friendly

So nice that Carrie and Colin could come spend several days with Nana at the farm.  Celia will get her chance to come with her mom in June before Nana leaves for Vermont to hopefully beat the heat.  This is a ‘grandson picture heavy’ post so beware.

Often when Carrie comes for a visit some of her friends come to see her.  Kate is one of her closest high school friends and Colin was very happy to sit on the sofa while she read.   Niels came too but somehow I didn’t get a picture.


His Mom’s old high chair is just the thing for Colin.  It was an antique even when she sat in it.



And it can be turned around into this little table and chair for coloring.  They knew how to make things attractive, functional and long lasting in the early 20th century.


While Nana’s cleaning up the breakfast, Colin is trying out the old butter churn.  We never used that one, we just loved having it around.


But we did use this one every week when Carrie was Colin’s age.  Milk came from a neighborhood cow and a gallon was 1/3 cream.


Like his Nana, his mother and his sister, Colin loves books.  Carrie reads to him in Papa’s chair in the den.


But his favorite thing is to be outside.  The farm is a great place for him because he can be out on his own if he likes with no danger of cars.

He has a little trouble at first with Carrie’s old Radio Flyer wagon as you can see in this video which makes me laugh every time I watch it.  But he gets the hang of it and becomes absorbed in cleaning up the yard so Nana can mow.


We had a storm at the farm a few days earlier and there were sticks that had blown out of the trees.  He spent an amazing amount of time picking them up, putting them, no matter how big, into the wagon and hauling them behind the shed to the wood pile.


Heading back to the yard for another pick up.

Azaleas in bloom.



Here he has Carrie’s old Radio Flyer wheel barrow which didn’t work quite as well as the wagon for picking up fallen branches but he liked pushing it.  No problem figuring out whether you should push or pull.

Eventually he tired of yard clean up and we spent some time on the yard swing.


On Monday we headed into Charlottesville for two bank appointments to put Carrie on my accounts so she will have less trouble settling my estate than I did settling the two I had to contend with.

Afterwards, we rewarded Colin for amazingly great behavior for a rambunctious 2 year old by taking him to Greenleaf Park where he wanted to ride, climb and play  on everything of course..

IMG_20210426_104850627_HDR     Riding


IMG_20210426_105141766_HDR      Climbing




IMG_20210426_104717531_HDR A girl about the age of his sister joined him on the merry-go-round.


Then he wanted to check out the teeter totter and figure out what it was and how it worked. She decided she did too.  But she’s heavier than he is so he had to have some weight help from Mom to make it work.



When we returned to the farm, he played a while in the yard and when he took a nap, Nana and Mommy played Uno on the porch.


We kept the nap series going all the days they were here but I don’t remember who ultimately won.  You can sort of tell who won these hands though Carrie looks a lot less unhappy about losing than I do.




I think the most fun Colin had was when we went hiking in the woods.  He just loved it and hiked the first time for nearly 2 hours on his just over 2 1/2 year old legs.  He wants to be outside all the time.

Colin and his Nana


If it gets too steep, just crawl


And stop along the way to examine what you see


Our little woodsman.


I love this picture of Carrie in the woods of her childhood.


And this series of her and Colin. 
My baby with her baby. 
Sorry I couldn’t pick just one.


The beautiful Mountain Laurel was just coming into bloom in the woods.
So delicate.


There were butterflies all over it.


We walked to one of Carrie’s favorite spots with a little waterfall.


By now our little trooper was taking some sit downs



Ride em’ cow pokes.



Time to head back up to the house.  The spring greens in the woods are so lovely.


These two look mighty small in this vast looking space.


Little man gets a ride.


But soon he’s taking lessons.  His Nana and Papa taught his Mama to be a tree hugger and she’s teaching him.  Isn’t that what we all hope for that our important values will get passed down.  And that the world will be better for those we love.


I think he’s got the hang of it.


Such a beautiful day!



It’s a long way back and we have to take many breaks.


Showing his mama what he’s found sitting among the ground cedar.


At one point, I move some larger limbs off the trail to make the hiking easier for him and he’s all over it moving sticks large and small out of the way. 


I thought this was a pretty big stick for him.


That was until I saw this one.   Check out this funny video of the action.


Time for a bath in the old claw foot tub when we get back.  There are some great stories from Carrie’s childhood associated with this tub.


Playing the piano was a recurring activity.  Carrie’s concentration given Colin’s accompaniment was amazing.


Take a short listen.



On their last day, while they were packing, I got the lawn tractor out since I had to mow the grass and I figured Colin would love it.  Celia not so much.  She’ll cover her ears and run from the noise but when I asked if he wanted to ride, he certainly did.  And he wanted to drive.

So around we went.  He can come back in about 12 years and do this for me.


We had a great time the three of us. 
I’ll close with a series of pictures of Colin putting Papa’s UVA ball cap on the way Colin’s Daddy Matthew wears his.  
I know I’m very prejudiced but this is one cute little boy.





Thanks you two for coming.  I could not possibly love you more.