Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fly to me

I never met a bluebird I didn't like. I'm inculding jays, too, and herons, swallows, buntings and kingfishers. Whenever one appears, even in a blue blur, dim prospects brighten and the world seems like a hopeful place again.

According to John Burroughs, the naturalist, the bluebird is considered the harbringer of peace.
Their back is the color of the sky, and their chest that of the red clay of earth, so that in them, the celestial and the terrestial strike hands together in harmony and are fast friends.

I have a whole flock of bluebirds that fly on the wall above my stove. They are pleasant company while I flip pancakes or wait for the water to boil for tea.

My dignity evaporates when I see a bird with blue feathers. "Pull over!" I screech to my husband, as we wend our way along the estero in Morro Bay. "Its a Belted Kingfisher!"
I'm lucky enough to see it dive into an inlet, and surface again in five seconds with a squirming minnow in it's arrow like beak. Maybe we (I'm including you in this, I know you feel like I do) love them because what we really want is to hitch a ride and neslte in all that blue loveliness.

I know his necklace looks as if it were snatched from the neck of a sleeping mermaid by a heron. But its the creation of the wonderful Nina Bagley.

Saturday night supper among the blues. Tonight it will be citrus honey baked chicken, green salad and potatoes mashed by my husband. They are so light, you don't even need a spoon to scoop them out, they just drift from the pot right onto the plate.

Thank you for visiting my treehouse. I hope you'll call again.
P.S. I've been tagged by Lesley at Sea Blue Sky and Abstracts.
Six Silly things that make me happy:
When my dog yawns
Hearing a belly laugh
When a stranger smiles at me
Finding a bird feather
the smell of fresh chamomile
dreaming of flying
Now its your turn, Farmhouse Kitchen, Aunt Jenny and Bird nest on the ground!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Cottage for Sale

I bought my first real estate parcel for ninety cents. Wandering over the wooden floors of Rasmussen's Emporium in Solvang, I let go of my grandma's hand and picked up the little green house with red roof above, which was bundled up in a net bag with a little carved dog, cow, and lady. I was seven, and since then, no house purchase has given me more pleasure. Over the years I've added to my township, inhabited mostly by animals. There's herds of cows, half a dozen sheep, a stork, an owl or two, and a spitting goose which is fiercely protective and snaps at intruders. The pottery house piece behind the goose is two pieces, and would be handy for butter, or a scoop of goat cheese. This piece and other cottagey themed dishes, soon to be up for sale in my Etsy store.
My kitchen cupboard in summer. I do adore dishes of all sorts and maybe its why I never tire of making them. Really. Never.

Here's a farmhouse on Santa Rosa Creek Road. Cows graze right in the front yard and sometimes we have to roll to a stop so the goats can scoot out of the road. I like this house because its not fancy, even the lawn furniture is practical aluminum and plastic netting. All it really needs is a clothesline. I hear two brothers live here, and have since boyhood. I'd love to see the kitchen, but I'll settle for being able to drive by and get close enough to a goat to pet it.

Yesterday, after I returned from our drive in the country, I painted this cup with house handle, thinking of that farmhouse and the clothesline I'd put in the grassy yard. I made this for cereal, or soup, but think it might work as a scoop for laundry soap. I see my friend Jenny is selling it in her Etsy shop. The jelly was so wonderful, I think I might like to try some of her soap, too.
Oh, and Rasmussen's is still there, on the corner of the main street in Solvang. The stock has changed, but there's the same old worn doug fir floors, the smell of carnation soap and coming through the open doors, you can get a whiff of the fudge being made across the street in the candy store. And if you can resist going there to buy a piece after all that shopping, you are a stronger person than I am.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

At the Sign of the Hedgehog

I like a sign on a garden gate. It lets you pause and collect yourself before you enter inside. I took a ramble in this rose garden today, and got stuck. As soon as I unhinged myself from one thorny cane, another reached out for me and held on, until I picked up the knack of holding in my arms, that is until I saw this rose:
Butter yellow, shell pink and raspberry tinged. So I stood there awhile, because it smelled sweet, and because bees zipped by and there was a sort of lonesome, longing wind through the pines. Then I remembered I was hungry.

So home I came, but look what I brought back with me.

These new garden signs are porcelain, run over with lace pressed in by a brayer, then a medallion is added. This one is painted with a farmhouse, larkspur and other summer blooms, with a watering can weather vane. Below it reads 'All the seasons run their race in this quiet resting place.'

Oh, and a rabbit piece because I can't seem to paint a batch of pottery without adding one to the firing.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Speak To The Earth

My mother really has the prettiest garden in town. Every spot is tenderly watched over, and I've just taken pictures of one small corner. That's me lurking in my clay clothes at the top of the walkway. If I turn to my left, I can go up the stairs and be in the kitchen. Today, there were brownies waiting. I love to wander around this place, I can find loved ones who I miss and thought were gone, but I find they've been here all the time.
Duck as you walk by the grapefruit tree, and go into the rose garden through the wire gate, added to deter the white tailed deer, who browse anyway. And if the house looks grey to you, don't tell my mother. She insists it's blue.

The pathway to the back door.

I found this anonymous poem in an old garden book. Its spoken from the point of view of the garden itself. Its been pinned to a corkboard in my workroom for years, I thought you might like it too.

I, Your Garden
I bring serenity to your life.
No human pursuit gives more pleasure to your days
than the creating of me.
I am outwardlly your own accomplishment,
but in the business of me, God is your more
than equal partner.
I am at once your solace in sorrow and your
inspiration for endeavor.
My flowering hand is outstretched to welcome you
at the end of the day;
My leafy arms reach yearningly for you when you return
from the longer absence.
I keep your feet on the ground, both physically and spiritually,
and something, none the less acutal because unseen,
flows from me into your body and soul, something that makes you valiant
and gives you the joy of living.
I am your flowers and vines and trees,
and the soil that gives them life.
I Am Your Garden.

Speak to the Earth and It shall teach thee.

Animals who garden

Animals who garden
Donkey with green paw