I keep a set of pruners in the trunk of the car to snatch little snippets of whatever in-season things I find interesting as I'm driving from school to school for work. In November, I look forward to the winterberries, and in April, it's the pussy willows. Which I now have several bunches of through the house.
This is our first spring in our new old house. Spring! So much optimism and enthusiasm and energy - I love it. It's been so much fun to watch and see what's coming up and where. There's a very old lilac not far from the house, and Adam's been cleaning out around it. We found a huge planting of grape hyacinths and bunches of daffodils hidden behind the blackberry brambles, which was just such a delightful surprise. We've been working away at lots of little projects, and planning lots more. The maple syrup experiment has been a flop - we collected lots of sap, but it just doesn't taste good when boiled down! We froze it because we were collecting so little and sporadically (maybe that's why?). I don't know if we mis-identified the trees, did something when we boiled it, or what. But it's a learning experience, at the very least. And I have plans for so, so many more projects! A firepit by the pond, tonnes of daffodils on the bank of the brook, the chickens' bath house (some progress was made today), a few little things at the camp such as steps down to the lake... and then, of course, all of the daily work and chores and meals and laundry... and then all of the big long-term projects. We'll plant some peas tomorrow, Adam's reinforcing the deer protection for some of the fruit trees, and we burned a big pile of brush this afternoon. And saw tadpoles in the pond! The thing that I love so, so much about being here is that we're planning to never, ever move again. So that definitely makes me feel like we have all of the time in the world to get everything done. Which helps to tame the way-too-ambitious side of me.
A few things that I've been enjoying lately:
First is Gretchen Rubin's podcast, Happier. Her sister Elizabeth co-hosts, and I love their dynamic - just the subtle ways that you can tell that they're sisters. I've read all of Gretchen's books except for her latest, and I just love how completely enthusiastic she is about her subject. One of my favourite things in the world is when people are just excited about whatever it is that they love!
Second, we've been using these questions to steer our suppertime conversations for the past several days, and we all love it, especially the boys. It's definitely helped them to stay in their chairs, which means a lot.
I just borrowed Tinkerlab from the library. It was recommended by a friend, and it is fantastic!
I hope that you're feeling some spring enthusiasm, too. Happy May!