Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for February, March & April 2019

Our feature photo this spring is of a lively cluster of crabapple blossoms from April 25th.

One of my favorite trees. This one was grown from a 1 foot high start obtained from the National Arbor Day Foundation in 2004.

It is said that change is the one constant in life. My responsibilities and activities have been rapidly increasing over the last year, bringing more change to my own. I will be posting the Salmon Brook Farms blog less often now, so I may be able to actually catch up on farm, music and winemaking projects, including updating the pages associated with this blog, work on the book that my dear friend, blogger and author Cynthia Reyes has been gently nudging me to write, as well as stay in touch with our readers and their own endeavors. The format will remain the same, but will now have a more seasonal focus. The feline correspondents may actually find time to compile their journal notes into real essays, at least that is what I have asked them to do. We thank all our readers who have stayed with us as the blog site enters its sixth year, and our lives evolve.  Life’s adventure here in Oregon continues.

News from the farm

After a relatively mild December and January, we experienced an unusual amount of snow for our area in late winter. The brown, dried skeletons of lemon balm stalks and seed heads caught the fine snow in small tufts, icy inflorescences that did not last the day of our first snowfall.

Dried stalks of lemon balm, February 2019.

Lured by increasing daylight and January’s relative warmth, irises and other early risers from the sleeping earth found themselves shivering in a frozen world. Green shoots, swelling buds and birdsong told of the coming spring, not far off, in spite of the cold and snow.

Green swords of iris making an entrance in February, only to find snow.

And of course, snow iris!

We found ourselves wielding snow shovels when the biggest storm hit, bringing back distant memories of life in another time back in New England. Snow has a way of softening sight and sound, lulling one into a sense of peace and tranquility. Dark forms of conifers, frosted white, loomed tall amid the mists and falling snow, giving the appearance of a scene one might typically find on a Christmas card. Little to no traffic except for snow plows passed by on the main road that day; I could hear birds singing somewhere off to the south. Shrubs and blueberry bushes were heavily bent earthward under the weight while daffodils by the old garage stood tall and perky up against the building where snow did not accumulate. There is something peaceful about watching snow fall, if one does not have to travel anywhere. Distances shrink, boundaries are softened, sounds and colors muted in a womb-like enclosure of white, a death waiting for rebirth in a state of colorless tranquility.

The farm in snow. We don’t usually see this much, if any.

Many days the surrounding hills and southwest pass were completely hidden behind the soft veil of light silver-grey, tendrils of fog curling and writhing before me, examining my presence. I could feel the water droplets that comprised it settling on my face, each drop an individual entity. Many small streams from melting snow and rain flowed toward the low areas, rippling and sparkling in the late winter sunlight.

Early March brought many cold mornings in the low 20s. Looking up into the starry blackness one such morning at 5:20 AM, I could almost feel the heat escaping from everything, including myself, radiating out into space. On mornings like this I have a much greater appreciation of our position, third planet from the sun, orbiting in a habitable zone, and just how much the sun’s warmth makes our present life here possible.

Spring arrived, as always, amid a riot of rainbows, catkins, blooms and new life in all forms. I found several osoberry bushes in the back lot, one of the first bloomers.

An intense rainbow in the east. A sign of peace.

Osoberry, also known as Indian plum.

Osoberry and lichen.

The annual symphony of chorus frogs performed magnificently in the many late winter and vernal pools on this farm we call home. Tree swallows have also returned, gracefully swooping about the farm and perching on the wires. Out in the back lot, blue camas are flowering. Cold hardy dandelions have been showing their faces about the farm for some time, and forming seed heads.

What I believe is a camas in bloom in the back lot.

A Dandelion in Winter.

Forming seeds.

Broccoli, sheltered under mini-greenhouses in the garden all winter, have been providing nutritious greens and stalks. They have started flowering, along with last year’s kale.

Overwintered broccoli. Quite tasty!

Old Man Winter and his companion Jack Frost have been slow to leave, and still send us an occasional night below freezing, even though the daytime temperature may rise into the 60s and 70s. They are headed north, climbing higher into the mountains as the sun rises further north along the eastern horizon. The air still feels crisp and cold here under the warm, golden light, their cold breath lingering in the foothills and shaded areas of the farm as April comes to a close.

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

Mr. Nano, ever watchful.

The Feline Correspondents Desk is back at work after a brief hiatus. Mr. Nano, head of the Resident Feline Correspondent’s Desk, has asked correspondent Miss Abby to file an essay about her observations from late winter through early spring, and about life in general as seen from the perspective of advanced years. Correspondent Abby has consulted her notes and has agreed to share the wisdom of her 17 years with readers. Without further ado, correspondent Miss Abby will present her essay.

Correspondent Abby, celebrating her 17th birthday this April.

I have reached a venerable age, having traveled around the sun and observed the changing of the seasons 17 times, although I still promptly greet all guests, and make them feel welcome in my home. I spend more time looking within, and dreaming, not only of what was, but where I am going in the years that are left to me.

Correspondent Abby, enjoying her shelf in the bookcase some years back.

With age comes that quiet realization one cannot jump as high, or as accurately as one did in their youth, and that to remain engaged in life, one must find other avenues of self-expression, while attempting to keep a positive demeanor as long as possible. The day will come, as it comes for all of us, when it is time to relinquish our past, with all the associated memories and emotions, and look forward into that bright abyss from which there is no return, following those before us. That is the nature of life and its cycles, as it plays out on this Earth, in this universe. There is no sadness, no regrets, only what is. Those to whom we mattered will remember, their memories of us evoked by some random sight, sound or scent, traveling on starlight, or distantly seen the moon’s soft, ghostly glow. We all walk among ghosts, including our own.

A sunset scene here from 2018.

Winter’s dark season has passed once again, barn lights on the distant hills glowing through the mists and snowfall like stars in hues of orange high pressure sodium and blue-green mercury vapor.   Lichens, swollen with winter rain, helped catch and retain the fine coating of snow; trees, especially apple and plum, stood frosted with an icing of the first snowfall of the season. Mornings often came in silver-grey, soft and quiet. Green grass in the wetter areas poked up through the covering, a juxtaposition of spring green and winter white. After sunrise, milky white mists would coalesce and rise, floating up the hills and skyward with the sun.

Winter view of the hills to the south of the farm.

Spring came slowly, stealthily to the farm, changing the face of sunrise and sunset. The white mists of dawn ran like a river of spilled milk along the base of the hills to the south; dark forms of trees rose up from the vapors, waiting for sunrise to give them color and substance. The time between first light and the first rays of emerging sun is a magical time, quickly changing its character and mood on the threshold of a new day. Crepuscular wildlife can be seen going about their business on the farm. In evening, the final rays of sun as it disappears below the horizon mark day’s end, and the transition into night.

Day’s end as last colors are caught by clouds to the east.

The sun has made good progress northward towards its position at solstice along the eastern horizon. High ice clouds and contrails catch the longer wavelengths of pink and rose; each partly cloudy morning makes a different yet equally spectacular entrance in form and hue. Once the transitional colors have passed, the blue dome above is marbled with stark white, that in itself a miracle of Nature. Down below, filtered sun streams across spring’s emerald green growth; heavily dewed grass scintillates from a myriad tiny prisms. The mornings are lighter now as old Sol moves northward along the eastern horizon. Come solstice, he will be rising behind the trees on a neighboring property and more difficult to spot peering just over the horizon.

One evening I watched as thickening contrails and filamentous cirrus clouds had not yet occluded an almost full moon in the eastern sky, a ghostly white orb marbled with grey, like quartz tumbled by the sea. A chorus of frogs was singing in the vernal pools as the sun dipped below the horizon, and night approached. Somewhere up there above the chorus of late winter frogs and cloud cover that night, the moon was sailing in the blackness of space, staring back at her companion, this marbled bright blue gem called Earth.

As always, we wish our readers a pleasant evening ahead, and safe travels to wherever their destination in life may lead them.

– Resident Feline Correspondent Abby, reporting for Salmon Brook Farms

Miss Hope and Mr. Nano, enjoying quality time.

Sisters Blynken and Wynken enjoying quality time.

Sisters Blynken and Nod enjoying quality time.

Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

February, March were a relatively quiet month musically, with construction projects (some more difficult and time consuming than initially thought) and family matters taking precedence. I will be blog posting less often now, so I may be able to actually catch up on many projects, including updating the pages associated with this blog, as well as stay in touch with all of you. I will keep the performance schedule updated regularly.

If you are in the area and wish to see me play live, please visit the Performance Schedule page in the ring menu at the top of this post.

Live with the Martin, Guild and Ventura.

For those readers who are new or catching up, do visit the Salmon Brook Farms YouTube channel. Our first Tiny Farm Concerts one song music video was posted at the end of March, 2017. I am 16 years older and a good bit more grey since my first and only CD was released back in 2003, but still in the saddle. It has been an interesting ride, with more to come!

For those who have missed previous posts and wish to view the channel content, here are links to the previous two videos. There will be more videos when I can get back to this project.

The Orchard, our distributor, has placed some of our music from the Keepsake CD on YouTube. Anyone wishing to see the entire track listing and stories behind the songs should visit my personal page under MUSIC in the menu at the top of this post. Depending on what country you live in, the music placed on YouTube by The Orchard may be blocked. Readers can also access some songs from the CD via the old IUMA archive site

In the meantime, in your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep your own local music alive. Go out and see someone you don’t know, host a house concert, download songs or buy CDs. Or even just stop for a minute to hear someone at a Farmers’ Market. Live, local musicians provide a wealth of talent most people will never hear about in this age of iPods, Internet and TV.

Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms

Enjoy the time here on this unique, beautiful planet.


115 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for February, March & April 2019

    • Thanks for stopping by, 15andMeowing! And thank you so much for the kind comments. Miss Abby thanks for for the birthday wishes and sends her best you. She is doing well for an older Abyssinian, and still purring up a storm. 🙂


  1. Timothy Price says:

    Happy Birthday to Abby. It’s nice you are making time for performing. That was a decent amount of snow. Blynken, Wynken and Nod are as pretty as the snow. Miss Hope and Mr. Nano are looking fat and happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy Birthday Abby… we read your post while listening to your keepsake… it was the perfect music to remember winter and the slow awakening of the nature around us… your voice is like a balm, thanks so much!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, dear Phenny, Neilson and family! Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments, and Abby thanks you all for the birthday wishes!

      Easy’s daffodils came back up again this spring, and are making a nice little garden around that pear tree.

      Sending you all the best from all of us here, dear friends! ❤


  3. Herman says:

    Hi Lavinia. As always, I enjoyed your post so much. But that snow… I hate hate snow! Thank goodness spring is arriving these days. Overhere, Mr. Bowie is checking out the garden and is waiting for fresh cat nip plants.
    We also loved the wise words and thoughts of correspondent Miss Abby. Thanks for sharing her 17 years of wisdom with your readers. Happy Birthday to the adorable Abby!

    Wishing you all the best, my dear friend! Good luck with catching up on your farm, music, winemaking projects and all your dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by Herman, and thank you as always for the kind comments! I will be by to see what you and Mr. Bowie have been up to soon. Miss Abby thanks for for the kind words on her 17 years of wisdom and the happy birthday, too! 🙂 She is doing well, but slowing down now. We’re watching her carefully.

      I have some catnip growing in barrel for the kitties here, too. It’s about a foot high now, and has survived the morning low temperatures. The cherry tree garden here is doing well.

      Sending you and Mr. Bowie our collective best wishes! Mr. Nano and crew also send a big “Meow” to you both. Have plenty of dark chocolate, espresso and cat treats, my dear friends! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Annie, and for the kind comments! Miss Abby is a wise old cat at 17. She is doing well, but definitely slowing down. She still has a good appetite though, which is half the battle with these old kitties, keeping them eating well. She had kidney damage as a youngster, but recovered. Her rescuer who gave her to us thought it might have been bad food. We keep a close eye on her.

      Last year’s wine turned out pretty good and we are hoping for a good vintage this year, too! Wishing you a fantastic vintage as well, with no drought this year.

      All the best to you and the Animal Couriers team. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I look forward to your book! Happy May Day to you, Rick, and the floofy residents of Salmon Brook Farms from the floofy residents of my home and I, Lavinia! We have snow on the ground, but it should melt later this week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you as always, Doug, Dougy and Andy, for stopping by here! A Happy May Day to you all, too!

      You still have snow! I do remember a May 9th snow in 1977 back in Connecticut. Green leaves on the trees, and SNOW! I’ll be by to visit you and the boys this week, and catch up on things in Nebraska. Stay well, all of you, dear friends! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We had a mature maple tree by the driveway where I used to live. It would leaf out, there’s be a heavy snow fall, and it was miserable trying to clear that mess off the driveway! The snow blower wouyldn’t work more than a short time before it clogged up on wert snow and leaves, and I had to keep a broom handle handy to try to clear it our. I eventually ended up scooping it byu hand, and it was a backbreaker! Yeah, I don’t miss those spring snowstorm blues!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Those spring snows tend to be heavy and on the wetter side. It was enough here to gum up the works and break branches here. Trees in this part of Oregon tend to be encrusted with lichens, especially those beard lichens, making it tough going for trees.

        Maples are such beauties! I rescued a native Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) sapling from beside the road up front many years back, transplanted it out back and it is finally taking off now. I let the blackberry grow up around it to protect it from deer until it gets more height and girth. Someday it will be a venerable old tree with many stories about what it has seen over the years. This species has leaves the size of dinner plates.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ours was unsuited to the soil and climate here, and required regular “shots” of minerals absent or in limited supplyh in local soild. The county agent said we could expecet it to last 25 years, but it lasted over 50 before his died. Not bad for a tree in the wrong spot!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I wondered what had happened to your welcome newsletter, Lavinia. We are rewarded for the wait by beautiful writing that perhaps needs more time to produce than a daily blogger can manage. Most admirable

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by Derrick, and thank you so much for the kind comments on the writing. I have a tree here to plant for your son Michael, a young purple plum. It will grow strong, tall and flower in spring as the years roll on. The blossoms will be as beautiful as his smile in the photos you shared with your readers. I feel your loss, and my heart goes out to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. With your posts, I can almost feel as though I was there this winter. Miss Abby’s essay helped in that respect. While reading the post, I had your music playing in my headphones – the sounds I never tire of. Thank you for the visit, Lavinia and all my best to Rick and the animal crew of Salmon Brook!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you as always, GP, for stopping by and for the kind comments! Miss Abby is a wise old cat. She is doing well, but definitely slowing down. She still has a good appetite though, which is half the battle with these old kitties, keeping them eating well.

      And thank you for the kind comments on the music, too. That helps keep me going. I know that window will close someday, and I am doing what I can before I get there. Rick doesn’t play anymore, unfortunately, but still goes around with me to the father afield shows to run sound, do the driving and make sure I get home alright.

      Your son Michael’s tree is doing well. Now I just have to get the Gift of Life page updated with current photos! I have a tree to plant for Derrick’s son Michael as well. And I need time to visit all of you fellow bloggers, too. Thank you all for hanging in here with me this season! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • No need the thank me, I love coming to your site. You would not believe how many people I tell about Michael’s tree!! They can’t believe that a stranger did that for someone they never met. (Kind of shows you what kind of world we live in, eh?)
        I was so upset by Derrick’s son! When he told me, ‘Michael’s dead’, it hit me so hard.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can understand that hitting you hard. To lose a child is a parent’s worst nightmare.

        I was honored to plant a tree for your Michael, GP. He was a dear son to you. I wish I could have met him. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll miss the monthly updates from you and the cats but I am sure you’re making the right decision–don’t let the blog turn into one more weight to bear. It’s nice to hear you’re busy and well and I am always impressed with how wise and articulate your cats are. Mine seem to talk mostly about food . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by Kerry, and for the kind comments! I felt it was better to update the blog as I can instead of on a schedule. I also need more time to visit all of you readers, too!

      Our cats talk plenty about food, too, especially in the morning when I am trying to sleep. 🙂


  8. Oh, Miss Abby! Such wisdom, as only a woman of mature years can offer. Thank you for sharing. And Lavinia: your writing astonishes me at times. Both beautiful and impactful.
    Wow: “There is something peaceful about watching snow fall, if one does not have to travel anywhere. Distances shrink, boundaries are softened, sounds and colors muted in a womb-like enclosure of white, a death waiting for rebirth in a state of colorless tranquility.”
    There are touches of the divine in this post. Thank you, ladies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for stopping by Cynthia, as as always, thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement. Miss Abby is blushing at your words, and thanks you from the bottom of her heart. ❤

      The divine resides in all of us; we are all sparks of the same flame. Sometimes the cats and I are able to find ways to describe it as we see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A belated Happy Birthday to Miss Abby! I enjoyed her eloquent and beautiful essay very much. I understand completely your decision to blog less frequently as that is what I have had to do. I love writing posts but they take time I don’t have anymore. What a winter of snow you had! I hope not too much damage was caused by the severe weather. Wonderful photographs!
    Best wishes to you, Rick and all the cats xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Clare! It is always good to see you! And thank you so much for the kind comments. Miss Abby does appreciate them too, and sends her best to you and your family. She is looking forward to her 18th birthday. 🙂 Yes, these posts take time and energy, and also make it more difficult to keep in touch with everyone else.

      Unusual weather seems to be the new normal here. I am hoping this will be a good fruit year, as blooming was held back until longer days and warmer weather hit. We’ll know soon! Rick is still busy trimming up the vineyards.

      All of us here are wishing you and your family all the best, Clare. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Jason, and for the kind comments! I also have a pair of crabapples that bloom on different schedules. The big apples are now in full bloom. The bees are working them, including the bumblebees.

      A happy spring to you, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from beautiful Frog Pond Farm in New Zealand, Julie! And thank you so much for the kind comments! Miss Abby sends her thanks and best wishes as well. 🙂

      I’ll still be here posting from time to time, but not so often anymore. Hopefully that will also give me more time to visit all of you, too!

      All the best and many hugs to you and your family! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “Snow has a way of softening sight and sound…” You’ve reminded me of my childhood on Long Island, and how quiet everything was outdoors while snow was falling. Later that silence would get broken by the sound of aluminum scraping against cement as I shoveled the snow off our sidewalks. It’s good to hear that you had so much experience with snow in Oregon this year, an echo of your earlier time in the Northeast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Steve, and thank you for the kind comments. Snowfall in my location generally does not accumulate much or last very long. The snow experience I had in New England, especially as a child, is not something I get out here in my neck of the western woods. It does trigger those pleasant early memories of watching snow fall. I remember going down the road to the barn to see my horse one snowy morning about 4:00 AM. He was out in the wooded area of the lot, standing under a tree. We watched the snow fall together for awhile. I went back home before anyone knew I had gone out.


  11. I comment about your description about the farm, Lavinia . Your words are like images or paintings that allow us to be in your landscape and its evolution . Sometimes I recognize that what we live in Oregon but the number of species is less important in our modest garden.
    I am not surprised your friend author asked you to write a book. You are so much inspiring.. You will have only to invent a story to place in your magical place .
    All of my encouragements, Lavinia
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Michel, and also for your very kind comments and encouragement!

      I will be by to visit your latest post about life in your beautiful French countryside soon. Sending all our love to you, Janine and the family. ❤ Lavinia


  12. niasunset says:

    The most beautiful season for me is Spring… How beautiful all flowers… I can imagine to be there dear Lavinia, but with your beautiful post and photographs I am almost there… 🙂 Thank you, and yes Happy Birthday for your lovely little friend, and many kisses… Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, dear Nia, and thank you so much for the kind comments! Little Miss Abby cat sends her love and best wishes to you and your family, along with all of us, too! ❤

      The apple trees are in full bloom, scenting the air with their sweet musky fragrance.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Belated happy birthday to Miss Abby! Love reading your post and enjoy your photos. I must say snow is quite pretty when fresh and those days I miss but not the accompanying cold and the job of snow shoveling. The crabapple photo is just breathtaking! Spring is my favorite time with the spring bulbs and the anticipation of more flowers to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Rosalinda, and for the kind comments! Fortunately we do not do much snow shoveling here in a normal year. The apple trees in spring have some of the prettiest blooms, with the crabapples being among the most beautiful trees. All the spring flowers do make the winter wait worthwhile. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. How wonderful to visit your farm again, and hear (read) of the beautiful changes of nature. You bring me right to your land. Now I must say, that Miss Abby is quite the writer, not to mention philosopher, and I think she may have stolen the best photographs for her own piece. She looks absolutely wonderful for 17. Loved the snow pictures, too. Jeanne

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yesterday was the anniversary of another fine writer’s death: Emily Dickinson. After her death, her sister, also named Lavinia, took over the care of her garden, and I smiled to read this:

    “All [Lavinia’s] flowers did as they liked: tyrannized over her, hopped out of their own beds and into each other’s beds, were never reproved or removed as long as they bloomed; for a live flower to Aunt Lavinia was more than any dead horticultural principle.”

    It seems to me now that you’re doing much the same — allowing your flowers, both real and metaphorical, to bloom as they will, while you get about the business of living and creating in some new ways. After a somewhat turbulent couple of months, I’m trying to get back onto more of a schedule with my writing, but I also understand how freeing it can be to allow things to develop as they will. I know I’m looking forward to your future words, however and whenever they emerge. They never fail to make me more content, and more appreciative of the world in which we live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Linda, and thank you for the very, very kind comments. I loved the quote about Emily Dickinson’s sister Lavinia! Her flower beds sound just like mine.

      It is indeed freeing to let things develop as they will, and at this time I have no other choice due to an increase in responsibilities. I am honored that you find my words bring you contentment, and greater appreciation of the world in which we live.


  16. Miss Abby exposes her philosophy of existence and her metaphysics. Although she is 17 years old, she has kept her vivacity of mind, for example, to describe the beginnings of spring in an almost ghostly way.. She is also a physicist since she speaks of waves to speak of colors . She jumps less high than before but she kept her brain very young . Perhaps also she remembers the old tray decorated with palms leaves that she licked in during her youth ! 🙂
    Good report Miss Abby 🙂
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always good to see you, dear Michel! Thank you for visiting from your beautiful French countryside! Miss Abby sends you her sincere thanks for your praise of her writing. 🙂 She is recovering from a recent respiratory illness, and doing well again. Her brain is still very sharp, and her paws are into everything she can find. 🙂

      Much love to you, Janine and the family, ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is always good to see you, Teagan, and thank you for the kind comments! Yes, spring has been a runaway train here. I could use those angel-bots of yours for help! 🙂 I’ll be by to catch up with your work soon again soon. I miss your story installments!

      Hugs back to you and Crystal from all of us here.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hello lovely Lavinia and all the wonders that are, ‘Salmon Brook Farms’. Your header photo here today is so gorgeous! Just this week, apple blossom and lilac have began to bloom here. I wish it could last all summer, but then I guess it might loose some of it’s wonder. It’s like brief, but spectacular fireworks.
    We had the coldest February since sometime in the 1930’s I believe. It was epic with snow into the first week of May. Spring followed very late. We’re all, just now, getting into our planting mode. You write about the snow so beautifully, it almost sounds like a treat 😀 June is almost always our rainiest month, so that is now what lies ahead. Alys and I are looking forward to hooking up in Victoria in early July and then she’ll return home with me for a week. I’m over the moon excited.
    Happy belated Birthday to correspondent Abby, well done! 17 years is amazing ❤ I adored all the kitty photo's so much. Take good care, one and all x K

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boomdee!! Always good to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by from Canada, and for the lovely comments! Abby sends her thanks for your birthday wishes. She just got over a little respiratory infection, and feels like her old self again.

      Your weather up there was as snowy and cold as ours was erratic down here . Our rainiest months should have passed, and with June around the corner it should become drier.

      Have a wonderful time with Alys! Perhaps someday I will meet you both! 🙂

      All the best to you, Mr. B and the cats up in Alberta. And say hello to Alys. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I sure will tell Alys hello, thank you dear. We had an interesting week last. Petals to it in her mind to bolt out the door when Jim was taking out the recycle bin. Before he knew it, she was under the gate and gone. She’s never even been off the deck but spent a whole night and half day out, who knows where. After walking blocks and blocks and fearing the worst, I found her the next day in a neighbours yard. Stinker might not do that again !

        Liked by 1 person

  18. My attention has been caught by the last image of your post, Lavinia . The changing sky with the various clouds that go away ;this is beautiful and soothing and gives matter of thought.
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always good to see you, Michel! I am glad you enjoyed that photo of the sky! I enjoy watching and photographing clouds. 🙂

      Love to you and the family, ❤


  19. Phew! What a late winter/early spring you had. Love the notes from your dear cats. And, yes, especially as we age, we must sometimes cut back. Glad to read you will be sharing life on your beautiful farm, even though it will be less often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Laurie! Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments. Life has been running at an increasingly fast pace for the last year. I have to take a breather to catch up with myself and a lot of unfinished and ongoing work, and helping family. This summer is going by all too fast! I am trying to visit our blogging community as I can amid the chaos. You are a very dear group of people!

      I am glad to hear spring finally came to your area, as we are rapidly moving into the summer heat season. It was 90 yesterday and 96 degrees today. It is a bit early for that kind of heat, but the climate bell is oscillating. There is no normal anymore.

      All the best to you and Clif. I think you have a kitty, too? I miss reading about old Liam. I still have to plant his memorial here.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see you again, Kevin! I am glad to have found you again. Thanks for stopping by, and for the kind comments. Yes, sometimes those breaks are much needed to catch up on other aspects of life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hello Lavinia ! I hope all is well for you both and your vineyard . I think of you because in France we have a heat wave and and in some areas the leaves of the wine have been burned by the heat : a disaster
    My garden that was so beautiful is stopped by the heat and the lack of water .
    I hope you have not any problems with that .
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, dear Michel! I am sorry to hear you are in the middle of a heat wave in France, and your gardens and the vineyards in your area have been affected. The real heat has not arrived here in my part of Oregon, yet. June went back to being relatively cool and cloudy, and we had some good rain a couple of days ago. The daily temperatures are going up though, and we will see what happens in July and August!

      What has hurt us here was the cold and snowy weather at the end of winter and beginning of spring. Very few plums this year, practically no blueberries (and many bushes needing trimming of the dead wood), cherries or pears. Apples look good, so far, and I think we will have a good grape harvest.

      Love to you and Janine, and the family ❤


      • You speak of the sudden cold weather at the end of april Lavinia . We had it too and the potatoes since them are ill. No apples nor pears and nor quinces. However we got a good crop of raspberries ; Janine made good jam with them.
        Now the drought whom I spoke in my latest comment continues and this is the entire France that is becoming a desert . Meadows are yellow and even the wineyards are ruined . We are hoping the rain , despairately.
        Let us keep hope
        Love ❤
        Michel .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Michel, thank you for stopping by! I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers for rain to break the drought over in France.

        The temperatures are rising, but the real heat has not come yet. I think we will have apples and grapes.

        Love to you and the family, ❤


    • Thank you for stopping by, dear Nia! I will be by to visit shortly. I miss your beautiful Turkish homeland, and all you see through your lens! This year has been unusually busy between farm, cats and family, and I have been remiss about visiting many. Catch up is slow.

      Much love to you and your family, ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • niasunset says:

        Just be sure, I just wanted to hear you that you are well, all other things can be for all of us, sometimes we are busy, that’s normal dear Lavinia. and Another point, be sure (we) I always miss you, your posts, your monthly touches… Thank you dear Lavinia, I am so happy to hear you now. Blessing and Happiness, Love, nia

        Liked by 1 person

  21. My latest comment is still good :alwayss the dought here and now the heat wave . I hope ou have not this on the Pacific coast Lavinia .
    I tought of you yesterday : ttwo daughters were back home yesterday coming from Epernay where a son is working !!
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Michel! I am sorry France is still in a heat wave. We have been lucky here, so far. The really hot weather that goes on and on has not come, just yet. August is just around the corner, though!

      Epernay II yeast, also known as Côte des Blancs (the company is Red Star), is what I use to make our pinot noir rosé wine. interesting you have a son working in Epernay! Glad to hear your daughters made it back for a visit with you and Janine.

      Love to you and the family ❤


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