Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick & Lavinia Ross, Salmon Brook Farms – Winter 2021

Our feature photo this season is of a golden crowned kinglet that paid a visit on November 16th.  Early that chilly 34 degree morning, I heard a thud on my office window and looked up to see that this little bird had conked himself on it. I went out and collected him off the window;  he was upside down, hanging on to the sill by the little toenails on one foot. I warmed him in my hands for a bit, and got some quick photos of him.

Top view – golden crown with orange stripe is a male.

He was alert, though he did not want to leave my hand, finally walking up my arm and trying to stay perched on my sleeve. His toenails are designed for gripping, and they did a good job. I did manage to get him off onto an old raisin canister, which I placed in a paper bag so he could warm up until he got his senses back.

He finally walked onto a raisin canister.

I knew those old raisin canisters were good for something.

By the time the sun had risen above the mists, he had flown off.  Sometimes Nature gives us a close look at our fellow creatures. This one was indeed a brave and regal little bird.  I was pleased to be able to help him on his way back to his own kind.

News from the farm

The autumn passed quickly here, and we found ourselves back in the rainy season again, long days of grey and wet punctuated by weak, low-angled sun.  After the summer’s above normal heat and drought,  we do not mind it, though it makes stargazing and moon viewing difficult.   It is a transitional time of year to enjoy dawn as well as the post sundown sky in all their vivid colors.   I have tried to slow down, and rest more, though somehow I am busier than ever.  The new wine has been cold stabilizing on the lees, and I have been too occupied to rack it off.  It will be fine until I can get to it within the next couple of weeks.

Dawn’s pink clouds December 4th.

Trees and sky on December 4th.

Post sundown sky on November 25th.

Gopher mound soil, freshly dug and pulverized by those industrious rodents,  was collected for making grape vine cuttings, both table grapes and wine grapes.  We keep cuttings on hand to replace vines that fail, and to propagate some of the more interesting varieties.  Summer is hard on new plantings, which require a lot of water to get established.

Grape cuttings waiting out the winter.

I bought a used van for escaping with all the humans, cats and a few supplies.  In case of fire, this vehicle could hold all that.   I was going to call the van “Voyager“, but a relative has christened it “Jupiter 2” instead, and the name seems to be sticking.  Old Seabisquit the Subaru is garaged, waiting for repair work while my left arm and shoulder are waiting to heal up from some hard work and overuse.  For those readers who have wondered and previously commented, or may be wondering anew , I spell Seabisquit the Subaru with a “q”, not a “c”, as it is only a name, names can be spelled different ways, and I wanted it to be different from the famous thoroughbred, whose story I read as a child.  I don’t plan on changing it for anyone.

For GP Cox at Pacific Paratrooper, here is the winter 2021 photo of the coastal sequoia planted in memory of your son Michael some years ago.  The tree, 10 years old, is now making cones!  Cone formation is a new milestone in the life of this handsome tree.

Micheal’s tree, tall and proud.

Note pine cones at the top. First year we have seen them!

A lot of daffodils went in this autumn, and a few new redwoods given to us by a tree farmer were transplanted into pots for the winter.  Even in this dark time, green shoots of daffodils and dutch irises are poking their heads out of the cold, damp earth, answering a call far older than mankind. Lichens, swollen with rain water, festoon trees in a greenish-grey, covering branches, logs and stumps. It is winter in the Pacific Northwest.

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

It has been a difficult two years.  Loss and isolation have touched so many we know.  Mr. Nano, our head correspondent, tends to look on the lighter side of life, and has decided to share his thoughts on the season with readers.  His enthusiastic spirit continues to brighten darker days, reminding us that everything in life is temporary, our basic needs are met, and there is nothing much to complain about.

Mr. Nano, ever watchful.

Nightfall comes early, and dawn’s first light a glimmer well past rising time.  Barn and utility lights glow like earthbound stars on the surrounding hills;  those in the shadow of the eastern ridge still blazing for a while after the first blue light of early morning has faded into day.

Cloud cover obscures much of the moon’s activities, though at full moon, she is so bright, all appears visible out there in the vineyards and orchard to the east, and I can see all that moves.  A spider patrols a web she has built off of the porch thermometer, and can be observed in weather one might think too cold for such activities.  Many generations of her kind have taken up residence there for the winter.

Snow comes most years, at least some, often driven by a stiff west wind that plays a pensive tune in the chimes on the porch.  Snow fall comes in many sizes and forms, quietly covering the normal green of winter grass, a reflective blanket of white.  Even at new moon, when no moon is visible in the night sky, visibility in general increases, and much can still be seen.

The rain returns soon enough, a gentle staccato on the metal roof.  Snow melts, green widens and coalesces.  A tree frog calls somewhere not far from the window.  It is the ebb and flow winter weather in the Pacific Northwest.

– Correspondent Mr. Nano, reporting from the Feline Desk of  Salmon Brook Farms

We wish our readers safe travels to wherever their destination in life may lead them.

Mount Hood as seen from the plane some years ago on the way into PDX..


Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

I have been able to play music out on a limited basis this past year and will continue to do so again in 2022, as the Covid situation permits.  If you are in the area and wish to stop by and see me play somewhere, do check out the Performance Schedule page.

For those readers who missed previous posts or are new to this blog, I am posting on mostly seasonal basis now. Hopefully someday, I may be able to actually catch up on the 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. New videos will follow as soon as I can get to them.  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.

Those who know me well also know I am a big fan of the late Kate Wolf, recorded a few of her songs on my last CD, and I will be recording some more of her music in the future as well.  The Minstrel is one of her songs I learned a while ago.  Here it is adapted and arranged for the 12 string guitar tuned to Open G.

Full Circle, one of my own songs, was written in the aftermath of 9/11/2001 and is a song about love and enjoying life while one can.  I’ve played it out all the intervening years, and recorded here recently with the lights down, much like a typical evening here I’d be practicing.  It is a bit dark, but I make no apologies.  There are no flashy graphics, just one woman, one voice, and a guitar.  The guitar featured here is my old Ventura 12 string.  I bought this old friend at a kiosk in a mall for $100 back in 1977.  For those interested in lutherie, this guitar is a bit different in that it has a zero fret up by the nut.  To my knowledge, this brand of guitars, which were made in Japan, are not made anymore, and I have only come across one other, not nearly constructed as well.  I keep the Ventura tuned to DGDGBD or DGDGA#D.  Flat the 3rd and you get G minor.  Alternate tunings are easier for small hands and present a bigger box of acoustical paint from which to draw upon.    I use Martin Acoustic SP extra light phosphor bronze strings on the Ventura, Martin Acoustic SP  light gauge phosphor bronze strings on the Martin guitar, And D’Addario light gauge coated phosphor bronze on the Guild.

I am 18 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!   The Orchard, our distributor, has placed some of our music from the Keepsake CD on Spotify and 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 due to digital rights content. Readers can also access some songs from the CD via the old IUMA archive site.

Rick retired from playing music some years ago, but he still practices, and plays a few tunes at some of my shows.

Rick tending vines.

Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms

I leave readers with an old Irish blessing.  Until we meet again.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

A very local rainbow!


170 thoughts on “Rick & Lavinia Ross, Salmon Brook Farms – Winter 2021

  1. Hi Lavinia, it’s good to see you back! It’s so sweet how you took care of that beautiful bird until he could fly away! They are so adorable.

    Voyager and Jupiter 2, I never missed an episode of either show being a science fiction guy! Danger Will Robinson!

    I think you should use the letter Q in place of the C, it’s just better. I wish you both a wonderful new year, safety from that virus, and prosperity! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John, it is always good to see you! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments! He was a beautiful little bird, and I was lucky to be there at the right time.

      I loved both Sci Fi shows. Robbie the Robot was my favorite LIS character. Kate Mulgrew made a fine Captain Janeway in Voyager. It was good to see a woman in the Captain’s chair.

      Wishing you a Happy New Year, John. May 2022 be kind to you, and everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comment! I am glad I could be of service to this little fellow, and help him on his way.

      Wishing you and Marley and the animals a Happy and Healthy New Year. Old Bodhi is in our thoughts and prayers. He is in the best hands possible, yours.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Tim! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments. I will post your mother’s tree and flowers come spring. I planted Juanita daffodils for her.

      Wishing you, Laurie and the animals a happy and peaceful New Year. Stay healthy and keep playing that guitar.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my that kinglet. They are so tiny. I was watching some high up in trees last week, flitting and feeding. I’m glad you have an escape plan and vehicle. It seems wise. And as for your songs, I loved them both. It’s been a while since I heard a 12 string and they have such a full rich sound. What a pleasure to hear. Happy new year to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So we could say that Seabisquit has Seabis-Quit for the time being. Let’s hope your Subaru will come shining through.

    Good of you to rescue the little birdie. The conking gave you a rare chance for some close portraits.

    You’ve written a nice description of winter in your part of the world. May it be a smooth transition to spring, and we hope a better time for all of us after two years of pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Steve! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments. I figured I had better get out and rescue the bird before the roaming neighborhood cats did. All my cats stay inside.

      Old Seabisquit needs some work on the windshield wipers, much needed in rainy weather, and a “klunk” in the right front steering investigated. She has over 460,000 miles now. I watched a YouTube on the wipers. It is either worn splines or the motor itself. Easy enough to get the wipers off, but I am giving my left arm and shoulder a rest from prying, lifting and twisting. I have an appointment to get that looked at.


  4. It is a rare treat to be able to hold a wild bird on one’s hand! The golden crowned kinglet is an especially special one. I’ve hand-fed pine siskins, using cat lessons for approaching a seeding station to gain their trust (or ignorance of my presences as a threat?) before they are landing and displaying to each other to demand priority at the “feeder!

    I enjoyed this edition of your blog, Lavinia. Best wishes for healing and for a better 2022. Anything, almost, beats what the past few years have brought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Doug, it is always a pleasure to have you visit here, and thank you so much for the kind comments! I can picture you gaining the trust of the siskins and becoming a “feeder”.

      Yes, these last two years have brought much grief, and I am glad this year is just about in the rear view mirror. A little less than 5 hrs to go. I hope 2022 is far kinder to us all. Wishing you and Andy cat a happy, peaceful and healthy 2022.


      • Yes, we all need relief, a hope for better times, eh?

        Your post this time, with the memorial tree for your son, reminds me that planting a tree one can’t possibly live long enough to see fully mature is a supreme act of positivity, and a blessing for future generations to enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Herman says:

    Hi Lavinia. I’m always looking forward to read a new post on your blog. Starting the new year with a post from you is a real pleasure.
    Wishing you and Rick a safe, healthy and happy 2022, my dear Lavinia! Jimi sends his regards to all the cats on the Farm! And a special thank you for the report of watchful Mr. Nano!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, dear Herman and Jimi! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments. I will post your family’s cherry tree garden this spring.

      Mr. Nano enjoyed writing that report. He says he is pleased you like it. 🙂

      Wishing a safe, happy and healthy 2022 for you and Jimi from all of us here. ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. GP says:

    Such a magnificent post, Lavinia! From the Kinglet making his visit, to Michael’s most exceptional tree, to the news of the farm and last but not least a song from you!
    I have saved the tree pictures to print out and add to the others, showing the growth and excellent care you’ve taken.
    Please tell Rick hello and I wish you both the very best in 2022! Stay healthy and safe, my friends!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So much beauty here. I enjoyed the bird story and the photos, especially the pink sunsets. Great guitar playing and singing. I too am a big Kate Wolf fan. I’ve covered many of her songs on my blog. I have all of her albums, but I’ve never heard The Minstrel before, if that is one of her songs.


    • It is always a pleasure to see you Teagan, and thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting! No GPS in that van, unfortunately, though it does have other spaceship-like whistles and bells I am still getting used to, and I don’t have to worry about Dr. Smith stowed away in the back. 🙂 The Subaru feels more like a shuttlecraft now. 🙂

      Wishing you and Crystal a bright and beautiful 2022, with all good things!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I would find it a bit alarming to have to have an ‘escape’ van. I hope that you have no occasion to use it.

    It is a rare treat to have a golden crowned kinglet in your hand. I am glad that it survived the knockout blow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Mr. Tootlepedal! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. The kinglet was indeed a rare treat to hold in my hand, and I am glad he obliged us a few photos for identification and documentation.

      I, too, hope we never have to use the van for the purpose of escaping fire, but at least we have it now, and we can breathe a little easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What an honor for you to be allowed to handle that stunned bird…such a gorgeous creature.
    I know there must be a story behind GP’s Micheal Tree – and most likely tinged with sadness as I assume it is a living memorial. I am heartened to see it flourishing – a result of your tender tending of it, no doubt.
    I always look forward to your quarterly posts, Lavinia.
    On the musician side of things, how is your left arm/hand holding up in ‘rehab’ for when you resume regular playing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Laura, and thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments! Yes, there is a sad story behind GP’s Micheal’s tree. It is a living memorial to Michael. There are five trees all planted in a line, all are memorials for people who have passed on, and were (and still are) dear to someone. These coastal sequoia seedlings were given to me 10 years ago by a tree farmer friend. Michael’s tree is the tallest. There are little memorial gardens and trees planted around the farm, and you will see photos of them from time to time. I started that as is seemed a small kindness I could do for those left behind. Sometimes words of sympathy are not enough.

      As for the arm, I had previously overused it doing things around here, and then dug 400 feet of trench for cable recently, a time sensitive project. I can practice and play (I normally play sitting down), but not able to lift much or sleep on that side. I have to be careful. It gets looked at this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. If I’d been that little kinglet, I wouldn’t have wanted to leave your arm, either. What a shock it must be to them when something like that happens. I’m glad you were there to tend to it, and had a comfortable perch to offer it while it recovered.

    I’m sorry for the personal sadnesses of your year. With so much attention paid to Covid, it’s easy to forget that the past year has held its share of other illnesses, deaths, and losses of various sorts. I was to kitty-sit for a friend over the Christmas holiday, but her lovely kitty died just before their trip.The fact that she was 19 years old didn’t make it any easier for them.

    Speaking of the cats, I really enjoyed Mr. Nano’s report, especially his comments about the snow, the moon, and light. I’ve often thought of that special way snow affects the night as ‘snowshine’. It’s so true that even without the moon, things light up in a special way.

    I’m sending my best wishes to you and yours for the coming year. I’m especially glad you have the van now. Some friends just left their home above the Russian River in California. Their home was in a spot that meant whether a fire began above or below, there was only one way out, so they’ve opted for the southern California desert! It’s a dramatic move, but everyone has their own ways of preparing for life’s possibilities.

    Take care of yourself, and tend to your own ‘wings’ — shoulder and arm pain can be more than annoying, especially when even daily tasks become difficult. I hope good health, plenty of music, and lots of happiness for you and Rick in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Linda, and I thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments! I was glad to be there for that little bird. As for the arm and shoulder, I am resting the arm as much as I can, and it will be looked at this week.

      I am sorry sorry to hear of your friend’s kitty passing away. The passing of an old friend is hard at any age.

      Old Nano (he will be 16 this year) is a good observer. If I wake up during the night, I go over to the window to see what has caught his attention. It can be very busy out there at night.

      You mentioned friends moving away from the Russian River area. Rick and I used to love going down there and traveling around. We camped there once. The town of Jenner, at the mouth of the river, had a wonderful restaurant where one could sit and see the sun go down on the water. As beautiful as the area is, I can’t blame your friends for moving to desert to escape the annual fires.

      Wishing you and your family a bright and beautiful new year, Linda. Stay well! I will catch up with your blog soon. I am way behind. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you Musiewild. Thank you for stopping by and for commenting! Thank you for the link on your native Firecrest. Our Golden Crowned Kiglet looks like a combination of your Goldcrest and Firecrest birds.

      The orange head stripe on the Firecrest is quite distinct. As you pointed out, they are both in the genus Regulus, and closely related. It was indeed pleasing to have one stay around long enough to get photos for a positive identification.

      Thank you again for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Andrea! Thanks for stopping in and for the kind comments. The Kinglet was a very beautiful bird, and I am glad I was able to help him return to his own kind.

      I am way behind on catching up with many of you. I will be by soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. How lovely to read your latest newsletter! I find the story of that little bird so heartwarming, and Mr Nano’s words are simply adorable. And you are correct, everything in life is temporary. Images of the pink skies (even when you had long days of grey and wet in autumn) are stunning. So many things I love about your life in the farm as well as your music happenings.

    It’s really a delight to read you, and thank you for the music too. I’m listening to your songs as I type this comment. 🙂 Wishing you and yours a wonderful year ahead, Lavinia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Khaya, and thank you so much for stopping by and for the very kind comments! Life here has it own magic and beauty, and I am pleased to be able to share it with readers. Mr. Nano is a gentleman and a scholar, and I am pleased he lets me in on his thoughts every now and then. 🙂

      Wishing you and yours a wonderful year ahead as well, Khaya. Stay well, and may this year bring you joy and all good things for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ” Nature is there , waiting for you and loving you” the French poet Lamartine wrote in a poem called “le lac” . For you , Lavinia ,Nature comes to you like this golden crowned kinglet . This last needed protection and came to hit at your window . He was right and now the worldwide knows it!
    The beginning of this post is a post in itself and is very moving.
    I wish to both you a happy and healthy new year with numerous pleasures with nature around you.
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Always a joy to read your newsletter and to hear you sing. So glad the sweet little bird just needed some recovery time in a safe place. Sorry about your arm and shoulder. Hope they heal on their own. Always enjoy the feline dispatches and the point of view. Take care, take care! Let’s hope it’s smoother sailing in 2022, and we can relax just a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to have you visit, Laurie, and thank you so much for the kind comments! I am pleased you enjoy this blog site and its ramblings about life here.

      Let us hope 2022 is a better one for all of us. Wishing calm seas and clear weather for whatever lies ahead in life. I look forward to your new book, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Annie! Thank you for stopping by and for commenting. It was interesting to see this little fellow up close, and I am glad he seems to have a thick skull. He made quite a thud on the window.

      I haven’t forgotten you over on the Animal Couriers site. I way behind with many blogs. I will catch up with you soon.

      Wishing you and the Couriers team a safe, happy and healthy 2022! And I am with you, may it be a kinder year for everyone. 🙂


  14. Such a beautiful and uplifting post, Lavinia, thank you. Please pass on to Mr Nano that his report was especially enjoyed. It has been a time of love and loss for so many of us but life goes on – enriched by glimpses such as this into corners of the world we might otherwise never get to appreciate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a pleasure to see you, Sandra! Thank you so much for visiting and the very kind comments! I will pass on your thoughts to Mr. Nano, who will be pleased his writing is enjoyed by his readers. Yes, life does continue, and we strive to find the good and beautiful where we can.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy New Year Lavinia to you Rick and everyone at Salmon Brook Farms, sorry to read about your arm, my Dad slipped on wet granite in Scotland and injured his arm and shoulder and he had to get a chiropractor to reset it and now does Pilates exercises that have done the power of good because it just wasn’t fixing itself. I hope you have better luck 🍀. Loved the song, when I see you with your guitar I wish I’d learnt to play guitar piano is great but too bulky to cart around hehe.
    I loved reading about Michael’s tree what a lovely gesture GP is one of my best friends on the blog and was one of my first connections. Very uplifting and made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Charlotte! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments. I am glad your Dad is doing well now with his injury.

      GP is good friend to many of us, and I felt a tree, a living memorial, was the best way for me to honor his son. I got that tree, and the rest of the ones in that line, when they were about 5 inches tall. I grew them in pots until they were big enough to go out into the world. As you can see the tree, a coastal sequoia, is only 10 years old and has grown fast!

      I started out with piano lessons when I was 7 years old, but my teacher had moved away after about 6 months, and I never resumed. My knowledge of music theory is rudimentary, so I play guitar totally by ear. Someday, I may pick up piano again.

      I wish you and George all the best in this bright new year. May all good things come your way! I am way behind catching up with people, and I promise I will be by soon. 🐱❤️🐱

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hello lovely Lavinia et all ! Happy Everything to you as we move through the new year. I loved your opening story! I’m so happy you were home and able to help this sweet little soul. How dear to make such a wonderful connection as he sat in your hand and on your sleeve. Have I ever told you about a Robin befriended me at the lake? I walked onto our porch on morning to see her sitting on a chair. A bit precarious as we had an outdoor cat at the time. She didn’t seem to want to move so I put out my hand and she climbed aboard. I still remember her so vividly. These connections with natures wee hearts are magical aren’t they? Enjoyed Mr Nano’s report, he writes so beautifully and of course your gift of song. Cheers my dears, lovely to hear your news 💗💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to have you visit, Kelly! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments! I can just picture you little robin friend. You are right, these connections to Nature are magical and stay vividly in our memories. I will be sure to let Mr. Nano know you enjoyed his writing, and thank you so much for listening to the music!

      Wishing you, Mr. B. and kitties are wonderful new year! 🐱❤️🐱

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I so enjoy reading these updates Lavinia, and for the precious look into your world. Now I feel enwrapped in nature and peaceful – even though there are such moments of sadness and reflection. My sister’s recent visit has re-inforced to me just how easily I got through 2021, a blessing.
    And I love your voice and playing. Bill and I were near Yachats a few years ago. Would have been curious if we dropped in on one of your performances. We took five nights to travel from San Francisco to Astoria but I just can’t recall where we overnighted in that vicinity.
    I wish you well with your shoulder recovery. I am once again doing floor exercises and stretches every other day, but let’s see how long I continue that. But it definitely helps my flexibility. Not that I am doing any heavy farm work!
    Happy New Year and all the best for 2022, Gwen

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a pleasure to see you Gwen! Thank you so much for stopping by and for all the kind comments! If you and Bill ever come over to this side of the Pond again, the coast is only 2 hrs away, and we can meet you. I hope 2022 is kinder to all, and that someday this pandemic will be behind us.

      I’ve had the chiropractor work on the shoulder, as well as a massage therapist, and trying to keep up with the exercises. There is indeed a lot of heavy work needing to be done here, and I need all the parts in working order.

      Wishing you and Bill all the best for this year. May all good things come your way! Your memoir is on my list of books for this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. niasunset says:

    Good Morning dear Lavinia, I am so happy to see you here, I always miss ypu on blogging world. What a beautiful start of the new year, this small bird so lovely, so beautiful… I always find them (small birds) as a sign of miracle… They hit me much more divinely… You captured amazing moments. All other photographs are so beautiful too, the tree under the snow fascinated me. You had a snow there, we haven’t yet in here. I am also so glad to hear you make your music, I wished to be there too… Pandemic situations really hit all of us. But I hope and wish 2022 to be better than 2021… Dear Lavinia, beautiful Irish Blessing you shared with us, Thank you, I wish you a wonderful New Year, and Blessing and Happiness to you All, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, dear Nia! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the very kind comments. This small bird was indeed an example of the miracle of life in its many forms. I am glad I was there to help him get back to his own kind.

      All of our snow from the last storm has melted. It is back to rainy and grey days, with a little sun in between. The last two days have been beautiful.

      Yes, the pandemic situation hit all of us pretty hard in one way or another, and I worry about you and your family. I do hope 2022 is better than the last two years to us all.

      I will be by to visit again soon. I am slow getting around to everyone these days.

      Love to you and your family, from all of us here!
      🙂🙂 🐱🐱 🐱🐱 🐱🐱 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Lavinia, it may be my imagination, but I think Mr. Nano is waxing more poetic as time goes on! 🙂 How wonderful that you were able to help the little crowned kinglet and that we were able to see your photos close-up. Thanks for that! Michael’s tree is quite lovely, too. Keep up the good work with your music.
    You are right – there are never enough hours in the day, but … I have always said, “I’d rather be busy than bored,” and that’s something neither of us will ever be. Take good care, Jeanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Jeanne! Thanks for stopping by and for all the kind comments! You are right, boredom is something neither one of us will ever know. 🙂

      Mr. Nano has plenty of thoughts on life, and will treat readers to them now and then. 🙂

      Wishing you the best in 2022 from all of us here.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Lavinia, 21 passed so quickly, it’s probably led to our desire to slow things down a bit in this new year. I like the idea of an “escape van.” With all the fires, it seems to be a necessity more and more. Hopefully you won’t have to use it for that purpose. Sorry to read your Seabisquit is temporarily sidelined.

    Speaking of guitars, I picked up a Taylor 12-string for Christmas from my girls. It plays beautifully. I have a Taylor 6-string. They were ready to buy me a Guild, which was kind of pricey at $5,000. But somethings tells me they spent money for the Taylor. Tara told me not look up prices. I am still looking at strats. The one I want is on back order and I’m on the wait list. So we’ll see on that one. A Ventura guitar, I haven’t seen one in ages. I did know they are no longer made. More recently, I’ve been working at playing piano better. Occasionally, a stray note that does not belong finds a way in.

    The kitty crew is doing well here. I’ve let Caitie have full run of the house. I used to close her into a spare bedroom for the overnight to avoid refereeing a middle-of-a- night confrontation. She seems to be more settled, though there were a couple confrontations yesterday which never got past hissing and yowling stage.

    Our winter has been on the mild side. Along with the warmer temps, it has been very dry. The snow has been quite minimal too.

    Hope you and Rick are doing well. Best to you both in this new year.


    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, David, and thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments. Tara is right, don’t look at prices on guitars. My Ventura was $100 (1977) and is one of my workhorses. I know someone back east with a Taylor 12 string. They are beautiful sounding, and bright on the high end. Guilds are no longer made by Guild. The old Guilds, like the one we have, were made in Westerly, Rhode Island by Guild luthiers. Rick had ordered ours through Mandolin Brothers
      on Staten Island, NY back in ’97 (they cost a lot less back then, and were a great price per value), and we could drive over to Westerly, RI for maintenance at the factory. That 12 string needed a neck reset in its 1st year, but has been great since. As I remember it, Guild was bought by Fender, the factory moved to the west coast, though the original luthiers did not, and is now owned by Cordoba I don’t know what they are like now. Rick prefers Guilds, and there are a few oldies in his stable.

      Mild winters are good unless they are dry, and I think you are in fire danger there still. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Our winters here have been sufficiently wet, so far.

      Glad to hear your kitties are well, as are you! You gave us all quite a scare this past year. So far we all keep waking up on the right side of the ground here, for which we are grateful. 🙂

      Best to you and the family this year and always,

      Liked by 1 person

  21. About the news of the farm I have underlined the symbiose existing between you and the gophers , Lavinia. They work the soil to go underground and you use the worked soil to plant young branches of interesting grapewine to multiply this variety.
    I read somewhere it was a Napoleon’s nephew, scientist, who had described for the first time (1850) the Gopher.
    About the flowers I am surprised you got Daffodils in bloom at the fall
    Like you we have numerous grey days at this moment but today sun is there !
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, dear Michel! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments! That is an interesting note about Napoleon’s scientist nephew and gophers. Daffodils in warmer, more south facing locations already have buds and will bloom soon. Others will continue to emerge and bloom up through early April. It is somewhat sunny and relatively warm here today, too.

      Wishing you, Janine and the family all the best in this new year. ❤️ Continue playing that flute!


    • It is always a pleasure to hear from you, Julie! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments. I was glad to be there at the right time to help the bird get back about his business. And that old Irish blessing has always been a favorite one.

      Wishing you all at Frog Pond Farm in New Zealand a happy and healthy New Year! You are still in summer there, and before long, we should be hearing about your autumn harvest.


    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Judy! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments. I am hopeful for this new year that it will be better for all.

      Grapes cuttings root quite easily, almost as easily as mint! It is hard to say what the weather will bring us for spring, not that far away now. The oscillations in weather patterns seem much wider now.

      Stay safe and well. Wishing all good things to come your way as this year unfolds.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. A lovely post, Lavinia. I’m so glad you were able to help the little bird. Those opportunities are wonderful gifts. It’s been cold and snowy here in Oregon this winter, but spring is on its way and pushing through. We also have our getaway vehicles should fires come around. Never hurts to be prepared. It’s nice to see the farm in gear, the trees and vines and cats and music. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful onset of spring. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Mr Nano is a poet. I was delighted to read his “report”? Sounds and lights. Resistant life forms. It reminded me of things seen in the past.
    I have a correspondent who lives in Washington State and said that today they had ice fog. So I thought of you who live in a neighboring state. In Canada in Toronto there is a great depth of snow.
    I hope that the salmon brook farm is protected and that you are both in good health, Lavinia and Rick
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, dear Michel! Mr. Nano also appreciates you stopping by and for the kind comment on his writing! 🙂

      We get freezing fog sometimes, and I remember an actual ice storm or two since we have been here. In our part of Oregon, we do not see much snow. Up in the mountains at higher level elevations, they do get a lot of snow in a normal year.

      Our weather at this time is relatively mild, but winter is still with us, and one never knows what will happen. All of us are doing well at this time. My left arm and shoulder are still weak from injury, but slowly getting better. Rick carried in the vats of wine for me, and we bottled our rosé wine today. It is good!

      Much love to you, Janine and the family, Michel, and happy birthday to Carole!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have just read your comment to a friend’s post and I learnt about your shoulder and arm, Lavinia . So I came here and I see you tell this in your reply. I am sorry you got this injury, in falling probably, like Janine in January 2017. This is very painful and is a true handicap .Be prudent.
        All of my thoughts go to you.
        Love ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for stopping by again, dear Michel! The injury came from overuse and fortunately not a fall, though I would not want to fall and try to use this arm to save myself. I remember when Janine had that accident, and how painful it was to her. Yes, it does take time for these things to heal.

        Much love to you, Janine and the family, ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Lakshmi! Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments! I was glad to be able to help the bird. Thank you for listening, and reading. The Irish blessing is one of my favorites.

      Wishing you and your family all the best,

      Liked by 1 person

  24. It is very calming to read how life goes on in seasonal circles at your farm. It is great to plan for spring in winter and save energy for the most active times.
    I loved the story and images of bird, just fantastic. I love small birds, they are so special!
    Winter is probably a good time to play music, too, since the days are already longer and soon we will see snow go away. Well, after some 2 months in my area.
    I am a bit envious of your lifestyle and having this farm and all what comes to it, including worries and troubles and simple pleasures and nice rewards.
    The worst at my end is that we got word from the owners they intend to sell the house, so that means moving again. At the moment, I don’t have any idea yet to where or when exactly, but sometimes in spring.
    That’s why reading about your farm life is so great.I’m not that often online or checking out blogs and posting. This move will consume a lot of time again.
    All the best Lavinia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Inese! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments. You are right, this farm and its lifestyle, which is both easy and difficult, is what means most to me. It is grounding, a sense of peace and closeness to the earth and its creatures. Everything is temporary, and my time too, will pass eventually. I can’t think of a better place to be on the home stretch of life’s race. With hard work and a bit of luck, I hope I will be able to finish my days here, when it is time. Hopefully that is a ways down the road.

      I am sorry about the news of the place you are living being sold. Another friend down here on the east coast just went through that, but was lucky to land in an even better place. Moving does take a tremendous amount of energy and time. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers your new home will be everything you hope it will be.

      All the best to you, too!


  25. I read the last part of your post Lavinia and watched also the performances shedule page
    You started to give concert when you were 19 . Do this musical talent come from ?
    I have been amazed by the beauty of your voice but also by the background ( painting for instance, guitar itself )
    I am glad you continue to give concerts . You say Rick play a bit with you . Does he sing, a little ?
    You live a full life ,Lavinia , in the art, the nature ,the vine and of vourse Rick
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by again, Michel! It is always good to see you!

      I learned to play from my brothers when I was young, but did not meet Rick until much, much later in life, and did not start playing music with him until approximately 1999 or 2000, playing on his breaks between sets. Eventually I became half the show. In 2012, he retired from playing, and singing, and I kept going with the music on my own. He has had more interest lately, and plays and sings at the end of my show, sometimes. Here is a link to one of his songs. Our Rick Ross is hard to find on the Internet these days, as there are other musicians named Rick Ross, including one famous Rapper named Ricky Ross. Even our distributor gets them all mixed up, and seems recently has lumped all the Rick Ross musicians together.

      The painting was done by Rick’s father, who enjoyed painting as a hobby. Rick’s father died from a brain tumor in his 50s.

      Yes, we do lead a full life! We are never bored. 🙂


  26. niasunset says:

    Here I am, in this beautiful world/blog! First of all, Happy New Year for you all, I hope and wish to be a better year than past… It was really hard times. Dear Lavinia, I love small birds too, and I always find them as a miracle event… Maybe coming from my childhood memories… Because a small bird made me to walk again… My Father was talking in front of the Spring window. Saying that (to a small bird), “my little girl, she can’t walk, she is in the bed so she can’t see you!” While he was talking to the bird, I tried to move. (I couldn’t walk for days as a side effect of the diphtheria vaccine.) Yes, my first steps after all it was for a small bird… When I reached to the window of course I didn’t see the bird but my dad was crying because of his happiness…
    I remembered once again now with your lovely birds… So beautifully touching my heart… Thank you dear Lavinia. As always to read you, is like to have a nice cup of tea moment with you in front of a beautiful view… Thank you, Blessing and Happiness to you all, I hope and wish no need to use your van. Love and Hugs, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, dear Nia! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments! And thank you for sharing the story of how you learned to walk again as a child with help from a bird visitor at your window. I would love to have a cup of tea with you someday. For now, we will have virtual tea, and I am glad to know you are there. We all see the same moon, and sun, and I will know you see it too.

      I also hope we do not need the van for its intended purpose.

      Much love and happiness to you and your family, dear Nia. Many hugs to you, too! Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Michael’s tree is so beautiful especially with the snow. The sweet little Kinglet is so aptly named. I’m happy he recovered so quickly and stuck around long enough for a closeup. He’s gorgeous. You sound to be always busy, which is a good thing. Your music is so calming and your old guitar also sings beautifully. I enjoyed your sunrise photos very much. Don’t know why I’ve only now seen this post, but a very happy and peaceful 2022 to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure to see you, Sylvia. Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments! Yes, we are continually busy here, and that is a good thing, to not know boredom. There is too much to do, and enjoy. We are grateful for all we have.

      Wishing you a happy and peaceful 2022 as well. May this year be kinder to all of us! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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