The fox kits that live under our barn have been extra active this week. Look at them!
They’re almost grown! They’re so big, you guys. And their little tails are so fluffy! I’ll be sad to see them leave their den, but red foxes tend to stick to the same area their whole lives, so hopefully we’ll still see them around from time to time.
Graham has entered his busy season at work, and the last two weeks have been really exhausting for him. I don’t generally encourage overwork, but I’m proud of him for hanging in there. He’s smart and talented at his job. But I know he’s tired. And so this week, I wanted to do something special for him, and feature some of the photos he’s taken lately of the birds we’ve been seeing this spring.
He’s a good photographer, and he’s always trying to get better, and I’m proud of him for that, too.
We see cardinals around the property all the time. They are the state bird of Virginia, so it’s not surprising, but they’re really lovely, and fun to watch.
This little guy hangs out on our power line almost every day. I wonder what he’s thinking about.
Just, you know, sitting down to lunch together.
I hope Graham has more time in the not too distant future to get outside and snap some pictures, and just to relax and do the things he likes to do, generally. But in the meantime, I’ll be here, cheering him on. And bragging on him a little. 😉
The other night, relaxing in bed for a bit before I went to sleep, I was watching a video about a talking raven. Now, Gatsby has never, not once in his life, been even remotely interested in what’s on TV. He’s never noticed. He’s never paid any attention at all.
Well, he noticed that talking raven, and stalked down to the edge of the bed, and watched. Intensely. And so I thought, oh, fun, I’ll put on some videos for cats. Maybe he’ll enjoy them for a while. He’s an old cat. I won’t deny him some TV time if he wants it.
Now, he’s a cat obsessed. Whenever we come up to bed, he waits (mostly politely) for his shows to start. He stares at the blank screen and meows at us until we put something on it. He gets as close as he can, like a little kid watching cartoons. He gets invested. He watches TV like a little old lady watching her soap operas. It’s the most focused I’ve seen him in ages.
I’ve mentioned a few times that we’ve been planting some fruit trees over the course of the last couple of years. Just apples and cherries for now, but we’re hoping to eventually add plums, and maybe peaches, as well.
In the meantime, watching our mini-orchard grow and change has become something of a pastime for us. This week, Graham snagged a picture of our very first apple blossom.
Isn’t it lovely?
Our trees are just babies right now, but eventually they’ll grow. And then, I’ll bake all the things.
I’ve always loved daffodils. They make me think of sunshine and brighter days. I’ve caught these little beauties slightly past their prime, but I still think they’re lovely. And it makes me happy, knowing I’ll see them again next year.
I mentioned in a previous post that almost every time we plant something new, we find little bits of this house’s story. Well, it’s happened again.
This week, Graham bought three new fruit trees for our mini-orchard (one sweet cherry, one sour cherry, and a Stayman-Winesap apple, if you’re interested). He planted them over the course of a couple of days, and turned up a new shard of pottery.
It’s sort of hard to tell if this one’s new or old, but it’s cool, either way.
I feel a little like a magpie at this point. I have quite the collection of small, shiny objects – little gifts from the universe, I think. We’ll see what we find in the next few weeks, as we work our way through the garden before the summer.
Y’all! I am so excited to share this! A friend of mine published his first book, Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret.
The official release date is Sunday, March 21st, but I preordered several copies (one for me, one for Graham, one for the cat, one for the dog, a bunch for friends and family…), and they arrived today.
Yes, I have already read it cover to cover.
This book was so delightful and fun and just absolutely the perfect read for kids (and adults!) who like mysteries, spies, secret codes, ghost stories, pirates and submarines, history, magic, and unlikely teenage heroes. Yeah, J.R. Potter managed it all of that stuff into one fantastic little book. And he created all of the illustrations, as well.
Here’s the jacket summary:
Thirteen-year-old Thomas Creeper hasn’t been dealt the best hand. He lives in the seaside town of Gloomsbury—a damp and miserable place overrun by scabber weed, where the sun shines for only a few days each year. With the inexplicable death of his older brother, David, Thomas becomes heir to Creeper & Sons, the family’s funeral business, and his place as a mortician’s apprentice seems set. Thomas, however, dreams of a different kind of life (as a code-cracking spy) in a different kind of place (anywhere but Gloomsbury!).
When a body arrives on the doorstep of Creeper & Sons Funeral Home with signs of foul play, Thomas and his smart-as-a-whip sidekick, Jeni Myers, are thrust into the middle of a terrifying mystery, one which will reveal the link between Thomas’s family and the dark secret of his hometown. Joining forces with the motley crew of the Conch Whistle, a high-tech submarine that hides in offshore waters, Thomas and Jeni must rely upon their wits (and a few magical devices!) to defeat a powerful and horrifying foe.
I’m so proud of my friend and so happy for him! And the book is really, really, really good. It’s even won an award already – the 2019 Kraken Book Prize for Middle-Grade Fiction.