Sunday, April 19, 2020

dishcloth yarn comparison sugar and creme vs sugarwheel vs berroco linsey

A little yarn geekery.  I am comparing three different types of dishcloth yarn I used in the past few months.  I used the same basic pattern for three of the cloths, and one of them is my 'seed stitch' variant I use for oven mitts.

They were all knitted with a 5 to 7 size knitting needle.  I prefer my bamboo 5's or my metal 7's for knitting dishcloths.

The Contestants
Yarn A : Hobby Lobby Sugarwheel cotton
Yarn B : Mix of Berroco Linsey and Rowan Creative Linen
Yarn C : 'thick weight' ombre version of Sugar and Creme
Yarn D : 'thin weight' ombre version of Sugar and Creme

The Winner (to me): thin weight ombre version of Sugar and Creme

Yarn A : Hobby Lobby Sugarwheel cotton

The green yarn was the last bit I had left - there are like five other cloths from a previous post wandering around the house.  It was very fun to knit with, especially on smaller needles... and the color shifts were nice, green to purple, blue to grey etc.

HOWEVER... they don't make great washcloths (or dishcloths, whichever you call them).  They are not very scrubby.  Maybe for a baby, they would be nice, or for delicate skin.  But I like to use these washcloths because they are scrubby - and exfoliate.  When we use different ones for the sink, they scrub the dishes well.  I make larger cloths sometimes for 'mop-up' and cleaning, and it is important that they are good scrubbing cloths, too.

This yarn stretches, instead of compressing tightly, even when knitted on the same needles.  So, even though the yarn is very tempting and pretty - I don't think it is a good yarn for making washcloths.  With that stretch, it has a nice drape, and could make pretty shirts or shrugs, if knitted or crocheted to work with the bias.

Yarn B : Berroco Linsey and Rowan Creative Linen

Yarn B is something I bought on clearance, and intended to weave with.  It is Berroco 'Linsey', a cotton and linen blend yarn.  It is kind of expensive when not on clearance, and I wouldn't buy it specifically to make washcloths.  But, it is the project that called to me to test it out.  I knitted with two colors (the other was actually Rowan Creative Linen, which is very similar.. so take this with a grain of salt across both brands.  I made two washcloths, one green and yellow even and one mostly yellow with a few stripes of the green (rowan)... and like them both.  My husband says it has a hard core, with a softer outside - and it is scrubby enough, without being rough.  So, yes, I like this one.  It was a little tougher to knit on the smooth needles, but it came out nicely.  It stretches a little, doesn't compress to the tight square as much, but washes up well.

Yarn C : the cheap but heavyweight Sugar and Creme
Yarn D : the slightly more expensive thin weight Sugar and Creme

Yarn C and D are two weights of the same 'cheap' yarn available at Wal-Mart and such... sugar and creme or peaches and creme.  It is the most basic cotton available.  D is a finer grade weight that they had on offer last year, and I snagged about five balls of that ombre (it is usually the ombres that are fine weight) and knit them up into lots of cloths.  I love that yarn.  It knit beautifully (as fun as the sugarwheel) and it actually inspired me to try lighter weight yarns for this purpose.  It is scrubby, and compresses tightly to the square and holds well wash after wash.  The ends I wove in are coming out a little - but it is on several of the others, too.  I throw them in with the towels and other clothing so they are not treated with kid gloves!

The oven mitt is a thicker seed-stitch variant in a slightly thicker-weight ombre Sugar and Creme.

Cloths A, B and D are made with 'Grandmother's Favorite' simple dishcloth pattern - you can find it easily online with a search.  It is one of the very first things I learned how to knit and does a good job of teaching increase, decrease and yarn over.

Pattern for Cloth C
To knit the oven mitt / dishwashing sink variant :

Cast on 36 to 50 stitches, depending on how wide you would like it to be.  My husband likes the 36 for dishwashing, fits the hand better without being too large.  We leave one of these draped over the kitchen sink for washing utensils and other things.  The 50 stitches are better for the oven mitt / mop up type cloth because then you want it bigger than your hand.  It is also important to use a yarn with a good compression, the stitches hold tight to each other, for the oven mitt type.  A yarn like Sugarwheel would not be good at ALL for this use.

Knit three rows of garter stitch.
Switch to this pattern for the rest of the cloth:
Knit three, seed stitch nearly to end, knit three
If you would like, knit every fifth or sixth row throw in three rows of plain garter stitch.  This will give a ripply effect to the cloth and lots of grip.  You can see I have done that in the peach and brown 'C' cloth.
End with three rows of garter stitch then cast off.

The next yarn I would like to try out is Knitpicks Cotlin dishcloth yarn.  I think it would combine a lot of these qualities.  However, I am just using up what I have - because the best part about knitting dishcloths is that it can be done while you are doing anything else, watching tv, reading articles, reading a book, listening to music, sitting in the garden, talking on the phone, waiting for something to timer ding that you are cooking etc etc... 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Joy in the little things

I had a bill to bring to the mailbox.  My dog, Daphne, which is a speck in the road in this picture as she runs up towards Grandma's house, was reluctant to go out in the cold at all.  So, I brought the bill up by myself the first time, and she stayed at home.  When I saw that I had a movie to go out, as well, I remembered the beauty of the frost melting in the grasses, and grabbed the camera.  Daphne came with me that time, and still grumbled about the cold, but was more on board for walkies once I had already been up there once.  In dog language, that means there are more things to sniff.

I was using the little camera, the one that isn't super-sharp and microscopic, but the shimmering still shines through.  And as I walked back home, I was rocking to Great Big Sea's 'till Everything Shines'... one of the songs I listened to a few days ago when I had the migraine.

(lyrics to Great Big Sea 'Everything Shines')

Hey, come this May
We'll be runnin' in the sun again
Your time will come
You're just a young broken heart
And I'm sleepin' in the yard
How could you be so dumb?

All we losers stand in line
Just waiting for our time
Broken angel take that plane
And finger paint the sky till everything shines
Everything shines
Everything shines
Everything shines
well.. not the best of lyrics there in the middle... although the first part is pretty resonant with this year. Check out their video on YouTube, with the melody it kind of sticks like a dart.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

just a sketch

a challenge to sketch 'myself as a map' 
looks like something from a cave wall, heh...

I had someone say that I looked like a butterfly.. and I have to admit, it really does - with the head to the top (which is true in my point of view, too) and my body to the bottom (also true.. but to them the span of time and my thoughts look like wings expanding out from me... it is a very beautiful thought. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

April 13th in the garden - peaches, strawberries and peas

My calico cat hunting in the garden - I think it was a lizard or a bug?

 field peas 'Whippoorwill southern cowpea' germinating

I planted peas 7 days ago, and they have begun to come up.  I also planted corn and other beans, radishes and lettuce at that time and nothing else has come up.  Corn and some beans can be up to 14 days.

My black cherry tree 

 The peach trees with tiny fruit

strawberries beginning to set

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter eggs 2020

Our chickens are laying about five eggs a day,  so we blew the yolks out of these eggs (by piercing both ends with a small hole, and blowing on one end over a cup), and the insides of the eggs can be used for food, while keeping the shells mostly intact for decorating.

We mixed a few colors of craft paint and each of us painted two or three eggs.  The shells would have just gone to compost, but we had a little fun with them :)

Next time I would like to try some of the natural dye methods, using turmeric powder, beets or blueberries, to see what colors the brown eggs will give with the natural dyes.

Friday, April 10, 2020

a Raised Bed garden for vegetables

The raised bed garden I built between yesterday and today for Irene. 
along with her cat and dog helpers :)

It is 16 standard cement blocks, and about 12 bags of different soils, a third of which is 'container gardening mix'   We lined the bottom of the area with cardboard before we put the soil on top, just like I did in my own raised bed garden three years ago.  The next step is to water it down good, and let it drain a little, and plant a few test quick-germinate things to make sure the ph level is good. 

Radishes like pH of 4 to 5.  If they come up purple instead of green - it is WAY too 'hot' of soil.  Komatsuna and mustard greens like 5 to 6 pH, and cabbage likes 6 to 7.  All of these things should show 'signs of life' within 3 to 6 days if the soil mixture is good.  If it is, then put the greenhouse plants in it.  If you see any warning signs, get a pH kit or, in the case of knowing that it is 'hot' - add pelletized lime, water down and let drain again before trying again.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

The garden on April 9th during the COVID-19 lockdown

It is my garden philosophy that I don't have to pull every single weed.  I don't use mulch, and I tend to let the garden lead me where it may... which some years means harvesting the fruits of the greenhouse plants, and the first flush of seeds from the heirloom beans to save - then letting the rest go by the wayside...  Other years I'm out there every other day making soup from every little bit I can scrounge.  Every year is different. I'm thinking this will probably be one of the latter years, with everything going on.

This year I have changed up the infrastructure a little.  That circle of bricks to the right in the bottom picture was there maybe seven years ago?  But the raised bed was not there until three years ago.  The time felt right to put it back, and I even put up a bean fence and put the Mayflower beans next to it.

The pictures do not show the last bit of what I did before sundown.  I was out in the garden at sunrise this morning -- and in the afternoon -- and at sundown, but not a lot of the time in between.  I sat for a while and knitted in the sunshine before noon :)

Before sundown I planted seven hills in the front of the long section.  Each hill has about five Kenearly Yellow Eye beans (bush) and a Zephyr hybrid squash seed or two on the right hand edge.  This is flying by the seat of my pants here.  It was about 6 pm and I looked over at the seed box and said 'ok, this is what is going down right now.'  Up until that very moment I was saying 'yes I will put the Zephyr somewhere' and 'yes I will put some sort of bush bean there, but I don't know what or how, yet.'

I took sixteen of the cement blocks and made Irene the start of a raised garden.

But, we are in the year of COVID-19, and the plan I had made to go back and get dirt at that garden center was upended by a new city ordinance pertaining to 'quarantine lockdown' someone posted about that is 'food, fuel and work only or be arrested'.. I'm sure that is a bit more than the actual law intends - they conveniently did not link to it - but I don't want to be subject to bad interpretations.. so now I'm avoiding that city like they must have wanted everyone to do.. right?  So that business I support doesn't get one of the few orders I might have done this year because of this? And it will probably all change again next week.  Last week they were still saying that garden plants were okay, but don't linger and don't browse.  This week, they've gone Machiavellian... but probably only according to people posting on Facebook who are a bit bored?  I'm not sure.  I'll remember this in a few years.

There is another store in the other town that not only has internet ordering (which the other one didn't - 'in store buy only'), but has curbside pickup without getting out of your car.  So I guess they get the money and we still get an extra vegetable bed for Grandma.

Who knows how 'essential' that is going to be this year, but in almost any year I would call it essential if someone wants to put the work into the soil for fresh food.

((climb down off the soapbox))

I guess I get a little worked up about gardens, and especially because without them, gardens that is, we are stuck buying everything out of a box that may or may not be there when we go to pick it up again.  We found that out a month ago - with all the empty shelves.  It's warm enough now (it wasn't then) so let's grow.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Knit we go in quarantine

Well, except that I am an essential worker.  But, I will remember this as the item I knit during this time.  I have a pink version of this one that I knit a few months ago, and I have worn it as a skirt (belly warmer) and a shawl, and used it simply to cover my legs while I sit and read or type.

It is a size 7 circular needle, and this particular one comfortably fits about 130 to 150 stitches before they want to pop off.  So, that is the size these blankets are.  It works out with the Red Heart acrylic yarn to be about 3 feet wide, and then I knit them about 4 foot long.

They are really handy little things to have around.
Weaving in all the ends of the stripes can be a bit hectic, but they look too plain otherwise, and I use up lots of little balls of scrap yarn in the process.

The nubbly areas are seed-stitch alternated for three to five rows and then back to garter stitch.  The stripe rows are two passes of each color.

Really simple but effective and useful knitting.


I saw a LOT of knitting posts lately, and yarn stashes, and deliveries etc etc... and I'm not doing anything fancy or ordering a lot of special yarn.. but I am glad to have something to work on.

I washed up and finished out the two Simply Soft scarves I had been making - one in magenta garter stitch and one in grey brick stitch.  They are about 10 to 12 inches wide and 5 and 6 foot long. respectively.  They are lovely and useful, as well.  I wore one of them around my neck up to the mailbox when it was cold the other morning, and the other one I had worn when I was wearing the pink shawl as a skirt and kept warm on top and bottom. 

That is a good yarn to hold up, although 3.68 per skein now at the store and what I have is mostly because Mark and Esme have given me them over the years as presents - silky and colorful yarns, they are definitely the type to draw the eye in.  I threw both of the scarves through the wash and they came out very nice - except I also threw in a wool scarf I had forgotten what it was made of and it came out really soft but kind of small - only 6 inches now by about 4 feet - but it is still a good neckwarmer type for tucking into a jacket collar.  I've worn a few of my knit hats, too lately - same reasons.. and making more of those for the 'pile' would be useful, too.

I also finished two net market bags, one book size and the other towel size for the beach.  The towel one is made of the same green yarn as this.

And of course wash cloths, I had stacks of them a few weeks ago - and they are all finished up and put into circulation.

Pink April Moon drawing

It was supposed to be a pink supermoon last night, the pink moon of April.  I went out to take a good look, and knew that everything I was seeing was not going to be captured on a camera.  But, as I watched the orange fireflies rise and blink, and the clouds race across the moon, turning white to grey to indigo blue in places, I said : 'My eyes are my camera right now.'

I looked at what was the most important to capture.  The feathery way the dark black trees appeared in the light.  The blue permeating through the sky beneath and between the branches.. the bits of pink and blue in the sky around the moon and the clear halo of light with edges of yellow permeating out in circles.

Then I tried to capture it with my pencils and pen.

I know not everyone sees all the colors in the first place, or the way the light shimmers and effects.  Some of it is probably my synesthesia.  But, as much as I have tried to capture visually does bring back the scene to me 'physically'... so even if the drawing is just for myself, I like it.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Make sun shades for indoor start seedlings, prevent sunburn!

Are you ready to garden this year?
Our calico cat is, and she swears she's helping.

I am going to show how to make a cheap effective sun shade, to prevent sunburn on your newly transplanted indoor seedlings.

This is very important!  A lot of people will sunburn their seedlings without knowing it, because they forget to harden them off - or they buy them from a hothouse that did not harden off properly.  Sometimes, the sun is just too much for an indoor-raised plant.  It will show by bits of the leaves turning white or pale yellow and flaking away, like brittle paper.

To help prevent it, we are going to try to block some of the noon and afternoon sun from hitting the plants full force.

It is also important that this be a light colored, but not bright white cloth.  Bright white will send too many rays reflecting back off the cloth.

I grabbed this cotton cloth because it is handy.. and I don't care that it will not survive to next year.  The sun will damage the cloth over time and make it brittle, too - but by then, your plant will have grown up healthy, we hope!

Cut a rectangle off your fabric about as wide as your tomato cage and at least as tall, maybe more.  Cut an inward gash on all four corners, but not too far, as you don't want the fabric to tear completely and the strip to come off easily.

Now you will tie the top two strips to the wires above your plant, creating a little 'tent' for it.  I do this on the WEST side of my plants, because I have trees to the EAST that block most of the bright morning sun.  If you pull the fabric a bit over the middle of the cage as well it will block direct noon sun...

If you are out in the open and need protection on both sides - make two shades, one for each side, or tie the rectangle more over the top - we aren't blocking all the sun, just the hottest sun so that the plant can have a rest.

In some years when I only had one or two plants I would set up a few buckets and a board on the west side and be done with it - but this is the way to ensure each plant gets some shade when it needs it most.

Just loop a slip knot around the wire and then pull it shut - but not too tight, as it could tear.

I usually tie the bottom ties as well, positioning the shade so it blocks most of the sun at 2 or 3 o clock in the afternoon, putting them out about this time will ensure you are blocking the light all the way to sundown.  

You can do this with old shirt fabric or an old sheet and protect your time investment in your seedlings.  Sometimes I will tear up some of these shades later to help tie bits of vines loosely to the cage, once the plant is big. 

The other tips I got from my mentor was to bury my tomato seedlings 'all the way to their ears' in the hole, but not with the leaves actually touching the soil!  If the leaves touch the soil that keeps them moist with dew and that can invite viruses and bacteria to the plant etc.  Add a little loose dirt and water at the bottom of the hole, and then put the seedling pot contents into it.  Gently press loose dirt in and around the seedlings pressing the outer corners of the pot soil down into the dirt, while trying not to break the stems of the seedlings.

Sources :

I was taught to do the sun shades by Tom Carpenter, of the University of Minnesota Experiment Station, way back in 1994 when I was at one of my very first employments.  He had also had my father on the farm when I was a small child and he was in the National Guard with Mr. Tom.  I was proud to hear about the gardens, see my father's picture on the wall and learn the different ways to take care of plants.  The plants we made 'much larger' sunshades for were delicate shade plants that were part of experimental seed trials.  But, he explained to me it could be done for even a small plant or with a large sheet for an entire area, as long as it was secured well, and to take it down in a high wind or heavy downpour.

 My 'bury them to their ears' comes from Mr. Harold Cole who I worked with at Lowe's.  It was a long time ago, but once in the breakroom he was talking about planting and gardening and I was all ears. Ha!  He said the plant will grow extra feelers / suckers in the stem to take in more nutrients and be stronger if you bury it all the way up to the leaves delicately and water it in gently.  He said he planted 90+ tomatoes every year from seedlings!

Also be sure to water your plant in and check on it the next day and the day after that.  It is only common sense - but you want to make sure the shade has not been torn or blown away.  And remember if it is going to rain hard you will want to maybe put a 5 gallon bucket over the top of your seedling and 'squidge' it in to the soil (so it doesn't just collect water under the edge)  Remove the bucket as soon as you can - or it will get hot under it the next day.

Enjoy, good gardening!

Rudbeckia weeds loved by chickens, garden in April and hostas

Our Cherokee Rose bush will have white flowers in a few days.  This is what our goat was trying to eat behind the fence the other day.  When it blooms the flowers will be so fragrant.

Our little red chickens have been loving the 'rudbeckia' weed flowers I have been feeding them.  They are giving us four to six eggs per day, little brown ones and once in a while a bigger one.


 This is what they are eating.  I have called it 'white aster' in the past, but the Tennessee weed gallery I found a few weeks ago called it a relative of the black-eyed susan, or rudbeckia plant.

and this is what they look like from a bit back.. they are behind the area I tilled outside, so they are going to stay there and be good chicken fodder when I need a handful of something they can eat.

What the garden looks after my work yesterday

The 'Blue Angel' hosta
we have several of these coming up

The Frances Williams hosta, it will get a lot bigger!  
And Esme's lambs ear plant behind it.

The Blue Angel always 'gets up early' in the Spring.  The Frances Williams starts to come in behind it, about now, and the Aureomarginata won't wake up until the first week of June or so... and I am not sure why but it just is always a late riser.

Esme's dianthus plant from the Amish greenhouse, still strong!

My mom used to call the perennial version of this (biennial, I've actually learned) 'sweet william'.  That was in Minnesota.  We grew them around the side of the house in town, with lilies of the valley, blue grape hyacinth and tiger lilies.  She had bluebells on the other side of the house, and red Appledoorn tulips.  I was always so fascinated by gardens, even back then.

So this is actually a biennial - and then it reseeds itself every year from the first plant, and becomes 'almost a perennial'.  It is a fascinating little plant.  The edges can be fringed, like this one, or smooth - depending on the variety.  It can come in a wide array of pinks, reds, whites and purple combinations.

Friday, April 03, 2020

experimental soup

Cooking is like math, chemistry and art all put together.  And, as long as you don't have someone relying on your mastery of the dish to get them through today - it can be fun to experiment.  And of course, if you actually try to eat your failures.. or have someone who will (I have six hounds).

But, on that point, I also know I'm probably not too far off base when the hounds show up at my feet towards the end of the cooking.  They have expectant eyes and say: 'I smelled that from upstairs.  You're gonna share, right?'

Well, I might.  It really depends on how weird it is.
Their idea that something can be tried to be eaten three times (And come back up) before you count it as failed isn't something I want to trifle with.

On the other hand, I pretty much know my own taste buds and stomach aren't going to end up in a cleanup crew.

Yesterday's experimental soup was a pretty good success.  It wasn't too weird.  It was just green peas, onions and an addition of zante currants.  I ran it all through the blender after a good long slow boil, and it was pretty normal.  I couldn't really taste the currants.  But, for vitamins and minerals sake, I know it wasn't a bad idea at all.

Today, I got away with myself.

I thought - what else can I do with onions, to make it different?
We're in 'self-isolation' social distancing, so I can't just run to the store - I'm limited to what I find in my cupboards and refrigerator.

The dogs still showed up towards the end, but I think I'll reserve this one for my own eating!

Walnut Cherry onion soup

2 small onions, chopped
1 cube chicken boullion
water to 3/4 of the saucepan full
2 tbsp real buitter

I let that all simmer and boil together for a while - nothing special at all.. onion broth.  Then I  started with the spices.

celery seed, about twice what I normally do
black pepper, a good amount
some ground coriander, a little
some paprika, about 1/8 tsp (covers the opposite end of my actual soup spoon)
A shake of turmeric
some caraway seed (what was I thinking?)

taste it.. well not quite nice but not awful... verging on awful, probably wouldn't eat it on purpose.

So - what to do, what to do.. poke through the rest of the spices.. look at the canned vegetables.. taste the soup again, think about what could counterbalance the caraway seed....

Grab a handful of walnuts from the freezer, grind them up in the little grinder, add some broth, grind again, add to soup.  OK, that helped some, but not enough.  Add a tablespoon of walnut oil from the cupboard.  Still about the same, oilier.. still okay

THINK about everything else that I actually have on hand right now.
And then I found the unopened maraschino cherries in the fridge.  Good through 2021.  Well, it's about time to open them, isn't it?  I took out about seven cherries, de-stemmed them and chopped them up with my knife.  They went in the soup.

Let that all cook for a few minutes, taste the soup.  Getting there.
Take out my cup blender and run the entire soup through it (that is dangerous, btw, you have to do it bit by bit and be careful not to splash yourself with hot soup.. I don't recommend it for anyone who can't take extreme care... it's better than handling chemicals in chemistry class, though.. so I just run with it).

Taste the soup.
Look down at my knee.
Minerva has arrived.  She wants soup.
The smell of blending the last things together brought her trotting down the stairs.  She's still not getting  much...she got to lick the bowl.

there you have it, walnut cherry onion soup

and yes, that is one of the very weirdest things Ive cooked so far
if this social distancing thing goes on for more months, I'll probably even out-do this recipe.

It apparently is not all that abnormal.  Take a look at what other people have done with walnuts, cherries and onions. 

Thursday, April 02, 2020

what is that weird bark? a tree with winged bark in Tennessee

What is that weird bark?

My daughter had a hard time finding it by any description we could come up with.  We tried fractured bark, and corrugated bark, fragmented bark and corrupted bark (all good words, but not quite showing up)  And then we found the terms winged bark and corky bark.

So - what is this tree?
We were pretty sure it is a winged elm.

Ulmus alata

We found this website that had great pictures:

The research:

We did look up that it does grow in West Tennessee, where we are located.  I found some great pictures on another site that show trees of this species in the exact state of 'small pinnate emerging leaves'.

At one point we thought it might be a sweet gum tree, as they have bark like this.  There are also a lot of sweet gums in this area, as evidenced by the small spiky ball seed pods they leave on the ground.  But the difference that assured us this was something else is that they have 'hand shaped' leaves, with five points.  We could tell by carefully examining these emerging leaves that they were pinnate, arrow-shaped or feather-shaped leaves.  Each little leaf had a very clear line down the middle and was relatively smooth-edged.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020


It was a bit colder than I liked out there this morning, but the dewdrops were shining very pretty from the rain last night.  The lemon balm (Above) was such a bright bright green I am glad the camera could catch some of it.

The rose bush is putting out its new leaves, transforming red to green.  I caught a nice close-up of it, too, doing its thing.

and one of our resident herd dogs (Sweetie) behind the fence watching the goat trying her very best to eat a Cherokee rose bush, which is behind another fence! (for just that reason).  She is tied up on a long dog lead string that stretches up and down our driveway, allowing her to eat any greens along that pathway.  And I come out with the camera she gets my attention and says 'I can still eat this.  See?'

In the obscure thought category.. I had this memory come back to me today as I walked up to the mailbox to pop an order for seeds into the mailbox.

I remember when I was a child (probably 9 or 10) kneeling down on the board over the creek at Arbo Road, the one that flowed into the Prairie River, and holding a big flat slate rock in the current.  I remember how cold the water was, as cold as the air this morning, and how strong the flow was, pulling against my grip on the rock like a lever.  I remember thinking how very cold it was, and how much of the water had passed by, and how much was still coming downstream.

It was probably thinking of all of those idioms from the farm yesterday - reliving those moments, feeling the place and the grass, the trees and the road in my mind's eye again... It is something I wish I could take pastels or paints to paper and make visible for everyone - but so much of my good memories are tangible, inexplicable almost memories.  It is a feeling of bounded and boundless space meeting and intersecting, the taste of the air and how it changes between sun and shadow, dry grass and moss, the tangy scent of creeping charlie as it is pulled from creeping up the walls, green painted tarpaper rough under fingers, sundried sheets slightly stiff on the line, big yellow basswood leaves flapping in the wind, yet soft and slick at the same time under your fingers, dried leaves brittle and separating into a thousand fragments in your hand...  It is the change in temperature, the feel of old enamel painted metal and rusted red iron  and big flat stones leading to the house and distance looking down the gravel road. 

This is the Cherokee Rose, (Rosa laevigata) that the goat is trying to eat up above.  It will bloom soon in a fragrant profusion of small white flowers with yellow centers.  Here is the Wikipedia link. It says it is actually an invasive species to North America, but brought so long ago, in the 1700s, that it has naturalized across the Southeastern United States.  My husband's family definitely thinks of them as naturalized.  They are popping up in several places in the woods here, and we have let this one continue to grow where it came up and enjoy it every year.  The bees love them, they gather around the flowers as well when they arrive.