Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Showers And All That Jazz!

When I woke up to flashing bolts of lightening, crashing thunder and my big, brave, Labrador Retriever, Callie, cowering on my side of the bed, I realized that I was in for a long dreary day. To top it all off I had my yearly mammogram and DEXA bone scan to go to this morning. TMI, I know, but I just wanted to paint a realistic picture of what my day was going to be like.

After tumbling out of bed and soothing the dog, I blindly stumbled downstairs to the kitchen (sounds kind of like a Dolly Parton song, doesn't it?) where, thank God, Rich had started the coffee. He knows not to ask me anything that demands serious answers until I have had that first cup so he always has it waiting for me when he gets up first.

Spring forward a couple of hours...I only spent 30 minutes in the women's clinic. It was a very slow day for them meaning that I was in and out in record time. From there on in,  the day got way better. As I was driving home from the hospital where I had the tests I was thinking to myself that this would be a perfect day to bake bread. And that's exactly what I did. There's something comforting about bread rising on the counter top and then the yummy smell of bread baking that makes an otherwise cloudy, depressing day seem all warm and cozy.

I used a recipe that my daughter, Amy, had given me to make one of my mother's old favorites, English Muffin Bread. It makes two loaves and takes a bit longer to rise and bake than some breads, but the end result is delicious. It is even better sliced and toasted than it is warm from the oven; and it's pretty good warm from the oven.

Of course, I had to slice into one of the loaves as soon as it cooled. I wouldn't want to serve Rich a "bad" loaf of bread, would I? Mmmmm! That loaf won't last much past tomorrow morning. I wrapped the second loaf and put it in the freezer for a later time when I feel the need for homemade bread and don't have the time to bake it.

In spite of the alternating rain and mist, it wasn't too terribly cold this afternoon so I donned my little, red, raincoat and ventured outside to see if any of the herd might be out. They don't like soaking rains because their fleece, which doesn't have any of the oils that sheep fleece has, tends to absorb the water and weight them down. Nikko and Asterius, in particular, have such dense, crimpy, fleece that it repels light rain and they will often go out as long as it's only misty. Nikko came running when he heard the back storm door slam. That slam is sort of like the ding of the bell was for Pavlov's dogs. Nikko and the others hear it and have become conditioned to think that they are going to get a treat. Once he realized that I was only out there to take his picture he turned his back on me and headed inside out of the rain.

My efforts weren't completely wasted though. I strolled around the yard and found that my daffodils have shot up and actually have a few yellow buds on them. Given this rain and a couple of sunny days they should be blooming soon.

 I also noticed that the phlox in the flowerbed at the foot of the front steps is showing green as are the lilies in the "bunny" garden beside the front porch. It gives substance  to the old adage, "April showers bring May flowers."

By the time we have our Spring Open House on May 16th and 17th everything should be green and flowering. Check back for more details of the open house.

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