"Commentary from the Countryside"
Thoughts on current events,
history, homesteading, preparedness, real food, and anything else I find interesting, from a cranky, middle-aged woman's common-sense perspective.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


From Merriam-Webster.com: 
hedged   hedg·ing
Definition of HEDGE
transitive verb
1: to enclose or protect with or as if with a hedge : encircle
2: to hem in or obstruct with or as if with a barrier : hinder
3: to protect oneself from losing or failing by a counterbalancing action <hedge a bet>
intransitive verb
1: to plant, form, or trim a hedge
2: to evade the risk of commitment especially by leaving open a way of retreat : trim
3: to protect oneself financially: as a : to buy or sell commodity futures as a protection against loss due to price fluctuation b : to minimize the risk of a bet 

It's seventy five degrees here today.  In Michigan, in the middle of March.  That's at least thirty degrees above normal.  My snowdrops and crocuses are out; my daffodils are about three inches high, and my tulips have sprung out of the ground just overnight.  But I am not so trusting as my flowers.  Is there not a saying, "beware the ides of March"?  The forecasters say it will be this warm for at least another week but  I don't think I trust them, either.  As delightful as the day has been, with warmth, breezes, and abundant sunshine, I can't seem to shake a sense of foreboding; perhaps thinking there will be some sort of cost for this fair weather.  Maybe a blizzard will come next month, and freeze my poor flowers, maybe another round of thunderstorms and tornadoes will blow up, or maybe this is the start of a miserable summer of drought and heat?  Who knows.  Maybe I'm just still cranky because of the annoying time change.  (Whoever thought it was a good idea to mess with the clocks twice a year needs a good thump on the head.)

I made good use of the day, though, making one of my semi-annual trips to the dump to get rid of the few barrels of stuff we can't recycle, burn, compost, or re-purpose.  Always interesting to see what folks throw away.  One year I saw eight sheets of perfectly good drywall in the dumpster.  This time it was ten foot long metal housings from shop lights.  If I had been able to fish them out it would have been a nice addition to my next scrap yard trip.  Once I got back I spent some time cleaning and raking the yard, as well as hanging out a half dozen loads of laundry.  It's so warm and breezy that the linens are basically dry by the time I finish pinning them to the line.  It's been wonderful to have fresh air pouring into the house, and especially great to have the propane-sucking furnace turned off!  The silly ol' dawg was enjoying herself too, flat on her back in the grass, paws and tail flung out in all directions, fur gleaming in the sun and her tongue hanging out as she grunted and woofed and wriggled all over.  Looked like it felt good!

But as I said, I'm not quite buying into this mid-March summer day.  I'm hedging my bets, as it were, or leaving open my line of retreat.  I took the plastic off the south windows and opened them to the breeze, but left it on the east and north windows.  I used my little lawn tractor to haul stuff around the yard, but left the chains on the back tires.  I cleaned out the back of my truck, but left the snow shovel and weights in place.  I cleaned out the fireplace but laid in a fresh bit of kindling and logs.  I refilled our pantry stash of drinking water jugs, and put new batteries in the flashlights and the weather radio.

So I guess Daughter and I are as ready as we can be for whatever may come - be it a spring storm or more sunshine.  It helps knowing that no matter what, God is in control.  In the meantime there's always something to do.  The window quilts are started, and coming together pretty well so far.  The ginger ale wasn't so good; the flowery aroma of the ginger root became overpowering after fermentation; almost medicinal or chemical-perfumey in nature.  The level of 'fizziness' was good, and the flavor was somewhat like Canada Dry brand ginger ale, but the scent was just too much, leaving a bitter sort of aftertaste.  I may try again some day, with much less ginger root and no lemon juice.

And for those who have a clear view to the west, there's a wonderful light show with Venus and Jupiter visible just after sunset.

The beauty I see around me often makes me think of Psalm 19:
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. 

Until next time, God bless and take care, my friends.

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