Meet Olivia

March 17, 2009 by Ellen Stimson in Cows, Springtime, The Garden

I love spring. It is like the early morning of summer. Everything seems possible. We are at the tippy tippy beginning up here. There will surely be at least a little more snow, but a whole slew of days in the 40 and 50s brought everyone to the post office in our flip-flops. We rush the season up here. Yes it is muddy. Yes it is really more the time for muck boots. And okay, yes, the ground is still frozen solid plenty of places. I’ll admit some of those sticks I tried to pick up when I was clearing up the yards were frozen to the ground. But the sun was out. The skies were a cheery pale yellow and cool blue and the swagger of the possible was in the air.
The pussy willows are just starting to bud. The first little fur is visible and there are little purple leafy things sticking their heads up all over the ground. The jonquils have pushed through and their green shoots climb a little taller every morning now.
The land around here is a blank slate. I resolve to make the most of our garden this spring. I am going to dig a bigger patch and grow flowers next to the vegetables so the thing will be an artsy display that sustains us all summer long. This is the year I am going to get it right. It will not be in the shape of an embarrassing swastika with puny little walkways and ghastly overgrown weeds that hide zucchini two feet long. This will be a proper kitchen garden. It will not float uselessly untethered to the land, sitting out in the middle of nowhere where the sun just happened to seem bright one day. This one will have mature borders and tall elegant boundaries of something like Cypress or anyway some New Englandy version with tall elegant lines that will balance the ordered rows of rhubarb and old-fashioned tomatoes.
This will be the year we will take complete advantage of every warm day. We will eat suppers of vine-ripened tomatoes over freshly made mozzarella drenched in balsamic and dusted with basil out on the terrace with the company of our chickens. We are going to raise some new baby chicks this spring and some of us are even considering a cow….(more later) Plenty of Augusts from my old life found us huddled in flannel pajamas in the air conditioning eating cheese curls and watching old reruns of Seinfeld. But we live closer to the land now and by golly we are going to make the most of whatever it throws at us.
We are going to make time for coffee up at the waterfall and feed our croissant crumbs to the chickens in the mornings. We are going to soak up the sun until it simply lives inside us. We will not waste August watching House.
I have a pile of gardening catalogs and seeds growing in every window. I am going to lie on the balcony in the spring sunshine. I am going to stay outside every single day as long as the sun does and we will lie on blankets in the yard at night and look at the stars. I pledge never to complain about heat no matter how high the temperatures climb. I’ll just grow watermelon and put cucumbers in out water pitchers and mint in our tea.
This weekend I am going to bake bunny cookies and bring out every mismatched piece of flowery china we own. We will have deviled eggs and sweet cookies and maybe even pimento cheese on fluffy white bread.
It is spring in Vermont and anything is possible…


  • beesknees

    I promise and pledge too right along with you. Let’s not waste any of it. I am planting a garden this year too. Maybe I will hire a guy with a tractor and plant the whole yard. In March my back doesn’t ache and I don’t get sweaty just thinking abut it.
    Anything really is possible….

  • Molls

    Who is Olivia? Where does she live? IS she going to be yours?
    I need more about the cow please……

  • library lady

    A cow? I suppose a cow is better than a pig, but not much.

  • Casdok

    Sounds absolutely idyllic!

    (Am getting there!)

  • Jamie

    I LOVE spring. Yesterday was the first day I busted out a dress in Iowa without tights in MONTHS. It’s wonderful and the sun is shining.

    That cow, she better be yours. She is adorable.

  • katiedid

    Spring feels like September used to feel when we were in school

  • Kate

    I too, have decided to make the best of the summer this year. I’ve spent too many of them locked inside myself.

  • Mighty Morphin' Mama

    What lovely resolutions… soak up the sun until it simply lives inside us… beauty!

  • Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge

    HOpe you make it happen. I LOVE to garden but I think I probably won’t do it for a while, until I get some order to my mess of a house. Maybe if I quit blogging I could garden….

  • Bia

    spring always has me planning, planning, planning . . .

    BTW, I was in Houston once and, because of the humidity, I had BIG TEXAS HAIR.

  • Dreams and Designs

    Please help me! I am serious, I realy want to make a garden this year and I have NO IDEA where to start! I am gettin all in to this fresh produce thing but I am clueless. I love in Iowa, I mean, farmland USA, surely this should be a doable thing for a grown woman? Where do I start?

  • laurwilk

    Oh, Olivia is adorable with that oversized halter!

    I’m so ready for spring but mostly I miss spring in Iowa. I want to go out to the barn and feed wobbly legged calves.

    The flip flops are officially on. I even threw some boots away in the airport on my way to California just to make sure I couldn’t wear them again. (They were also a Wal-Mart special and completely falling apart.)


  • painted maypole

    sounds magical, spring in Vermont

  • starrlife

    Lovely Olivia, sugaring time- spring is here Hooray! Thanks for the inspiring post!

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