Mark this

snap peas

And upon this 10th day of April in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, we have planted this, the first garden croppe, and it is the Pea known as Snappe. (The variety is Sugar Ann. I bought the packet at the Agway.)

John made little trenches with a hoe then dropped the dried peas/ seeds from on high, almost without missing, into the little brown trenches. Then he tucked them under a blanket of earth and stomped them gently with his boot and there they rest until they shall sprout.

We did not water them in. But now it’s raining.


Hello, little crocuses.

Wasn’t it just a couple of weeks ago I was giant-stepping through old-and-new snow in my almost-knee-high boots? I was filling the chickens’ plastic waterer at the nozzle in back of the house and the water was freezing on the snow and cement before I was finished filling the container. “Be careful not to slip,” I said to myself, then did anyway.

The chickens have been gorging themselves on earthworms. When I get them back behind the electric fence, after an hour or so of free-ranging off the fat of the land, they are too fat to fly over the fence. The biggest one, Marilyn Monroe the buff orpington, must weigh 9 or 10 lbs.

I picked her up and brought her to John, who was sitting in a chair in hazy sunshine after nailing together a corner of the herb garden raised bed. Marilyn was placid. “Look at my prize chicken,” I said. “I can carry her around like a doll.”  He thinks I’m weird about the chickens, and I like to play that up a little sometimes.

Monday morning was our first thunderstorm of the season. “Is that thunder?” said every spouse to every spouse in our town, all still abed at 4 a.m. or so. Roused from a long winter’s nap by the first spring thunderclap.

I made quiche tonight, because we have so many eggs. This create-your-own recipe at Fine Cooking was helpful for ideas and proportions. I added crumbled cooked sausage, chopped cooked asparagus, parsley, and fresh chives from the garden.

“This is a winner,” said John, feasting on his second slice.

“I would like to thank my special friend, heavy cream,” I said. “And give a big shout out to gruyere cheese.”