Today has been an absolutely magical day for me. It has been the sort of day which restoreth my soul. That walk, the beautiful cards I received in the mail, the laugh I got when I read a newsletter from an old friend who is Catholic and is on his third marriage and finally, this marriage is sanctified because he got an annulment from his last wife even though they had four sons. Which seems ridiculous to me. A divorce is one thing but to say the marriage never really existed in the eyes of a god EVEN THOUGH HE HAD GOTTEN AN ANNULMENT FROM HIS FIRST WIFE TO MARRY THAT WOMAN just makes me laugh. Reminds me of all of the machinations of Henry VIII.
But I practiced my religion today which was to spend time tending my house and my yard and my animals and thus, tending to my soul. I tidied the house and put away all the wrapping paper and tape. I contemplated taking the tree and the nativity down which I have frequently done on Christmas day itself, but this year I am still enjoying lighting it all up in the evening and so I did not.
When I was upstairs to put the paper and ribbons and tags away, I went into the spare bedroom and cleaned up the old ornaments a bit, threw some things away, and then went through a bag of Owen's old clothes which we completely missed using for Gibson as the largest size represented was 24 months. Well, there will be another baby at some point. There is no doubt of that. I refolded each little garment and remembered Owen wearing them. The elephant shirt, the "My Daddy Rocks!" shirt, the little jeans and corduroy britches. I smoothed them and folded them and stacked them all nicely, sighing that Owen was ever that small.
I gave the ducks some more water in their little tub and one of them went paddling about by herself but the other one did not join her. That one, however, stood by the tub and repeatedly ducked her head into the water and beaked herself wet. After that, they both stood in one spot and fluffed and preened themselves. They pecked at their feathers and rubbed the backs of their heads as far down their bodies as they could, rubbing everywhere. They did all of this over and over and I sat and watched them for at least twenty minutes. At one point, Nicey came and stood on the little stump between the two chairs we have set up out there to use as a table to watch the ducks with me.
I know it's absurd but somehow, I feel so very blessed by the presence of these creatures which share my world. They are not here for me, nor even especially with me, but we share our spaces. We do things together and I only hope that they find my behavior as interesting as I find theirs although I seriously doubt that. I am quite aware that they view me as mostly a food dispensing creature which is true and is fine. But sometimes you know, we just hang out and no food is involved and it's such a companionable thing. They soothe me. They entertain me. They give my nurturing ways a channel which is undemanding and yet satisfying.
I got out the Rubbermaid cart and picked up so many downed branches and limbs and hauled them to the burn pile. I swept the porches clean of leaves and watered the porch plants which are still outside, not overwintering inside. I made the bed, I washed dishes. I hung my beautiful cards up, I gathered the chicken's eggs, I fed the chickens grapes and the ducks a few greens from the garden which they loved.
Some of you have commented that duck eggs have made you sick in the past which rather alarmed me. I knew that Kathleen could eat them, even in her last weeks when she was tolerating very little. But...
So I did massive research, meaning of course that I goggled the situation and according to everything I've read, duck eggs are more nutritious than hen eggs and are prized by bakers for their creamier textures, especially in pastries and custards. That some people find them richer-tasting, some eggier-tasting, and some lighter-tasting. Even that some folks who are allergic to chicken eggs can safely eat duck eggs.
I am wondering if those of you who got sick from them ate eggs that were old. I do not know. But I am going to make a quiche tonight and use the two I got today. I already have the pastry crust chilling in the refrigerator. I picked some kale to use in it and have a lovely sharp cheddar.
And so it has gone today. I have been alone, had time to think and to observe and to move about inside and outside. A day of peace and solitude after the craziness of Christmas, as much as I did enjoy it this year.
I need to go roll out my dough and make my quiche. My husband has texted me that he is back to his room, safe from the woods. My chickens and the ducks are all safe in their shelters. I have had a day wherein I have truly loved my life.
I will leave you with a quote from an audio book I'm listening to. The name of the book is "The Dinosaur Hunter" and it's by Homer Hickam which is a fantastic name, if you ask me. The narrator is Michael Kramer and if you ever want to know the definition of "laconic" just listen to his voice.
Okay. Here's the quote:
"There's nothing in the world as sexy as an intelligent, dirty woman."
Or something very close to that.
I don't know how intelligent I am but I sure do need a shower.