One of the most amazing and unexpected gifts of blogging for me has been the reaching out of people from all over the world in response to something I have written. Sometimes people leave comments and sometimes people e-mail me and it is simply the most beautiful thing to realize how closely knit we can be despite vast distances between us, whether those distances be measured in miles or gender or age or culture.
Yesterday I got an email from a woman in New Zealand who reads my blog and wanted to tell me about an article that she'd found on the My Pet Chicken blog which is a place I have visited before for advice and information on chickens. The reader discovered this article via a link from another blog called Down To Earth. I have now added both of these blogs to my own Feedly and I think that some of you would probably enjoy them too.
The article which was the main reason for the woman from New Zealand to write me is about an American woman I'd never heard of before and it's really no wonder- she was a rather eccentric, possibly ill woman who lived on Martha's Vineyard in the 1800's and who was known as "The Madonna of the Hens."
Well. My goodness. Of course I need to know about her! Her name was Nancy Luce and she adored her hens and they and her cows were her companions. The link to that article is HERE.
Sad and sweet and fascinating.
Here is a picture of Nancy from that blog post which was posted courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Museum.
The picture above also comes from the post and is an illustration by Dan Waters, Indian Hill Press.
And thus it goes. We are so fortunate to be able to find these links, separate but connected like stepping stones across a river, one leading to another, each offering a slightly (or hugely!) different viewpoint as we all take the same journeys.
I am having a lazy Saturday and feel unmotivated to do any of the thousand things that need to be done but which are so easy to put off. Cleaning spider shit, washing windows, dusting, decontaminating the refrigerator which is growing all sorts of interesting new life forms, etc. and so forth.
I do now have this sitting on my kitchen counter.
It is not just sitting there for decorative purposes but holds these
now covered in brine with a plate and a weight. Here it will all sit for one week and then the next step in the alchemical process will begin.
Of course I had to buy the crock (years ago) from an antique store and have used it many times for these pickles. It is also used for holding children's blocks when it is not pickle season. And interestingly, the weight I use is something I found in my yard. It may be made of some lead alloy. I do not know but it is heavy as hell and I had it for a long time before I figured out that any time I need to press something, this is the perfect thing to do it with. Hell, that may BE its purpose. I have it in a deep bowl on top of the plate because as the transformation from cucumber to pickle happens, the liquid level will rise and I certainly don't need to be making pickles with a lead content.
Any of you have any idea what this is and was made for?
If you do, let me know. It certainly wouldn't be the first time I've ever learned something from one of you.
So again, let me thank you all for being a part of my life and today I especially thank a woman named Lynda who took the time to write me and start me down this particular interesting path.
Now go read about Nancy Luce and check out My Pet Chicken and Down To Earth.
If you'd like.