Friday diary

Dear Diary,

I was on my way from the computer to the poetry shelf to look up a Jane Kenyon poem (because today’s her birthday and we need to celebrate with some poems) and, by the time I got to the threshold of the next room, I’d forgotten why I was going.

I remembered on my way back here, and now I think I’d better write a few things down before I forget to mention them.

For instance, Hyla was in a show last week! Her school performed The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical satire of 1920s musicals. It was just plain fun. The staging, dancing, singing were all impressive, and we laughed a lot. I didn’t take any photos, but our local town photographer took about 1000. You can see H as ‘Trix the Aviatrix here, and here, and here.

I also need to tell you that, after longing for them for years, we finally got blueberry bushes. Eight of the lovely things. And I spent the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend swearing as I dug holes in New England soil that is more rock than dirt, fertilizing the holes, planting the bushes, mulching the bushes, watering the bushes, and then… sitting on the grass and loving the way they looked. Mom loved blueberries. Planting them was the second best way to celebrate Mother’s Day with her.

Blueberry bushes

As we were choosing the plants at the local nursery, M (rightly so) argued for splurging on the larger bushes. We’re not getting any younger; we’d like to harvest some blueberries sooner rather than later. But our friend at the nursery said we just had to get one of the Elliot variety, and they were only available in the small size, so we have one tiny bush. His name, of course, is Elliot, and he’s very excited about everything. A new morning. The sunshine. A rain shower.


He and I were both excited when a hummingbird came by to visit.

Shy blueberry bush visitor

Big, round bumblebees have been visiting the blueberry bushes, too, and so have honeybees. I like to think they’re “our” bees, but who knows. They refuse to wear the name tags I made for them.

The bushes are right outside the window next to my desk, the same window from which I can see the goat barn and the beehive. I spend a lot of time looking out that window at the micro farm we’ve been carving out of this property, inch by inch. And it’s a soul satisfying view this time of year, with the big maple tree suddenly in full leaf, the apple and pear trees we planted last year bursting with white and pink blossoms, the goats stretched out on the grass in their pen, soaking in the sunshine, the bees too-ing and fro-ing from the hive.

It’s enough to distract a person from the business at hand.

Today’s business involves preparing for this weekend’s big event, the (now) annual Open Fields School Medieval Festival. If you’re reading this and you live in the area, you should come. Not only does it support a lovely independent elementary school, it’s just plain fun. There are crafts to do, shows to watch, costumes to wear, and food to eat.

So far, I’ve made dozens of mini fruit tarts. And mini quiches. And our own Sweet Lolo came up last weekend and made caramel “styckes” and pine nut candy to donate to the cause.

Today I’ll make one more batch of quiche, and a couple batches of waffle cookies, and then H and I will go over to the school this afternoon to help set up the tents and fences and banners in preparation for tomorrow.

Mini rhubarb-ginger tarts

Mini apple tarts

Tomorrow, we’ll put on our Medieval costumes and walk the green in the rain and the sun, watching the kids in the parade with Benny the Dragon and the King and the Queen.

Tomorrow, H will once again be the “Sniggler” who sells “eels” (of the candy gummy variety) to the children.

Tomorrow, M will be in his hermit cave, dispensing advice and answering your questions.

Ask a Hermit

But today, Diary, I have to get cracking. Treats to bake, costumes to dig out of last year’s storage, anti-rain dances to do (at least let’s not have snow, like we did last year, please), oh, and Jane’s poems to read.

Your friend,


An oriole sings from the hedge
and in the hotel kitchen
the chef sweetens cream for pastries.
Far off, lightning and thunder agree
to join us for a few days
here in the valley. How lucky we are
to be holding hands on a porch
in the country. But even this
is not the joy that trembles
under every leaf and tongue.

–Jane Kenyon, from The Boat of Quiet Hours, Copyright © 1986, by Jane Kenyon


  1. Cindy says:

    Love the tribute to Jane. Thought of her (and you) this am while reading the Writer’s Almanac. Love Elliot, too, and your tarts look good enough to devour online! What a wonderful gift you give of yourselves! And Hyla looks spot on in her aviator’s costume! Absolutely grand times were had–and are about to be had–I can tell! Love you. thanks for taking the time to enrich all of your loving readers’ lives. You are a blessing to us indeed!

  2. Lisa-Marie Haugmen says:

    I’m so happy to follow you! Love the tribute to Jane! I’ve ordered a book of poems.
    Could you please share your recipe? I’d love to make some tarts!
    Thank you for a wonderful blog! I enjoy it very much.

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