The Feast Of Trumpets

Curse not the month of bluster and tumbling bonnets, for it takes a blast of many trumpets to loosen winter’s claws of ice. Ancient Jews held a festival in March in which trumpets owned the air. A jubilant chorus of brass marked the end of a season and the beginning of a new one. Indeed, there is something victorious sounding in the blowing of a horn!

“March winds have a Herculean task on hand. They are trying to blow the moored ship of Winter, large as an ice-field, glowering as an ice-berg, cold and tryannous – trying to blow it loose of anchor and into the open sea.” ~ William Quayle

I’m to greet March wind like an old friend, says William. He does. Loves the wind … the harder it blows, the better he likes it. He sees March wind as a hero, the “Rough Rider of spring”. March chases winter away. I get his point. Really, I do. But.

The clouds are as windblown looking as my hair — stringy layers lain one over the other. Hats are no longer a staple in modern wardrobes. But, in the olden days, March was a time when men pulled their lids down tight and ladies held their’s in place. Nowadays, when we ride during calving in April and May, I wear a visor rather than a hat. I can ratchet a visor down snug enough so that the wind has less chance of making me chase after it. We have March wind long into April and I don’t mind telling you that I have a hard time being as delighted with the wind as Mr. Quayle. In fact, a stiff breeze can bring out the grump in me better than about any thing else.

If the author of “God’s Calendar”, Mr. Quayle, liked going on his nature walks on windy days in March, I’m betting he didn’t have much company. Wind is annoying. Ask any cat. Open the door on a windy day and you play hell shoving a cat out the door. They scrunch up like a furry accordian, blinking their eyes in shock and then practically turn themselves inside out to get back inside. Dont ask a dog, they’re daft when it comes to wind. They’ll happily run after any fool that calls them to go and play in the gale. You could ask a chicken though. They have the same embarassing problem as us girls do when wearing a dress in the wind. It’ll blow your pinafore & petticoat clean over your ears. Damnable wind.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~ Charles Dickens

There are so many things I’d like to do outside right now, but the cats and I stop at the door and think, “Mmmm, maybe not.” Working outside in the wind loosens my grip on a normally steady temperament. Take all the garden work there is to do now. I can go out on a nice day and the little inconveniences don’t fluster me. But, let the wind interfere and things fall apart. The other day, after reading from Mr. Quayle’s book, I decided the wind was not going to deter me from doing some garden work. I was piddling with the fence when I dropped the hammer. While I was down there picking it up, the wind blew the gate shut on my head. Ouch! If that weren’t enough, I backed up when I hit my head and tripped over the hoe handle that the wind had knocked down. Then, I dropped the hammer all over again. By now, I’m about to have that tantrum Donald Duck became famous for when he got tangled up in the Christmas lights. So, I said, “To heck with ya, it’ll wait!” I won’t say what else I muttered. But, it was not, “The wind is my friend, the wind is my friend.”

I read somewhere that trees need the wind blowing their main branches to & fro to loosen and stimulate the flow of sap. Maybe they need it, but I bet they don’t like it. There are few things I can think of except for kites that actually like the wind. When I was a kid, I didn’t mind the wind. Flying kites was, as I recall, grand fun. Did you fly kites or do you now with your children? I admit, that is one way to smile on a windy day.

We entered wind season last week. It blew day and night … true to form, the wind being warmed by bright sunshine melted the last of the stubborn ice, even on the north side of the barn. Ok, I’ll give it a thank you for that favor. We’ve seen the last of ice for 2012. Onward with springtime!

While the wind blows our new season into place, I’ve been keeping myself occupied with some indoor chores. As you know, our porch building process is well underway. Today, I’ll paint the steps that my husband built out of old gym bleachers. I’m painting them white and then I’ll sand them here & there, stain them with ‘antique’ glaze and finish them with polyurethane. Soon, I’ll attack my old step-back cupboard and paint it blue. I tested my choice of paint on an old box yesterday. Love it. This is the vivid indigo blue that so many of the cupboards of the late 1800s wear. Staining and sanding will subdue the hue somewhat, but I love that brazen blue of old!

I also found a home for my antique postcard collection – an old billing shelf with slots.

I’m eagerly waiting for these blue Hyacinths to bloom. Their intense fragrance so invigorates your sense of smell after a winter’s worth of being denied the fresh scent of green things.

This too, I bought a brand new antique Singer Featherweight sewing machine awhile back. It is how I plan to smoke a peacepipe with an old nemesis: sewing machines. I don’t like them. Well, come to think of it, I don’t really like any appliances or gadgets that are much more complicated than a toaster. A hammer, a screwdriver and tweezers are the kind of tools I like. I don’t know how to text on my cell phone and I don’t want to know how. My desk phone is a rotary. I’m kind of a anti hi-tech Scrooge. It bothers me to see people addicted to gadgets and I don’t want to go there. (I reminded myself of that last night when I was playing at Pinterest ;o). I do love my cordless palm-sander though! What a lot of work that saves me. But…back to my sewing machine. I learned machine sewing on my mother’s Pfaff. I was later introduced to an old Featherweight when I worked at a quilt shop. I didn’t fall in love with machine sewing via the Featherweight, but I found a machine that thinks like I do. I don’t want a long list of choices that I’ll never make use of. I just want what I need: basics. With that, I’m a happy camper. So, I’m going to commit myself to getting reacquainted with an old friend and save myself a lot of stitching mileage by sewing on a machine again (after a long time away from it). Here she is. Ain’t she a darlin’?

Well, the wind has let up. The house isn’t creaking. I think I’ll take down the last of the Christmas lights. I see my hens are busy scratching in the flower bed. I think it’s time I enforce freedom restrictions to a few hours in the evenings lest they make the bed look like a war zone just when things are going to start coming up.

I hope you’re enjoying the thought that springtime in your corner of the world is near. Have you worn out the seed catalogs? Have you decided what to do differently in your garden this year? Are you buying baby chicks? What is on the springtime horizon for the farmgirl in your shoes?

Shery … in windy Wyoming

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  1. Nicole Christensen says:

    Hi Shery,

    I’m not big on windy days, either. Here in Connecticut, a big wind could mean serious injury from a big snapped tree branch.

    I love the way you displayed your vintage postcard collection – very clever.

    By the way, how is your little dog – the one the deer injured a few posts back?

    Farmgirl Hugs,
    Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl Blogger)

    ——-

    Hi Nicole! Thank you :o)  My little Dotty is just fine…she has a scar, but the injuray area is now haired over. She’s wised up and decided that barking at the deer is only safe up on the deck. Hugs back at ya.  shery

  2. Nancy says:

    I Love your Featherweight! I have one that looks like it. The Most Wonderful "Romantical" :) gift my sweet husband ever gave me, was finding one at an antique mall while he was driving home from a business trip. It was in the case and looking loved, but in Very Good Condition. He came home, went and bought wrapping paper and a card, and brought it around the corner to surprise me when I got home from work. I had been looking for one for quite a while, and it was an especially Wonderful Treat. I’m with you, sew ahead and back, that’s all I need. Thanks for the post.

    ——–

    Nancy,  To get such a gift from your husband is soooo sweet and thoughtful. I bet your little heart went bumpitybump instead of pitterpatter :o)  shery

  3. Jan says:

    We also have a WIND problem here in the lovely Spokane Valley (AKA Greenacres). Supposedly has something to do with the currents involved from the Rathdrum prairie sort of east of us. My dad even built walls around the swimming pool area so that that *!*#** wind wouldn’t bother him so much. Long after dad passed and we moved into my folks old home we still comment on the scarey nature of those wind currents. One beautiful summer day, my hubby and I went shopping. I had forgotten to put down my umbrella covering the table in the corner of the HIGH walls out back. We found the umbrella about 150 feet away in my mom’s backyard next door. All this and on a perfectly quiet beautiful summer day! It always makes me laugh to say my dad’s quote: "This wind won’t blow in my whiskers much longer!".

    Love your little sewing machine and your blue box. After you paint and sand, what type of product do use as a glaze and how do you apply it? The ‘glazing’ part of this technique has me a little confused (I’ll just blame it on the WIND..) I read the article that you wrote regarding the couple that repurposed furniture in MJF magazine. Just haven’t used a glaze before…I have two pieces to work on in my sunporch.

    Happy spring!

    ———-

    Hi Jan, I just used Old English scratch cover to darken the box, rubbed off the excess, let it dry and then prayed it with Deft spray varnish – satin or semi-gloss.  shery

  4. Diann says:

    Shery,
    I laughed out loud with your "fence episode". Not laughin’ at you but with you. I live in a plains area where the wind is pretty consistent. Come March, it kicks up a notch, but all that darn work outside still has to be done. I am reminded of chasing a feed bucket clean across the pasture and trust me I was mighty thankful no one was close to hear what I was saying as I stomped after it! Wonderful spring days to you and yours!

  5. Colleen says:

    I’m with you, Shery. HATE the wind. I live in "Simi Valley", which is a Chumash Indian word for "windy". Yep, hate it.
    Loved the "furry accordian" cat metaphor, sounds about right!
    This "winter" in Southern Cal I’ve had flowers outside my window all season- we haven’t had much of a winter. But I lived in the midwest for 10 years and I sympathize with everyone who is having spring fever right about now.
    Hope your winds let up and the cats can go out!
    Sure enjoy your blog. Thanks so much…
    cg

  6. April says:

    Yes, the seed catalogs are worn out and I’ve already got some of the seeds – love Heirloom Seeds. Starting seeds is on my list for this weekend. I’m also working on finishing a playhouse/shade house we started building last year – time to get it painted and finished. Big veggie garden plans this year. My dogs won’t tolerate chicks – my mom raises those! :)

  7. Terry says:

    Hey there Shery girl, pull up those big girl panties and blow caution to the wind!! You know I love ya :)

    ———

    My big girl panties are bigger’n you remember ’em! ;o)   shery

  8. Marcia says:

    Shery,
    Living in mid Florida I envy what you and others are experiencing. Must admit also that the wind we have been having just enhances the "laundry on the line" freshness I love.
    You have whett my desire to search for my basic sewing machine, and perhaps make that quilt from favorite old clothing!
    Thank you

  9. Dolly Sarrio says:

    Hi Sherry,
    I love reading your articles!!! I so love the photos you use also. Like you I don’t like the wind that much either. It chaps my face, makes working outside so much harder than it has to be. Everywhere I live is out in the open just enough to be constantly windy…..
    Dolly

  10. Debbie says:

    Hi Shery!
    Oh, I just love your posts! You always take me someplace I like to be, but, like you I prefer a place minus the wind.
    I remember March being our windy month in Nevada too. Now that I think about it, August and September could be windy as well…Here on the shorelnes, the wind is fierce and feared especially in October during hurricane season. These last few days have been like late spring with record high’s in the 70’s three days in a row…However, I understand its’ about to come to an end..we might be back in the low 40’s by Monday. I HAVE worn out my seed catalogs and purchased the first cut flower seeds for the season. I’ve vacillated between a green house and a hoop house for extending my growing season. But the best part of these last few days is that my Backyard Flower Farm is underway! Two 4×12 raised beds are completed ( only 6 more to go )! I am more than excited about this new farmgirl adventure! My hubby and son were in hysterics’ listening to me babble on about how wonderful it’s going to be while they worked away.
    We share another thing in common. I too am a bit of a technophobe. I don’t want or need most of what is offered today in the world of electronics and I adore your sewing machine. What could be better than that? Sorry about that bump on your head… the best thing to do on a day like that is try again tomorrow! Some days it’s just not worth it to force the issue what ever it is! LOL
    Love ya sister! Hold on to your hat ( visor )
    xo Deb
    ————

    Thanks D-Boz! Can’t wait to see your garden project later on when you have plants coming up. I opted out of the Govt greenhouse option as it is a hoop-house and I had severe doubts as to the wind-hardiness of it.   shery

  11. Lacey says:

    Hey Shery!! Another amazing write up, I totally feel your pain when it comes to WIND, I live in Saskatchewan, Canada where the weather changes every time you blink!! This past Monday we had a huge storm with freezing rain and up to 90km/Hr wind, Tuesday and Wednesday were well above 0 degrees and this morning the snow started and it has been for about 12 hours now!! Calving is proving to be a bit of a challenge as well, today we lost a set of twins because the mama took off to a far corner of the pasture and with a white out blizzard we didn’t know she was there, when we found her it was too late :( Not sure when you guys calve there but GOOD LUCK with it!! :). P.S Glad to hear your little pup is doing better!! Lacey

    ——

    Hi Lacey, Awww, sorry about your losses. I hate that and we, too, have had spring squalls that take a toll in that regard. I loathe the waiting game you play until you can go out and see if there is any damage control you can do…or just cound the losses :o( We don’t start calving until mid-April. The weather can still pose a threat, but you don’t get the long-term frigid temps. We don’t have barns at the ranch, so we HAVE to work with nature. There is no real profit in pushing time. Thanks for the well wishes…right back at ya girl.  shery

  12. Nancy says:

    Sometimes I think the wind is Mother Nature’s Puck–tweaking us humans who try to outwit her with gardens and fences and outdoor things. During the summer, though, it is Mother Nature’s balm, taking the sting out of the summer sun.

    I love your sewing machine! It’s just occurred to me that I have a collection of old machines. Hmm.

    Thank you for such a great start to my day!

    Hang on to your hat!

    Nancy
    liveasavorylife.com

  13. Suse says:

    I am still sewing on the sewing machine my father gave my mother as a wedding present back in 1954! Several years back my husband got me a brand-new machine with stitches galore, but the time-tested Singer 301A is my machine for anything from upholstery to mending, to quilting and clothing construction.

    Always enjoy a visit to your corner of paradise out West. As a transplanted Indiana farm girl here in New Jersey who grew up with a horse and cows, I look forward to all of your posts and pictures of life out on the range. Thank you for sharing and I only wish I was a little closer to Wyoming so I could stop by and swap howdys with you!

    Susem

  14. cora jo says:

    Shery, you reminded me I have my Mom’s Feather Weight. Nice machine. Also have and use a treadle. Ok, also have a plane White and a fancy Janome…hmmm Well, I do sew a lot. My fav is the treadle. Go figure.
    Spring sprung too early here and now is soooo cold. Daffodils were fooled. Hope the apple trees make it to apples in the fall. But, the seasons changing is a major reason we live here in the north, right?

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