Friday, April 21, 2023

snippets of april goodness

April has been a super busy month. Some not-so-good stuff, but I'm focusing on the good. We had a week of 80+ degree days (and in true Illinois weather fashion, we then crashed 50 degrees and had snow) which pushed everything into hyperspeed bloom. As I was driving the other day, I noticed the street lined with the brilliant green, newly emerged leaves on the trees and all the dogwoods and red bud trees in blossom. I said out loud, "Everything is so beautiful." Coming out of our overwhelmingly long, gray, dark winters into the brilliance of spring is akin to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz stepping out of her farmhouse into the colorful world outdoors. 

(Flowering dogwood)

(Emerging peonies)

(Unfurling ferns)

(Crimson King Maple)


(My friend's daffodils...I think they're Sir Winston Churchill daffodils)

Some other good snippets of April ~

The beautiful spring weather called for dining al fresco once again...

and taking walks in the sunshine along the riverwalk.

Went to my first outdoor farmer's market of the season. I got farm fresh eggs, grass-fed burgers, artisan cheeses and microgreens. I petted dogs and a cat in a cat carrier backpack. Everyone was smiling and friendly and talking to each other. I think the nice weather not only makes people in a general better mood, but the freedom of being "back to normal" after the pandemic makes us more appreciative of life's everyday pleasures.

Walking a labyrinth with one of my best friends was good for our souls.

In my March 24th post, I mentioned going to a women's circle on a horse farm. I went again this month! I swear this farm has magical properties. Even driving down the long, winding gravel road to get to the farm is a surreal experience. The first part of the road is lined with dimly uplit trees, then dense pine trees. You come to a clearing and voila...there are the barns, the beautiful house on a hill, a little log cabin with rocking chairs on a porch, horse pastures, a huge pond, swings hanging from trees...and beautiful land as far as the eye can see. 

I am still taking care of the feral and stray cats that come to my house just about every night, by feeding them and keeping a bowl of fresh water on the porch. Blanco is the feral. Photo was taken out my front door, through the glass. There's no way I could get this close to him in person.

Smokey is the stray. He's so sweet, rolling all over the porch as I talk to him. I've been petting him but I'm going to have to stop. He has open, raw wounds behind his ears from excessive scratching which means he has severe ear mites and they're highly contagious to other cats. As a stray, he probably has fleas, too. I can't take a risk of bringing anything into the house that Clementine could catch. I've been in contact with local cat rescues about Smokey. Only one said they could take him, but they don't have any room right now.

Clementine is still amazingly hanging in there with being in stage 4 kidney failure. She's a skinny little thing, only weighing 7 lbs, and looks even more pitiful with fur loss on her belly, legs, some on her sides and halfway down her tail from obsessive biting and chewing. Over the past years, we've been to two different vet dermatologists and between them and her regular vet, we've tried everything from natural remedies to every prescription medication possible. We've changed her diet, too. Nothing ever helped, at least not in the long term. Her regular vet said it's probably anxiety and since she can't be on any anti-anxiety medication because of her kidneys, we just let her be. Our sweet kitty still has a healthy appetite, is active, uses her cat box, and sleeps snuggled up next to me every night. When she was diagnosed with kidney disease 4-1/2 years ago, the vet said she probably only live another 1-1/2 years. She's a fighter! In this photo, she's waving her paw to get Brian to pet her. She either does that or taps you on the arm. So cute. She loves a lot of attention.

Have a beautiful weekend!


  1. It's always good to focus on the positive, especially when the evitable "bad stuff" is thrown into the mix of life. Spring in your area looks beautiful! Great pictures! I am glad that you still have Clementine, at least for a little while longer. I hope you have a beautiful spring weekend! See you again soon.

  2. Love this post. Spring is coming and going here as well. Snow today (grrr). I'm glad Clementin is doing well :) The women's circle sounds wonderful. We have something like that nearby. Maybe I'll try it someday. So many things to avail ourselves of these days.

  3. I hope the rescue can take little Smokey in and help him out. We are having the strangest weather here. Summer for a few days then back to spring. I am glad Clem is hanging in there. When they know they are so loved they just hang in there and want to stay in the great life they have. Have a good weekend. Hugs. Kris

  4. So good of you to feed the poor feral kitties. I'm glad Clementine is hanging in there. She's so sweet. I love all your plants emerging!

  5. Clementine is a fighter that's for sure! I agree with you about the really does feel like the world is waking up again!

  6. What an innovative secondary use of the horse barn. Has this come about since the pandemic or before that? The presence of these gentle animals in their home must greatly contribute to the serenity there. I loved how you described the approach to the barn. Happy April happenings in your life with winter ending and a pleasurable return to your out and about walks and lunches, and I know how you treasure every day that Clementine is there with you and Brian. Melanie, that does look like Sir Winston Churchill. I had a clump of them at our old house and the scent was heavenly as I passed them in the front garden. I hope your last week of April is lovely!

  7. Your spring pictures give me hope. Thank you for that --and for all the glimpses into your life.

  8. Great pics of goodness you are enjoying. It is so much better for us mentally, physically and spiritually to focus on the good and beautiful! Continue to enjoy. ~ FlowerLady

  9. Your pictures are so beautiful. I am so glad spring is here. 💕

  10. Beautiful photos of spring in your world!

  11. Lovely snippets of spring in your area. So nice that you and your hubby could enjoy dining outdoors. Your farmer's market haul sounds wonderful. I can't wait to get there for the first time. I'm hoping for strawberries.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind comment - I read and appreciate each one!