Baking is my stress relief and the past year has had plenty of stress to relieve. I particularly enjoy making biscuits and scones – really any breakfast food.
With only Beekeeper Brian and myself at home, I have had to find ways to bake and not weigh 300 pounds. So each Sunday, I take breakfast to the praise team at church. We meet at 7:00 to practice and stay through the service until almost noon so the gesture is much appreciated and there are seldom leftovers.
Both biscuits and scones require the use of a pastry blender. I’ve seen a picture on Facebook of one asking if anyone knew what it was. I was somewhat offended at the suggestion that only old people use pastry blenders.
I have actually been through several pastry blenders in the past few years. I tried one that had a slightly different design and broke two of them before I gave up and went back to the original crescent shape. It has held up to my stress relieving routine but sometimes looks a little worse for the wear.
Hills and highways are alive with wildflowers in the Spring is a yearly rite of the season, especially in Texas. The seas of color along our roadways vary every year. Bluebonnets signal Spring has arrived.
April has done an outstanding job this year painting the roadsides in the blues, reds, yellows, and pinks with bluebonnets, primroses, Indian paintbrush, and buttercups. Bluebonnets are a particularly gorgeous deep blue this year thanks to the winter’s awful blizzard and freeze.
We can thank two women for the beauty we enjoy.
The origin of bluebonnets, the Texas state flower, involves a young Indian girl named She-Who-Is-Lonely. It’s a familiar tale for most Texans.
She-Who-Is-Lonely lived when Indians roamed Texas. According to legend the weather was not kind to the natives. Winters were harsh, Spring brought catastrophic flooding, followed by a summer drought. Food was scarce. The tribe appealed to the Great Spirit for help. She-Who-Is-Lonely overheard the Great Spirit tell them selfishness had brought on their plight. She took matters into her own hands.
She offered her most prized possession to the Great Spirit, burning her beloved doll in a fire. Once the fire cooled, she then took handfuls of ashes and turned north, south, east, and west letting the ashes fall from her hands as she spun.
When the tribe awoke, the barren landscape was covered in lush blankets of blue and green. The Great Spirit had forgiven them. The tribe renamed the little girl “One-Who-Dearly-Loves-Her-People.”
Tomie dePaola wrote and illustrated a fabulous picture book based on the legend. It’s available here.
The other woman is Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, who made it her mission to improve the landscape along our interstate highways.
She convinced states that wildflowers were good at erosion prevention along the roadside and suggested strongly that mowers skip cutting the wildflowers until after they had dispersed their seeds. She even requested that mowers scatter flower seeds the last time they mowed in the fall.
Former Texas Governor John Connally offered free packets of wildflower seeds to Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and anyone who wrote to him. Other states followed with their own wildflower programs for their roadways.
Lady Bird’s efforts provided the wildflowers we see on so many roadways when we travel each Spring. Funding cuts over recent years have eliminated many seed sowing programs, but the show happens every year.
This year in Texas the show is magnificent and from the pictures appearing on social media I think it’s a good blooming year for the hills and highways everywhere.
Briton Rivière, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
March Comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb. This proverb has been around since its mention in a 1732. Such weather proverbs and sayings have many origins. This one probably came from observations and a desire for accurate weather predictions.
Trouble is March can arrive as a lamb then turn lion-like in the end making the proverb an unreliable forecasting guide.
Historically Old Man Winter reluctantly allows Spring its turn at the climate. That’s because March is a pivotal meteorological month with an unpredictable seasonal pattern.
While the adage most likely refers to the weather, other sources trace its origins to the stars. If you look to the western horizon this time of year, you can see the constellations of Leo the Lion and Aries the Ram (or lamb).
Leo the Lion rises from the east in early March, meaning the month is coming in “like a lion.” By the end of the month, Leo is almost overhead, while Aries the Ram (lamb) is setting on the western horizon. Hence, the month is going out like a lamb.
Another theory claims the saying is biblical and the animal references symbolic. Jesus’s first appeared as the sacrificial lamb but returns as the Lion of Judah. Problem with that theory is the lion appears first, which is theologically inaccurate.
Perhaps the best solution to what the saying – March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb – means is to take it at face value. March may well start with fierce weather, but it’s always a clear signal spring is on its way.
Our March has been like a roller coast. One day warm and sunny (think 80s), the next wet and chilly (highs in the 50s), and another both cold and rainy the same day when one of those Texas northers comes through. Lion one day, lamb the next, or both in the same day. Old Man Winter is definitely fighting Springs arrival.
How’s your March weather?
Want to know whether you can expect lion or lamb weather in your area during these last days of March? You can find the Farmer’s Almanac long-range weather forecast, here.
One of our chickens still spends part of her day in the duck pen. I’ve stopped worrying about it. If she can get back and forth on her own, I see no need to slide around the duck pen chasing her and risk falling.
She has started laying eggs in the duck’s nest box.
She may think I will put it with the duck eggs which are saved for baking and mixing in with scrambled eggs. However, I have learned to distinguish chicken eggs from duck eggs by their shell. The duck eggs look creamier while the chicken eggs are bright white.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.