Thanks for being here. I skipped my letter last week because I didn’t have anything to say. When the days and nights blur together into one block of humidity, inspiration tends to take a back seat for me. A vinyl, stuck-to-my-bare-legs back seat. You know that feeling?
But I’m here today, once again with only a meager bit of Sunday Letter news to share. But maybe as I write, something entertaining will come to mind. Ideas sometimes reveal themselves unexpectedly, even at the bottom of a dry well.
Bunny in the Garden
We have a new garden resident. A cute little bunny moved in a few weeks ago. We see him most every day. He loves to eat the clover in our lawn, and since we grow clover for the wildlife, we are cool with that.
This is an over-zoomed picture, but you can see the clover sticking from his mouth.
Another picture for better reference.
Yes, I realize bunnies can wreak havoc on a garden, but even so, I’ve become this critter-loving person who clings to the idea that people and wildlife can happily co-exist. So far, I welcome him, think of him as Peter Rabbit. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m probably a better naturalist than gardener.
Oh how I loved the Peter Rabbit books. I remember exactly where the collection was shelved in the children’s section of the Osceola Public Library, down low within easy reach of little hands, their slick white covers absolutely enchanting to me. I read two or three stories every time I visited the library (there are twenty-three in the original collection). Enter the pages of a Beatrix Potter book and escape a hot summer day. It was worlds better than sitting at Lucille’s Beauty Shop while Momma got her hair done, I’ll tell you that.
I’ve been leaving a pie tin of water for our new bunny, whose name is Peter, of course. He needs a water source, and I don’t expect him to share the bird bath.
Yes, I heard there’s a horrible rabbit virus spreading across the globe—2020, you are starting to feel completely predictable—so please don’t send me scary stories about this. Yes, I know Peter may be responsible for the trouble I’m having with my zucchini. For a while, I am simply enjoying the fact that during this time when we are encouraged to play it safe and distance ourselves from society, we have a cute visitor.
The only thing on my birthday list was a toad house. John granted my wish twice by giving me two toad houses. (Purchased from the garden department at Ozark Natural Foods.)
We situated one in the woodland garden (my name for the area) which stays rather lush with shade and plants. There’s also a small birdbath there. If I were a toad, I would hang out among the ferns and hostas. Our rabbit has been known to visit this area. (And no, rabbits don’t eat toads. They are vegetarian.)
The other is near the stone wall, not too far from where I found the baby bullfrog a few weeks ago. There’s also a fountain in this area. A fountain with a broken pump which means, right now, we have a small swamp that needs to be mucked. Probably the perfect habitat for a toad.
So how to attract toads to your yard? Much like the birds that come to our feeder and nest in our viburnum, toads are attracted by insects. A healthy, non-pesticide yard is the first step. I don’t imagine toads are fussy about the style of their home—provide a shady place to hide with a soft mattress of shredded leaves and your toad house will be on the market.
You can make a toad house with a pile of rocks or a broken terra-cotta pot. This could be a fun summer project for those bored kiddos and grandkids.
Last week, a friend sent me this meme (credit to decadeswithjoeekramer.com):
Isn’t that the truth?!
You know you are getting old when you start a sentence with “kids today”…
But seriously, the telephone cord. I remember walking under it when Momma sat at the dining room table, the cord stretched taunt from the kitchen wall across the room. In my mind, her words actually flowed through that cord, her chatty conversation held together as it moved into the wall and miraculously ended up inside the telephone lines on Highway 140, those lines that delivered her voice to Aunt Lavern on Little River or Margaret in Osceola or Nana at the Home Place.
Even when the cord was frustratingly short or twisted and kept you rooted to a room in the house, that cord was magic.
I remember pulling the phone into the bedroom closet, crimping the indestructible cord in the door as I talked to my best friend late at night, well past bedtime, the house dark and quiet except for Daddy’s snoring.
I hope kids today have simple yet magical things to look back on. Things may have been far from perfect back then, but childhood innocence was often a sweet thing.
Things Momma Says:
I don’t even know you with that mask on.
See you next time Sunday Letter friends. Carry on and try to play nice.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. If you missed my birthday donation news, read about it HERE.