Peach Tree Mar. 14Chick takes to the dresserMockingbird couple on 1900's shedPeach tree Mar 2014But I don’t anymore – they’re all around us! The mockingbirds, especially, are in love. They twitter, burst into song, follow along if you send out a particularly endearing string of notes. The scrub jays are chasing them; both want to nest in the clump of blackberry we left for them, Wayne having noted their nests last year. All in all, some may be tire of hearing, I’ve counted 22 varieties of birds at our Oasis Farm on Skillman Lane, the one with the modernish-house-that-Wayne-built at the top of our hill. Truly is a marvelous 360degree view, waking up to the mist on Sonoma Mountain (Mom would have called that a foothill); watching the moon come up and trying to figure out what stars we’re staring at above the Lovin’ Oven we built with the help of Daily Acts’ 350 Garden Challenge, 50 volunteers and the indomitable Miguel Elliot (Mica), king of all things Adobe.

So can’t complain, but of course I do, about the high pollen levels. I see my first-year camellias out the window along with the occasional deer attempting, now unsuccessfully we hope, to cross over into our apple/plum/pear and what have you other orchard. There are still around 150 fruit and nut trees, but who’s counting? Probably Wayne. I stay indoors much of the time when the 60 or so chickens aren’t calling for more snacks, grain, scratch, greens.

Learned a thing or five this past year: you CAN’T leave chickens out around you all day no matter how sweet it is to plant veggies with somebody talking to you from the ground; a bobcat, a skunk, a fox, a skunk, once in awhile a possum or a hawk will take them off under the bushes or even just kill them and leave. So electric fence it is and maybe netting overhead if it comes to that. They’re still pets quite a bit and it still hurts when you nurse one and it dies. But the flock is VERY happy now and LOADS of eggs to prove that.

So what else to report out? The new house is quite beautiful, according to me, and the deck begins to have its own garden. Wonder what we’ll do eventually on the flat roof with its “parapet” – and the barn is about to begin being built.

Pizza in the Lovin’ Oven is frequent and bit by bit we invite over the various groups we have shared our lives in Petaluma with – soon, a Gathering of Granges Pizza party, a ladies tea, a coupla sit down dinners for 8 – at 8.

Home at Oasis – soon Home to the Petaluma Grange? We won’t count our chickens today – but tomorrow will also be sweet. Wonderful spring outside lovely city of the Little Hills; we’re home.