June 12. A day just like yesterday. The morning frost that coats the green grass retracts its icy claws away from the border of the early sunshine that slowly and consistently opens up across the front lawn. The newly purchased pepper plants and cosmos are freeze burnt under the cover of darkness as the coldness steals away their promise of a good life.

With my sore back, my butt is firmly rooted on the sofa, surrounded by my favorite “people”, pillows and an electric heating pad. I pushed myself yesterday into grooming one small, well-behaved, little monkey and today I can’t walk without pain. I’ve begun my 4th week of recovery and the tug-of-war battle of my brain against my limbs gives me a physical headache. But here I sit at the computer. I’m still working habitually on converting my filing system over to digital, but what a slog.

Slog. What a great word! I imagine Atreyu waist deep in mud pulling on Artax, his bit and bridle extending his perfect white muzzle high in the air as he fights the desire to sink into the black swamp of sadness. Atreyu yelling at his equine companion to keep fighting and Bastian with his book yelling into the wind behind them. Tears stream down my face as Artax dies…the worst part…my kids refuse to watch The Neverending Story.

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The movies that helped shaped my life, like Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story are wholly underappreciated! Jim Henson’s mastery of the puppet was second to none! Add in the amazing David Bowie…well…there are no words!  Oh how I wanted to be Sarah with her sweet courage…a trail of amazing creatures following her and testing her every move through fascinating twists and turns. But nope…here I sit…on my butt…watching the frost in my slippers!

Diane and Keith came today to do some tractor chores. My little pony Princess Abby keeps pushing the panels of her enclosure further and further into the field of lush, frost-bitten grasses of spring until she literally collapses the fences and hops over. These big metal panels are tightly held together with huge, super strength elastic bands attached to a metal hook. With the hook firmly rooted in the panel, the elastic band wraps around both posts and slides neatly over the opposite end of the hook. With one band on top and one on the bottom, they are a strong and nifty fencing solution on the farm. Abby a.k.a. fence crawler is a destructor extraordinaire. She pushes until she snaps the bands! We then resort to baling twine around each juncture. At that point she highlights human stupidity by pushing up on the bar that latches the door in the panel on the end. Our only saving grace is that she is completely out of shape, she can only run around the field 2 or 3 times nibbling as she taunts us before succumbing to the halter and being lead back to her grassless prison. Rationing sucks!

While we try to keep Abby off the grass, Diane and Keith lifted our new-to-us rabbit hutch into the garden so our single, elderly bunny can eat all the green things he can get his little munchers on! The two of them are an unstoppable force that makes farm work look effortless. Coming from a wanna-be-farmer, believe me, it’s not efortless! I love their “find-a-way” attitude and hard work mentality. Sitting on my stoop and watching them has my cooped up brain peeling off the tissue from the inside of my skull like a lunatic obsessed with the sound of ripping paper.

I refocus, remember to breathe, and retreat back into uncovering the essential details of life. Like the little pink flowers of my african violet that have finally started blooming again. The delicate dual yellow center of the perfect oblong stigma fanned by 4 petals of shimmer that creeps out from the center in an unassuming pink hue to a bold raspberry that outlines the fringes. I appreciate their detailed simplicity with my tea and a snack. The tightly packed teardrop seeds of my sesame snaps are held together in a crunchy sugar-coating. The seeds vary in color from white to carmel all jam-packed into a tight rectangle of perfection. I try to eat them slowly, breaking off ends piece by piece to pace myself as the seeds get stuck in my molars. I know I’ve lost that battle too when I forget to thrust the short edge of the candy in between my teeth and instead ram the longer edge in that stretches my non-existent lips into a terrifying smile that reminds me of the Joker. Thank gawd nobody is watching!

As we finish up the evening chores and I prepare my dinner of Vector cereal (we ran out of Mini Wheats), I wonder when the frost will end and I’ll be able to plant my herbs safely. All my strawberries have perished over winter but I intend to persevere, learn my lesson…again…and plant them in the ground this year, not in easy to weed pots. Or maybe I will just raid Gramma’s carefully planned, maintained, abundant crops. Decisions, decisions…