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This should be a picture of the mare that I mention in the first paragraph. The hen did a better job of showing off the rain - and she gets mention later in the diary.
I just read that Portland and Seattle tied for the coldest overnight temps in major cities in the lower 48, adding to the list of reasons the Pacific Northwest is the coolest region in the country. It was so cold (in contrast to to the nights before), that I considered throwing a blanket on my old mare, who tends to get shivery when it's down around 40. But due to all the rain and a recent heat-wave, which just made her sleepy, she hasn’t had much exercise, so is heavier than she should be. I think she was fine through the chilly night. I had a book and a cat on my lap, so I was warm enough, too.

The record 80-degree weather that we experienced at the beginning of the month that fried my pea plant starts and teased me into attaching a few extra days to the upcoming three-day weekend is long gone, and we're back to a slightly colder, but more normal spring. For a short while, we were the hottest spot in the country (well, in many ways, we still are).

During our weirdly-timed streak of sunny days, I heard people admonish each other for complaining about the heat; days like these days are rare, especially in the spring, and we're a little superstitious about them. It's near sacrilegious to say it's too hot. Soak up the sun, but shut up or it will all be gone. We go a little overboard out here, afraid to go indoors and miss out on a minute of what might not be there tomorrow and for a very long time after that. Still, it's not supposed to be that warm at the beginning of May - we shouldn't be afraid to express our concerns about weird weather.

I had lots of plans for my days off that included getting caught up in the veggie patch and going for at least one day hike with the family, but had to change them. I did get out of the house between showers to see to daily chores - and take a few pictures. The rain and warmer weather (the last couple cool nights aside) have helped the garden take off. The seeds are up out
of the soil - I can see the starts through the weeds that are threatening to take over - the fruit trees,  bushes, and vines are lush and green, and the comfrey is in bloom and full of bees (couldn't get a decent picture of the busy little things).

Back inside, I played with food, which I rarely get to do in the way I sincerely enjoy. Most days, I'm just too busy or too tired to deal so throw together quick meals or ask everyone to grill cheese sandwiches or fry up some eggs or dig through the fridge and cupboards and eat whatever they can find.

This afternoon I made a chicken peanut stew with lots of ginger and garlic (I did not use the chicken in the picture at the top - that's Sophie), and three kinds of cookies that didn't require baking, including one that the food blogger who offered up the recipe claims is as good as eating cookie dough, but healthier. Made with cashews, oats, agave, vanilla and chocolate chips, they are healthier, but not at all like cookie dough, according to the resident experts. Still the cookies are sticky, sweet and full of chocolate, so it doesn't matter.

And it doesn't matter that I haven't been able to accomplish what I planned to on on my vacation. Gardening, hiking, getting on my bike all help me clear my head and then I'm better able to process of all the information and news that I've taken in on the run through the work week. But I gain the same perspective when I find time to thoughtfully prepare food, or have long, no hurry conversations with my family or hang out on the couch with a cat in my lap.

So, I'm rejuvenated, in spite of the weather. Given all that's happened out there in the world over that past couple of weeks, I'm grateful it's simply raining.

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