"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china." Charles Dickens

March 7, 2011

The Hellebores are in bloom again!

I can't write this post without thinking about Katherine Hepburn's immortal words, "The calla lilies are in bloom again!" Our hellebores caught me by surprise in our first winter here. I'd never seen them before and one day I went out to the freezer on the back porch and there were white and purple papery petals coming up in a small patch of green next to the porch. Also known as "Lenten roses" for the period of time in which they bloom, they are a long-lasting, shade-loving flower that emerges in late winter here in Kentucky and will bloom for most of March. Quite extraordinary!
"The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower, suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died...Have you gathered here to mourn, or are you here to bring me comfort?...I've learned something about love that I never knew before. That I never knew before. You speak of love when it's too late. Help should come to people when they need it. Why are we always so helpful to each other when it's no longer any use?...This is my home. This is where I belong. Love was in this house once, and for me it will always be here, nowhere else...One should always listen closely when people say goodbye because sometimes they're, they're really saying farewell."  ~ Stage Door, 1937

In the past few weeks, I've thought a lot about Lent––it is quite late this year with Easter being on April 24. Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday, is tomorrow and Ash Wednesday will be on March 9. I want to do some necessary restructuring in many realms, including domestic as well as spiritual. I also want to give up some things, especially food-related ones, for the first time in my life. I was raised Presbyterian and confirmed as an Episcopalian and in all of these years I've never taken the 40 days of Lent very seriously. This year I feel the need to do so and to extend that into my immediate family as its matriarch-in-training. I'll keep you informed of the journey. It's also about time: taking things day by day and trying to slow it down. I find it is flying past me and I need to try and grab it. I think this might be somewhat perimenopausal and that I'm really staring at my 50th year in its plump and squishy double-chinned face. I'm learning to go with these necessary revisions––and plans for revisions.

In the meantime, "the hellebores are in bloom again!" And in our "Isn't it ironic?" department, I just discovered that I've written about hellebores before, with the same photo, in fact, over at my other blog, In the Pantry. You can read that entry here. It was even written last year on this exact day, Monday, March 8 (well, almost, but same DAY and a day away from the same date). Talk about time fleeting but sometimes staying exactly the same.

You come back when you're ready!



  1. "I think this might be somewhat perimenopausal and that I'm really staring at my 50th year in its plump and squishy double-chinned face."

    You could have been describing me!Sadly...

    I was raised Baptist, but consider myself an "evangelical" these days,(although I prefer to avoid labels especially when it comes to "religion". My ultimate goal is to be known simply as godly. As if, but goals are good!) but I really love the idea of Lent - so much so that I'm considering observing it in some way this year.

    Following your journey as I continue on my own,

  2. I recently found your blog and just wanted you to know I love it! I am in the process of reading the In the Pantry archives.

    The name of your blog caught my eye, as I am 56 years old. I can totally relate to your perimenopausal thoughts...been there done that (still doing some of that).

    Can't believe I found someone who actually owns books by Gladys Taber and Janice Holt Giles! I discovered these ladies (and many more) at a wonderful used bookstore in Arizona about 25 years ago. We lived in a VERY small town but it boasted this great little bookstore. If hubby was home to watch our 2 little ones I would take off to browse, what fun that was! By the way, my favorite by Janice Holt Giles is Hannah Fowler. I can't tell you how many times I've read that book. I love many different kinds of books, but my favorites are the ones that have lots of domestic scenes.
    Give me a used bookstore, antique shop, flea market or farmers market any day over a mall. So much more interesting (to me anyway). I also love animals (any and all), The Waltons, the news (kind of a news junkie) and electricity!

    We now live in Illinois in a house that always needs work (but I love it) and have 4 acres (which I really love!) We have been to Kentucky a few times, it is a lovely state.

    Anyway...didn't mean to ramble, but just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your writing and the great pictures! A woman after my own heart.

    Thank You :)

  3. What beautiful flowers and what a beautiful thought that they are back again like spring soon will be. My witch hazel is already past its prime, my snowdrops are almost past theirs, the single daffodils are in full bloom and I'm waiting for my old-fashioned double ones, the forsythia is beginning to show a little yellow, and it won't be long before the redbuds and dogwoods are putting on their pretty dresses. My favorites, wild violets, will soon be showing up and how I do love them.

    You make me feel weird that I am not giving up anything for Lent unless it's lunch with you because you're giving up flour and sugar and all sorts of fun things. Want to go to a Clementsville fish fry some Friday night?


  4. Sherry--welcome and thank you for your nice comments. Perhaps we were separated at birth!

    Joberta, I love your flower update. Our daffodils have yet to bloom but the forsythia is just showing some yellow. I love the wild violets, too, and want to make some jelly this year. Have you ever done that?

    I guess I'm being acetic this year for many reasons. And lunch is good because French Fries are not on the list! (Afterall, sugar and flour are enough...) Fish fry would be a blast! Any time!

  5. I meant "ascetic" -- great word/meaning!

    Destiny, I always love your comments and can't believe we never met back in New Hampshire!

  6. I'm awaiting another of your delicious food blog entries. Have you been busy?

    Michael of Colorado

  7. Thank you, Michael. I've been busy chasing my tail around -- a bit stir crazy on the ridge but spring is coming, gardens will soon be blooming, and food a'plenty.

    But I'm off sugar for Lent so I'm also cranky and prone to fits of French fry inhalation whenever possible. I will, however, try to post some recipes at least a few times a month.

    What's new in Colorado?



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