At Polly’s Farm

Several days ago, Polly told me to come over and she’d walk me through the process of making bread with yeast. I put my painting and writing aside, loaded the ingredients I needed for cooking, and headed over to her place.

We worked in the kitchen for some time, humming along with Brandi Carlile. From Polly, I learned that I had killed my yeast last time I tried making bread. I had put it in boiling water. It felt good to know my mistake. I’ve been determined to learn to make bread. I’ve made biscuits all my adult life, but not yeast bread. I had never been taught how to make a loaf of that delicious yeast bread.

While the dough rested and grew in size, Polly and I put on our brogans and headed into the woods behind her house. As we walked, goats bleated for her. We were among the trees and out of sight when Sally Jo, a small brown goat that seems to think Polly is her mother, called for Polly again and again. The sound coming from inside her reminded me of Stevie Nicks’s singing voice, quivering across the land. My daughter always said that Stevie could sound like a lamb. She can also sound like a goat at times. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I like Stevie Nicks and the uniqueness of her voice.

Polly called Sally Jo’s name to show me how they communicate. Each time, the sweet little goat responded immediately. They have a special relationship.

At some point, we jumped over a little stream. Polly went right over, yet I missed my mark. My right boot hit the black goo and bog. My brogan was ripped from my foot, and I was left wearing one boot. It wasn’t easy to pull the lost brogan from the hungry mud. I told Polly, “This is quicksand.” It reminded me of the quicksand I’d see as a child when watching old western movies.

Living and visiting among the trees were birds. Oh, the birds. We saw and heard so many. Northern flicker and Pileated woodpeckers, Downy woodpeckers, Great horned owls, Cedar waxwing, Eastern Towhee, Cardinal, and Yellow-Rumped Warbler. A magical place for bird watchers!

We had a wonderful day.

My bread turned out to be beautiful and delicious!

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