Candy Ben Does It Again, or, We Don't Deserve This

I need to mail Ben's great-uncle the longest, juice-stained thank you ever written.  We picked free blueberries for a second time on an overcast morning punctuated by dark clouds and rainfall.  Mopsy came along, and I brought my camera, so you get a few photos.  I took them in a brief lull of picking and then returned to work immediately.  Half a dozen buckets won't fill themselves, you know, even though half a dozen bellies seem to have no problem doing the same.

Zeke understands blueberry picking on a primal level.  Eat, eat, EAT!  Forget preserving any for the winter, Mama!  I want to EAT.

All children should be named Sal.

A Cat & Kitten Post To Delight My Daughter

Susannah Wren asked if she could take a picture of Sunshine; thirty pictures of Sunshine and Fruity later, here's a blog post stitched from her snapshots.  This is the girl who's told us since she was little(r) that she wants to have a house full of cats when she grows up:  "LOTS of cats, Mama, at least 20 cats..."

Her heart is tender, and when I ask her if, with all of those cats, there will be any room for babies in the house, she tells me about all the orphaned children she will adopt, presumably at least one child to own each cat.

It's gonna be a great house to live in, I bet.














My View While Chopping Supper's Vegetables

You must think all my children ever do is play in the rain.


Benjamin and Zelumah Family Reunion 2013

A smaller group showed up this year for the 112th consecutive annual family reunion than for last year's eleventy-first, but we enjoyed the day, regardless. One hundred and twelve! I think that's pretty impressive. We all come for the pool, but the playground's not too shabby.

That woman on the bouncy-totter is sixty-six years old, and she's my Mopsy.  Sixty-six!  I think that's pretty impressive.  (And I want to have her spirit if I ever make it to sixty-six.)


Yup, she's swinging, too, even though she didn't reach Annika's heights.

 Deb coddled Zeke so I could swing and slide and hunker down in the shade of the tube.

I also took pictures.

After snapping Millie looking into the horizon from the crow's nest, 

I thought of this.  It was a different town and a different playground, but some things don't change, even with eight years stretched in between.  

The highlight of the day, apart from the aforementioned pool, was a surprise appearance by Pete, who ferried Haven and Augustine northward on the spur of the moment. The girls shrieked when they saw them, and the day was made.


All the children received goody bags, and Haven even won a prize, which clearly impressed Millie and Annika.

Oh, yeah.  Did I mention we got to swim in the pool?



Yours truly even jumped off the diving board three times, because it was there, and I had willing serfs to hold Ezekiel.  Here's to the one hundred and thirteenth!

Everyday Leftovers

The children by the cherry tree; Millie picking up the detrius of good marksmanship.

A pre-supper meal of beans, tomatoes, and green onion tops:

Zeke chases the chickens:

 The garden and Luci a few weeks back:

In the Trenches, or, By Which One Day I Will Remember Their Girlhood

She's been threatening it for years-- after all, a soft-body skin stretched over shards of plastic head doesn't promise longevity -- and she finally did it.  After multiple surgeries that staved off the inevitable, Laura found a fresh head.  Millie requested her eyes and mouth look as near the original as possible (..."because without her eyes, Laura just won't be Laura!"), and I did the best I could, bringing her from this

to this over the space of a morning. 

My mom gave Laura when Millie turned three, and I think she's all set for the next eight years now.  [Mom O., your old turtleneck sleeves came in handy again.  Guess what we made her head from?  :) ]

When the other girls woke up and saw the surgery in full swing, they eagerly lined up with more of the fallen.

Annie brought Thomas to have his leg sewn back on his body,

and Susannah brought me the doll she's had for as long as she can remember.

Oh, dear.

This one suffered more unfortunate injuries (John Wayne!), which, in my feeble skill, I could not mend, so, instead, I sewed her arm back on and then outfitted her with matching socks and a bandage.  If only I'd studied for a medical degree instead of that B.A.  Who needs liberal arts in the home, anyway?!


Love Better, I Tell Myself


I was listening to Debussy, low and soft, when the sound of Zeke crying from our upstairs bedroom caused me to turn off the music.  Before I stood,  I heard it again; it wasn't Zeke as I'd thought, but instead a mourning dove's plaintive call reaching through early morning fog and cricketsong and into the open window.  It gave me pause.  When my body has aged past bearing babies, I wonder how many times I'll mistake a sound for that of a baby's cry.  What memories will rise when I'm in another life-time, and I know that it can't possibly be?  Lay down your head, soak it up, and draw it in.

Time runs on, so tuck in close.


*Snapshots courtesy of an impromptu self&baby photo-session before putting Zeke to bed.  He is sleepy; can you tell?  (Also, I know the snapshot three pictures up looks almost nothing like me.  I set it manually, or so I thought, but the camera must have been on the "look like an airbrushed 12-year old" setting instead.  Zeke is not being kidnapped.  Sorry for the confusion.)