What We Now Have

- A new lawn area (Lord willing, for a blight-free tomato garden)
- Freshly painted lawn furniture (mildewed plastic just wasn't a good look)
- Alaskan cousins to play with for a couple of months who thankfully cut hlearning short for the day so I can paint lawn furniture, guilt-free!
- Weeded and mulched flowerbeds for the chickens to ruin
- a cleaner basement!!! (This deserves a row of these: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- clean toilets, kitchen floor, bedrooms, etc. (watch out for the dust dinosaurs under John's and my bed, though)
- seedlings growing bigger and bigger, eager for transplanting
- a garden halfway weeded, to be finished before the l.f.d. (you should see the weeds...ugh.)
- more furniture painted
- good company for hosting and good food for eating
- a nearly empty spool of the year's formal hlearning

*and more!!!!*



Perhaps we just haven't been active enough.

 Eleven days past the due date, which can never be trusted, anyway, and all's well.


I Still Cannot See My Toes

I don't think I'll post a snapshot each morn and each night (Rebecca!), but here's one to appease the masses who read this blog ("masses" = four, if I'm lucky).  I'm a hair over 41 weeks, striking out to-dos with hormone-fueled vengeance, living and lumbering large, and, frankly, quite content to be so.  This is a most enjoyable overdue child.  Thanks, Cozykin.

Now I'm off to tuck some little humans into bed.
Over and out.


Before Baby

Millie turned on the Elizabeth Mitchell Pandora station as we cleaned up after supper.   I kept sweeping while the girls ran to prepare for bed, and a few minutes later, Rufus Wainwright's voice filled the room, singing "Hallelujah," a Leonard Cohen song that first slammed into my center in high school through the conduit of Jeff Buckley's voice.

 I swept and sang along, remembering reading about Buckley's death in the newspaper my senior year of high school and not knowing what else to do but to clip out the short article and tape it in my journal, a small and token nod to the power of his singing.  I swept and remembered a coffee house where college friends pushed me to sing the same song for them, and I faltered in front of the microphone, feeling exposed and unable to perform in public what I sang with abandon alone because I held it too close.  I swept and remembered, also in college, sitting in silence with John while hearing Tim Buckley's voice for the first time, entranced by its keening rise and wail, and being struck by father in son and son in father.  So many memories scattering about in dust raised from a broom, and all in the space of a few minutes.  Music is a powerful thing.

Finished sweeping, I just came to the computer to see on what album the Rufus Wainwright cover version was, wondering how it made its way onto the children's station, only to find that it was from the "Shrek" soundtrack.  What a strange world.


The children are in bed, John's at a late meeting, and I'm staying up to see him, so here's a flood of snapshots for you.  Not shown are all the snapshots filed inside-- the moments of short temper and harsh words, of ungratefulness, of inexcusable crankiness, of sloth and bad priorities, of letting feeling overwhelmed grow into apathy and indifference, of sin and selfishness and stiff pride.  Also not shown are the thrill of first throwing open the windows, the life of fresh breezes in a home, the peace of waking to birdsong and cool morning air, just crisp enough to ease one awake, the endearing twist of a child's mouth puckered for bedtime kisses, perfection in its lines, and-- there-- shining in the corners of sight, the mercy and forgiveness that run through the length of each day like a twisted thread, slim and golden-- the one, small thread strong enough to hold all the rest of it together.

Little Boy Blue

Under the haystack, 

fast asleep.

It's That Time of Year Again

It's time for Wild Leek Soup!  I always choose inopportune times to head for the Big Woods, but it almost always works out because time in the woods covers a multitude of parental error.  So a little past what should have been lunchtime, right about the time the tired, three youngest should be tucked in for an afternoon nap, I packed a fifteen-pound picnic lunch and headed out with excited children running ahead.

(This one didn't trust the shaky hay wagon.)

Oh, yeah.  And I was 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, which didn't really sink in until halfway across the field with Zeke strapped to my sciatica-plagued back and lugging that fifteen-pound picnic lunch.

Guess what, though?  We had a wonderful afternoon together, with tired, little legs and tired, big back ignored in favor of all the Big Woods has to offer.

We stopped along the logging trail to eat our lunch, and the girls scrambled up into their favorite Camel Tree.

The bigger girls moved farther away to a "softer bed of moss" than ours.  I didn't test theirs out, but I'm sure ours could have given theirs a run for its money in any Moss Bed Softness Competition.

Plus, I had pretty cute seatmates, which I think should garner me bonus points.  (Yup, I broke out the holiday graham crackers for the occasion.)

As tired as he looks, this boy was HAPPY and could have stayed in the woods all day.  In fact, these days, he'd live outdoors if we let him, which isn't surprising considering he would have done the same in the thick of winter.

Spring hadn't unpacked its full frenzy yet, but we found baby may apples, 

and baby maple leaves, which Piper tried to preserve by swaddling in larger leaves leftover from last fall.

We were still in the outskirts of the Big Woods and hadn't even made it to the old-growth sections yet when we discovered huge patches of green.  I made the executive decision to dig there instead of trekking farther in (in case of spontaneous baby delivery, you know). 

The leeks were still too immature, but we dug up a few, anyway-- enough to flavor a dish or two while we wait for the bulbs to mature.

 I mostly sat with my back against a tree, and this winsome boy kept me company for a few minutes.

Oh, to be again a swinger of birches.  I miss those days.

At this point, Annika carried the camera, so I credit all of the following snapshots to her.

We later found more blooms, as you can see!  (Don't worry. We didn't pick the trillium.)

As well as proof of faeries, which Annika also documented with snapshots.

As well as evidence of our neighbor's love of hunting.  I asked my dad whose tree stand was on his land before letting each of the girls scramble up to catch the view from the top.

Leek Hunting, Round 2, to come later, as long as Baby doesn't come first.

Roses and Supper in the Sunlight