a real wednesday

A seriously sweet reader commented yesterday that my house seemed so peaceful.  I realized oh so quickly, that that is indeed what yesterdays post lead one to believe!  While yes, at times there are glimmers of peace within these walls, and in general we live simply enough to extract the maximum amount of peace one could imagine, the reality is this is really, truly NOT the way I would describe my household.  So, I ran around the house today with my camera and took a few quick snapshots to portray a more accurate image of our mornings.

IMG_5360 IMG_5361 IMG_5362 IMG_5365 IMG_5367 IMG_5370 IMG_5371 IMG_5378 IMG_5379

(Two pics of from the bottom is a Rowan who is really mad that his butter melted, nothing unusual, and brother telling him “shush he is hurting his ears”  Ahh… the sounds of peace)

Excited, immersed in make believe, messy, creative, genuine, musical, theatrical, comical, and generally really loud is more like it.  Thank you Jessie for the compliment.  I do think we have moments of peace, but I had to show the other side too, just in case someone was curious.

warm and dry

When we were looking at houses last winter, before we found this very one I sit in, my real estate agent would describe locations to us in two ways: “Quaint and charming”, or “Real Vermont”.  Words like quaint and charming have never really done it for me if for no reason other than the way they feel in my mouth, or the way they make me raise my eyebrows up and wiggle my head with I say them, or the way my eyes actually seem to shut ever so briefly in a way that says, “I am joking. Seriously, I am joking”.  So I leaned towards the houses in Real Vermont.  And I am glad I did.

So here we are in “Real Vermont.”   I think I am beginning to finally understand what exactly that means. I think it means something like welcoming the snow with wide open arms, and standing with your face in the sun at every opportunity you get.  It is seeing our neighbor wearing a little ball cap and no gloves on a day with a 15 below wind chill factor, without so much as a word about it.  It definitely has something to do with not complaining about the weather, or power outages, or hard work or much at all really.  These things are ingrained in these people’s souls.  It is humbling and inspiring all at once.  It is about meeting people who believe in something and make big changes and live in small ways.

I am so glad to have been finding these curious and lovely folks tucked in the corners of these small towns all around us. They teach me so much without ever being preachy or pushy or wiser than thou.  They just live and that’s all they have to do to spark a bit of possibility.  They stand in their truth, and usually with the happiest of grins on their faces.

The other day I was at a friend’s house who lives with no electricity or running water.  Her home is cozy and very tiny.  Her life is hard work and she loves it.  When I was leaving I mentioned something about the state of my house, and its certainty to be quite a disaster when I returned home.  She replied, “But its warm. And it’s dry.”  I smiled.  It was the kind of smile where you get a little butterfly in your chest and a wrinkle on your nose.  It was funny, because it was so true.

The last few days have been spent mainly within these warm and dry walls, and for that we truly are grateful.  It is windy and cold and little fingers and toes can only tolerate that for so long.  I managed to sew the buttons on a sweater I knitted Jasper before we met him, and Miles and I made a dried flower mobile.

IMG_5325 IMG_5323 IMG_5330 IMG_5331

We ordered dozens of packages of seeds to plant this spring; Clicking on pretty flowers is perhaps the most adorable five-year old chore I have ever witnessed.  There have been many sheet forts, books read, bows carved, and cups of hot cocoa consumed.  Miles even learned to knit. (I could leap for joy at that milestone.)

IMG_5334 IMG_5352

 

Yes, our home is warm and dry.  Warm and dry and full of a whole bunch of boys that I love so much.  

before the sun

My burning eyes open far before the long winters night ends.  The sweet smell of baby’s breath on my forehead and yanking on my cheeks with fingernails sharp and long; this my alarm clock.  Despite the sound of slumbering all around me; I have to pry myself of out my cozy cocoon and hope that no one stirs while I creak across the wood floor.  Even the timer on my coffee pot has high hopes of a later rise, and I have to convince my finger to press the go button, to just submit.

But alas, the sun does rise. 

IMG_5278 IMG_5289 IMG_5293 IMG_5296 IMG_5308

And the day begins.

inside happenings

It just occurred to me today that while all these snowy pictures are dreamy and stark and fun to look at and to breathe in, I haven’t included much about whats been happening indoors, by my fire, when the children aren’t looking, or hanging on me or awake.  Because really, it has been a whole lot!  And while you are reading this keep in mind that this is what I am choosing to do in lieu of typical household upkeep.  You know, I am okay with very wrinkly laundry that is in a pile in the guest room.  I am okay with wood chippy floors, and sticky tables.  I try to take care of these things occasionally, or in a way that keeps my neck juuuust barely above the my house is teetering on kinda gross level because I really, really love to make things.  It’s true.  I really do.

A new friend (yeah a new friend!) came over the other day and we touched on the oh so important subject of what we do, or what we are trying to do or even just hoping to do, to keep some of our self intact during these very needy days of bearing young children.  This is such an important topic.  It is the root of what grounds me.  For me, it really doesn’t matter the medium.  I love fiber as much as I love ink.  I’ll settle for a batch of lip balm just the same as I would a maple walnut cake (I promise Caitlyn, that recipe is coming soon).   It all settles my soul equally and fully.  You see, I am quite sure whether it be reading a trashy novel, heading to a yoga class, drinking classy beverages, spinning up a skein of yarn, or hey even wiping down the sticky peanut buttery surfaces of your house, all of us humans crave a bit of self in our days.  It’s dangerous thing to ignore.

IMG_5224 IMG_5220 IMG_5217 IMG_4877

If you are curious, I have been knitting up the bonsai socks from this book, spinning lots of cormo blends, listening to this podcast and of course like the rest of the country this podcast.  Occasionally with my ears sunk under a tub full of suds I have been reading a bit of toni… oh toni…, and then a few new-found crafties:  wood carving and block printing!

So what do you do to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground?  

Any grand ideas?  Any little ones that are as sweet as they are simple?  

What works for you?!  I want to know!

the reason I walk

Last year winter seemed to drag on forever.  Strings of weeks of deep, negative temperatures and a debilitating first trimester weighed me down with a force so strong I wondered if I would ever hoist myself out.  This year, while it is still early, feels so utterly different.  Yesterday my Monday walk reminded me of how true this is.

IMG_5251 IMG_5257 IMG_5262 IMG_5265

It was a lazy snow fall, one you never noticed was there at all until six inches had already fallen.  The blanket of white was so stark and wide, matching the sky with such exactness that my depth perception was all out of whack as I tromped up and down the rolling hills.  I had to stare down at the snow balls flipping off the toes of my boots drawing lines in the fluff a few feet ahead of me, just so I didn’t stumble.  There are 360 degree panoramas at the top of every hill, and when the sky is so grey and misty with a fresh set of flakes falling, and your eyelashes are coated in ice or sweat or a combination of the two, it so hard not to just whoop out loud.  Because really, it is that good.

My mind slows on these walks.  I start off with a stream of wonderings, ones I thoroughly enjoy I might add.. what to place in the garden this spring, when to order those meat birds, how many blueberry bushes our growing family requires, where I might build an arch, how to graft an apple tree…  and slowly, slowly I slip into a stomp, crunch, stomp, crunch rhythm that places me in the exact moment where I stand.  I get so hot I pull up the sleeves on my wool sweater to feel the cold on my bare arms.  The baby on my back is a heater good enough for most any temperature.  It’s so quiet out there.  So quiet I can hear my boys playing outside with the babysitter, echoing off the sides of these hills, for almost the entirety of my walk.  But just barely.  I am far enough away, to really feel away.  This is what I crave.  A bit of time where I answer to no one.  And what I get from these walks is even more than that.  I am permeated with a love for this land.  A desire to stay here, perhaps forever.  I become excited about my life in a way that the daily grind of diapers and meals and bottomless cups of coffee can’t give me.

Walking one day a week, just one hour.  It is not much, and if my sweet little babysitter wasn’t so crazy about horses I would have her come every day.  But, it is something.  Mondays.  They bring a lightness to my week that I can transfer over and over again all week.

And to bring a cuteness factor to this post….  I present you a sweet little Jasper Ray

IMG_5236 IMG_5238