birthday trouble

Its Rowan’s birthday today.  I am up before the rest of these boys waiting for his little face to come around the corner and perhaps coax a smile out of his not-so-typcially-happy-first-thing-in-the-morning-face.  (Oh, yesterday he asked “what does coax mean”, out of the clear blue sky, cutest thing eva.)  I stayed up way too late last night seriously destroying a perfectly good genoise cake with broken buttercream and terrible dragon drawings.  And why oh why did I think salted butter would work instead of unsalted.  It doesn’t.  It’s gross.  I have plans to make whip cream frosting and cover the whole damn mess up.  Hopefully the crew of four year olds doesn’t care??  Though Rowans concern with the cake is almost scary.  He asked with desperation in his voice yesterday, “Is the cake going to be OK????”, reminding me what a pivotal moment the unveiling of a cake is to this sweet toothed, bowl cut blondie.  I have never seen anything like it I tell you.  This boy loves him something sweet.  At two he would throw himself not he ground and pant, “I DONT LIKE HEALTHY FOOD!”, when supper always magically seemed to proceed dessert.  Confusing subject, I know.

I intended on inviting the 4 children simplicity parenting instructed me to for fourth birthday in hopes that it would keep the day less stressful for me and the birthday boy himself.  We will see how that pans out.  And of course, I still was up late trying to wipe chicken shit off my front door step and scrape beeswax of my newly laundered rug (in which I naively thought running through the washer at the laundromat would help… instead it just turned my red and white striped rug into a bright, almost neon, pink one).  But yes, the sun is shiny and the birds are chirpy and I know this birthday party will have some big old smiles and candles and enough little boy energy to send you packing.

My point is, this whole blog sometimes gives a grand illusion of constant cohesiveness and peace, and I really hate that.  It even feels that way to me when I scroll back through time reminiscing.  It is hard to remember to write equally about the crazy terrible moments, the laughably difficult moments, the hilariously stupid moments, as well as all those beautifully perfect ones too.  It is a balance I strive for.

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So here is to the sweetest chubby cheeks I have ever had the privilege of squeezing, the little boy who brings me flowers one hundred times a day.  And to the same limbs that throw fits so epic, in places so public, they leave me sweaty and confused.

Ah, but to the boy whose bright eyes saw the castle we gave him and whispered an unsolicited and quite unexpected thank you.

coop raid

Last night our coop was attacked.  Mad clucking in the henhouse.  The rooster held firm and did all he could.  A flashlight search and rescue went underway and all but two hens were recovered.  And then again upon awakening from the desperate buck buck bucking Lee searched within the garden gate at 4 am with success.  Down to one gone.  A fox was likely the culprit.  I was hoping he would pick off the one with the prolapse, but it looks like he left that up to me.

All this got me to wondering how safe our fifty meat birds will be outside, when we send them out just as soon as they can’t fit through the electric fence.  Which led me to thinking about bears and the possibility of them storming our hives.  Which got me thinking about how much the deer will love to eat the flower heads of everything in my cut flower beds in the lower pasture. Which sorta put me into a fit of giggles.  Lee chasing chickens at 4am.  Me up worrying about lions, tigers, and bears.  Ah yes, we are in the thick of it.

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blisters and baseball

This little guy has been skipping from base to base for two weeks now and it just about brings me to my knees.  And while our Tuesday and Thursday nights are full of base running and teeing up, most of our daylight hours have been dedicated to the garden.

My heart. As big as a hot air balloon.

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Last week my neighbor plowed a (REALLY REALLY) huge parcel of our pasture for me.  While I envisioned big fat rows, his machine just doesn’t do that and it ended up well… overwhelmingly large.  If you are not familiar with plowing, it is just flipping of grass in big strips.  Imagine the sod you lay out on a lawn, simply flipped over and your job is to haul it out.  With three kids clinging to your knees.  My method felt insane.  With Jasper on my back it was laughable.  I hacked out manageable chunks of grass and heaved them to the outskirts of the garden and the boys clawed out the worms.  It was the best plan I could come up with.  I am sure you will believe me when I say I developed blisters that popped and bled and calloused overnight.  And then, after two days of hard work I had approximately 5 % of it done.  With rain in the forecast and the high possibility of that fertile land sprouting grass as quick as it was flipped, and desperately wanting to claim defeat, I called for help.  My neighbor on the other side came along with his roto-tiller and finished the job, to a degree that was much more workable.  It is still a gigantic undertaking, and I am not entirely sure why or what I am doing, but doing it I am.

All these boys are aware of my intentions and determination.  They have certainly listened and that is why I wasn’t surprised when two umbrellas were generously given to me this mothers day. Two umbrellas to shade little heads so I can garden without worry of sun burns.  Also, two cups of coffee in bed, two delicious promise cards with intentions of chucking rocks out of my newly tilled garden, and two lovely hours spent in solitude making long thin mounds to place my seedlings. Though this holiday is certainly chock full of expectation, totally loaded some might say, mine was at least a little sweet and a little calm this go at it. Their effort was sincere, and these boys showered me with all the love they could muster up. I am a lucky lady, I feel quite sure of this.

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In my wildest dreams I have a field full fragrant, wispy cut flowers ready for the market.  Arranging these little jewels in tiny glasses of water brings me such joy.  Wish me luck!

may!!

If there is a month of the year we are twiddling our thumbs, thinking up things to fill our days, May is not it.  The rush of getting things into the ground and raising things up is as crazy as it is wonderful.  So much wood to move and chop, so many seedlings to harden off, so much to get! in! the! ground!

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Lee and I found ourselves taking advantage of the orange full planting moon (its the planting moon!  did you know they each have names?) last night hammering together our freshly painted bee box and frames.  And let me tell you, happiness is sliding in sheets of combed wax and securing them in place to the tune of baby chicks cheeping, standing next to the man you love.  Oh, and to complete the scene I should add, hammering while belting out Otis Redding songs is a multi tasking feat that could be marked needs improvement on my report card.  (It’s harder than you think!)

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My budding photographer taking pictures at a story telling event.

A full weekend.  A bright sunshiney monday morning.  Who could ask for anything more? Oh maybe just a new to me mini van?  Oh yes I could ask for that too!

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Oh yes.

this moment

{this moment}

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{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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