the revolving spring door

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The enthusiasm my boys have for decorating is immeasurable.  I read a post about the power of imitation by one of my good buddies up here in Vermont recently that gave me a bit of insight into the crafting obsession my  boys seem to possess.  The Spring decorating is in full force and it brings a whole new meaning to the word mess.  Upon demands from my oldest, bits and pieces of everything must be saved for crafting.  The little guy brings in every broken twig, lacy piece of moss, and crunchy leaf to add to the decor.  The combination, though creative and worthwhile for sure, is just plain old messy.  So what do I do?  Usually, after a few minutes of frustrated grunting on hands and knees picking up little pieces of trash, I plop down on my bottom, grab a piece of paper and a pastel or two and just add the the madness.  If you can’t beat em join em right?  But, in the process I have found a bit of inspiration.  Patches have been replaced on old jeans, knitting projects are moving along swiftly, my drop spindle is dropping less, and my cat drawings have become something to envy, sort of.  Needless to say, the warm then cold days of spring give us a true chance to enjoy both sides of the door fully and it feels quite good.

just to watch things grow

Of all the things to experience in our new house, my favorite as of yet is seeing the much discussed (by the previous owner quite apologetically I may add) untended garden I inherited begin to sprout up.  Mind you, it has taken some serious clearing, but once I rake and prune and examine; there it is.  Everywhere.  And I mean everywhere.  The more I rake, the more I uncover and these beds grow and grow right before my eyes.  Giant shrubs with tiny buds, endless fields of bulbs, prickly roses and sleek pointed leaves that are all beginning to open their eyes and shake off the dust from a very, very long winter.  I would estimate I am halfway done with the massive cleaning that has been in progress since the snow began to melt.  With one stubborn patch of the frozen white stuff still left, wild rose growing out of it like an octopus coming up to the surface, this task is becoming to feel manageable finally.  And soon, this somewhat tamed perrenial garden will dazzle us all season.

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The following photos all credited to the sweet little boy pictured above, my Miles Henry.  He went on a camera walk yesterday to take pictures of beautiful things.  While he didn’t capture the same things I would have, his story just tells something different.  For now these photos will suffice and I will be back with some that follow my experience soon.  

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My first thoughts in seeing this house and upon viewing the massive garden notes left for prospective buyers, were met with much concern knowing I do love flowers but my heart was set on a vegetable garden.  Knowing that the landscape can be altered when it comes to sinking plants into the earth, I just set aside this concern.  But now that the time is actually here and the vision of deep purple bearded irises, fragrant peonies, lilac and lavender, bundles of andromeda and lupine all around us is truly intoxicating and addicting.  I can’t wait to show up at my friends doorsteps with armfuls of color to hand to them just because my garden is spilling over with beauty to share.  It thrills me to imagine pruning and arranging this massive overgrown beast of a garden.  I feel much like a little girl playing in my mom’s garden constantly asking her to relay the foreign sounding flower names to me, over and over again.

Having this garden makes me feel even closer to her in a way.  My mom uses every free moment of the warm months to either work in her garden or walk through it, with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in hand depending on the hour, just admiring it and occasionally deadheading a flower here or pulling out some pesky japanese knotweed there.  Passer-byers are awed at the gargantuan towers of exotics and natives all mixed together to create one of the most bold and inspiring gardens around.  Sometimes people make special trips just to see what she is growing.  And now with my fingers in the dirt and legs lined with scratches I am beginning to see the reason she does it; Just to watch things grow.

Happy Earth Day!  Go out and marvel in Mother Earth’s beauty.  It really is something to behold.

the next chapter

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a big man and his tiny dog…  

This past Thursday marked a magnificent milestone for our family.  One so grand we simply can’t see the deep impact it will have on us yet.  

My sweet, hard-working, loving, never tiring man graduated.  Working full-time, being a father, and a husband is a lot.  But doing it while in school, is a task not many would ever dare tackle, but this guy, he did it with grace.  I should mention this it is his third degree, the second since we have had children, so you can imagine the time we will have together once again, and how grateful we are.  I could see the relief in his every movement.  From his early turning in on Saturday night, his calmness with the boys when doing chore after chore outside, his content voice in the early hours when the sun shone on our cheeks and we rose before the first birds sang, it was like one gigantic sigh after another.  The kind of sigh with closed eyes, an upturned mouth, and pursed lips.  Perhaps a few tears from this pregnant lady were shed.  Maybe he knows, maybe he doesn’t, but I can say we had a simply marvelous weekend.  From start to finish.

Getting ready for our new little babies… 20 of them!

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A much needed walk over all our property… We have been here about a month and time had not allowed such a luxury for Lee as of yet.
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It has been these little things, enjoyed to the maximum I assure you, but that I wasn’t aware were just a drop in the pond compared to how great they are when spent all together.  Falling asleep with a wide open window, cold starry air pouring into my nose and waking to a blue bird sky with nothing on our agenda but to fix this or that, build something, or just clean up a bit, is a gift I cannot describe here or anywhere in words.

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It is good to have you back Lee, Congratulations.

this moment

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{this moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by soulemama.com. 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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Fairy Shrimp

A bright cold sunshine drips into our windows and with one step outside our lungs fill with the frigid air.  Our neighbors sheep were sheared yesterday and those little ladies must be feeling brisk and naked this morning such a cut.  For I know we are piling the layers on high, but piling them on with a knowledge that just below the surface under our feet is a thick wet mud waiting to rise up.  Though it is tempting to pack up and head to the museum or library and hibernate today, I am reminding myself of this little secret mother nature holds for us, and remembering the fact that a 40 degree day brought me to my knees with gratitude just weeks ago.

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So onward and outside we will go…

After a good discussion with my dearest girl, I have declared today a good day to go out into the newly running streams and vernal pools and swish for life.  Stockpiled with magnifying glasses, a net, good boots and a bucket we are on the hunt for little critters that may be telling us the weather is just a symptom of A New England Spring.  Mother Nature does what she does regardless of an inch of white stuff here or there.  On the docket today are Fairy shrimp and macro-invertebrates. I will tell you I look forward to this expedition as much as my children for it will give us a real idea of the quality of water running through our land.  It reminds me that there is so much to learn right in front of our eyes.  From shearing to water samples there is a plethora of things that can bring us to some pretty hefty conclusions without ever slipping into a vehicle at all.

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This classroom has no walls.