the morning walk

It feels like for as long as I have been a mother, I have attempted to remain solid one thing and one thing only: The morning walk.  I waver on many a things, but this one, this one I find helps the day tremendously, and always has.  Even when I had only Miles, and he was a mere one year old, we would take the trek around the block, as long as that would take, the morning activity was precisely the way to start the day.  And now, with three wild boys streaming out in front of me as they gather speed down our steep drive, it is more vital than ever.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore often than not, our walks end in a little fire.  Something to focus on.  Something to work on together.  Sometimes it feels like for the rest of the day, they are at each others throats, but for the duration of the tinder box making, the birch bark gathering, the tiny dry twig stacking, they remain chums, partners in an activity that is real beyond real.  Fire.  It is a powerfully potent medicine, calming even the worst cases of sibling spats.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes we read stories by the fire, sometimes we tell them, sometimes we just listen to the wide world around us; Which also happens to be the one and only likely chunk of silence in my day, from dawn till dusk at times.  I soak it up.  I store it in my chest and in that tight spot right behind my eyes and then breathe it into my lungs when it feels like seven o clock is a year away.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe find treasures, make discoveries, greet cows and neighbors, and eat trail snacks.  It is an hour of bliss, if I can just get them out the door.  If I can just get me out the door really.  Get up and go.  Don’t slow down.  Get dressed, food in belly, teeth brushed, beds made, now go, go quickly, before something draws us in, before something distracts us long enough to make us forget to get out there.  To just go.  Go and walk, and see what the day will bring.

nesting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sewed on little vintage buttons to complete the sweet suit and made some good progress on my farmhouse shawl, though truth be told knitting has been put by the wayside these days.  People may envision the 34th week of pregnancy full of cute nesting instincts, folding clothes, tidying corners that have been untouched, hanging up soft mobiles.  But, this fourth time around, it really is not vision at all.  It is a manic, stressful, impossible list that will not be fulfilled until the children are all grown and gone.  And yet I chug away.  Tucking in the ends after bedtime, crossing off the logical items when there is a slot of time to do so.  Even though I know full well when that little babe is in my arms, the worry of being ready or not, will be a memory so distant it will fade away all together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, I am trying (trying, trying, trying) to focus on keeping cool on these crazy humid days. rather than work up a sweat scrubbing a floor, or insanely sorting winter clothes, or cleaning out the chicken coop.  I am leaning towards the swims in the pond, hair-cuts and indoor time even when the sun is shiny and welcoming.  Remembering with a vengeance, these are my last weeks with just these three little boys, how this time will never, ever, return and though sweet it will be, things will never be the same.

summer update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASummer is going at a warp speed ahead this year.  As I wade through the thick humid days, with my massive belly always leading the way, I often think of the saying, “The years are short, and the days are long”.  As cliche as it is, it really is motherhood in a nutshell.  Sometimes it feels like bedtime is an eternity away, and then in the same breath it takes to sigh about such a stretch of time, I get a glimpse of my toothless boy who was just a baby in my arms one minute ago and is now about to be the oldest of four.  How could this be?

The last few weeks, we celebrated a second birthday, spent the better part of two weeks at my grandparents, were sprinkled with the most adorable girl clothes under the sun at a surprise baby shower, swayed to the music of Alabama Shakes at the newport folk festival, spent quality, albeit crazy time, with our best friends (who are moving back to VT!), and I even snuck in a full day alone with some girlfriends.  Really truly packed days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf course, it wouldn’t be a true and complete update if I didn’t touch on the progress of my clanking needles.  I finished the camilla blanket and blocked a few older ones along with her.  The satisfaction of watching them waft in the wind on a summer day was impossibly glorious.  All those tiny soft stitches to be wrapped around a sweet smelling baby body in just a handful of weeks?  Yes, please.  I also dyed a few armfuls of roving with black eyed susan and plume poppy.  I loved the results, but I felted them up a bit which made spinning incredibly frustrating.  I intend on using the golden dyed plume poppy roving for a felting project rather than the minty green I tore at for a week to create at best a very uneven yarn.

And then last night, by the light of the fire, around a newly built “yurt” in the forest, I cast on to a farmhouse shawl by cabin four holding a strand of handspun Shetland with Angora goat fingering yarn I won in a raffle a few years ago.  It is precisely what I was looking for, and in order to finish, I believe I will have the perfect excuse to spin up the rest of the roving I have.

Alas, I realize and surrender to the idea that my fiber crafting days are coming to a close for the time being.  A babe in arms doesn’t require my distraction with counting stitches, and three little boys adjusting yet again to a new family member, would be better off with what attention is left in my brain after the sleepless newborn nights have begun, rather than dividing it.  So I am soaking this time up while I have it, and dreaming of this baby wiggling so well inside.

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making

Every now and then I get a burst of energy that is directed precisely and accurately towards making.  Making anything.  Sometimes it includes instant gratification, sometimes it is beginning a long-term craft.  No matter the project, cleaning and weeding are set aside for some time.  Inspired by the fact that I have nothing that fits and a large chunk of time left of this pregnancy, I began sewing last week.  I have made two skirts and two shirts and the results are fantastic, as far as I am concerned!  I mean they fit, what is to complain about?  I never measure, I rarely follow a pattern, and I almost always use old clothes or miscellaneous fabric.  It is satisfying to know it cost me little to nothing, and going from nothing to wear to a complete outfit in less than an hour is spectacular!  I wish I had better pictures but of course, I am the one behind the lens most times and it just hasn’t happened.

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On my needles is the Camilla blanket and it’s almost off too!  And the flowers drying are getting ready for dye pots, tea’s, tinctures, and salves.  None of these projects take more than a few minutes here and there really, but the results give me a peace of mind, and a sense of accomplishment.

framing with shells

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With the oldest boy of the batch away each day at camp, the two littler ones and I are searching for things to do.  Despite a very busy day, we still had a couple of hours to do so yesterday.  It really surprises me how much one child absent can change the dynamics of the day.

We gathered these mussel shells on our trip to Maine, while picnicking on a tiny island.  I didn’t know their intentions at the time, but now I am so glad I did this.  It felt like a very touristy thing to do, but I suppose being in Vermont for a few years now, that is precisely what I am.  A tourist to the ocean!  It is kind of spectacular though, as I have new eyes for the sparkly vastness.

We coated an old frame in plaster of paris, set these little blue jewels in, then when it dried we painted it with water colors.  Picking out a moment to capture inside this rainbow will be delightful.

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Any interesting summer crafting going on at your place?