numbers

44 monarch caterpillars found during our morning walk

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10 free hours of daycare.  Utilizing the resource for the three-est in th crew and let me tell you, the water is fine.

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180 milkings later we are giving back Sorrel, our borrowed Jersey.  It has been a summer filled with butter, and surely that alone makes it worthwhile.

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16 steps in a row is the record for this little one.  Oh time…. why you punish me?  (Yeah thats right I quoted hootie and the blowfish)

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8 trips around the sun for this sweet cider making dude.  I just lowered his ears yesterday and you wouldn’t recognize him, he looks so big.

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1 gallon of tart, early cider down the hatch, with surely more to come!

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7 hours of grown up time at Free Verse Farm making this amazing Adirondack pack basket.  Not shown are the lovely mossy green straps and the soon to be stained version.  It really is a useful and fun way to cart around all these wild apples!

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2 full weeks of a schedule filled with crafting and chalkboards and math games and romping in the woods.  Not back to school is pretty sweet so far.

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12 months of slow, methodical, brick laying.  My anticipation for the finishing of the outdoor bread oven cannot be contained.  But contained it must be!  This is nothing to be rushed, and let’s be honest, squeezing in time for mixing cement isn’t an exactly an easy task for a father of four children.  But, this guy is doing it- little by little!

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a blank slate

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAugust is the years golden child.  From Sorrels butter to the Solidago spotted sides of the highway, we are in it.  It is muggy with a hint of autumn.  It is savor every warm breeze and take note of every cool one.  It is eyes on the sky wondering when you will hear the familiar southward honking… knowing the time will come soon enough.  It is float the river every chance you get.  It is prepare the woolens for the time is near.  I love August.  Even my never ever weeded garden is grand and bountiful.

I am deep in the land of decisions I am wondering what type of schedule I want to abide by this season.  I am contemplating penciling in a whole bunch of close by nothings.  Committing ourselves to home and each other.  Oh, with the exception of utilizing Vermont’s ten free hours of daycare.  It turns out three-year olds do not appreciate 6 and 7 year old activities all the time and I like to think he would enjoy a few hours each week spent in a room dedicated to him.  Not to mention I could certainly use a break.  Eiter way  I have plans to spend our days building fire pits, and learning to cook, and leading library story hours.  I have omitted expensive and attractive classes in hopes that we will feel the seasons offerings with a bit more peace about us.  But of course, I am allowing myself the possibility to change my mind completely!

It is hard to tell what type of schedule we thrive in for sure.  At least as a collective whole.  We will try this one on for size and get back to you soon:)

The roving is hand washed and carded on a drum carder.  It is my neighbors Icelandic which I love. It is ethereal and shiny and still sticky with lanolin.  I believe it will spin up to be perfect thrummed mittens for all.  The yarn in the dye bath is puffin by quince and co and is being dyed in amaranthus and cosmos. 

a different busy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABerry season, the time of year where no one is ever lacking something to do.  Where even the muggiest afternoon can be pleasantly spent under the forest’s shade, lazily picking thimble berries or slowly maneuvering the blackberry brambles.  Of course there is pie to be had and jam to be spread, and those things don’t make themselves either.

The pace of August suits me.  We have no far away adventures planned and no classes to attend (minus the everlasting piano- which the outing is something we all enjoy).  I have all but begun to ignore my garden, and am dreaming about subtracting a bed next spring.  Just for the time being-

Because Willow took her first step this morning.  Rowan has his first wiggly tooth.  Jasper can ride his balance bike down the steep incline of our driveway while screaming “POOOOP!!!”.  Oh, the maternal pride I exude for that milestone.  And Miles… he is almost 8, and is currently upstairs devouring Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone.  Sow a garden, yes that can wait.  And the weeds, I hardly mind them.  Proof that our time is being spent elsewhere and I am okay with that.  There are fallen ash trees to scale, and hikes to be had, and swims to be swum, and doodles to doodle.  Yup, we are busy alright.

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And of course, cow’s to be milked!

blueberry boy

I am going to be frank.

It is no secret how smitten I am with Willow.  How full my heart feels having this little GIRL in my life.  How perfectly complete I feel with my four sweet babes.  But, something that I rarely mention is how glad we are that she waited.  Had she not been number four, I really can’t say with certainty we would have had the chance to know all three of these amazing boys we get to spend our days with.  Please don’t judge, it is just true.  The roudy chaos they tumble around with is overwhelming, their energy is consistently a mile high in the sky- AND no matter the craze in our eyes during the daylight hours- each night when they are tucked in tight, Lee and I twinkle with pride.

Oh my Japser… third baby- third boy- thank goodness she waited.

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Three years ago I stood here in this kitchen smelling blueberry crostata, feeling the muggy humid air slick on my tight pregnant belly.  I had been up all night, thinking the time was so close.  But he waited, and waited, and waited to open his eyes to the earths light.  Still more than half a day away from his arrival, I tried to busy myself with things to do.  And blueberries were so plentiful.

Today we will pick blueberries, the fruit that inevitably will remind me of this chubby cheeked sweetheart for all my days.  And surely we will make all the goodies we gorged on the days leading up to his birth.  (I’ll just have to double all the recipes now… growing boys!)

Three year olds are as daunting as they are sweet and I am sure this year will be filled with its equivalent moments.  I am grateful that I have been here before, that I will occasionally have the knowledge from past three year old moments to be able to breathe in some grace in the hard moments, and soak up the tender ones too.

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Happy Birthday my sweet Jasper!

rain

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHumid and wet, to cool and wet- that is the rotation of weather in these parts.  And with all that rain comes all this green.   In fact our peas are drowning and zinnias rotting…  an entirely different summer than last year when not a drop of water was to be found in our stream and wells were running dry all around us.

More immediately all this rain, for us, means rainy day activities are kept close at hand.  Jewelry making, boxcar children reading, and sculpey clay creations are the most common, with caterpillar watching, dolls, and little wooden village play a close second.  The little wooden village building can be the most entertaining for me if I stay quiet enough for them to forget I am around and I get to hear the silliest ideas.  My personal favorites: “These village people sure do love mutton!” and, “What a healthy forest this is!”.

And when I can, I am squeezing in as much crafting as a cow milking, pig feeding, mother of four can manage.  My weaving skills leave much to be desired but I enjoyed finding a way for much of my handspun and hand dyed yarns to be used up.  I have some other ideas brewing for the little lap loom I purchased a few months ago at Wing and a Prayer Farm.  I’m still slowly working on my portland pullover from Taproot Magazine and have begun sewing a Scarborough Fair skirt by posiegetscozy.

Really I am doing all this to avoid weeding, which if it doesn’t get done today I believe my carrots and onions will be overtaken by crab grass and mile a minute.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave a lovely day!