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?  

back home

Nine full days of family, the whole family, has come to a close.  It was so lovely and light and the boys are so deeply in love with their daddy, it made my heart glow.  We exchanged the woods of Vermont, for the woods of Maine, minus the chores, cleaning, and gardening to occupy us.  Just walks, boats, s’mores (of course), stories, and fairy houses filled our days.  My camera battery died the very first day, giving me the absolute gift of presence.

And upon arrival on our trip home, we found our garden in its full glory.  Beets, peas, every type of lettuce, even some carrot and zucchini, all ready for the taking.  After reseeding everything we harvested, and picking potato bugs until our fingers were stained orange, we took a little walk (for those under the age of 7 it was a chaotic dash, but you know what I mean) and reveled in an in between rain-shower rainbow welcoming us home.

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cake for breakfast and other newsworthy events

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Potatoes, on average cost 33 cents each.  So, yesterday when once again coating my  hands in an orange glaze of potato bug guts, as we squished and smashed them off all the foliage, I questioned this particular job.  The hauling of the hay down to this spot, covering my car in bits of dried grass for years to come I am sure, the hilling, the bug squishing, then the harvest.  But despite all that, the truth is, there has not been a step of the process I have not enjoyed.  And to spill the truth even further, this is my third year growing potatoes, and so far I have been greatly unsuccessful.  The first year resulted in good-looking plants and hilling so accomplished it would make ants cower in shame.  The area was complete with railing sides to keep the soil in.  But the location was clearly less than ideal, with not enough sun, and poor soil to boot.  The result?  About two potatoes.  Seriously, two.  The following year, I placed them in the sunny, rich soiled front pasture hoping for more luck.  But one trip to visit grandparents later, they were absolutely demolished by potato bugs, leaving nothing but skeletons of the foliage that once was.

This year, we are picking bugs obsessively, hilling wisely, and keeping our fingers crossed.  Lots of work for something that hardly puts a dent in our budget.  But my goodness, imagine how good those buttery, versatile, filling lumps of earth will taste.  And the pride?  The thought of filling a barrel with them and burying them just under the surface of the soil, simulating a root cellar, and going in for more periodically throughout the winter months, fills me with such  a sense of accomplishment and joy.  I hope this dream comes into fruition.  So far, so good.

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permission

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As we head into a full 9 days of “daddy-stay-at-home days” I am grateful for all the practice we have had in slowing down and being present, knowing this will serve us well in the days ahead, in making them as smooth as they can be with three wild, little, unpredictably ridiculous, and sweet boys as our companions.  We have many seriously anticipated adventures ahead of us in the coming week, some that have been planned since the cold days of February.

I hope you all have a lovely long weekend, filled with patriotic colored slices of cake, lots of cold beverages, thick slices of icy watermelon, and juicy grass fed beef.  

PS The cat came back!