wocket in my pocket

Looking for the unexpected in the mundane.

The 28th

Just like that, we are done with the short month. I can hardly believe how quickly it whizzed by and Wow! do I have hopeful plans for March. I doubt we can squeeze in all that I aspire to, but I want to clear out the house, make great strides toward the finish of the school year, paint a few things, plant early veggies in the garden, take some jaunts out of state, finish a scrap book that I started three years ago, and help my daughter with a simple pattern she is learning to sew for herself.

And now, a photo that came up when I searched for “waving goodbye” on Pexel. Isn’t it wonderful?

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Goodbye, February.

 

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What Friends Are For

I have been blessed with many wonderful comrades who cheer me on. The cloud of witnesses around me is not all departed people, thank God!

Real live folks can be so incredibly sustaining and we need them. Are you introverts listening?  All you need is a crisis to make you value your connections. If you don’t have any, it would be best for your happiness and life-satisfaction to start cultivating connections. (I think this is especially true for women, although obviously, I have no experience from the male point of view.)

We are designed to be nurturers, taking care of each other, not just our children. Sociologists have long noticed a link between a woman’s reported happiness and the support that is received from other women. This is especially noticeable in what they call primitive cultures, where women often report being quite happy despite obvious poverty, lots of children, and no professional careers.

It is depressing to be all alone, and yes, our husbands can listen and support if we are fortunate enough to have them, but hormones understand hormones. (I feel like I just said something profound there.) Even the Apostle Paul said something about the older women teaching the younger how to live (love their husbands and keep their homes happy). I get the feeling that this is walking along beside them like coaches just as much as it is special meetings where an older woman teaches her wisdom.

We shouldn’t be embarrassed to own that intuition that tells us someone is in trouble or could use a bit of extra loving. Nor should we be too proud to say, “I need some help with my thinking today. I am sinking here. What would you do (any given situation…)?”

This is what my friends meant to me in the last two weeks. If you recognize yourself, this is my thanks to you.

  • A hug and a sincere “wish you well” in passing. That feeling that she cares about my  world.
  • A real snail mail card.
  • Seeing someone from way back when and catching up a bit in those easy conversations that flow between old school friends.
  • Sharing opinions about dress patterns and is it really “easy” like it says; getting to stroke someone else’s fabric stash.
  • A question, “How are you?” coupled with the time to hear the answer.
  • A thoughtful conversation about whether it really is important to raise children in a village, or is it okay to just go it alone; reflecting on what the village means to your own self.
  • A text and a word of kindness. “Hope your day gets some sunshine.” Just like that, it does, even when the sky stays grey.
  • A latte out of the blue, and a box full of groceries that my children dig through excitedly, immediately asking to break open the bag of chocolate chips.
  • A cup of tea shared over stories about life, mine and hers, even though we are in drastically different seasons.
  • Facebook messages heavily punctuated with animated stickers, something only a few people may enjoy, but when you find that friend, you go on sticker hunts to make their day hilarious.
  • Coordinating schedules so that we can get together and chat while our children play.
  • Talking with and over each other, and getting what is being heard and said at the same time.
  • A smile when your eyes meet across the room in church, because you are genuinely glad to see that her sick child is better and she is glad yours is better.
  • A quick phone call that turns into a visit about so many little things that crowd the day, and it just helps to sort them out.
  • Telling that slightly pungent story that you really just have to pass on to one person so they can enjoy the humor with you, since the children didn’t get it and your husband isn’t home at the moment.
  • The safe place where you can express exactly what it is that is wearying your very soul at the moment, and knowing that you are now held in prayer.
  • Feeling that you are not alone. There’s a whole cloud of witnesses and you are on the way together.

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(pexel free photo)

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Day by Day, a Song of Assurance

Today I had a chance to ride with a friend to an old fashioned Mennonite hymn singing. There was one song especially that clutched me by the heart, and when my friend showed me a short story about its origins, I decided to look it up and pass it on to you.

Carolina (Lina) Sandell wrote this hymn in 1865. This was just a few years after a deeply personal tragedy, where she had witnessed the drowning death of her father. The number is not exact, but it is believed that she wrote around 2000 hymns in her lifetime, among them the equally beloved “Children of the Heavenly Father.”

I have been listening to “Day by Day” again, letting those truths soak into my being.

 

 

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About Trash and Stuff

I almost missed seeing the turkeys in the sloping meadow  because I was so busy feeling outraged at the litter in the ditch. It’s a real problem here in rural areas where people feel like nobody will see them or report them. My husband picked up a fridge in a wooded area just close to here. Now that is some serious trash! In 1 mile of walking I counted 142 bottles and cans. From my exhaustive survey, (errhrmm) I conclude that beer drinkers (102 beer cans) have less class than soda drinkers (approximately 15 soda cans). There were two coffee cups, 3 fountain drink cups with straws still in them at one of the curves, and in another spot the water drinker (10 water bottles) seems to do her littering. I made another sweeping assumption that this is likely about 5 to 7 different frequent flyers along the road with trash flinging habits, since all the fast food cups were in the same vicinity and the water bottles too. The beer bottles tended to be clumped up at the intersections, which happens to be right outside our picket fence. It is highly annoying.

I was reminded of a walk I took early one morning with my Grandpa about 20 years ago, when he was still vigorous in health. I knew he took a daily constitutional, but when he said 6 AM I thought it was a little plenty early. I managed to get up in time, but politely declined a swig of Jogging in a Jug that he offered before we started. Then he stuffed a plastic grocery bag into his jacket pocket and we set out. I was astounded at the swiftness of the pace he set, and more than a little relieved when he would pause to pick up trash beside the road. He told me that he did this every time he walked, and there were always more beer cans. Being of a frugal mind, he thought they might as well be recycled as in the ditch, so he picked them up. We filled the plastic bag and gave the cans to Uncle Tim to crush in his homemade pop can smasher. When he got enough, they would be recycled and Tim got to keep the money.

I guess there is no point in fuming at the thoughtlessness of others. I might as well follow Grandpa’s example and start picking up trash. My children have this protest pretty often when they are asked to clean up a mess someone else made. “But I didn’t do it, Mom!” While I try to be fair, sometimes I purposely set them up with opportunities to serve a sibling. I decided today that taking the crew on a roadside cleanup would probably be one of the best ways to impress on them to never be the careless flingers of garbage that sullies other people’s lives. I had a school teacher that did Adopt-a-highway with the class every year. I never forgot those lessons and to this day cannot toss even a gum wrapper out of the car window.

Maybe the broken windows theory will take hold right here in our beer-drinking, litter-flinging neighborhood. (Look it up. It is a fascinating social phenomenon that when a neighborhood cleans up it’s surfaces, less crime happens.)  Surely if there are no cans in the ditch already, a slightly inebriated driver would think twice before chucking stuff out the window. Or maybe I should just be pragmatic, like Grandpa, and make money off the trash.

 

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We’re Not Talking 5K Here

This post is about believing that the things we do today matter. Really. Nobody wants to come to the end of their lives and look back only to see that they invested in vanity and what is left will burn up like a pile of dry leaves.

(I received some advice recently, to choose an audience and not try to be politically correct for everybody who might read my stuff,  which is something I tend to do. I take a stand on my housewifely platform with pride and hope you all are kind enough to understand… teeters off… continues writing…)

We need courage when life crowds in with so much ordinary that feels pointless.  Ever have a sick day or two where you couldn’t stir to keep house?  I mean, “keep” does not mean “to hold” in this context, although we often act like it should mean that. “I can’t believe how dirty this floor is again,” we mutter to ourselves. “Why does nobody else seem to notice that the trash can is overflowing? and didn’t I just clean that window yesterday?? and while I am talking anyway, who left their crayons on the floor???”

If we look at “keep” as “to keep the children happy,” or “to maintain with care and labor” or even simply “to keep in usable condition” if helps relieve that feeling that the floor is doomed, no matter how often we mop it. We tend to resent the life-on-a-loop responsibilities that are inevitable when we choose homemaking as a career. It doesn’t seem like a big deal and it would be nice to feel important for a change. Well. Just for a minute imagine that every person in the world who does anything mundane in their life goes on strike for a day. Just for 24 hours they refuse to do anything except glittery stuff. Do you suppose there might be glory missing from the world? That’s right. Glory. 

I did a bit of paraphrasing from Hebrews 12 to infuse some courage into our housewifely hearts. This is a big deal and we should lift our heads and tackle it life the challenge of a lifetime. Because it is. This is what the passage in Hebrews 12 speaks to me, and maybe to you too.

Whether you know it or not, there is a huge cloud of people surrounding you, watching your life of faith. They are your cheering section, and they have already lived through the same stuff you are slogging through. Listen to them. They are saying, “You can make it! Look up! Chuck off the weights and RUN! It takes a lot of endurance in this marathon, a lot of dishes, a lot of drinks of water, and a whole ton of kindnesses that nobody really seems to notice unless you quit doing them. You will make it to the end, but you can’t pity yourself and quit.”

When you lift your eyes up from stray toys and dirty boots littered on your path, and do what they say, look to Jesus, you notice something incredible. He endured this race on earth too! He got tired too! There is no shame in weariness. Jesus himself had to dig deep to keep running. The joy at the finish line will be yours because that little spark of faith He gave you?.. He will keep it glowing and strengthen you.

It matters. What you do for your husband, your children, your friends, even for your enemies, matters. Believe it. Feel the relief that it may be a slogging run sometimes, but it is His work and He knows exactly the way that the race is on. The stump around the bend that you are supposed to leap over? It is not a surprise to Him. In fact, if you must know, He put it there.

Don’t be unmanned by hurdles or by His discipline. This just means you are a beloved child and He is training you for the stamina that is required for the long haul. Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your feeble knees by daily exercise. Don’t quit because it is hard! You are nearer than you know and His grace is making you stronger than you have any idea.

See? You are within sight of Mt Zion, the city of God and all those angels in festal gathering, just waiting to welcome you. You are one of the righteous made perfect through a rigorous regimen of daily ordinary training in faithfulness.

You represent a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Keep moving forward!

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Thursday in the Life…

…of a gardener/wife/teacher/mom. At our tax appointment the accountant asked for my occupation. I really would have enjoyed blowing him away with all my hats, but didn’t think that would be modest. Haaha.

I didn’t set an alarm because we were up late last night and it was my husband’s day off. At seven I heard a knock on the door and knew instantly that it was one of the teachers from the local school, come to pick up the book order that I had just sorted through yesterday. Thankfully she knows me well and didn’t object to me being quite sleepy and a bit underdressed.

Breakfast was corn meal mush, served as porridge, with sausage patties. Half of the crew went “Ewww,” and half went “Yumm,” so I knew I hit it just about right.

It was so warm that I opened kitchen windows to let the frying smells out. All day while we were doing school and laundry, we kept looking out and determining to get into the fresh air as soon as possible. The clouds were sailing along and all would be blue sky for a while, then it would get darker again as they clumped together, obscuring the sun. But it was so soothingly warm that the cloudiness didn’t dampen our spirits at all.

My mom brought cookies over just before lunch and we had a chat about some sewing she is doing. I washed the eggs while we talked and sent her home with 2 dozen which was good, because my fridge can’t hold them all.  All the children had cookies, so there was no complaining about hunger. I helped Rita finish her math sheets, then realized that it was 1 PM and I didn’t have any plan to feed people.

A scrounge around the fridge yielded hotdogs and grapes. I cooked a kettle full of mac and cheese the favorite way around here (milk, Velveeta, salt, pepper) and called it lunch. They all said “Yumm,” so I knew I hit it right.

Gabe was drooping from a very late night, so he went for a nap before resuming his current graduate studies assignment. I thought about a nap, then I thought about the laundry I wanted to hang out, just because it was so gorgeous outside, and I did that (yeah, I know that’s a little late in the day). I made big plans for the boys when they got done with their assignments.

Addy came to me with a very pronounced wilt in her usually chipper parade. “I hurt all over and I need to go to bed,” she said. Uh-oh. I dosed her with Tylenol for her fever and elderberry syrup for an immune booster. She fell asleep in minutes.

As soon as Alex finished his algebra, we went to pick up some old produce for the pigs, generously provided by our favorite local store. We have discovered that they do not like potatoes raw, but they hogged down grapes with astounding swiftness. The goats first ate all the cabbage leaves, then delicately took bites out of the potatoes, and the chickens pecked at it all. It’s so entertaining, this animal business.

We coordinated our outdoor jobs so that they could do their chores while I watched out of the corner of my eye, even though I was raking leaves out of the flower beds. Long ago I figured out that boys will be much more willing if their work can somehow involve a power tool or a blazing fire. That is why they cut off the dead ornamental grasses with a small chain saw today. 🙂 Instead of wheelbarrows, they used a lawn tractor and trailer to haul composted manure and mulch to the asparagus bed. The grasses made an impressive blaze that was much better than putting them on a compost pile.

Under the dead leaves I uncovered some ambitious daffodils shoots with fat buds. Whenever I clear dead stuff out of flowerbeds, I think of sour little Mary Lennox in her Secret Garden, and the therapeutic thrill she got when she found fresh sprouts coming up. This is very early for our region, but I suppose we might as well embrace the warming trend, with its attendant mud and bugs. I shall hover a little over the plants that are likely to get the shock of the year in March, but who knows? Maybe this will last.

I took some time to throw potatoes into the oven to bake, then went back out and wandered around the pond with Gabe. There was a pair of mallards on the water, and you can feel the gurgles of new life pushing up all around. There were even bursts of real birdsong, not just the chirping of the winter but the warbles of spring.

The children were playing at roping heifers (each other) in the back yard. Addy felt well enough to romp around for a while until her drugs wore off. I never have to guess with her. Either she has her bounce or she doesn’t.

Once more it was time to eat, and I cannot even imagine how life would be if we wouldn’t be required to do that. It is the aspect of nurturing that I feel most guilty about not really loving. What I am shooting for is faithfulness here, and maybe one day it will come and hit me between the eyes that I actually love to cook. 🙂  I heated up canned beef and made gravy for the potatoes. There were green beans and applesauce, and everybody seemed happy with it, so I knew it was not stellar, but OK.

We girls cleaned up the dishes, Gregory folded laundry, and Alex did the barn chores. The movie for tonight was on PBS, titled Spy in the Wild: Animal Intelligence. Addy chortled with glee when the monkeys kept trying to crack their nuts with rocks, so I know she was feeling better. Nevertheless, it is the couch for her tonight. It’s a secondary gain that makes feeling peaky almost worth it.

And that’s that. The end of another Thursday.

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10 Activities That Won’t Rot Your Brain

  1. Read a book just for fun, like Ribsy or Farmer Boy. Laugh out loud at the funny bits so that your family is curious and you can tell them about how Lucy got the taffy stuck in her mouth.
  2. Take a walk in the park and learn to identify wildlife tracks. Make plaster of paris molds, even if it is just lame stuff like birds or deer for starters. Someday you might get lucky with a bear or a mountain lion.
  3. Ride a bike for miles on old railroad beds. Just be sure to carry a water bottle so you don’t perish before you get home again. Some granola bars in your pockets would not be a bad idea either.
  4. Figure out how to fit a survival kit into a backpack or bugout bag. Do the research and collect items as you save enough money for them. Pack and repack obsessively and keep it ready to grab at a moment’s notice. Or even just when your family goes to the lake.
  5. Take music lessons and keep practicing until you master that instrument. Or you could watch John Ross painting videos and try your hand at landscapes. If you like poetry, try writing some.
  6. Collect things. Rocks or bottle caps or stickers or fabric scraps or bird feathers. Be savvy about storage or your parents will likely make you pare your collections down to tragical proportions. Just for your information, nut collections in your underwear drawer will probably hatch out disgusting worms, so that’s not the best idea.
  7. Learn to crochet or embroider or knit or knot paracord bracelets. This latter could turn into a small industry for you, so make sure your parents buy about 1000 feet of cord at a time. Mess with your projects while you listen to audiobooks.
  8. Ask your mom to teach you how to prepare your favorite meal. She will never turn down an offer to cook dinner and you can have spaghetti and meatballs really often.
  9. Think of something you are interested in and wipe out that subject on the library shelves. Research it and talk to everybody about it until they are tired of you. Then pick another subject and do it all over.
  10. Play Settlers of Catan or Qwirkle. Learn to watch for subtle cues on other people’s faces so you know what move to make for the win. Figure out your strategy and have fun with it.
  11. Go fishing, then clean your fish and fry them over a campfire. Or alternately you could gig bullfrogs since they are easier to skin and roast. Just don’t forget the salt.
  12. Just do something. Don’t be boring and bowed low over a screen. Swim, paddle your own canoe, build a clubhouse, sleep in the backyard, clean out the fridge for your mom, sew slippers out of upholstery fabric, rollerskate, ski, write to a friend, teach your dog new tricks, solve the mystery of the missing socks, bake cookies with a secret recipe, be happy.

Oops, sorry, that turned out to be more than ten, but it’s my blog and I am allowed to do that.

What did I miss? When my children say they are bored, I give them jobs to do. It helps a lot, but it still happens at times and we would all be glad for fresh ideas.

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Navigating Tricky Waters

Disclaimer: This post is full of strong personal opinions. We don’t for a minute think we have the whole balance-with-technology figured out. As you may have noticed in my farmlet post yesterday, we made a deliberate choice to provide our children with opportunities to develop life skills on the land. It’s kind of a lot of work and it costs significantly more than a device that would doubtless entertain them for hours. Did I mention that it’s a lot of work?

Part of my book selling job is doing research about reading versus technology. Thirty years ago it was couch potatoes and TV that distressed Mr. Usborne to the point of doing something radical like starting an educational book publishing company.

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There used to be a place where the TV was plugged in and you had to go to that room and sit there. Now the devices go on a full charge and I see children everywhere, no longer just messing with their mom’s phone, but with their own kid-themed otter-skinned iPad minis. I see them sitting in grocery carts in that little kid spot, because they are little kids, but instead of visiting with their mom while they scoot past the lightbulb aisle, they are playing Candy Crush. They watch movies while traveling instead of looking out the windows and playing ABC. They swipe their screens at the doctor’s office and barely look up when their name is called. In fact, one local pediatrician’s office no longer has any children’s books on the end tables in the waiting room. They bow over their devices at museums, at concerts, at the park. They pitch fits if Santa doesn’t bring them the latest gadget and their parents think it is so funny that they take videos and post them on youtube. Even schools are moving toward all digital textbooks.

Aghhh. It is enough to make me want to hold signs and picket outside Bestbuy: Dangerous Items Sold Inside. Enter With Extreme Caution. Not really, but may I share some facts with you?

The University of Southern California did a 5 day test on a group of 6th graders. They split them into two groups. One was business as usual and the other group spent 5 days at a wilderness camp with no screen time at all. “Researchers found that the students who went to camp scored significantly higher when it came to reading facial emotions or other nonverbal cues than the students who continued to have access to their media devices.”

That is just one study. There are many obvious side effects of digital addictions: obesity, irregular sleep patterns (text alerts when you are falling asleep), behavioral issues (and they are not cute), damaged grey matter (brains of internet-addicted kids actually shrink significantly, proven by CAT scans), sensory overload and the accompanying boredom with all normal activities, disconnect in the neural pathways that aid survival in extreme situations, inability to do something as elementary as holding down a job.

“The majority of people we see with serious Internet addiction are gamers – people who spend long hours in roles in various games that cause them to disregard their obligations. I have seen people who stopped attending university lectures, failed their degrees or their marriages broke down because they were unable to emotionally connect with anything outside the game.”

I find this subject to be depressing. Technology is here. It’s not going away. How to navigate it is a huge part of parenting for any concerned mother or father. We cannot bend low before popular opinion and pile stuff on our children that will cripple them for real life. Yet we cannot all move to the bush and fish for our dinner cooked over a campfire.

It is also encouraging to read the studies and hear a growing crowd of parents say, “We cut out screen time because we got so tired of the results.” There has been a lot of media coverage, also known as ALARM, about the effects of too much digital doodoo, and people are waking up and putting their feet down firmly and children are wailing about it, but they won’t when they survive a disaster because their wits have not been fried in infancy.

Figuring out how this works in our family has given Gabe and I fodder for many long discussions. Our children do DVD school for all the main subjects. We figure that gives them more than enough time in front of a flickering screen. One night a week is designated as movie night, which is usually something everybody can enjoy if they aren’t too miffed about another documentary. We have some copies of DVDs that they watch with permission, although Addy would never tire of Flo-the Lying Fly and Buzby-the Misbehaving Bee.

We decided years ago to put passwords on all our devices with internet connections. The children can do research in the living room with permission and we have a laptop that the boys use to do keyboarding practice or to write papers. This is a recent addition and one that taught us the value of a really tight filter. Our goal is to teach them that accountability is freedom and power. Somehow it doesn’t seem like a knee-jerk reaction of “if it requires a cord, we won’t have it” is going to provide them with the tools they need as adults in a computerized world.

We don’t really know how to answer the phone question. Our house phone is a little Trac-fone that the children can use, but we see no reason for smart phones for a very long time to come. This is a sore point for the teen in the house, but he is trying to understand our views. Many times we tell our sons that we are finding our way, just like they are. As for now, a smart phone that is taken to the privacy of a bedroom seems like handing them some sticks of dynamite with the fuses already lit. It’s not like the children want to become casualties, and maybe it’s just time for parents to say, “Enough with the maiming and dying. We aren’t putting that dynamite in our children’s hands.”

Our Kindle Fire has some games on it. The standard time for playing is 30 minutes. When there are five people taking turns and the timer beeps, trust me, there is not a lot of grace for longer than a half hour. They police each other very diligently. I made a flow chart this winter that they are need to go through before they come to have the password put in. It looks like this, which is to say, customized and unprofessional, but it works for us.

screen-time-flow-chart

There are many days when no one uses the Kindle unless it is to listen to audiobooks while folding laundry. And there are times when we bend the rules. The requirements change from season to season. Sometimes when there is too much whining going on, everybody fasts for 2 weeks.

This is not the way of least resistance. Our children do not naturally desire disciplines. They don’t prefer work to leisure, especially not that glittering world of make-believe. They would eat candy and drink pop all day if we allowed it. They wouldn’t bother to write neatly if we didn’t give them penmanship copywork. In so many areas we can easily see where we just need to be the parent and say, “No more sugar today.” Why is it any different to do that with the allure of technology?

(I am aware of the inconsistency of making rules for the children that I do not abide by myself. Ow.)

I would love to hear how you decide on a wise course for your family and yourself.

Tomorrow’s post: 10 Things That Won’t Rot Your Child’s Brain.

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Life on the Farmlet

It’s been balmy and sunshiny, so I went outside on Saturday to check on the children who had been out from underfoot   outside for hours. At five PM it was still 65 degrees. Here is what was going on, as seen by cell phone camera.

The boots were abandoned in the grass, the dog was tearing around, hoping against hope to get her mouth on the softball, and paper planes, fleets of them, were flying across the backyard.

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This is the girls’ playground in warm weather. The goat girls and pig girls and chicken girls too. It’s a mess. Lumber scraps, extra boards from the barn build, no pasture grass, a compost pile where the pigs play king of the mountain, and one scrawny pine tree where the goats reach up as high as they can to nibble needles. (There is a fence around the pond so that none of the critters can get into it, if you want to know.)

They don’t play with their stuffed animals and dolls much anymore. I am thinking we could majorly clear out toys and they wouldn’t even care. The babies are Valentine, Ted, Daisy, and Stubbs. My human girls get a lot of baths, if you want to know that too. I don’t especially care for goat smell. And Lord, have mercy, the laundry. But it’s all good. We have plenty of soap and water.

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And there, for your perusal, is a photo of Pennsylvania February With Tilted Barn. The barn is quite upright, I assure you. I took the picture from the orchard, inside the woven wire fence. I cannot tell you how upset I will be if these critters breech the fence and ruin our plantings, but for now all is harmonious. The pasture has been diligently plowed by the porkers. We can only hope that what they are so happily digging out and eating is the poison ivy roots that infested that area for years. We plan to seed proper seeds once we get growing weather. Meanwhile the chickens peck over the places that the pigs opened up.

Our farm is turning into the symbiosis that we hoped. (Except for the day the cutest kid died, and the day the pigs ate a chicken. Those were dark days.) We have less than five acres, but if you read enough Mother Earth News articles, you start to believe that a lot can be done with only a little. 🙂 A few years ago Gabe and I looked at each other and asked, “Do we really want to make that much work for ourselves?” Neither of us are animal lovers. I never voluntarily picked up a goat or a chicken in my life. But we looked at our sturdy tribe and we looked at the digital addictions that are ruining children for all practical purposes. We made a conscious decision. Let’s do this!

The gardens were the first and easiest step. Our land was crud: wet, heavy clay. Nothing grew well for the longest time. We have composted and dunged and amended the soil until at last we are getting decent yields. Then along came a dog and some rabbits. Draining the boggy meadow with ditches and tiles to dig a pond was the next huge project. Two garden sheds gave us post-and-beam building experience, but the barn…  That barn and the animals have been by far our favorite upgrade. Every child has a special prodigy that they love. Nobody loves the guineas,  but we hope they reduce the tick population and earn our respect at least. I feel sorry for anybody who would think they can sneak into the barn past their wretched watchdog racket.

So that was what was going on in our land on Saturday. When it came time to write the post, I was so miserable with a sinus/head cold thing that I simply collapsed into bed in fumes of Vicks and peppermint oil and throat drops, with plenty of tissues nearby.

On Sunday night after we had a party for my mom’s birthday, my husband said, “No way. You are not going to write tonight.” I listen to my husband, if you want to know.

So, here we are, all nicely caught up again. Happy Monday and the rest of the week!

 

 

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Sprite

a poem about going to bed and the vice of drinking too much carbonated beverage, by Gregory

“Why? Why? Why?”

said little Billy Fie.

“Why must I be in bed by 8:00 at night…

when I could be up

drinking lots and lots of Sprite?”

“Because, dear,” said the maid Mrs. Piper,

“Sprite would make you hyper.”

But late one night Billy

drank 3 gallons of Sprite

and as he was straining to get the last drop,

Poor Billy went POP!

But it’s Friday night, so we are going to party and stay up late! What about you?

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