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Homestead Happenings: tidbits

December 15, 2010

It’s such a happily busy time isn’t it?

Why yes, those are bits of deer fat strung up with the popcorn. Very popular with the scrub jays.

It’s funny how the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can roar by like a horn-tooting, spangly parade, and then February can stretch and loop and wind around itself forever like the world’s longest, more homely length of gauze.

So, because we’re all marching in that high-stepping parade, this week I offer you, simply, tidbits.

It’s been warm here, the kind of warm that makes you a little impatient about getting to the suffering of winter already, but also so cheered about being outside.

I can't tell you how it makes my heart sing to see Rose cruising on Col's old balance bike (partially because she's out of the house without the leotard).

We found a soccer ball at the park and had a rousing family game of something vaguely resembling soccer.

It was all super fun until Rose burst into tears because she didn’t want to make the “mean goalie face” anymore. But she came around with a nice goalie face and got some good kicks in.

I also can't tell you how happy it makes me to see Rose being tough and fierce, even if she's just kicking a ball in a skirt. Does anyone else feel this way about their daughters?

Last week Col asked me if a wingnut was a real bird.

I’m getting over a brutal cough, in which I couldn’t speak more than a few whispered sentences without descending into spasmy fits of pulmonary distress. During my week of silence, I’ve never been more aware of the constant stream of chatter that broadcasts from the radiotower of my daughter. Even when there is nothing to say she’ll sing a cheerful little song in the backseat of the car, “there’s so much snowflakes in our town, la da da da dee.”

Also, I’ve come to realize that the pink leotard is how Rose slips into something a little more comfortable. It’s like how Dan comes home from work, showers and puts on his sweatpants, Rose tosses her clothes to the ground immediately upon coming home from anywhere and slips into something that gives her a wedgie.

This is our cat Bee, we love her so much.

The kids made a really cool animal collage. It would have been cooler if their mother wasn’t all uptight about the animal names actually being legible (I dotted the letters for Rose). I’m going to do great when I attempt my homeschool hodgepodge next year (spoiler alert!).

Truthfully, I’m really proud of them, even if I gritted a very small bit of enamel off my teeth that morning.

We’ve been making cheese!

Salting the deer brains, I mean cheese curds.

It’s really easy. Do I say that about everything (bread-baking, sauerkraut, yogurt, butchering a small deer)? I really mean it. It was my first winter goal. My next is sewing curtains for the kids’ room. I’m much more nervous about that.

It's a spreadable, chevre-like cheese.


Snow-destesting barred rock hen.

Rose: Let’s say I brought you a chicken.

(brings Col a chicken)

Col: And let’s say I didn’t like chickens.

Rose: Yeah, and I forgot that.

Col: Yeah. And I got scared.

(and sometimes I feel like my life is scripted).


May your holiday parade always stop long enough to enjoy the sunset.



29 Comments leave one →
  1. abozza permalink
    December 15, 2010 9:42 am

    Sounds like a wonderful life, Rachel! I always enjoy reading what’s going on with you and your brood!

  2. December 15, 2010 10:01 am

    Wonderful…it is so hard to slow down and enjoy these moments this time of year (and every other time, too). And that cheese looks mmm–yummy (my two attempts so far have been disastrous, but I haven’t given up yet!)

  3. Peggy permalink
    December 15, 2010 10:03 am

    This was great!! I laughed out loud about Rose putting on her favorite thing that gives her a wedgie! We just put Riley in a hand me down leotard last night, in preparation for her gymnastics class she is starting in February. One never knows how she’ll react to clothing – but – she LOVED it!! It’s sort of velour-ish, and is actually a body suit with shorts. She was so sad to take it off – she was walking around rubbing her belly and her back b/c she loved the velour so much. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing A LOT of this leotard leading up to gymnastics! And we are experiencing almost the exact same things over here with our girl that you are with yours – fun to watch them, isn’t it! Enjoy the holiday season!
    xo – Peggy

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      December 16, 2010 5:15 pm

      Rose took one session of gymnastics, which she absolutely loved and then we switched to swimming, which has been awesome too. She loves her little flowered swimsuit almost as much as the leotard (she did put the swimsuit on recently to dance to Blondie). I hope Riley loves gymnastics in her velourish body suit!

  4. Sarah permalink
    December 15, 2010 10:19 am

    I just love reading your stuff Rachel. I feel so cozy and nestled afterwards. You’re like a hot cup of tea and down comforter. Thanks for sharing! xo

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      December 16, 2010 5:15 pm

      Thank you Sarah.

  5. Barb permalink
    December 15, 2010 11:06 am

    trust me, curtains are very easy because you get to sew one kind of stitch in a straight line. Almost boring. Way easier than cheese. Much less stress than worrying about legible handwriting. xo back to ya.

  6. December 15, 2010 11:28 am

    I know I’ve said something like this before…but I can’t resist. My daughter had this blue nightie and she wore it the way Rose wears her leotard. I got to hating that thing because I couldn’t wash it often enough.

    But now…

    One of my FAVORITE photos of her is in that nightie. Because it brings FLOODing back to me this whole ERA of life in that one piece of clothing. A little altared space right there in blue fabric of years worth of my little babe. Oh scrumptiousness. I see that swath and…I relive my life of smiles and songs and nighttime shows.

    Rachel, we’ve made cheese. Ain’t easy. Complete failure. False advertising here.

  7. Ami permalink
    December 15, 2010 1:10 pm

    Lovely, and what a rockin’ sunset!!!
    (sometimes “homeschooling” is about “unschooling”)

  8. December 15, 2010 1:33 pm

    My daughter’s around-the-house clothes alternate between a tutu and something made of tulle. She also considers these appropriate make-mud-and-dump-it-in-the-driveway clothes. Who am I to question such, um, equal-opportunity genius?

    Home-schooling! Wow! Brave woman, you.

  9. December 15, 2010 1:51 pm

    That last picture is beautiful… and the rest? Makes me smile! Enjoy the cheese :)

  10. December 15, 2010 2:31 pm

    Perfect tidbits :) I had the cough too…. last night was the first in a week that my husband & I slept in the same room…. poor guy kept moving to the couch because I hacked like a lifetime smoker… it was bad stuff. Weird enough, I was the only one to get it… which is very lucky… for everyone else anyway. Anyhoo—- can’t wait to hear about your homeschooling plans. Cheers!

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      December 16, 2010 5:17 pm

      Dan was on the couch too. I felt sort of guilty here in our big bed, but not that guilty.

  11. Michelle permalink
    December 15, 2010 2:40 pm

    Your posts are always so much fun to read.

    I think your family is meant to homeschool, there is so much life learning happening in your home all the time. Can’t wait to hear more.

  12. December 15, 2010 3:16 pm

    You’re a wonderful mother. And writer. And cook. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Have a blessed holiday season!

  13. December 15, 2010 3:57 pm

    The last photo makes me want to sit at your table, sipping a cup of tea. Gorgeous. Peaceful.

    Loved all the tidbits!

  14. Ellen permalink
    December 15, 2010 5:23 pm

    What homeschool hodgepodge?

  15. Melissa permalink
    December 15, 2010 5:45 pm

    Love this post (oh, if I had a dime for every time I say that here!)–but sorry to hear about your cough. Avi has it, too, and his preschool called me today as he also has a fever. I just roused myself from a sweet nap with him and am listening to him hack–the worst!

    Thanks for the medicinal advice; I will try it on both of them. Lilit is on the mend and didn’t even need the nebulizer, yay! So yes, even though she is little, I love evidence of her toughness!

    And I always get a kick out of Rose in her leo.

    Avi asked the other day, “Do you have a dress for me, Mommy?” dress up is such a fun game!

    I don’t mind the kids being sick as it keeps me home with them a little. Hope you feel better!

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      December 16, 2010 5:18 pm

      Does Avi have a dress? Because Rose would totally send him one of hers. For reals.

  16. December 15, 2010 5:49 pm

    My husband just reassured me last night that making yogurt really is easy. I’ll get around to it someday.

    With my daughter, it’s always, “Pretend this happened. And, then, pretend I did that.” As in, “Pretend the floor is burning lava. And, pretend I can only walk on these [the couch cushions strewn across the floor]. And, pretend you have to grab me before I fall in the lava.” And on and on.

  17. December 15, 2010 11:08 pm

    love the collage you (future???) homeschooling mama

  18. December 16, 2010 9:37 am

    Tidbits from your life always keep me full and happy – I love just how different our lives are yet there’s so much I want to learn about and from you!

    And wow on the sunset and homemade cheese. I’m not sure which one captivated me more…

  19. December 16, 2010 4:51 pm

    ooo! spoiler exciting! i bet you could trade some sausage for curtains if you aren’t really that into it. but then again, you’ll probably find it to be easy! : )

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      December 16, 2010 5:23 pm

      Kendra, I really want to make the curtains, I’m just intimidated.

  20. December 16, 2010 10:22 pm

    Found my way here from digthischick. Beautiful, inspiring, wonderful! I love how you write, and the photos are just lovely.

    I remember my daughter, who was a swimmer, wearing her swimsuit constantly. Once, when she was in second grade, I was looking and looking and looking for her suit so she had it for practice. No luck. When I picked her up from school, she was hanging upside down, t-shirt falling over her face, belly covered in, voila!, missing swimsuit. She informed me that, as she was chlorinated 3 times a week, she really saw no need to ever take it off.
    And with the being tough… oh yeah. She was in kindergarten, still all dresses and shiny shoes, and one day when we went to get her, there she was at the top of the climbing thingy, where an older boy was trying to pull up a bucket full of sand with a rope tied to the handle. She said, “Here! I’ll help!” The older boy scoffed, “You’re just a little girl!” Daughter said, “I may be little, but I’m tough!”, elbowed him out of her way, and pulled the bucket up.
    Me cheering!!! Yay fierce, strong girl! She’s now 20. Still completely headstrong, independent and fierce. It’s awesome!!! A little terrifying, but awesome…

    The cheese looks amazing! I’m tempted… I’m pretty handy in the kitchen…

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      December 17, 2010 7:39 am

      thank you, and welcome to this goofy little place.

  21. December 16, 2010 11:33 pm

    OK, my son snuck in here “just to say good night one more time” and saw the cheese, so now we have to make it. Thanks. ;)

    He likes your chicken, too.

    If you do go the home schooling route, there is so much support nowadays for it. You will be just fine. And if not, you’ll be fine, too. We’re loving it here, most days, and I am learning so much.

  22. December 16, 2010 11:43 pm

    You always crack me up. I wish I lived nearby so I could sew curtains for you in exchange for cheese.

  23. December 18, 2010 8:01 am

    Boy, I wish I could get back that feeling – of being young enough not to be bothered by wedgies.
    I loved the bit about being impatient for the suffering of the cold. I feel that way until it gets truly cold, and my eyes burn when I hike across campus at work. If we got snow here instead of ice, I think I’d appreciate it more!

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