homestead happenings: full steam
We laugh about this story now, Julia and I. How her toddler son tumbled into a swimming pool, sank like a stone, was rescued immediately by at least 3 fully clothed adults, all while Julia raced around the perimeter of the pool shouting and waving her arms (even after Cedar was fine). Not so helpful, Julia describes it.
This is how I feel from time to time; like er, now. Like I’m running around the edge of my life waving my hands and panicking about all my stones sinking to the bottom when really everything is fine.
It’s like I’m propping up this door, throwing my weight against it while an avalanche of chokecherries and acorns press in. And also there’s the 16# box of peaches in my bedroom, all slated to ripen tomorrow; the basil is flowering; Dan’s packing for an elk hunt explaining how he’d like to take all the eggs in the fridge, while Col is telling me—nascent homeschooling mother—“I don’t want to do any writing. It’s my body and I don’t have to.” There’s 8 boxes of books to sort through that my friend Regina passed onto me from her homeschooling days (Rose is currently reading the book on medieval battle, muttering theatrically to herself: And den he said, I’m not going to be your best friend anymore! There’s the small flock of fall seedlings popping thirstily in the greenhouse, and the sour pickles are a scummy flop oozing stink on our front porch.
But honestly, everything is fine. It’s just a very, very busy time.
On the homestead:
We had our first homeschool co-op meeting at the park. The parents sat around with notebooks and calendars creating schedules and study topics while the kids tried to create a human ladder to reach the fruit on the apple tree, which seemed a portent of good things.
And it all feels a little wildly and wonderfully subversive: riding bikes to the park in the middle of a “school day,” creating our own curriculum, which includes “ancestral ways” as an entire 4-week topic. I am so excited to learn, I mean teach, I mean learn, I mean, chop 16 pounds of peaches.
Last Monday the co-op kids met at our house where we made our own plant dyes with chokecherry, acorn shells, rabbitbrush and mint. These kids are such children of hippies, when they talk about plants they’re all, “yeah, my dad digs osha root with an antler…and we like to grow our own carrots because we don’t like the taste of pesticides.”
They decided that they would like to be president some day and stop war because “it’s really bad and mean” and then they all made a “poison” out of mud, sunflower petals and gravel to feed to Rosie when she got home from preschool.
~fabric in: chokecherry, rabbit brush, acorns and mint~
Also, Col gets to go to public school 2 days/week through a partnership between the public school system and the local home-schoolers. He’s in a classroom with 31 other homeschooling kids, kindergarten through 5th grade. His first day was yesterday and he came home thrilled because he sat next to an older boy in the cafeteria who taught him that with one dime and one nickel you could buy milk. He’s already got his 15 cents for Thursday (the jury’s still out on whether this is going to lead to a discussion on gnarly, feed lot dairy or if the boy will just get to enjoy his non-organic, homogenized milk).
I’ve been giving some plant identification walks, which have been super fun and I think my kids are finally seeing me as useful beyond milk boobs and nightly lullabies.
Rose puts down her hula hoop only to eat and sleep, and is totally ready for the next musical touring phenomenon (I’m assuming she missed the Phish boat).
~Rose and I wore matching fluffy, lacy pink skirts to the circus wedding, which I sewed 2 hours before the event~
We had a wonderful, wedding filled weekend. My friend Kati married her beloved with her 3-year old son (barefoot, in batman outfit with undies on the outside) standing at the alter with them. It was gorgeous in the most real-life, real-love sort of way.
And at the circus wedding, the bride had deer antlers on her head and the groom a bone through his nose. Col and Rose were like, ho hum.
Some photos from the vintage circus wedding:
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On his way to lock the chickens in for the night, Dan always manages a few practice shots (not at the chickens, although our two 3-year old hens seem to have stopped laying, which might mean soup-pot if anyone can actually bear to kill and eat Emily and Little Buddy).
Everyday we’re harvesting something; it’s almost obscene, the amount of produce rolling in. If you’re looking for us, we’re home gnawing on carrots and thinking up new uses for zucchini.
Incidentally, we did come up with a new use for zucchini! Slicing strips with a vegetable peeler! Totally appropriate kid-job, and so silky and thin and melty. We’ve sunk the strips in pasta and tucked soft cheese inside the peelings.
And in old zucchini methods, this: Layer in a casserole dish: mashed potatoes mixed with chopped chives and dill. Next layer cubed and roasted zucchini. Top layer: melted cheese. Side dishes: steamed chard and salad (lettuce is back in the garden!)
This is Sage, he’s the apiarist on the homestead, I’m just the bumbling apprentice who keeps getting stung.
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How’s your harvest coming?
Off to chop peaches, mash chokecherries, blend pesto, sort books, and love on children…