Skip to content

homestead happenings: shift

December 7, 2011

This morning we woke to a few fluffy inches of snow, more falling. The air was so cold and dry, I literally swept the snow clean off our stairs as if it were confectionary sugar sprinkled by Martha Stewart in the night. I threw all the miscellaneous mittens in a pile and told the kids to figure out which ones still fit, thinking to myself: wow, this is what 6 and 4 looks like. By the time we were suited up, the sun was out, streaking across the bluest sky. “It’s so Colorado,” my friend Mikel said about the fierce snow followed by even fiercer sun. Indeed.

We’re fine-tuning our winter routine around here, realizing that ideally the kids need to eat dinner around 5:00 pm and be in bed by 6:30pm. Which, I know, is crazy! Last night after we got them in bed I told Dan I wasn’t sure if I had the energy to make egg nog and lip balm, as planned. And then Dan reminded me, “Rachel, it’s 6:17 pm.”

We’re going to miss some all-family dinners (Dan doesn’t get home until 6pm 3 nights/week), but it’s for the best because mealtime had become like one of those classy dinner theaters except with a vague circusy theme. See the clowns! The galumphing elephants! Don’t miss biting monkeys! Col was becoming the bodily equivalent of a ventriloquist, but instead of throwing his voice across the room, he’d adhere a small piece of himself to his chair while the rest of his body projected under the table biting Rose’s feet.

“Get me, Coley!” Rosie shrieked, while Dan and I looked down at Col’s chair to see nothing but his left foot remaining.

The upswing is that I crack a pre-dinner beer at 4pm and by 9pm, it’s lights out.

On the Homestead:

:: This morning I spotted Rose carting a load of stuff across the living room. “Where are you going, sweetie?” “To Col’s room for a playdate.”

~they gather in front of Col’s heater like hobos to a fire every morning~

:: We made laundry soap for the first time. Super easy. Super cheap. We used this recipe. Smoked deer heart optional.

:: Our inside time has led to more fermenting adventures. Fermenting appeals to my maternal side, tending to all my bubbling, fizzy charges.

~Left to right: kombucha, ginger brew, apple vinegar. This is my first time making kombucha, any recommendations?~

:: We dug all our remaining carrots last week.

Some of them made it into the gallery of strange and amusing roots. Like this one, whom we call, porn star:

This one is, codependent:

This is, you’ve got a friend:

:: We’re making our second batch of leaf mold this year. Dan’s mom, Judy, sent me a bag of her finished leaf mold, which if you know me is a totally appropriate gift. Plus, it appeals to me in a million ways: pile up leaves, water them, forget about them, in 6-12 months you have a fantastic soil amendment. Directions here.

~Our friend Natalie brought over several tarp-loads of leaves. We both secretly think we’re getting the best deal and the other is nutso for not wanting/wanting so many leaves~

:: Life imitates Art! Col drew this picture of an sea serpent, and then weeks later we found this stuffed animal at a garage sale.

:: I loved your comments on the picture of Rose getting tossed through the air by Dan. Later, Dan remarked that it almost appeared as if Rose were flying on her own and he was just gently supporting her. My metaphor-meter perked up. Isn’t parenting—at its best—just like that? I told my mom that at last week’s writing class I taught on metaphor and she said, “you do really like metaphor a lot, honey.” Oh, I do, I do (and italics).

:: So, you know how Dan takes the kids on these wildlife drives early on Sunday mornings? Recently he was pointing out the spot where he and the kids saw a buck deer trailing a harem of does. “That’s where Rose snapped out of her whine-cycle,” Dan commented. I was surprised there’s any complaining on Sunday morning drives with Daddy. “Oh, it’s just the usual complaining that comes between being completely engaged,” Dan explained nonchalantly. (Reason # 175 why I love him: unruffled by kids being kids).

:: Our friend, Rowan, gave us tickets to ride the Polar Express Train. The kids were served hot chocolate and cookies and told that if they sang Christmas carols loud enough, Santa would appear. Indeed, the old man lumbered down the train aisle, visiting each kid. When he got to Rose, he bent down with a basket of special polar express silver bells in his hand. “I haven’t seen you for awhile,” Santa told her.

Rose: *blank stare*

Santa: I met you last year, but you were sleeping.

Rose: I want a pony.

Santa: Oh. *chuckles* We’ll have to see if you’ve been good. I’ll check my list.

Rose: A pony that can do everything.

Santa: Here’s a bell for you!

Rose: no thanks.

~Durango was once voted “worst dressed town.” I can’t imagine why~

Happy Wednesday friends!



ps: Has anyone read Cutting for Stone? It’s an amazing story about families, practicing medicine in a 3rd world country, growing up and love. I’m not even done but am so enthralled, I’m recommending it.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. Peggy permalink
    December 7, 2011 8:58 am

    I read Cutting for Stone. Took me a while to get through it. I liked it, but didn’t love it as so many people have told me they have. I’m happy to be able to report though that I have actually read something that you are reading – I am proud of myself (b/c you are such an avid reader and I am so totally not!). Glad you are enjoying the book!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      December 7, 2011 9:08 am

      Peggy, funny that you mention how long it took you to read Cutting for Stone. I’m not sure I have ever read a book so slowly. I’m about 3 weeks into it, which is bizarre for a book I am enjoying. The beginning is slow, and towards the middle I find it starts to pick up.

  2. December 7, 2011 9:00 am

    A million miles east, we had the exact same snow yesterday. It was like visible air.
    I had broken up and reunited with kombucha a few times over the years. In the end, I can’t find a place for her on my counter or in my daily ingestion of fluids (it’s not alcohol, it’s not truly caffeine, and it’s sweet. It doesn’t fit any of my categories), and she refuses to roll well with my desire to vary components. And why do so many fermented things start with k? Kimchi, kombucha, kefir, (sauer)kraut. If I weren’t so anti-creative-spelling, I would think it was a conspiracy, spelled with a k (I tried to write it like that, but it looked too sinister, as all recreational k’s do).

    In other news, I’m off to find some Boney M Christmas music, and scour the library for your book recommendation. Thanks!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      December 7, 2011 9:10 am

      So, you don’t like my idea for a new business: kozy kreative kitchen.

  3. December 7, 2011 9:04 am

    Love the carrots.

  4. Ania permalink
    December 7, 2011 9:20 am

    I will add kvas to “k” list – it’s sweet, sparkling and CAN have as much alcohol in it as Swedish beer. VERY GOOD!

  5. Maribeth Harris permalink
    December 7, 2011 9:26 am

    It takes a lot to make me laugh before 7 am Rachel. Your titled carrots did it this morning. Have I told you lately how much I love to read your blog? Thanks for taking the time to write it.

  6. barefootnmama permalink
    December 7, 2011 9:45 am

    Such a lovely post full of so many beautiful moments!! The Rose and Santa Dialogue is HILARIOUS!!! love it! I haven’t read Cutting for Stone but I love new, Thanks! ~ Barefoot Mama

  7. Heather permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:35 am

    Loved your carrot captions!

    We’re just seeing the end of a really cold couple of days here in the Front Range. My husband wonders how his beets are doing under the snow.

    Cutting for Stone is one of my favorites.

  8. Christy permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:37 am

    Nope, but I did look at it longingly at the book store. I just finished Alice Sebold’s Almost Moon. Loved it. Loved how she revels the different stories all intertwined. Rose cracks me up.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      December 7, 2011 3:24 pm

      Love Alice Sebold! Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. Jana Sterling permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:38 am

    My sister is a kombucha queen. I will send this to her, so she can tell you her secrets.

  10. December 7, 2011 10:56 am

    ok. i love everything in this post, especially your styling outfit at the end. my sugar fiend child, lewis, loves kombucha, and i have made it over the years, but i’m not much of a fan for the same reasons marlene said….i’ve decided that it’s not too terribly different than a soda…fizzy with tons of sugar and caffeine. I have a friend who is in recovery and she drinks it by the gallon…trading one yeasty concoction for another, hmmm. I guess all i’m saying is that i don’t think it has any health benefits and it doesn’t get you sauced so wtf? but if you love the taste then you should go for it, right?! i’m rambling. my mom tells me to read ‘cutting for stone’ every time she calls and i’m patiently waiting for it to be at the library. love the carrots. love cols pic. he drew a very similar creature at school the other day and gracefully tied it into whatever we were working on…barn cats and mice, i believe.
    he’s so wonderful. and the million dollar question….HOW DID YOU MAKE IT SNOW ON YOUR BLOG????? tell me tomorrow!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      December 7, 2011 3:28 pm

      Ivey, you can have my copy of Cutting for Stone when I’m done. And the snow? WordPress just does it every December, which is the main reason I’m sticking with them. Love the story of Col tying a sea serpent into a barn cat/mouse story. Thanks for sharing!

  11. December 7, 2011 12:58 pm

    We had a very similar snow here on the front range, and my oh my has it been cold! I love the carrots, too cute :)

  12. December 7, 2011 1:02 pm

    Delightful post! Loved the carrots too! :o)

  13. December 7, 2011 1:47 pm

    Loved Cutting for Stone. I read it last winter and then passed it along to my OB who was on her way to Malawi to perform fistula surgery with a medical mission.

    And I never knew it was called a harem of does. I like that almost as much as a murder of crows, but somehow a harem of does sounds more sophisticated.

  14. December 7, 2011 1:59 pm

    oh man, i love this whole post so much, but rose’s “no thanks” to santa’s bell had me laughing without breath for quite a bit there. snowflake love to you rachel!

  15. December 7, 2011 3:01 pm

    Good to know that we’re not the only ones with kiddos going to bed before 7pm. Do love that earlier glass of wine, too.
    Thanks for the book rec.

  16. rose permalink
    December 7, 2011 3:41 pm

    when i was little my grandma, who lived far away, would send me big packages filled with little individually wrapped gifts for my birthday and christmas. i loved opening all the little treasures one by one. your posts are like that. one delightful little thing after another.

    wishing you much peace, joy and ease as you journey through your hodge podge of a holiday season.

  17. December 7, 2011 7:51 pm

    Rose’s interaction with Santa cracked me up! I can almost feel that day that was, “so Colorado,” too. The way it can dump inches upon inches of snow and then transform into the sunniest of days is one of my favorite things about Colorado.

    Also, hooray for kombucha! A few raspberries and a thumb of ginger when you bottle/refrigerate is my favorite way to spice up kombucha. I’m preparing to embark on a yogurt making adventure and I’m hoping to channel you in the process. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes.

  18. December 7, 2011 8:25 pm

    So Rose asked Santa for a Pony! I wonder where she will keep it, if Santa gives her one. Those children are really living a good life..

  19. Marcia permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:47 pm

    Loved seeing the fotos of the hobos by the wall heater… last time we saw them they were heating themselves by the lil fire Col started in the back yard! t’hee.
    Looks like you’ve got some good projects going on. I recently gave up on my Kombucha mother (and now put my time into be a real mother!) – but I do miss it. It can be a delicious *sparkling* treat! I loved how each batch seems to come out slightly differently. Do experiment with ginger -yum! The question for me was always what do do with the “babies”. You can only give so many away! I tried feeding them to the chickens, but they most just ended up in the compost. Let me know what creative things you come up with, as I’m sure you will. Or Col or Rose… Love to you all from Oregon!

  20. December 8, 2011 2:42 pm

    I love reading your posts so much Rachel! Speaking of books, I was looking on your blog site the other day for a “recommended book” section. But to no avail. I am in the market for some new stories and would love to read some of the books you have enjoyed. How ’bout a book section on your blog site? Just a little project for you to add.
    Love, Laura Golub-Matthews

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      December 8, 2011 3:13 pm

      Hi Mama-to-be Laura, I was just thinking about you and your belly! I like the book recommendation idea, will get cracking on it…someday.

  21. December 8, 2011 3:38 pm

    Pornstar! You crack me up. In fact, this post had me in stitches. Your humor is just as wonderful as your metaphors it would seem :)

    • barefootnmama permalink
      December 8, 2011 3:51 pm

      Your comment just came through my email and made me go back and re-read this post….haha! HILARIOUS!!! Barefoot mama

  22. Diane Petersen permalink
    December 8, 2011 7:44 pm

    I just love you. And your metaphors. And I wish, badly, that we were neighbors! Thank you for making me smile and laugh today, I really needed it!

  23. December 9, 2011 11:11 am

    love your hobos. i’m making some leaf mold too. xoxo

  24. December 9, 2011 12:05 pm

    I read Cutting for Stone. Loved it so so much. Where’d you get your washing soda? I am the worst hunter gatherer in the whole world. I grated a bar of soap and stalled out when I looked at the recipe and there was something I didn’t know where to get. The soap is in a little bin, waiting for advice. And soda.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      December 9, 2011 1:52 pm

      South City Market. Laundry section. xoxo

  25. December 9, 2011 2:27 pm

    You’re funny – camo is quite in style! Lovely pics of snow stacked in the beginning of your post. I find myself wanting to perch in front of our forced-air heater in the very same hobo way.

  26. Oceano's Mountain Mamma permalink
    December 22, 2011 8:25 am

    Love, love, LOVE the carrots :)))))


  1. homestead happenings: earnest goodwill « 6512 and growing

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love hearing from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s