homestead happenings: uplift
Last week I opened the blinds and announced to the kids, “it’s March 1st!”
They ran to the window to see if maybe they could see this March 1st, like maybe the yard was transformed into a grove of avocado trees. Outside, large-rumped snow shapes lounged like sleeping white dogs all over the yard. And then we promptly got another 5 inches of snow.
But in this season, snow is either falling or melting, and it really doesn’t matter which, because the thing about snow now, in March, is it all just looks likes food for cilantro sprouts.
Also, antlers. Dan’s losing his mind over deer antlers lately (elk drop their antlers later). Yesterday he spotted, while driving, an elegant, long-tipped warhorse lying in the snow winking through fence slats. I think these things call to him. We took a hike on his birthday last year and in the middle of chatting and hand-holding, he cried, “weasel!” and pointed past my face off to the murky periphery. Sure enough, a little white exclamation point darted up out of the fall grasses.
it’s like Where’s Waldo (Weasel).
So, Dan grabs the freshly shucked antler, comes home and starts rifling through his antler collection, certain that this antler is from the very same buck whose same left side antler he found last year. And then, I kid you not, the man pulls up a slideshow on his computer of notable bucks like he was searching for some vague cousin once removed and announces, “that’s him. Cemetery buck. I haven’t seen him in awhile.” And meanwhile, I’m watering tiny green sprouts in the greenhouse. And the kids are using the hammock as a human slingshot and everyone’s feeling the uplift of March.
‘Ol Cemetery buck: this year and last year. My, how you’ve grown.
On the homestead:
We scrubbed and ate our last bag of garden beets a few weeks ago. The apples we tucked into a cooler in the shed (in October!) are virtually pristine, minus the worm holes that come with the territory of backyard apples. I can remember Dan sorting apples last fall and noting, “oh here’s a beauty – only 2 worm holes.” The potatoes we stored in a bucket in the same shed and forgot about rotted with an odor like punishment. Oh, we need a root cellar.
I don’t know why I’m showing you a picture of our last homely beets either.
Gratuitous photo of elk in Animas Valley for David S, Ryan B and other Durango ex-pats.
Last week Col and Rose and their friend Kiva created this game where Rose was this queen named Ally, and Kiva and Col were her servants (Kiva’s name was Sweet Snowy Snowflake, and Col was—wait for it—Don). The servants’ main job seemed to be dressing Queen Ally and tirelessly folding her clothes. Fantasy much, Rose?
We delved into evolution this week in homeschool co-op, for our unit “timelines.” The kids dig the fanciful story of it, how wonky aquatic millipedes armed with 13 thorny spikes got left behind in the pile deemed: “not fittest;” you can almost hear the resounding “gong” on some of the loony ancient species. But you can also hear the triumphant Chariots of Fire soundtrack accompanying the algae, which crab-walk out of the ocean to reinvent themselves into myriad land plants, which could only spread as quick as the soil they created by their own layers of composted remains. (Over the course of oh, 100 million years, so they say).
the kids made their own timelines of life on Earth
In other homeschool co-op news, the kids made an entire lunch for their parents one afternoon:
Each child brought a vegetable to add to soup, and they made challah bread.
Back in January, we tried to make maple syrup taffy, but it turned out more like a maple syrup snow slushie, which the kids had no problem snarfing down, even after learning that at the center of every individual snowflake is a particle of dirt, ash, hair, etc…
On Monday I took the homeschool co-op on a walk to check all our tapped box-elder trees and was singing a little math fractions ditty, “3/4 of the homeschool co-op are eating apples, 1/4 is not; 3/4 of the homeschool co-op have “a’s” in their name, 1/4 does not.” And Mathew picked up on my riff and sang, “1/2 of the homeschool co-op is tall, and the other half is short.” I bristled for a second, until Col said cheerily, “yeah, me and Seneca are short and Mathew and Kiva are tall!” End of story.
* Thanks for all your love on Grandma Joyce; reading your comments were a balm I returned to many times.
* And, also thanks for participating in this discussion. The richness lies in your comments, which have opened a door for me into a new way of thinking, encapsulated by this quote, shared by Stacy: “I learned to open the door to whatever arrived, to welcome whatever was arriving. Sometimes I opened the door, invited that someone or something in — doubt, anger, sadness, whatever — and then walked them kindly through the house and out the back door.”
* How’s the ginger ale? Some of you have checked in with me, e-mailed me photos of your brews-in-progress. Anyone crack a sweet/spicy bubbler and fall in love?
* I’ve been getting some questions about the upshot of Col’s tonsillectomy last year. The best thing to come out of it is that in removing the landing pad where bacteria seemed to camp out, his illnesses have been shorter, less frequent and less gnarly. Yay! Thanks for asking.
* Erin’s giveaway is open 2 more days, after that you have one day to get yourself 50% off on her funshop class.
* I’m going to be interviewed today on our local NPR station, KSUT. We’ll be talking about local agriculture and urban homesteading. It should be airing sometime around 1:45 mountain time. And I believe anyone can tune in, go to the website for more info.
* And finally, thanks for all the pinterest props you guys have been giving me. I dare someone to pin roadkill.
Roadkill on a bun.
Farewell, from Queen Ally
what are you uplifted by these days?