dispatches: these skills will help them someday
We’re all feeling a little religiously toward the sun right now, schlepping our troubles to the south-facing windows to be bathed in the benediction of sunlight. June through September, we hide from the overly generous Southwestern sun; but now I almost want to issue an apology for my shirky behavior and renew my vows at the altar.
The kids are deliciously themselves. Col is growing out his hair (it’s currently in the Einstein phase), and feeling entitled to co-opt what he needs around the house for his latest espeerments. We read a book about the inventor, Thomas Edison, and learned that because Edison didn’t do well in school his mother homeschooled him (AKA: let him focus on his 2 favorite pastimes: reading and experimenting). In the course of experimenting, Edison set 2 accidental fires, including one that burned his father’s barn down and another on the train he worked on (he was promptly fired). I like to remember this when I find Col chopping up various greenhouse plants (ON THE TABLE WITH A RUSTY KNIFE) for his experiments.
No, he didn’t ask first.
Rose is doing her part to keep our brains quick and agile. In the car on the way to the grocery store, she’ll ask, “can me and Col both get an earthball?” “Sure, one each,” I answer. Two minutes pass, in which I’m focusing on driving, reading bumper stickers and singing along to Styx, and Rosie says confidently like she’s the family secretary just confirming the schedule, “okay, so 2 earthballs each at the store and a movie when we get home.”
You can find me back at home, clutching my beer and muttering to myself: These skills will help them someday. These skills will help them someday. These skills will help them someday.
Dispatches from 6512 feet.
:: We’ve pretty much finished up in the garden. The greens went here, we harvested all the cabbage, the arugula is somehow still growing like a flashy, green uprising in a subdued brown world, there’s a few beets and carrots still lodged rootily in the ground, and the chickens get occasional garden bed amnesty.
Two of those seven cabbages went to sauerkraut. The rest are in the root cellar. Wow, that is fun to say.
Photo by Rose. Me, sauerkrauting. This is our sunroom, which we call “The Solarium.” Dan built the frame 12 years ago in a post and beam style (no nails!) with ponderosa pine he logged from our local forest (There are some photos here and here). It’s 400 sf, and includes Dan’s bow making shop, my greenhouse and the stage for nightly raccoon/cat drama. We share the solarium with the folks who live downstairs. You can see the sliding glass door on the right, which is their entrance.
:: The root cellar is an actual place where actual food is being stored. Like pears.
Dan likes to invite us into the root cellar for “an aged pear.”
Soon, a proper root cellar post. Now, I’m loving how, when Dan sees me hauling beets and cabbage heads and crocks of kraut around, he says eagerly, “we could put that in the root cellar.” (Reminds me of Portlandia: we can pickle that).
We’ve had some fun secret meetings down there. It takes the kids awhile to locate us.
:: I forgot that I grew these bullseye beets until I started digging them up. My new potluck dish is roasted beets in arugula salad with olive oil/balsamic dressing. The sweet/spicy/earthiness is like the edible manifestation of November.
Big Ass Beet.
:: Pumpkin test kitchen.
Really, I’m working on a pumpkin custard recipe to share with you! Must have one Ska moré stout first.
:: Col got the go ahead to take apart Rose’s cell phone (the broken one which she checks incessantly for text messages from Nana). He was thrilled to discover the tiny little speaker. See, it goes right here, up against your ear!
I am considering running an ad on freecycle requesting people’s broken electronics. But, I’m also scared of toxic elements and the proliferation of tiny electronic whatnot all over the house. Support group for mothers of future engineers?
:: Last week at our first Family Meeting, Rose announced that she wants to learn to read. We promptly went to the library to get some easy reader books. Turns out, Rose actually wants to tell long, elaborate stories as she’s flipping through books, sometimes in different, previously unknown languages. We’re just going to chalk this up to pre-reading skills.
:: I’m reading House at Pooh Corner to the kids, and it’s absolutely delightful. It was written 84 years ago and cracks the kids up—snorts and guffaws—like they were watching Saturday Night Live.
As I write, Friday, 6:42 am, the clouds (nimbostratus) are perched low over the San Juans…and what’s that I hear? The glorious sound of rain.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rose: There’s no meat left on this chicken bone.
Col: Well, eat the bone then.
Rose: (huffily) I’m not a vegetarian, Col.