Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's the little things...

I caught up on some much needed sleep this morning while Chris got up with Ellis and left coffee for me in the thermos. It tasted divine. I obliterated the weeds from half of the upper garden today. It looks beautiful. I took a walk with my baby sleeping snuggled up against my chest. It was soothing and wonderful. I ate dinner with Chris and Ellis while Phelan slept. I tasted the delicious food prepared by my husband and enjoyed the silly company. I cleaned the kitchen while Chris put Ellis to bed. I even scrubbed the greasy, sticky pan that would otherwise sit in the sink "soaking" for two days. Now, both kids are in bed, the house is picked up, and I am sitting down, alone, for a moment.

This is a gift.

I haven't had a moment like this in more than 6 weeks. It helps me to feel a little more like myself; a little more like I'm a part of a less chaotic world and present in my own world. It's a very small, but very powerful thing to get to sit back for a few minutes, listen to my own breathing or the sounds of silence around me.

I have been blessed today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Inspirational Quotations

While feeding watermelon rinds to the chickens with Owain today:
O: Are you a chicken, Auntie?
B: Ummm, no. Are YOU a chicken, Owain?
O: No. But I can be a chicken when I get older.

And after Ellis finished his dinner on the deck he proclaimed:
"I just love living on this farm all together."

Me too.

A visit from "Ace" Jackson

You really haven't lived until the top of your silo has almost been taken off by a beautiful blue and yellow buzzer. We got quite the treat here at the farm today when Denny and his fellow pilots flew over the farm, doing pirouettes, loop-de-loops and rolls. It definitely made us wonder what the farm looks like from up there. Thanks, Denny! You made our day!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A day in my life...

When Anya was visiting this week, she asked what my days look like now that Phelan has arrived and I'm on leave from my job until Labor Day. I let out a big sigh, ready to rattle off whatever it is that seems to fill my days to overflowing. And when it came down to it, the list was shockingly sparse and looked something like this:

Spending time with Phelan, of course. A LOT of time--holding, nursing, rocking, snuggling, slinging, soothing, and making googly eyes at each other.
We get a lot of this...

...and some of this too.

Watering the upper garden, where I'm trying my best to keep the peppers, beans, tomatillos, cucumbers, squash and broccoli alive. And by "watering" I mean wrestling with this hose for half the time and actually soaking the plants for the other half of the time.
Digging, pulling, cursing at and throwing these weeds out of the upper garden, where they seem to thrive during this drought with no trouble at all. The irony is that people actually BUY purslane and lamb's quarter (pictured below) at the co-op while we can't seem to rid ourselves of it fast enough. (Yes, the opportunity here has been considered.)
And finally, I spend a lot of time scanning the fridge & garden, looking for something to eat for myself or the rugrats. Thrilling, I know.
It's a simple life, folks. Seems a little ridiculous that it could feel as crazy as it does, but there you have it. And when it's filled with love (and let's be honest, whining and crying) from these boys, it's hard to imagine it any other way.

You are now leaving Ponyland. Thank you for visiting!

We were graced with a visit from the Milton troupe this week, all the way from Ferndale, Washington! Having once spent nearly every day with Anya living together in college and then in Seattle, I miss my friend dearly. It was such a treat to have them here. On their drive out, the girls fondly named the farm "Ponyland" when they heard we had horses. Here at Lostview, we're all about making dreams come true:

As usual, lots of good food, drink and conversation were had. And our "all boy" boys learned a few things about playing house and dress-up from Elka and Birgit who managed to get nice and farm-filthy tromping around with Ellis and Owain. Makin' memories. Thanks for making the trip, you guys!

Monday, July 13, 2009

L'Herbe Spirale

How many times have you been putting the finishing touches on that pizza or salad dressing and thought "Damn! I could really use some fresh basil! Or "A handful of rosemary would kick my butt right now!" Or "Nothing like a muddling of lemon balm to perfect a made-to-order gin cocktail!" Well now you can. If you're at my house anyway.

Observe this year's herb spiral, where within mere steps of the front door I can harvest (in order from the top o' the spiral) fresh rosemary, dill, basil, cilantro, echinachea, oregano, sage, calendula, thyme, chives, lavender (still admittedly a bit of a runt - observe what looks to be a vast patch of bare soil in that spot), parsley, lemon balm, and hyssop. The only true fail so far this year has been cumin. I spit in your face, cumin! I didn't want you anyway! I'm totally picking cilantro for the A Team from now on.

Anyone else have something cool they're doing in their garden?

Monday, July 06, 2009

A Trip Down Golden Lane

The Cedarleaf family cabin sits at the end of Golden Lane on Golden Lake. I'm not kidding. Who wouldn't want to spend a long weekend at a sweet little stuga down Golden Lane?! Not to mention our trip was spent with my dear parents and sister and brother's families at this very special place. My family has been trekking out to Golden Lake since before I was born - even all the way from Portland when we lived there, a mere 36 hour drive each way. It was and always is worth it.

Learning to pump on the new kids' swing with Gaga

Chris whipped out this "stocking cap" for Phelan when we were greeted with cold, wind & rain after packing for hot lake weather.

Reading with Dad

Snuggling in the sling with Mama

Cousin Sanne was thrilled at all the baby-sized stuff we brought for Phelan...and her baby dolls.

Stories with Boompa

Ellis caught four (tiny) fish and even "the one that got away," a biggie that put up a little too good of a fight for Ellis to reel in.

This year, with Ellis, Owain and Sanne all over the age of 2, there were more shenanigans and good times among the cousins, bringing back memories of my own "firsts" at with Grandpa Cedarleaf (now fishing with Boompa), looking for tadpoles and minnows in the shallows, throwing and collecting rocks on the shore, snatching cookies from the kitchen, swimming until it was too late and too cold to be in the water any longer, staying up late and scratching mosquito bites in my sleep. It is always so hard to leave, and I watched Ellis struggle with saying goodbye ("but why can't we just stay here forever?") just as I always have when we finally make the bittersweet drive back down Golden Lane. 'Til next year...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Thursday in the Park with Owain

SUCH a treat. Jay's band had a gig in Phoenix Park last night - an outdoor venue located in Eau Claire. Our friends Don & Joni and Kristi, Dan and their kiddos Otto, Abram and Gracie all came, along with many of Jay's co-workers. The event was a smashing success thanks to perfect weather, that mellow outdoor wine-drinking vibe, and of course killer tunes. Jay added a guitar and a singer to this round to make the tunes more funky-soul accessible, and he was right on target, because people (including his son) danced their feet off.

It was a perfect night.

Owain keeping his eyes on the prize with radiant Joni in the background

Rollin' on the river

Watch out son, you're gonna hurt yourself

This boy bleeds jazz... both of them