Monday, September 29, 2014

Sweet Day Dreams

Sometimes I think I want to live on a farm.

The farm would be run on solar panels and heated by a wood stove.
And I would have so many chickens, dozens of chickens. We would eat eggs every morning in our great big, eat-in kitchen.

And maybe I would raise some pigs and have a few goats too. I would make cheese and yogurt, and top off my coffee with raw goats milk, straight from the utter.

And I would have blueberry bushes and blackberry bushes and an orchard full of fruit tress: peaches, plums, apples, pears, figs, nectarines.

And there would be a garden, though it would be the lazy man's variety, mostly stocked with dozens of varieties of tomatoes. And I would finally use my mason jars for something other than cocktails. I would learn to can tomatoes, and those tomatoes would be added to stews all winter long.

And I would plant a field of cutting flowers. And eight months a year, fresh flowers would adorn the table where we would eat our eggs every morning.

But then I wonder if that is actually what I want. I wonder if I would actually collect the apples and turn them into sauce.  Would I resent the goats that needed milking, the weeds that needed weeding? Would I miss the smell of the salt and sulfur? Would I miss afternoons on the beach and the knock of neighborhood kids at the door?

And so, I say in my spot, imagining fields of greener grass, grass that I am in no way responsible for. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

This Weekend We / At Claire and Andrew's

I set aside the weekend to help with last minute wedding plans. My little sister gets married in t-minus 6 days. I was certain that someone would require my time.

We filled up the van with things that needed transported on Saturday morning, but when we showed up at the farm, all wedding production was put on hold. Instead, we ate a good ole fashion country brunch, complete with Scrapple. We chased chickens and walked down to the pond. Gus got his first driving lesson. We harvested a few walnuts.

We spent quite a few hours doing very little, while Tom convinced himself that he could experience his blood pressure lowering. And since the placebo effect is arguably my favorite effect , I think Claire and Andrew should be prepared for a lot of mornings and afternoons spent lazing about their home, while kids get plenty of space to roam. It's for our health.

My boys aren't country boys, but sometimes it seems like they should be. While Sena seems equally at home in cities, my boys have a touch of wild in them. Maybe it's something all little boys have. They are happy to abandon shoes and don baseball caps. happier still to go running after any animal that has the audacity to make its presence known to them.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Right Now

Right now the boys are in the basements playing, while the girls are outside pushing strollers. And my grand plans of being a good mother, the kind who takes her children places, were replaced with letting the afternoon unfold just the way it was supposed to.

So often these days, my kids would rather spend their moments running between yards, climbing trees, practicing for talent shows with all the other neighborhood kids. And I find myself with more quiet, still moments than I know what to do with.

Right now, I can hear that Arlo has walked up the stairs and out the back door to find the girls. He's calling "be-be" as they walk around the yard toting dolls.

Right now, I feel certain that there are at least six things that I could be doing, should be doing, but instead I think I'll go lay on the day bed and listen to them play.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Yesterday reminded me that almost everything is better after fresh air. It reminded me that walking is as good for the soul as it is for the body. It reminded me how I want to spend my days: kids in my bed to start the morning, leisurely cups of coffee, math and language arts at the dining room table, an afternoon spent exploring outside with curious eyes.  And soon enough, I hope to replace my normal Monday through Friday routine. I'm anxious to stop waking up in the darkest hour and grabbing coffee from a gas station on my to work. And even though 9 days out of 10, I love my job, I love being home with my little people even more.

And hopefully with the birth of a fourth Weaver baby, I'll make those things happen, once and for all. And I'll do my best not to forget that if those moments looks bleak, maybe I just need to take a walk.

Yesterday we walked along the old railroad tracks, and we poked at mushrooms, their spores turning the air to smoke, and I was so grateful for Science Friday teaching me only a few days ago. We collected acorns and spotted bugs. Arlo ran until he was too tired to run anymore, while Sena and Gus peered over the edge to watch minnows and nettle fish. We came home to get answers from google: persimmon and wren, we were told.

In a few weeks we will go back to see the trees ablaze. And maybe we will spot something new. Or maybe just see our old friends.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thoughts I Thought

Lately, I haven't had much desire to find time to come to this space. I don't exactly know what took the wind from my sails, but lately I have a hard time finding the words I'm looking for, and I have an even harder time finding the motivation to want to find those words. But then last week I read a pretty run-of-the-mill article on happy families, chocked full of advice I would never in a million years try to fit into our lives. But hidden among the prescriptions were two things that I could hang my hat on: the need to define your family's values and the  importance of telling your family's history.

Those two pieces of advice, plus a little gentle encouraging from Tom, made me want to work harder at finding the words that have been evading me as of late. This space has always been the place where I distill what it means to be a part of our family. It is the place where I tell our history, or at least my version of it.

It is also the place where I celebrate our joys, which has maybe been the greatest blessing this endeavor has brought me.

Among those things I want to celebrate and remember, Arlo out pushing the stroller while the big kids zip around him on their scooters. Our little one block, one way street gets loud and merry in the afternoons with kids racing back and forth. And Arlo runs among them, barefoot and slow and perfectly content.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This Weekend We

This weekend was quiet, too quiet. And slow.  Under some circumstances, some people may have described it as relaxing. I will call it boring.

Tom and Gus went off on a weekend long bachelor party fishing trip. The fact that my seven year old son has already been invited to bachelor parties is fodder for another rant. My mom and sisters were off on the corresponding bachelorette party. Sena spent hours upon hours locked away in her room with her newly minted best friend. My dad was at a golf tournament. Arlo and I were left alone.

And man, were we bored. Arlo is good company, don't get me wrong. I can usually get him to laugh at my jokes, he generally enjoys my cooking, and he's happy to cuddle with me while I watch episode after episode of Friday Night Lights.  But he doesn't offer much in the way of conversation.  After two days with only occasional interruptions by Sena and her friend for food, Arlo and I were starved for stimuli.

I need my people around me. I need the house to be loud and lively. I need family streaming in and out, borrowing something, giving something, opening the fridge to see if there's anything to eat. Although sometimes I complain when they leave their dirty dishes on the coffee table and kitchen counters, I much prefer picking up after them to meandering through my days and hours without all of my people near by.

I felt so much better once everyone had returned home; I felt my energy return. I felt better after feeding them all leftover beef stew and apple cobbler. I felt better once I could hear all my kids out on the street riding scooters with the neighbors while Tom blew leaves across the yard. I felt better once I know I wasn't alone anymore.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

This Weekend We / Apple Orchards

For weeks, we had planned on apple picking on the sixth day of Septemeber. The cool fall has meant for an early apple harvest, and although I will always be a summer girl in my heart, I am excited for all the things that fall brings.

However, yesterday was the first day in over a month that felt like summer, honest to god, sweat while you're standing still summer. So our trip to the apple orchard was quick, *fruitful*, and extra warm.

The littlest boys loved the tractor ride, the medium boy loved engaging in his hunter/gatherer tendencies, and the biggest boys, who may have had more than a little whiskey before we went, mostly loved juggling.

And now we are left with bushels of apple to sauce, cobbler, chip, and munch. The doctor should be kept away for many moons. Recipes for all things apple related welcome in the comments.