Saturday, September 26, 2009

She rambles on

It's hard to believe it was just last weekend that we were standing here, warm and relaxed on a quick camping getaway and this morning I was dodging cold raindrops at the farmers market setting up my tent and wondering if anyone would come. But come they did and I knitted and visited and sold my things all the while being thankful that I'm not Kevin. Kevin, who spent the better part of the day under the house laying in mud putting in the plumbing for the addition. It's moments like these when I'm glad for my small hands that know how to knit not wield wrenches.

When I'm called to look at the contrasts between men and women, reality and leisure, I always wonder if the play time would feel as good as it does if the work days weren't so much work. Some may argue this point, but in my mind I usually come back to the belief that the grass is likely the greenest right where I'm standing, and that the yin really wouldn't make much sense without the yang.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Daydreaming on a Tuesday

If wishes could come true, then I would wish to be back here, camping, with the family, my feet in the warm sand and the sun shining on my back. Nothing wrong with that.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

She Knits, camps

Don't for one minute think that when we go camping I'm cooking homemade blueberry scones with freshly picked berries over an open fire, or grilling steaks and cranking the old-fashioned ice cream maker to whip up some dessert afterward because that would just be wrong. But if you think that our camping trips bring relaxation,

the chance to dive into books,

the ever-important hula hooping,

and games of catch,

you'd be right.

You'd also be right to assume that the boat is a necessary guest and the highlight of the trip for some.

And for the rest of us the scenery,

and water alone,

are enough to do the trick.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't adjust your monitor

If that top egg looks a little green, don't worry, it's supposed to. I was beginning to wonder if my Arucanas (nickname: the Easter Egg Chicken) were ever going to start laying eggs, or if I was doing something wrong, or even if they were roosters. Turns out they were just taking their sweet time, but have finally decided it's safe to start laying eggs.

I'm told their eggs will start out either blue or green and then when they're fully mature they'll be a blue/green swirled mix, hence the cute nickname. Of course the egg inside looks and tastes exactly the same as a brown or white egg, but the novelty of the shell color is, well, pretty cool.

I've started baking due to the sudden influx of eggs, we gathered 7 just yesterday and so I'm smelling banana bread as I write. I've also decided that today my business name should be this: She (does everything possible BUT) Knits.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I haven't been feeling so hot lately if you want to know the honest truth, which makes the constant state of playing "catch up" and blogging and knitting and working and mothering and other-half-ing that much more tricky. Now before you go thinking something's horribly wrong, don't, because it's not, but from time to time I let these things get to me. Which it did. On Friday. But I'm getting on the right track thanks in part to a friend (she knows who she is and I hope she doesn't mind my sharing) who just today gave me this incredible pearl of wisdom that's been running through my mind since I read it and I knew it was worth sharing so you can think about it too.

She writes:

You are right where you are supposed to be. We, as humans made a measure for perfect - in health and other areas - God just created us to Be. Your Essence (i.e. Him) is never in a state of sickness. But we ARE human and illness, tragedy, family strife are all apart of that. I try so hard to live in the present. That helps.

I'll be picking myself up off the floor this week and back to normal soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What boys do

Take it upon themselves to gather up blocks of wood, nails, a hammer,

and proceed to make steps up the trunk of a tree.

Get Daddy to hang a rope from the branch so you can climb up,

and hide out with your favorite Pokemon cards.

Come to think of it though, I used to love climbing trees as a kid, but I know I left out the hammer and nails part.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A study in contrasts

There's something very basic and real about walking down the hill to the chicken coop and gathering the eggs, especially if they happen to still be warm. It is simple, nature at its best and surprisingly a treat every time.

Funny how things come full circle in life. How we think we're so smart and advanced on one hand and how on the other so many people are returning to the basics. From having their own gardens or eating locally grown food, to the resurgance of the farmer's market and backyard chicken coops, people are relearning that basic isn't bad, that real is good and good for us and that the simplest things in life are often the most fulfilling.

Yet we still complicate things and I am no exception. My head was nearly spinning yesterday while going over house plans with my mother-in-law who graciously offered up her entire day to help me with everything from light switch placement to lighting and outlets, bathroom fixtures and marble, the entire office layout--complete with measurements and furniture ideas and templates for the living room. I am no expert but she is. Thank goodness, otherwise these plans would still be blank.

You can see a lot of open space in the bottom right corner which is the living room. I have miniature blocks the sizes of different furniture pieces and I'm playing "rearrange the living room a million times" to try to make purchasing decisions. At this rate we may be sitting on the floor till February.

Monday, September 7, 2009


We couldn't have known ten years ago what buying this old place would actually come to mean, what it would really be like with two adjoining family properties, and the space to come together or move apart when necessary. It's been more than any of us could have imagined and it's the coming together that occupies my thoughts today.

An old barn, renovated,

provides ample space to gather, cookout, make homemade ice cream, put on family plays, open presents at Christmas, have birthday parties.

Fields for soccer, or kickball, or baseball, wagon rides,

go carts, tractors, farm toys.

My three children.

My nephew and two nieces.

Coming together to share the crazies,

a tour of the addition,

and walks. All at this place where the adventure started, the break from the norm, our escape from the ordinary, and really the only place we've found where we're free to be ourselves.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pigs without ears

It may not sound nice, but I'm told by a friend it's their nickname. Chickens, a.k.a. "pigs without ears". But when you don't have a garbage disposal and you haven't been keeping up with composting lately, this is a great alternative.

Take a watermelon, say,

watch them check out the rinds,

and move in,

a little closer,

mmmm, that's good stuff.

I've started baking to try to use more eggs, that, and we've been having more for breakfast. We're getting 3 a day now and even though they're still small that can add up quickly.

I'm going to be on baking fire when we have around 8 a day, either that or we'll have some lucky neighbors.

Knishing revisited

It's been a while since we went knishing. It's been way too long. Last night we took the old truck, the diesel that allows you to fully experience the ride, between the sheer noise of it's operation and then the smell of fuel and oil that lingers about it, there's no mistaking which vehicle we're in.

Dirt and rust are it's middle names.

It has many a good purpose though, and we took it last night specifically because of where we were going, or thought we were going. We were headed to a friend's remote pond in all it's picturesque and private splendor, and knew that there's always the chance of having to drive over fallen logs or of running into a tree and for that reason it's good to take a truck that can take a few bumps and bruises.

We also take a saw to this place. It's a must. That, and a sickle. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. It's back there and not always well traveled.

But the saw and the sickle only come into play when you remember the keys to unlock the gate. When you don't remember the keys, you might get a little angry with yourself. Cussing may ensue. Your wife may say, "hey, there's plenty of other places to go, just get back in the truck and let's go, it can still be a great night". But that's him, and me, that's just the way we are.

So we took our dinner from Subway to the river and didn't worry about the key one bit.

I'm working again on a sweater for myself with the yarn I bought last winter to make myself a sweater, the one I started and only got a quarter of the way through. This time I found a pattern I really like and I don't want to change at all. Miracle. So the plan is to stick with it and finish, but you know how I am about that. My track record isn't all too good when it comes to sweaters for myself.

It was one of those nights where we hardly talked, once we finally got to the water. We ate, I knitted, he fished, he only caught small ones, the river is so low. But beautiful. It was chilly and my toes turned blue. "Look Kev, my toes are blue," I said.

"Aaagh! What the h**l!"

"What? You've seen my blue toes before"

"Not really, not NEON, glow-in-the-dark blue!"

"I told you I'm cold all the time. I just have bad circulation. Remember?"

At which time he turns to me and says lovingly, "Wait a minute? Do you have blue eyes?"

Our running joke, appropriate at all times when he discovers something new about me that's been there all along.