Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Is Coming

My kids are the perfect age for Christmas. There, I said it! Old enough to help, young enough to listen wide-eyed to tales of Santa Claus. I love this time of year.

Things, in no particular order, to remember this year....

Annaliese especially has been capital-P Possessed by the CHristmas spirit. One Saturday (when I was at work) K texted me a pic of Annaliese's face. She had a red nose and little antlers on her forehead. She painted herself like Rudolph, turned the radio to Christmas music, and spent a solid hour begging her brother to be Santa.

She also strung most of the Christmas tree lights, hung the stockings, and made the cats a Christmas present, wrapped and underneath the tree.

About a week later, she appeared on the porch when the rest of us were out feeding animals. "Y'all!" She hollered. "Come up to the house! The cats are getting their present!"

We promised to be up soon, but daylight was fading, and were mid-chore. "I'll do it myself!" She called cheerfully.

When we came into the house, she said, "The cats didn't care about their present," and held up her hand-drawn picture of a mouse.

And now for a Caspian update... he's getting quirkier as he gets older. He's definitely my child. Massive anger at injustice; a deep dislike of loud crowded places; losing objects wherever he goes. He's also entirely himself: I don't know many small boys with such an ability of focus on one thing and do it, well, to the exclusion of all other activities, for over an hour at a time.

His Nonni sent both children $10 in the mail awhile back for good grades with the injunction to spend it, not save it. We'd made plans that the children would go to the local drugstore and Fred's after school one day. Caspian emerged from the bus without his sweater, and as it was a chilly day, I wouldn't let him go out without a coat. Annaliese had both a coat and sweater, so we told him to wear Annaliese's (blue and green and entirely gender-neutral) coat. He couldn't do it. He wanted to go, but for whatever reason, he could not put on that coat. He sat in a booth at the store, weeping, stuck in a corner, and K. and I tried to reason him out of it. When Caspian is stuck in one of these corners, reason doesn't work. At all.

Twenty minutes passed. The weeping continued. Then I told him he could wear my sweater, a loose gray cardigan. The tears stopped and the shine came back in his eyes because, sure, that would work! We tied it behind his back kimono-style and he went off shopping looking much stranger than if he'd just worn his sister's coat, but happy as a clam.

So. Six, and almost eight, and it's almost Christmas.

The tree is up, the lights are on, I have another week of work, and then I'm taking some time off to be at home with my family. I can't wait.

Monday, November 16, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons

I have so many things that have happened since August. Eliza is engaged! Annaliese is a read-aholic! Caspian is super charming! K. finished bathrooms and built a fish pool! 

But as always, my vision extends about one foot ahead of me, which means that today, I am horribly sad. K. went to help his sister in VT, who had an incredibly handsome, thick-haired, beautiful baby boy a few weeks ago. It was my idea, and a good one, so he went up for a week to take night shifts and clean house and make food and be of service.

Which means that I have been flying solo since 4am last Wednesday, and it turns out, I kind of suck at it.

Not that practicalities. The kids are fed, the house is clean, the animals are tended. We've even had fun-- my kids are awesome, and I like hanging out with them.

But my emotional equilibrium is all the way off and I feel like a lemon that someone sucked the juice out of. Bitter and dry. 

Charming, huh?

I need my sweetie to come home already.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

And Life Resumes

We are tanner, rested, and renewed, which is a good spot to be in for fall.

Yep. It may be August and pretty much 100 degrees, but mentally, it's fall. We are just waiting for the weather to catch up.

So, with that in mind...

I took a  few days off from work and stenciled/re-organized the kids' rooms.

K. built an amazing heart-pine genius solution to cover some ugly water pipes/water heater that nonetheless need to be accessible. The whole thing slides to the right if necessary. Otherwise, it just hangs there looking gorgeous.

K. also has decided to become a gardener and has spent great deal of time on a tractor lately, making a flat-tish spot. This involved a family evening of moving limbs onto the burn pile.

Surfaces have been cleared off, dishes and meals are on target, and it's so good to be home, chugging full steam ahead into what always feels like a new year, technicalities aside. As much fun as it was to work with the kids this summer... and it really was.... K and I are both so glad to watch them trundle into school five days a week.


Annaliese had to write four things about herself for a homework assignment. Number 1: "I am bossy." No. Not her :)

We've been talking about the world lately and picking countries to discuss. Caspian picked Iran, "because it's next to the Caspian Sea, and I've been hearing about it in the news lately. And I-RAN." Cue chortles.

The kids both landed experienced and long-time teachers. Let's hope this year goes more smoothly than the last.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Vacation Pics Round One

I've been pondering lately the impact of children. 

One is that the desire to give them a summer full of family, cool water, and adventure compelled K. and I to work our tails off, spend a significant amount of money, and move folks into our places in our town to enable us to take nearly three weeks off as a family. In the middle of produce season, tourist season, tomato season.

The kids left Mississippi a week before us with their Nonni and spent their time in Virginia going to museums, hanging with Auntie Eliza, and heading to camp. Then we joined them. K. and I went to Monticello, ate a lot of ice cream, and did our best to dry Nonni's tears that we did, after all, need to move on. 

My personal highlight was the museum an hour-plus south that I've visited many times throughout my life. It depicts working farmsteads from Germany, Ireland, England, and more. The kids loved it and I did too. Plus we hit up Roy's and Cooter's and other classics within driving distance of Nonni's farm. The wildflower meadow is calling my name...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rainy Spring Update

Hectic week or so. It's rained at least every other day here for ever now. Which makes gardening difficult , but the trees--and the pair of ducks, who now live in the chicken house-- are happy. 

The farm is overrun with new creatures. Sarah had her calf, and there are a dozen new chicks in the kitchen under a heat lamp. Not to mention my monkeys leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. I try to keep up, best I can.

K. is mostly a man of leisure these days. Caspian asked him what his job was now that he's done actively constructing the new project, and k. said he's a full time daddy who makes money. Which, knock in wood, is true. His project is doing wonderfully and has surpassed both our fiscal expectations.

I crave more time at home but I'm working a normal amount. Pretty much keeping school hours. Probably can't do much better than that.

No plans for new big projects on the horizon. Which feels right. There's plenty-- from gardens to the school board and local politics to animals and home improvement and the upcoming summer-- to keep us busy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

This kid

I always dreamed of having a daughter.

Had no idea about boys. 

This one dazzles me. 

He's eccentric, charming, smart, handsome, and he surprises me every day.

He likes to cut up necklaces right now. I don't know why.
 Grumpily posing post church.
Chinese checkers on a rainy sunday . 

Strange, dear, magnificent boy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Things that happened at work this week

A customer brought in a bag. With two lovely live baby ducks in it. For me .

Then this dude: (relaxed, into local dairy products and right wing politics) gave me a bottle of homemade cherry rose wine.
Fancy magazine photographers were in the store all bleeping day today. It's Tuesday, y'all. What a week it's shaping up to be.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

K sent me some of his Me/Snow Pics

Such a fun day!

Snow Day

6 inches of snow! We've lived here for 8 years and never seen it like this. Thick, fluffy snow that crunches underfoot and makes an excellent snowball.

Kids' school is canceled tomorrow. The towns here don't even own snow plows. Happily for the store, the entire morning crew can walk to work :) 

We've all been depressed with the unrelenting cold and gray. This is a welcome change!

Kids are playing a board game, fire is roaring, and I went sledding today for the first time in years.

Good day.