Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look! Up in the sky!

Above the little hill that shields our farm from the wind I did see some blue sky this morning. I did.

I did not stay up all night finishing Lacuna. I did not. There was still an hour or so before sunrise.

I had to stay up to bake the bread or else put the dough in the refrigerator, which is not my favorite thing to do with that yummy yeasty goodness. (Click there should you want the rambling recipe of my favorite bread. (And/or some commentary on bubble letters.) Go on. You know you want to.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

The wings of, and wrinkles in, our friend Time

I spend entirely too much time in the pointless and, don't worry, I've noticed, paradoxical, consideration of the fleeting nature of time. And then today I read a theory about the three phases of life in Barbara Kingsolver's latest novel, Lacuna, and I'm simply slain.
 Her book, which (it goes without saying) is incredible, is the story of a young writer growing up through the Great Depression and the Great War and the Red Scare, not a true citizen of either his father's homeland nor his mother's but a son and inhabitant of literature, of words and their power.
 It touched me, his description of his mother's view that in the first phase of our life we are children. In the second phase we have children. And then? The third phase and the final curtain.
It was hardly the point of her beautiful book. But it stuck with me. Here I am, with one child entering her beautiful teens and my youngest just teetering on the edge of babyhood and the rest of them truly giving me a run for my money every day of the week and I think: I don't want to miss this phase nor any of the next.

Do you write every day? Every week? Do you take pictures as though the event will not have happened if you aren't recording it digitally? How do you live in this phase, whatever phase you enjoy now?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Accentuating the positive

 Housebound for a week, I return to my standby coping mechanism of, "What would a pioneer woman..." (no, not HER, a woman on the frontier without interwebs or digital single-lens reflex or, you know, four-dollar lattes) "...do in my shoes?"
We've enjoyed a beautiful bout of snow and then weathered some record-breaking flooding. The kids used sleds and inner tubes to best advantage. My sweet husband engineered a tubing run on the steepest hill at our new farmsuite spot and then the big girls made a bunny hill for the babies.
 One of the babies turned four years old during the snowstorm. I'm still in denial about this. The growing up, the passing of time, the essential fleeting nature of babyhood. I'm not in denial about the snow. No, no. Love that snow and the beauty of its blanket over winter's underlying mud and mess.
 A little cocoa and homemade bread (or a lot, let's be honest) and some seed catalogs, a little online book buying, or browsing at least, these things will add up to joy and delight in any snowbound homebody's heart.
 Note the mismatched boots. It's how we roll. And slide.
 Two Spot napped in the snowlight. I love his old soul.
Ebony found the frozen grass delectable. I love her tenacity.

Of course the snow was ever so much more picturesque than the following three days of cresting rivers, evacuations (not us, but our dear farm friends and many more people and their animals). During those three days of being housebound we watched our little babbling creek rise over the culverts, we watched our tiny pond breach its cattail borders  and flood the pasture that was so recently covered in fluffy white. We watched the news, which I generally avoid, and we watched our attitudes. We practiced gratitude. We practiced algebra. We thought about four-wheeling to town for a four-dollar latte. We resisted, because, really, self-medicating with a mocha is not in line with a grateful heart.

I don't think.

In non-farm, absolutely anti-pioneer-spirit news: Madeleine and Sarah were cast in small roles in a big musical. Grace is going to add tap dancing to her list of reasons for being. I took a lot of pictures. I didn't blog for weeks. Some of you may have noticed. (At least pretend you did, 'kay?)

I missed you all and hope you are warm and dry with a well-stocked pantry.