Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Over the weekend we hosted a quinceanera for Madeleine. Her great-grandmother and grandparents were there and her teenage friends helped the smaller children break the world's sturdiest pinata. It was full of sweets and the babies raked them up and carried them in their shirt tails and skirts. The renovated theater where we played was lit with twinkle lights and spotlights and Latin music and my daughter wore polka dot Converse with her dress.

Over the weekend Madeleine and many of her friends also danced in the incomparable local Rhythm and Blues Revue. My baby danced the mambo in a flirty purple dress. She tapped to live jazz music and danced to live singing -- one of our favorite playwright's -- a rendition of "It's Not Unusual."

It was full of sweets.

Over the month Madeleine and Sarah have begun evening rehearsals for "Fiddler on the Roof" while Sarah and Grace started rehearsing a children's "Pinocchio." I have been moved to tears by the rehearsals, people. My girls will tell you I cry easily and this is true.

I cried this morning in the grocery store line (I hope it wasn't noticeable) while the young, very young, couple and their infant in front of me bought a peanut butter chocolate cake and a bouquet of flowers for a friend's wedding. I cried (pretty noticeably) when Laura unearthed video of my wedding and we watched babies of 21 years ago scraping up candy from the fluffy pinata at the reception.

It was full of sweets.

Winter is coming to an end at the Suite farm. The daffodils are barely yellow in bud but the violets of one hundred years of homesteading are spread all the way to the creek. It took a while for that proliferation to be sure. I am so grateful after the icy winter we had that it is time to put in the peas. My raised beds are not even properly cleaned as I was taken by surprise by the first hard frost but we are still harvesting leeks and chard.

The tractor transmission, rebuilt last year, encountered a rock it couldn't conquer and so we may hire the tilling of the rows. We moved one horse into the barn with short turn out times but everyone else has grown fuzzy and fat with winter grain. A sure sign of spring is when the fence posts are covered with their shedding and the birds flock to steal tufts for lining nests.

We have a new family member! I can't believe I forgot to mention Charlie the Cocker Spaniel.

He's no stranger to us as we've been his dogsitter for a couple of years. Now he is officially our house dog on the farm. Murphy, our behemoth Bernese Mountain Dog, doesn't like to come inside. He prefers to romp the pastures and plunge in the pond in even frozen weather. He waits for Charlie to come outside and they run, big and little, companion and protector, each with their jobs on the farm.

Still raising kids and vegetables and a ruckus.

Full of sweets.