Inspired by Soulemama’s Moment
The time to run through the neighborhood at dusk in your underpants, is a fleeting time. And really only for the very young. While I have not inclination to run through the neighborhood in my underpants, I would probably be arrested if I did, or at least detained and frowned upon.
Last night as we put the chickens to bed the boys spied our Neighbor in her yard and rushed to her yard begging, cajoling and dragging her back to our house to show her the chickens. Who were in bed. With the boys on superspeed the Neighbor and I meandered past her garden, down the road to our yard. The boys running back and forth from the yard to us multiple times.
And I realized my youngest was wearing a t shirt, his underpants and rubber boots. And I realized in the same moment I didn’t really care. This time is so fast for them, so fleeting. A time of being young enough to pull off underpants, and young enough to not care and be warm enough.
The Turtledash countdown begins 23 days until the dashers descend upon The Burrow. Clothing, not optional.
Run, Run, Reindeer
My Early morning boy, catches the morning bus to Kindergarten. Which is perfect for him because he is up with the sun, and often before. We feed the animals and now the chickens, we have breakfast and head out to the bus. Where sometimes silliness ensues. I mean someone has to teach these kids dance moves, and it’s not going to be their father.
This morning as we twirled around he wrapped his legs around my waist and said “hold on, hold on, let me look in your face”.
“Mom, I can see myself in your eyes”
Right back at ya babe.
*In your Eyes-Peter Gabriel
The rain is here and my unofficial work out program has begun. The program where I drag myself to the shed for firewood then haul the wood up the steps to the house. Repeat. Throughout the day. Strangely my biceps never really show the result of this effort.
The leaves that fell last week are turning into the soggy slick ground cover we call Fall, Winter and Spring. Slicker than any ice we may have this coverage has sent me sprawling on more than one occasion and frankly each year there is more of me to land, and it’s never a soft landing.
In the wet damp that is the PNW fall, it is harder to get out of the house. Especially with the fire going. The walks that I could barely wait for in the summer are suddenly being put off, and off and oh it’s bed time? Too dark to walk.
It’s the time of year when I miss the crunchy leaves of the East Coast and the outdoor parties that are tempered by a chilly fall wind that calls for scarves and mittens but rarely for the perpetual rain coats and pants that we find ourselves attired in.
And while the evergreen keep on greening, holding the colors of fall at bay for a while longer and I lack the ambition to leave the house, it only means that we are turning in. Returning to the hearth, literally on the chilly damp days as we sit around the woodstove, learning, reading, knitting, quilting. Listening to wild stories of Dragon Lore, and plans for next summer’s garden. Little ones worrying over the coming winter and the our new chickens fortitude.
Hunkering down (except for those trips for more wood), the winter is perfect for planning the upcoming holiday season, the coming year and the rest of our lives, whether they include dragons or not.
I am the Walrus-Beatles
This weekend brought fall. Officially. The leaves took notice and made for the ground, splashing the asphalt with red, yellow and brown. Saturday, in the glory of fall colors we brought the chickens home to roost so to speak.
W1, W2 and Blackhole all at home in the coop Dad made last weekend when the rain kept him from the rock wall he wanted to build. I’m not sure how the girls (and possibly Rooster, W1 is looking awfully…boyish) feel about the move. But the boys are fascinated. They spent most of Saturday afternoon, just watching. The chickens. Who probably ate too much chicken scratch and apple scraps that afternoon.
Lily, who has spent a week wondering why we built her a dog house in the middle of the yard that she’s not allowed in, expressed interest for about ten seconds then went back to playing catch with herself. She’s an only dog, and it’s making her a little odd.
Bringing home the chickens was strictly self preservation. Letting children raise animals that live somewhere else, was a mistake. Our youngest lamented and cajoled every time we left the chickens. I listened to countless stories and reasons why we should have chickens. And finally determined this was the right time for us. The man, is not convinced yet. We are not in the egg laying business. W2 and Blackhole are still too young and as previously stated W1 looks suspiciously boyish. The eggs if they come will be an added benefit, but at this point the girls are on pet status.
And the entertainment value? Amazing. My oldest spent most of Saturday watching the chickens. Which was surprising as he is least interested in taking part in chicken chores (we experiment with caring for neighbors chickens when they are on vacation and he wants no part of it) but apparently your own chickens? totally different story. A story that deserves a costume, and a name. We call him, the Chicken Whisperer.
As dusk fell on the Burrow Chickens that first night. The Stitch boy Sentinels headed out to cajole the ladies (and maybe man) into the nesting box for safety. The ladies (and maybe man) were not to be cajoled so the boys gave up and instead marched (very seriously) in circles around the coop, saluting each other as they passed. Eventually the chickens tired of this or became dizzy, I’m not sure which, and headed into the box themselves. The boys joyously secured the box door and came inside.
Sunday morning found them, up with the chickens, and back on chicken watch 2011.
*I put a spell on you-Credance Clearwater Revival
“I wanted to draw a picture of you at school, because I wuv you. But my teacher said I had to draw one of me. A self pot trat.”
“Well you can draw one now”
“What’s that on top of my head?”
“That’s the girl hair.”
Chantilly Lace- The Big Bopper
Yesterday was a beautiful day, as if Summer suddenly realized that it wasn’t quite done with us. The sky was blue, and clear, and the air was crisp. Fallish in act. Granting us a brief reprieve from the panicked canning that was last week.
The seasons can turn so suddenly, and plants grown, cared for and loved all season (however short the season is) can perish overnight in a downpour or early freeze. By this time each year I’ve already begun thinking about next year’s garden, filing away in my mind all the things we’ve learned this year about this space. A new spot for the tomatoes, keeping them dry and warm, more blueberry plants (never enough) a new section of the blackberry garden (what?! you don’t have a blackberry garden?).
I never quite make it to the point of journalling those ideas anywhere, maybe this is the year. Summer ends abruptly in a whirlwind of canning, school supplies, new curriculum and new schedules. And then we are launch right into the holiday season. My often costumed brood, plotting their next acquire, only to have that thrown out in the face of what presents to them off the rack of the thrift store. “but now I neeed to be Iron man!”
Henry, our apple tree is bearing some of the most beautiful apples, we have one round already of apple pie filling (to can) and of applesauce. We moved on to Grandma’s apple tree and her blackberries, putting up over twenty pints of apple pie filling and four of blackberry jam. Even the pumpkins are plumping in the garden. Pumpkin butter, it marks the end of the canning season for us at the Burrow. Unless you count the frozen berries that we often find in the freezer, carefully measured and put away at the end of a long canning day when I’m afraid I’ll melt from one more minute in the kitchen.
And yesterday as I walked our deserted road, I saw blackberries everywhere. And I was inspired to carry a bucket the next time I went for that walk in the hopes that the mere six pints of blackberry jam we have put up will not be the last of this very sad blackberry season.
*American Pie-Don McLean
This weekend was wet with a side of rainy Mcrain. We spent it mostly inside, watching the flames in the woodstove lick at the glass and listening to my five year old yell “it eats paper! the Fire eats paper!) As if he hadn’t spent his formative years around a woodstove. As if the whole experience was new. As if I hadn’t spent the early year of his life trying to keep him away from the pretty lights. No! Hot! Hot? Yes. Hot!
We knitted and drank tea (mostly me) watch Nanny McPhee returns, again and again. And again. The Man worked away in the yard and when that got to ridiculously soggy he took shelter in the shop and worked on the Chicken coop. Our chickens are coming home to roost so to speak. Three small bantums, Will, Will II and of course Blackhole. I am convinced this is a great plan, because it means no more baby chickens raised at 4H that we have to find homes for in the summer, the boys can continue to show these chickens each year at the Fair. Oh the sadness of letting go of your chicken.
Because let’s face little boys and animals? Are a natural combination. And as I pointed out to my husband, in my desperation to stop the sadness, chickens, are small and sometime lay eggs (if they are old enough and s0 inclined which ours are not) as opposed to say Dragons. Dragons, the topic of conversation of every. single. minute. of. the. day. Dragons get very large and breathe fire and require a lot of honey cakes and eat five times a day. Or so I’ve been told. And chickens, hey they don’t need nearly any of the work that training a dragon requires. Or the firmness of Heart.
Even though the woodstove has been fired up, we are not going to keep it going for three years (the length of time one must keep a dragon egg hot) I’ve had to lay down the law on the getting of a dragon. I just am not up to the challenge. We have many, many books. Some of which give us ‘helpful’ information on where to acquire your dragon egg, how to house and raise said egg. But I am weary. And just not ready for the responsibility and so I have told my Seven Year old that he must prove to me that he can take care of the dog first. Remember to feed it-(just twice a day) walk her, be responsible for her. And when the time comes (when he is ten) we will look into the possibility of adding a dragon to our menagerie. Because Dragons are really, a very large time commitment, and animal and oh so many more things…
Don’t you Agree?
*Once there was a little old ant-Frank Sinatra