impossibleway: (The Little House)
my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying) children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

~ e.e. cummings :: "I am a Little Church"

The House in the Night

The playhouse arrived on Wednesday morning, ahead of wind and snow that we seem to have once a week, along with Spring. It was a wonder to see it delivered, honestly, on a special remote-controlled trailer the rolled side to side and back and forth at the touch of a button. I had it placed where the sunflower house was, which is a little sad. The yard has almost four dozen limestone rocks sticking out of it, though, so my choices were limited.   We'll get the pleasure of making another sunflower house in another spot (and finding more rocks).

It's a nice little house, with a roomy loft that has generous space for a twin mattress and some books.  With Willow being so tall, more space is always better.  I feel, sometimes, like her height gave her the extra push out of early childhood that she would have rather not had.  Oh, well, this little house is just right.  The downstairs space is a sitting room, with a couple framed pictures and a floor bed.  I've pondered a simple wooden toddler bed, but I'm still on the fence about that.  It's nice to be able to change the space easily, after all.  I'll get pictures when we have a sunny day and things feel settled.  I have decorating dreams for this little space, for sure.

Since the weather has been back and forth, it's been too cold to be out there sometimes.  I did have a bit of frivolity and run some extension cords out for a lamp and a small space heater.  The area is very easy to heat and the building feels pretty tight.  I'll admit that the children have not felt very content with being out there by themselves.  Maybe it is the grey weather, or the newness of it all, despite my efforts to embue it with the familiar furniture and mood of home.  I know things will change with time--it is also something for us grownups to get used to.

Mike was gone just eleven hours short of a whole week, and we spent the last hour of our waiting out in the house.  It felt quite cozy, really, with plenty of soft pillows, blankets, and a lamp.  I brought out some knitting and a book that I'm re-reading, and the children sank into train play.  I suppose we are all quite used to being together all the time.  While I'll admit that I had some dreams of having an hour to myself, the reality is different.  And really, it was easier for me to focus on my two tasks, along with being the gentle referee, in a little house the we are calling the Blackberry Bungalow Claim Shanty.

I've got thoughts on this dear book in the photo, but I'll save those for later.  I've got an early morning trip to the store--there's finally another grownup at home!

Knitting and Reading
impossibleway: (Peace & Joy)
"To insure the fruit trees did produce a good crop, it was the custom to toast or bless them on Old Christmas, or Twelfth Night.  Armed with a jug or a pitcher of cider or some other drink, the men would visit each tree in the orchard and drink the following toast:

Here's to the fruit tree
May you grow and bear fruit.
A hat full, a bag full,
A basket full and some to spare.

If the orchard happened to be fairly large, the men often found it difficult to reach the house after such a blessing ceremony. . ."

~ Christmas in the Mountains: Southwest Virginia Christmas Customs and their Origins :: Hubert J. Davis

Wassailing 1

Wassailing 2

Wassailing 3

Wassailing 4

I have to chuckle at that description of wassailing. The book goes on to described the way people wassailed apple trees back home in Somserset and Devon in England, where these traditions began. Sometimes, bread was soaked in the wassail and hung on the trees.  Loud songs were sung and shouted and people danced around the trees.  Our celebration did involve some singing and little climbing in place of the dancing.  You can tell that most of the trees are quite old, and may not even make it beyond this year.  Laurel took care of the youngest trees, the ones in our yard.  We are hoping for a big harvest this year, since last year was not so big.  We mourned the loss of a couple trees, one that was particularly good at bearing consistently (and cut down for that reason!), and we planted an Early Transparent a few weeks ago with hope for the future.

Here's the verse we used, from Sparkle Stories, and here are some more.  There are many to choose from!

Old apple tree, old apple tree,
We've come to sing to thee!
To bear and to bow,
Apples now!

Hats full, caps full,
Three bushel bags full,
Barn doors full,
And a little heap under the stairs.

And so it is that Christmas goes out.  Today, we take down the tree and welcome in King Winter.  There's awhile, I think, where having the tree up after Christmas feels silly, but we keep it for tradition.  Then, when it's time to take it down, it feels a little sad.  We're enjoying watching it twinkle one last dark Winter morning, before we send it back outside.  We've got a dusting of snow today and some in the forecast!

Twelfth Night


Dec. 16th, 2016 05:31 am
impossibleway: (Winter Fields)

Grinstone Snow

Grim was the world and grey last night:
The moon and stars were fled,
The hall was dark without song or light,
The fires were fallen dead.
The wind in the trees was like to the sea,
And over the mountains’ teeth
It whistled bitter-cold and free,
As a sword leapt from its sheath.

The lord of snows upreared his head;
His mantle long and pale
Upon the bitter blast was spread
And hung o’er hill and dale.
The world was blind, the boughs were bent,
All ways and paths were wild:
Then the veil of cloud apart was rent,
And here was born a Child.

The ancient dome of heaven sheer
Was pricked with distant light;
A star came shining white and clear
Alone above the night.
In the dale of dark in that hour of birth
One voice on a sudden sang:
Then all the bells in Heaven and Earth
Together at midnight rang.

Mary sang in this world below:
They heard her song arise
O’er mist and over mountain snow
To the walls of Paradise,
And the tongue of many bells was stirred
in Heaven’s towers to ring
When the voice of mortal maid was heard,
That was mother of Heaven’s King.

Glad is the world and fair this night
With stars about its head,
And the hall is filled with laughter and light,
And fires are burning red.
The bells of Paradise now ring
With bells of Christendom,
And Gloria, Gloria we will sing
That God on earth is come.

~J. R. R. Tolkien, see more here.
impossibleway: (Mike Panorama)
Heavy Rain

You, whose day it is,
Make it beautiful.
Get out your rainbow colors,
So it will be beautiful.

~Nuu-chah-nulth :: Enki Multicultural Poems

impossibleway: (Picking Blueberries)


Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening:
hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.

~Judyth Hill

Just filing it here for my remembrances.

impossibleway: (Club Moss in the Leaves)
It's smoky once more, as the wildfires have moved into Virginia.  The air is cold and the day is bright.  After a long week and even longer weekend, it seems right to start the week with hope.  Maybe I just have really sweet friends, but I can see so much love and grace these days.  I saw two rainbows last Wednesday, and that means we got a touch of rain!  There are little signs, here and there, that God truly is in His heaven.

Hornet's Nest

I can tell that my children have picked up on our anxiety.  Everything seems out of sorts lately, despite all the usual things being in place: rhythm, rest, movement, meals, stories, and so on.  They just know.  I've been turning over the idea of civil disobedience in a home with young children in it.  My instincts match those of many others--it is my place right now to show them that the world is good, to make the world what we wish it to be.  It is not time to put ourselves into the chaos until we are all firmly planted on the Earth.  Other people have other approaches, but that one is ours.  It is the small ways we show love that mean the most.  Some dear friends have been so sweet to me lately and it is like a big hug across the miles.  How I wish to bless others in a similar way!

Witch Hazel

I don't have many words these days, but lots of thoughts. I expect we'll find some profound landscape this week for nature school.  I always, always love this poem by Wendell Berry:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
impossibleway: (Dodecahedron Lantern)
Lighting the Lanterns 1

Lighting the Lanterns 2

Back at Home

Looking In

Sit by the lantern, watch as the years turn
Slowly bringing truth for every child to learn
And the magpie meadow darkens gently blue now
As the family sit, their faces lit by ember fire

~Vashti Bunyan
impossibleway: (Ranger Brandy)
The sun shines bright,
The stars give light,
Before the break of day.
God bless you all,
Both big and small,
And send a happy day.

~ A Star to Guide Me

Is it just me or do you happen to look up every so often and see if the sky is falling this week?  The world truly is too much with us lately, and I'm doing my best to beat it back.  I could say all kinds of things that will come off as divisive, but there's no sense in starting that now, not with the way things are presently.  I've spent the past nine years trying to find a common ground in this space and I'll keep that going.  So, wool and sunshine?  Yes!

Hats in the Pocket

It was COLD for Nature School yesterday, forty-four degrees at 10:00 AM.
Even if it is dry and forest fires are raging in neighboring states, it is at least cold.
And we have adequate clothing to keep us going and plenty of hills to climb.

Partridge Berries

The Raccoon Branch Wilderness Area (oh! wilderness!) was full of berries for our cold fingers.
The number of times I said "put the mittens back on!".
Many berries were small, but we found the fattest ones at the end of our walk.

Sun through the Leaf

And the sun, it was warm when we were in it, and that was such a blessing.
Then, the hats and mittens came off and were stuffed into pockets and carefully inventoried.
These are the days to count our blessings, to take stock of things, and to make some plans.


We picked up sticks for our lantern walk today.
I am so in love with Laurel in this little outfit.  She's like a little Matreshka.
I'm thankful for sticks, too, and a part of the country that affords one
as much self-sufficiency as one is willing to grab hold of.

Hat and Mitten

I'll admit that I am feeling weary this week, so tired of some things that have been part of our lives for so long. There's no end in sight to many of them, but I feel glad that I can sew and knit for my children. It's a special occasion when they receive store-bought clothes that are brand new.  I'm formulating plans for the Winter and Spring, trying to sort out ways to squeeze more out of those proverbial turnips and take care of all that life demands.  There is so, so much to be thankful for, and so much beauty.
impossibleway: (Ranger Brandy)
Jack O'Lanterns 2016

Goblins on the doorstep,
Phantoms in the air,
Owls on witch's gateposts
giving stare for stare,
Cats on flying broomsticks,
Bats against the moon,
Stirrings round of fate-cakes
With a solemn spoon,
Whirling apple parings,
Figures draped in sheets
Dodging, disappearing,
Up and down the streets,
Jack-o-lanterns grinning,
Shadows on a screen,
Shrieks and stars and laughter --
This is Halloween!

~Dorothy Brown Thompson
impossibleway: (Autumn Fern)

We just finished our first sage block of grade two and it was so nice.  With Enki, the block begins with trickster tales from the culture of the sage.  These are light and lively stories, ones that are fun to tell and fun to draw.  Willow really enjoyed hearing about the misadventures, and occasional triumphs, of the fox and his brother.  The stories were told with the mood and brogue of Scotland.


Next, we moved to the story of our sage, John Muir.  We heard of his playful and mischievous beginnings in Dunbar, Scotland, and of his family's move to America.  The children have pretended they were climbing Dunbar Castle, just as Johnnie did.  When he had to leave his beloved Grandfather behind, I cried, honestly.  Good stories do that to me.  We followed his family to Wisconsin, where Johnnie helped to break the sod and plant crops.  He always had his eyes and ears on the woodland surrounding the farm.  Part of his special skills were the ability to hear the call of nature.  After all, the mountains called him and he went!


We found him in his little cabin in the Yosemite Valley, where he slept in a hammock and a stream flowed inside. Enki shows him as being alone during this time, though some books like Squirrel and John Muir show him closely tied to the Hutchings family.  I'll admit that I like Enki's take better.  We heard the story of John riding the avalanche after a snow storm and Willow really enjoyed that one.  We left John Muir as he had discovered the Big Trees and worked tirelessly to save them from logging.


It was a wonderful story that really left me wanting more!  But, I think Enki got it right in keeping it succinct.  I've considered showing some of the Muir segments from The National Parks to Willow, but I may wait a few years.  The children found him to be so fun and reverent and I'd like to keep that mood, though I did share with them that he climbed a big tree in a thunderstorm to see what it felt like to be one!

We'll continue with our immersion in Scottish culture through the end of October.  We're learning "My Heart is in the Highlands," Scottich dances significant to that time period, and folk songs.  We've had a really good time with the songs, especially, and I'm quite thankful Enki provides video for the dances and games of the cultures studied.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains, high covered with snow;
Fairwell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

~Robert Burns

impossibleway: (Mike Panorama)
The stonebuilt farmhouse is a rough stone cottage,
Hiding close against the hillside up a winding track. . .

~"Rainbow River" :: Vashti Bunyan

Here's the place I've tried to visit several times, only to pass right by it, and end up way out in the middle of nowhere. I wondered how that could be, how one could miss such a stately cabin. Turns out, it's just off a small side road. That's how I missed it.  A quick internet search will yield interesting information about its owner, writer Sherwood Anderson, and his adventurous life.  He's buried here in town, near the top of the Round Hill Cemetery.  I took Roan and Laurel out for a drive and a playground recently, and I paused here for photos and a couple apples.  Oh, that I had a stone house by a stream and a little cabin to write in.


Bark Siding


Good Apples

Historic Landmark

We toured this home and the little writing cabin in high school. I'd like to take the children here some time, though I'm not sure how one arranges a tour. Either way, walking around the exterior is a delight, too.
impossibleway: (Autumn Fern)
Fog on the Lake

I wish I had a window over the bay
And a black horse grazing on the green all day
I wish I had a well to draw my water from
And a warm log fire for when the summer is gone

I wish I had a window over the bay
And a flock of white sheep to watch from where I lay
I wish I had a little boat bobbing on the deep
And a big wooden table all laid out for tea

I wish I had a window over the bay
And a dreamy eyed cow to fill my milking pail
I wish I had a cockerel to raise me at dawn
And a little bed to sleep in when the curtains are drawn

~Vashti Bunyan

It was 44° F this morning, with a heavy fog. I was able to go out to the lake alone, while Mike stayed with the children. The mist was rising from the water almost continuously and the sun was shimmering on the late-summer leaves. Those few minutes were so refreshing.

Sun on the Lake
impossibleway: (The Little House)
August is almost gone now and it seems to be fizzling out.  Maybe it was the cold (which Laurel never got!) or this last blast of heat.  I don't know.  We are like wilted sunflowers right now, or at least, I am.  I keep looking at the forecast, watching the temperatures slowing decrease and waiting for that first really, truly cool day.  We've had some cool mornings and that has gotten everyone excited.  And the first day of school is coming--that is very exciting!


Willow's been reading a number of early readers that people have given us.  I think it makes folks nostalgic when you have a first grader.  We've had no need of purchasing or borrowing any kind of books for these early days of reading.  Willow can now read all 60+ pages in one sitting, so I call that progress (and it was all done on her own).

Turkeys on the Hill

Nature School may as well have been Get Me Out of Here School.  And get out, we did.  These turkeys were by the roadside.  We often see wild turkeys, but these were the most photogenic.  Pardon that glaring August sun.  I am so ready for the dark of Martinmas!

Plant in a bottle

Up by our den at the Snail Place, we've got quite the collection of old beer and soda bottles.  Many are empty, but a few have neat things inside, like this plant.  This was fun to find.  We are now waiting for Autumn leaves to cover the sides of the den and make it cozy for Winter.


Willow and Roan and I made some improvements yesterday.  Having a sewing machine in the living room is cooler, but it just disturbed the energy of the whole place.  So, out it went, and in came the canopy, along with the acceptance that two of my children are too tall for the playstand arches.  Sigh.

Working in the Forge

I envisioned this space as a sweet corner for some gentle activity or rest, with nurturing images and a ethereal feel. The children saw a forge, built a bellows, and set to work making horseshoes.  It must have been just the thing they needed.  It's still a cozy spot and still healing for me, as well.  After another hard time with play, we're returning again to the old ways and ever-so-ready for the new ways of school.

Here is the key to the house, the house in the night, a home full of light.
~Susan Marie Swanson
impossibleway: (Tulip Tree in the Hemlock)
The Harvest

It pleasures her to gather
A hoard when autumn comes:
Of grapes in scroll-worked silver,
Red-streaked-with-amber plums,
Winesaps and seek-no-farthers,
Green peppers, russet pears,
White roastin'-ears for drying
On frames above the stairs,
Queer handled gourds for dishes
And dippers at the spring,
Long butternuts, fat pumpkins,
Cream-colored beans to string,
Wild meats to jerk and pickle,
Brown chestnuts tipped with cold,
Cranberries from the marshes,
Tree honey dripping gold.

In barrels and crocks and suggins,
In pokes upon the floor
And hanging from the rafters
Is Katchie Verner's store
Against the mountain winter
When sleet-hard drifts will freeze
The deep loam of her garden
And gird her orchard trees.

~Louise McNeill

If ever there were a year to feel settled and comfortable and pleased, I think this one would be it.  There are about twenty pumpkins in the garden and I picked the dry October beans today.  Beets are growing and there are onions to string.  The blackberries keep coming and the cherry tomatoes runneth over.  Of course, the thought of feeling comfortable makes me feel nervous at the same time.  Life is so full of surprises.  I remember back to the year we lost our jobs and I was pregnant with Willow and we worked so hard to store away a lot of food.  I had visions of being holed up in our house with a little baby and all that food.  Mike did find a job and started the day after she was born and what a shock that was.  It was good, of course, but being a new mother in an empty house was strange and so, so quiet.

The quiet days are gone now, and the number of people and their appetites have grown.  I am trying to squirrel away all this food, in part, because I know some of it won't be available to me next year.  The Roland Estate will sell and the future feels uncertain, living so close to Main Street and commercial properties.  Another reason is that it finally feels like I have gained the confidence to branch out and experiment--tomato sauce instead of whole tomatoes, blackberry cordial in addition to jam, numerous types of pickles.  Still another reason is the generally unpredictable nature of life.  We've got some challenges ahead that feel really unknown and it is in my nature to always think ahead and prepare.  With shelves full of luxury foods (as jams and pickles and juices are) a freezer full of berries, a growing woodpile, and more shelves full of fabrics for clothes, I feel safe.

There's a lot of apple sauce and apple butter on the horizon, more of the former with blackberries in it.  Late apples just don't have the flavor of their early counterparts.  I am thinking about mint jelly, but it feels a little frivolous.  I've got herbs drying on the back porch and beans to shell, though just a few.  Some things are for novelty, after all.  This gardening project has been above all, a way to show the children what you can do with a package of seeds and some water and sunshine.  They'll need these things in their store of memories. 


Aug. 1st, 2016 07:52 am
impossibleway: (Goldenrod Trailhead)
Lammas Nature Table

Fairest of months! Ripe Summer's Queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen,
Sweet August does appear.

R. Combe Miller

~The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady :: Edith Holden
impossibleway: (Berries)
Every day is sunny lately.  Sunny and clear and hot.  The humidity is not so high right now and it just feels so dry.  It seems everything is glaring and bright.  My eyes squint, just thinking about it.  I've been painting the porch again (that I did last Fall) and the paint seems to be drying exceedingly well.  It has been a good thing to have a Christmas theme to the week.  We've done it all, save for those Swedish Crackers.  I think that will be tomorrow morning.  That's not to say that all the moments have been golden or easy.  They haven't.


I think part of parenting, or mothering, is to act as a buffer to the world around us.  Some things are just not suitable for children to see, know, or hear.  Some of those things are worldwide news and others are close to home.  It can be hard to keep up spirits when things get challenging, but we must do it, I think.  It does not benefit them to know it all, right away.  We are to love and protect and balance, to keep the routines while the world tends toward chaos.  That is not for young children.  Those tasks (and burdens!) gladly return later in life when we start out on our own.  There are times that I still feel like I am just starting out on my own.

Under the Tree

I'm having some trouble keeping up my own spirits these days.  It's not depression; it's life.  We all have our struggles and mine feel especially heavy as of late.  Part of Christmas in July has been faking it, going along with my plans, keeping the children busy, still playing therapist.  Things have been out of balance in some areas of our lives for a long time now and we are walking a long path to get them right again.  I don't want to provide details, but I don't want to neglect the darkness in favor of the light.  Sometimes, it makes those innocent, joy-filled moments all the more beautiful, even if I would like to find some water without so many waves.

Heart Cakes

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

~Auguries of Innocence :: William Blake
impossibleway: (Northbound)
Day's End

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.


Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.

To the Den

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,

Fading Buckeye

So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Ring Found!

~Robert Frost

The Snail Place

I can feel it all slipping away, even as the heat swells and we grow weary with the everyday. These little people, they are growing and changing and becoming memories.  In the last moments of the day, we climbed the mountain road to The Snail Place. There were snails in abundance, of course. I don't know what it is about that place. And there were plenty of folks pausing for a picture of that scenic valley. I heard talk at a county meeting about a scenic overlook, which makes our time there bittersweet. No one came out the utility road like we did, though. That magic was all our own.

The children were botanists, collecting specimens in little buckets and jars. They also worked on making their den more secure for the Winter. It's coming; it always does.  I assured them that the trees would drop their leaves and provide the all the siding they would need.  The buckeye, locust, and walnut are starting to drop their first red, gold, and brown leaves. It is hard to see Spring coming when the days begin to lengthen after the Winter Solstice, but it is easy to see Fall and Winter in Midsummer. Even as the gardens and orchards come into their peak production, there is a feeling of the hurry of it all.

I made applesauce this week. These things tend to come up quickly--you find that window in the harvest and sieze it.  It makes Summer vacation very practical for our family.  We picked with a neighbor, one who borrowed the apple picker last year. It was good to share work with someone, for the children to see us taking joy in bringing down the high apples and chatting. I mixed them with some frozen blackberries, something new to me, and made some lovely pink-purple applesauce. I think I will do it again. There are plans for more apple picking in a couple months and I'm looking forward to it.

The orchard, the garden annex, the people who live on our street--they are changing and fading. I can feel it. I try to soak it up, as much as I can, and I try to show my children a way of life that is disappearing. My dad told me I had become my mother's great grandmother. I was wearing her apron that I found in an attic last Summer. I've always drawn inspiration and encouragement from the old folks, as much as I love to look to the future.  I can see bits of gold in the things they say and do.  Like babies, they seem to have a connection to a world quite a bit apart from the one that bustles with car horns and telephones. 
impossibleway: (Autumn Fern)
Rain and Fog

The hill pasture, an open place among the trees,
tilts into the valley. The clovers and tall grasses
are in bloom. Along the foot of the hill
dark floodwater moves down the river.
The sun sets. Ahead of nightfall the birds sing.
I have climbed up to water the horses
and now sit and rest, high on the hillside,
letting the day gather and pass. Below me
cattle graze out across the wide fields of the bottomlands,
slow and preoccupied as stars. In this world
men are making plans, wearing themselves out,
spending their lives, in order to kill each other.

Wendell Berry :: Farming: A Handbook

*I didn't coin this phrase, but I found it so fitting.  He always has wisdom at just the right time.
impossibleway: (Large-Flowered Trillium)
Laurel in the Tree

Traveling towards a hebridean sun
To build a white tower in our heads begun

Oak Leaf

The grass knows, the hills know, we all know
Spring has come, the good fountain flows


Each hoof fall brings us nearer the land
Of peat and seabirds and silver sand

The Swing Place

The grass knows, the hills know, we all know
Spring has come, the good fountain flows.

~Vashti Bunyan

Zion Cemetery

I could call these Screen-Free Views, but that isn't the reality of this week.  We didn't watch any more television than usual--it was less for certain.  The interesting thing about this year was that, for me, screen-time is less of an issue.  I really do have plenty of other things to do.  The children watched something a couple times this week, largely to keep them out of the way for the construction (and it's almost done!).  It has been exhausting trying to find places to go during a cold snap or to stay here at home.  This house really is so small that someone going back and forth and working is just disruptive.  We all made the best of it, really and truly.  There were times we just had to leave--tub surround in my bedroom, linoleum in the dining room, toilet in the children's room, tools in the World's Smallest Hallway.  Yes, the best place for us was away. ;-)

There are a few small tasks to finish up and some painting for me to do (more!).  The bathroom, small as it is, really feels so much nicer.  We didn't get all we had wished for and I'm serving an eviction/return notice to the tub surround on my back porch.  We've got plans to visit with Kim today at the little place where I lost my flute.  I would fall over if I found it languishing in the leaves over there.
impossibleway: (Lazure Mama)
Blowing out the candleThe past week has left me feeling battered and tossed, almost directionless.  Those March winds have carried over into April and it seems I hardly know where to turn to get out of them.  I don't say all that to be dramatic, but I guess it feels dramatic inside my head and heart.  Maybe, I have had a bit of a pause to catch a little breath and see where I've been before going on.  I'm just struggling and learning and trying to find balance, all while moving forward.

Trying to steer the ship for little folks in the midst of inner turmoil is an added challenge.  The frenzy of new life and energy that is Spring is just too much, over and over.  There is a yard to mow, plants to start or protect from frost, meals to make, messes to tidy.  Maybe these are the hardest years of parenting, physically.  All the years bring new challenges, of course, but these ones with little folks who need so much help.  Oh, my aching feet.

I feel our rhythm has definitely been off-kilter all the past month.  Circle times have been so-so.  Set periods for being outside have turned into entire afternoons.  I often find myself following the children outside and putting chores on hold, yet again.  Babies won't keep, it's true, but houses don't either.  I have to find balance between the two.  Let it be said, I did drop my work and pick violets with Willow for jelly.

Candlelight has been a constant, as if in all this wind and change we have needed something to gather around.  I have to light nearly twice daily fires for the gnomes to huddle around for warmth.  We've had a fire on the hearth the past two days, even though it was warmish out.  Just that flickering flame, that crackling heat has been so nice, even with all the tree bark.  I am hoping we'll have another fire tonight, as the weather has turned chilly again.

Night times are a balm to my spirit.  No matter the difficulties of the day, the children and I all make peace for bedtime.  The wild children and the harried mother find solace in a simple poem, a prayer and a sweet breath that sends the day off.  We all lay down together, as we always have, just after Laurel blows out the candle.  It signifies an end, a turning point, a real shift from waking to sleeping.  Bedtime is never trouble, oddly.

You are mother's little child,
safe in your bed a-lying.
Above your head the stars now send
their golden rays a-flying.

In your eyes the sweet sandman,
with quiet hand drops sleepy sand,
so you may climb your starlit dream
 to the sparkling starry land . . .

~Goodnight :: Marjan Van Zeyl


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April 2017

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