A (dusty) shelf in my daughter's room. Apropos of nothing, except that it makes me happy.
Perhaps I've painted a picture of our at-home days, our 'skip week' this week as nothing other than sitting by the fire with my hand spun yarn and making artisan cheese in the kitchen with my children. But I know you know there's a whole lot more. Just yesterday - a full day at home - a regular day at home, really - might be a perfect example. A sampling of what we did around here yesterday:
- First thing in the morning (before tea, good gracious), held a bucket under the behind of a lovely little dairy cow named Peach trying to catch what she had to give out. I've decided that what comes out of the behind of a slightly-not-herself jersey cow is, well, oh my. Oh my! (Am I really talking about this here? Why yes. Yes, I am. This is farming, my friends. Analyzing manure is at the top of the list.)
- Greeted a new-to-us livestock vet for whom I now have a crush on (these things happen). I mean, really. Who drives their fancy vet pick up truck right on into the yard and gets things done (up to the shoulder, I tell you) such as a livestock vet like this woman? Someone here's a little inspired.
- Felt only a little bit silly for calling said vet for what essentially amounts to - wait for it - a stomach bug - in our visiting dairy cow (Winter Dysentery if you want to get fancy). Peach is fine - or rather will be, very soon. I needn't wake Steve up at midnight tonight to go check on her again (Ahem. Not as though we did that for the past three nights or anything. First time parents, indeed.)
- Attempted (unsuccessfully) to convince one of my pre-teen boys that the engraved gold chain necklace he found on Etsy (bonus points for that) that he wants to get his girlfriend (I know, I know) for Christmas might just be a little....well....over the top, shall we say. In so many ways. But ultimately - who am I to decide what's cool? I wear insulated coveralls with pride. Maybe gold chains are where it's at. (Is it?)
- Slightly (inappropriately) hovered over the painters in our addition putting on the first coat of paint. The paint color is called "wool". Literally. WOOL. Please tell me how I was not to hover?
- Searched all over the house for Jackie the kitten who was due for a vet appointment (two vets in day! Such is the life). She missed it. Or rather we did, by not searching in my basket of fabric scraps (really, how foolish are we?).
- Reminded my daughter that while walking her goats on a leash is wonderful, it doesn't mean they can be walked into the kitchen. (She hasn't done so, but she'd certainly like to.)
- Tried to keep my attention on the computer where I need to be focusing on hiring a new member of our Taproot team and lining up the last of the details for our next issue, BREATHE, but got distracted by the repeated requests to read Crafty Chloe (her favorite book) to Annabel. Because even though Papa was right there and willing to do so himself - who can resist the charms of the fifth baby with blond hair, blue eyes, a seriously raspy voice and sweet two year old round belly? (I know. We are in trouble with this one.)
- Realized that we've been reading the much-loved Little House books out of order to the latest family fan, Harper. Oops. (I think he'll be okay. Right?)
- Made/ordered/purchased exactly zero gifts for the holiday season, bringing my total to approximately zero. (Of this fact I am not proud. Just quietly nervous.)
- Looked at the washing machine (still) beside my kitchen sink, the sawdust (still) on my pantry shelves, the (not yet defrosted) pork and chicken, and the (ticking) clock....to decide that takeout was going to be the only way to evening happiness.
- Was a little disappointed when we realized said takeout - literally our only option for local takeout ("farmhouse pizza!") - is closed on Tuesday in the winter months. Bummer.
- Poured a glass of wine and made popcorn. (You saw that coming.)
- With great intention for late night holiday crafting, or goodness me - even some cleaning - then promptly (and happily) fell asleep with the first child to crash (it was Harper).
Somewhere in there, was a moment of knitting my cardigan by the fire (almost a complete row if I remember correctly). And somewhere in there, I flipped the hardening (parmesan!) cheese in progress. But that of course, was just a part. There is so much that happens in the course of a day in the life a family. I feel - each day - simultaneously rich and blessed and overwhelmed and honestly, a little puzzled sometimes too, as to just how and when it's all going to get done (spoiler alert: it never all gets done). There is chaos and beauty....and then beauty in the chaos. And there's not a single part of it I'd want to be without. Well, save for that bucket behind the cow. But you know - all in all. This is a good life.