Today I am blissfully alone. My family is back on the farm, I’m in the city for a couple days. Yesterday I volunteered with my old employer for a fundraising event and today I am just here. By myself.
So what does a mom do when her brood is in the capable hands of their dad?
6:15am Wake up, like clockwork. Realize there is no sane reason to get out of bed. Sink back into pillows and smile. Resume snoring.
10:30am Wake up. Actually get up. Plod downstairs for breakfast and tea.
10:35am Turn on computer and check email. (After an involuntary internet hiatus, this has me twitching with excitement.)
12:00pm Pry myself away from the couch, computer, and tea to shuffle upstairs to the shower. Spend 15 luxurious minutes showering without any interruptions or pressure to hurry.
12:30pm Spend two hours at the grocery store. Buy 6 items of food, 12 items of clothing, 3 books and 2 magazines. As much as I lament Superstores, today I was in big box heaven.
3:00pm More tea, more couch time. A tiny amount of productivity was achieved, including paying bills and creating the registration form for my music program.
5:30pm Log in to WordPress because, huzzah! I have time to write a blog post AND internet connectivity. It’s a miracle!
6:15pm Mentally acknowledge that I am rusty at this whole blogging business.
I have completely and utterly wasted this day. It makes me gleeful.
The moving has begun, in a fairly awkward fashion. My husband headed down to the farm almost 3 weeks ago, and I followed with my kiddos a week later. We spent the week with my parents, in their well-stocked (cluttered) home, with none of our own stuff except clothes and some toys. We are now back at our house, which feels spacious and open and makes me take a deep breath and sigh.
I like being in my own space and I like my kids having their stuff around them. I like making dinner or lunch or snacks without having anyone roll their eyes at me about insisting on including vegetables (that’s my mom, not the kids).
It’s a bit tough living in someone else’s house. And it’s a bit tough for an adult woman to live with her mother. Aaaand, it’s a bit tough to adjust to being a stay-at-home mom at the exact same time as I’m living in my parents’ house and my husband is suddenly working 20 straight 12-hour days. So that’s what’s tough.
But what’s incredible is being on the farm. My kids are literally running through hayfields and playing with baby chicks just beyond our doorstep. I spent a beautiful sunny afternoon helping my uncle plant onions and prune raspberry bushes in his expansive vegetable garden. He is happy to have me as a gardening partner, and it turns out he and I have the same artsy, music-loving, tree-hugging souls. We’re raising chicks, growing veggies, and soon planting trees and creating a picnic area down by the creek.
We’re headed back to the farm again next week, but we won’t have our belongings (or the space to house them) until mid-June. Today, however, my mom assures me she’s clearing out a cupboard for us. Victory!!
DId I not post just 3 days ago about an eggmobile and raising chickens? Yes I did!
Well last night my husband called from the farm to tell me my aunt and uncle are buying 12 layer chickens and we’re helping with them. Hurrah!!!
They selected 4 different colours so it would be fun for my kids (cute auntie/uncleness right there) and they want my son to name them. Love!
And the eggs, mmmm……the eggs.
courtesy of milkwood.net
The Food Forest was occupying my thoughts today when a friend and fellow vegetable gardening enthusiast came by for a visit. We got to talking about permaculture and the various species of trees and plants that can provide an abundant, unusual harvest beyond the confines of what we typically think of as agriculture. Hazel trees, my friend tells me, are highly successful around here. (Fresh hazelnuts? Um, yes please.) Saskatoon berries, he says, grow like gangbusters even though we are far from Saskatoon.
Slightly closer to the beaten path, my husband and I are considering tapping maple trees next spring. I received the most wonderful gift of home-made maple syrup a few weeks ago, and the thrill of that sweet, golden treasure extends far beyond its’ flavour to the days of effort and toil that went into harvesting and boiling down the sap. I am looking forward to giving that a try myself, labour intensive as it is sure to be.
And eggs. Jeebus help me, we are talking about getting chickens and setting up an eggmobile – something I had never heard of until reading about Joel Salatin in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In case you didn’t put it together yet, that’s the beautiful contraption you’re looking at above.
So the new plan, as of today and guaranteed to last until at least Monday morning, is:
- No CSA right now, as I need to focus on building a free music program for underserved kids
- Instead, I will grow, tap, and harvest all manner of bizarre and delicious things in addition to a typical glorious vegetable garden in order to feed and entertain my family. I’m entertaining when my ineptitude is showing.
Sounds great! I think I’ll only need 4 full-time workers to help me pull it off.
Care to let me in on any phenomenal but little-known culinary treasures I could be growing in Southern Ontario?
Check out this incredible story about some people in Seattle who’ve decided it’s time to create a Food Forest right in the city.
Makes me want to plant some fruit trees. Or eat the fruit off trees someone else planted.
As of Monday, April 22, I am a retiree.
I have now rejoined the ranks of the stay-at-home mom brigade, except that I’ve got one more luxurious week of paid daycare. It would be irresponsible NOT to use that service, since I already paid for it. I’m nothing if not fiscally responsible.
Lazy, self-indulgent, carefree week, here I come!!! Picture me in slippers and sweatpants, eating bonbons and lying on the couch. It’s like you’re looking in my window. right. now.
And after this one debaucherous*, tomfoolery-filled week, I will pack up my babies and hit the road. Destination: farm house!
*I am aware that my definition of debauchery is most people’s definition of sloth. In my normal life I spend 95% percent of my time making food, throwing out uneaten food, bathing, wiping, diapering and clothing a toddler, answer the incessant “Why?”s of a 4 year-old, and plotting new ways to entertain my children for the next five-minute interval because that is the extent of their attention spans. Sloth is the new debauchery, people.
My brain feels like the jumble of cables you find behind your TV, connecting to your DVD player, Wii, dilapidated VCR, laptop, and satellite receiver. All of the appliances are working, but the cables are so hopelessly entangled that you couldn’t possibly decipher the connections should a problem arise.
My brain is functioning at a basic level and it doesn’t appear that I have forgotten any major appointments or left any children at daycare overnight by accident. Yet.
But I’m a bit confused, discombobulated even.
Life is chaos right now. I am days away from my final day of work. My house is sold. Renovation plans are underway for the farmhouse. My kids are home with me 4 days each week, which is exactly what my heart needs but completely confuses the normal routine. My husband is out of town and both sets of grandparents are visiting. Oh, and I’m working on getting a not-for-profit incorporated and finding funding sources, planning music curriculum, securing volunteers and a board, and opening a music program in my hometown by September.
Enter Red, a dear friend who has become my closest ally. Every night I glance lovingly at the open bottle of Red on my kitchen counter. ”Oh thank goodness it’s you, I’ve been DYING to see you. Make sure your friends stop by soon, I’ll be needing company again tomorrow.”
Ol’ Red never disappoints. No matter the situation, he’s there for me. If I have a dalliance with Lager one evening, Red looks the other way. Red even introduced me to his pal Whitey a little while back, and that relationship gets stronger every day.
Thank God for good friends. What would life be without them?