Here are a few things you can do today…
When winter drags on
even though you swore you gave it up for Lent…
Sit in the Sun.
Arrange a few spontaneous gatherings for friends.
Make your favorite treats… just be a scooch more indulgent.
The glass may be half full or empty… so bring plenty more!
Forgive those who trespass against you…. and those who sass you.
Tell some of your favorite stories.
Be in the moment.
No phones… no place to go… just be wholly there with people who are traveling through time with you.
It’s March… winter can’t hang on much longer!
These wooly cocoons are about to unfurl with new lambs. With my lambing box at the ready… and all my books reread… I am just waiting and waiting. I attempted to take pictures of all their full blown progress… but Garden had hopes of a cover shoot. No matter how far back I got.. she wanted to be in the shot. I finally found her rope toy hidden under the snow and tried to toss it … but she isn’t a house dog…she doesn’t
However all of the playing around we were doing brought on the curiosity of these pregnant ladies. They sauntered down in hopes that just maybe, all of our joy was brought on by extra feed… which would seem logical to their humongous selves. When they found out that they had hauled their selves through the snow for nothing… they turned themselves right around.
But not Garden… she sat down on my lap.
It was like an open heaven here today. The HusBen of my forever and ever came through the door with a box of fresh fausnaughts for Fausnaught Day and as the lid was lifted and all that fried glory filled our kitchen… I saw something far off in the field. It took me a few minutes and many bites of fresh fausnaughts for it to make sense. I ran for my camera… and sure enough… a bald eagle. She (I assume) only visits once a year, every year… and I pulled my coat and snow boots and made a mad dash across the field. Nothing like running uphill in the snow to remind you that it is completely permissible to eat that extra fausnaught when you get back.
It was pretty wonderful standing out in the middle of a snow covered field just watching her through my lens. I took a moment and just “Walter Mitied it”.. lungs burning, sky seemingly so much clearer after all the grey days , the sparkling white field practically blinding me as it reflected the sun off a gazillion little crystalized edges and then she lifted off the branch lightly but with so much strength.
That was that.
We hoped the kids would not hear all the noise we were making.
“Oh my goodness give me some more.”
“this is crazy good”
“where did you learn to do this?”
“a girl from the U.K. taught me.”
These are “crazy good” brownies. I am no baker… I can cook for days.. but baking is not my thing… if there are brownies in this house they are from a box. But Hannah’s brownies on Instagram looked so so good….too good to be true. I couldn’t stop thinking about them… so I asked her for the recipe. She converted it for my American kitchen and I was skeptical… I mean, I could just make brownies out of a box right? I could never make brownies like Hannah… she is a professional baker with her own sought after pop up bake shop. So I decided to call it a homeschool education venture… even if they were a flop it was still a learning experience. Besides how could they taste as good as they looked! Well, they do and now we are ruined forever. These are “crazy good”. AND… I forgot to put in the vanilla (I told you I stink at baking)… but I had put in some salt so maybe that helped. They are fudgy and deep… and they have that texture you really want in a brownie…just absolutely extravagant but oh so easy to whip up!
You have to
… have to
..have to make these sexy little brownies.
I know you don’t have any vanilla sheep’s milk ice-cream handy… so I guess you could use some regular ice cream… I mean these brownies will steal the show! Don’t forget the strawberries… the sweet with the tart is as good as it gets this side of heaven!
It has been a tough week…
The almost dying thing was made more real by the fireplace guy coming out and confirming if my HusBen hadn’t gotten up at 3am we would have “surely died”. The idea of making my children into orphans… or to think of them finding us dead is a sobering thought.
A prized pet passed away… and a (way) less prized sick animal is being tended to in the barn.
Then to cap it off… sometimes parenting is tough. We are currently navigating through tricky waters… it is a test to their character and to the parents we have set out to be. It’s tough watching your child go through things when you want to save them … sometimes you want to save them from themselves. If only we could protect them from everything… it can be a scary world out there. However, my job is to raise them… not isolate them, not to control them, not to make them into what I want… but guide them into the people He wants.
So with many tears behind me this week… I climb into this day of rest. I have lifted everything and everyone up to Him… and now all I can do is lay myself down and rest.
I can snuggle this happy baby and be thankful we are alive.
I can love past the child who is struggling to figure it out.
I can check on these healthy sheep and praise God that they are getting close to lambing.
I can roll out homemade noodles full of doughy goodness and slip them into a saffron broth of comfort food.
The sun will set soon…
and He is calling us to rest…
enough is truly enough….
“check the fireplace”
I rolled over in bed, my head hurt and I had a weird taste in my mouth. I looked towards the pellet stove which was dark and the lights on the side which control the temperature and auger were off. The forty mile per hour winter winds rattling against our sleeping home. These winds always keep me awake… jumping at every crack and snap in our old house yet I drifted uncontrollably back to sleep.
“check the fireplace”
My eyes could barely focus… the smell was stronger…was that plastic melting?… I tried to focus on the fireplace…Why can’t I stay awake, I normally have trouble staying asleep but I could hear the fireplace was in cooling down mode.. but the fire was out… the lights were off on the side…. I told myself I was paranoid and ….but isn’t the room smokey?… and I slipped back into a chemical sleep…my baby snuggled in tightly next to me…
“check the fireplace”
I saw flickers on the wall… wasn’t the fireplace off?… where are those orange stripes on the wall coming from? I climbed through the haze and looked into the metal box that holds the wood pellets for the fireplace… right before I grabbed the handle I realized it had melted into an orangey molten goop..looking into the box was like looking into an evil eye of reds and yellows…
I pulled the plug and a spark flew out, yet it didn’t startle me… I just didn’t have any more energy… I climbed back into bed…”we have a problem,” I had the sense to say out loud, “don’t touch the fireplace… there’s a problem”… I pulled my baby close and drifted asleep… I couldn’t stop.
My HusBen got up to use the bathroom… when he came back in at 3am… he realized something was wrong, “we need to evacuate… grab the baby… the air is really bad in here… I noticed because I left and came back in… you have to get up right now… take the baby.”
Sometimes when you only know toxic air you need someone else to tell you that you are dying if you stay where you are… if you stay in a toxic environment …to get free you need someone who knows what free tastes like and how bitter toxic tastes.
and that is how we didn’t die.
because our house was about to burn down.
because the fireplace was smoldering into our bedroom.
because our room was filling with toxic fumes that were disabling us.
and that is how we didn’t die.
because He was speaking to me.
because He wouldn’t let me go.
because He kept speaking.
because when He has something important to say.. He will keep saying it.
because He matched me with the very best HusBen… who knows to escape toxic environments. A HusBen who will take me by the arm and pull me out when I don’t have the strength to do it myself…
In the four o’clock hour…
The air has changed into a spicy tomatoey warmth with notes of garlic drawing people downstairs or inside.
Notes of new strung guitars hum and gnarl through amps mimicking the growl of bellies.
Out of the window I see her… you could set your watch by her and I often do… Benita stands and wills the door to open and fresh flakes of hay to appear…4:30 on the dot.
The girls all shifting places as the baby climbs to see the new book… they try to sneak bites of the newest sheep’s milk fudge before the littlest pouts for and extra bit.
I leave out some paints and dib and dab as I finish up the dinner… a new gold paint from one of my dearest truest friends.
As boys jump over fences and more firewood is stacked… a new game is created…
the hungry debate the facts and fiction of Noah and his incredible ark… all of our animals are now bedded down for the night.