The boys found a few birch trees nawed down by some beavers so they dragged them to the house. Apparently, the yard needed a birch tree smack dab in the middle of it.
On nice days, you take the sewing OUTDOORS.
I particularly love the butcher knife in front of the baby seat in this photograph.
Ineke inevitably wakes up for a drink of some nice, warm milk while I am in the barn milking. She has good big sisters though, who snuggle with her until I can get inside. Even though they are half asleep themselves. Her brothers on the other hand? Not even a stir.
Someone (Matt) once said you don't need to squint into the sun, you need only to open your eyes wider.
That is true only if you want searing pain in your eyeballs. Or to cry. Just ask Corynn.
I asked the children to help me can tomatoes one day. I gave Andrew the job of washing jars. The next time I walked into the kitchen, this is what I found:
And approximately two jars washed. Needless to say, I did the washing and I sent him out to wash/cut/squish tomatoes with the other children.
I realize those two photos of Ineke are almost identical. But must I choose one?
Funny conversation overheard between my sister and her daughter at the public pool where we met to swim one day:
Christiana to her Mama, in a voice filled with confusion and surprise: "Mama! Nobody here knows that Adele' lives on a farm!"
Her Mama to Christiana, trying to understand what she was saying: "What do you mean, honey?"
Christiana to her Mama: "Well- they don't know she lives on a farm because she is wearing a bright bathing suit just like everyone else!"
She was genuinely surprised that no one knew our dirty little secret!
Remind me next year to invest in all brown swimwear for my children. Apparently it is required for farm kids. HA!
It was an adorable exchange in real life (words don't really do it justice) and it made me chuckle.
Matt has been travelling in New Mexico/Texas/Colorado for the last two weeks for work. Which left me flying solo for two weeks. And particularly excruciating-- he was gone over the weekend as well. His being gone is a nightmare for me. Chores are maddening when the cow needs to be milked at the same time that the baby wakes up to be fed. Milk duties seem all the more bothersome when I had to be a part of the entire process- from milking, to cleaning up, to milk-making, to cleaning up, etc. etc. The garbage, the grass, the everything. And on top of that, caring for children who miss their father and trying to fill the vast void Matts' absence creates in our lives when all I really feel is the void his absence leaves in mine. More than chores or children, I hate Matt's being gone mostly because I love him so dearly and, being one, a huge piece of me is gone too. My confidant, my sanity, my little bit of adult conversation at the end of the day, my comfort when I feel overwhelmed, the laughter when I need it most. My best friend. The one whose hugs and kisses make everything alright. Without them, it doesn't feel right. It isn't.
I can't sleep when Matt is gone either. I stay up until midnight or 1 in the morning, willing myself to fall asleep, but staring as the bright glowing red digits pass from one to the next on the alarm clock across the room. My contacts are out and I am blind as a bat so I don't know what time it is- only that another minute passed. In this case, it is better to be blind.
I did his laundry at the beginning of the week, put the clean clothes on his shelves and then they stayed there. Gathering round the supper table in the evenings lost its' joy, Saturday seemed off the whole day, singing in church without his voice bellowing beside mine was painful, falling asleep outside of his arms was impossible. I would drive home in the evenings and, as usual, I would crest the hill and my eyes would search our driveway in the distance to see if his car was there- if he had beat us home only to realize how foolish that was to think, to do.
I knew it would be hard. I knew those two weeks would drag on. I didn't know how I would be able to do it. So I did what any insane person would do. I scheduled some distraction, some diversion for every.single.day that he was gone. For two weeks straight. I should have thought about the fact that this is busy canning season for me and the garden is chucking rotting tomatoes at us like a bad comedy show or that (possibly) I could use some downtime considering, well, I don't sleep when he is away. But I didn't. I just scheduled away.
We went swimming, we went to a cheap second-showing movie matinee of The BFG (loved it!!), went to picnics, hosted parties, went visiting, ate ice creams, plenty of swimming. The children went to the fair. I have wonderful friends who are very good at helping a girl divert her attentions away from her long-lost husband.
It worked out that these diversions saw me (and the children) through the daytime and I canned well into the night each evening because I wouldn't sleep anyway...with the occasional old movie thrown in for good measure. The time did pass pretty quickly that way. So, as insane as it was to do something every single day for two weeks, and as ridiculously UNRESTED and stretched thin as I feel at this moment, I guess it worked out just the way I had hoped. Two weeks later and in just 3 minutes it will officially be Friday, the very day when my love walks through that door and I get to remember what his kisses taste like.
I survived. I can't wait to sniff his neck. And I most assuredly can't wait for that kiss.
** I realize that my whines and struggles are laughable compared to the struggles of separation that some people face~ military families, unwilling separations, hospitalizations or care homes, widows... I certainly don't mean to elevate my situation to something truly dreadful like one of those situations. I have a whole new appreciation and empathy for what those individuals must go through though my experience pales in comparison. Poor souls! They have my deepest respect and admiration. I can say I have prayed more in these two weeks for the likes of those people than I ever would have thought to before, having just a taste of the bitter pill of separation.**