Friday, August 31, 2012

The View From Here

This is a moment for sharing , inspired by SouleMama's "This Moment".  In her words,  "A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."  To play along go to the SouleMama blog.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Tiny bites of goodness from the past week...

Its been a while since a proper morsels post, here goes:

A weekend at the lake...

*  We spent the weekend with friends at their family camp in NH.   It was just the sort of low key, float about on the water, read a book in a day or two, ice cream, wine, good friends, good chocolate, and happy children (most of the time) sort of weekend we've all been needing.  The evenings had an August crispness to them, but the day times were just right for jumping in the lake.

* Wylie asked for only money for his birthday this year and saved up enough to buy half an iPod.  In exchange for storing any music and podcasts I want, plus an extra chore a day for several weeks, we bought him the other half.  Our days are now filled with music, texting,  hearing about the latest apps, and negotiating screen time.  But, we've also gained an organized dresser, a clean art shelf, and sparkling bathrooms.  Plus, one very happy boy.

Sibling haircuts
*  Kale got himself a new doo courtesy of Wylie's barber shop (which has since been closed for business).  This picture is after I've shortened the rest to "match" the sides.  Our friends say he's just missing his team number shaved into the side, 1985 style.  I say he's lucky his hair is the same color as his scalp.  Either way its a good thing he's cute.  Its a good thing his brother's cute too...

Thister Thuzy thitting on a thistle

* Juniper's been losing teeth left and right.  As of yesterday afternoon that space is twice as wide.  

screen porch

* The screen porch is completely finished and is functioning as our new living room.  Its funny how much our living pattern has changed since its been built.  We sit out there much of the day (when there's time for sitting), have coffee in the morning and candlelight drinks after the kids are in bed.  The "ice cream window" was put in last week, and makes for easy serving/clean up when we eat out there.  Rob fixed up a drying rack for our garlic out there as well.  Between the cedar and the garlic, it smells amazing--and there are no bugs!

In the garden

* In the garden:  green beans slowing to a crawl, tomatoes taller than me, a handful of carrots, beets and beet greens, way too many cabbage worms and tiny garden snails, frogs in the frog pond, a cucumber a day, kale seedlings coming up fast, spinach going in, onions getting bigger by the hour, plenty of weeds, and one gigantic squash.

this neck gets me every time

Happy Summer (its not over yet!)

Monday, August 20, 2012


So, the truth is (for those of you who have never been here) we don't actually live on a farm.
As Wylie often reminds us, "Real farms have fields of vegetables, and cows and pigs and hay fields. This is not a real farm."  He says this with conviction, and some disappointment.

I get it.

We know a lot of true, honest to goodness farmers.  We are literally surrounded by CSA's here in Waldo County.  Check out the beautiful words and pictures from our friends over at Village Farm.
Now that is a real farm.
My sister and her family have suddenly, excitedly found themselves as caretakers of an amazingly beautiful farm and have launched right into it with sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens, not to mention plenty of gumption.  There's is a farm.

In that sense Frogwater farm is not a real farm. We have a handful of acres, mostly wooded, and half of them in a marsh.  The Frogwater part is legit.  We call it a farm because frankly, Frogwater homestead doesn't sound nearly as nice.  We like the alliteration.  It has never been our goal/dream to support ourselves off our land.  We do however hope to sustain ourselves--food wise and soul wise. In that regard we are a farm--though a tiny one to be sure.

And even though there aren't any milking goats yet (or ever depending on who you ask) we do have a few animals:
Eleven ladies--laying hens of various ages, breeds and personalities.  More on the ladies in another post.  Also Ollie, the cat we share with our tenant.

New this year are between 30 and 60 thousand (in one hive) Carniolan honey bees.  The bees officially live down the road a bit, but will hopefully make their way to Frogwater next spring.

In the past we loved having runner ducks, but they have gone to a better place...
across town to a farm where the dog won't try to eat them.

And Marley.
(Does this look like the face of a duck killer?)

We do aspire to grow most of our own food someday, and perhaps some pigs in the near future...

For now though, when people ask about our farm, I tell them, these days we're mostly growing children.

Most days that feels like plenty to sustain us.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Good Run

My sister and I are training for a marathon.  My first.  Last night we completed our sixteen mile run.  
If you've never done it, and likely even if you have, 16 miles is a freaking long way to run!  (unfortunately not nearly as long as 26).   But really, every time I start to complain about this mess I've run myself into, I think, when else in my week can I engage in uninterrupted, adult conversation for so long?  And, with my sister at that?  So what if my feet have to move while I'm doing it?  

So in the end I enjoy the long runs, for the comradery, the personal challenge, the strength I feel, and the dedicated time to myself.  But, neither my waxing poetic, or complaining about the pain really does it justice, so instead I leave you with a true to life conversation at the finish of our 16 mile run last night:  

Warning:  graphic, may be disturbing to those unfamiliar with long distance running...

J:  That was a good run.  
H:  Yeah, except for the stomach cramping.
J:  Right, that and shitting in the woods.
H:  Well, right.  But it was probably our best route yet, hardly any hills.
J: It was nearly flat.  Except for that big ass hill in the very beginning...
H:   and the one we just walked up.  
H:  This chaffing sucks.  
J:  My foot is bleeding.
H: Man, I smell.  
J:  Yup.  

Rob:  How was your run? 
J:  It was good.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Happy Anniversary

         Long Grain, Camden Maine

      The H.M.S. Bounty, Belfast Harbor

      Three Tides, Belfast Maine

                                11 years and counting...

Friday, August 10, 2012

The View From Here

This is a moment for sharing , inspired by SouleMama's "This Moment".  In her words,  "A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."  To play along go to the SouleMama blog.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mr. Mean Boss Man, or 2 crafts in 5 minutes or less

In an attempt to prevent an argument over a coveted Playmo Guy I came up with this tiny robot superhero, complete with a CO2 cartridge rocket booster.  The whole project took less than three minutes, and he was quickly adopted and superbly dubbed "Mr. Mean Boss Man" by Kale, who is always up for a bad guy.   

                                                     Mr. Mean Boss Man fleeing the scene

Soon afterwards, though not related, Kale insisted he needed a skate board shirt--who doesn't?  I searched through his basket of clothes, and even into storage thinking surely there must be one, but no.  Not to fear.  Skateboards are quick and easy to draw.  When I said we'd make one he was thrilled and requested 
"a skateboard with a little boy and a mama".  Really I would have loved to make him that shirt--but I wasn't quite up for the art involved in painting a little boy and mama that I would want to look at several times a week.  Fortunately our Monkey boy is always up for a monkey, and I had a bit of sock monkey fabric left over, and somehow located iron-on transfer paper purchased 2 years ago.  
In 5 minutes we had a skateboarding monkey shirt ready to go.  


I think we may need to make a bicycling monkey shirt sometime soon.  Or, maybe a Mr. Mean Boss Man shirt.  
I would wear that.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Homeschool Thursday: Trust

As we jogged down the hill beside my 2 yr. old coasting on his new balance bike, my friend commented on what a daring parent I was, adding that his own mother would surely be having a heart attack about now.  He may have been hinting at my tendency toward benign neglect, but I like to think really he was noticing how much I trust my children.

That got me thinking.  Do homeschoolers (generally speaking) have more trust in their children, and if so, which came first?  Did I choose to homeschool because I have trusted from the beginning that they will learn what they need to know?  Or, is this faith in their abilities (and my subsequent peace with toddlers racing about on 2 wheels) a result of countless hours spent observing and learning, realizing each child's personality and capabilities?  I imagine it must be a bit of both.

When Wylie was just barely 2 yrs old we moved into our house.  Juniper was 2 weeks old.  We had moved from a small cabin that had a ladder to a sleeping loft, which Wylie climbed quite well, but he had very little experience with stairs.  I remember sitting on the couch, newborn at the breast, and a toddling Wylie attempting his first down stairs trek solo.  I'm sure I sang out in an un-alarming voice (no need to scare the child now that its too late) "hold the rail tightly, walk slowly, watch your feet..." what I do remember is that at one point, heart in throat, I decided it was best to look away.  He had no doubt he could do this. He had not asked for help or even hesitated at the top.  And so, still coaching, I looked away and waited to hear his little feet slap the floor and patter toward me.  Safe.

So, we plunge on, homeschooling, two-wheeling, swimming, climbing (higher and higher every day), looking away when we must, but trusting all the while that our children will do what they set out to do.