Tasty bits from the past few days...
My brother's family came up to Maine this weekend to visit Mimi in her new home. We are always excited to see Casey and Nessa, but the real excitement these days is this cute little thing. We were taking numbers to see who could hold baby Sophie first. At one point Kale conceded that Juni could have a turn before him--but only if she paid him $9.00. We settled on 9 pennies, and everyone was happy in the end. Even Sophie, despite all that passing around. She really is a good one.
Sometimes the third child (despite the many, many photos) gets the shaft. While I honestly believe that the benefits from his siblings outweigh the things he misses out on, I still feel a bit sad when I realize that he's never had nesting blocks, or been to toddler story hour at the library. The other day at Mimi's he did his first age appropriate puzzle. Throughout the day there are so many times I find myself saying, "just a minute" or "not right now" or I'll help you with that after this..." The other day, on the verge of a tantrum (his, not mine) I realized it was time for something 3-year old focused. Play dough. When Wylie and Juniper were little we made play dough all the time. All The Time. Every week I think. The stuff Kale has been using was made months ago, was filled with hard clumps and was the dingy pink of old bubble gum. So we stopped what we were doing, and made new playdough. Orange, with peppermint oil so it smells nice. No one can resist warm, fresh playdough. Its like therapy for three year olds. And the rest of us. We spent a good five minutes just holding it to our cheeks until it cooled. Start to finish it took maybe 10 minutes, including dishes. Wish I'd thought of it sooner. Maybe next week we'll make those little fish with paper clips and a magnet on a string. Remember those?
Over the past week we collected about 2 gallons of sap, and it was time to boil. We've never done this before, and it was definitely a hobo operation. But, it worked. We made syrup. "Now we don't have to buy it at the store!" --Kale
After a week of gathering, and 2 hours of boiling we have about a cup of syrup to show for it. But the work was easy (the kids got cold and bored and flitted about here and there while I stoked the fire, and enjoyed my tea and book), and the end product is pretty amazing--all smokey and buttery flavored.
I'm already dreaming of something bigger for next year.
Kale's taken to wearing his little black stretchy gloves at all times. They're the $2, one size fits most, nylon things from Reny's that are also apparently the perfect accessory for worker guys, train drivers, and knights. It makes dining tricky. We're rolling with it because hey why not?, But I can't help be reminded of a short period of time when someone close to me was suffering from an eating disorder and wore gloves at all times due to cold hands from poor circulation. Its a skeletal, morbid image that doesn't at all jive with this juicy plump morsel trying to balance his bagel without getting cream cheese on his worker gloves.
Our centerpiece these days has become more utilitarian than beautiful, but its working. We've just cut some forsythia that looks like it may bloom soon, I'm looking forward to a bit more spring in here.
A A friend just sent this lovely lino-print greeting card, by Vermont artist Suzanne DeJohn.
I put it up on the boards in our kitchen and find myself loving it every time I look at it. I've Googled her but can't find any info on who she is. Thinking I'll have to frame this small treasure. Thanks Dorn!
In March when its grey like today, it feels colder even though its warmer than it was last week. The driveway is thawing out, the blaze orange "bump" signs are out on the road, and the chicken coop door won't shut far enough to latch properly. Its frost heave, muddy slush, wet snow gear, and smelly chicken coop season. But its also early sunrise, garden planning, seed starting, outside-sitting season.
Its coming. I can smell it in the sap boiling.