homestead happenings: spring mania
It’s late; I’m peeing with the bathroom door wide open when Dan comes in from bow-making in his shop. He looks around and raises his eyebrows at the quietness in the house.
“Dude. 7:30,” I say, remarking on when the ship of boisterous children went down.
“What’s for snack?” I ask, still peeing, though unaware of the dinner stuck greenly between the teeth from which I smile at him.
What’s the right word here? Uncouth? In love?
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Dandelion pesto on deer backstrap. Did I mention in my last post how *delicious* dandelion pesto is? Perhaps I was too busy singing its nutritional praises to note that it is a luscious marriage of rich roastyness (from the nuts) and peppy greenness.
I love this time of year, how spring creeps along methodically—green grass, check; dandelion flowers, check; high arcing sun, check—and then suddenly a peach tree erupts pinkly, and it’s like the space shuttle has landed in our backyard. No one can sleep because THE PEACH IS BLOOMING. Actually, no one can sleep because it’s light out forever. Every night at 7:30 pm Dan closes our curtains, yawns dramatically, and puts a curse on any neighborhood kid who dares to knock on the door and ask if Col and Rose want to come out and play storm troopers.
This peach tree sprouted from our compost pile years ago, and we, as an experiment, planted it, and hoo boy, it has grown. I’m feeling like this will be the year it bears fruit.
We’re all infected with spring mania. Everything seems so shiny and new, even the clucky old ladies who would like to eat every living thing in our yard.
Including your finger. “Did you need that finger?”
You can actually smell the fruit trees blooming all over town. I want to throw a party for each new phase of spring, like: lilacs blooming now, everyone come over with a potluck dish. Everyday I check under the straw mulch for signs of the 300 or so kale, lettuce, arugula and spinach seeds I’ve planted. (My new trick is to seed all the beds with greens, which will translate into 100 salads by the time it’s warm enough to dig the greens under and plant tomatoes, peppers and squash. As if I’ve ever been able to “dig a plant under.”)
Spring is the very definition of potential, containing all the unwritten chapters of summer, which unfold perfectly without typos or weeds, like the brilliant essays I write while riding my bike.
On the homestead:
:: The kids are just happy to be outside. I am increasingly convinced that outside, there is little they need other than time and freedom. Col, like his father, expresses himself through his hands. Inside it’s legos and art. Outside it’s sticks and rocks and dirt.
Col is all about brush shelters these days.
For the ladies’ comfort, of course.
:: Dan’s been trying to get my attention in 5 minute snippets to show me his “antler kiva root cellar” plan.
Can you picture it? Dan’s going to dig a 5 foot deep, 6 foot wide hole, build the walls up with rocks, and then mound antlers and juniper bark on the ceiling, cover the whole thing with a water-proof membrane and 2 feet of backfill dirt. Did I get that right, Dan? All I heard was we’re going to have a place to store apples, carrots and potatoes!
In those 5 minutes of debriefing on the antler kiva root cellar, Rose went from this:
At least she kept her hat on.
:: Col and Rose and their friend Iris had a garage sale last weekend, in which not a soul walked by, so the kids bought each others junk.
If you happen to be one of Iris’ relatives who reads this blog, here is one of the many things I love about Iris: she manages to be equally Col *and* Rose’s friend, which is rare and special. Also, one thing I love about garage sales is it’s a great way to learn math. In fact, when the kids think of the numeral 5, a nickel undoubtedly pops into their head.
:: Spring beauty is blooming in the pine-oak belt.
Which is also a good place to build nests for birds up in an oak tree. Pre-made nests! All the rage in the avian world. “The bird that finds this will be so happy,” Col says.
Rose handing Col nest material.
:: I’ve been a little obsessed with these raw, energy nuggets we’ve been making. We may have eaten them for dinner while Dan was in New Jersey visiting his Mama. And breakfast. So many permutations and flavors. Anyone interested in a recipe?
:: At the creek, arriving:
10 seconds later:
Rose has been manifesting like some new age diva. First she got a new/borrowed bike with the three things she was “most always wishing for:” kickstand, bell and basket! And then, in a box of hand-me-downs, her fluffy pink bathrobe dreams came true!
Watching Col play, shirtless, in the creek, sun pouring down like rain, made me realize that after everything, we’re luckier than we can ever know. Maybe all of us are always luckier than we can ever know.
*The kids are gazing out the window at the soaring vultures*
Rose: I wish I was a bird.
Col: A vulture?
Col: If you were a vulture your ice cream would be dead deer meat and your fizzy water would be blood.
ps: everyone pees in front of their partners, right?