homestead happenings: recharging batteries
You can tell I’m feeling better because I’ve been whistling while I work, which is to say, singing along tunelessly to The Wailin’ Jennys while I slip meat off a smooth turkey scapula with my thumb. (Also, turkey bones are the Lamborghini of bone broth, so there’s that to celebrate, too).
Another clue that I’m feeling better is that Rose spent her dog-sitting money on these blingy nail-stickers, and despite the fact that they made me cringe for five thousand different reasons, I helped her apply and trim them and felt a funny sort of pride in her courage to be so sparkly-spangled while the rest of us are more good-naturedly boring and practical.
Also, it’s possible that my mind is either getting more expansive or the tiniest bit addled. I’ve been taking my beer money to various healers and every single one is independently encouraging me to find my greater, supernatural-like support system (except my acupuncturist, who is encouraging me to buy a new bra). I’ve been calling on the Arnica Fairy, on Old Mother Juniper, on freaking angels. I’ve been getting to know an old, braced place in my chest I’ve named “The Shield,” one of those places developed to keep you safe in the scary wilds of childhood, which now is like leaving the house with a team of armed bodyguards when you’ve actually got grown up skills and life is really pretty safe and lovely.
Also, I’m learning how to recharge my mental/emotional/physical batteries. Mostly this means doing less, and as my friend Ananda confirmed, the world does go on just fine even if I go to bed at 9pm and shut my computer down for the weekend. But also, self care is sometimes doing more, like signing the kids and I up to volunteer at the local animal shelter (where Rose is already agitating for a very elderly female cat who’s been marked down to $10). Self care is not just an island owned by Oprah. Although, holy moly, growing up American, somehow you get the impression that mastering your times tables by ten years old is the brass ring to strive for. And to tell you the truth, I’m still a little fuzzy on some of my times tables, but getting clearer that I’m never alone.
On the homestead::
:: Hanukkah has been more special than I could have imagined. Not sure if it’s that Col and Rose can be bickering right up to the moment the flame leaps from the lighter, and then we all unify like a wholesome Norman Rockwell painting to sing the Hanukkah blessing; or maybe it’s how Rose approaches the blessing like a gospel song with jazzy riffs and long-held notes; or maybe it’s that Dan has taught the kids to sing the part that goes asher kidishanu as I share kitties with you, which is a pretty powerful blessing when you think about it, as the adopting of our first cat Jasper was certainly the start of our own deep committment.
Notable: Rose is wearing a long-sleeved leotard in DECEMBER, hence bare legs; Col can’t keep his hands out of the fire (Dan is onto him); the ubiquitous bowl of soaking pinto beans; my lonely yet cheery bowl of bone broth soup in the midst of enchiladas. And ten points to anyone who spots Dan without his knit hat from now through April.
:: My parents just left after two months here in Durango (and are now obnoxiously e-mailing me pictures of the fresh tomatoes they’re buying at the Berkeley farmers markets. It’s ten degrees here today). We loved having them here, passing the kids back and forth between us like precious and very loud gifts. Yesterday Rose roped me and Col into a little “window-shopping,” which is something her and Nana do together (this is where you peruse stores without buying anything. For fun). I told her my limit was two stores unless someone hooks me up to a medical marijuana IV, when she scoffingly informed me that her and Nana usually do at least NINE stores.
:: Col got a remote control airplane for Hanukkah and now it’s clear what his hands have been missing all these years. I can’t quite understand the magic of watching something launch…circle…crash over and over and over. But, I’m happy for Col’s happiness.
:: This picture, taken on Thanksgiving, sums up everything I’m thankful for.
:: Kale poachers.
:: Forcefully grooming reluctant chickens with a stiff-bristled brush: Don’t let PETA know.
:: Col’s new homemade bow and quiver.
:: The complete, homely view of those lovely coldframe greens from my last post. Blankets overnight and a row of insulating bags of leaves on the northside. (Just so you don’t think I’m running some Martha Stewart-like operation here).
This could also serve as a great Holiday Book-Buying Guide for the 6-10 year old set.
Col, recharging his batteries.
ps: Earlier this week at you’vegottabekiddingme thirty in the morning, Rose wakes me up because her knees are hurting. I ask if she’s nervous about going to school tomorrow. Yes, that’s it. Would you like to call in some angels to help you? She would. She calls in 3 boys and 3 girls (each trio has an angel with black, red and blonde hair, suspiciously similar to Charlie’s Angels). I ask if she wants to ask the angels for help. She asks the boys to help her with the knee pain and the girls to help her get back to bed. One minute later she’s in her top bunk, calling out a bit like a drunken sorority sister, as she does when sleep-happy, “I love you soooooo much, Mama.” Just saying.