...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Still Life

My favorite seasonal still life.
Life is good.  I really have nothing serious to complain about.  But again today my husband and I were discussing how much of a time suck the "life maintenance" items on our lists can be.  Of course there's laundry to do, groceries to buy, gardens to tend, housecleaning to do, dinners to cook.  I'm not talking about that life maintenance (because I truly enjoy doing ALL of those things), but it's the scheduling and bill paying and organizing and trying to keep up with world events and social media, etc. etc. etc.  I'm reading Zero Waste Home right now which I referenced in a post a couple of years ago.  It's good to have a refresher course.  We have a long way to go to achieve "zero waste" at home despite how other school moms tease me on the playground at pick-up about my lack of garbage.  But what I find interesting in Bea Johnson's story is how once her family began pairing down their belongings and waste, they eventually found more time for enjoying the beauty of life and each other.  We're striving for that.

In the meantime I have kiddos to thank for helping me slow down now and then.  V is good at reminding me that sometimes I need to take time out to dance or watch the grass grow.  This past week she had a friend over after school.  I always welcome playmates not only because it's good for her as an only child to practice sharing her space and toys, but also because it usually means they can keep each other occupied while I get some things done around the house.  Well, on Tuesday they just couldn't seem to get along on our home turf so I had no choice but to take them off premises to the playground at the lakefront.  Just walking a couple of blocks on a beautiful day seemed to calm them a bit.  After playing on the jungle gym they decided they wanted to throw rocks into the water at the beach.  While they were doing so I had no choice but to sit quietly, observe, and help them find some cool rocks to take home.  Part of me felt antsy and anxious because I knew I had a big to-do list at home, but part of me realized that THAT was all I really needed to be doing right then.  It was all that mattered.  My husband would forgive me if I didn't get dinner started on time, my garden would forgive me if I didn't get a seed in the ground that moment, and my fridge would forgive me if I didn't replenish its supply of homemade condiments.
Finding skipping stones, fossilized rocks, sedimentary,
"volcanic," writing rocks.

We even found a fresh water crab claw
So much work to do writing in the sand, washing/painting
rocks, skipping stones.
I'm hoping this summer V and I strike a balance between scheduled and unscheduled time.  I'm excited about sitting in the yard reading a book while she has fun styling my hair with a million clips, watching her jump through the sprinkler while I enjoy a glass of water, taking our artist kits to the park and painting under a shady tree, and sitting outside in the evenings on weekends with my husband just talking and listening to music.  Let us do more of those simple things this summer (and NOW) and just be.

Stop and smell the cherry blossoms.

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