Tomorrow would be a good opportunity to catch up on the blog since I've cleared the day to stay home with the girls to try to keep all our germs to ourselves. Kali and I are both nursing colds and then Kali woke up this morning with a very red eye, sealed shut (probably pinkeye). It looks great now, thanks to the wonders of breast milk (yes, I squirted her in the eye multiple times today). So I think we are all on the mend, but with still coughing and being rather snotty we figure it best to let Jason enjoy a day in town without us and for us to enjoy a day at home without other commitments. So why can't I save the blog for tomorrow and do the dishes right now? Well, one of the things Jason and I decided to do together for lent was have "screen-free Sundays." Tomorrow is the first! So I'll be shutting down my computer at the end of the day and not turning it on until Monday. I think I will be more challenged by this commitment than Jason, since I think most of his Sundays are currently "screen-free."
Two additional snippets, not covered by the recently posted videos:
Last weekend we did our "Adopt a Highway" route again, this time with Aunt E and her boyfriend J. Lots of fun was had by all five of us that participated and we were grateful for all the adult muscles along, and the kid ones too! It continues to boggle my mind and disgust me what things folks will fling out their car windows.
While E & J were visiting, we also worked together and finished putting all the rocks in the groundwater recharge pit in Nora's garden. It continues to be a good process for us to work on that project together, and with others as they are able to join us. Next stage of that involves Jason pouring the concrete top.
Jason has planted kale, lettuce, oats, winter wheat and spring wheat in the garden. He has also made fabulous headway on some clearing projects on his precious "work days at home." Today he was clearing around the pecan trees and so currently has the "nut grove" on his mind!
Today had some special moments in it. For the last few months we have been blessed to have a couple living in Mom and Dad's in-law quarters. We are grateful for the ways our lives have been able to intersect, and I've felt glad many times lately that we moved ahead with building when we did. It felt odd sometimes to have the space ready for Mom and Dad, but to not have them here. Now it seems in some ways serendipitous that we did. The couple now using the space moved to the area to be closer to their two children, particularly at this time in their life as the father is journeying with cancer (making life both precious and very unpredictable).
Today their son came bearing a gift of a serviceberry tree to be planted near the house, as a thank you for opening our home to them. We have been gifted by interacting with their family, so a gift didn't feel necessary by any means but this particular gift is very meaningful. As I walked out to help (or photograph) the digging of the hole and planting the tree, I saw the little clump of daffodils that came from table centerpieces from my Grandma's funeral blooming by our door. As we planted the serviceberry tree, marking the time their family is spending in our home, it was meaningful to think that the same species of tree is planted in Nora's memory at the Mountain House in West Virginia. Like the West Virginia tree, this one will be right near the swingset, where children play and enjoy life to the fullest.
There is so much to soak up in life right now. I'm grateful for memories and I'm grateful for dreams. But many times, I look at Alida and Kali and Jason and am in awe of the present moment. And I need to be fully present right now because Alida has moved into a stage in which she needs full-time supervision. The girl has plans and many of them include leaving a path of destruction behind her. She loves to remove all the books from the bookshelf, unload the block box or her toy box, dump the box of spools, throw Kali's plastic fruits and vegetables around the room, and of course find any crumbs, dirt, or firewood remains on the floor and consume them, smacking her lips in satisfaction each time (until I come after her and she takes off crawling as fast as she can with her little lips pursed with her treasure enclosed). What a pumpkin!
Well, if I don't close this soon I'll be typing to the sound of the canner going - not sure I'm ready for canning season to begin, but tonight it is just chicken broth. This year is the first year we have been using our canned goods at the pace needed to make a true dent in them by the time the next season rolls around. We are not grocery shopping very much at all right now and are usually putting a few empty canning jars back on the shelf each day or two. That feels great! Okay, must run - baby now out of the jumper and taking off towards Kali's bedroom...