Yes, we have not gotten out of the habit of photographing our food! I try to use some restraint but when our morning brunch includes roasted garlic and sweet potatoes, a potato crusted spinach ricotta quiche and a potato crusted sausage mozzarella quiche, it is hard not to take a picture. It brings back very fond memories - of the food and the people that ate it with me. It feels so satisfying to eat a meal like that in which almost every ingredient has passed through our hands multiple times - harvesting the potatoes to washing and shredding them, picking and blanching the spinach, butchering the hog and then grinding the sausage and then on the day of spicing it with our dried sage and fennel, getting the milk from our local farmer and making mozzarella and ricotta, and the list could go on! The memories of digging the sweet potatoes with the girls or planting and harvesting garlic - all these things make the process of making a meal so much more deeply satisfying!
After those deeply satisfying (and rather rich) meals, it feels good to get some fresh air and exercise. That part of the equation is not happening nearly as often as I would like - since getting all the young folks bundled up and ready to go out at the same time often feels like more than I can accomplish. But since Terah is normally down to 1 nap/day right now it has made the days feel a little less like a scheduling nightmare and easier to figure out moments when we have a block of time to enjoy the outdoors. And nothing seems to motivate Terah more than an offer to go outside. That is where she is currently - enjoying playing with the ducks and Buttercup with Kali! They went out after our brunch and have been out long enough for me to do most of the supper prep I needed to get done and the dishes and might I be lucky enough to also finish a blog post?
Yesterday we went for a "girls' walk." Jason is busy working on the "winter cut back," which is more or less doing a once over on the whole property and cutting back/out some things, moving some things, pruning, etc... So while he chipped away at that multi-day/week project, we went for a wagon ride/walk. Terah is not fond of nappy walks right now so our better timing for walks is after she wakes from a nap. She'd like to walk, but can normally be persuaded to ride (at least for awhile). She's pretty cute trying to walk in her tennis shoes and her snow suit and bulky coat. Sometimes she falls flat on her face because she is a bit off balance with all the gear on. But she doesn't seem to mind. She has walked all the way up the hill with me to visit our neighbors and seems proud of her strong little legs.
When we got back from our walk, we hung out with the ducks and Buttercup for awhile so they could get some outdoor playtime. Buttercup now spends her night in her coop and her days with the ducks. It's hilarious because it kind of seems like she has assumed they are now her adopted family. The ducks will waddle off in a line and Buttercup will run to join them. She seems to have adjusted to the new routine quite well and it's pretty funny to watch her with them. The reason they are not getting more time out is we continue to have a heck of a time with predators. Currently Jason is trying to catch/kill a fox that has mange and looks really miserable. It would be mercy to put it out of its misery, and would also mean it would not be acting desperate for food. I heard two shots yesterday morning and assumed that he had been successful, only to learn that instead it was a mink that had been under one of the chicken coops and was acting funny. Our neighbor helped him track it down and after killing it learned that it was probably blind in one if not both eyes. It also did not appear to be well. Sadly, it was later that day that Jason realized that the mink had been successful in maiming one of his hens through the wire of the coop. So that hen will be in a soup pot by the end of the day - another very obvious mercy killing. These are not our favorite things about life on the farm, but it is all part of it!
So that's a few snippets of news from the homestead. I am trying to be present to these beautiful times with our daughters! They are precious and fleeting (in that they are all very set on growing up super fast)! But it would be a lie to say that our minds and emotions often stray to things happening near and far from our homestead. Our hearts ache for loved ones who are facing hard questions as they deal with advanced prostate cancer and for the many who are at the receiving end of so much hatred and injustice in our world. It's an ongoing struggle for us to discern where our energies can make the most positive impact...
But the outdoor play time is up and a nap is on the horizon. So I'll end with not 1 or 2 but 4 videos! Terah clearly is most prominent in our video postings so I thought I'd include one here of Alida and one of Kali too.
To start here is one of Terah feeling VERY proud of her new skill. She's been "helping me" blend things for quite some time but the other day discovered she is strong enough to do it all by herself. Now none of us are supposed to help her!
It's so fun to see how little people watch the big people around them and before you know it you see them trying to follow in your footsteps. That can be a good or bad thing depending on the circumstances. Terah brushing her teeth is pretty fun to watch, even if she is not quite tall enough for her spit to get where it's supposed to go:
Alida is our creative and imaginative one right now. She comes up with songs and poems and stories and new family members on a daily basis. Sometimes I will admit that my own mind is swirling and I tune her out. When I tune back in, it's often good for a smile or chuckle. Not sure what inspired her dreaming of growing up "tall and broad" but here she is! She also is cute making up words, when she forgets one that we used that wasn't a familiar term for her. We got home from the co-op the other night where we had splurged on a few apples and some organic cheese to go with our popcorn testing. I was in nursing Terah and heard her talking excitedly to Jason about how we had "bulged" at the co-op.
And, finally, Kali with her ducks and chicken. We were trying to get a picture and then I realized I was videotaping instead, and then the ducks were not cooperating with staying put. They thought Kali was trying to herd them home. They are funny! Enjoy...