Surprises and endurance, mine and yours

The luge track is finding it's groove. And a deep groove it is. There is so much snow out there! We had the most excellent surprise of all our kids coming home this weekend.* Even the Arkansas kid showed up on the doorstep. So now you get to endure the photos of the throwback sledding... Continue Reading →

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Sunshine, even on a dreary day…

There are sunflowers out my window. Not because I am a sunflower farmer, but simply because I planted hostas beneath my birdfeeder. You see, the resident chickens really like to scratch there under that feeder in the spring, for no matter how many birds we have, even of the ground-feeding junco variety, the intended beneficiaries... Continue Reading →

Vortex

Lately I’ve been appalled at the state of the bathroom. There is an over-population here that can only be blamed on the raising of seven children, but now, at the cusp of that number plunging to two, the ammassment of toiletries here is looking more and more extravagant, possibly diagnosable. Let’s just address the lotions... Continue Reading →

Near miss

I have just been buzzed by a pileated woodpecker. When I say buzzed, what I mean, specifically, is that I felt the push of his enormous wings. Lingering on the flash of memory burned into the back of my brain, I can count the barbs on his feathers. In more concrete terms, that sixteen-inch beast... Continue Reading →

A Christmas Visitor

Last summer we had this crazed cardinal. He appeared one day on the back deck, chipping like a wild man. Incessantly. For weeks. Every day he would return, and every day he would march up and down the railing boards, from one end of the deck to the other, pacing, chip, chip, chipping at us... Continue Reading →

Snapshots

I missed it. I feel like Annie Dillard missing the very moment of the happening of spring, despite her diligence. Only I've missed the very moment of the happening of fall. I knew it would happen. That whole abandoning ship at peak thing ensured I'd be derailed. And I was. For months, I've been taking... Continue Reading →

Take Two

As I've said, I'm scrapbooking again. As I've said. But what I set out to write a few weeks back was not a diatribe on the virtues of skimpy scrapbooking. It was not meant to be only a physical confession of a swept-away hobbyist. It was intended to reflect upon the growing need within to... Continue Reading →

Full Circle

I have been scrapbooking again. It's a bit of a wagon-worthy confession. There is a short and shunted period of my personal history when I was a scrapbooker. I scrapbooked. I sold scrapbooks. Mostly, I spent unholy sums of money on gourmet scrapbooks and all manner of scrapbooking paraphernalia. Markers. Stickers. Cut-outs. Paper; O Lord,... Continue Reading →

Uncut

Huh. Just found this in my drafts folder from a couple months back. Guess I never hit Publish. Cheers... Nat Goldberg. There are few writers that I count on to bring me out of a rut every time. Why she is one of them, I don't even know, but she is indeed that buoy that brings... Continue Reading →

Bounty

Our garden hasn't looked this pitiful in years, but there is something beautiful that calls to me. Something more natural and wild and free than we've allowed before. This year's plantings were haphazard; this is an understatement. We weren't sure of how much to plant, for the surgery was coming, and let's face it… no... Continue Reading →

Doomed

The Feels Like temperature, or if you will, the Wind Chill, has broken 102. I am hot. I wouldn't be quite so hot if the air conditioner was working, but it seems that the blower motor, or the control panel, or some integral part of the furnace, has succumbed to the lightning strike back in... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman My rating: 5 of 5 stars Another homerun from Fredrik Backman. Wow. Britt-Marie Was Here follows Britt-Marie of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry fame through the next stage of her life, and it does so with deep compassion and beauty. If you've read about Elsa... Continue Reading →

Breathe…

It's been a wild ride. But here I am, settling back into a normal, albeit new routine, and it feels good. Two weeks ago, we took kiddo #3 to Madison for the State National History Day event. We toured the Capitol. We ate Nepalese. And she, with her intrepid partner, did great, and had the 5th... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Jayber Crow

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry My rating: 5 of 5 stars Confession: I've never read any Wendell Berry. So when I say I've been reading Wendell Berry, it strikes me as a very lofty thing to say. A dear friend called Jayber Crow the best book she's ever read. Another dear friend, upon hearing that... Continue Reading →

I threw away food today

My husband did not argue. I've been on a month-long dairy-free experiment these days, partly hoping to clear up a six-week plugged ear, and partly as an exercise in solidarity with my dairy-free fifteen-year-old. Dairy is one of those things that gives me cold sweats to consider living without. I love it. Cheese makes everything... Continue Reading →

Birds and Babies

I'll make up for my overly verbose last post with an abbreviated one today... I just saw my first tufted titmouse. Ever. Here at my own birdfeeder. Where the squirrels play. Yes, he was adorable. The slackline is up, the treehouse is swept out and in use, and the driveway is muddy. The first tree... Continue Reading →

Coldframe

That retreat, that last post about the seedlings needing tending, they both ushered in something I've never previously managed. Something I've never really even tried. Not for fear. Well, maybe a little for fear. But mostly because I have some very specific priorities, and while writing ranks pretty high on the list, it does not... Continue Reading →

New Year, New Adventures

We are sacked in, once again, with frigid temperatures in Wisconsin. I wish to be that hearty soul that walks to their evening meeting, even when the mercury is dropping well below zero. I wish to be the one who gets myself out there despite the cold, just for the sheer joy of being out... Continue Reading →

Timing

I've been wondering why it is that flashes of brilliance - or at least flashes of our best selves - manifest themselves while we're in no position to act on them. Creative juices, spiritual prods, humanitarian urges. They all arrive when we are somehow incapacitated. I'm sure I'm not alone. You are resolved (and possibly... Continue Reading →

8

I have to say, the snow falling outside my fire-warmed home makes me all seasonal-sappy. Amazing what a coat of white can do for the psyche. I went for my first AAH-IT'S-WINTER-AND-I'M-TAKING-A-WALK walk this morning. It required boots - and much orange, given my temporal proximity to the midpoint of gun deer season - and... Continue Reading →

An Anti-Cautionary Tale

Well, we have a new president. Let's not think about it. It's time I tell you the tale of the toothbrush. Not long ago I finally retired my toothbrush. It was, in all fairness, already past it's prime, but that week camping on the North Shore with the kid who forgot to pack her own... Continue Reading →

Fire and Fear Relieved

Well, I finally got my bonfire last night. I don't know what's going on with the weather this fine Wisconsin November, but you won't hear me complaining. Nothing short of gorgeous. So, just as Scott was finishing filling out the woodpile for winter, we dipped into the stores for a little evening blaze. An evening... Continue Reading →

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