Zoey gave me the night off of cooking. She suggested we drive down the mountain to the local pizza place. Zane fell asleep on the way down, but then woke up in time to eat. Every time he ate a bite of pizza he gagged and then I remembered how when he first started eating solids he gagged on every bite. Why he started gagging again tonight, I have not a clue. Unlike when he was a baby and spit out every bite we gave him, he gagged tonight but at least kept swallowing the pizza. We used to worry when he was a baby that he would never be able to eat like a normal person. We thought he’d be an adult eating pureed food. And then one day he just started eating non pureed food and I forgot all about the gagging until tonight.
Zoey was not happy that we didn’t get dessert. As soon as we got in the car to drive home, she started to repeat over and over, “I’m hungry, I’m hungry.” You’d think we hadn’t fed the girl. She ate the avocado off my salad, all of her cheese pizza minus the crust, two brussel sprouts and a little broccolette, and one slice of Stephen’s sausage pizza. Must be her enlarged stomach.
The painters finished today. I’m really loving the happy colors says the girl who had rainbow wallpaper in her bedroom as a child.
For this next photo, see if you can spot the little girl. Can you see her?
We hung out in the shed for a bit late this afternoon. The kids tried out their hammering skills. I told Stephen he should set up a little work table for them to do their hammering, sawing, nailing, and painting. Might as well put them to work.
As you can see, Zoey was able to hit the nail correctly with the hammer. Zane loved hammering but couldn’t figure out what he was supposed to do with the hammer.
When he wasn’t hammering, he was sitting on the chainsaw. I wasn’t sure if he was pretending it was a pony or if he thought that is how you work a chainsaw.
And yes, notice his haircut. I attempted to cut his bangs, and they are now crooked. Grandma will need to fix it when we see her next month. Stephen says Zane has a 60s style mod haircut. Hmm, maybe we’ll keep it.
An interior look at the shed/storage space/workroom.
An interior view of Stephen’s new workshop with the huge dust collector.
Over the weekend I listened to the On Being podcast with Mary Catherine Bateson. Krista Tippett asked her what the word “homemaking” meant for her. She said, “creating an environment in which learning is possible.” I thought that was a beautiful description of the work that so many mothers and some fathers strive to do at home, but I know I for one fall short most of the time. When I stop to think what an environment looks like where learning is possible–the first thing that pops into my head is “less stuff and more space.” Maybe I am speaking for myself, but I never feel comfortable working in a room if there is clutter everywhere. It’s kind of like when I start dinner, I always have to clear my space a bit before I start cooking otherwise I feel overwhelmed. A year ago I read Kim John Payne’s book called Simplicity Parenting. From what I remember, he speaks to the fact that kids live in overstimulated environments these days. I guess in my ideal world, I want the interior of our home to be as soothing and calming as it is for the kids to be outdoors. How I achieve that, I’m not sure. I wonder how Zane and Zoey feel in our home. Maybe I should ask them.
Whenever we walk around our property, it tends to be in the usual places, but sometimes I’m struck by a tree or a place that I’ve never noticed before. There are so many lovely spots on our property. Sometimes I think I just want to sit there and stay all day in that one spot.
We picked some apples over the weekend. They seem to be ripening quite slowly up here. I rather like it that way so that we can pick a few at a time and not be overwhelmed by apples.
It was also a day of tree climbing for Zoey and Lester. Solo was smart enough to stay on the ground.
Here’s Lester moments before he flung himself ungracefully out of the tree onto the ground.
On a side note, I discovered the first week in October that we’ve nearly used up all are internet time here at the house for this month, so we’ll see if I’m able to make it through the end of the month blogging.
If you want to see something colorful, take a look at our shed. It gets quite a reaction these days from the construction guys working for us. Here’s a photograph of the old shed.
The red shed prior to the renovation.
And here’s a look at it now.
I’ll take hopefully better photos once the painters are done and I figure out how to use my camera properly. Here’s the Marimekko curtain that inspired the color choices for our shed.
It was a mostly uneventful day. Zoey helped me make fresh tomato sauce with tomatoes from our garden. She wanted to play restaurant so she got to be Rosetta and I was Shelley. After the tomato sauce was done cooking and cooled, we hopped on Big Red and drove over to the lake with our lunch. Stephen, Zane, and I sat at the picnic table while Zoey sat on a blanket on the dock. It was a lovely lunch although stressful at times trying to keep a 19 month old from falling into the water. I wouldn’t really recommend it. The four year old was smart enough to stay on the dock so taking a four year old is okay. But if you want to enjoy a peaceful lunch, maybe keep the young toddlers at home. Don’t worry, no one fell in.
Yesterday was Nature Day for Zoey’s preschool class. They spend the entire day outside by a nearby lake. Rain or shine, they’ll have their class by the lake every Tuesday. If you’re wondering why everyday should be a nature day, read the article Nature Deficit Disorder by David Mitchell (http://gallery.mailchimp.com/1e12bee2a44dd702c165a8c03/files/RB11_2mitchellnature.pdf). It was included in the monthly Waldorf newsletter we get from Zoey’s school. So if you haven’t stepped outside yet today to see something not man-made, go step outside right now.
I started writing about the sequence of events that took place tonight at bedtime. It wasn’t pretty, and I don’t have the heart to share it because I’d rather not remember it. I feel dishonest trying to share anything else tonight. My kids are so precious yet sometimes in the moment of frustration and anger, I yell at them as if that will change everything but it never does. And then later I worry that I’ve scarred them terribly. I know, how could I have possible yelled at these adorable kids?
At my last herbal class we learned how to crack, pound, leach, and eat acorns. My teacher Donna made us acorn pate. Below is the recipe in case you live near any oak trees and want to go out to collect some acorns for food. All acorns are edible but you’ll need to leach them first to remove the tannins. An easy way to leach is to first grind up the acorns in a blender (after you have cracked them open). A Vitamix works great. Then put the acorn meal in a quart size glass mason jar and cover with water. Put jar in refrigerator and every day for about a week, pour off the darkened water off the top and add fresh water. The acorn meal will settle to the bottom, but be careful not to pour this off, too. After the acorn meal is done leaching (water looks clear), then you can either add it to a food you will cook or you can simmer the acorn meal for about 15 minutes.
Donna d’Terra’s Acorn Pate
Mix 1 cup acorn (leached, cooked, strained, cooled) with mayonnaise until it is a “spreadable” consistency. Fold in some or all of these (chopped fine): scallions or red onion, celery, basil/cilantro/parsley, toasted sesame or toasted sunflower seeds
Add to taste: lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, tamari, salt, or pepper
Serve on crackers
I haven’t made this recipe yet. I just enjoyed it in class along with the acorn mush that Corine Pearce, a local Pomo teacher and speaker shared with my class. Now is the time to go out and collect acorns off the ground. Discard the ones with a black spot or hole. According to Donna, acorns are high in protein, vitamin A and C, amino acids, and high quality fats. Also good to know, you can store acorns for years in a glass jar before you are ready to cook them. So if you’re looking for a cool new appetizer to bring to your next holiday party, this recipe might do the trick!
A Blessing for the Senses
May your body be blessed.
May you realize that your body is a faithful and beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful and recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is mindful, gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to celebrate the universe and the mystery and possibilities in your presence here.
May the Eros of the Earth bless you.
-from Anam Cara by John O’Donohue