Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tenting Out

My boys are tenting out in the back yard. They think this is the best thing ever. Fred has been revving the imaginary engines by telling tales of Jeremiah Johnson before they get sleepy. He is good at embellishing.Particularly because there are not only spooky sounds, but having encountered a rabid raccoon just a few short weeks ago- real threats seem imminent. I have found men of all sizes and ages like a real threat to their safety. They suddenly feel useful and necessary in the world. So my younger boys are enjoying the danger zone while their older brothers are away. And the campfire, with hot dogs and marshmallows every night hasn't been too bad either.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We are Seven

I am reminded these last few days of a poem my Dad used to recite for us as kids called We Are Seven. It is by Williams Wordsworth,( perfect name for a poet by the way) but I didn't know that til recently. My Dad
 ( God rest his soul) used to recite it when I was a little girl and I had only a faint recall of it- if any. When I began homeschooling my kids, using a classical curriculum I found all sorts of neat poems and books that seemed initially old fashioned, but were simply classics. Imagine my surprise to open a selection one day and find the very poem my Dad had recited come washing back over me in the pages. Reading it as an adult made me so sad to realize it was a poem about death and faith, and perspective. I could hear my Dads voice in each syllable. (Read the poem below if you'd like a glimpse of my Dads soft heart.)

My Dad

We Are Seven ( by William Wordsworth)

------A simple Child,
 That lightly draws its breath,
 And feels its life in every limb,
 What should it know of death?

 I met a little cottage Girl:
 She was eight years old, she said;
 Her hair was thick with many a curl 
That clustered round her head.

 She had a rustic, 
woodland air,
 And she was wildly clad: 
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
 --Her beauty made me glad.

 “Sisters and brothers, little Maid, 
How many may you be?”
 “How many? Seven in all,”
 she said And wondering looked at me.

 “And where are they? I pray you tell.”
 She answered, “Seven are we; 
And two of us at Conway dwell, 
And two are gone to sea. 

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
 My sister and my brother;
 And, in the church-yard cottage, 
I Dwell near them with my mother.”

 “You say that two at Conway dwell,
 And two are gone to sea, 
Yet ye are seven!--I pray you tell,
 Sweet Maid, how this may be.”

 Then did the little Maid reply, 
“Seven boys and girls are we;
 Two of us in the church-yard lie,
 Beneath the church-yard tree.”

 “You run about, my little Maid, 
Your limbs they are alive; 
If two are in the church-yard laid, 
Then ye are only five.”

 “Their graves are green, they may be seen,” 
The little Maid replied,
 “Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door, 
And they are side by side. 

 “My stockings there I often knit,
 My kerchief there I hem;
 And there upon the ground I sit,
 And sing a song to them.

 “And often after sunset, Sir, 
When it is light and fair,
 I take my little porringer, 
And eat my supper there.

 “The first that died was sister Jane;
 In bed she moaning lay,
 Till God released her of her pain;
 And then she went away. 

 “So in the church-yard she was laid;
 And, when the grass was dry, 
Together round her grave we played, 
My brother John and I.

 “And when the ground was white with snow,
 And I could run and slide, 
My brother John was forced to go,
 And he lies by her side.”

 “How many are you, then,” said I, 
“If they two are in heaven?” 
Quick was the little Maid’s reply, 
“O Master! we are seven.”

 “But they are dead; those two are dead! 
Their spirits are in heaven!”
 ’Twas throwing words away; for still
 The little Maid would have her will,
 And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

We are seven here too as my older three have gone to visit their grandparents ( on their own no less) for a few short days. They are having a whole lot of fun at Grandmaland and I am happy for them. And though they are all well and good on their visit the house has an eerie feel to it as well. Their spirits seem to lurk in the strangest places, like pantries and clothes bins. Being apart sometimes is good. It brings a different aspect to our relationships then being together can. It causes us to reflect and remember and recall. Annoyances wash away, and truer images emerge. Love is restored.

I miss my boys.

We are seven presently-

But we are really 10.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday, What a Day!

We got a whole lot accomplished around here today, making it an overall happy day in the household. Not only did we finish wallpapering the pantry doors in the kitchen - after a year of deliberating on choices- but we also did a bit of work on the pool area.

kind of a bold statement

 Also today Mary learned to swim without any floaties, and Sarah started swimming for real with floaties! Both of these were moves in the right direction. Having a pool, develops a keen sense of how important the ability to swim actually is.

Hoping by summers end she can do the floaties too!

We are going to try to knock off small but manageable jobs around the house ( like the pantry doors) for the rest of the summer, because tackling bigger jobs is ALWAYS an issue, having married a carpenter and all.   Once work was done we had supper by the pool ( salmon- had to put it back under the broiler as it was way pink in spots- my bad!) and the boys headed out to a dance. Hopefully the kids will sleep well tonight. 

Two bad spots in the day- Sophie drank a spot of cough medicine, in which the child proof cap did NOT work properly ( tsk, tsk, triaminic). Luckily there was only a little left. And poor Mary got stung by a bee while stepping out of the pool. Deodorant really does in fact take the sting out ( I hear baking soda too, but haven't tried that one out yet).

Hope you all enjoyed your Summer Saturday as much as we did here!

Friday, June 22, 2012

C.S.A.- Hip Hip Hooray!

So, we joined a C.S.A. called heavens harvest this year, and this was our second pick-up week. It has been totally exciting for me to think about what is coming home in the bags! I wish I was able to put together my own garden, like we used to years back, but life is coming at us pretty hard and fast most days. Gardening requires a whole lot of effort ( just check my friend Christine over at Crunchy Country Catholic  for verification of work load). The C.S.A. is a good compromise for us. I explained to Mary tonight when she asked what  CSA meant, that its kinda like being part of a farm family. We support local farmers, they feed us fresh veggies! In fact all my kids got into the act tonight as soon as the produce came walking through the door. Matt prepared an enormous salad, Michael pulled mint leaves together while Mary mixed them into a pitcher to flavor lemonade and iced tea, John-Paul diced squash, zucchini, and tomatoes and sauteed them to toss with pasta, and I snuck fresh kale into the over with some sea salt and olive oil ( and a smattering of cheese) to make kale chips. The supper was a huge hit. Its really fun to get creative in using it all up each week as we anticipate the  following weeks arrivals. 

prep time
mint leaves to flavor summer drinks
Matt made an awesome salad
kale chips with sea salt, olive oil, and a touch of cheese
Pasta waiting to be doused with fresh veggies
It really is a heavenly harvest. I'm looking forward to Fridays all summer long! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Big Day!

Today wound up being a big day for Peter. Not only did he PASS his drivers test and become officially licensed to operate a vehicle, but he also bought the long awaited for iphone4s and is lovin' life right now! Gotta be happy about days like that as a teenager. Life is good. Congratulations Petey, stay safe! I am glad you didn't get the texting plan, cause we're just not gonna go there, right?!?!!!