Thursday, February 5, 2015

February Days

Sun's up!
More snow coming this week, too.
These two sweetpeas are trying to clear an area around the bird feeders so that they can continue to feed the wildlife. For perspective, both of them are tall. The chickadees are zooming around their heads, too, and it's easy to think they must be excited
Desperate times call for a desperate tri-county search for a big-ass snowblower until it ends in finding one of the three left in the area. #buylocal

Come to our house, leave with eggs.

Loving this sunshine.
It's about time it snowed around here. #207gram
We easily have an additional eight inches of snow, and it's still snowing.
415pm looks like this now.

So much snow. So. Much. We had more this morning. More is coming. It's just going to be one of those Februarys, I guess. And I show you snow and the short-lived sunshine and eggs (so. many. eggs.) and what you don't see here are the conversations that begin at breakfast, that are sustained throughout the day, threads of which are picked up and wrapped with a variety of topics. You don't see the laughing or the yelling, because there's that, too, or the frustration or the fourth or fifth drafts of important letters written, the worry for friends, the tears that spring when we realize we're down to one guinea pig who has been receiving lots of extra devotion, or the cats who follow us, hoping we'll sit and cuddle with them for a spell. You won't see how wishes become concrete plans in a single photo, or even in words because my children's lives are their own. Our days are still as rich, full, intense, and hands-on as parents to two older teens as they were when our children were small. There's a self-reliance about our teens, though, that is different from when they were toddlers, of course. Our teens make meals, tend to the feeding and caring of animals, embark on projects, immerse themselves in media, books, music, and art. They extend themselves to friends. They make profound discoveries about themselves, realize inner truths. And they initiate plans that will take them years and miles beyond our kitchen table. And it's all astoundingly right and good.

Friday, January 30, 2015

All About Snow

It's a good day for learning to xc-ski. #207gram #maine

A happy sight. #unschooling

It's so blue and cold, today. Beautiful. #unschooling

There. @bradstreetfarmer completed the roof and wrapped the duck pen in poly with the goal of keeping the ducks mostly out of 50+ mph winds and 24+-inches of drifting snow during  #juno2015 . #farmlife #207gram #maine #mattnoyes #midcoastmaine #waldocount


And the clearing must begin. #Juno #juno2015 #maine #207gram #midcoastmaine #waldocounty

I flung out some nuts and seeds to the bare spots among deep snow drifts. Now I'm watching the blue jays trying to stuff as many peanuts in their beaks as they are able. #birdnerd #wildlife

That old apple tree has taken a beating in these recent storms.

When the sun hits our valley it comes in gradations.

Refuse to go out in the run because some snow blew in, EATS ALL SNOW OFF OF BOOTS.  #heritagebreedchickens
This week was all about snow. Playing in it, preparing for it, experiencing it, and coping with it after. The day before storm Juno, the teens were out on skis, enjoying the brilliant January sun and cerulean sky. Alex put more roofing on the duck pen and wrapped what wasn't covered in poly to keep the ducks safe from the impending blizzard. We called our plow guy. The blizzard brought the wind and 24" of drifts, and with it, cancellations and delays.  The day after, I fed the birds on one of the bare spots created by the dramatic drifting the day before, and we were plowed out twice, and we shoveled paths. The chickens, grumpy about the little bit of snow that managed to blow into their run, refused to go out in it, but pecked at every last bit clumped to our boots. And today, we're back in it again, as a much calmer storm dumps another 10-inches on us. It's beautiful and a wonderland of white out there, just as it should be at the end of January in Maine.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Trigger Warning for pet/animal illness, disability, death, grief, trauma, and loss.

Beatrice enjoying her lettuce

Pre-Raphaelite with guinea pig. #daughter #cavy #guineapig

just eating

We had to say goodbye to our beloved guinea pig,  Beatrice, yesterday, a little less than a year after having to say goodbye to her companion Annabelle, which seems wholly unfair. Beatrice was middle-aged and reasonably healthy until this month, when she began showing signs of weight loss and UTI symptoms. By Monday this week, she began to refuse food and water and so we packed her up and drove her the two hours to our caring and skilled guinea pig vet. There, they discovered she had several bladder stones, one larger than a pea, near the end of her urethra, and the vet was, miraculously, able to flush them out. The procedure went well, Beatrice recovered from the anesthetic normally, and we went home with her. And still, she would not eat or drink unless we force fed her, which we did. Worse, she was not eliminating. Back to the vet we rushed yesterday morning, and our vet kept her for the day and medicated her for pain and attempted to rehydrate her and get more food in her, but it was clear by 5pm that Beatrice was fading. We all knew her prognosis wasn't good, but there was a sliver of hope that with enough fluids and nutrition, she might begin to rally. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and she was in distress. Having prepared Olivia and Adam for this probable outcome, as we did regarding Annabelle, they had said their goodbyes and given hugs and kisses before we left. And with everyone in agreement via text messages filled with sad emojis and many hearts, Alex and I held Beatrice one last time, rocking her and whispering our love to her, just as we did with Annabelle.

Beatrice, you were a funny, adorable, fluffy, goofy, and bossy guinea pig and we adored you so. We will miss you.

Oh you know, just watching the Olympics.

this is how I find them sleeping this morning #guineapigs #cavy

Beatrice needed a break from all her busy-bossing around. #guineapig #cavy

I mean, c'mon with the cute.

Beatrice says hello

Friday, December 26, 2014

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things : Yuletide : Day Twelve

cheerful home

family will be arriving soon

sweetest gift

art by Phoebe Wahl

our family room at Yule

Boxing Day sun

the book was a gift

cozy family room

festive family room

solstice tree

Boxing Day kitchen

Aunt Carol

Aunt Jane


This was one of those days when it was a true pleasure to wake up with the sun, as there was actual golden sun gleaming through the trees and in through our windows, which was most welcome after a long stretch of gray days. With family arriving at noon, we got busy in the kitchen preparing the ham, potato leek soup, more Yule bread and filling cookie boxes for family to take home with them. With everything ready ahead of time, I grabbed my camera because the sunlight was so beautiful, and I went around snapping the house, singing carols and fluffing pillows, as needed. Doing so, I was gratified to see our treasures, amassed over two decades (and longer if you count the things from both my and Alex's childhoods), that help us mark the season, looking so sweet and lovely through my camera lens. The painting by my mother, the glove finger puppets from my childhood, the snowflakes our children cut (three to a window), my new Santa and Reindeer, our basket of Yule books that keeps being added to, the paperwhites in the American pottery, and the hundreds of special ornaments that adorn our tree. Later, it was family, gathered in the kitchen, and then at the table, and eventually around the tree to exchange gifts. These are a few of my favorite things. This our Yuletide, may we always keep it well.


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