“The fruition of the year had come and the night should have been fine with a moon in the sky and the crisp sharp promise of frost in the air, but it wasn't that way. It rained and little puddles of water shone under the street lamps on Main Street. In the woods in the darkness beyond the Fair Ground water dripped from the black trees.”
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Persimmon Secrets

This is a persimmon blossom.

I never saw one before, because I never had a persimmon tree. We have two trees in our backyard here at Orange Blossom Cottage which were loaded with fruit this past fall. We had so much fun eating them all autumn, its amazing to see this delicious, unknown to me fruit in all of its stages.

I love that the blossom only has four petals, that its got thick, stiff, waxy petals that are gently tinted orange like a hint of the fruit that will come next. I also love that the flower is displayed in that great platter of a green sepals. Its like a giant medieval ruff around the blossom! So small and secret, tucked under the much larger and more prominent glossy leaves....but there it is, the beginnings of our fall harvest and a new experience for me, all in one tiny, thumbnail sized bit of wonder.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April Buzz

We are having warmer days all the time now...gardening happens, laundry keeps getting behind. We are putting seeds and plants in the garden and lingering and lingering to weed them. Lots of lazy outdoor homeschool reading and math in the sunshine. Then we keep having an occasional short sprinkle and all the locals warn me to get ready, because now it will be the last rain and get dry out. Interesting climate and such a different kind of weather. I feel like I did all winter. I have no idea what to expect or what anything indicates. Normal is a setting on the dryer. This is one way to get that effect.

Went driving out to farms today, maybe the first time I have really done that in an exploratory and rambly way since we moved here. Its time to find a farm to get eggs at and maybe milk although I am exploring taking them out of the diet of some of us in the family...sad day at face value, but greater health and happiness is the worthy goal.

I am really enjoying being the Team Mom for Ru's baseball team. Little League is a community that I really appreciate and feel safe in, so much lack of pretension and warm welcome for people of all levels. Its been a great way to boost my confidence with management tasks (eep! Reminder emails!) and get to know lots of people. I know who is charge of snacks and several coaches, I know who to call when you lose papers and where the meetings all are held. Being on the ins is a great way to feel more comfortable. Its always so exciting to meet more of our neighbors via playing on a team together and this time is no exception. So many people we could walk to hang out with...you know....if I was feeling brave enough to invite them over to play. EEP! Must keep being brave.

The fruit in our area is starting to ripen, strawberries are up and I am dying to do a big pick so that I can sock some strawberry jam and frozen fruit in the freezer. Am also dreaming of Paleo shortcake.... The cherries are going to start in the first week of May and then we'll be all into the plums and the apricots and so on....can't wait. Am hoping to do some serious canning this year. There will be tomato sauce making at my house (Holla if you want in!) and I want to do peaches, maybe pears and some applesauce too. The first year after a break in the canning schedule is always overly optimistic. Heh.

Nib just lost one of his great big front teeth this morning, which is really cute. I was pretty pleased when it came out to see how bright and clean and solid it was. I am slowly but surely cleaning up our diet. Especially my last two children are made out of darn strong nutrient, dense ingredients. Mama finally got her ducks in a row! Ru is wiggling out his first really large molar after a long break in the tooth losing regime. His adult tooth is coming out eagerly through the side of his gum above it! Pretty wild. MUST REMEMBER TOOTH FAIRY DUTY TONIGHT!!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Doves, Toddler Storms and Private Troubles

The pair of doves have returned who were setting on their second round of babies last year when we moved into our cottage. We watched them tugging grasses out of the flower beds and hunting for dropped bits of garden twine around the picnic table table while they were working on reinforcing and insulating the nest for the next round of use. And now, there they are, taking turns sitting there again, reminding us that we are going round and round the sun....just about to where we started here in California. Amazing.

Man, are we ever having a doozy of a time convincing Pom to stay calm and listen to limits! Whew. He's a screamer and a venter and a real whiz bang communicator who lets the world know what he wants and how he feels about being refused. Looking for books on teaching children kindness, calmness, gentleness, self-control and on parents staying peaceful in the midst of kid's storms. ("This is not my crisis....this is not my crisis...this is not my crisis....ad infinitum.") Tips? Titles?

Had a good reminder tonight at baseball that everyone around us is fighting battles we cannot see. I am too quick to judge and to label people as "mean" or "harsh" without knowing what makes them guarded and slow to connect. There are things we would never guess around us in the lives and homes and minds of the people we are meeting. We have to remember that none of us and none of "them" are walking around with a pristine, simple, peaceful life. We all have our stuff, and usually people are responding to their environment with the way they behave and talk, none of us is in a vacuum. I have to remember that when I want to get defensive with my labels and my dislike of the people that rub me the wrong way. We all have no idea what those we rub shoulders with are managing.