Tuesday, May 27, 2014

kind of like an avalanche

I'm still reeling backwards but not tonight.  Tonight, it's today, and yesterday, and the day before.  Okay?
This last week our slow, cold spring took a leap forward.  Now, all three meals are consumed outside.  Morning coffee's in the front porch swing, eyes sweeping up to the rapidly waning snow line.
Speckled baby robins hop about our yard and iridescent hummingbirds buzz past our ears.  Every morning a red-tailed hawk rides the thermals up, up, up that sentinel of a mountain.  Western meadowlarks sing with wreckless abandon stamped yellow on the treetop.  Mourning doves fool the kids into believing they're owls.  My first-ever tulips smack me daily with their robust beauty.
Four-year-old conversations bounce from God to pollination to death to nutrition to the locations of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  Hazel joins the conversation with a two-year-old's sense of dictatorship.  ("NO!  It's NOT a bee!  It's a WASP.")  I furiously dig, plant, tend.  Corn and beans are tucked snuggly into warm, moist soil.  New beds are going in, new trees, new shrubs.  Hazel my sidekick helps me water and pat seeds into the ground.  Juniper swims through her thick, busy pretend world, coming up for air and roping us in.  

:: Snaps.  From today, yesterday, the day before, and probably the day before that.

:: Front porch breakfasts.
:: Short, open, garden fence under construction so we can let the chickens into our yard again.  Also, where I toil.    
:: Childhood was meant to be played dirty.  My future flower bed, current mud pit:    
:: Lunch at the picnic table.  (After clogging the drain with bath numero uno.  Hey Jasmine, now I know what you do with that outdoor shower!)      
:: Front porch horseplay.  
(The crib is in limbo; nobody sleeping out there or anything.)  

:: My latest apple tree--Norkent--gracing the garden.
:: Along the driveway and below the dining room window.  Late last summer this was a weedy, gravely patch of blech.  My man made the beds, I tucked in the bulbs.  It is young and has some filling-out to do, but I know it will happen.
:: Saturday we went to the Old West Days parade.  Juniper and a friend pounced at candy while Hazel stayed in the stroller, covered her eyes and surreptitiously ate Juniper's candy.  
:: What my husband does with the kids when I go to some hippie class on growing herbs.  Pajama hikes to an avalanche:
:: Hazel.  The fearless, accomplished climber.
:: Juniper has been obsessed with the book and video series, "The Magic School Bus."  Anytime we see a school bus it's magic, and she watches with awe and expectation.  Like it's going to shrink, turn into a bee and fly into a hive.
Me, earlier that day:  "Juniper, do you want me to do your hair today?"
Juniper:  "Um, no thanks.  Leave it down.  I like it that way; it's kind of like an avalanche."  
:: We sold the camper trailer we bought when Hazel was 4 months old.  It served us well for those early years, but we are so happy to have it off our hands.  We drove to our old friend's house for a bar-b-que and camped in their yard.  Hello, new family tent!  Purportedly, in a sever wind and snow storm, you will be the last tent standing.  Shall we put you to the test?

Friday, May 16, 2014

spare time

^Two grandmas.  And my new desktop wallpaper.^ 

I feel like I should apologize for writing about something that happened well over a month ago.  But as my friend said, "I'm trying hard not to apologize for late-in-the game blogging....like in ten years will our kids care that we were two months late or just happy to have our perspective and images from a day/event.  Jeesh."  

So yeah.  Jeesh.  In the meantime, you can be sure that we have been digging up, digging in, cleaning out, cleaning up.  We've had a week of Nana, a week of gardening, a week in Missoula, a May Day tea party and a day for the Mothers.  Yesterday I tucked-in potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts and a first round of tomatoes and peppers.  Juniper has one day of preschool left and Hazel can playground-climb like a big kid.  And the world keeps on spinning round and round.  

:: So.  Last stop from Razor Clamming 2014.  What we do in our spare time:
Clean clams of course!  Every year we fall into a stereotypical division of labor along gender lines.  The men folk sit around outside drinking beer, shelling and gutting clams.  The womenfolk are inside drinking wine, hunched over the kitchen sink rinsing out every last tiny grain of sand, patting dry, vacuum-sealing, labeling and freezing.  In the autumn when you open a bag of clams for, say, chowder you will know at what point in the evening you're clams were cleaned.  Mostly, they're clean as a whistle.  But sometimes, if it was a bit later on, say after a few glasses of wine, your clams will be a bit gritty.  

:: Anyway.  Besides cleaning clams:  
Grandmas get tackled by four bony kids.     
My eldest "tames" nearly everything "as a pet."  She had a little fish (dead) "swimming" in a plastic champagne glass, and later tucked-in to bed under a sheet of toilet paper.  She had a super tiny baby clam which we later found decomposed between two books.  Also, she found this slug.  Here she is feeding the slug a weed.  Eventually the slug made the journey home with us in a small water bottle filled with grass and weeds, a little water and topped with a red ribbon.  (See the last photo in this post.)    

:: We paint the great metropolis of Longbeach red, hitting up the ancient carnival rides that seem to open just for us.    
Juniper and cousin Sam lash-out on each other like wildcats, but Hazel and Sam are two peaceful peas.  Kid dynamics are so funny.    

"But Mommy, I wanna ride the carousel again."  And again.  Hazel and her horses.  
The rusty old tilt-a-whirl.  I know how to sit on the side to really get the thing flying.  Afterwards Juniper called it "The Squash Ride."  When I asked why she said, "because we were seeds rolling around inside a pumpkin."  Obviously.  It's her favorite ride, marking a third generation of thrill-seeking women.     
^Grandma L with Owen and Sam.^
I think she rode it three times in a row before conceding to a bellyache.  
Cheap thrills followed by ice-cream and the kite shop.  
^Auntie M getting some one-on-one with Hazel.^

:: Wandering walks to the beach.  
^Hazel getting some one-on-one with Aunt D.^

My handsome guy.  Face scratch by Hazel.  
"Ocean Waves" by Juniper.  
Me: "Hazel and Juniper!  Kiss me for the camera?"  
:: Sadly, we always remember to take a group photo when we're about to hop in our respective cars and over half the family has already left.  So bad about that.  Next time?  
I was about to comment on my Cyndi Lauper hair, but then I google-image searched Cyndi and man, that comment just wouldn't be doing her justice.  Anyway.  Note my finished sweater and the slug bottles.