We’ve been enjoying more time outside these days. It is nice to have some daylight left when Mike gets home too. We stay out until someone falls flat in an ice cold puddle and our finger tips are nearly numb. Bits of stubborn snow linger around the house and in shady places, but it is nearly gone. The yard is a sloppy mess as it always is this time of year. W’e’re filled to the brim with ideas and plans and it amazes me how quickly we forget what the ground looked like blanketed in Winter.
Today, while the kids stomped in puddles and chased the happy free range chickens (we’ll be building a pen shortly as we’re very near a busy road), I raked, re-hung the clothesline, tidied some messes which had been hiding under the snow, and removed the pine boughs decorations from the side porch. I hung the diapers outside for the first time of the season on the rack in the porch. Once inside, we did some kid’s yoga, then made and gobbled up homemade burgers and coleslaw for lunch. The kids are warming up under the wool blanket together now. I’ve lit a fire to warm the 59* house and the temp is rising quickly. Have I ever mentioned how much I love a fire and seasoned wood. Oh, let me count the ways.
I wonder how the sap is running in these parts, I hope it is a decent year and look forward to being around when Dad and Janet boil theirs down. We’ve scanned our own property for even a few good maples to tap for syrup, but have found none. It would appear we have everything but sugar maples around us. They say you can get about one liter of finished syrup per tree so even if we could tap a few it would be a satisfying task. We would need an outdoor stove, and some extra wood to keep the fire going, but it would be an exciting thing to do as a family.
I often think about how expensive and involved the process of becoming more self sustained actually is. You have to find, build, and purchase equipment and gear and then maintain it. Money is tight, but it is about much more than cost for us. It is about the experience and lessons for ourselves and for our children. It is important to us that the old ways (as watered down as some of them may be) don’t die with our generation. In a word, these skills, tasks and arts are priceless. I couldn’t tell you how much a dozen of our eggs would cost, but when I watch the kids run among the chickens with sheer joy, or when I happen upon the nesting box to find a warm egg (or 5), or when I watch them run after me and my dish of kitchen scraps none of that matters. All that matters is that is feels right and good; our bills are paid (if only by the skin of our teeth), our tummies are full of good food, and we are loved and healthy.
Anyway, just stopping in to tell you Spring has finally touched down in our part of the world and it is making our hearts glad. I hope the same for all of you.
P.S. Oh! Feather + Anchor sponsor Luxfish is having a wee sale in her handspun yarn shop! Enter code “fullhouse” to get 15% off your order! Good until March 24th, 2012! Sweet!
go gently + be wonderful