Through Finger Tips

…a journey towards homesteading


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The browned grass is on full display from the picture window. It’s so windy in the Midwest, the leaves have choreographed dances with gusts and they seem to be getting tired day in and out. I keep telling myself, “Only two months”. Today marks 55 days left until the Spring equinox. Yesterday, that sweet spring smell was in the air. Taunting.

I am now 25 years old, as of January 18th, and was gifted a french-press from my parents, herbal tea from Matthew and the wee one, and some cash (tea money) from my grandfather. I hear there’s a dandelion necklace awaiting my neck, per my beautiful cousin.

jasmine tea steeping and spent. A french press full of warm herbs

jasmine tea steeping and spent. A french press full of warm herbs

Early last week, for a mere second, I heard the brass mail slot clank open and sounds of raindrops fall to the floor. My ears perked and even though I’d never heard that sound before, the noise sounded familiar. Popping around the corner from the bookshelf, right below the mail slot, was a yellow padded envelope. Quickly, I ripped the top off, rushed into the living room and dumped the contents onto the floor immediately. They were all there, PLUS ONE! Our heirloom seeds arrived within 3 days. This excitement was similar to the joy most people feel on Christmas morning. When the babe slept, I spent the cherished nap-time reading the back of each seed packet.

what an abundance

what an abundance

The garden plans for this year are being laid and little seedlings will be turning to sprouts in the sunlight, soon enough. Stacks of egg cartons are leaning as they wait to be used as planters. I’ve been slowly saving bits of my pay for garden renovation. The growing season will surely gift much experience regardless of the yields. Luckily, I’ve a green thumb.

Now, this hasn’t been a well kept secret, but I’m sure most of you may not be informed. Matthew and I are nose-diving into a 5-year-plan. Planning for what you might ask? No. Not another wee-one. Actually, something equally as time consuming and exhausting: A new lifestyle. A homestead.

Shortly after Matt and I met, we spilled our innermost guts. He was let in on my dreams of living in an earth-form home, I was let in on his dreams of being self sustaining. It’s no wonder we’ve meshed and decided to spend our lives together. After a couple years of chattering about things we wish we could do, but won’t ever have the space/finances/sanity/time for, we’ve decided to do it anyway. The process is endless, and much like deciding to have a child, this is something a person cannot ever be fully prepared for.

my my, how she loves him

Our hopes are high, but why not? The possibilities are endless. Chickens. Goats. Sheep. Rainwater collection. An acre of garden. Herbs on top of herbs on top of herbs. It’s dreamable, it’s doable.

Hope for warm days.
-L-


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Shivering in bed and looking towards the ceiling I notice the window above the bed slightly cracked. It’s raining. The dripdripdrip is music to my ears. Instead of lifting my body up to close it, I rationalize a bit, move closer to Matt and not-so-sneakily steal blankets.  He’s a snoring mass of boy and seems to not mind. It is now October and this will become a regular occurrence until it’s chilly enough to turn the furnace on.

Merry Fall.

The birthday happened. Little Bug is now one year and five days old. I wish we would have forgone the vanilla cake for carrot cake, but there is always next year. So much family came to congratulate her on the first year of her life. She is so very loved. Never have I seen so many smiles out of such a small person. Though I do not invest much into birthdays, this one may be an exception.
evieee
The two days following up to her big day, I found my mind floating into the past. “What was I doing, this very moment, one whole year ago?” Memories of labor, bullets of sweat and endorphins rush my brain. It’s surely an experience I’m not to have again (especially swearing off any more children), but I must be thankful  for the experience as a whole. My birth plan was trashed immediately, but gosh, can’t a lady improvise! After 34 hours of discomfort, the threat of a C-Section, then an additional 2 hours of hysterical crying in fear of a C-Section, she came into this world with ease. Right into Matt’s arms. Right onto my chest.
A year later and the hormones haven’t left me.

hospitaldayaftermorninghome

On the eve of LadyBug’s shindig, Matteau had plotted a date. A real life, leave-the-house-and-do-things-ALONE date. The noise of those words about knocked me off of my feet. But who would watch LittleBug? No doubt, I’d forgotten, but we’ve some lovely neighbors who adore a baby’s presence. These neighbors of ours, they’re just lovely. He: A twisty-mustachioed gent’ with an eye for knickknacks. She: a lady of the earth, hospice nurse, who can put down some moonshine. At a time, they’d actually pleaded for us to exit the house and leave EvieBug in their care. After a couple full nights of lighting our street with explosives (fireworks) and trading goodies, I can say I trusted them to keep her a’smiling. EvieBug adores both him and her, and demands their attention if we step food outdoors and she spies them in their rocking chairs. And sure enough, a couple of Sunday’s ago, Matteau was outside chatting them up, and unbeknownst to me, he’d put forth a plan to take me out for a night of joy.

After my waking LittleBug from her veryvery late nap at 8pm, she was dressed for success in her favorite jammies. The bags were ready, and across the yard we went. The neighbors were left with the essentials and a house key for possible forgottens. And onto downtown we went. Matteau reserved a table at Piatto 614 and we made it 20 minutes early. Standing at the front door to the restaurant, I heard some sweet tunes around the corner. BLUEGRASS. It was suggested that we jaunt around the corner for some banjos and swaying. Oh yes, the banjos, the mandolin. These sounds are like honey.

Nearing reservation time, we trotted back around the corner, and right into our seats. Starters: Calamari. Main Courses: Black Linguine with shrimp and lobster sauce + White Pizza which was split between the two of us. Desert? Pumpkin Ale and a Dry White Wine for him. At the back of the house, there is a lounge with tall ceilings. We took a seat at the bar and had a couple more cold ones. I ran into some old friends and acquaintances whom I introduced to Matt. It was so lovely seeing their faces and hearing their lovely talents played out though the speakers. We took a quick trip to Foster’s Martini Bar for a Moscow Mule (mine) and a Kansas City Ice Water (him), then right back to Piatto for some bluegrass jams. My face was warm, and my feet couldn’t stop moving. It was definitely time for some groovin’. Not sure how long we danced, I requested some water to cool down, and took a load off until we decided to trek back home.  The night was long past due, and pheromones were in the air.
Matt&Lex
DoodleBug was fast asleep, and had a marvelous time watching IceAge, eating cheese, and dancing around to tunes of her own. I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome, or more thankful of the neighbors. For thanks we brought them BlueBerry Bread Pie, and the next day, Spinach Artichoke Bites as well as a chicken dish Matt prepared. EvieBug slept until 830am the next morning, exhausted and happy.

As autumn sets in, crafty blood fills my veins. The holidays are nearing and I hail from a long line of gift givers. This week I’m purchasing supplies to fashion (more) handmade gifts.  I’d really love to put together some Pressed Flower books, as I am a very floral lady, but it’s definitely a lost art. Can we call it that? Can we consider the act of pressing flowers an art? If it’s not an “art”, I motion it should be.
Christmas seems so far away, but I know it’s basically just next week. October leaves me 2.5 months to jump up to par with my brain. I am alwaysalwaysalways behind on holiday shopping, even WITH the Amazon Prime account. Procrastinator Extraordinaire.

I’m off to delve my hands into some acrylic paints. Don’t worry about “that dead thing”. Ishamel is just a beast. He goes for full sized squirrels now.
raaatat
May the God of Dance                                       Smile upon your feet.
-L


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Autumn Swept Us Up.

Dancing foliage and marigold yellow sunlight is definitely in the atmosphere. It’s a spectacular fall day. Every single not-stuck window in our house is open as much as it can be. The recent harvest moon was even bright. And the cold, crisp mornings? The windows may not be open as much, but you bet your fanny I’m freezing out the living room, specifically so I can curl up in the fuzziest of blankets  and let the steam wafting from my mug warm the bottom of my nose.
It is Autumn.

Because the weather has been gentle with us, I meandered to unkempt corner of the yard in search of…anything. This overgrown, wild and uninhabited corner is known as my garden. She was a beaut’ to begin with, alas the young Doodle Bug of mine requires an extreme amount of attention, and isn’t fond of playing in the grass.  The tilled soil, so fresh, has turned to hard packed ground with crunchy weeds reaching for the sky out of the canyon cracks. Somehow this jungle has provided my family with quite a few delicious bunches. Squash, eggplant, peppers, roma tomatoes, lettuce.  After the recent gully-washers I had a sneaking suspicion there may be a small surprise awaiting us.
…and there they were.


No matter how unkempt and late in season, she was determined to impress me, and for this I am thankful, Dear Garden.

With the seasons turning and churning, one may expect plants to begin to whither with these chilly evenings. The greens surrounding my home have seem to taken on a personality of their own. Determination. With bushes still blooming and mushrooms still popping, I couldn’t help but snap a few.

fleurs

While the weather has it’s head on it’s shoulders as of this week, LittleFish and I have taken advantage of the last of it. She rattles the glass door, asking me to let her at it. I could have. I could have opened the glass door and have her find her way down the sidewalk to the edge of the grass, to tumble off of the curb.
Instead, we explore the park.
Walking the short distance down the parkway, she sways her legs with excitement. Not a care in the world she has, besides of course, embarking on the journey of the Parkway System. I pop the wheels of her stroller cart onto the grass and take the bumpy jaunt to the edged off sea of woodchips. She is in awe. Mobs of loud, grimy children are on all sections of the playground. I eyeball an empty tunnel and we’re off. It’s almost a race to get to this tunnel before a 5 year old crawls inside and sets up fort for the next 10 minutes. And the jubilant Bug Baby is thrilled. Into the tunnel she goes. Back. Forth. Back. Forth. Back. Nothing gets old. It can’t, it’s all so new. Being mobile and now, in a land of fun and tunnels, not to mention swings. Oh the swing.


At this very park (if weather permits) we will be celebrating Bug Baby’s first birthday. It will be enjoyable to have family, friends and more family gathered to surprise Ms. Evie. Luckily she has no problem stealing the spotlight and soaking up every bit of attention she can get. It will be a full day, a full day indeed.

And with this milestone, it allows time to reflect on what’s become of myself. From January 2012 as of current, my life has been ever changing. Priorities, professions, relationships, my very own body. I’ve experienced: 9 months of morning sickness, the Pregnant Waddles, a few ER visits (dehydration), a 36-hour-opposite-of-my-birth-plan labor,  two new jobs, two big moves, 40 pound loss, motherly experience gained, the most dapper of gentleman has morphed into a meticulously caring father in front of my eyes and Evie, herself. So much to absorb, I need a 6th sense.
I suppose I’ve had a hard time taking time for myself to be me, even though I’m not sure exactly what I’m becoming.
If nothing else, one hell of a Renaissance Woman.


May your arrows fly straight                                                 and your aim be true
-L