Monday, August 07, 2017

farmhouse vacation, continued

You pay the price for neglecting a chore, even if the neglect is born of noble causes.

Ed, who locks up the cheepers for the night, dozed off yesterday evening, then promptly forgot about the task until at midnight, awake and in the bathroom, with window wide opened, he hears chicken squawking so loudly and furiously that it can only spell trouble.

And now we're both wide awake and worried. He goes out with flashlight, encounters a terrified Scotch running up the path, explores some more, finds an indifferent and calm (as always) Java in the coop and a missing Henny. A search ensues. He can not find her. Gathering up Scotch, he locks the coop and expects the worst.


A lovely, partly cloudy morning! I am up early, hustling to pack a Snowdrop lunch and get a breakfast (of sorts) on the table. Looking out, I see three cheepers at the door begging for bread.

Incredible. I give them plenty of treats...


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If chickens could talk we would hear a horror story from last night I'm sure. But give them a couple of hours to recover and we see only their calm and eager faces now.


Snowdrop is a model little girl this morning, not calling me until just before 8 -- exactly perfect for our morning routines -- which include only telling her that I packed her a slightly different lunch and she better like it, or else, and by the way, the new container I had purchased isn't easy to open so just ask the teacher for help. The usual patter of a school morning.

We have time for breakfast on the porch and that is just lovely!


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(Ed, could you look less severe?)


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Ed goes off to his meetings, I pack in Snowdrop and we drive off to school. We seem so.. familial.

(Cranes, Snowdrop! Hello cranes! And in case you think I post too many photos of these birds, note that they are nearly as fleeting as my day lilies. They'll be on their way to the southern states soon -- like so many other Wisconsinites, they like Florida for the cold months.)


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Dropping Snowdrop at school is a first for me. She is energetic and chatty and curious!
Do you know why these flowers are called black eyed susans? Look at their black eye!
Our eyes are blue -- she informs me. Indeed.


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I leave her happily riding a trike on the school playground. Me -- I have several hours that are entirely my own. Shouldn't I use this chance to have a second breakfast? At Madison Sourdough Bakery?

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But eventually I return to face my gardens. Yesterday I ignored the chore of snipping spent lilies. Today I am in full mosquito garb, snipping away. My penalty for letting it go? I snip off 803 blooms.


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But I can tell we're on a last roll of lilies. Many times I'm cutting off whole flower stems, because there are no buds left.

(Front roadside garden...)


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And when these golden orange trumpets finish blowing their horns, I may as well start working on my Christmas list, because I know we're are now nearing the end of summer.


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(Today the little green frogs are favoring lilies that are not yet spent. Do they know I'm on the prowl with my snippers?)


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And now it's noon and I hurry back to Snowdrop's school. I can tell she has had a full half day. A pause for a much needed snack:


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Revived, we go to the pool. It's a tad on the cool side (mid 70sF, low 20sC), but the water is warm and Snowdrop is happy to be back in something bigger than a bathtub.


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... until suddenly her face crumbles and she clutches her forehead. It isn't especially crowded, but there certainly are kids out there who move without any awareness that there are others in their spatial fields. I do not think they are mean spirited -- they just bulldoze through a place with explosive energy. I am standing right next to the little one, but I do not see any direct hit. Still, she claims she got beaned by someone and it is entirely possible that this happened, as the energy levels are especially high around us.

Time to go back to the farmete.

Look, Snowdrop -- cranes!
Hello cranes...

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Snowdrop is happy to be home -- her vacation home -- again.


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Ice cream anyone?


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As she naps, I sit on the porch and contemplate the garden which inevitably leads me to contemplate life and the power of the human spirit. I'll leave those thoughts for another post.


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Back to the young one.

I remember well this about being a parent: sometimes you are out of ideas on how to be effective when facing some quirky aspect of your child's development. You know there are good strategies out there, but whichever one you choose, it fizzles like the firecracker that just gives a loud bang and hangs in the air with a puff of smoke.

With Snowdrop, my weakness (in terms of ideas) comes at the time of her wake-up after a nap. This is often (not always but often) a time of great distress for her. The smile is there for a brief moment, but it quickly fizzles and she struggles to pull herself together.

It takes a good number of minutes for her to return to her usual great cheer. And I swear, no matter how I react to this, she still needs to cycle through her low point before regaining her balance.

I imagine that she will soon let go of her nap. But in the meantime, we improvise.

Today, she recovers once I start cooking dinner and put out sundried tomatoes to stir into the shrimp dish (she loves loves loves sundried tomatoes)...


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... and she fully recovers when Ed agrees to mute the news and put on a rousing segment of polka music.


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We eat in the lovely glow of the evening sun.


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Snowdrop is done way before we are, but that's alright: she plays with her dump truck, we linger over our salads...


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Greek yogurt bars for dessert...


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... along with a cookie. How do you eat your Oreo (or as in this case -- Newman's sandwich)?

I vaguely recall some pseudo scholarly article positing that it says a lot about who you are. FYI, Snowdrop and I both separate the cookie from the cream.


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Her baby probably just goes along. Remarkable how babes mimic things we do around them!

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