Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Thriving

I got so tired of saying we’re “busy” when people ask how we’re doing that I’ve started saying we’re “thriving” instead.  Because as truly busy as we may be we’re not frantic (well, not most of the time) and we’re all happy and the busy-ness that fills our days is all aimed at good things…especially this time of year when the harvest season is at its peak here in Maine.

DSCF5720

DSCF5731

apple1

apple2

The garden is slowly, slowly being put to bed.  One little section at a time.  We’ve pulled sunflowers, basil, beans and pumpkins (pumpkins, I tell you!).  Our tomatoes are still hanging on despite a couple of light frosts and due to some surprising foresight last August we’ve got fall kale, spinach, lettuces and peas.  The carrots are never-ending this year and we for the first time grew our own tomatillos…a key ingredient in the many, many quarts of salsa that found their way into the freezer last week to sit alongside the quarts and quarts of tomato sauce.

And oh, the apples!  We stopped ourselves just shy of seventy-five pounds of Ida Reds and Northern Spies this morning.  It was the perfect morning to be in the orchard and we picked and snacked and played and then came home and naturally, made Dorie Greenspan’s French Apple Cake.  Immediately.  I’ve got high hopes for all those apples.  Cobbler and cake and pie galore.  A final go-around with the canner for some applesauce, perhaps.  And certainly in the chillier days to come a bit of crisp apple picked by a sweet boy in a hand-knit sweater on a sunny October morning will be just the thing with a mug of cocoa.

Thriving, indeed.

The Fair

DSCF5704

It is The Fair for us.  In capitals.  Each year our stay gets just a bit longer (this year five days were decidedly not long enough), we start to find out more about where we each fit into the organized chaos of making the fair happen, we see old friends and meet new ones, we work and play and usually at some point we each cry (some of us more than others, ahem*).

This fair, which for some is a day to come and check out some farm animals and eat wood-fired pizza al fresco has become for us something different entirely.  It is our annual touchstone.  The place where we go once a year to step out of our life at home…see how we each have changed and grown…celebrate and reflect on what we’ve sown and harvested in the past year and think about what we want to dig into the soils for the year to come.  Because long before you plant, you must till and nourish, and that is what this fair does to our family. It helps us to dig the good stuff in deep.

Also, we have loads and loads of fun.

DSCF5708

* Why I am brought to tears every year by dusty families sliding down a hill on old pizza boxes and children on parade dressed up as vegetables and making a huge racket is a mystery.  But, I know I’m not alone.

By the Shore

DSCF5621

DSCF5641

DSCF5645

DSCF5658

DSCF5660

DSCF5655

To officially end the crazy summer season around here we took the sweetest little break last weekend.  A trip to my family’s place by the shore was just the thing we needed to switch gears from the frantic pace of summer to the slower (we hope) and most welcome fall season.  We visited nearby friends (and yes, Luca got to drive the boat out to their island..pleased as punch he was), served up lobster on the deck of our cottage, found out that clamming with a metal shovel procures dinner only for seagulls and got to hear an incredible 12 hours of bluegrass music at Thomas Point on Saturday.  I’m thoroughly smitten with these fine gentlemen who played two stunning sets.

As always happens when we leave home for a few days we come back different than when we left and inspired to shake things up a bit.  The old banjos at our house seem to be reappearing from wherever they were stored these past few years.  There is talk of extending our stay at Thomas Point next year, of Fiddle Camp in the years to come, of more trips to the island next summer and projects to improve the cottage.  In these moments there is also an overwhelming wish we could make the days just a little bit longer because, well, we’re the kind of people who want to be doing, making, learning all the time.  Its become part of the culture of our family.  While I’d love to just add hours to the day for all these things we love to do and all of this together we like to be while we’re doing them,  part of the fun of adding in more is reviewing to find out what we’re doing that doesn’t feel right anymore and making space for new goodness to find a home with us…inside and out.

Lately

I’ve been dreaming up posts and taking photos for months trying to get back here.  And, well, here I am.  Back.  I’m hoping to try and keep things simple, because simple has to be the name of the game when you live on a certain island in Maine and its August  So, here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately.

DSCF5592

DSCF5588

DSCF5548

DSCF5587

DSCF5574

DSCF5570

DSCF5561

DSCF5556

• Exploring new trails and visiting some familiar ones too.

Making a moutain of sunprints….hopefully to be framed and hung from the walls somewhere in this big farmhouse of ours.

Finishing up my first set of hand-knit leggings just in time for summer’s last heat wave.

Anticipating our first taste of this years garlic, still curing in the shed.

Smitten, as always, with our summer garden.

Taking time out when we can to enjoy the rocks and waves and tide pools right outside our door.

His First Fish

So, Luca rather accidentally caught his first fish yesterday.  It began with a bad cast that landed in the water between (yes, between) the docks and ended with a very surprised twelve inch large mouth bass in a yellow five gallon bucket on the shore.  There is no word in the English language to describe how ecstatic Luca was.

His bait-less lure was in the water under the dock for all of about five seconds when the fish bit.  I wasn’t there, but one very proud boy came charging up the driveway to bring me the news and a few short minutes later I found myself staring into a water-filled bucket containing Luca’s gorgeous first fish.  Thank you Uncle Ryan for attempting the Catch and Release discussion last week, but the first words out of Luca’s mouth after landing this catch were, and I quote, “I’m gonna eat it.”

Image

Kreg did his best to put Luca off the idea of keeping this fish by calmly explaining in full detail what it means to take a life.  I even briefly (and regretfully) tried to pull the guilt card with a short sentence about the fish’s family missing him.  All of this was met with, “I want to kill it and eat it!” in increasing intensity.  So we finally relented.

So much for raising a little vegetarian.

Luca and Kreg thanked the fish and then Luca stood by and watched the entire process from start to finish, asking a million questions and helping when he could.  And he did, indeed, eat that beautiful bass.  All of it.  As in, the whole thing.  All by himself.  He loved it.

Image

And while I’m still wrestling a bit with the fact that my three year old looks like he’s on his way to becoming a rather fierce little hunter (a knowledge of the existence of guns, his set of plastic farm animals and his play kitchen have  proven to be an insightful combination…he regularly culls them all and makes “stew”) I can say that I’m deeply pleased that he understands where his food comes from.  That plate in front of him holds food entirely procured from within 100 yards of our dinner table and last night I watched him absolutely relish eating that first fish along with spinach and kale from the garden.  I was one proud mama.

While I wasn’t looking

1.30.12

i made pants for both of them…and that makes me so very, very happy.