Season of Change

Photo: Oh yes, look at all the beautiful details, the glorious color on the petals… isn’t this just a glorious photo!? 

 

Snow on the car, snow on the barn, snow on the grass this morning… no snow on the pavement, but you know it’s coming! Oh, Dear Reader… somebody stop the winter from coming! I’m not ready!

When I woke the boys up this morning and pulled back the curtain, the reaction was brilliantly mixed. Major, able to fully see out the window from his top bunk perch, gasped with glee as he took in the first glimpse of white. When he breathlessly announced to his brother what had happened, a groan came from the bottom bunk.

“Oh no,” Minor said. “Not the snow!

That child is my child, for sure.

Major started ticking off all of the things he would need for the day:

“I have to find my boots! I have to find my hat! And my gloves, and those snowpants. Mama, do my snowpants fit?”

No, they don’t fit. That’s why, when I got up this morning and saw the damnable snow on the ground, I got right on the internets and ordered another pair. I’m sitting here praying many prayers that his boots do actually fit. That boy needs a new coat (Nana is getting him one for Christmas) and avoiding new boots would be helpful. I know it’s too much to ask for. The child is growing entirely too fast.

With every item listed, Minor let out a grunt or a groan. “I hate boots. I hate hats. I hate gloves. I hate snowpants.”

Yes, baby. I know.

“But why? Don’t you like the snow?” Major asked as he climbed down his ladder.

“No!” Minor barked.

“Awwwwwww,” Major said in the way that children do. It was this sort of mimic of the way I would have said it, yet it still came out as almost a giggle. As if to say, “oh brother, you’re so ridiculous.”

Major practically pranced through the entire “get up, get dressed” routine. It wasn’t until we got downstairs and he got a good look at the snow that he realized we barely got a dusting. The early morning sun was enough to melt it away. I thought he would lose it, but he shrugged instead.

“It’ll be back! We’ll be sledding in no time!”

His brother and I both groaned at the thought.

I was a total baby about it this morning. Put on leggings under my jeans, a thick tunic sweater to put under my peacoat, and wrapped my hair in satin before putting on my thick knitted hat. I was dressed for January, not late November. It really wasn’t that bad out today. But the visual reminder of yes, cold days are coming, yes the warm days are at an end and, yes, snow will be here and will remain for months is… causing preemptive shivering. I can’t wait to snuggle up under my two thick blankets (Husband: “Really? Aren’t you hot under all that?”) and dream about tropical beaches. Yeah… some wonderful life owning a bookstore on a tropical island… wouldn’t that be magical?

Some things just can’t be helped. Change is in the air. I’m just gonna have to get used to it.

Speaking of which, you may have noticed that the featured image is a little more high quality than my other photos. That’s because this mama invested in a big-girl camera! Yaaaaaaaay!!! I purchased a very nice camera and stuff to go with it in the hopes that I will never put another blurry picture on this blog ever again! Furthermore, I hope that I will begin to get more active on Instagram thanks to my new toy. I’m so excited to better share the beauty of the world I know with you in this space.

The camera is just the beginning. As I told you in October, I decided to spend this winter not writing fiction in the hopes of giving my brain a bit of a rest, and also to spend some time learning and growing in other areas. I purchased a few helpful resources to help me with my fiction and I also purchased a very cool bundle of blogging courses/resources, complete with a cool mastermind group filled with weekly seminars and fellowship. I’m learning a lot and I’m excited to apply some of the knowledge that I’m gaining. I hope that you will come along on the journey with me. One of the first things I want to do with this camera is to take pictures of our Thanksgiving Day feast, and maybe even start posting some of my recipes!

That being said, I was wondering if you would do me a favor, Dear Reader. As I explore the potential of what this blog could be, I am trying to keep my focus on what I’ve already created and why you have chosen to read my blog week after week. I’ve noticed that, though my comments and “likes” don’t always reflect it, I have a pretty consistent bunch of readers who come back post after post. I would love to know who you are and what it is about my blog that you love the most. Would you be willing to take a quick 5-question survey to tell me a little bit about yourself? I don’t collect usernames or email addresses, and you don’t have to type anything (there is the opportunity write a comment at the end if you want to, but it is optional). I just want to know more about why you choose to read my words, and what I can do to make your experience better. I want to grow, but only in ways that honor the relationship I have already established with you.

Rather not do the survey? Send me an email! I actually correspond with a few of my readers and I absolutely love it! My email address is wise(dot)kay(dot)c(at)gmail.com

I’ll keep the survey up for a week just to give ample opportunity for ya’ll to find it and respond. No pressure! But it would mean so much to me, and it would really help me better reach my potential. Thank you for your help, Dear Reader. I look forward to your thoughts!

It’s a short week, but that doesn’t mean there is less to get done! Let’s make it happen, Dear Reader.

Until Wednesday, take care.

[Quiet Thoughts] Expansion, Contraction

Photo: I got my free morning, so you know where I went!! The water is flowing, no longer frozen. Matter of fact, the water has risen significantly and will be pretty high soon. You won’t be able to walk beyond the statue to the left before long. That’s how high the river gets! Tour groups have returned, which means that it isn’t the best spot for stopping and thinking anymore. Might need to find a new pondering spot…

 

On Sunday night, my family sat down to dinner and started the usual nonsense of “no, you can’t have more of that until you eat some of this”  which is the new nightly annoying fight that we need to have with both of our children. Getting into it with Minor, especially, seemed to b the thing that I must do instead of enjoying my dinner. But on Sunday, I stopped mid-tirade because my pet fox came out from under the barn the barn

with three little kits.

Three adorable little gray kits with little white tufts at the end of their tails. The fox looks magnificent, as usual, and to see him… him? Her…? I guess I should probably go with “her,” huh? Anyway, she looks marvelous and strong and healthy. All four of us barely ate dinner so as to watch the show. The kits are good on their feet, playful and happy, wrestling with each other, hopping around and exploring, and venturing a good bit away from their hiding spot.

While the rest of the family hasn’t had a chance to see them since, I’ve had the privilege of a lot of time with them. I have prime view of them from my office window and they seem to come out mid-morning and again in mid-afternoon, which is prime email/blogging time for me!

And I really do mean “privilege” when I describe this week of watching. How many people get to watch a vixen and her kits play in the sun? How many people get to watch her worry over them, play with them, teach them a thing or two? And I’m feeling really joyful. She lived here before we did, remember? And this has been her home for a long time. There were no kits last year, so I think our moving here disrupted her cycle. How much trust has she put in us that she has decided to continue to live here, and even raise a litter here? It’s such a gift to have them here.

What I’ve noticed about my fox this week is that, though taking on that new-parent glow, she seems to have a lot on her mind. The kids play and wrestle, and you can hear her bark in warning or caution or instruction. She rarely sits, constantly on her feet to push a baby upright, play with a baby, check the perimeter… from time a time, a noise will happen and they will all perk up at once… or she will sit to scratch at her ear or take a deep breath and then the three will run over and jump on top of her.

And Lord, I just feel for her. I’m just like, yeah, I know all about that. And I love her and I’m proud of her. Because she’s beautiful and she survived the crazy winter and she brought three adorable kits into the world.

My Quiet Thoughts are about how the world seems to expand and contract all at the same time in motherhood. Where I used to see my pet fox come out of the barn and roam, here she is tethered to my yard and my barn. For now. She’ll be roaming again. Meanwhile, my two little bears are expanding their world and horizon daily, yet making everything feel that much smaller and tighter as they claim more space for their own.

For example, last night, The Husband and I sprang for Chinese. We ordered our usual favorites: beef with hot pepper for me, General Tsao’s for him, fried rice and lo main for the boys, and this delicious beef-wrapped scallion pancake that The Husband and I love. And don’t usually share. We rarely order Chinese and this is like, a special treat.

Well, you know who wanted some, right?

Major: “Oh my God! This is delicious! I love this! Can I have some more!?”

Minor: “Yummy! That’s yummy bread! Can I have some more!?”

Homies, there are only 4 pieces. Two pieces for me and Daddy!! 

Not any more.

Palettes expand. Favorite lists extend. Little pleasures for me and Daddy seem to get taken.

Even the playlist in the car is a shared experience. Little boys must hear certain songs while we are in the car. The same 4ish songs at any given time. I add stuff to the playlist, I take stuff out… they change up on what their favorite rock-out song is. But can mommy listen to a mommy rock-out song? Oh no! There is much ballyhoo about that or, even more classy, they talk or fight through it. So mommy can’t enjoy it. Smooth Criminal comes on? Ohhh, they’re just happy little bears!

Of course, I’m like <sigh>, Mommy can’t have nice things. But then again, I’m grateful for two little boys who rock out to music and eat all my Chinese food and hang out in my living room and make up games. (Instead of playing in their beautiful playroom? The one we spent months working on? Killin’ me, bros…) I feel like they’ve hit a lot of milestones this year and, best of all, they are still happy and healthy and growing fine. We’re doing ok over here. It’s a real blessing to have these two boys be as perfect as they are. I know that there are parents who have a lot more worries than I do. It hits me early and often that I shouldn’t complain so much.

Then there is nap time. We’ve had a week without it. I’m pretty sure that it’s over… Major certainly doesn’t need it anymore, and Minor will not sleep in the nursery without his brother. Ain’t gonna happen. So that means that my days are going to be rearranged again. Gone are the days of the reliably quiet hours outside of my 5am to 7am stretch. The good news is that there seems to be a lull and peaceful play after lunchtime, so I should still be able to regularly post the way that I have been.

But who knows? It’s a whole new world! Their days expand, mine contract and so it goes. Growth is good, change is inevitable, and isn’t it wonderful, really? I’m grateful beyond measure, dear reader. I hope that you, too, have something to be grateful for today.

It is a gray and misty Friday, with snow still covering the majority of the laws and mud pretty much everywhere else. Coats still need to be thick and boots still need to be on, dear reader, but Spring’s march is still on. Slow, but sure. So I wish you green and color this Friday: a potted flowering plant, some daffodils, maybe some tulips in a pretty vase. I wish you a new pretty dress or crisp new shirt for upcoming Spring holidays, maybe a pint of pale ale or white wine, and most certainly a light and fruity dish served up next to a window with a sunny view. I wish you bird calls from returning friends, peeks of nature renewing just outside your window. Finally, I wish you a small and intimate moment: a kiss on the cheek, a squeeze of a hand, a whisper in your ear or a gift left in a secret spot. A small gesture to say “I love you” and start a conversation this weekend. i wish you joy, and warmth, and the wisdom of knowing that you are worthy of both.

Until Monday, dear reader, take care.

After two hours with the snow blower…

 

The Husband was able to clear enough of a path for me to be able to take some pictures outside!

As of 5pm today, I think we are sitting at about 2 1/2 feet. Will see what the official numbers are in the morning. These pictures were taken at noon. The internet was a little wonky today (because errybody was on it!) so it has taken me a while to get these uploaded.

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I really hope the flower boxes can hold that weight? Can you see the playset that the boys so love to climb? Almost completely covered!

 

 

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I haven’t seen the fox come out from the side of the barn. I guess he has wisely decided to stay in…

 

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I love this picture because the snow drift makes the car look hilarious.

 

 

 

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If you are standing at the foot of the front steps of my house, this was the view at noon. At least another 6 inches or so have fallen since then…

Where is my stone fence!?

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The stone fence has been overtaken by snow!! The Husband was like, “that’s just the snow drift.” NOPE! That’s how high the snow is across the whole yard, ya’ll! And we’re in the middle of an “intense band” at the moment! Def gonna get more than 2 feet!

The Husband is going to get out with the snow blower after breakfast and then I’ll get out there and take a better picture. At the moment, our front door is blocked by snow, so I can’t get out there!

Will send pictures as long as I have power. (And I do, thank God.)

Stay warm and toasty, dear readers!