Tuesday, July 30, 2013

it's been wet...

It's been so wet this summer.  The kind of wet that just never quite dries.  Your clothes, towels, couch all start to smell sour, and taking a shower just seems like trading one wet for another, and the prospect of putting on clothing seems to have only one draw: maybe it will soak up some of the wet.

the swollen Hocking River
There has been some flooding and the farmers are feeling the root rot in the fields.  But it's also been hot - mid to high 90's - so the monsoony rain has also felt like relief.  And for us displaced Seattlites, it reminds us of our not-sooo-sunny summers and makes us sigh just a little bit with homesickness.  (Me, confessing to Dan, as I notice it has started to rain again: "You know, I....I really like the rain. It makes me want to do stuff and feel homey and creative" He furtively answers back, as if it is a crime to not adore the blazing sun of summer, "Me too! I was just thinking that".  Closet amphibians, we.)

Friend kitty Calcifer, nursing, with bag of frozen corn on her flank.
Desperate times, desperate measures.
cooling down the kitten with the fan
Of course, having water is better than not having water.  

freshwater spring where we sometimes get the yummiest water
And it does make things grow.

chenopodium gigantium
The photo above is of a new plant in our yarden (like that? like a yard plus garden? oh, you got it already? well, all right then.) - magenta spreen.  Yes, that is really what it's called. Spreen.  It bothered me for quite some time - I'd stumble dumbly over the word every time I'd go to say it, until I looked it up to make sure I got it right. Spreen?? Apparently the guy in California who started selling the most recent variation of this variety of lambsquarters didn't love calling the baby seedlings "shoots" because it reminded him of guns, so he made up the word "spreen".  Hmmmm. I'm not sold on the name, but I love the plant! It's growing like a weed (like its cousin, the common lambsquarter that is considered a weed around here, but is also edible), and I trim it to put in our smoothies and eggs, using it like a mild spinach.  

hiking during a break from the rain

If this post seems a bit random, it's because I am a) trying to play catch-up, which seems the favorite game of summer, because we are leaving on our annual trip to see family up north tomorrow  (scratch that - I'm finishing this from the porch of our vacation...) and b) I am procrastinating the list I've made for myself of things that have to be done before we go...

The rain also brings blueberries (see? I'm still sort of tying it all together...)...

picking with Sarah
hi ani!!
And of course more water means more fungus...

I can't think of a way to relate this to the rain, but our summer was also about grabbing time with our friends who were back from Texas for a spell...not long enough, and we had to work around things like broken limbs and elbow surgery, but we were grateful for any time at all...

Dearest friends, these girls.  Enjoy the poses...

I'll send messages from the road - it's our annual roadtrip to see the whole famdamily, with a possible stop at Lake Superior for some soul renewal...ah! More water...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

full happy cup

Take a long stretch of hot, muggy days.  Add several hot, sticky children.  Drive them three hours (in a borrowed! airconditioned! vehicle!) to the most beautific fairyland in West Virginia, and let them loose into the magical Middle Fork river...

Indulge their need to be Near Water At All Times.

Throw in some spectacular fungi for this mama.

Add ancient boulders, some toads and roasted marshmallows.

Shake and toss the whole shebang down the rapids.

You will have filled several cups full of Happy.

Me:  Ani, is your cup full?
Ani: My cup?
Me: Your happy cup.
Ani: OH YEAH!!!

Overheard the next morning...
Ari: Mama! My Happy Butt is full!!
Jen: Do you maybe mean your happy cup?
Ari: Yeah! My Happy Cup! It's FULL!

Two nights at Audra State Park, near Buckhannon, WV, made for a glorious and easy camping trip with our dearlings Jen, Osha and Ari.  It was a break from the breakneck speed of summer, and from the oppressive heat of the past couple of weeks.  All of the kids seemed to expand their swimming skills, taking some new risks and growing in courage and strength, swimming across expanses of water, braving the small rapids, relearning the backfloat and the cannonball.  Yay for clean water!!!

I value these little windows so much.  Jen is really gifted with her ability to mediate conflict amongst children, and as we had the expected scuffles, weary irritability and disappointments,  I got to observe her take on things and feel supported in my own attempts to assist in untangling the troubles.

We drove home Friday through several waves of thunderstorm, back into the small grievances of daily life, but my cup was full of river and friendship.  Happy.