keeping up









My youngest is a mover and a shaker. If homeschool had yearbooks he'd be voted as most likely to take things apart or maybe most likely to be hanging upside-down from a tree branch. When he learned to read, it was with his legs flopped over the back of the couch and the rest of him twisted sideways to see the book I was sharing with him. Usually his antics make me laugh. It's the blessing of being the baby in the family I guess. This time of year though, he tends to get himself riled up to the point of driving his teenage sisters a little batty. More often than I care to remember someone is shrieking at him…. and usually for good reason. Sometimes I ignore it and let them settle it themselves…. sometimes I get involved and play mediator…. other times the only answer is to give the girls some quiet time and take the boy outside. I tell my mom he's like a puppy, he needs to be run! (These are literally my father's words coming out of my mouth!)

So run we do. Over the creek and through the forest. The tables turned with him on a mission and me looking at every little thing. He wants to make it to the water. Stomp over the bridge. Chase the dog. Throw sticks through the last bits of ice. Move, move, move. I'm bumbling behind, wondering if those last shrooms were turkey tails or not. And talk! He talks the whole time. Rarely needing an answer from me, but more so just needing to voice all the things in his little mind. I listen to talk about Legos, his recent obsession of the Simpsons (even though he's never seen an episode), his confusion about why people litter, and his wondering about fairies in the woods.

These days it's a mix of becoming for him. I see him figuring out how he fits in this new world of being a big kid. Flitting back and forth between the two as his siblings did before him, as all kids tend to do around this age. I remember our rock days, and I hang onto these last bits of little as much as I can. The over exuberant hugs, the magic, the messes, his rare need for help, his nightly snuggle under my arm while I attempt to knit…. all of it.

It's been said a million times over, but oh how time flies….




all in a week…..

Chick brooder

Baby chicken flock

Art studio

Art class

Organic herbal tea

Working at home

Sweetbrier farm products

Baby chicks

Color affection shawl

There's an ebb and flow of busy-ness these days. I recently found my plate to be too full and had to let some things go. It's easy to bite off more than I can chew… especially when really wonderful things come available. But the older I get, the more I realize I need down time and days that have no plans at all to balance the busy ones. It's tricky though….

Art class started again the beginning of March. Once a week my studio is filled with 8 extra girls along with my own. I feel pretty lucky to hang out with these super cool young ladies and do my best to find art projects to inspire them. This next session is 12 weeks long and we've decided (the girls & I, that is) to hold a little art show at the end to share with their families. So I'll be compiling about half of our art over the next 2 months and then displaying it all at the end of May. I'll share some bits and pieces as we go along.

The chicks are growing! The first picture is from last week and the second from today. It happens so quickly! I can't believe it's been a week since our little one hatched out and we purchased a few friends to join her. If luck is in our favor there are at least 8 hens in the little flock of ten we have inside. We know there is one rooster for sure, and two of our chicks were straight run so it's a wait and see sort of thing. We're hoping if one of the Swedish Flowers is a rooster we can take him up to Grandpa's farm. This year we chose Cream Legbars, Swedish Flowers, Cuckoo Marans & Blue Cochins to join the flock. I must admit we really get excited about having different types of chickens in our flock. We purchased ours locally, but I linked to photos if you would like to see them. We bought a huge galvanized tub as a brooder this year, Joe said he was tired of buying plastic totes, and that at least we could use it as our future bath tub!! It sure is a nice place for the little peeps to hang out for now. (yes, I quite enjoy having my farm critters in the living room for now – ask me in a month and I might have a different opinion.)

I redesigned our tea labels this week. We got new bags with windows and I had to tweak everything a bit to make it all fit. I'm happy with the new look! I also got a heat gun and shrink labels for the salves & tinctures. That's a bit of a learning curve! It sure makes everything look more professional. I *think* I have two wholesale accounts in the works (eek!), so it's a must to have things sealed properly. And markets! I just signed us up for a monthly farmer's market throughout the summer. Things are filling up, and I'm trying to keep balance in planning out summer dates…. making sure there are still lots of days for lounging in hammocks and heading to our favorite beach spot. The important stuff you know…..

Knitting is calling…. trying to sneak in a few rows on the shawl before my pillow is calling.