With Bea and Tilly Woo

Generally speaking, relaxing isn’t my special talent.  As we all know, the saying, “A mother’s work is never done,” is quite true.  I have a hard time putting everything I need to accomplish to the back of my mind in order to stay in the moment, and sometimes, take a little break.  This quality isn’t one of my best because it leads to stress and general unpleasantness.

My kids all seem to know how to relax.  I wonder if I did as well at some point in my distant past, but lost the ability somewhere along the way.  Is that simply part of being a grown-up?  Forgetting how to “play?” It shouldn’t have to be.

I tend to fall into the trap of belief that accomplishing those never-ending items on my mental to-do list will bring me peace, but in reality it often becomes a fruitless chase.  Yes, I must do my work, but it is also important to abandon my list both mentally and physically on a regular basis.

Yesterday while Mabel took an early evening nap, I stepped away from our house and all the work for a walk.  I carried my camera, something I don’t do quite so often these days.  I brought along our naughty “Tilly-Woo” and Beatrix joined me as well.  We stayed out till almost dark playing with Tilly and picking pokeberries. I didn’t have to worry about dinner because we were eating leftovers.  It was the perfect evening.  I wondered why I don’t do this more frequently.  Maybe because we don’t have leftovers for dinner often enough?

I guess the moral of my story is that if you cook enough food for dinner on Monday, you might actually get to relax a little on Tuesday.  And in my case, I might end up with some pokeberry yarn.

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Not Yet

Intrigue and Mystery-4527 Intrigue and Mystery-4520

I keep asking myself, “How on earth are you going to keep up with everything once you start homeschooling in a couple of weeks?” (We’re having a late start this year, week after labor day.)  Then I shush myself, saying, “Not yet, you don’t have to worry about that yet.”  I’m slowly putting things in order, and little by little, I’ll be ready.  But there’s really no reason to ruin these last couple weeks of summer with worry over what isn’t here yet.  We’ll figure out how to get it all done.  We always (mostly) do.

Jonny and I have been having lots of fun making things.  Well, I’m mostly dyeing things (mainly yarn, though I let Beatrix dye her slip in my indigo vat last week).  Jonny’s been playing with wood, mainly some of the red oak left over from this tree.  He made me a cutting board and I really love it.  He has a few more ready for our next shop update, which I am planning for Thursday, Sept. 1 at 12 p.m. EST.  I think there may be some bird shawl pins in walnut.  I’ve been dyeing with goldenrod and have some really beautiful yellows and olive greens.  I also dyed a few skeins with the Hopi dye sunflower seeds that I am competing with the goldfinches for.  I may have settled on letting them win.  The sunflowers are so tall that it is kind of a pain to get them protected from the birds, and I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble.  I also really enjoy listening to the goldfinches as they dart around my garden.

Earlier this week the boys found a large-ish tortoise on the baseball field.  We brought it home, thinking that it didn’t look like any native turtle we’d ever seen, while simultaneously praying that it was so we could let it go in a more appropriate spot.  We were not hoping to keep it (Well, Gabe and I weren’t.  The other kids would have been glad to.)  It turned out to be some sort of African tortoise, a Sulcata we think.  Our local shelter took it and will hold him to see if an owner reports him missing, and if not, he will go to a rescue group.  Thank goodness.  I was kind of freaking out just a little bit having him in our downstairs bathtub overnight, especially after I saw the size of his poop!

A friend’s mom who is a lifelong swimmer and instructor is in town for awhile.  She is giving Larkspur and Beatrix swimming lessons every morning.  I left Mabel at home with everyone else yesterday so I could swim too.  It was literally the first time I have been in a swimming pool in years.  I think I need more swimming in my life.  At least there will be for the next few days!