Two weeks in (and a few details)

We’ve been in the new house for two weeks now, but somehow it seems longer. I’m past the sadness, and really looking forward to the future here! A friend mentioned that I really left my readers here hanging as far as move details go. I didn’t mean to! We’re kind of hanging ourselves right now, literally. The deal is that we are renting until our house sells, at which point we will buy this house.  We have a few big projects we want to complete on our old house, so we won’t be listing it for a little while. Basically, what this means is that I am not going to be doing a lot of settling in as far as decorating (not that I’m much of a decorator!) goes right now. I’ve hung a few pictures on nails that were already there, and we are going to paint the girls room the same shade of peachy pink that we used at the other house. But mainly we are simply getting settled, working on our other house, and preparing for our outdoor animals. Of course that’s in addition to jobs, kids, homeschooling. It’s going to be a hard few months, though in a good way because this is for our children, for our future.

I hope to share the new house gradually as it begins to feel more like our own. It is a relatively new home, and it was built in the Craftsman style, which Jonny and I both love. Jonny is getting a little crazy with his plans to build on that style here, and it’s a good thing he has a sawmill! I think there is lots of cozy wood paneling in our future. Some of you asked if this house is bigger than our others, and specifically about bedrooms. Yes, this house is actually much larger than our other one.  There are four finished bedrooms: one for Keats and Gabe, one for Silas and Job, one for Larkspur and Beatrix, and finally one for Jonny, Mabel, and me (eventually Mabel will move in with the big girls.) Seth is in an unfinished space in the basement, his choice over sharing with the other boys, and we will finish his room sometime next year.

Here’s something kind of crazy: this house has a little in-law suite in the basement and I get to have it for my very own. Guys, I haven’t had personal space in a very long time. I’ve certainly never had a “studio,” but I do now. There is a small kitchen, and a large adjoining room that I am using for my work. The only creature I am officially sharing it with is Benjamin Bunny. Of course, I am not usually alone there, my kids often join me, and that’s how I want it. But I have a place to work, and that is amazing. Jonny has a workshop too, so we’re pretty well set up for all of our artsy stuff. I still feel like I am dreaming, and probably will till our other house sells and everything is settled.

p.s. I’ve been working over these weeks of moving, dyeing lots of playsilks with natural dyes, sewing sachets, making stitch markers, and of course dyeing yarn. Jonny hasn’t been able to get set up to work on any shawl pins or cutting boards yet, but we are hoping that he can have some things ready by mid-month, in time for Christmas gifts. In the meantime, I am updating our shop tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST. I’ll have preview pics up in the morning! Thank you, thank you for being here, and for cheering us on!!!

No Library

I sometimes forget that taking young children to the library is something that I ban from time to time like markers or glitter.

Today Larkspur asked if I could take her and Beatrix to the library at 3 o’clock to meet friends.  I needed to go to the nearby post office anyway, and Gabe wanted a haircut at the barber shop round the corner, so I said sure.  In a moment of fuzzy-headed-ness, I thought that this would be great.  The little boys could look at books, the girls could see their friends, and I would have Mabel in the sling.  No problem.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I went over the rules with Silas and Job in my best gentle, yet VERY serious, mom voice.

“Remember we don’t shout in the library.  You stay with me, and NO RUNNING.”

Job piped up, “No running?  …Walking?”

“That’s right Job, no running, only walking.”


I believed him.  (I never learn.)

We entered the library, smiling and excited.  All the books.  All the possibility!  We marched upstairs and onto the children’s floor.  It was a busy day at the library.  Lots of people.  Lots of children behaving well.  My kids too.  The girls found their friends and Silas, Job, and I (Mabel in the sling) started looking at books.  It didn’t take Silas long to declare that there weren’t any good books.  You know, in the whole children’s section.  None.  I started pulling books from the shelves and suggesting them to him, but they all “looked boring.”

I noticed Job was missing and started walking around looking for him.  He was of course at the water fountain.  I have a bit of a water fountain phobia.  I used my sing song voice, “No, no Job! There are bad germs on that!”  I am trying to train him early to avoid water fountains, though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know what germs are yet.  He gave me a grin and took a big drink before following me back to the books.

All seemed well again, though I noticed a familiar glint in Job’s eyes.  Sure enough, a few minutes later he giggled and started running.  I called him back, “No running, Job!”  But he kept running.  What a fun game!  I didn’t chase him though for two reasons:  I find it very difficult to run with a newborn in a sling, and I also tend to cling to my pride in public situations.  I stayed calm and eventually convinced him to return to choosing books, though at this point I noticed that we had three canvas bags full.  It was really time to go.  But Larkspur and Beatrix wanted more time with their friends.  And Gabe wasn’t back from the barber shop yet.  I squatted down to dig through the bags and see what the kids had chosen to check-out while Job and Silas sat near me, looking at books.  I failed to notice when Job started emptying shelves, despite the fact that I was about three feet away.  I stood up and walked around a large footstool that was situated between me and the boys, and it was only then that I saw Job grabbing another book to add to one of several very large, messy stacks of books spilling all over the floor.

At this point I realized I had a small audience, which was slightly mortifying.  I was a little unsure of how to proceed.  I just wanted so badly to leave, but I was trapped!  Naughty child, mess of books on the floor, bags of books to check out.  Holding Mabel (who is beginning to fuss in the sling) with one arm while bending over, I started neatening Job’s stacks, because surely making them neater would improve things.  I used my vocal power to stop Job from “choosing” anymore.  Eventually I had to stop my useless stacking to grab his arm as my power was failing.  A librarian who must have been alerted to the situation (mom who can’t control her children) arrived on the scene.  Gesturing toward my stacks on the floor she asked, “Are these the ones you don’t want?”  I apologized and she started loading them all onto a shelving cart.  “I thought I could handle taking the new baby and the two year old to the library.  I was wrong.”  I explained.  She smiled sympathetically.  Thank goodness.  (love her!)

I gathered up the other children and the bags of books and we headed downstairs after one last fun game of “Where’s Jobie?!”

But of course then I had to check out all those books.  I won’t give you a play by play of how the little boys behaved for that.   When a friend walked up and asked, “Need a hand?”  I didn’t hesitate to hand her Mabel.

As the librarian checked out our books Larkspur exclaimed, “Quite a few of these won’t make it back in one piece!”  Beatrix quickly chimed in with a, “Yeah!”  I chose to remain silent and avoid eye contact with the librarian at that moment, though I died a little on the inside.

No markers, no glitter, no library.  And I promise to pay for any damaged books.