19 August 2016

Seven Quick Takes

Still unpacking, organizing, settling into the new house and trying to create new rhythms to fit the new space... and a little bit of extra excitement, just so we don't have to worry about getting bored, right?

The kids and I had two moose in the yard the other day! There was a big cow and a two-year-old bull, and we ran from window to window watching them both meander all around the yard and through our woods. Kit got so excited, shouting "Dog! Dog!" Pretty much all animals are "dogs" right now, except for sheep/goats. Little Bear and I have talked a few times since then about always checking for moose before we go outside; it's fun to see them from a safe distance, but you definitely never want to get close!

Kit and Little Bear both had fun seeing the animals at the fair; Kit in particular amused a good number of folks in the barn by carrying on an excited (loud) conversation with some of the sheep: "Baaa." "Baa!" "Baaaa." "Baa! Baa!" etc., for the better part of five minutes. She's also adamant that every time we visit my parents, she gets to pet their dog; "Dog! Wuh[f]!", she insists. "Wuh, wuh! Dog!" Little Bear's takeaway from the fair was that he wants to raise rabbits. I explained that if that ever happened, they'd be meat rabbits, which of course I don't actually expect that he completely understood... Though we have been consistent in talking about how moose meat comes from moose, grouse meat comes from grouse, etc, so maybe he understood better than I think he did.

Our car is back in the shop for the second time in two weeks. First it was overheating every two miles, and needed a new water pump. This time, the transmission died and is getting rebuilt; we were fortunate to find a guy in the next town who would do it for less than the jeep is worth, so that's something. I don't know how long jeeps are expected to last, as a rule, but we're only at about 125k miles... We are going to have to decide, once we get it back in a couple of weeks, whether there are enough new parts in it now that we should hang onto it in the hopes that it will not need work for a while, or if we should sell it while we still can and get at least a little out of it to put toward our next vehicle.

The timing, if it had to happen, worked out about as well as it could have: the transmission went out on the afternoon that my sister was getting ready to head back to college, so the old suburban she'd been driving all summer was still on insurance but she didn't need it anymore. My parents let us borrow the 'burb so we didn't have to rent a car; the transmission is going to take two and a half weeks! We really appreciate being able to use the suburban. It was a little odd at first, driving my own kids around in the vehicle I grew up riding in, but it also feels comfortable, familiar—I know the 'burb, know how it handles, and it feels right to have little kids chattering in it again.


We accidentally reinforced Little Bear's desire for rabbits last weekend, when the kids and I went out to "pick up your share at the farm"-day for our CSA. After getting the rest of our vegetables from the stand, we got to go into the field and pick our own snap peas, which was fun for the kids. I gained empathy for my mother's slightly-exasperated "lift up the vines and look under them" every summer; my siblings and I would always insist that we did that already, and then she'd have to come along behind us and pick half again as many as we'd gotten. "There are more peapods right there," I kept telling Little Bear, and each time he was shocked; clearly I had just made them appear out of nowhere because there hadn't been any pods left when he checked, no sir. But it was fun. And after we were done picking, we stopped to see their sheep and goats (for Kit), and on the way back to the car, discovered the farm's rabbit enclosure, so I let both kids sit and watch the rabbits for a few minutes. Little Bear learned somewhere that rabbits live in hutches, and he spent half the ride home talking about building a hutch so the rabbits could come live at our house. I don't expect we'll be ready for any animals for several years, but anything's possible; who knows if we'll wind up with meat rabbits some day.

This weekend has been full; yesterday morning the kids and I ran errands in town and attended part of the morning session of our Catholic radio station's anniversary celebration and fundraiser. I missed a bunch of the last talk, running around with a noisy Kit out in the foyer, but everyone said that it was wonderful and very funny. On the way home we picked up my meager winnings from the fair—a blue ribbon for my dairy-free version of my mother-in-law's pan cookies, and a red for my cranberry banana bread—and promptly spent the money a mile down the road at the farmers market. On salad turnips! I was so excited to see salad turnips, and very proud that Little Bear was excited about them too. Also exciting: the local orchard with special apple-crabapple grafts had a table, and we were able to bring home several bags of the only apples that Matt can eat raw!

A scant two hours after getting home, we were heading back down the hill with freshly-frosted mini cupcakes for the dessert auction at the radio station's celebration. There was a slow-cooker cook-off, and I enjoyed a spicy posole. I trust that Little Bear ate a real supper as well; he was sitting with my youngest brother and his friends, and they all do a good job of looking out for him (and are good sports about letting him run after them). After dinner there was another talk, this one on marriage (the earlier one I'd been in and out of was on parenting). We tried to listen, but Kit hadn't napped much and it was after bedtime, so we had to leave part way in.

Matt wasn't able to come with us either time, unfortunately; his day was dedicated to two huge chores, cleaning/organizing the garage so that we can pull the car in, and moving our woodpile over from the old apartment. The garage looks great now! And two of his coworkers spent the afternoon out in the cold rain helping him haul and stack wood, so he wound up grilling for them and having a pleasant evening in. Hopefully we'll all be able to go to the celebration together next year.