The human aversion to forced labor is alive and well here. Boy two is extremely tired of bringing in wood for the stove and has been since somewhere between the first and third loads in the fall. I assigned him a partner mid-winter to try and inspire his efforts. I looked out the window the other day to discover that the reason he had not yet returned with a load of wood was that an archery lesson was in session. He was immensely proud of himself for occupying his (and Girl two’s) time so well.
Having a partner has not increased the dedication to the task. However, it has made the task diversions much more pleasing. On his cheerful days, he lets Girl two ride on top of the wood stack and is setting all kinds of records as to how much time one can take to fill a wheelbarrow with wood, run it across the path to the house and unload it. The girl on moving wood stack method makes me nervous but months in, so far so good. I tell myself the snow would prevent a concussion should there be a toppling.
It was only after I snapped this picture that I saw the egg container perched up on top of the wood. I made them both promise to never balance eggs with the wood and they swore it was only for when the wheelbarrow was standing still and they were doing a lesson.
Thanks to the dog, who really needed some exercise, the three younger kids and I took a good long walk yesterday. Everyone was allowed to take three or four pictures of whatever captured them . . .
A tree that caught Girl one’s attention.
From Boy two who ran ahead to try and find beautiful things first. He didn’t quite manage the focus, but I liked the way he set things up with the leaf.
What about you? I said to Girl two. What do you see that is beautiful? We walked at least another 5 or ten minutes through thousands of leaves. Then . . . stop right here, she said. Where? I said looking around at the trees. Right here, she said and pointed down at her feet.
Two different young photographers were desperate to capture this. It looks like the prairies in the books you read, they said.
It takes about 45 minutes to get here. Boy two begged for the destination because he said he had to photograph the, “Rows upon Rows,” his official name for this section of the forest.
“Rows upon Rows,” the hoped for destination so he the girls the seemingly never ending rows of trees.
These are Girl two’s perpetually backwards boots. She swears it doesn’t hurt her feet and she likes them that way. None of us had felt like a walk. Only the duty of the dog got us there. More than an hour later, we all came home happy and content from the tips of our toes to the top of our heads. As Girl one pointed out, if you actually get out into the woods, no matter how much you didn’t want to go, you never, ever, regret it.
Boy one the beekeeper in the beeyard.
Some of the girls on their way out to work, or just back.
Filippa is crazy about lego . . .
Buster has grown a bit since March.
Against her wishes, Misty the pony/pig cross is slowly shrinking.
Other girls out for a walk. The foxes would prefer if they were available for daily picking but we limit the free meals and make them sporadic to keep flock numbers up.
My favorite (I’m crazy about trees and wind) but not the top vote getter
I am not a picture person. I don’t naturally reach for a picture or ask to see pictures of other people’s children. Most of all, I am uncomfortable with pictures of myself. I have grown up enough not to hide when people take pictures of a group. (Maturity aided by hurt feelings of more than one event where I spent time wondering why no one included me in any of the pictures only to realize that someone had been me.) Despite growth, I have been reluctant to post a picture and my minor forays into electronic communication never include a tidy little avatar, real or sketched.
Read the words, I want to yell. Who cares about a picture? Wouldn’t it be more interesting to only know my voice? Pick whatever height, weight, skin, hair, face that pleases your imagination. I’ve told you I’m a woman, are imaginations so challenged of late that the rest fails to be adequately filled in as it suits?
Sometimes I like to see the picture of an author at the back of the book, sometimes I think it ruins it and I would have rather kept them exactly as I had them in my mind. Apparently, my views are not widely shared. A picture is not requested but required to even submit some other writing that I’ve done. Sigh. Procrastinate. Wonder if failed imaginations will rejoice if I have myself photographed in my lucky writing shirt, a blue plaid flannel? Somehow I know this is a bad idea.
I beg my friend to meet me at a nature sanctuary near her house with a camera. At least outside I don’t have to figure out what to wear. We spend exactly 5 minutes at the photo shoot. Me with navy coat and red hood showing, Me with just navy coat, Me with just sweatshirt. Despite cold fingers, my friend graciously offers to shoot more. I pretend to look around for another location for 3 more minutes and then pronounce the shoot finished. I can’t take any more of the pressure. Enough bending out where it feels a little dizzy. Time to get back down on the ground.
But which picture to pick? Requests for advice from six friends yielded almost as many responses. Luckily, many told me their second choice so I could at least manage a quorum. Final decision narrowed it to three. I’m sending one for my submission, using one for social media, and using the other for the About Me page.
This picture taking business has me thinking of my mother. She would have known exactly what she wanted for a picture and been content doing it for ages. She has no doubt come to peace with the fact that I never will. But she’s probably happy that I at least gave it a shot.
Chickens woken up by irritating photographer turning on the light.
And the log stools for the chicken that can’t get up by herself.
Hole in sink leftover from husband’s faucet switch.
What he proudly refers to as the one dollar solution.
The Canadian dollar at work indeed.
Temporary solution to effects of tennis ball. Six weeks and counting.
Roof ice on wrought iron. Scratching our heads for a one dollar solution on this one.
My reminder that it’s all good.
With thanks to boy one who has been suggesting the pictures for a few weeks now.