Friday, August 31

one week from today

the cabin
sx-70, polaroid expired 600 film


the cabin



mended, the cabin

the mended chair, I love it!


the cabin



the cabin




A week from today, we're leaving to start the drive to the cabin in Ontario. Although we can't arrive till noon on Saturday, we decided to split the 7-hour drive into two days to accomodate Cedar, an as-yet-unknown long trip travel partner.


I've been anticipating this vacation for weeks. For months. Since last year, in fact.


See what I'm talking about here.

xo Brooke




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Wednesday, August 29

blooming glen farm

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pick-your-own, the delight of my week



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the tomatoes go for ages



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Our farm-share is one of the delights of my week. On tuesdays we go and pick up our veggies for the week and the pick-your-own crops (like strawberries, snap peas and mini tomatoes) and I lose myself in the flower field for a little while.


Next year I hope to have a larger veggie garden than we presently do and am saving seeds for it. I also have plans for a portion of our huge forsythia bushes to turn into a flower garden and have been cutting them out piecemeal when I have a portion of time while Tim watches Cedar, uncovering more huge boulders like whales breaching across the ground and slowly hatching in my mind where I will lay the stone path and what herbs I will grow among them, and what plants I want to put there in order to draw in the hummingbirds and butterflies. I need to think a little bigger than I ever have since we don't plan to move again, ever. It's exciting stuff to think on when I walk Cedar to sleep each evening and gaze out the window at the present tangle.





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Tuesday, August 28

the strength of the orange monarch

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sleeping, always touching



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night-time



Yesterday, while sitting in the car outside of a retail store, nursing in its parking lot, a monarch butterfly sang and danced its way across the asphalt in front of me. It was a lovely moment, cuddling my boy who had just been breaking my heart crying fit to burst minutes earlier in his carseat (hence the pulling over), the a/c blowing the car into coolness, some music quietly playing, Things I want my daughters to know in hand (always in the glovebox these days), and the monarch, a piece of orange strength in the sun, possibly starting the long migration journey on nothing but the tenuous fibers of its little wings and the tricks of the breezes.


Perhaps you have experienced something like it.


I think just about every day I have a little time where I feel like I may go mad and I just can't hack it and then the next thing I know, it has passed and I'm on top of things again feeling like the luckiest mom ever and I can't wait to hold Cedar like I'll never let him go.


After a while when he fell asleep against me, soothed into one body with mine, heavy and warm as a sun-ripened peach, I put him into the Moby wrap and we went inside to shop for a few essentials. A golden yellow tank, a sea-blue teal scarf to wrap around me at the onset of the winter to come (to walk in the forest in the snow), a pair of coral pink corduroys to greet autumn in. Have you ever tried on pants in a changing room while wearing your baby on your front? Interesting.


We came home to find Tim newly awakened from his sleep after the night shift and he took the babe for a woodsy stroll while I pulled together a peach crisp, sweet with peaches from a local orchard (that my mom picked) and which turned into a bubbling crumble of late summer perfection. I had three helpings. We also managed to rustle up a little lemoney chicken dinner to the tunes of Bob Marley and ate at dusk by the light of a single fat candle before I headed up to bed with Cedar. Another day accomplished.




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Peach Crumble

Peel and chop 7 or 8 ripe peaches and place into an oven-safe pan. I use a thrifted French earthenware one with a blue stripe since it makes such a nice presentation. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups flour (I did 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup teff flour), 1 cup sweeteners (brown sugar, agave nectar, honey, etc...), 1/2 tsp. coarse salt, dashes of nutmeg and cinnamon to taste (I like a lot), 1 cup rolled oats. Chop in 3/4 cup butter or butter substitute until everything is in smallish pieces. Spread over peaches and press even with your fingertips. Cook for 40 minutes at 375*F. Serve warm.



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Thursday, August 23

Language from the birds

Sit With It


Language From The Birds

Reserved

On My Way



Metamorphosis.

Becoming.

Going.

Waiting.

Listening.

Changing.


Among the birdsong, inside the chrysalis, you change in small and steady ways until, one day, you are ready to emerge.


New work in the shop.

xo Brooke



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Wednesday, August 22

8 weeks

8 weeks




8 weeks




8 weeks



I love him so much.

I know so much more than I did. Little by little every day, I grow and so does he.




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Saturday, August 18

his wardrobe should consist entirely of stripes

Smiling this week.




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We went to the Grange Fair, just me and the babe, this afternoon and looked at pygmy goats and needlework, smelling the funnel cakes and just missing the pig races. Periodically someone would lose their balloon and it would float up crisp and clear and bright against the sky.



Tracking




We came back for a moment's hello with Tim before he went to work. I had gotten his shift hours wrong and thought he left later ~ so the evening alone with Cedar began earlier than expected. This can still make me anxious. The not-getting-a-break. But it's working out. I'm stronger and more resilient than I know. We climbed into a warm bath and he got his first shampoo.



After the bath






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Wednesday, August 15

summer waning

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sx-70 camera, polaroid 600 expired film
set up by me, taken by tim



Yesterday.




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Monday, August 13

and, after a hiatus...

studio



studio



studio



studio



studio




I don't mean this in a mean way, but somedays Cedar is so wanting-to-be-in-arms that I should call him Velcro. He's a sweetie and I love him. Tim's sleeping up his eight hours from the shift he finished early this morning and I am so happy I'll have him back for the week. Three days on my own was tough. Cedar gave me about 15 minutes laying in the co-sleeper in the studio today before I had to pick him up again. I tried repeatedly, about 5 or 6 times, to walk him to sleep and then lay him down again. But he's a smart little fella and wasn't having it. And I know you're not supposed to put them on their belly, but I did try it and he finally stayed asleep although I felt guilty and kept checking his breathing. It's supposed to be one of those things you don't do.


But, I did get a little work done, for that 15 minutes, and it was good.

xo Brooke





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Wednesday, August 8

full living

Mornings.
Cedar, 6 weeks
compare to him here


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His daily dirt snack.



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Yesterday I went alone to the lake. Leaving Cedar behind gave me the feeling that I had forgotten something; like going out without my purse. The sailboats tethered to the docks chimed like bells along the water, and someone was listening to opera on the grassy shore. It was a lovely, if warm, walk.


In the mornings I wear him in the Moby wrap if he's into it. I catch myself feeling urgently that I want to get things done, and I've been rethinking that phrase. It's not that I want to get things done, it's more that I want to live the events and purposes and whys and wherefores around me, because they are what give depth and satisfaction to my life. I love laying in bed at night and running my mind over the fullness of my day, tallying up the little accomplishments ~ hard-boiled the eggs, weeded, found big yellow squash babies, made chicken stock, went out for sandwiches, received letter, washed diapers, bought peaches, saw 4-hummingbird battle. It's full living.

xo Brooke




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Monday, August 6

in the gloaming

Cedar
5.5 weeks


Last night Cedar fell asleep at 7. This being a little earlier than usual (8:30 being usual), I took him up to bed and climbed in myself as well, with book and journal and chamomile tea in a singing yellow fiestaware mug. The light was dim and underwaterish. I could still see his little serene face, and laid there totting down and sorting out my thoughts, catching them on the wing. I wrote a long-overdue letter, tidied up some trailing mental loose ends, and generally puttered around in my inner creative free-patterned part that is separate from being a mama or a wife or a daughter or a friend. I welcomed myself back. It's been awhile.


Tim has been home, not working much this whole time, spending these first weeks with us. Soon he returns to his 12-hour shifts and I need to find my way along some long stretches without break with this boy. I'm intimidated, not sure if I'll know what to do to keep myself open and capable and fresh. This is probably a universal feeling, which is somewhat comforting.


Any tips?

xo Brooke



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Sunday, August 5

stories of the ocean and the moon

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sx-70 camera, polaroid 600 expired film
(from my florida trip last year)



The full moon a few nights ago was so bright it called me out of bed, where I should have been trying to fall asleep, to peek out the window upon a lawn bathed in blue light, every blade of grass outlined and casting a dramatic tiny shadow, like a forest of green-blue spears. The butterflies were sleeping somewhere down there; the cicadas filling the night with song. The trees were tall and dark like ragged piney cliffs rising up to tower above the house, and caught in their arms was the perfectly round, shining moon.


This morning at the ocean I left Cedar behind with Tim, only the second time I have done so for his entire life, and went upon the beach. The water was warm and soft running over my lapis lazuli toes, bits of cobalt sea glass and shells with holes in them, perfect for collecting and stringing. Pieces of foam broke off of the edges of the waves and dashed themselves to bubbles on the sand. I could feel myself filling up with milk again (sea-milk, briny and sweet?) and knew I'd turn back towards the house soon, but the ocean was so silvery bright, so polished. It seemed to bring to me thoughts I haven't thought in a while ~ mysterious, probing, delightful insinuations and anticipations of creativity, delicate and reaching and unformed.


These kinds of things make me very very happy.

xo brooke




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Saturday, August 4

the white peaches will be ripe tomorrow

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sx-70 camera, polaroid 600 expired film
set up by me, taken by Somer
(and no, we're not nursing
but Cedar is hoping we might
be about to.)



A friend has been visiting all week, helping with chores, cooking us complicated and delicious dinners, and helping be an extra pair of arms ready to hold Cedar. Yesterday we went to the lake, hoping to escape the heat but it wasn't any cooler. We came back to the fans and wiled away the remainder of the afternoon between the pages of books. Today Tim, Cedar and I head to the beach for a couple of days; I'm keeping the packing simple. A slim but colorful wardrobe. My 35mm camera (which has lately been accompanying me places). A little bit of the Beachwood Sparks album. A start at The Anthropology of Turquoise. The last of the sugar plums and a handful of white peaches that will be ripe tomorrow.

xo brooke




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Wednesday, August 1

her hands hold beautiful things

her hands hold beautiful things

sx-70 camera, polaroid 600 expired film


I'm so tired. Cedar wakes up at 3 sometimes and complains softly for no reason I seem to be able to fix. It's hard doing things one-handed all the time. He doesn't want to be put down. We left a cushion outside and it got rained on. The hummingbird feeder needs to be filled, again. It's hard to drive anywhere since I have to pull over to nurse him if he starts crying, and I never know if that will happen or not, or where I'll be, or if he'll be so distraught that his whole day will be thrown awry.



her hands hold beautiful things

sx-70 camera, polaroid 600 expired film


The farm-share vegetables are perfection.  I picked my way to a tizzy at the farm's pick your own flower field and now there are bouquets all over the house. My visiting friend made a potato-dill salad yesterday to die for. We baked an entire local free-range chicken for dinner. I found a purple dress I forgot I had. I have a whole book of new stamps ready to paste onto letters I haven't written yet. The baby is a dream when he is sleeping and heavy against my body. He gets the funniest faces when he knows I'm about to nurse him.


And that's how it goes, the sour and the sweet, all day long.






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