Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 28 and 29: Spring = Mud

Some of our dear friends moved to Virginia eight years ago on the 29th, and they said that when they got to Albemarle County, the land was gorgeous: the forsythia was in bloom, the redbuds were out, the dogwoods, the spring green.

It's not like that this year. It has been grey and rainy, which means, at least here, muddy. Since I don't have to go outside a whole lot, it doesn't bother me too much, but for Phil, out sloshing around feeding cows and trying to set up his office, it's a bummer.

Despite the mud, we moved the IKEA bookcase up to Phil's office. He could certainly use the extra book storage space, and my bedroom has returned to a state of rest.

Speaking of rest, Phil has been weary lately. He skipped using the neti pot for some weeks, and we wonder if maybe that contributed. (To neti pot: run warm salt water through the nasal passages. It hurts. I understand why he doesn't want to do it. But living out here, with molds and pollens and dust, our doctor friend recommended that should be part of the daily routine. Only Phil actually does it, though.)

When we moved to Virginia, I had suggested that we could name the farm "Rest and Be Thankful," the name of an estate in one of the world's most delightful books, The Sherwood Ring. At the time, he thought it sounded too much like a retirement community ... or maybe even a cemetery. But I asked him again this week, and he laughed and said that that name doesn't sound so bad anymore.

Phil continues to move things out of the office space. He's getting close to being done with the bathroom vanity, but we never bought a faucet and we are also still lacking some pipes and fittings. The mirror/medicine cabinet we bought for over the sink is much too heavy for the single stud, besides being dimensionally much too large for the space. Maybe we'll hang it over the end of the bathtub, just to make sure we have some "medicine cabinet" like space for the various essential oils and salves and homeopathic remedies. Maybe not.

Jadon has been teaching Abraham chess. Abraham is a good sport, and, for a rank beginner, a worthy opponent. And a friend gave us a game called Suspend, a "hanging, balancing game" and all four brothers and Phil vie for the chance to play. Abraham is good at that one, too.

Isaiah has tried a few alternative building methods from Steven Caney's Ultimate Building Book. The author suggests numerous low-cost creative construction methods. Isaiah tried making jello jigglers (using plain gelatin and cherry juice—) to make an igloo. I don't think it worked very well, but he was occupied for quite some time. He also tried dipping the ends of Q-tips in rubber cement. We have the purchased and expensive Geomags that fulfill almost the same purpose, but I didn't mention that and, again, he had fun.

Joe has begun his stick-figure art phase of development. ("Mommy, I like art now!")

And Caleb had a single tooth break through on Friday. He might have a second now, but he is good at keeping his mouth shut, so I'm not sure. Thankfully, I don't remember any increase in fussiness. With Jadon, I remember slathering his gums with tubes and tubes of teething gel (I'm sure artificially colored and flavored—what was I thinking?!). Some children are in extreme pain when teething, but he hasn't needed a dose of homeopathic Chamomilla for teething pain yet.

I've been experimenting with different sleep patterns. This week I have tried going to bed between 1 and 2am, sleeping four or five hours, and getting up for an hour or two of additional quiet work time. I might nap an hour before breakfast, and then take a good nap in the afternoon.

I like that I have some solid hours to work without any noise or distraction. The biggest downside I've noticed, at least after a week, is that I have multiple waking up times, and those can be disorienting. If I feel particularly dazed in the afternoon, I play the piano (more poorly than usual) and that helps my brain transition.

I loved watching most of the March Madness game between UVA and Michigan State. That was a little treat to myself, to sit up and enjoy it. And I sort of helped host a baby party for a friend from church yesterday. It was another little treat to hear how God is at work in our lives.

And, finally, we were given a gift from our cows, too. Phil put the calf back in his pen on Friday morning. He milked Friday night and he milked Saturday and we don't think there was any reduction in production. And, better, it appears that the calf somehow took care of Bianca's mastitis. We have great rejoicing!

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