Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Piece of Sunday Peace.

Posted on | October 13, 2013 | 2 Comments

I have a lot to tell you.  For the past 6 weeks, I haven’t been at a loss for words.  Just at a loss for time.  But don’t worry. I took lots of pictures and jotted down a bunch of scribbly notes that I will not be able to read or probably even find when I have time to sit down and write.  Some of them, though, are written in the margins of my Anatomy & Physiology book.  For the $85 that I paid for a used textbook, I figured I shouldn’t have to find a piece of scrap paper when a blog post inspiration forced itself inbetween my thoughts on respiratory rhythmicity centers and endochondral ossification.  I paid handsomely for the right to doodle all over those pages.  Besides, it is the fault of A&P that I never have time to write anyway.  Back in September I had the bright idea that I should take an online course in an attempt to see if I could continue my education and advance my career while simultaneously juggling night shift, 2 kids back in school with its accompanying activities and assignments, 2 kids at home full time on their 3 week semester break, and, of course, the farm.  All during hunting season for The Other Half.

I know what you’re thinking.  I could have paid you the $85, asked if you thought I could manage it all, you could have laughed in my face, and we both would have been better off.  Live and learn, people.  Live and learn.

Regardless, in the midst of a dreary and rainy weekend, I stumbled into a Sunday bright spot.  The fridge was filled with leftover venison fajitas from earlier in the week and an extra pepperoni pizza from Big’s birthday party on Saturday.  That meant that “microwave” was my only meal plan for the day.  My A&P quiz was extended until Monday at 11pm, which, of course, meant I would worry about it on, well, Monday.  Church was celebrating homecoming so all the usual afternoon activities like youth group and children’s choir were cancelled and, therefore, so were my chauffeuring duties.  We left Sunday morning service with clean souls and a clean slate for the rest of the day.

Amen, brothers and sisters.

I dug out the Arts Council Open Studio Tour brochure that I had left on the very bottom of my to do pile, knowing there was a slim to nothing chance that I’d be able to go.  But there it was and there were 3 studios within 5 miles that were hosting a variety of artists and their works.  As an added bonus, Pretty was actually around.  She was not off to babysit with a friend or at a sleepover at Grandma’s or in the midst of volleyball practice, but on her way upstairs to curl up with a new book and put off doing her homework.  And, really, why shouldn’t we put off school work together?  On the Open Studio Tour?  Oh, the blessings of a daughter who enjoys art and procrastination as much as her mother.

Before we headed into town, we left the boys with the task of restarting the birthday party bonfire and burning up the lot of dead stumps that have been collecting in the front yard.  Because that was enough work to keep them busy for a couple hours or more.  And because the past week of rain and current drizzle had left all the surrounding woods too saturated to worry about sparks.   Also, because asking Big to make fire and burn things was like giving him a second birthday party all over again.  Plus, the neighbor wanted to burn some of his own scrap pallets and agreed to keep an eye on the fire and the boys.  After all, what could possibly go wrong when my boys are in charge of fire and an ax while I’m away?

As a testimony to my foolhardiness faith and trust, Pretty and I enjoyed a relaxing and worry-free stroll through the open art studios.  There is something exciting about discovering that right in your own neighborhood, there are artists inventing and creating and expressing themselves in magical ways.  That tucked right behind a little gift shop is a studio where Larry Favorite combines turquoise and iron wood and welcomes you to watch him work.

That artists are merging metals and minerals in beautiful ways.

That glass can be fused into pieces so lovely that I need a job that doesn’t require a uniform so that I can wear this necklace….

and make me a believer in the idea that some bowls should be seen and not eaten out of.

On a damp and colorless Sunday afternoon, artists made it possible to discover an art form that I didn’t even know existed like these cold wax and oil paintings….

and she even took the time to show me her technique.

It was exciting to see familiar objects and places displayed in original ways like this local carousel that my kids have ridden time and time again.

But best of all I found out that the mother of one of Little’s friends, a woman I see on a regular basis at school and church and sports, is not just fun to chat with in the bleachers during basketball season, but also an amazing artist.

From whom I had to buy a set of goat notecards (goat notecards!!!) so I could send a card to my friend with a picture of a goat on it that looks just like hers….

and a cow magnet (cow magnet!!!) for another friend who just started a job at a dairy.

I would have bought them both a print but I don’t think you’re supposed to buy farm art for other people.  Not all people are comfortable coming face to face with a life-like portrait of their goat in their entryway.  Just some people.  Special people.  Me people.

I even finally, finally found the piece of fabric art that I have been searching for to hang in the dining room to cover the electrical box.  I have searched for vintage linens at antique stores.  I have examined handmade quilts at the fair and the flea markets.  I even perused  Well, I perused the first 10 pages of 10,000 that came up when I entered “fabric wall hanging” in the search box.  And then I gave up because I felt bad that other people had the ability to make over 10,000 fabric wall hangings and I didn’t even have the skill or interest to make one.  But I felt very good about buying this one during the studio tour.

Look, ma!  No electrical box!

You can’t really see all the fine detail in this photo.  But I’ll get to see it every night during dinner.

And buying something from a local artist felt so much better than trying to make it myself, we had to splurge and buy one for Pretty’s room, too.

One that reminded me of Pretty and her dog, Luna, headed for a walk in the woods.

When we got home, the boys were still alive and all their fingers were still intact.  Bonus!  Pretty had time to do her homework on the deck with Harvey

and I had time to weed the perennial beds, pulling weeds easily out of the soggy soil, while basking in the brilliance of the ox eye sunflowers.

All those golden blooms were enough to practically make their own sunshine.  And blind me to next spring’s task of pulling up their self-sown seedlings from every section and corner, crack and crevice of soil, in the garden.

After emptying the fridge of remaining leftovers, we all snuggled on the couch to watch a movie.  And after dark, we returned to the remains of the bonfire to make s’mores.  The fire was at that lovely stage where it is mostly burning embers, without the smoke or ash of its earlier exuberance, yet still hot enough to make your front warm and leave your backside wondering why it feels cold and wet.  That odd familiar feeling of a million campfires and bonfires from childhood.  But this time the children are not you, but yours.  And the childhood isn’t the one you remember, but the one they growing through right now.  There may not be a feeling more peaceful than that.

Unless, of course, it’s that first gooey bite of a s’more made with graham cracker, marshmallow, and a peppermint patty.  Mmmmm….

And on the 7th day we rest, people.  We rest.


2 Responses to “Piece of Sunday Peace.”

  1. Jill
    October 14th, 2013 @ 6:22 am

    What a great day! I love the fabric art very very much and also the goat notecards… now, that’s a niche market… Good for you and Pretty having an afternoon to enjoy each other..

  2. Lisa Dumain
    October 14th, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    That was rest?????

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