This season I've fallen in love with the comforting rhythm of morning chores.
The quiet walk to the barn in the brief cool and foggy sliver of morning; sitting across from Pete quietly talking while we work; the sound of the first streams of milk hitting the bottom of the metal pail.
Then back to the house we go for coffee and breakfast.
And our day begins.
The rest of our rhythm is more wild and unpredictable. Often by 3:00 I've given up on productivity and we're headed to the creek for a swim.
Because there are not enough hours in the day to pull all the weeds in my garden.
And when I see other blogger's garden tour photos I stare in awe and then laugh out loud a little at the serene beauty I see there juxtaposed against the scene outside my window.
Even a garden with 4' grass clumps and a carpet of smartweed will still grow more zucchini than we can eat. So I'm staying calm.
If my life depended on my garden success, however, I'd probably be freaking out right now.
So instead of weeding I'm making strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcake, and strawberry smoothie popsicles. We're tucking quart after quart of berries into the freezer for winter eating and I'm contemplating just one more batch of jam.
Because strawberries don't last. And no matter how many weeds I pull they'll still be there tomorrow.
The berries will not.
(It's a metaphor you see. For everything that matters. And everything that doesn't.)
As busy as it is it always begs me to slow down.
I will heed the call.
I think the creek is calling.
And I'd hate to disappoint.
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Before I go, one more fun scene from my weekend that I wanted to share. Another moment of slowing down that I'm so glad we made time for.
Writing here has given me the unexpected gift of a community of blogger friends, most of whom I have never met. Jamie is one such friend.
What a treat to finally meet in person! Jamie's family is on a Little House road trip following the path of the Ingalls family across the Midwest.
How amazing is that?
And before they headed to Lake Pepin and to the Little House in the Big Woods they came to our little house in the Driftless.
We shared a meal and some great conversation, our kids happily played, and a virtual friendship became a something tangible, right here in real life.
What a treat it was!
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Some postscripts for those who are wondering:
Our popsicle molds are made of steel and are from the Tickle Trunk. We love them.
The cupcakes are a modification of Elana's lime cupcakes from her cupcake book that we love for strawberry shortcake. (I used lemon zest in place of lime.) Perfectly fluffy and gluten-free/grain-free.
What are we doing with all of that milk? Making yogurt (we love this bulgarian culture), making simple ricotta cheese to freeze for winter use (a great book to get you started is this one and we're slowly moving our way into this book as well), and lots and lots of ice cream. Recipes to come (of course).
And finally, a great big thank you to everyone who commented or emailed me regarding my last post. Your feedback is priceless! I'll share more about what I'm cooking up soon.