It seems like every year we have the same conversations….mostly repeatedly explaining to Elijah why a 20′ tree will not fit in our house….no matter how we angle it. And no, we can’t just put a hole in the ceiling. But this year, for the first time ever, we actually have a room, with cathedral ceilings, high enough to fit a very big try. Very big by our standards anyway. And for that he is just gleefully giddy. It’s not 20′, but I think it will have to be quite big enough. A full ten feet tall and quite large around. What else to say of a tree that require 2 people on ladders just to string lights? Little Rosebud says she keeps forgetting about the angel tree topper because the tree is so tall that you can’t see it from the dinning room where we spend most of our day.
Both here and at home. A new banner, new color scheme, things moving about, still quite a lot of tweaking to be done here. Furniture is shifting all over the house, yet again, and I’m trying to set up another temporary crafting spot to help me through all of the last minute holiday/birthday crafting. Elijah’s cacti collection is thriving in it’s new spot on my weaving bench. Things are still being set up. There are no less then 3 quilts in progress here right now. I hung the decorative plates that my Mother-in-law sent. My kitchen window sill is getting a wee bit crowded. Every time I turn around someone is setting another something there to root. Remember our celery from back in October? Look how big it’s gotten now! And the one from the following week…and the one from the week after that…
~July of 2011, when we first came to see the property.~
This is where I’ve spent so much of the last several months. I think it may be the dearest spot on earth. In the summer time the hummingbirds are often about, sometimes 3 or more at a time. They call to each other from different parts of the garden. Have you ever heard a hummingbird before? They make the most adorable little squeak! The hummingbirds are long gone now. Only the hardiest of my greens are still going strong through regular frosts. I’m looking back now over a season of growth and dreaming of next year.
So much has changed here. And it is still very much a work in progress. What started out as a completely overgrown 19 x 22 plot is now a 22 x 50 space, all freshly fenced in. Planting this year was far from methodical. Basically whatever was ready to be planted went into whatever space I had managed to clear. We were still building new beds well into autumn.
Outside the garden, off to the side there is actually a beautiful stone wall. It had become so overgrown that you couldn’t see it at all. When you live in the woods you have to decide where the cultivated land stops and the wilderness starts, otherwise you end up with tree branches knocking into your windows. That wall is our line on this side. The day after these photos were taken we started clearing it out.
All kinds of gardening methods are represented here. There are some container plants; some planted in pots others in objects found around the yard. There are traditional beds. There are raised beds. There are spots were we experimented with lasagna gardening. There are beds quickly made out of old pallets, layered plantings, a bit of everything.
The three beds above (two of which were already in existence when we moved in, as seen above and one that we built), are outside of the main garden space, near to the house, next to the herb garden. Two of them were gardens to Iain and Elijah this year. We ate some of their turnips just this morning. It was an in between time when I took this photo, with many seedlings too small to be seen and a swath mature plants waiting to be harvested.
~Early Autumn 2012~
Each of the children had their own small plot to tend. Little Rosebud found a pack of 3 year old ‘Cinderella’ pumpkin seeds and insisted on planting them. The vines grew lush and full, but the chipmunks ate every pumpkin just as soon as it started to show.
Our “orchard” is an orchard no more. For various reasons we had to move everything and it’s all out back with the kitchen garden now. This idea caused a lot of internal turmoil for me at first, but really I think it’s for the best. I’m with the trees so much more now. It’s easier to water and keep an eye on it all. Gardening, simplified. It does, however, mean that we have to be much more creative with our use of space.
We now have what amounts to an Orchard Walk, along one side of the garden in the area near the wall that we cleared. All of the trees are here, under planted with some strawberries that I’m hoping won’t deplete their nutrients too much. Before and between the boxed in trees reside high bush blueberries and a lone rhubarb plant.
See the wall and everything off to the side now? These photos were taken right before our first heavy frost of the season.
~November of 2012~
I’m so excited to see what next year will bring.
before and in progress
First, a note about the “before” pictures. The thing of it is…they disappeared. I don’t know how. I am absolutely certain that I took them. Several somewhat blurry ones featured Little Rosebud in her new (at the time) birthday poncho, dancing around her future room, as well as some other clear and more serviceable ones. Only, they don’t seem to exist anymore. And I know I’m not just going crazy because the before pictures from this post, taken that same day, are missing as well.
Below is the only picture I could dig up, taken the first time we looked at the house. You can also get a glimpse of it in the first photo of the post I linked to above.
Not done really, because the bed is just about the only thing in it, but a big change from what we started with.
The floor is a local wide plank white pine, finished with AFM Safecoat Naturals Oil Wax Finish. The ceiling and trim have been painted with Yolo Colorhouse‘s Imagine .04. The walls are Yolo’s Grain .01.
We made the executive decision that Màiri Rose should stay on the 1st floor with us, until we are ready to move up, but that Galen could move into his room whenever he pleased.
Only things haven’t quite worked out as planned. Because, as it turns out, the four year old that was all ready to be a great big boy with his own room has grown into a 6 year old that isn’t real certain that he wants that room to be on an entirely different floor from mama. He was very excited about the room being done in theory, but now that it’s actually done he’s feeling rather lonesome. The other day he looked at me with a quivering lip and said, “if I want you to cuddle me, you have to do it through the vent!” Oh dear. I’m really not sure what the solution is on this one, as our bedroom, which will be right across from his some day, is no where near done. I don’t know if we should take apart his bed and bring it all back down to the main living area where he never got any sleep, or take him into our room, with us, in a situation where no one will sleep, or what. And I also know that this isn’t really just about the room, but a whole bunch of changes for him in this crazy and sometimes scary business of growing up that’s leaving him feeling vulnerable.
He’s on the cusp of so many big things, things he’s been excited for and lusting after. Things that define being big in his mind. I can see that he’s panicking a little about whether or not he really is ready to leave the world of being little behind. Growing up isn’t always easy. Sometimes the internal struggle is heartbreaking to watch. I hope that with time he learns that we’re in no rush and he needn’t be either. That he can be our little boy as long as he likes and still have the advantages of growing older as well. But he seems to innately know that he’s on a threshold of sorts and he feels it more acutely than my other children did. All the Waldorf mamas out there are now nodding their heads sagely and saying, “Ah, the seven year change…”. It’s curious and amazing and sometimes hard. I don’t fuss about how to handle it (apart from the practical logistics) because I’m more than happy to give him whatever he seems to need. The hard part is watching him grapple with his own personal journey and knowing that all I can do is sit back and watch and be there when called upon. At the same time I know this is going to be an incredible catalyst for him and I’m really awed by the honor of getting to share this time with him.
The room is pretty anyway. And it will be all ready and waiting for him when the time is right.