April 20, 2015 : my advice to you.

Need a pick-me-up?

I did.

Now, my advice to you. You may either
a) Just look through these,
b) Go buy some balloons and blow them up, or
c) Be inspired and do both.

Do it. Being goofy = best 15 minutes ever.

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April 18, 2015 : urban farming.

Such a buzz phrase, yes? I wouldn’t exactly call our little town a burgeoning urban area per se, but we certainly have some elements of a more urban spot living within a short bike ride of our downtown area (one that is slowly, but smartly, revitalizing). Our town is quickly growing by leaps and bounds; soon it won’t be recognizable to those of us who have been here for even the last decade. The more we grow, the less it feels like a stand-alone town and more like an extension of cities closer to Boulder and Denver. We sit in a strange spot of not-quite-suburban and not-quite-rural and not-quite-urban. The weird part is, we feel that urbanites “get it” – they get the idea of farm-to-table better than the suburbanites that we find ourselves amidst, yet we are much closer to those agricultural spots providing our “food.”

Hank and I are embracing our Farmerness. So far, we have apple trees, a cherry tree, blueberry and raspberry bushes, grape vines, a strawberry patch, a soon-to-be small corn area, and a growing raised bed garden. We meticulously plant areas of our flower beds with plants that attract bees, ants, and birds. We have planted shade trees and evergreens to provide nesting areas for both squirrels and birds. We have two hearty cats that keep our mouse and vole population curbed, and they’ve even had their little share of small rabbits, prairie dogs, and have chased off a few toads. We monitor a small population of wasps, so that they can feast on mosquito larva that might crop up in our wet areas, and soon we’ll be composting again. On top of what we grow, Hank has a buddy that he forages with at times throughout the summer and fall, and they find more apples, chokecherries, currants, peaches, and plums for canning and jelly making. (They do all of that, by the way. That canning and jelly-making is out of my league.) We also take the boys with us to a You-Pick farm in the fall to grab some pickling cucumbers and other squash that we might not grow due to space.

Do you know what we find? The boys are much more adventurous in what they’ll eat if they can pick it. They have an investment in tending and watching their food grow, and the taste is unmatched by what we find in the grocery store.

Do you know what I’ve found? That as much as I couldn’t wait to get all of this kind of living in my rearview mirror when I left my parents’ home, now I can’t wait to officially be Farmer Mary and Farmer Hank and Farmer Boys. :)

Until then, we move into our own little growing season.

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April 7, 2015 : 99% practice.

We have the following seasons in our house: spring ball, summer ball, fall ball, and cyclocross racing.

There are two sayings in yoga: “99% practice, 1% theory,” and “Do your practice and all is coming.” I try to keep “yoga season” going throughout the year for myself as well, and I think that Hank and our 6yo are on board with that and enjoy going to class with me; the 9yo, however, is baseball all of the time.

This past Saturday, which happened to be Opening Day for the boys’ little league, someone said to my husband, “Your kid is a natural at this.” Hank smiled, and told me afterward that he wanted to say, “Oh, you don’t understand.”

He wanted to say, “This morning, he warmed up his little brother and his team with me before their game. That was about an hour between at-home and pregame warmups.”

He wanted to say, “Then he played catch for two hours with a teammate, while his little brother played his baseball game.”

He wanted to say, “When we got home, he practiced hitting on a tee at the neighbor’s house for a couple of hours.”

He wanted to say, “After that, he asked me to warm him up for pitching in his afternoon game. That was another hour.”

He wanted to say, “By the time he came to the ballfield to play this game today, he had already been playing ball for about six hours. So yeah, he’s good. But he works damn hard at it every single day. He loves the game.”

The 6yo has practice this evening while the 9yo has a game. They’re finishing up about hour #2 in the backyard this very minute.

99% practice, baby.

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March 28, 2015 : the field trip.

Nice day = field trip outside.

Besides, our best advice received has been to handle them so they won’t be mean. I’m in love with them. And speaking of love, it was a very sad day here yesterday when two were lost. We had expected to lose at least one, because that’s just how it goes so often, but I wasn’t prepared for two. There are two new additions, both Polish, and they have afros. AFROS!!!! Let the Polak jokes begin.

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March 28, 2015 : the cry for help.

I was working in the front yard, doing that general spring clean up stuff of raking remnant leaves, pulling dead daylily stalks, and cutting down our ornamental grasses, when I heard the cry.

“Maaaarrrrryyyyyy???????”

It was our neighbor friend.

And he was yelling that I’d sure want my camera for “this.”

He was right.

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March 21, 2015 : favorite things. but just a few.

After traveling, I love coming home. I used to think that I could be a gypsy. Maybe so, but I’ve been thinking lately that I’m really comfortable with this season of life; being able to haunt my own house, settle into a favorite chair, run my fingers around the lip of my favorite cup. There’s such a comfort in HOME, in your own personal refuge. Your sheets smell right, there’s that perfect chip in the counter top down at the end of the bar, and you can throw open the shutters whenever the mood strikes.

I find all of these little quirks and rituals around them to be a form of meditation.

There’s the way we start our mornings, quietly putting a kettle of water on to boil, and making the most delicious pour over.

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