So nice to have you....Hold Leland?

I wrote this post LAST Monday but it has taken me another week to have the presence of time and attention to press the blessed PUBLISH button. 

The hoop house went up this weekend. The sheep were shorn (by a professional who is not me). We had a house-full again. This time Nick's sister and her family. Her sons pictured above are Leland's only cousins. And so we cherish them. It is so much fun to show these city kids around the farm. Having them help me herd the sheep, watching Nick milk.

As good as it was to see Nick's family, I took advantage of their presence like I have with every visitor in the long march we've had since late July. Hi! So nice to have you! Hold Leland for a quick minute? 

I needn't explain my love for this boy. The photo in the previous post should be enough of an explanation. Yet, we struggle with his addition to the working farm. Since he was born and my sister returned to California we have been a one man operation for the animals. One of us, always holding Leland. When he is awake the boy emphatically prefers to be in our arms, without carrier. Most days, this means, that Nick, is feverishly working on finishing the barnyard for winter and I am hopping around the house, garden, and barn doing one-armed chores. When he naps we can lay him in his bassinet and work nearby. Two Tuesdays ago I was able to do this with Nick. We harvested the remnants of the garden before that night's killing frost while Leland slept. The three bushels of carrots I harvested remained in baskets on the porch for three more days until I had the chance to put them into storage after Leland had gone to sleep for the night.

We certainly underestimated how difficult it would be to continue all of our chores and projects on the land with a newborn. Animals and gardens have been ruthlessly prioritized. And so, when visitors come, we slip them the baby and take off at a fastforward pace to Get It All Done.

The days are winnowing. Morning takes hours longer to break than it did when Leland was first born. Winter is very near and soon our pace will come to a natural slowdown with the shorter days. When spring comes Leland will be sitting up on his own and soon after able to crawl making next season a bit more chaotic but we'll have the use of both arms.


I don't often put up photos of myself in which I am smiling like a jack-o-lantern. BUT that is how this kid makes me smile. Motherhood has made me my most vulnerable and my most happy. I am completely in love with this new part of my life.


September portraits

1. Leland at 10 weeks; who is giving us smiles and full conversations of coos, and the beginnings of a laugh. 
2. Winnie; who is grazing freely after milking, and here, helping herself to (what was) a basket of apples on the porch.
3. Hawkeye; my constant companion in the forest and in the pastures.
4. Chickadee; who is nearing the end of her lactation. Savoring the goat cheese and the dulce de leche, and trying to find her a good buck for breeding.
5. My dad; with a thistle seed head for a hat.
6. Rudy; my dear aging pup, who doesn't leave the front porch very often now, but who still loves a good belly rub in the sun.

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