Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's been a blockbuster homesteading weekend.

Stomped and repaired Stoneroot stem

We spent so much time puttering around the house this weekend. It was great. We vacuumed and split wood. Cooked and read. Played and walked. Beren played with his toys while Jared and I played in the kitchen. 

We all also continue to play silly rhyming games, inspired by two recent book acquisitions. They've been in the attic at my parents' house since my childhood - Bendemolena (retitled The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head) and I Can't Said the Ant. Beren's rhymes border on and cross into off-color land, innocently, of course, but Jared and I do laugh at some of his invented words. 

These are the joys of being three and parenting a three. 

And then there's the pain.

On Saturday, Jared, Beren, and I sat around the woodstove talking. Jared and I were talking, Beren was nursing. I asked Beren, "Who runs the house?" He instantly said, "I do," and resumed nursing. We laughed, but really. Later that afternoon, I forced Beren into his rain pants, after insisting politely. Our goal as family was to finish digging a pit in the garden for elderberry stakes. Everyone had already gone through one pair of pants. 

You can see it coming, can't you? This is what I said: "If someone else wants to take over doing the laundry, they can, but until then you will wear these rain pants!" 

Forgive me Father, it has been fifteen years since my last confession. Whew. I feel better. I admit it, that's what I said. 

Once in the garden, Jared and Beren commenced their jovial digging project. They talked and widened the growing pit. I spread the extra soil about fifteen feet away. Beren twice approached me with clods of mud, went behind my back, and tossed the mud at my legs. That's certainly premeditated. "I don't like that you are throwing mud at me." A weak response, but I was surprised. 

Back at the house, he stomped on the stalk of the stoneroot (Collinsonia canadensis) I was photographing. "You stomped on that. You made me angry. I feel really sad that you did that! This is broken now. How can we fix this?" I snapped. Beren looked startled and upset. "What can we do to fix this stem?" Beren picked it up and held it while I took another photograph. "Thank you, I feel a little better, but I am still sad and a little angry." 

Wow. That's the ups and downs of three. 
***



 Winnowing amaranth finally worked, thanks to the seed screen set from Horizon Herbs. 

Amaranth.

Years ago, Jared and I tried winnowing the chaff from the tiny seeds by playing "parachute" with a sheet on a slightly breezy day. Chaff and seeds flew about. I asked others about winnowing amaranth (less nicely called "pigweed), and they hadn't had success either.

The finest chaff fell through the screen, and the seeds and large chaff remained. I blew the remaining chaff away…while photographing because it looked so interesting. A small percent of chaff remained, but it's better than previous harvests.

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