It's been a couple weeks since I've posted anything because 1) I couldn't bear to relive even more rabbit deaths, plus a chicken death (we lost NINE animals to tragedy last month), and 2) I didn't want to face announcing to millions of people around the world that we sold the goats back to their original owners.
Please, collect yourselves. I can't handle your disappointment!
The reality is, we began planting a lot more as far as fruits and vegetables, and goats are like deer: they love eating trees and shrubs and vegetables. We just didn't feel good about reducing their available yard space. And also, the thought of having Songbreeze bred and kidded in a few months was both exciting and terrifying. I would've loved having baby goats born on our Fun-Size Farm, but after the many losses we went through with the rabbits, I knew it would be that much harder if something went wrong with the goats. Especially for the children. #FarmLyfe
Ugh, so I finally confessed. There. It's done.
Additionally, we got our first call for a foster placement a couple weeks ago, and after deliberation, we made the difficult decision to say no. There would have been two small children added to our home, only a year apart in age, and that would've just been a bit too much to take on. So that was another sad moment. Still, we were able to talk more specifically with the boys about what it'll be like to have a new family member, and it was good.
I've been throwing myself into gardening and enjoying the small things (the Live Small part of my philosophy). Like, microscopically small:
Look at this honeybee proboscis!! Doesn't it kind of look like an image the Hubble telescope would capture? (This bee was found deceased on our back deck. Sometimes they don't make it back to the hive by nightfall so they try to hunker down somewhere; it's apparently too cool at night for them to survive now. So I picked it up and put it under the microscope. #nothinggoldcanstay)
Know what else makes me feel better, a little more grounded? Preparing attractive meals. Not necessarily anything fancy. (A couple favorite recent recipes: America's Test Kitchen's Naturally Sweet Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and ATK's American Classics Chicken Pot Pie.) No, more than cooking fancy food, I've just been plating things nicely.
Many years ago, while I was on vacation on Catalina Island, at a charming little bookshop I picked up French Women Don't Get Fat. For one thing, I was also reading Julie & Julia; for another, I minored in French, so I'm a nominal francophile. Also, I was a new mom, so I was ripe for the plucking when it came to body image solutions.
In addition to the kinds of advice you'd expect (Americans eat too much fast food! Americans are so slovenly and gross!), the author noted that setting a place, actually paying attention to your meals, putting things together attractively, can reorient your relationship with food. Since the author's main theory about weight loss didn't apply (Be French), I adopted the doable option.
A great example: last night, after our fitness class, Noah and I didn't sit down to eat dinner until 9pm. I made my signature breakfast burritos, and I also put together a chopped salad for the side. I prefer not to do any heavy lifting while I'm actually eating when it comes to salad, so I pre-chopped my spinach. (Hahahaha how American! Cutting spinach is too much work!) I diced up my mushroom. I julienned my carrots. I even cut my heirloom tomato into julienned slices. When I had finished my ten minutes of work, I had a simple but literally beautiful meal in front of me. Which I then shoved into my slack-jawed American mouth. It was lovely.
I dunno, I just feel like there's so much outside our control right now, which is always true, but it's heightened by the election season, the police brutality protests, the news coverage of so many shootings. There's always something small, though, that can bring you back into the moment. Back into your own life, your remarkable life, for which you can be grateful.
Here are some of my small observations:
The slight slip of the bathwater after Epsom salts have dissolved into it. The glint of a honeybee's wings under the lens. Delighting in the fact that our Betta fish rises to the surface to nibble our fingertips; he lets Oliver pet him. The light-reflecting crinkle of aluminum foil around a delicious burrito, which then reminds me of the scene in Parks & Rec when Andy teaches his British friend how to pronounce aluminum (i.e., AH-LOOM-ILL-UM), which then reminds me I've got an episode of Foyle's War to watch, that charming British detective series set in the 1940s, when the enemy was obvious and crimes were solved with calm rationality, the perpetrators acquiescing peacefully with a polite and resigned "You've found me out."
At night I get into my comfortable, warm bed, turn on my book light, and read about an orchestra teacher who changed lives. And before I know it, I hear Ethan's voice call out, "Mom! It's 7:45!" Time to get out of bed and find those small gems of happiness in a new day.