Streamlining. Dejunking. Decluttering. There might even be a 27 Fling Boogie in there somewhere. Simplifying. Spring cleaning. It's a little early because we're only just teetering on the brink of spring, but we still have some days of persistent snow. The accumulation is looking a bit tired and shopworn, however, and Bug is now counting the days until it is officially Spring.
Soon it will be time to gear up for planting starts and planning what I'm going to do with that collapsed greenhouse. The ruined ribs stick reproachfully up out of the bank of snow and I bite my knuckle when I look out of the window. I actually feel guilty. Then I remind myself that I'm still being Scarlet and insistent that I'll think about that tomorrow. And it isn't tomorrow yet.
Winter has been busy and the Hobbits are hitting a growth spurt. Not so much physical, though Bug and Princess are surely shooting up. Dog is intractably refusing to put on any weight despite my best efforts at offering carbs and good fats. He does this just to be contrary, you know. No, their growth spurts are more of the developmental and maturational levels. Princess is picking up books and starting to read for the sheer enjoyment of it. Still working on Bug in that department, but he's getting more comfortable navigating the written word, so there's definite progress. He even picked up some Mr. Putter and Tabby books from the library, uncoerced. And Dog and I are slogging through his first year in Format Writing class and writing a research paper. Neither one of us do well with writing within the box nor coloring within the lines, but the discipline is good for us.
The biggest spurts forward include a sudden willingness--the ability was long there--to participate in household responsibilities. I think we've found the grooves that each is comfortable doing. Dog doesn't mind schlepping the compost down to the far side of the acreage, but finds the folding of clothes to be beyond tedious. Bug despises composting, but he and Princess take immense pride in the particulars of the folding job. There have been some proposed outings that provide us with the leverage for getting school work underway at the crack of dawn. With alacrity. Tool Guy mandated that participation in the outings required x amount of work accomplished. I awoke one morning to find that both Dog and Bug (tutored by Dog) had not only finished their work for the day, but had fed themselves and gotten breakfast for Princess. All before 8 am. Blink.
During the most recent co-op delivery, I had to peel Dog off the bottom of my shoe. (Where did all of that helpfulness come from all of a sudden?) In fact, one of the sorters had to graciously ask him to step out of her space because she couldn't repackage the fifty-pound purchase due to his head's submersion into the depths of the bag. He tagged along, eager to heft and haul the twenty-five pound bags for the ladies arriving and collecting their purchases. Bug toted empty boxes out to be discarded. Princess pulled her stuffed rabbit around on a scooter. Okay, so some of them are getting there.
All of such things confluence to make my time gradually less harried and constrained as it used to be. I remember when Princess was a baby in sling and literally the only time I sat during the day was when she needed to nurse. These days I'm finding more available time to just be instead of do. Simple things.
Even though the deep, bone-cracking cold of winter is past, the Hobbits still crave warm things to drink. Chai tea is quite popular and they also love to scandalize the staid adults who are shocked that they are allowed to drink coffee. (Maybe that's what's stunting Dog's growth, eh?) And simple things like hot chocolate. An easy, no-brainer.
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. chocolate or carob powder
5 drops stevia or 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin or 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
Heat coconut milk to desired temperature, add flavors and sweeteners, then whip with immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, then mix ingredients first, then heat. Top with cinnamon or chocolate sprinkles, if desired.
The first dividends of the early years are now starting to roll in. When we get back from a morning of grocery shopping, they line up to haul the bags into the kitchen and unpack. Dog takes pride in doing the heavy lifting at home, too. More hands, less work, less stress. Simplifies things, doesn't it? More knitting time. Sweet.