Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This afternoon my toddler certainly must have learned that the word BANANAS can refer to something other than fruit. Namely, my state of mind. I do know that it was I who needed the nap most today, but at least I don't start kicking people when I'm overtired. I win the prize for not being 2, I guess. So here are some of our better moments..

just this morning before breakfast

the only action our garden gets these days

in his room

look ma, i have the sharp knife!

...and pat it...

for papa

i got that look a lot today


it's me!

apples for sauce

all chopped up


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apple Picking

pear picking, too

first taste of a fresh-picked pear

a pair

munch, crunch

my boy

i'm apple picking!

i'm apple picking!

high hill orchard

The state of fruit-growing in New England is in crisis, if you ask me. While there has been a big push in recent years to buy local produce (and local apples have long been a tradition anyway), there are usually very few local fruit options for those concerned about pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and the kinds of chemical fertilizers one doesn't want a dog, let alone a toddler, ingesting. My spring quest for a u-pick strawberry patch that seemed like a safe place to unleash my finger-licking kiddo ended in disappointment. Safe, local, u-pick blueberries can be found if you really look hard and are willing to drive. But I'm happy to report that safe, local, u-pick apples and pears are just a short jaunt up the highway from us. Alas, it IS fruit in New England and they are not entirely pesticide-free, but they are leagues safer than most orchards.

We had such a relaxing and fun day. It was sunny and brisk, and the orchard was not crowded at all. What variety we picked (and sampled)! We found Bosc Pears, Golden and Red Delicious, Jonagold, Cortland, Macoun, and a small one called Liberty. There were others, too. We also bought a huge bag of Ginger Gold seconds to make applesauce. The tiniest one slept through it all (even nursed sleepily while I took in a nice view). The little guy kept saying, "I'm picking apples!" over and over again. We lingered and wandered and picked at a toddler's pace, which is just how a day like that should be enjoyed. Agree?

peace & apple love!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I've done more pleasure reading than I thought possible in these early weeks. I've read Life Work by Donald Hall, and my goodness, I am more excited about this poet's prose than his poetry. But I've also been reading poetry-- Marilyn Nelson's (though this book is published under her former last name, Waniak) The Homeplace. Like all her work, this is such good reading, and so rich with history and imagination. This book is a collection of poems about different family members, some of whom were born into slavery. I'm also reading essays of E.B. White, whose prose is so breathtaking that I can't help reading passages aloud to my husband if he is in the room. I just finished an essay about a pig dying, and various attempts to save him by enemas and expectorants, and yet the best word to describe it is beautiful. Next on my list is one of the many Sam Pickering books out there that I haven't read, probably Living to Prowl. Praise be that he is so prolific. I might perish if I ever come to the moment when I'm reading the last unread essay. I'm still waiting for Anne Fadiman to put out another book of her essays, but it's slow coming. If I were a wee bit less lazy I could hop on the MLA database and see if she's had anything in journals lately... but then again holding a book in my hand is what I crave. I'm starting my Christmas wish list now, and the second volume of L.M. Montgomery's journals is definitely at the top. I loved the first volume, and although I know she heavily edited them (i.e., probably took out a lot of the good, juicy stuff!), I still enjoy a peek into the mind of the genius who created Anne of Green Gables.

And so despite the typical newborn stressors-- the poop analysis, the fussy/gassy episodes, the volcanic spit-up (and it's no exaggeration), the diapers to wash/dry/fold-- and the typical toddler episodes of elation and despair (often within 15 minutes), I am finding moments that are mine alone. True, on almost all reading occasions I have my little nursling happily sucking, they are still moments of indulgence for me and I'm appreciating them. Before long we'll hit the phase of nursing when he'll be more interested in my book than my breast, so HURRAH to long, sleepy newborn nursings.

What's on your bookshelf right now?