Motherhood, The Homestead Weekly

The Homestead Weekly, 10 March 2024

Years ago on my other blog, I started a series called The Homestead Weekly, which basically was just a little weekly peek into various areas of our “homestead,” like the kitchen, garden, and so on. It was one of my favorite blog series of all time, so I decided to bring it back, but on this blog this time (since my other one is now exclusively about flower farming).

This last week, man–it’s not like any one major bad thing happened, but it was a constant slew of little things…little disappointments, stuff breaking right and left, things going wrong (like aphids on our ranunculus crop, and the ladybugs we’d ordered to help take care of the issue all arriving dead)…every day, something new.

Oh, there were still good things, there always are. Some cozy reading time while a snowstorm raged outside. Fresh homemade baked goods. Teaching Raven to make scrambled eggs (which she rocked). Grumpy moods that were lifted by heartfelt apologies and big hugs.

At any rate, we’re hanging in there.

In the Kitchen

It was a gloomy week weather-wise, which seems to always translate to more baking for me. This is partly because dreary weather literally makes our house colder (and I long for the extra heat the oven provides in the main living areas), and it’s partly because the gray outside screams for coziness inside.

This week’s menu was all about comfort food, complete with multiple homemade carb options (all gluten-free, naturally), creamy sauces and soups, and classic childhood favorites like sloppy joes (except we ate ours over rice rather than on buns). Once our flower farming season officially starts at the beginning of April, I know all bets are off when it comes to being able to count on solid dinners more often than not, so I’m trying to take advantage of these last weeks of good cooking while we still can.

On the menu this week: white chicken chili + banana muffins, cheese ‘n avocado tortillas, sloppy joe sauce over rice + broccoli, chicken soup gravy over mashed potatoes + rolls, pizza, Instant Pot Mexican beef + rice

In the Garden

Since I felt significantly better as the week went on, I was raring to go outside again since we have a ton of spring prep that needs to happen, but the weather wasn’t exactly cooperative. We got quite the snowstorm on Sunday/Monday, with more snowfall than we’d gotten at once for the entire rest of the winter (about 10-12″, we think). It basically took all week to melt, so there wasn’t much we could do outside, but I was very excited to see that the last patch of tulips (the largest bed we planted last fall) finally started poking through this week! That means that all major tulip beds now show growth throughout, and I’ve also been seeing several of the peonies poking through. I even saw a lily coming up this week. Spring is officially on its way!

The weather did warm up by the weekend (and the snow had finally mostly melted) enough to allow us to get out and do some more work, so we raked out the front bed, gave it a good weed (and started in our high tunnel…again), and direct sowed some more hardy annuals. We’re still behind on where we’d originally wanted to be by now (no surprise there), but we’re at least making slow but steady progress.

Blooming this week: anemones, violas

In the Business

The business felt like it stalled a bit this week…we were supposed to get our first truckload of mushroom compost in, but the snowstorm pushed it back at least another week, if not two. We’re in the middle of several different possible developments about various aspects of the business, but the ball is in everyone else’s court now…we’re just waiting for responses back.

I had felt like we were really building up a lot of momentum there for awhile, but lately, I’ve had to more consciously look for signs that we’re getting anywhere. I know it’s totally normal and to be expected, but when your entire financial future now depends on the success of your business venture, it definitely holds a greater weight when you have the weeks where you feel like you’re holding your breath, waiting…waiting.

In the Playroom

The three older kids are currently in a sweet season where everyone usually gets along great with everyone else, and they all spend hours upon hours daily devising elaborate games to play together, or playing like they’re at school, or making creations in their “workshops.” When the weather warmed up at the end of the week, Matt dragged the bikes back out for the first time since winter hit, and the kids spent 3 or 4 blissfully happy hours out in the sunshine in the front yard, pedaling back and forth along the narrow strip of paved walkway we have up there (seeing as our driveway is gravel).

Sometimes hearing them, I just want to take video after endless video to remember them all, just like this, the best of friends.

And of course, Naomi doesn’t get left out of all the fun. If she is awake and out on the front room floor, they will read her books, sing her songs…I frequently catch Hyrum giving her sweet kisses on her head throughout the day, and Mathias reaching out to hold her hands. Raven will often step in automatically now if she’s the least bit fussy and sing her songs, play little games.

I love the stage we’re in right now, and while a part of me wishes it could be like this forever, I try and make sure I’m slowing down as much as I can to let myself enjoy the sweetness of it, the beauty.

In the Home

This week, you guys — yeesh. It felt like every time we turned around, something else broke. First it was the leg on the couch on the front room (which doesn’t appear to be repairable). Then it was Mathias’s bed frame (which does, thankfully). Then our (one and only) t.v. started glitching and will only turn on about 10% of the time. Then our water heater went out. Considering we just shelled out several hundred dollars in car repairs after we hit a deer a couple months ago, it’s just…a lot.

It was kind of one of those weeks where it just felt like we were living out Murphy’s Law on everything, ya know?

In the Soul

In case you couldn’t tell, it hasn’t been the easiest week. Being forced to stay inside and somewhat rest because we’ve still been dealing with sickness (along with a host of other not-fun things) has given me too much time to worry and stew. Too much time to feel like I’m only able to do everything halfway, which means I feel like I’m halfway failing at about everything.

It’s a tricky season.

We have a lot of things to juggle (spring on any farm is just like that), and financially, we just keep feeling like we’re getting hit over and over again. The house is starting to devolve into chaos more often than not, a state which I (perhaps naively) thought we would mostly be done with since we’ve decluttered so much. I’m worried about Naomi having a surgery next week. Even though it’s just a routine outpatient surgery to put in ear tubes (which Mathias has also had to get–twice!), I find I worry about her far more simply because of everything we’ve been through so far with her health.

I had a good talk with Matt tonight about all of it. Got some good tears out. Felt a little bit better.

But more than anything, I’m just ready for a new week with a fresh start to it.

And that’s okay.

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