Off the keyboard of Gypsy Mama
Published on The Butterchurn on July 11, 2013
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This post was written before Foxstead Chronicles #1. I had it on hold to add photos. A little out of order, but here’s a little blog about our visit with Roamer last Saturday.
Watching Roamer and LD through the window today, my hope for the actuality of the Foxstead/Sun Project grew. After a few beers at the thrift store patio table sitting in front of the Gypsy house, the two decided to co-dig a moat for drainage out of the dry pond bed LD dug months ago. We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain the past few days, so the soil was prime for diggin’.
I watched from the kitchen window while rinsing out some breast pump appliances and freshly sanitized bottles. A few of the blankets that we use to child proof/protect our couch (we call them couch condoms) were hanging on the clothesline in the foreground, dancing in the perfect wind that had come after a few rainstorms.
The two were wielding their weapons of choice, digging effortlessly in the saturated soil. “Groundbreaking” I thought. This is a moment I must photograph…after I finish this bowl of chili while the boys are sleeping. As I stood in front of the window, shoveling the chili leftovers that LD had cooked for us at the beginning of the week, I saw him put his weapon into the sheath of the soon-to-be broken ground that laid ahead of the moat outlined by little orange flags on metal sticks (landscaping flags?). He leaned over and extracted something from the ground and then darted off around the side of the Gypsy house. I knew just where he was headed…he’d found a grub to feed to the chickens. We call those big, fat, white grubs “Chicken treats.” I’m not sure exactly what sort of insect those grubs would become if left to wiggle around beneath the soil, but I’m pretty certain that they would mature into the dreaded Japanese beetle. A garden predator. See? Digging Earth is our preventative organic pesticide.
After awhile, LD came into the house to grab one of the glass gallon jugs of water that we keep rotated in the refrigerator. He has a bit of an addiction to ICE, so as I type this, he is rumbling around in the kitchen. I’m sure soon the freezer will open and the dollar store ice trays will crack. Yep…there he goes I went into the kitchen to help him find the outdoor water glasses that I’d recently moved to the other side of the kitchen (just to fuck with him, he’d say.) He was looking for a water container to share with Roamer. Work must be getting heavy now! They’ve put down their beers and have began their water intake. The yard doesn’t know what to expect now.
Soon, the boys and I will be able to join them outside. Zen is at the tail end of his nap that began 1 hour and 47 minutes ago. I’m sure it won’t last too much longer. Little Tribann, after gurgling down just over 5 oz. of freshly pumped breast milk, is chillin’ in his little baby rocker seat in front of me. I’m using my big monkey toe to rock him. This movement is replacing the foot shake that usually accompanies a good writing session. He’s quite content…thinking about going back to sleep. He occasionally curls his fists up under his chin to get comfy…a sure sign that he’s relaxed.
I told Tribann that we’d be going outside with Dad as soon as his big brother wakes up from his nap. I think he’s excited. This baby loves the outdoors just like his Mom, Dad and brother. In fact, I think he gets a bit grumpy when he has not had enough Vitamin D. We’ve concocted an outdoor set up for our little almost 7 week old (He’ll be 7 weeks old tomorrow). He has his very own bug proof lounger to hang out in with us. It is a hand me down from his big brother. A hand me down of a hand me down, actually. We were given the Jeep stroller years ago after we wrecked our original one in a walking trail accident. Now there’s a memory I’d like to revisit for a good laugh.
The short version of the stroller Jeep accident goes like this: LD and I decided to take baby Zen for a stroll on a newly developed walking trail a few years ago. LD was always making fun of me for overloading the diaper bag…and therefore, the stroller, with baby gizmos and preventative what-if tools. I am a master at packing EVERYTHING we MIGHT need. In the middle of the three mile long trail, the rear axle on the stroller broke and was unrepairable. We had to drag that beast all the way back to the beginning of the trail. LD and I took turns carrying the bag(s) and Zen. You should have seen the looks that folks who were also out for a walk gave us when it was MY turn to drag the stroller. (I wanted to do it). Great social project for sure. It was like there should have been a hidden camera nearby.
When Zen wakes up and we venture outside today, Tribann will be all set up with padded mobile comfort and mesh bug protection. He is nice and acclimated to being outdoors already. He doesn’t whine for air conditioning. If there is no breeze, however, we do provide him with some pivoting floor fan luxuries. He loves it out there. One of the first times we took him for a stroll in the yard, he slept by the garden bed while Zen and I put transplants in the ground that LD had combed and thinned from the “Zen garden” bed’s mane.
Zen just woke up. He is a grumpy waker, that kid…just like his Mom was about 3 years ago. (I’ve since adapted to not being able to sleep until noon if I wanted to). He’s over there rubbing his face on the naked couch cushions. (See? Couch condoms.) Once the face rubbin’ stops and Tribann is finished eating at Mom’s, we’ll be able to join the makings of the Foxstead dream out there digging trenches (LD would call them swales) in the yard.
Once outdoors, Zen took to the creek developing in the yard instantly. He went into the Gypsy House, grabbed his metal shovel with a wooden post that he got for his birthday, and started scoopin’ dirt from the ditch to place it into the garden cart. A little boys’ heaven.
After about 10 minutes of diggin’ and scoopin’, Zen found an earthworm in the trench. He picked it up and began his trek over to feed it to the chickens without direction. Good stuff going on here. Good EGGS to be had here, too. Whenever those chickens start eating bug matter, their eggs turn a golden, deep orange. Our girls’ eggs are tastiest in the Summer.
Soon after the earthworm became a chicken treat, it started to rain again. The hole diggin’ ceased and the roll up doors to the Gypsy house closed for a mini-storm to roll through…producing just enough water and wind to drive us into the GH for awhile. Long enough for Zen to sneak a Grandma Cindy popsicle out of the freezer, long enough for both LD and Roamer to crack open a new beer and long enough for Mother Nature to provide a pond and trench demo. An agreed upon concensus was made for tonight’s meal of Bison and Steak to be Mexican themed. Early discussions began about lucky numbers, following your own proverbial bliss or the “intuition of your bliss — This will lead to more than what came before it” per Roamer’s definition.
“Teach Ayden how to harvest compost. Hook something up to his tractor so he can haul it off”– Roamer has begun bonding with Zen. During the rainstorm I caught him enjoying the childlike glee present in Zen…soaking up the happiness exuding from him as he tromped around in mud and dipped his head into rainwater collected in one of his yard toys…taking his magnifying glass on a bug hunt.
I joined in on Zen’s adventurous search of discovery. We gathered cucumbers around the hugelbed as LD and Roamer discussed the future next to the moat. Echoes of the future abound.
One day’s bounty.
The groundbreaking hole diggin’ team.