Feeling spring.

The maple syruping adventure of 2013 was a great success. We got over 2 gallons! That is, including our snafus. We accidentally mixed coffee heating up and maple syrup finishing on the stove to make one pint of mighty delicious "coffee syrup". We  also accidentally made a quart of maple sugar by heating it just a little too long. Woops! Delicious mistakes, if you ask me.

We've been going through a lot of change lately (what's new?). The Englishes are selling their house, it's looking like, so we had to quickly move the whole microgreen business here. It was good timing anyway, now that the weather works for us to keep most of them in the greenhouse. It was also a great excuse to clean and prep the greenhouse.

Moving the tender microgreens was an ordeal!

Our microgreen business has been so encouraging to me lately. It used to take a fair amount of work and focus to get right- lots of things could go wrong, we had to pay close attention to every detail. Now? Now it feels like an easy addition to our work. Not to mention, we're finally making money on it! We never went into debt doing it, but had to make small investments that left us plugging away at it waiting for the pay off. But it's here. And the work feels simple and fast. And we have just enough clients to make it feel productive but not rushed or impersonal. We regularly have a fridge full of the next morning's deliveries, and it feels good.

Got a piano from my aunt the other day. We had a lovely visit, and we took home a piano and a play structure (for the land). I could tell people were skeptical about what kind of influence a piano might be in a house like ours. I mean, 5 adults, 5 little kids, in a single family house… But I just felt so excited about it! When does someone get the opportunity to get a great hand-me-down piano? I grew up with a piano. My mom played every night and we all puttered around on it here and there. I don't have memories of us being obnoxious on it. So, I figured this would be a great addition and not something to pass up. So far so good! Like I suspected, the kids love to putter around on it, but don't like a crazy amount of noise anyway, so we only have to tell them to stop occasionally. It's a good deal. Plus, there's something so aesthetically pleasing about a piano in a home. 🙂

Green things are coming up everywhere. Farming is kind of intense and amazing. I'll write in more detail very soon.

We've all been enjoying the weather. The kids successfully overwintered in this little house of ours, but the ability to kick them out into the yard is very welcome. They feel better, too.

Baby Jude is almost 10 months old already. He's got 6 teeth and is walking a few steps here and there! He's constantly tugged at and tormented in exactly the way a squishy youngest-of-five should be. Such a little chunk of joy, this one. I'm really loving the not-really-my-kids-but-still-my-kids thing. All three that are not my own, they feel like mine. Pretty awesome, and makes the whole stopping at two kids thing not quite so sad. I got my big family after all! The other day Jeff was anxiously scouring the floor for choke-ables and I said something to him about "too bad we thought we were done with that whole thing…" and he just looked up and was like "But… he's ours." So sincere and sweet.

Spring has definitely sprung, folks.


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Comments (8)

  1. missbittercup

    So much love

    I logged in to work, so I could comment. (I haven’t logged on in months!)

    I check your journal… every. day. Every day. (Truth)I love your journal as much as I love you, and thats alot.

    Your family is so inspiring. A part of me is horrifically jealous. However, that is a good thing.It gives me drive.

    I’m so proud of you and your housemates. This simplistic living style is so beautiful. Your life is full of color and warmth of friends and family.

    We need to spend more time together, all of us! If there is anything that Josh and I could do to help.. please let us know.

    with all the love in the world,

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Re: So much love

      Melissa! You are made of the good stuff, I tell you. Let’s get together for a fire and fun soon. <3 to all of you!!! You guys are so special to us!

  2. unicorntapestry

    Piano! Hooray!

    1. Gracie (Post author)


  3. eatsoylentgreen

    very nice!

    And it was a good year for maple syrup.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      It was!! Last year we missed it all together so we were pretty pleased with how it turned out this year. 🙂

  4. pagangoat

    Yay for updates! Did you tap actual sugar maples? We have one or two little trees around here, but they’re big leaf maples, not sugar. But one of these years I’m going to try to tap them!
    Kris is obsessed with getting a piano for the kids. I think it’s a good idea too, though I’m not sure where it would go in this little cottage…I guess we’d squeeze it in somewhere! I wasn’t taught any sort of instrument as a child, and I definitely want my kids to have the opportunity to learn something. We already have them playing around on the guitar, and we do have a really cheap keyboard, but it sure doesn’t compare to an actual piano!
    Cute kidlets, and omg Jude is adorable!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      They are actually Norway maples! It’s my understanding that sugar maples have something like a 38:1 water/sugar ratio, whereas the other kinds have something like 40:1. So we just took our chances and got great syrup! Definitely do it next year!

      Yay kids and pianos, I say! <3


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