Since Justin was working in Syracuse, I was on my own last week. I don't like it. At all. I feel like this blog is in grave danger of becoming some sort of confessional of all my weaknesses if I don't be careful. But really, not liking to be alone and not liking to deal with rodents can sort of both be shoved under the general heading of Inability To Deal With Real Life Situations Without Making a Great Deal of Fuss and Bother About it. So for my ego's sake, I will just pretend that actually I have only one general weakness. Everyone has one weakness. The fact that my one weakness encompasses 73 other weaknesses is just.... well... convenient.
JoAnna was here for the week last week and Lindsey was here the two weeks before--both being examples of capable, independent women. So I felt challenged to behave like a rational, capable, independent woman too. So I tried. But I was glad to see Justin when he and Evan came back up Thursday night to boil sap on Friday. I am just not sure I AM capable and rational. Especially after last night, when Justin left again and I had to talk myself out of a panic attack or two when the house creaked itself to sleep around 11 PM. The first night is always the worst. And listening to Laura Ingalls Wilder tapes makes me feel even more incapable when Ma took care of life, bears, grasshoppers, no water, and then sat up late into the night waiting for Pa who may or may not have been attacked by a bear on his way home to get home. As I imagined all sorts of human horrors who could have suddenly appeared in Moira and in particular, my living room, my rational brain kept telling me to remember the pioneers. I got up twice in the night with the kids and somehow life isn't as frightening once I have been to sleep and have woke up again without actually having been murdered in my sleep. It is reassuring.
Yesterday was Evan's birthday. Over the weekend, the sap had run well, so Evan decided to come up to help boil it. And since it was his birthday, Clover and the kids decided to stick with him and come up too. It was sunshiney, 60 degrees, with an underlying smell of sweet maple-ness floating in the air from the sugar shack, happy/muddy cousins, and the promise of birthday cake after supper. All this richness just after two weeks with Lindsey, followed by one week with JoAnna. Life doesn't get much better.
Boiling sap is hard. Notice the "Sap Heads, LLC" sign in the corner, present from Evan's dad.
Believe it or not, they were discussing cake decorating.
Mom's daylilies coming up
It was that kind of warm, sunshine-y day.
Orianna and Cheyenne waiting to decorate the cake Cheyenne made for Evan
Doing taxes. The other end of the table was having ALL the fun yesterday.
Elliott and his gingerbread
Playing on recliners. The cool thing to do.
Getting ready to decorate.
A very serious business
Then the kids who were not allowed to help Cheyenne decorate were allowed to decorate plates and dip pretzels in the icing. Oh yeah, we are that kind of mothers. Icing as afternoon snack--perfect!
The finished product and the birthday guy. We had to take the cake down to the sugar shack where they were finishing off the syrup
It was quite the par-tay.
Boiling sap and almost syrup
Gilbert doing his happy clap
Enchanting outfit. After getting mud clear up to her knees, Rilla had to wear red overalls that were being handed down from Gilbert to Lincoln. They were capris on Rilla. And then she tied the look together with a pink flower be-decked tutu and red boots. She knows her fashion.
Sunday night, we enjoyed the last hour of daylight by collecting sap.
Cody bringing back the tractor
Gilbert and Lily getting a 4-wheeler ride
Orianna driving the 4-wheeler
It is a hair rising ride into the maple trees they tapped in the woods
Camera's don't really understand taking pictures in the woods at dusk
This is blurry, but it was a really cool picture. Venus and maybe Jupiter through the maple trees.
And since this is mostly about sap, I will put up the pictures of boiling last Friday
The sugar shack with steam rolling off
The overfilled creek
Justin trying to get the cupola to dry the smoke and steam up right
Because it was REALLY steamy in there!
JoAnna showing off the latest in maple syrup production wear
Gilbert loved hanging out with Daddy after a week without him!