Tibault & Toad

Posts from November 2013

don't miss the marrow

These photos are from last week, playtime with Indy (can you tell she dressed herself? Two headbands are better than one!) The night before, I had had one of those "in a funk" moments in the car while driving home. Indy was probably being a punk, Tenny was screaming his head off in his car seat, and I hadn't yet adjusted to the lack of waning daylight in the evenings. As I've gotten older, I've gained the mental wherewithal to step outside my own head enough to tell myself "you will feel completely different after you go to bed and the sun comes out tomorrow morning," and I instantly felt better. Don't make too much of nothing; there isn't always something to analyze. Sometimes you just feel weird or overwhelmed but it goes away.

The next day, with the previous evening's thoughts still in my head, and feeling much better in the light of day (as I knew I would), in fact almost jovial, I acquiesced to Indy's requests to color. While I was snapping the pictures, capturing just a simple moment of playing with my daughter on an otherwise inconsequential day, I had some specific thoughts I knew I wanted to share, I think along the lines of how you should play with your kids sometimes because you want to and because it's fun, and not because of guilt, because it's good for them to play on their own sometimes too (all true), but since it took me a while to get around to editing them and starting this post (believe it or not Tenny and I are still at the tail end of recovering from that flu!), those thoughts have since sort of fluttered away. But as I was uploading these and looking them over, I was struck by a new thought, and something which I had shared with Alan recently: that it can be really easy to live with your eyes ever fixed towards the horizon, towards some time at which you will consider yourself to have "arrived." Arrived where I'm not totally sure. Sometimes it's just to the next big thing (a holiday, a vacation, a new house, a new baby), sometimes it's some time in the future which you envision in your head to be, somehow, where you are going, or the most important time in your life, or when the children are older or grown. I think I tend to envision sometime in the future when we own the farm, when all the (hopefully) many babies have been born and we're living in the "liveliest" and "thickest" part of family life. Young and busy and full. Or I spend a lot of time overly-fixated on discipline tactics, always with an eye towards the future and the wonderfully well-behaved and well-rounded children I hope my parenting will yield (ha! again, hopefully!) I fail to realize that life is all of these moments! Making breakfast, cleaning house, having friends over, coloring with Indy. If I fail to appreciate them I will miss the marrow. That doesn't mean "live in the moment!" and have no thought about consequences or the future, because the future will be your life and your children's lives too. Just don't miss out on the now. Discipline them, just don't forget to enjoy them too! There will be so many stages in our family, each one special, and right now I don't want to miss the goodness of God as it unfolds before me.

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homebrew and the flu

Last Tuesday morning Indy could not stop shivering after our shower and complaining of the cold. I suspected she had a fever, Alan commented that she had felt warm in her bed that morning, and I confirmed it with the thermometer. The post-shower chills never let me down as a fever-indicator. Friday night I came down with the fever, and Saturday night was Tenny's turn. Alan has somehow mostly avoided this one. Ugh, the actual flu you guys. Indy's nose is still snotty a week later. 

Saturday evening when I finally made my way downstairs Alan was making homemade chicken stock and salad dressing and braising pork chops on the stove (bless his heart!) I was completely useless until Monday, when I was finally able to help dig the house out of the motherless hole it had fallen into. I cleaned. I washed diapers. I even used the chicken stock to make soup (this one, but minus the kale, only because we didn't have any).  I hate being sick as much as the next guy, but I sure feel grateful and wonderful when I can start to get back to normal life. It's like a bit of reset button, and I appreciate that. 

Yesterday it snowed! I sent Indy out, bundled in a hilarious and adorable ensemble! She ate snow! I took pictures! I checked the camera today. No CF card. Whoops. So alas, no glorious November snow pictures for you today. Instead, you can look at Alan helping me to bottle my hard cider today - the last stage of fermentation that will hopefully yield some delightful carbonation. I decided not to back-sweeten because in order to add sweetness and carbonation at the same time you have to use a little real sugar for the yeast to ferment and make carbonation, and a non-fermentable sugar (read: most often artificial sweeteners) to add sweetness, otherwise the yeast that is fermenting your brew will just eat it all up and instead of a sweet cider you'll just have more alcohol and maybe exploding bottles! You can kill off the yeast and then use real sugar/honey/whathaveyou, but then you can't have natural carbonation, so I opted for sparkling and dry, and maybe sweetening after opening? In a month we'll be able to crack it open and see how it is. In the meantime, we're still recovering over here, and thankfully that will take less time than the cider ;)

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