A month or so ago, I stepped outside and caught my son in the middle of the following activity:

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He had pulled out a large, completely-ripe onion from the garden and had planted it in the middle of the front yard where we are currently re-establishing the lawn (partially destroyed during our remodel).

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O to have the faith of a four-year-old again!

For some reason, this really reminds me of the anecdote where St. Theresa of Avila, one of the founders of the monastic order of Discalced (or “Barefoot”) Carmelites, tests a novice’s faith by instructing her to plant a cucumber seedling upside down. That story just kind of stuck with me.

I love St. Theresa – like myself, she was of a Jewish origin and had fire and zeal and the chutzpa to do unpopular things.

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Cyrus, Cyrus, quite contrary…

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It’s like St. Theresa said – you just have to have faith.

Why don’t we all learn from the little guy.

My boy is four and is absolutely fascinated with machines, devices, and tools of all sorts. Especially the kind of simple mechanisms his young mind can easily understand.


So it is no wonder that he was completely, utterly taken with this contraption, mounted on the glass porch of the rental apartment where lived while our house was being remodeled.


A picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it.


This boy loves himself a good process.



Inevitably, there came a moment when Cyrus ran out of the cans to crush, especially since they are a scarce resource in our household, which shuns pop and drinks homemade wine instead of boughten beer by and large.


Cyrus is not one to despair, though.


He quickly figured out that he could stack two or three already-crushed cans together and start all over again.


Here he’s checking out just how flat he could get ‘em.

For the record, this can of Mountain Dew came from the neighbors’. The only pop these kids get at my house is maple sap!!

It’s not that we are against refined sugar. We just don’t like it to come in a can. It’s the matter of form.


Yeah, baby!

Hanna Agar Photography

October 15, 2013

A few weeks ago, Hanna Agar, a New-York-City-based photographer, came out to our farm to snap our photos. Hanna’s parents are life-long friends of Jacob’s family, as she grew up in the next town. Hanna comes to visit her family often, and it was on one of these trips that she dropped by. Normally, you […]

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June Cleaver 2.0

October 14, 2013

Folks, it’s been too long since my last post… but I sure needed and thoroughly enjoyed this break. Moving back into our newly-remodeled house was quite an adjustment (like all moving is with young kids), and sending my son full-time to the kindergarten as well as stepping up with my school volunteering has been yet […]

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A Gravestone Made of Milkweed

September 10, 2013

I began writing the following a few weeks ago, just before we moved back to our house upon the completion of our remodel. Yesterday, the unthinkable happened. My beautiful dog, Olive, who had been with us since November and has shown us the kind of pet love I didn’t know existed, was killed in a […]

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Among the Fields of Gold

August 23, 2013

This is our house. It sits on a hilltop, and you need to take a short driveway to get to the top. The area between the road and our front yard is a pasture. This year we don’t have quite so many cattle, so this one has not been grazed all year. As a result, […]

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The Big Remodel: Some Before and After

August 20, 2013

Well, folks. I think I may actually be done unpacking. And if I’m not, I don’t wanna know it! Our new and improved home is so awesome… I don’t know where to begin! So let’s begin at the beginning. In the beginning, there was an old farm house. Aptly described as “a jungle” by my […]

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The Big Remodel: And Done!

August 8, 2013

And… we’re back living at our house on the farm! I am absolutely elated. No more town. No more proximity to a major US highway. No more street lights. No more close neighbors. No more crammed kitchen. Instead, there’s this: (The colors in the photo are off – the walls are actually vanilla-white.) The island […]

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See You Next Week

July 23, 2013

We’ve set our moving date, so I may not be updating for the rest of this week. From now on, I’m going to have to focus on overseeing the completion of the project, shopping, sewing things for the kids’ bedrooms (including the completion of this quilt and some new curtains), moving, cleaning, and getting settled […]

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Just Cause

July 21, 2013
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I can’t think of any particular commentary for these pictures here, except that I really, really enjoy taking photos of my kids: How can I not?

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July 20, 2013
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I don’t like vacations, folks. I don’t like the preparation, the car ride, herding the kids, and, overall, not being at home. We took a big, long road-trip with all three kids last summer, and I don’t think I’ll be doing that again soon. The best form of vacation, in my mind, involves my husband […]

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Poplar Coulee Ridge

July 17, 2013

Welcome to Poplar Coulee Ridge – my husband’s home farm and my own first home in America. I first arrived here on a clear, starry night in May and loved it right away. An empty silo is an amazing place to sing. In a round, especially. This is my in-laws’ home of thirty-plus years. They […]

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Virgin Margaritas From Scratch

July 16, 2013

I’m in love with these virgin margaritas. The combination of saltiness, sourness, and sweetness is perfect, and there are no consequences at all the following morning. Best of all, they don’t require any boughten limeade or other mix, and they are cheap to make. Here’s the printable version of this summer favorite:

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The Laundry Day

July 16, 2013

Most of the time – about 90% of the time – I have my kids fold and put away their own laundry (my oldest one also knows how to operate the washer, add the detergent, load the dryer, etc). Not to get all preachy on you, but I think it’s important that the kids don’t […]

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Russian Fruit Compote: A Summer Drink

July 15, 2013

Here in America a “compote” is a dessert of fruit cooked lightly in syrup and spooned over things like ice-cream or shortcake or something like that. Meanwhile, the Russian word “kompot” refers to a summer drink where fruit is boiled in water (often with the addition of sugar) until the water’s been infused. It is […]

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Mc Elligot’s Pool

July 15, 2013

Our neighbors had a kid birthday party last weekend, and these nose glasses were among the party favors. Because we are next door, pairs of these glasses kept on coming and coming for the past two days. I thought they made for a great photo op. I think Josie is not liking to be in […]

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A Day in Life

July 14, 2013

Do you ever wonder what another person’s day is like? You know, from they moment they roll out of bed to the moment they retire? So here’s mine: July 13, 2013. Viroqua, Wisconsin. Indeterminate am: Jacob brings the baby to my bed, where we nurse and fall asleep. 8:05 am: I’m woken up by loud […]

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Curious Cyrus

July 13, 2013

Here’s what Cyrus said after getting into something I didn’t like him getting into: “Mommy, we are just kids, you know. We are curious of things, of how they work.”

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