(The casserole I made for my mom for mother's day)
(The casserole I made for my mom for mother’s day)

Jeff and the kids headed for the lake yesterday, but I had to teach at the guild last night. I’m rattling around the house today beginning projects, trying to stick to my list, hoping to get to the lake by suppertime.

Today’s synchronicity appears to have a poetry theme. In the mailbox this morning I found a book of Theodore Roethke’s poetry from my Aunt Ruth in Saginaw, and the 50th year issue of Midwest Quarterly — which republished my poem, “A Gatherer’s Love” from 1990. Yow!

I took time this morning to pick gooseberries for jam. Funny to think that the bees harvested the gooseberry blossoms, which I will harvest again at honey time… and I am harvesting the berries, while the mosquitos are harvesting me.

I seem to be on kind of a working binge, up in the morning making lists and surrendering long after midnight, determined to hit it again in the morning. I take a perverse pleasure in the open-endedness of my tasks, as there are no deadlines and nothing is every really “done” for good. I am painting offices for $$ when time allows, remodeling my studio toward teaching in summer and fall, nurturing a big veggie garden, chickens, and beehives, uncluttering the house, teaching at the guild and making  inventory to open an Etsy store.  Meanwhile I am determined to give my kids as many hands-on life skills as possible this summer, fixing, baking, tending, shopping, cooking, planning.  We’re using scout merit badge books as inspiration, and Molly’s vest is already so covered in badges there is oplace to sew the new ones.

I made 50 jars of strawberry jam, a few dozen of backyard cherry, and I’m starting soon on gooseberry currant. Raspberries will be ripe any day.

In the studio I am experimenting with screenprinting on clay slabs, and I threw an enormous stoneware beehive in multiple sections… I’ll post a photo when the kiln cools.

Molly, my littlest,  will be 11 on Monday and her girl scouts are coming for a combination party and work day.  Our troop has a beehive, built by the girls and covered with kid art,  and we’re making a model to go with a jar of our honey for the Ohio State Fair.

Jeff got a “No thank you”  from Audubon society, his latest interview.  He gets discouraged but the truth is, it’s wonderful to have him home.  He is more himself than he was before, as his job had been really stressful and unrewarding this last year or so.  He’s funny and relaxed, getting tons of projects done around the house,  building scale model trebouchets with the boys, organizing family bike rides, cooking great meals, and generally completing the circle of family.  I wish we were medieval peasant farmers or had some family business, and it could stay this way forever. Of course, medieval peasant farmers didn’t worry about health insurance, or orthodonture…

I am looking forward to a weekend at the lake, and should just kick back and relax, but I packed my potter’s wheel (grandma likes to watch me throw) and a sewing machine to make curtains for the pop up camper.

Jeff just called and they stopped just now at a roadside farm, and Connor bought four fancy white pigeons, “tumblers” — two mated pairs.  I have to go find them a cage to bring to the lake…