Worth writing about

The last two days I have spent baking in the sun, eating hot dogs and freeze pops, setting up pop-up tents and taking them down, trying to find Willow (always trying to find Willow) and watching my favorite people play my favorite game. To say I am satisfied is an understatement.

The little guy’s game got us out of bed before the rooster crows and then he played hard for two games. That sweet team celebrated with so much gusto, and a joy I have only seen come from 10 year olds. These boys danced and danced and cheered and danced some more. I am talking about a Congo line around the dug outs. Giggles that grew into belly laughs. Dance offs in catchers gear. Their energy was contagious.

After wasting time candle stick bowling and eating “the best subs known to man-kind” we headed back to the field for the 12U game. Between the two games we played against this incredibly evenly matched team only one run was scored. Thank god it was for us. After a nail biting pitchers duel, with not 1, not 2, but 3 kids hit by pitches (flying in somewhere in the mid 70’s no less, which is something to say when the mound is only 46 feet away), our courageous coach sent a kid sailing home all the way from second base on a passed ball in the bottom of the last inning.

Lawrence family values can all be found in the unwritten code of baseball.

-Cheer for your team. Hell cheer for the other team. Keep cheering on all these awesome humans.

-When I say help me find your sister I mean it. Hustle!

-Take a knee when someone gets hurt, wait for them to recover.

-Get crafty, be scrappy, this game is as mental as it is physical.

-Stand up for yourself, but don’t get kicked out of the game.

-You can do hard things. You can dig yourself out of unbelievable situations.

-Celebrate- your body, your health, your team, your coaches. This is all such a mixture of luck and hard work. Don’t take it for granted.

There is so much more to say but I had to start somewhere as its been years since I have found myself in this space. Maybe this will simply turn into a spot to document all these awesome games I get to watch. Or maybe I will find something more important to write about, but I can’t see how. ūüėČ

the greatest game on earth

Covid brought a lot.  It brought loneliness, it brought fear, it brought isolation and it brought disparity.  It exposed truths, and unveiled injustices, inequities and insecurities.  It did so much and still is.  It showed true colors, and selfishness, and judgment and resentment.

It also shined a light on slowing down, eating as a family, hikes everyday, and staying up late.  Of course we all know the silver linings, we hang on them like a belay rope.  They keep us climbing forward, climbing up and moving on.

You know what else Covid brought?  It brought gratitude.  Deep, unrelenting gratitude.  Simple birthday parties when friends were allowed near, impulse buys in the checkout line, berry picking, convenience shopping, and my personal favorite: pickup baseball.

IMG_8280

Last week, for the first time in 2020 I went to the baseball field with my boys. ¬†Bags packed, bats found, gloves opened up and stretched out; They were ready. ¬†I even pulled on my Red Sox tank top, despite their losses this weird season. ¬†I am loyal if nothing else. ¬†We didn’t know anyone who would be there, didn’t even know if this shadow of a rumor that there would be baseball at 4:30 at a given location was even true. ¬†But of course we went. ¬†We just had to see.

We pulled up and the sun was beaming out from hot, rainy clouds.  And kids were playing, their adults in masks, cautiously chatting from a distance.  Kids were scattered about avoiding dugouts and elbow high diving.  My boys dashed out without a second thought.

And they played. 

And I promised myself I would not embarrass them. ¬†I didn’t know these other parents, they didn’t know me. ¬†No, I told myself, I will not cry. ¬†That is too much, and too bizarre and they will not understand. ¬†But I did. ¬†Just a little. ¬†It was just so good.

The kids played about seven innings.  The teams were pretty evenly matched.  There were lots of great plays, and lots of goofy kid mistakes, and big hits and overthrows, and fumbles and slides, and strike outs.   There were no walks.  I loved that.  My god it was perfect.  I always knew how much watching my kids play meant to me, how much I loved seeing them just go for it.  I love how they are good sports and just want to have fun.  I love hearing them cheer each other on, and encourage each other, even kids they have never met before.

The game was tied in the last inning, and to say I was excited when Rowan stepped up to the plate is an understatement.  He got a base hit; he went 5 for 6 this game and I could tell he surprised himself.  Then two kids struck out. Then a boy hit a line drive over the shortstops head and got a double.  Rowan was on third and Miles was up now.  Miles was swinging hard, but the ball was wet and soggy and flying low.  He was swinging at anything.  Then after two strikes, he made contact and hit Rowan home for a walk off win.  

The kids all cleaned up the field, waved goodbye and headed home, simple as that.  My chest was filled with joy, and my eyes were sealed with smiles.  Of course we got pizza, and just went home and reveled in the glory of the greatest game on earth.

a way to stay home one more day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It feels like a strange duty we have been called to perform. ¬†The act of helping has always been to be near, to connect, to embrace, and to give. ¬†I thought of this yesterday as I baked a large batch of granola. ¬†I craved the satisfaction that comes with the smile you receive when holding out a jar of warm, sweet, crunchy topping to an unsuspecting friend. ¬†I wanted to make someones day a bit easier. ¬†But alas, this is not the time for gifts, for there is so much we don’t know and so much I am not willing to risk.

So my gift is to show you how.  It will be my fight in the coming weeks.  Doing something that will keep you home that much longer, that much more often, to keep yourself and your loved ones safe another day from this seemingly invisible intruder.

I call this granola “what do you got??!! Granola”. ¬†I buy oats in bulk, and you can order them online if do not have any. ¬†Otherwise its a nice way to empty out your pantry of little bags of nuts, seeds, and coconut. ¬†Its a good opportunity to take stock of what you have as well. ¬†To make a mental list of what lasts and what is being tossed to the chickens.

WHAT DO YOU GOT? GRANOLA

Today I had pecans, almonds, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.  I would estimate I had a quarter cup of each mixed with 8 cups of oats.  I sprinkled in 3-4 tablespoons of whole wheat flour to make those big clumps everyone loves in granola but this can easily be omitted to make a gluten free version.  A generous scoop of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon, then stir until fully combined.

In a separate, smaller bowl mix about 1/3-1/2 cup of vegetable, canola, melted coconut oil, or even melted butter (whatever you have! ¬†Though olive oil will give you a strong flavor… you may or may not like it but you get to choose!) with about the same amount of maple syrup. ¬†If you are not deep in the hills of syrup country, and don’t have a fresh supply handy, brown sugar or honey (heated up a bit to make it easier to mix in) will work beautifully.

Heat your oven to 350F.  Mix the two bowls together.  They should be wet but not sopping.  If it is too wet add a bit more oats, if its too dry add some more wet!  I know these instructions are vague but I promise granola is not really something you can mess up.

Press the granola onto two parchment lined baking sheets. You can save the parchment when the project is over. ¬†Which will save you another trip to the store, and help out a few trees too:). I set the timer for 7 minutes and check it and rotate it. ¬†I did this 3 times and it was just getting golden on the edges which is when it is done. ¬†It is easy to over bake granola as it crisps up when it cools down so it can trick you. ¬†Don’t let it! ¬†When it is done, let it cool on the pans, then mix in any dried fruit. ¬†I fill up mason jars, but any container will work. ¬†I keep one quart on the counter to add to yogurt and eat plain and store the other two in the freezer. ¬†It is a good trick that keeps things extra crispy as the moisture from your dried fruit will soften your oats over time.

And in other news… Go outside if you can. ¬†Breathe deep. ¬†Face time your friends. ¬†Bake.

img_4787img_4789OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

the view up there

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA¬†Yesterday, I climbed the tree I always see my kids up. ¬†I pulled myself higher than my body said was safe, a phrase I use on my little ones- your body is always trying to tell you something. ¬†I went until the top of the flexible hemlock tree actually bent with my weight. ¬†I leaned up against her pole sized trunk one foot on a limb and one on another and I looked out at the hills. ¬†The wind blew, and all her limbs lifted to let the breeze through, then I closed my eyes. ¬†They lifted in a way I had never noticed until that moment; reaching toward the sky and then flinging down when it was over an equal distance. ¬†I suppose you can’t really know what the branches are doing from only one view. ¬†My stomach turned. ¬†I stood there for a while feeling the up and down of it all, not feeling the cold in an uncomfortable way, just feeling it. ¬†The icy tear tracks on my face were a relief. ¬†The breeze turned into the breath I had forgotten to take. ¬†I slowed my thoughts, I tried on a smile. ¬†It was forced but it was a beginning. ¬†Gratitude mixed with sadness for the tree and the breeze and my legs and my tears and my forced smile made me gasp and choke and cry all at once. ¬†I opened my eyes, sat down on the branch and settled in. ¬†The smoke from the sap I was boiling swirled up into my nostrils. ¬†I consciously welcomed the sweetness into my chest and the space behind my eyes. ¬†I crept back down and stoked the fire.

you’re hot then you’re cold

A list like poem about February inspired by my awesome friend Taylor at Free Verse Farm and Apothecary 

February thaw- February blizzard-

February wind storm and February Ice storm.

Learning to spell FebRUary.

Teeth growing, teeth falling out.

Hand sanitizer, dry skin, no stomach virus.

Reishi tinctures and elecampane cough syrup

(the brandy will brighten your day).

Mice eating the electric components of your entire car

car shopping

Little neighbor loves to listen to mo town in your car and you forgot you really do too

“It’s- the – same- old – song”

sunshiney gratitude for February is short

and the days are getting longer

and soon I will plant onion starts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA