We spent a day and a half with t! and Jan this weekend. We did a six-hour visit with them at Upper Canada Village and then stayed overnight with them at their homestead, and we had a wonderful time. Owlet didn’t have a morning nap in the car on the way down, despite scheduling things so she would, but I nursed her to sleep mid-afternoon after a picnic, and she slept for forty-five minutes while everyone else went off and did different things. I just zoned out next to her in the shade of some trees and enjoyed the sounds of the wind, water, and horses (partly because it was nice to do, especially because I was fried and crashing, and partly because I’d forgotten both my spindle and my knitting at home). Sparky learned how to milk a cow there (and did well enough that he was using both hands, not just one like the farmer started him off with), how to pump water and slop pigs, and he helped feed the chickens and gather the eggs before supper back at Rowan Tree Farm. He has decided that he is going to be a farmer when he grows up, which I think is a very noble calling in this day and age, considering all the other cool stuff a seven-year-old thinks is awesome and shiny.
Owlet was entranced by all the horses (it was a horse weekend, with various exhibitions and competitions and so forth), and she got to see her first real live baas. I don’t think it really sank in until one came right up to the fence that Sparky was standing on and gave one of those loud, directed BAAAAAAs that sheep can give. She said “Baaaaa! Baaaaaa!” all the way back along the road. She climbed all over Carter, t! and Jan’s husky-collie mix dog, too, who was beautifully patient with her, and kept trying to give him her open-mouthed kisses on his very wet nose. And as a delightful bonus, she slept the whole night through there (yippee! she was certainly tired enough after a long day outside with so many things to see).
I am so thankful that my children have these opportunities, and that we have friends who enable them to experience things like this.
Also, they were selling dyed roving at $10 a pound in the store, wool from the Village sheep carded on site in the woollen mill (the first place we visited, much to Sparky’s excitement — I love this child — and wow, the size of the water-powered carding machines!). So I got to buy myself a treat at a crazy low price! I got some navy and some deep chocolate brown. They were also selling yarn they’d dyed with natural dyes, and I wish they’d been selling some of the lovely soft olivey green or pale purple as roving. Or even some undyed roving, so I could experiment with some food-based dyeing myself.
It was a wonderful way to spend the last weekend of summer. School starts tomorrow for Sparky, his first day of grade two in an 80% French classroom at a brand new school. I’ve been trying for a week to make a ten-minute appointment with his new teacher so he can see that s/he is nice, not intent on making him miserable, and seeing a bit of the school to give him a bit of familiarity, but every time I call the receptionist tells me to call back a day later and they may have the class lists by then. As of today, it turns out that the school board isn’t releasing them until tomorrow, which means I’ve been made a liar to my son for promising him that meeting. Well, we’ll go over after lunch and walk around the outside, anyway, so he has at least that. I’ve left a voicemail with the school principal, whom we know, as she was the principal at Sparky’s school when he was in kindergarten, and if she has a moment maybe we can meet with her, but I know she must be insanely busy today so I’m not holding my breath.
In work news, I am partway through a copy edit for my publisher (an adult novel, very fun, and it’s about an ornithologist so my knowledge of birds is coming in quite useful!), and was asked yesterday to take on another book to edit concurrently because they’re in a bind, on a shorter deadline than usual for the second project, with a higher fee for both projects as a thank you. With Labour Day weekend coming up, plus both Sparky’s and HRH’s schools closed on the 4th for the provincial election, I have more time to work, and so work I will. It’s either feast or famine for a freelancer, and after such a long famine I need all the work I can get. My mother-in-law has also been booked for a Grandma Day here with Owlet that week, too, so I have another day there to finish up the second project. I’ve already been working for two to three hours a night after the kids are in bed, but now I shall edit like a mad editing thing.