Something Else For Her Basket

“It’s noon and the sun is shining,” I whisper from our daughter’s doorway.  I hate to wake her but she announced when she went to bed last night at 9 that she wanted to leave by noon.

She actually smiles at me from her bed.  “I’ll get up soon,” she says, all groggy and warm.

I smile back.  “I’m glad I didn’t wake you,” I say, and then I attempt to lure her into the delights of the day. Since she got her own perfect little apartment in Seattle, she doesn’t come here as often. “LaLa can spit a plum pit five feet,” I tell her excitedly.


“Hmmm,” she says and rolls over.  “I’ll leave by two.”

There’s no guarantee that LaLa will perform for her, of course, and she knows that.  If I were a nurse and worked the night shift, I’d pick sleep, too.  Still, LaLa is devastatingly cute.  And our daughter loves animals.

I rotate and fold the laundry she’s brought, and start to collect a food basket for her to take back to the city.


Plum jam, three zucchini, and five ripe plums — leaving just six plums in the bowl.  Which is fine.  We’ve eaten plums galore all month, and I made 27 pints of jam.

Plums and 4th step 001

We’ve got to go shopping soon, I keep saying to myself and the Bearded One.  We have just 2 cups of sugar left!  But we have brown sugar and honey and I’m just not ready to go yet.  Heck, we try not to even start the truck more than five or six times a month.


Plus using up everything is a big part of how we live cheaply.  Plus the Bearded One would rather thin the backyard slug herd than go shopping.


The other stuff to go in the basket is either in the fridge — eggs — or freezer — two homemade burritos, two hunks of casserole, four pieces of cornbread, and five zucchini muffins, items I’ll add when she is stepping out the door.  At two, or seven, or midnight.  I love to do this for her.  And it also helps to justify my extreme homebodiness.

The nurse rises at one o’clock and I make her an omelet with kale and roasted potatoes.  She eats hungrily and then briefly considers checking out the goats — actually she says, “I’ve seen the goats” — before night shift fatigue overtakes her again.  “Nap,” she says.

“If you’re not up by seven, should I wake you?” I ask.

“No,” she says.  She’s already asleep in her head, but she mumbles that she can leave in the middle of the night, that she has to stay up tonight because she has to work tomorrow at seven-thirty, and I nod like I understand, and she floats up the stairs to bed.

It’s obvious to me that she won’t get to see the pit spit.  Unless.  Hm.  Unless I can figure out the camera’s video function.  Should only take me a day or two.


The next day, long after our daughter has gone, the Bearded One is sawing on the deck railing again.  I explain what I’m up to, that I’m making a video with our little camera.  The plot is that he, the Bearded One, will feed the goats plums and they will chew hilariously and then LaLa will do a super spit.  I will catch it all on film or digits for our daughter’s amusement!  I smile big.

“Just let me finish this part real quick.”


“No hurry,” I say as I pace the former cabbage patch which I’ve just this morning covered with barn hay.  I’m nervous.  We can only do this once, we have just two plums per goat left.

Soon, the Bearded One opens the lower pasture gate, and the goats stampede down to greet us.  We gather at the goat gig where we always hand out the goodies, and which is currently covered in cabbage leaves, which the goats seem to be sick and tired of.

“Action!” I say and press the little shutter button.

The Bearded One orchestrates the plum delivery perfectly to each goat.  They are chewing lustily. He circles them around and calls them his Sweetnesses, and then he gives the last delicious plum to LaLa, who turns to the camera and grinds the plum up close, and I whisper prayers to the gods that he will do a big-time pit spit.

“Lala,” says the Bearded One, “spit it out.  Come on.”  He is dry-spitting furiously to demonstrate.

And he does!  A dribbly, sloppy spit of a whopping 5 inches — no Olympic records here — but I catch it all on video for our daughter to make her laugh.  The perfect addition to her farmlet basket.


26 responses to “Something Else For Her Basket

  1. Those sweet things mothers do, I miss them so much! Sweet, Christi! LaLa’s spitting is hilarious 🙂

  2. Made me smile deeply this morning…thank you!

  3. Disguised as Orlando, I watched Lala’s spit on facebook and chuckled – more from the gentle exhortations of the BO and the cry of joy when it happened than the actual event. At first it was a bit shocking to see the real goats and the real BO’s legs – I realise I see you all as stick figures – but then it was highly enjoyable. I hope you will give us more brief films of the antics of your animal companions. I also understand the child caring thing – I still feed mine whenever I get the chance. It’s once a mother always a mother isn’t it 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful week! Pauline

    • Hi, Pauline! Yes, seeing the movie version after the written word, or drawn word, can be a rough experience, and I’m glad you adjusted. 🙂 The Bearded One has a Texas accent, which for an Australian must sound even more odd than it does to us Americans who are relatively free of accents, or so we think. As to the mother-love thing, you’re right on — I’m always their mother. Thanks for checking in, and have a wonderful week, too!

  4. ROTFL! I love the backyard slug thinning image…the B.O. is a genius at putting emotion into stick figures…that deflated wrist action, the slow progression of those thin stick legs, the obvious aggression of those slowly advancing slug hoards, all captured in minutiae perfectly. There is a book in those illustrations Christi :). The crescendo to that 5 inch spit was palpable Christi. Perfectly captured (as is the B.O.) for all time 🙂

    • Ah, Fran, you are the B.O.’s biggest fan, and he appreciates your astuteness. “Mighty astute” were his exact words when I read him your lovely comment. As to the video, it was a one-take deal, and so I pronounced it worthy even though the spit is relatively unimpressive. lol Does Kelsey sound at all like the B.O.? I realize his accent is BOY TEXAN, but perhaps you recognized a bit of the tone??

      • Guess what…Kelsey sounds EXACTLY like the B.O.! Must be a Texan “thang” eh? 🙂 I like being the B.O.’s biggest fan. It’s not often I am “best” at anything so being his best fan will suit me fine 🙂

  5. I second the request for more videos! Joy of all joys to see the goats chewing with exuberance while you and the bearded one cheer them on. Oh, and then there’s the chicken….Yes. More videos, please.

    • Ah, the chicken! That is Sweet Tart racing through the middle of the area, fearless under the goat’s hooves. Chickens and goats get along quite well together, actually. Maybe the next video will be LaLa squeezing through the tiny chicken hatch/door of the aviary….hmmm. Stay tuned! lol

  6. There’s no place like home- and that’s where Mom is! Wherever it may be- there is no place like home. And I don’t fold the laundry anymore! Although if I had one doing nite shift, I probably would! Loved this moment in your life-
    And so love you and your girls!
    ❤ Maria

    • I do love it when the kids visit. 🙂 I’m glad not to be back in the school routine and all that, and I’m glad they’ve got their own jobs and homes and loves, BUT when they come and visit, I baby them. lol I love you and your girls, too, Maria. Oh, and Michael, too. :):)

  7. Also think that Kieth is A- one!!!

  8. And who doesn’t love a pit-spitting goat? I laughed and loved your video. Your children are lucky to have such a great mom who so loves to spoil them. 😉

    • You would think the goats would crunch them or swallow them, but they are picky eaters. No bruises or rot on their fruit and veggies, thankyouverymuch! And as for my greatness as a mother…let’s just say I’ve gotten better at it over the decades….lol Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Becky. 🙂

  9. You are sweet and kind, and Lala is too funny! You’ve once again put a smile on my face. 😀

  10. Wow! Great little video – you’re a natural!

  11. Loved this video and BO’s drawings too. Yes, mothering does get easier when your kids leave home as all the stresses of being a hands on mother goes with them so when they come back to visit, you can just enjoy them and give them stuff like Jam and other goodies and they love it! I remember my Mum doing the same. I miss her jam and pickles and cake etc 😀

    • Fran raves about your mom’s cakes and jams, too, Cathy. Memory locked in a taste, or a smell. Isn’t that what Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past is about??? Involuntary memory evoked by a cookie?:) I think that’s part of what the grown kids come here for, too! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  12. As I emailed you after watching your video…OooooLaLa!
    I’m missing my two daughters – my daughter-in-law – my sons & my two sons-in law. Our 2 grandkiddos are coming down next weekend. They voted for “just them” with Grammy & Grandaddy.
    So we’ll make something and bake something and play Chicken Foot and I’ll just soak up the plum sweetness of being with them.
    And I’m going to show them LaLa – spitting out the plum pit!

    • “Soak up the plum sweetness of being with them” — that’s exactly it, Christine. Even my kids in their twenties, and now thirties!! it feels like precious time when they are here, because they aren’t here all the time of course! Noah and Ruby love being with you, and I can see why. Chicken Foot! Love you, too, Christi

  13. I also don’t like to shop until I use up most of the food in my refrigerator and cupboards. I agree that spacing out shopping trips is a real money saver. It seems like I buy a set amount of junk food whenever I go to the store–and when I shop less frequently I end up making many few impulsive purchases.

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