i used to do this as a child. wondering around ancient graveyards and trying to decipher what was written on the well worn stones. grave rubbings were a fun activity my mother used to do with us, and the little seemed to enjoy it as well! (block crayons work great, but charcoal and graphite are also a good choice!)
how's your week going?
we went hunting for the perfect christmas tree at our favorite little spot just down the road from us. we did find the perfect tree (one for the living room and a small one for her room) and came home to decorate while sipping hot chocolate and listening to christmas tunes.
here's a glimpse...
stay tuned for TWO amazing giveaways this week! cheers!
we have settled into our school year rythym big time. which means that the little one is here a solid five nights and then with her father on the weekends. she's doing so well and loves the routine of it all, but it does mean our chance to do anything together is few and far between.
so a couple of fridays ago, she had a teacher workshop day and we had the whole day to ourselves. just the two of us. and boy...did we have fun. we lounged about in the morning and then took off for an afternoon of hiking. we went to a mountain i've been hiking every year since i was three. we brought a little picnic lunch to the top, stopped to play on the playground at the bottom, and just had so much fun together!
then i took her out shopping for new school clothes. she doesn't grow very quickly, and she's been wearing the same clothes for what seems like three years now! but she had a wee little growth spurt, which meant new pants were in order! we grabbed a chai latte and i let her lead the way. she has good taste, that one...
both of us were so very grateful for that time together, and it's a day that i will always remember. i can't wait for the next one!
the seasons are slowly transitioning from summer to fall around here. the leaves seemed to change almost overnight and the high temperatures that were an end of september gift have given way to chilly nights and brisk days.
we spent the weekend winterizing the house. putting up the storm windows and cleaning up the yard. prepping the chicken coop for the cold winter, adding manure to the gardens to put them to sleep for the cold months, and picking the pumpkins all ready for carving. we scraped and primed some of the outside in anticipation for a complete makeover next spring.
today the rain is falling heavily. mark is home from work until he starts an interior project later in the week. our new pellet stove is being installed in the living room right now and we are excited to take the chill out of the air.
this week will be a hectic one. many shoots far from home, and our final wedding of the year this coming weekend that means three days away from home. i'm trying to get lots of sleep and stay well fed and hydrated. sometimes i get working so hard i forget to take care of myself.
i just made a big batch of chai tea that mark and i are sipping with honey and almond milk. my wool socks and sweater are on and i'm settled in for a day of work before the little one comes home.
are the seasons shifting where you are too? what's your favorite thing about cold weather?
oh, and i'll be over at habit this month. (joining in a little late...when did october start anyway?!) would love to see you there!
every single year there is a day or two in fall that we spend apple picking. this time, we decided not to wait until the weather got a little cooler and instead went the day the orchards opened for the season. the sun was out and we enjoyed the lingering warmth of summer as we picked.
the apples were plentiful and we picked over 20 pounds in a matter of minutes! we bought some apple cider in the orchard's store and then brought everything home to start making pies, applesauce, and our favorite baked apple pancake for breakfast.
the music was going, the windows wide open; she peeling apples and running in and out, he painting the porch, and i making soup for dinner, cupcakes for someone's birthday, applesauce, and biscuits. the smell of cooking, summer sun, and the fall breeze filled the air. i could hear giggles from her and periodically got kisses from him as he passed by in between coats of paint.
it was the perfect afternoon. the perfect welcoming of fall. i looked around me and realized, once again, how very grateful i am for everything.
someone i just met the other day asked me where i lived. i told them i lived in a church. they remarked, "oh, you must be rich." it struck me as such a funny thing to say. rich? ha. i laughed at them. laughed at the fact that just a little over a year ago i was wondering how to afford to put dinner on the table. i worked so hard to get here today; did so much in so little time. but rich? HA! right. so i did, i laughed at him. then i went home and thought about it. and i said, "damn it! i AM rich! i have happiness and strength and a good life and a good home and a happy daughter and a loving relationship. i'm so rich it's nuts. i'm rolling around in the richness of a happy life!" why i can't think more on my toes, i don't know.
but it's days just like this that make me realize indeed how fortunate i am. we laugh together and love together. she does her thing, i do mine, and he his. all with a smile and a whole lot of love. it doesn't get any better than that. i have a rich life, for sure. and i never take a single second of it for granted. ever.
and all this from an afternoon of apple picking. who would have thought?
what are you thankful for lately?!
(oh, and excuse the inbetweenness of my blog appearance. i'm revamping a bit....)
we woke up this morning to chilly toes and the smell of fall in the air. the apple tree out back is dropping its fruit, and the smell of decaying apples is filling the house with a sweet scent reminding me to make applesauce and pie.
we wait for the bus now every morning. today she said, "mama! i can see my breath, look!" we stood there in the early morning light, tea in hand and sweaters on, and felt both longing for what went all too quickly, and the cozy months ahead.
i bought a pellet stove yesterday to try to keep us warmer this winter. heating an old church is no easy task, and although it's well insulated, the 18 foot ceilings and 10 foot windows are not the most efficient for maine winters. the heating bill was as much as my mortgage monthly. so the pellet stove will help keep us all warm this winter and hopefully the indoor temperature above 55!
we went for what may be our last dip in the pond. i introduced her to the joy of skinny dipping and she was brave enough to go underwater without goggles for the first time. a neighborhood dog joined us and we played, giggled, splashed, and caught more minnows for an hour before heading back for dinner.
it's amazing to witness year after year how fast these seasons come and go. fall will be over in the blink of an eye and we will be getting out the snow shovels and winter boots.
but for now another cup of tea, a wool sweater and socks, and the smell of the apple tree outside is exactly where i am happy to be.
how about you?
thank you so much for entering the giveaway! mary graciously offered two more signed copies, so that's FOUR winners total! hooray!
mary chose the winners! they are:
every year we go to what we call "blueberry hill" for a hike and a picnic. there is a fabulous stone cottage at the top covered with a sod roof where we like to eat our lunch and run around playing hide and seek.
this particular visit was the most magical one yet. we raced to the top, stopping to take a picture in the same place every year, then unloaded our feast. we dined on mostly things from our garden, sparkling beverages, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
we made friends with some others at the top, who later gave the little one a kite to keep after they were so impressed by her ability to fly it with no wind!
he found his first four leaf clover after i told him he would. i had found one that very morning. his face lit up like a child's with absolute glee at the four leaf clover clutched in his hand.
we flew our kite despite having no breeze, raced around playing hide and seek, checked out the boats sailing in the ocean below through the binoculars, and then leisurely walked back down the hill to the car for more adventures.
my mother came up to join us for a couple of days. the little one and i took her to one of our favorite trails in the woods for a long hike. we explored the woods, the streams, the shore, and all the fairy houses along the way. i was grateful for the sun and the chance to move my body.
i'm not sure many of you know that i am runner, or to what extent of a runner i have been. i recently found out that i need to slow up on my running. i have been running for almost 12 years now; often quite intensely. i have run through pain, battled frostbite from going out in too cold weather, driven my body fat so low that i was told i may never get pregnant again. my body has been telling me to take it easy, but i have not listened. i don't have any serious running injuries to report, but the wear and tear on my body has been slowly starting to appear. i've been told to slow down, cross-train, take it easy, and gain weight.
so that's what i'm doing. hiking, walking, running around the yard, dancing, swimming, gardening...all the activities of summer that are keeping my body healthy. it's funny to watch my body physically morph before my very own eyes. hard muscles have given way to softer places. i have hips now. my runner's thighs are starting to shrink up, and the skin that was pulled so taughtly across my face is plumper now. people are commenting on how healthy i look and using the word "beautiful" instead of commenting on my "fitness." it's a strange transition for me, but i am so open to it.
it's been a journey. the past two months i've run less than ever before. i am trying to be grateful for all the other ways i can move my body. he keeps telling me i've never looked better. but it's still hard to give up something i've loved for so long. i run because i love it, not because i want to look a certain way. it is one of the things in life that brings me the greatest joy. the sense of accomplishment and strength i have received from it has been a gift; one i hope to carry with me no matter what i'm doing.
for now, i'll get out in the woods and enjoy the fresh air, i'll swim in the pond, i'll paddleboard and kayak, and enjoy our evening walks under the stars. life is constantly shifting. nothing is forever.
there is no better place to camp than in maine. the ocean, the pine trees, the lakes and rivers and hot summer days...it's all so perfect.
we spent three glorious days up in acadia. feasting on all kinds of delicious food, drinking wine and spending almost the entire time in the water.
we swam, we jumped off enormous rocks, we canoed around islands, we caught crabs. we came back to the campsite and sat by the fire telling ghost stories and making smores and played with sparklers.
we slept under the stars and listened to the rain drops on the tent.
we ran through the woods and played catch on the dirt road.
now we are home and already planning our next trip...
*most photos were taken by mark! i used a film camera so i am developing those now. more soon!
she learned how to go underwater at a friend's house this week. it broke through all kinds of fear about the water. she showed me first how she went under in the bathroom sink, complete with goggles.
then she took a bath in the tub with the goggles on pretending she was a fish.
one hot afternoon i ran out to grab some groceries and get the mail and i came back to a note saying "we're at the pond!"
i ran down to join them, finding her in the water and him dipping his toes in tentatively. she couldn't wait to show me her water somersaults and underwater swimming. i told her how proud i was of her. i was amazed by how just making that one leap through a fear she has had for so long could allow so much joy to open up for her.
eventually the sun started going behind the trees and her teeth chattered despite the enthusiastic splashing. we forgot towels, so she wrapped herself in the deflated floatie and we trekked back home.
these are summer nights. the smell of the grill going, the birds in the trees, the windows open and the breeze coming through, the smell of the pond and the bathing suits drying on the line, our diets of greens from the garden, the little one running around picking blueberries and peas and plopping down to eat them in the grass. the breakfasts and dinners outside in the sunshine and lounging in the hammock reading books.
the summer is passing us by quickly. for those who live in maine, we know how fleeting it is. how we can blink and it's over in a second. and then the long winter sets in and we feel almost like we put everything on hold again until the summer days arrive.
so for now, we will savor every single second we spend together this summer, starting with our first camping trip together this coming weekend. i'm going to hang on to every moment like it's the only one we've got.
how are you enjoying summer?
we packed up the car with lots of snacks and water, some favorite strawberry picking books, and headed out for a day of adventure starting at acres and acres of strawberry fields. we picked over 20 pounds of delicious berries. the little one leaping from row to row with a giant smile on her face, dripping strawberry juice. she kept saying "Mama! We're picking strawberries!!!!!"
i gave them both the option of strawberry jam or frozen berries. they both chose frozen berries. the little one likes them as ice cubes in her lemonade and he just likes to eat them as is. so we picked and picked and picked. the little one giggling throughout it all, he trying to find the biggest berries than anyone else, and me just enjoying the day we got to spend together. we rode off to our next adventure, all sticky with strawberry juice, singing all the best tunes we knew.
i made them strawberry shortcake after a long day of berry picking, complete with homemade whipped cream. they devoured all of it, leaving just crumbs in the pan. we spent the rest of the night washing and hulling berries while some french tunes drifted through the open window and the little one ran wildly through the yard.
we finished the night with a potluck at a friend's house; all of us tired from a long day of berry picking, but very well fed.
next up? raspberries! and blackberries! and blueberries! oh, i think our freezer will be quite full this winter...
we're experiencing a very rainy summer so far. our beach days have been limited, outdoor play happens in between downpours and thunderstorm, and i just weeded the garden after a full two weeks of watching it all grow from the rain.
the good thing about all this rain is i don't feel particularly guilty for having to work inside at my computer all day long. but on those days i devote solely to the little one and our summer together, we are just itching to get outside.
one day we had a friend over and we went down to the pond (a 3 minute walk from us! swimming, fishing, and kayaking!) to fish and catch frogs.
on the way back we bumped into our neighbors. they asked how many fish we caught, and the little ones said excitedly "a thousand striped bass!"
well, not exactly...but a bullfrog was good enough :)
a little video i put together to share with you. footage from the last couple of weeks. enjoy!
the sun was out. we took shelter in the shade under a tree. him and i sipping white wine on the hammock, swaying back and forth. she settled on the picnic blanket with her markers and paper, sipping on lemonade.
she sang some songs, we talked. there were trips inside for more drinks, library books, and the Times. we snuggled, all three of us, in the hammock reading to each other.
we hung the clothes to dry and painted our new shed. we watched a lot of old colorful cars go by. the windows were up and the doors open wide. the gentle breeze blew in one window and out the other. the house smelled of freshly cut grass and fragrant flowers.
there were giggles and many pushes on the swing in the apple tree. he took pictures while i obliged her with some underdogs.
then we retreated back to the hammock, all quite content with our afternoon of doing "nothing."
sometimes home is the best place to be, and i think that if we had the choice, it's the only place we'd be.
we had our first spring beach visit this past weekend. we went down to a favorite little beach of ours and met some friends. despite the cold, wind, and frigid atlantic ocean temperatures, the girls promptly requested their swimsuits and headed for the water.
we all said they were nuts, but it didn't matter. they found a warm tidepool and hopped right in.
they ran in the sand, explored a driftwood fort, and made a sand cafe where they served us all kinds of yummy creations!
the car is still filled with sand, as it will be all summer long. it's a nice little reminder that the warmth is returning and the short, cold days are coming to an end. we are so ready...
how was your weekend? what adventures did you go on?
thanks for all of your sweet comments on the barnaby bright giveaway! i'm so glad i could introduce you to two wonderful musicians! random.org chose #26 and #40!
Its a win all around because I have been introduced to lovely new music!
Wow! My new favorite! You find the best music.
so sophia and shari...please send me an e-mail at erinlittlephoto(@)gmail(.)com and we'll get you all set up! congrats!
boy, i've been absent. from everything. have you noticed? it's been a whirlwind of a week and weekend. so much stuff going on. but despite everything, we did manage to enjoy a little bit of relaxation.
we made some raised beds for the side yard. super easy and super quick. i can't wait to fill them and get planting. i've so missed gardening. i have plans for expanding the perennial beds, adding lots of fruit trees and berries, a stone patio with pergola and grape vines. the little one is remembering all the gardening we used to do and is just as excited!
we ended the weekend with our sunday roasted chicken and i made a 1-2-3-4 cake for them. now we start vacation week!
we are also gearing up to fly to California on thursday to shoot a wedding, but we'll be gone for about five days, so we're scrambling to tie up loose ends and get everything ready. so much to do!
how was your weekend? are you gardening yet?
well, i refuse to refer to this storm as "nemo" because all it reminds me of is a cute little fish, and this was anything but a cute little fish. we woke up to 4 feet of snow in most places. the wind was so intense that it made huge snowdrifts around the church. our front door was partially covered this morning. what fun!
we shoveled for about three hours. we mostly felt house-bound and decided to make the best of it. more bacon (always) and tea. sewing for me, painting for him (he painted the stair doors black!), a movie for her. we are almost out of food so dinner was interesting (hello kale and all the ways i never thought i could cook you!) and luckily i made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies yesterday. i bake a lot for those two.
luckily the snow was light and fluffy, which made shoveling not such a complete horror. she made a snow cave (and i was such a mom not letting her go all the way in...she had to have her head sticking out at ALL times) and we made snow mountain slides. there's a pile next to the car that's at least 9 feet high. and the subaru was buried. the snow was all too deep for her to walk in. it was rather hilarious! poor wee thing.
so yea...nemo?! really?! i would have called it something more like "king kong" but that's just me...
So, um yea...I suppose I forgot to mention earlier that the property i'm buying is a church. a unique church...a church that doesn't really look like a church on the inside. it's really amazing. i can't wait to show you! i'm closing on friday! then we will have a home. so incredibly happy about that...
Well, we finally got out apple picking this year. I wanted to do it as close to the end of the month as possible because I have no storage for bags of apples! But soon we will have a home, so I decided we could make do for now with 3 full bags of apples in the bedroom.
As I have the past four years, here's a picture of the first bite!
And then it was back to make pie! And there will be batches and batches of applesauce, I'm sure.
My other weekend favorite? Carving pumpkins! They came out so cute...
More soon, friends...xoxo
it was a windy day yesterday. really windy. we were supposedly experiencing the tail end of a tropical storm, which resulted in some clouds and a whole lot of wind.
so what did we do? we headed right for the hills for some kite flying. the little one made a kite at summer camp this year, and although we couldn't really get it to fly properly, she was still proud of it. we brought an extra, just in case.
we ran through the fields, giggling at the kites going up and promptly zooming towards the ground. then we finally got one of them flying, and we clapped and cheered and watched it fly through the sky.
a good afternoon. definitely.
what did you do this weekend?
we went for our first dip in not only a pond, but the ocean too.
it was chilly, but so wonderful. the sun on our faces, the cool water reminding us that the summer is yet to begin, and we have months of this to enjoy.
then we headed to a big BBQ at a friend's house. their first BBQ there. and it was just perfect.
oh yes, we are most certainly ready for summer.
i've been working so hard...trying to make ends meet. every second of my days are nights are taken up by some kind of work. i like to think of it as a creative challenge.
but it means there really are no rest days; no weekends. just days mixed with fun and play and work and a wee bit of sleep thrown in there too.
it's all worth it-this life we're living. we are happy and having fun and hard workers and able to enjoy all of it. that's all that really matters.
happy monday, friends. hope you're enjoying this long, lovely weekend. xoxo
With the little one attending a nature based school, proper outerwear is very important. I'm always on the hunt for warm enough jackets and snowpants, raingear that actually keeps her dry, and everything in between. Polarn O. Pyret always has the greatest clothing...the quality is remarkable, the sizing is always just right and fits for two seasons, and the most important thing is the little one absolutely adores the colors, fit, and designs.
Polarn O. Pyret was kind enough to send us a set of rain gear which we immediately put to good use. Today it was overcast and drizzly, so we put on our new rain gear and headed out into our new backyard (yup...that's our backyard!!) and played on the shore.
What lucky girls we are, eh? The ocean in our backyard and awesome new rain gear! Polarn O. Pyret is also offering one lucky reader a $50 gift certificate. Just leave a comment and tell us what your little one's favorite season is. I'll draw a reader Monday at 10 a.m. EST. Good luck!
Well, each year about this time we head to the orchards for some apple picking. On this particular day, the temperatures were in the mid-80's, which surprised us all. We wondered through the orchards in our shorts and sandals, feeling like it should be fall, but knowing that it felt more like summer. We go to this orchard every year. I love the memories it brings back. I feel like somehow it marks the growth of the little one each and every year. The first year she was on Sasa's shoulders most of the time, reaching high for apples, but mostly just running as fast as she could down the hills, with one of us chasing after her. This year, she picked a whole basket, plus loaded up another bag. It always surprises me just how helpful she is.
And today (at 5!):
After gathering our apples, we went home to drop them off and then headed out on a canoe ride and for the last swim of the season. It was the perfect day. I have so many pictures from that, but they are all on my film camera, along with the fair pictures and so much else. 3 rolls of 36 exposures...that's going to be good! Hence my absence here.
But after our canoe ride and swim, we headed home to make applesauce and apple pie. I see much canning in our future! (We also canned 36 jars of pesto, with many more to go...) The next morning I made my favorite apple pancake for breakfast. And even though the temperatures outside still hover in the high 70's, it now officially feels like fall to me!
And looking back, I'm not sure how we managed to squeeze all of this into one day, but we made a fall banner for the front door. I love coming home to it everyday. It's very cheery! No sewing required...just strips of fabric with raw edges, and some fabric markers! We had a blast making it...
How are you spending the start of the fall season?!
Another year, another day of hiking, picnicing, watching, playing, laughing, and enjoying. We love this spot. Year after year...it's amazing to remember the past visits and it's remarkable how much the little one has grown. She made it all the way up (and down) at full speed. Of course, this year there was a puppy to coax her along.
We missed the blueberries this year, but the chamomile was still there and we do have a big plant in our garden that we brought home from last year. So fun to think of it being a part of our life here in town.
Today we tried to soak up as much summer as we could. School starts soon, and with it, we find that everyday freedom we've had for so long is quickly coming to a close. The little one is growing literally before our eyes. Her long, lean legs can carry her on a hike no problem now. Last year, she rode up on Sasa's shoulders. It's bittersweet to see it all happen so soon. I'm loving this age and all the fun we are having, but also miss the little hands dropping the berries in the basket, and clasping mine for a little help along the stone wall.
This is my favorite part about traditions: marking the growth all around us against something that is constant and steady. Blueberry Hill will always be there for us, and so will we...however big, small, old or young we may be.
It's been a funny weekend. Probably others would call it a weekend full of unfortunate events. I've been meaning to post about "a year of choice" for a while now...letting you know more about how this affects my days and what it looks like. And I can honestly say that this space is all about choice. What you read here are snippets of our days. The things I love, the things that make life go round, the things that make us smile, the things that fill our hearts with love. It doesn't mean that there isn't a whole lot of struggle and, ahem, bad luck too. (Sometimes I think I'm jinxed!) But it's easy to get through it with this fabulous guy and amazing little girl by my side.
This past weekend was indeed a series of unfortunate events. It got to the comical level after two days, and when we finally sat down on the couch late last night to breathe, we looked at each other and giggled, joking that maybe the roof would fall through on our heads. But in the end, we caught something just in the knick of time and our cat will live, we still have another way to get around and we did get home finally, there are friends and family always willing to help, after hours of research I finally fixed my camera, and we are safe and happy and together. Which really...is all that matters.
So what does all this have to do with fairy woods?! Well, in the midst of all the unfortunate events, we all took a beautiful walk on an island with my mama and the two dogs. We flew kites, we walked through the forest, waded in the water, and came to the spot where there are hundreds and hundreds of fairy houses. We built a fabulous one. And I remember in that moment, looking at the absolute certainty on the little one's face that fairies would be moving in to our little fairy house that very night, I knew that this was the only moment that really mattered. And, to be honest, I'm not sure if it's from the sheer exhaustion or the hilariously poor memory I have, but really...it's all that I really remember. That one moment was so full of joy and love that it's going to be completely and totally stuck in my heart forever. Love that.
And yes, the little one got her first haircut. She loves it. We do too.
This is one of the many perks of living where we live...the ocean. It's right there at our doorstep. Today I left hours and hours of work behind (aah!) to go on an impromptu coastal cruise with some friends. I snapped these with my phone. We were out on the water for 6 hours. I am sitting here hours later still feeling the room sway back and forth! Sasa got a killer sunburn, and I have to admit that even with my sunscreen application, I'm red too.
We went swimming in 62 degree water (I have a picture to prove it!), ate lunch with gulls and seals nearby, and enjoyed a snooze on the deck during the ride home. It was a fabulous (and much better than working) way to spend a Sunday! Hope yours was sweet too!
Yesterday, we braved the heat and headed out for an adventure to some organic strawberry fields. The little one has been begging me to make her a strawberry pie for weeks now. And part of our summer routine each year is to pick and store as many berries as we can to last us all winter long. It's fun to watch as the older she gets, the more involved she wants to be. Last year I remember carrying her through the blueberry fields, keeping her in the Ergo on my back as I picked. This year? She was picking for almost two hours right along with us. She was incredibly excited about the whole process and beamed with pride with each bucket she poured into the larger box.
We got home and settled into the numerous hours' work facing us. The 20+ pounds of berries needed to be washed, the tops cut off, most frozen for later use, two pies needed to be baked (one galette for her and one semi-Paleo almond flour crust for Sasa and I), and a batch of freezer jam needed to be made. We opted for freezer jam because we wanted to make a small batch of strawberry jam, since we don't use jam too often.
We sat on the back porch on our new patio furniture (thanks to Sasa for my early birthday present!) all afternoon and got covered in red juice. Lots went in our mouths, but most went in the freezer. The little one was so excited by the idea of eating strawberries in winter!
We ended the night with our strawberry pies and reading books on the porch. It was the perfect ending to an even more perfect day!
It was a hot one. A really hot one. And yesterday was hot too.
I swam in the ocean three times yesterday (mind you, we live in Maine and ocean water is freezing) and today we packed up dinner and headed to the lake for a picnic and a dip.
We spent the day in our bathing suits, going between the shade in the backyard with glasses of iced tea and inside where the air seemed just a little bit cooler. The little one plucked away on her ukulele, serenading me during my snack time clean up. We picked fresh herbs from the garden to make a frittata for lunch, served over our greens and some homemade dressing. We ate outside on the picnic table under the shade of the umbrella.
Tonight we retreated to the lake, with my bag packed full of bucheron, salmon, and peas from the garden. The little one almost learned to swim, we played water tag, and watched the clouds roll in.
We returned home for an ice cream cone and the excitement of a thunderstorm. I rushed to get the laundry in, the chickens settled, and the yard toys picked up from a day of play. The little one fell asleep in an exhausted, hot heap on the bed with the lightning flickering around her.
It was a good day. Tomorrow another adventure will be underway! How was your Wednesday?
Oh, and if any of you are wondering how to get the shape of the giant beach bag, just go to my tutorial page here and follow the corner directions for the "everything bag". Easy peasy!
Last night we experienced a crazy thundestorm. It was so wonderful. We loved every minute of it. I've always told the little one that thunder is just the cloud's talking to one another, and the lightning is the flash from their camera. Ha!
So she's not scared a bit. We played board games and ate chocolate chip cookies.
Then the sun came out and we just had to go puddle stomping! (An after-storm tradition.) So on went the rain boots and off we went!
We discovered a giant puddle down the street at our friend's house and we ran back to get our boat to do some sailing. What a fun sweet night.
We came back home to the power returning, some snuggling in bed with a good book, and some sweet dream-filled sleep.
Happy weekend to you! xoxo
she twirled in her new mama made skirt! (This one was her favorite, with pockets big enough for all the crystals she's been finding everywhere!)
we made a delicious lunch.
we found a real horse saddle at the thrift shop. It, of course, came home with us and entertained a certain someone for the rest of the day. Now we need to make a horse! No problem...
I made sun tea. I can't wait for my morning iced tea tomorrow!
we found a bird's egg on the sidewalk on our walk. We both spotted it at the same time and squealed with delight!
we enjoyed the blooming clematis on the porch.
I checked on the garden, did a little weeding, wondered just how late the spring peas were going to be.
I did the third load of dishes under my summer window. I love how it shifts so organically with the seasons.
We are enjoying some relaxed days lately. I am loving just being home, gardening, sitting in the sun with my girl and a good book. It's oh so needed right now. Pretty soon I'll be in full swing with the wedding season, so I'm soaking all this relaxing in while I can!
What did you do this Wednesday?
it was hot today.
so hot that it made everyone (especially the wee folk) a bit cranky.
we cooled off in the lake (heavenly) and went for ice cream after with friends.
we returned home to find the sky darken, the wind start blowing, and the thunder rumbling in the distance.
a marathon sprint was made to collect the odds and ends left outside from a morning of play; blankets, toys, towels, laundry on the line, and remnants of today's breakfast on the outside table.
the thunder and rain came and went. it was perfect timing really; the garden needed it so very much. as the threat of lightening passed, we put on our rainboots and coats and went out dancing in the rain and stomping through puddles. the perfect way to end the day.
This weekend was so full of everything! Playdates with wee friends, gardening, three more raised beds (!!) and three more to go, practicing for a violin concert tomorrow night, stories, ice cream trips, Sunday morning pancakes, bike ride after bike ride, long walks with the dogs, fishing, watching sunsets, barbecues, first smores of the season (we found yummy organic marshmallows! ha!), reading on the porch, sitting in the sun, adoring my new Lisa Leonard magnets, pizza parties with family, and late night viewings of this (which had Sasa and I feeling so nostalgic for the 80's and all it's fashion no-no's!).
What did you do this weekend?! Happy start of the week to you!
We often go out walking in the evenings.
With the warmer weather it has been even more lovely. We've been fighting off a thunderstorm all day. The winds were whipping through the trees and tall grasses, so much so that the bugs were not out.
The little one has been riding her bike everywhere these days. Such a big, independent girl she is.
These are my favorite moments. The ones where we are all together, all laughing and giggling, racing down the fields and breathing the fresh air. There is just so much love here. So much gratitude, respect, kindness, and peace. It's lucky if you find that in your life, and to be surrounded by it day after day with the ones you love is so very special.
Playing hide and seek in the woods. Sheer joy. I love this photo. Just love love love. Last woods post, promise. Tomorrow there will be a giveaway! Yay!
And we had a brief break from the rain today...just long enough for me to get a killer sunburn on my back from weeding. Now it's back to raining.
Monday I'll have a garden tour post! I finally got out there when the rain stopped and took some pictures. See you then!
We took another walk in the woods today. The little one ran for a good two hours. I told her she probably ran over 3 miles today, through the woods and the fields. She was proud of herself and I was too.
We made two fairy houses, saw oyster shell middens that are over a thousand years old, played in the water, visisted the gnomes in the trees, and ran through the fields. Then we came back home to find yummy fiddleheads on our doorstep. Thank you friends!
I think this field series just about says it all!
I hope you enjoyed your Wednesday too. xoxo.
It was a rainy day today. In fact, it's going to be a rainy week I hear. I'm pushing myself out of my comfort zone and going out for a walk no matter how wet. I've never liked the rain...even as a kid. But I've been putting on my boots and raincoat and bringing the little one out no matter how wet or misty.
It feels nice to be out in the rain. It's almost as if the forest is asleep and we are intruding on its quiet time. We enjoyed a nice long walk today. The woods looked so magical with the glistening spring ferns and greens. In the end, we didn't mind the rain one bit and I'm sure that it won't stop us the rest of the week either.
And there are plenty of things I'm loving this week, but here are just a few...
What are you loving this Monday?!!
It was a dreary, rainy day today. We spent the better half of it doing indoor things like violin lessons and a trip to the library for more books. But this afternoon the rain let up and we found ourselves outside on a mission: to find rocks for our garden. The raised beds are looking a little bleak right now and I wanted to add some color. Our wooden plant markers never make it through the season, so I wanted something that would last. So we went around the yard collecting the best rocks we could find.
We scrubbed them, dried them, and set them on the back porch. Then we collected the acrylics and paint brushes and set to work. The little one had such fun painting the rocks that we had to go back out three more times for more! We have enough to mark all the veggies in the raised beds and I love the fun and color they will add.
I'm so excited to get back outside and dig in the dirt. It's amazing to watch our yard transform every year. I never realized how much of my soul was connected to gardening. I have grand plans of sunflower huts, herb window boxes, potted plants all over the yard, succulents in the backyard, beds of flowers, creeping vines up and around her tree fort, a handmade stick fence, and more. So much more. I want to spend every second outside. Every single second with my hands in the dirt.
I'm loving finding garden inspiration out there in blogland. I love wild, crazy gardens that just look like magic. Would you care to share some with me?!
Happy Tuesday everyone!!
What a perfect day for Earth Day! We spent the morning at nature-based program the little one attends on Fridays where we felted eggs, made houses in the woods, cleaned up the grounds a bit, and enjoyed the sun for a full four hours. Then we came home and gardened! It felt so amazing to have my hands in the dirt again. We had added compost last fall, so the beds were pretty much all ready to go.
We direct-seeded beets, carrots (4 fun varieties!), lettuce, kale, chard, beans, and peas and some annuals. The little one is my handy waterer, so she gave all the seeds "a nice drink so they will grow big and strong." She kept taking videos with her camera while we were planting the carrots. I loved the narration..."And here we have the carrots we will soon pick and eat for our dinners." Super sweet, she is. I love that she is getting more and more involved in the gardening process as she gets older. You can definitely tell she remembers doing a lot of this last year.
Then we came in and dyed eggs! Sasa made some natural dyes while we were gone this morning. He used turmeric (yellow), beets (pink), purple cabbage (robin's egg blue), yellow onion skins (orange), and then we mixed them all to make one fun color! We're leaving them in overnight so they get pretty dark. With 24 eggs in all, I think we're going to have a pretty crazy egg hunt on our hands this Sunday!
Happy Earth Day and Happy Easter! I'll be back at the beginning of the week to share some of our Easter fun!
Lettuce. Kale. Chard. Beets. Carrots. Peas. Beans. Tomatillos. Tomatoes. Leeks. Winter squash. Pie pumpkins. Basil. Basil. Basil. Nasturtiums. Zinnias. Sunflowers...
Those are just some of the things we are planting this year. We're expanding the garden this year to accomodate more winter storage veggies to last us further through the winter season. And our chicken fence will be the support for tons of pole beans. And then there are the sunflower forts we hope to plant. And the climbing vines and flowers all over her tree house. And the potted herb garden for the front steps. And the flowers for the window boxes. And the extra pear tree so our lonely one will start to bear fruit. And hopefully a couple of apple trees. And the extra medicinal herbs for the herb garden.
Boy, do we have plans. We have plans and plans and more plans. And I'm started to wonder with all the traveling and work I'm doing this summer if I can make it all fit in! But there's nothing that I love more than being out in the sunshine with my hands in the dirt, growing our own food. I'm hoping we can freeze more, can more, and store more to last us longer this next winter.
The little one and I started some seedlings. I won't lie...our budget is extremely tight right now. Trying to stay home with a little one with a mostly seasonal job means winter is tight. Even purchasing seedling containers seemed a little extravagant. We had a stack of egg cartons and it gave me an idea. We always plant a bunch of seedlings in egg shell halves that we save that the little one is in charge of, but why not use some of our millions of egg cartons for the rest?! So we did. And it is working! I only planted things like lettuce, kale, chard, and basil in them because they are so shallow and I know don't need to grow that big before we can transplant outdoors. For the the tomatillos, I purchased deeper containers. (I think I started about 30 plants...we do love our salsa verde!).
The little one is in charge of the flowers and her basil on the windowsill. She checks them daily and waters them. It's the cutest! It's exciting to watch them grow. We spent a day earlier in the week turning the soil in our raised beds and talking about planting the beets and carrots and beans and sunflowers. The little one ended up rolling for hours in the dirt...she clearly missed that feeling after this long winter! I know I did.
So yea...we are super excited about gardening season here. Super excited. I think I may just spend every spare second outside digging in the dirt. It's a nice thing having this little urban homestead. We can do so much on our land, yet still walk to everything we need. What a sweet little life!
What are you planting this year??! I would love to see pictures of your gardens!! Leave some in the comments...
Cooking with my girl is one of my favorite moments of the day. She is really loving helping me with dinner, and is often in charge of the chard or kale. She's also becomming a master at making pasta sauce with all her herb additions. It's so fun to watch! That first picture? I asked her to "Look normal" and that's what she gave me. Ha! And she took the one of me with the chard. She was very proud of that one!
Today we made a simple play kitchen in the backyard for making mudpies and other delicious goodies from nature. Right now it's just a simple board, but soon we will make something more elaborate. We all took a trip after lunch down to the thrift store to get metal pots, pans, and spoons. We had so much fun! We invited some other kids from the neighborhood over for a mudpie making party. They were thoroughly enjoying digging in the mud!
What did you do today?!
Today I ran in a sleeveless shirt and what felt like too-short shorts (these pasty white legs felt a little modest after a long winter). It felt so good. I think my body had forgotten what it was like to run without my lungs practically freezing.
We spent the day mostly outdoors, but this morning we opened windows, mopped every hard floor in the house, put the blankets to air out on the line, then we sat on the back porch letting the sun hit our faces and make us feel alive again.
The world is changing around us...snow is melting and we are seeing bulbs pop up out of the muddy soil. Birds are chirping in the threes above, and the air smells like life again. We talk a lot about the root children waking up below the ground and how they are polishing all the beetles, mending their spring clothes, and helping to push up all the flowers right now. The little one is changing right along with it. Her bleached blonde summer hair has been too long out of the sun and is darker. Freckles started popping up on her nose today, reminding me of my sister. She's growing so fast and I'm constantly amazed by her maturity and sweet presence.
This afternoon we mended the chicken fence, then sat down in the sun to read more of our favorite spring books. "To Market, To Market" inspired a hunt in the stream for salmon which we caught and then "smoked" in some birch trees. We then headed to the farm (the local market) to pick some lettuce, an avocado from the tree, and dig up some garlic from the dirt. On our way home we collected our smoked salmon and headed home with our loot to make a delicious spring-inspired dinner. So much fun!
This evening we did some more fishing in the river. Fly got his feet wet in the cold salt water and we all walked home by the light of the almost full moon.
What a beautiful 54 degree day in March. It was surely enough joy to last a long time!
It was sunny.
It was windy.
We felt the sand in our toes.
Found heart rocks and sea glass.
Uncle Max turned into a hungry beach monster and made the kids run and giggle.
We closed our eyes and pictured beach blankets and picnics and swim suits and sandcastles.
It won't be long before those are all real.
And we all can't wait.
The back porch was a good 55 degrees yesterday afternoon. My friend and I sat out there, bare arms, faces in the sun, trying to soak up as much as possible. The girls were running around in the snow with no coats on. We heard birds overhead and looked up to see about twenty resting in the tree above us. They hung around for a while. Their songs reminded us that spring is on its way.
Well, I started the little one's cowl yesterday and finished it at the breakfast table this morning. I used leftovers from her sweaters. It came off the needles and she exclaimed, "Mama! It only took you two days to knit me this!" And she put it right on. She was very excited about the idea of having warm cheeks on our walks. So we headed right out to put it to good use.
Perhaps this wasn't the best day for cowl wearing because it warmed up to a marvelous 48 degrees! I was outside in my t-shirt shoveling snow for the chickens (who went on vacation and hopefully will be back really soon!) and cleaning up the back porch. It was amazing. Regardless of this warming trend, I'm still starting my cowl tomorrow...
We found a bird's next on our walk home. A teensy tiny one that I placed on our window sill looking out into the backyard. I like to think of it as a reminder that spring is on its way. Our seed order has been placed, our garden will expand slightly to accomodate more winter storage veggies, I'm looking into my bees (!!!!!! So excited and just wanted to thank you all again for the marvelous links you sent me last summer after my bee lust post. I really hope it happens this year!), and we're about ready to tap the trees. I can't wait to taste the cool, clear sap again. Spring tonic. This full moon (Friday!) will start the Sap Moon, which means spring is definitely on its way! (Check out this book...I adore it.)
I hung my first line of laundry in about four months. I'm pretty sure this is one of the first day in months above 30 degrees. And 30 degrees was a rarity this winter. We were mostly dealing with subzero temps. Killer. I can take the snow, but the cold I would rather leave behind.
The little one played outside all day. We went on bike rides, stomped in puddles, let Mr. Pickles (who decided today was much too nice to sleep away) explore the barn a little, and tried to teach Pepper to fetch. Then it was more walks, a little acupuncture, more soaking in the sunshine, and a lovely dinner full of greens.
And it looks like tomorrow might be a repeat which makes me very, very happy indeed.
What are you loving about late February??
The beach is equally as fun during the winter as the summer (although swimming is a wee bit chillier). We visit the beach pretty often in the winter. It's a nice place to let the dogs run free.
This was Pepper's first visit to the cold, cold beach. Fly's getting too old to chase the waves like he used to and Pepper was way more interested in finding decaying sea matter than anything else, but she did enjoy her first beach experience.
Oh, and that face makes me almost forget how absolutely rascally she is. Almost...