Tuesday, November 22, 2016
"Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go..." We are busily getting ready for Thanksgiving with family. This year has been one for the record books with grief and sadness. We lost three beloved family pets (two that live in different houses), too many unexpected hospital visits for family, my best friend lost her father, and I can't help but feel the post-election blues of a country that seems to be going back fifty years. But still and all, I am thankful everyday, and I am feeling that gratitude as we get ready to go see family. This Thanksgiving, Oona will celebrate her sixth birthday. She just won't stop growing up on me! There is family to love, crafts to make, good food to eat, and even a touch snow here in the North Country. No matter what situation you are in this holiday season, I hope you have at least a few things to be thankful for. I know I am lucky to have many things to find joy in!
Thursday, October 27, 2016
There's pumpkin soup simmering (just as I had wished) made from our home grown pumpkins and cumin and cayenne spicy pumpkin seeds freshly roasted. I'm feeling very immersed in "Octobering" today. My preschooler came home from school, and we made a tasty batch of chai. It's the season of warm spices around here.
There was a lot of panic about Halloween the other day when I realized the fabric I had ordered for Halloween costumes never actually got ordered because of an incorrect expiration date on my saved credit card information. With Halloween so close, I cancelled the order and rummaged for anything that might work. Um, this is not to say I was totally zen about this change of plans. I pretty much threw a full blown toddler tantrum, and thought I'd have to take a long trip over the mountain to buy the right colored material.
They had both already decided what they wanted to be, and lucky for me, it appeared to be pretty simple costumes this year. I was ecstatic about this until the issue came up with my fabric order, and then I went into panic mode. I found some sweater scraps left over from orange mittens I once made, and knew that would work for a fox costume. But my little one really wanted to be a kitty, and not just any kitty, but our black cat Banjo who got hit by a car over the summer. I couldn't find any black material in my fabric cabinet or scrap bins. I had to dig through my wardrobe to find a sweater that always felt a little too short. I also got a pair of leg warmers and mittens out of the sweater. The best part about using the sweaters for the ear bands is that now they are warm and cozy. In the north land, costumes have to be warm! Anyways, now to cross my fingers and hope they actually wear them come Halloween. It's the little one that really loves to throw curve balls.
Mmmmmm... time for pumpkin soup!
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
It's flurrying outside right now and the other day we awoke to snow on the mountain top. Those that live in the hills even had a bit on the ground. Yep, it's officially that time of year when cuddling up on the couch with a ball of yarn seems to be just the right medicine. Add a cup of hot chocolate and a good movie and coziness is guaranteed. A few weeks back we had our first visit to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. Wow, it was truly a sensory explosion and with greyer days ahead, I couldn't resist leaving without a couple special woolly treats. It took sometime to figure out the right project, but I've started to work with the gorgeous sea glass colored angora bunny wool (so incredibly soft), and it will hopefully become a nice pair of mittens. I'm hoping there will be enough yarn left for another special project plus a few tiny ones. I have no idea what I'll do with the other skein of lilac... it's only 110 yards, but likely it will be something for my little ones.
I am daydreaming about pumpkin soup, cozy blankets and sitting by the pellet stove. I hope you are keeping cozy and warm too. Cooler days are certainly here in VT.
P.S. The book in the crochet photo is called "When the Sea Turned to Silver" by Grace Lin. It is the third book in a series of wonderful fantasy books, and is a gift for my big girl's birthday. We've read the first two out loud as a family. I highly recommend them both, and I'm so excited to hear the latest tale!
Sunday, October 16, 2016
What do you do with a pumpkin that won't sit up straight and is looking a little sad and haggard? Turn it into a pumpkin boat, of course! Well, really, two boats because once you make one there's already another half just sitting there! And if there's two, the only logical thing to do is race them down the river. So we made a little a sacrifice to the Autumn fairies and sent our two halves down the river (removing the little toy skeleton and witch candle just posing for a photo op so as not to pollute or loose our little friends). We took the last bits of frost bitten flower heads to decorate them and some soft milkweed fluff and made sails of leafy branches. They floated nicely, even when one filled with water. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot of rain and the river was pretty low, so the pumpkin boats needed more than a little help to keep going. And yes, there was a daddy and daughter crazy enough to go into the cold water and help them on their way. There wasn't a clear winner, as neither boat made it to the end of the race at the bridge. Oh well. We didn't make it to the famous giant pumpkin boat race in NH this weekend, but we did manage to have some pumpkin silliness of our own. And there were warm pumpkin seeds to feast on when we got back inside. Yes, I do think this is a new Fall tradition for us!
*A special thanks goes out to Papa for cutting and scooping the pumpkin and Baba for getting those yummy seeds in the oven and tolerating our silliness.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
The hillsides have been brushed with oranges, yellows, reds and rust as the Autumn fairy makes her rounds. It's really just a sprinkle right now. There is still plenty of green. But we are already seeing an explosion of color in the garden, which will soon spread up and down the mountain sides. It's hard to keep up with the harvesting. I'm always a little worried too much is being left behind or won't ripen in time, and any day now a frost could come and take what is left. And as Fall approaches and we turn a little more towards the inside realm, I am thinking about all the canning that needs to get done. It's not as much as last year because I scaled back on a few things, but it will still take a bit of time. But I guess I should savor these days out in the garden while they're still here.