Friday, November 30, 2012

Hidden In The Flames


Last weekend, we had our final bonfire of the season.  We had to burn lots of fallen branches from around the yard and took it as an opportunity to roast a few marshmallows.  B threw a couple of large logs from a hallowed out tree that had fallen last Spring.  The flames were just dancing inside the carcass of the tree.


Licking the sides in two inward circular motions giving the impression (to me at least) of multiple hearts racing through the log.


We were amazed by the final transformation of the flames once they had raced through the log.  Each of us found different faces in the flames.


 One was haunting, another almost evil, then there was a sweet happy one.  Maybe it was the spirit of the tree being released back to nature.  What faces do you see??

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mid-week Smiles



As we head into mid-week, I thought you might just need a smile and looking at baby cow pictures certainly does that for me.  These babies are still being bottle fed, so they just love to suck on fingers!


Getting back in the routine and catching up at work and school can be a bit of a challenge after vacation, especially since I've been under the weather the last couple of days.  But, I think I'm rounding the bend (not going around the bend ;)  I have a loaf of gingerbread in the oven filling the house with sweet spicy smells, the lights are turned down low as to see the Christmas lights twinkling, and I just made the kids a yummy smoothie as their after school 'linner' (little meal between lunch and dinner) in my fantastic birthday Vitamix!  With quiet contentedness around me and some couch time tonight, hopefully I will be back to 100% tomorrow!

For another smile...a Charlieism:  Yesterday Charles had to go to the dentist for a small filling in one of his baby teeth.  While waiting for the dentist to come in, where other kids may be intimidated, he was inspecting all of the laid out tools with some relish.  Some of the crazy tools looked like something right out of 'Little Shop of Horrors', and he thought that was pretty cool!  Once they numbed the area, he was to sit up and wait a few minutes for it to take full effect...the nurse then asked how he was feeling.  His response "My lip feels like it's getting it's Elvis on."   This and a number of his following observations had the dentist and hygienist in stitches the entire time!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Driving Lessons


I had grand plans of a blog post about our four-wheeling adventures.  I had taken a number of great shots with B and me and the kids, but then it happened;  Mom mentioned that B had been driving a tractor by the time he was Sidney's age, and that was it!  The kids were all over learning to drive the four-wheelers.

 
As with many things, the kids have different approaches to how they attempt new things.  Sidney was confident yet cautious...at the start, and took instructions well.


Charles, had the pedal to the medal before the instructions were fully out of B's mouth.


But we did find early on, that he isn't quite tall enough to negotiate the gas and steering wheel at the same time.  Ultimately, he steered and the adult was in charge of the gas pedal.


Then their confidence soared when it was Aunt sissy's turn to be driven around!



It's great to be able to show off all of your tricks, especially if it involves making your passenger squeal :)


All in all, a great lesson.  Oh, and mom and dad did get a chance to go out and have fun too.


I am so glad that the kids enjoyed this so much, because I now know a couple of kids who will be put in charge of mowing with the tractor next summer!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Thanksgiving


Though the last few days have left me with me with minimal access to post, the days have not lacked Thankful Moments.  They have been full of family, food and fun farm activities that the kids get to experience anew each time as they get older and appreciate them in different ways (more to come on that :).

When looking out onto your horizon be sure to enjoy each moment.  Don't be so focused on that distant line that you forget to slow down and enjoy the beauty as your eye lingers the landscape.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Jet Trails

Thankful Moments Days 16 & 17

Favorite Moments: When driving across country there can be many monotonous hours. We always break the trip in two and sometimes the best sunsets are those watched as they gradually reach their finality. I am eager to load the shots from my camera, but for the time being my iPhone and the cloud will have to do. This weekend of travel, with so many beginning to make their way to family, it seemed appropriate that last night's sky was overwhelmed by jet trails, going in all different directions and gradually spreading from pinpoint lines to soft puffs of clouds. We picked up Aunt Sissy half way and are now stretching our legs and shaking off the numbness that comes with long drives.

Long road trips leave me with many thankful moments: laughter, scenery, are we there yets, hotel pools, long conversations, 'flash back weekends' on the radio, and the endless chatter of my little nuclear family, quite the perfect way to spend my 40th!

Please join me in a month of thankful moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.
**I'm trying out my blogger for iPad and this is my first try...I can't find any of the formatting features, so this post is hyperlink free & I hope my photo shows up...anyone have hints or tips? :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ SOOC


 Thankful Moments ~ Day 15

Favorite Moment:  Things are getting increasingly hectic this week as we wrap things up at work and prepare to head to Kansas for Thanksgiving tomorrow.  As I was settling in and perusing my iPad for what shot I would choose for today's post, I, quite unexpectedly, had my favorite moment.  Apparently, while I was at Charles' parent teacher conference, Sidney found today's sunset to be appealing.  So as I opened iPhoto, I saw these shots....SOOC  made my heart smile.  


Quote of the Day:    "The whole act of creating a photograph is an act of cropping reality."  Errol Morris  (Thanks Julochka for making me put his book on my must read list!)

Please join me in a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

**please be patient with my posts for the next week, they will be primarily through my ipad, and I'm not sure how that will go ;-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Cute Do


Thankful Moments ~ Day 14

Makes Me Smile:  Farm poodles with schnauzer cuts.

Favorite Moment:  With holiday travel to family fast upon us, making time for lunch with friends full of laughter and lively conversation is the best.  I love that living in a small town, no matter where we go we run into dear friends on the fly.  Always moments to be thankful for and make me smile.

Today's Charlieism:  I am constantly amazed by what goes through my little man's head.  Today on the way home as we're stuck in traffic and he's gazing out the window he says:  "Mom....did you know that grass is the world's chest hair?"

Song of the Day:  Anything But Love ~ The Squirrel Nut Zippers

Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Breakfast Treats


Thankful Moments ~ Day 13

Favorite Moment: Many of my favorite family times involve food.  I saw a quick easy breakfast treat on pinterest the other day and had to try it.  I am all for homemade and virtually always pull something out, but this morning was for a fun and tasty novelty.  Easy peasy....take a roll of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, flatten three at a time slightly, pop in the waffle iron, and cook.  I cranked up the heat a bit and put them in for one and a half time rotations and what came out was cinnamon swirled waffles perfect to be eaten with melted oozing frosting.  I can assure you, starting the day off with smiles from breakfast treats and full tummies was a hit!

Makes Me Smile:   Kids voices laughing hysterically at some made up game.  Oh for the light hearted play!

Please join me in a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Thankful Moments ~ Co-Op


Thankful Moments ~ Day 12

Favorite Moment:  Spending the evening at an ownership drive for our town's coming cooperative grocery was inspiring.  The turn out was fantastic and we signed up ten new owners!  There is nothing better than the feeling of making a difference in, and striving to, better your community.

Charlieism:  In the car on the way home, Charles quite conversationally discussed how they had began their 'family life' unit today.  He was struck at how crazy the boys were (they had the boy video)  Charlie: "There were boys covering their eyes and saying ew, gross.  I was like, what?  It's just your body, you live with it everyday, how is that gross?  I don't get it."  I enjoy his matter of fact view of things.  ps.  he probably shouldn't know that I shared this here ;)

Quote of the Day:  "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."  Margaret Mead

Please join me in a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Silent Sunday




 This slightly less than Silent Sunday, I am thankful for 65 degree temps and the artistic eye of Miss. Sidney.

 Please join me in a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Basking in Sunbeams



Thankful Moments ~ Days 9 & 10

Favorite Moment:  With unseasonably warm weather yesterday and especially today, many of our moments are outside, enjoying the opportunity for fall clean-up without the need for coats. Or as in the photo below, summer attire versus clothing suitable for November 10th!  Something about the weather has been energizing and everyone has chipped in today to get lots of stuff done....with zero complaints!!  Even the bunnies are basking in sunbeams today. 


Most Surprising Moment:  Opening the hutch on the porch this morning to look for a caulk gun, I was surprised by the scurry of a little field mouse.  It made my heart race, and it was with a little (unnecessary)  trepidation that I went back into the cupboard a few minutes later.  However, as it turns out, this little mouse was quite social and came out to see me without scurrying away.  I wonder if he/she is from Nimh?

Taste Treats:  Tonight is taco night!  On top of that comfort, I think I may just whip up some homemade chocolate pudding.  This recipe from Good Houskeeping's 1927 Cookbook is an oldie, but goodie, and simply perfect!

Song of the Day: Heal Yourself by Ruthie Foster

Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ How Was Your Day?


Thankful Moments ~ Day 8

Favorite Moment:  Spending the afternoon at parent teacher conferences gave me a little more insight into what daily life is like in middle school.  I am so very proud and excited to watch Sidney grow, learn and develop her own unique views of the world...with a fair amount of good natured sarcasm.  Few moments are better than receiving the answer to the daily question...how was your day??

Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Peace



Thankful Moments ~ Day 7

Favorite Moment:  A rich portobello burgoinione (based on Julia's bouef), curled up in a warm blanket on the couch for a little television viewing sans political ads and the phone ringing off the hook. Peace.

Today's Charlieism:  This morning Charles asked me how old the youngest elected president was?  I said about 42 or 43.  He said, I'm going to become president when I am 36!  Now I know the bright future he sees for himself.

Today's Song:  Prophets Song - Queen (some of the most amazing harmony around)

Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Through Their Eyes



Thankful Moments ~ Day  6

Favorite Moment:  Spending the day at the State Capitol with the fourth grade class was quite an experience.  Aside from the generalized feeling of herding cats,  I was impressed at how interested they all were.  This is the first field trip where camera devices were encouraged, and I was struck at how different their experiences in this digital age were than mine as a kid.  They all had smart devices, dsi's or cameras and were taking pictures non-stop through the tour. 


Our State Capital is truly a gorgeous building, it reminds me of some palaces that I went through in Europe.  As a transplant to Wisconsin, I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a state history lesson with Charles on this election day.

Food for Thought:  "Most of us are creatures so comforted by habit, in can take something on the order of religion to invoke new, more conscious behaviors---however glad that we may be afterward that we went to the trouble."  Barbara Kingsolver--Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Sidney's Slant:   "My boredom is building up in me like a fiery chasm of doom."  Yep, not at all a writer in training!

Song of the Day:  Hard Headed Woman ~ Cat Stevens

Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Vote


Thankful Moments ~ Day 5

Favorite Moment:  Today I was able to spend a couple of hours with good friends getting out the vote.  It is such a good feeling to participate in the process and make sure that the people of our community know the location of their polling place.  One of the many things that we all have to be thankful for is our right to vote.  If you were not able to do so early, be sure that you get to the poles tomorrow, engage and let your voice be heard, that is what it is all about!

Makes Me Smile:  This 'Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey' Jello in a jar.  What a cute party favor for the Doctor Who lover!

Charlieism of the Day:  "Ah, I see a bright future for myself!"   (yes, honey I see that for you too.)   

Food For Thought: "It's not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy."  unknown :: I found this quote floating around the blogasphere and thought it was quite appropriate for this project.  Are you following along (privately or publically)?  Doesn't just recounting what your grateful for each day, make you smile?

Song of the Day:  One ~ U2 & Mary J Blige

Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments  inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Read a Good Book Lately?


Thankful Moments ~ Day 4

Favorite Moment:  A favorite moment of every Sunday is having friends over for Sunday supper.  Since we live so far from family, it's a gathering time for our surrogate family, and a nice start to and finishing off of the week.

Great Read:  I have been devouring Ken Follett books recently.  I really enjoyed Fall of Giants, it is the first in a trilogy that follows five families from different countries, all interconnected in some way, beginning with Europe's fall into the First World War.  Winter of the World (book 2) picks up during prohibition.  I am two-thirds through this book and Pear Harbor was just bombed.  I cannot put the book down.  They are well researched, and great history lessons are wrapped up into the fiction.  I find that as I am engrossed in one story line, when the segment ends and is interrupted by the next families story, I feel irritated for the segue, that is until I begin reading the next chapter, where I am captivated all over again.  Book three will be released sometime in the next couple of years.  I am thankful that Ken Follett has captivated me into making reading a priority again. 

Food For Thought:  Sometimes you just need comfort food.  I'm getting my Bechemel on with Alton Browns Baked Macaroni and Cheese  a perfect accompaniment to a fresh garden arugula salad.  Finishing off Sunday comfort with homemade chocolate pudding, can't get much better than that!

Sidney's Slant:  As I'm typing Sidney is leaning against me "I'm bored,"  Me:  "Please don't stand over my shoulder."  Sidney:  "Well you're the most interesting person in the house!."  Thanks....I think?!

Today's Song:  Church by: Lyle Lovett

 Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Saturday




Thankful Moments Day 3

Favorite Moment:  B spending the whole day yesterday to prepare for a kid exclusive cookout in the yard.  Hours of memorable moments outdoors for them all, with a hearty Brunswick stew to show for it in the end.

Charlieism:  As B and I were sipping coffee early this morning, Charles came down the stairs, stretching.  The first words out of his mouth...."The party is here."

 Introspective Moment:  Now that kids fall sports have finished, we can finally begin to focus our energies toward the farm.  Fall clean up on the homestead is hard work, but wow is it invigorating and each sore muscle reminds you that your alive....or getting old! :)

Food For Thought:  "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces--just good food from fresh ingredients." Julia Child

Song of the Day:  Linger ~ The Cranberries

Please join me for a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful Moments ~ Da Pong


 Thankful Moments Day 2

Family Games: As the weather has turned cold and windy, the kids took it upon themselves to clear the dining room table of it's decor and set up the ping pong net once again.  Now, at any given moment you can hear an energetic game of Da Pong going on, with vast debate over scoring.

Food For Thought:  "Cooking can be an act of love and delight, or it can be yet another exercise in racing through life on automatic pilot-- never stopping for a moment to notice, feel, or taste.  Cooking performed as an act of love brings us renewed energy and vigor."  The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs...as quoted in French Kids Eat Everything.

Favorite Moment:  A heartfelt toast given by a good friend over hard ciders at my lunchtime book clubThe book discussed this month:  Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots.

Song of the Day:  Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Please join me for  a month of Thankful Moments inspired by Thanksgiving Comes First!



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Moments~ Thanksgiving Comes First


Today is November first and a Thursday so it's only fitting to begin the month with a Thankful Thursday.  With this being the month of Thanksgiving, and since Thanksgiving does come first, I'm going to challenge myself to a month of posts. This time of year retailers are looking to boost holiday sales, and are beginning to shove down our throats, inundate us with advertising. I couldn't believe that Halloween was down and Christmas up in many of our local retailers this past Sunday.....before Halloween  AND  what happened to Thanksgiving?  I thought that I'd take this month to do a short daily run down of those things that we appreciate.  Try it!  Learning to recognize and enjoy each moment is not hard, it is just a matter of slowing down long enough to recognize what is happening around you.   I have found recently that I'll quickly reach for a piece of paper to jot down some gem that one of the kids comes up with while we are out and about, just so I can remember it. So, here goes, a month of  Thankful Moments.  If you decide to try it too, comment and let me know so I can follow, and link back here. Maybe we can start a chain of Thankful Moments.


Favorite Moment:  Ironically as I was composing this post and thinking about Thanksgiving Comes First, I checked my email and I had a message from Suldog, inquiring as to whether I was going to participate this year.  The synchronicity of this moment, ignited my day with a little extra energy.

Today's Charlieism:  While waking up Charles, I asked "how are you doing?"  he mumbled:  "I'm getting my bed head on." and rolled over.

Food For Thought:  "Local food is about getting the freshest and best tasting food.  It's also about connecting to and strengthening your community.  The more that you buy locally, the more that you contribute to your local economy."  Anna Lappe  www.nourishlife.org

Hope for the Day:  That those on the East Coast can take one moment at a time, work toward recovery, begin to heal, and find some peace.  Much love sent to my Brother and family in New Jersey.

Today's Song:  Just Breathe done by Willie & Lukas Nelson...if you  haven't seen or heard it, it is well worth your time!



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October in Review

I began this year with a picture a day challenge, and I'm in the home stretch. I have not been very good as of late at getting my daily shots posted to Postcards to Blog Camp, but I have still been taking and recording them.  Me resolution for year's end is to finish with a bang.  I will take more shots with my Canon (I'd say half of my shots last month were with my iPhone) and get back into posting and commenting in the group.  This is what October looked like through my looking glass. 

October in Review 2012

1. 10/1/12 Happy fall greens, 2. 10/2/12 Fall On Lake Michigan, 3. 10/3/12 Leaves, 4. 10/4/12 Apple Nachos , party of the kids afternoon mini-meal today., 5. 10/5/12 Hickory, 6. 10/6/12 Apple Jelly, 7. 10/7/12 Last Tomatoes, 8. 10/8/12 What a difference a few days on the sill makes, 9. 10/9/12 Perfect Shape, 10. 10/10/12 Chocolate Rice Krispies treats, 11. 10/11/12 It was a dark and stormy night, 12. 10/12/12 Tough having this view driving to work :), 13. 10/13/12 Gratitude, 14. 10/14/12 A hard day of play, 15. 10/15/12 Reflection, 16. 10/16/12 Bewitching, 17. Not available, 18. 10/18/12 Standing in line treats, 19. 10/19/12 Lovely, 20. 10/20/12 Gold, 21. 10/21/12 Who says organic has to be smaller?, 22. 10/22/12 Root Veg Harvest, 23. 10/23/12 Beams, 24. 10/24/12 Natural Elixer, 25. 10/25/12 Mustard Greens, 26. 10/26/12 Table setting reflections, 27. 10/27/12 Hunters, 28. 10/28/12 Ren Faire Phantom, 29. 10/29/12 Carving Time, 30. 10/30/12 Lake Michigan-Sandy, 31. 10/31/12 Hot chili and fresh corn bread, pre-trick-or-treat sustenance... It's what Halloween night is all about!32. Not available33. Not available34. Not available35. Not available36. Not available

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