Friday, January 30, 2009

Invisible Time

This is not the best photo I have of this lovely Bleeding Heart plant in my early Spring garden ( still months away) but it is a breath of inspiration that yes, in the midst of a great snowy winter, spring will come again.

So, I am thinking about Invisible Time. As I was reading a section in Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry - Katrina Kenison it was discussing
"invisible time" all those times that we are nurturing, negotiating, mothering that really can't be accounted for if we were trying to categorize them. It is the simple act of being there. Perhaps it is the unplanned sitting to watch something- a bug, a movie, pitching, Perhaps it is the band aids, hugs, the sitting after a boo-boo that still arms wrapped around a small or not so small body make all the difference in the world. My husband and I learned early on that our sheer presence could be as effective as great pain killers after having a infant in the PICU unit. So I really loved how this very wise author put a name to all those countless moments - "Invisible time" to quote her "This is the divine work we mothers do; perhaps,for a time, it is our vocation-taking care of the invisible."

I really enjoyed reading this book, and was able to finish it this morning. I have so many areas underlined and a copy on order for a dear friend. 228 pages with varying size chapters, you can read straight through or stop & start with chapters of your choice. I know it will be one I will turn back to often.

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009



So this is our Community Reads book this year, Rules by Cynthia Lord
We just finished reading it at home as a Read Aloud and it was fantastic. It is 200 pages with both long and short chapters but it is really engaging so it is hard to just stop reading. Ask Flowergirl who picked it up and finished it in the wink of an eye. Any way it is a very realistic story about a sister Catherine who is 12 and her younger brother David who is 8 and Autistic. In her efforts to make her life more "Normal", she makes a variety of rules for David to follow such as "No toys in the fish tank, If it is to loud, cover your ears or ask the person to be quiet." So most conversations with her brother revolve around a rule or two. A big setting of the book is in the reception area of Out patient Rehabilitation services where her brother attends Occupational Therapy. Now being an Occupational Therapist myself, any book with that has a major part of the setting relating to OT gets points!! It is at Rehab. that she meets another boy ( Jason) who attends Speech therapy and is restricted to a wheel chair. Jason is non-verbal using a communication book with words in it. Catherine being artistic engages in making him colorful words figuratively and literally. " stinks a big one" I think it is pretty realistic to life as 8, 12 year olds, complete with pet Guinea Pigs, & warm family life that is not always perfect.

It really comes down to accepting differences. It is about giving us a birdseye view to what both a family and society do when faced with a child with a disability. It opens a lot of points for further conversations with kids- What would you do? What do you think will happen next? Do you agree with how she handled that? Obviously I could go on and on with the plot but that would leave you with nothing to read so I will leave this as highly recommended.

Learning to accept differences in how we look, speak, dress how we think or what we believe is very important at any age. Something important to learn but rarely taught in any formal way. So read on, hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Now to start a new read aloud- I think it will be Seedfolk. Stay tuned and we will let you know as it unfolds.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009



So this is Edna out for a romp in the snow, she plays ball, leaps through the snow lays in the snow and overall just really loves it. She will lay out in the snow for an hour easily. A snowy day like today is really all about slowing down. Often it seems that is what weather does for us,makes us slow down. When It snows heavily we need to drive slower, we are more careful, intentional in what we do. Often the snow cancels our busy schedules and leaves us with time to complete something un-expected. Snow, big snow is quiet. If the wind is not blowing outside it is such an acoustic insulator that all is very quiet, coupled with less people on the roads and it is just quieter, slower, soup on the stove and bread in the oven.
We had school today but afterschool/evening canceled. We got between 10-12 inches and it is just letting up now. No birds around today. Usually when it is stormy they are all over but not today- again it was quiet.

So this is a Gingerbread House from Christmas in a Snowstorm, it is snowed in for sure, the candies are starting to melt, coloring the snow. The squirrels, birds and dog are leaving it alone. Often the Crows are after it, not this year. Only have 3 more of these in the house.

Cinnamon Muffins and Sunrises

Todays Sunrise looked like this, it was very pretty. Hopefully it will be a sunny day. As tonight it will get stormy, 8-12 inches on its way.

These are a new recipe from the King Arthur Baking Magazine it is also here through this link if you want to try them. Put lots of streusal topping on as it spreads out as they bake. Plus its really yummy!! King Arthur is my favorite Flour to bake with. They have a wonderful website and Blog if you want to visit. Until tomorrow or the next time I visit.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Just a fun sunshine picture from this past summer 7/08. Sunflowers are so Happy! they really are a majestic flower. So stately as they tower over us, so colorful, The sun was out today but we have more winter weather headed our way so I think it won't be out for days again. Storm arriving tomorrow night 6-12 inches before all is said and done. It is mid terms this week for Flowergirl so no Snow days are likely.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow.” ~ Helen Keller

I think this quote has a lot to say about how we go about our days. Look for the positive, the joy and dismiss all the trivial trails of our everyday. Lots of them in this old house for sure.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Three Things


This is the picture of the red, white and blue Angel food cake we made for Inauguration Day it was yummy and oh so few points if you are counting them! You just take the batter and divide it up, add food coloring and put it all in your pan, bake and you have a tasty cake! You can't go wrong with an Angel cake, it is a very versatile low calorie treat.

Today I had a little play time with my Friend Nancy, we played with some new designer paper, stamps and ink. These were some of our creations. We mostly did a lot of talking.

January Driveways- full of Ice. When you back the car in it slides all over and try walking on it- your life is in peril. Late afternoons are filled with Blue long shadows. Around 3 pm if the sun is shining then there are the most beautiful long blue shadows from the trees this time of year. It is exciting as now the time of light gains quite a bit each day. The sun is setting very south west vs in the late summer it is more to the north. Tonight is is very cold, only 3 degrees right now and it is 8 pm, the sky is crystal clear. The 3 Scouts are winter camping, 2 in tents and one in a lodge. I hope they have stayed warm all weekend and I am sure we will hear all about it tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Joyful Journey's


This book is a recent read for me. A just for fun read. Takes you through the interconnecting "winding" lives of the women featured in the story series. Several leave the storyline while new ones join. Makes me think about my life and the women/friends who interconnect and "wind' through it. How ever so often paths cross over and one person I know from church knows someone from scouts or such. It is always amazing how gently and distantly we are connected. It is these many women that I share my life with that give my life meaning. Some of you I see frequently and some of you just now and then. Many I long to see more often and none of you do I forget. I am always hoping that there will be more time for tea and talking for wine and sipping, for just being. I am sure there will be as these hectic child filled days dwindle onward. Then we will reminisce about the years we ran all over and share the stories that we were living but not able to share at that time. Life is oh so short and I am ever grateful for all of you who brighten and lighten the pathways that we journey. I could not go down life's road without all of you! Thank you. Journey on with Joy in your heart.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just thinking today


Just thinking today. Migraine. . .
CSE for Yoda
More thoughtful tomorrow
Photo April 2008, spring lives on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts On Washington, Today

Photo from April 2008
Today is it, the day is finally here when The United States of America swears in its first African American President. Do we all realize how historic this day is? Where are we? 3rd grade, 7th grade, 9th grade, Pulsafeeder, Inc, Home. Hopefully we can all see the swearing in occurring around 11:50 AM. Today there is light fluffy snow here in Western NY. When it lands on the branches and stems of plants/weeds it as if it is lovely lace being woven over all of it.

Photo April 2008

So it has happened we have a new President of the USA and all is good. It was amazing to see just how many people have flocked to Washington DC to be part of this. To see all the joy inspired by this event. To see cooperation across the lines of everything imaginable. To think that this has been happening in this great country for over 200 years. To think as Past President Bush and his wife were leaving by Helicopter that some have left by Horse, how far we have come. Today is a new day, a new era, a new tomorrow. May it all be filled with Peace and hope and joy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend Wanderings, Monday Ponderings


Weekend Wanderings:
LAUNDRY - must have done 15 loads
Taking down the Christmas Tree
Continued working on packing away the Christmas alone
Pinewood Derby Cars
Theater Set Building
Baked Potatoes
Family Dinner
Friday Night Swimming
Very Cold
Movie Madness - 3 flicks 11:30 PM-7 AM for Flowergirl phew- sleeping now
Lots Of star wars lego computer game

Monday Ponderings;
Where does the time go?
The sun is Out!! yeah ha - it is above 20 degrees
Thinking about patriotic goodies for today and tomorrow
Flag Fruit Pizza, Apple Pie, Hot Dogs, Baked Beans
Kids and the dog are out sledding- peace in the house at last!
Will there be time for me?
Will I get it all put away and some semi order restored?
The lists vs. the moment.
The 2009 word Intentional.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Accepting Differences


This was the topic that I taught yesterday in Second Steps in Yoda's Classroom. Second Steps is a program to help with learning social/ emotional behaviors.
The 3 units are Empathy,Impulse Control and Anger management. So we were talking about accepting differences- that all people are a little different that different does not equal bad, just different. We have different color eyes, hair tall, short,we need to accept people for who they are and not how they appear. I use chocolate bars to talk about it- they are all wrapped differently, yet on the inside they are all still chocolate no matter what the wrapper is like. The timing is perfect with Martin Luther Kings Birthday, Holiday and the Inauguration on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crows In Winter


So, something new this winter is a flock of Crows. This is a picture of them eating salt off the road. It seems this winter we are blessed , or not with a flock of crows. In the evening there are so many that come to roost and to eat corn from the field across the street that was not harvested this year. Crows live in big family groups. The young may not actually leave the parents for several years and will actually help raise each new brood of off spring. They make a lot of noise but the crows are also very interesting to watch. for more information follow the link below.

Off to do some teaching in Yoda's class. after school meeting and Drama performance tonight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crunchy Snow,Brr!

So today it is a high of 10 in our neck of the woods. It was -1 this AM with a wind chill of -7. We need it to be a wind chill of -25 to -40 for school to close based on cold alone. Now if we mix in blowing snow and poor visibility it is a whole different story. The kids live for a SNOW day- sleep in , PJ's all day, fresh homemade bread, a totally "do nothing day" that is a real gift! We expect to be in the deep freeze for 3-4 days then it will get up to the 20's for a while. I don't mind the cold all that much. I would rather have it than the unbearable heat & humidity of the summer. With the cold I can put on all the right clothes, quilts, sit by the Fire. I can still be productive.
With the heat, I am just a wet ragg.
So this is our wood sled. Once it is cold like this it glides over the snow bringing us pile of wood after wood which brings us lovely warmth. We are burning ash, beech,maple, oak this winter. Finally some clean wood unlike the last several years.
Today's snow is Crunchy due to the low humidity and frigid temperatures. Yesterday we had a high of 35 and we had Wet snow, enough to make snowballs and such. That makes it rather treacherous for walking without good tread as it becomes like Ice. I took a nice long hike with Edna though as I knew that the next few days would probably be to cold for hiking.

Now this is part of what is going in to a very simple Winter napping quilt. So many napping quilts in the house are for really small people who have now grown big. Whereas I lack the time to do something very complex, I can work with these big 10 inch squares and make a very nice warm quilt. I will show a picture another day.
Today is all about defrosting the Freezer and re-organizing the Tupperware cupboard, thankless tasks. Have a great day!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Cats


So these are our 2 cats.
The red/ Orange one is called "Oren" he was named from the Cat Shelter Oren short for Orange. He is Petite, has a crook in his tail and a bum Hip.
He can be rather Porky when he wants to be and generally is sweet, greeting us every time we come home etc.. He has recently discovered that laps are a good thing to sit on so we all get to share in the warmth. He is an indoor/Outdoor cat and a proficient hunter. Chipmunks are his specialty.
The Black and White cat is called "Sol" also from the cat shelter but he arrived via a letter from Santa hum 2-3 years ago. He is an Indoor only cat and loves to be read to at night when we put the kids to bed. We learned he has some Siamese in him an he likes to talk a lot.
They were nicely here together for a little Playtime, grooming and sleeping. They like any quilts in the house even if they are only in the layout stage- those they like to play with and mess up whatever one has laid out. It is a cats job I am told. Sometimes i think it would be a pretty cool thing to be a cat. Eat sleep, get pet etc. . . . a pretty good life. We should take after them in the Simple life they lead. They can entertain themselves rather easily, don't need clothes, usually clean up after themselves. Perhaps we should take some lessons from them.
Well it has been a good day, a nice walk with Edna, running with kids, family dinner squeezed in there. All good. Until again. Stay warm given the weather that is upon us- a high of 10 tomorrow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

December/ January


Well this picture should be turned horizontally, not sure how to do it. The upper pieced quilt top is December, the lower one is January. they both still need borders.
I started a year long project in September 2008. My goal was/is one time per month to combine my observations of the colors of Nature- "what do i see when I go for a walk" into a small quilt top. I did not want to use what I thought but rather what I actually see. I have taken a lot of photos to do this, and spent a lot of time outside. I have learned so far that the color of the outdoor landscape changes every 2 weeks not every month. The light or lack of in the sky greatly influences the colors that we see. There is much more color in every season if only we take the time to see it. I already knew that in Nature Green is not green, there is no one green everything is a mixture of color. None of these observations is new but they are reinforced. I am using 3 1/2 inch squares for this project and finding that fabric as much as it may want to mimic nature does not. Where is the stark white with dark brown as the trees on the snow are right now? So these were part of Saturdays accomplishments. Also managed to fit in some Snowshoeing late in the day as the new snow was falling and the light was fading. The Engineer took me out to dinner with Tea at Barnes and Noble afterward. Today the laundry is spilling over everywhere. I best go to try an tame it. Looks like we will see some sun adn blue skies today! Now that is a real Joy!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Silent Snow


The last few days we have had a lot of snowfall. Now it has not been huge totals but it has been steady. Thankfully it has provided coverage over all the ice in the driveway, making walking a little less treacherous. Today I took Edna the yellow Lab over to the nearby County park Mendon Ponds Park
It is a large and lovely park with many glacial remains- Kames, kettle ponds, Eskers, Drumlins. In fact this part of NYS is known for its Drumlin fields and right behind our home blocking the TV reception is a Kame. Any ways we went to the Devils Bathtub area for a nice walk. Devils Bathtub is a deep kettle pond.The walk down is steep, now aided by steps and handrails but with the recent ice and snow it was precarious to say the least. I just kept telling Edna "slow" and "wait" she was good and got her "treat" at the end. We then continued on the trail that went around a steep Kame. As we rounded the Kame the smaller of the 2 ponds came into view. The snow out covering over the "Deep Pond" has an impending silence to it. It is appearing as a thick soft blanket. It does not appear that birds,animals or man has yet to interfere with it. Just thick,lush white fluff like whipped cream. As we continue to walk, it is very silent, there is no ice cracking, no birds, no wind which aids the silence. Just snow and us. There are different types of snow where we live. This qualifies as Powder. So, the photo at the beginning we took on our walk. How silently this leaf rests- waiting for the next thing to happen. It looks like it fell on this blanket recently as there is not snow yet on it. It is still in the silence. Waiting... we all wait.

Powder Powder is freshly fallen, untouched, soft snow. Powder, tiny flakes and crystals form the smooth and soft surface in mountains. It forms a soft smooth surface that will give you the feeling that you are floating in a weightless environment. Powder is often packed in thick layers that form a natural pillow for any crashes.

Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and earth below,
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet.
Skimming along.
Thomas J. Watson

Another weekend beckons at the door. so much anticipation. So often dissapointment. Always to much to do. Taking the Tree down will be on the agenda, Library Lady or Flowergirl will go to build sets for the upcoming musical with her Dad. Sledding party with church, both church and scout meetings. Never dull. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy

Monday, January 5, 2009

Boy Scout Banter


This photo is from Lake Durant, in the Adirondacks in October 2008 I need to see it to remember that it is a lot about these moments of Natural Beauty and thoughtful reflection. I did not go on this campout but when I saw this picture - wow it is one in a million. So these are the moments that make all the other work worth it. I am the Troop Committee Chair which leaves me responsible for most of the adults and overseeing all the training, $$, etc.. for the most part one could say the Troop runs itself and then there is all the policy writing, communication meetings etc.. tonight is a recruitment night needing a lot of work to happen adn most of it at the last minute.

"The days come and go. . .but they say nothing,and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them silently away." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I use my gifts of scrapbooking, photography, cooking, organization and laundry!

This is an image from the last day of 2008 we had 12 plus inches of snow, it was wonderful. We snowshoed up the Hill behind us to try and see fireworks but it was snowing to hard.
So it has been a whole month since that initial post. Wow what a lot occurred in that month.
Musical concerts
Gingerbread house making
Cookie baking- loved the new Lemon Snowballs
Candy making
Gift buying, wrapping, tagging- that always seems to take the longest
Card sending- still not done with that.
Court of Awards
Board of Reviews
Ronalds house
Pack Carnival
Community Concert
Food Link
Firetruck parade
Caroling at Pinehurst
Jazz concert
Moravian Love Feast Rolls
Cookies for Fellowship
Snowy days
Christmas eve here
Christmas day at VB's
the 26th at Tompkins
Community Dinner
Chickadee trail
Central Library
Picking up.laundry,clutter, shoveling

It seemed every day was filled to the brim. there were many things we did not get to do this December. I know there were fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. somehow next year- this year 2009 it needs to be simpler. I did not bake nearly 1/2 as many cookies this year nor did I do them in advance. I did much of the baking the 22,23,24th
I need to ponder what to do differently.
I had JOY for my word in 2008 and how many places I found it literally or just finding joy in what I did. For 2009 I have been thinking of Intentional for my word.
First day back to school and kids are not focused on Homework.