Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Easter Eggs 2009

Before we get started . . .

Slugger artfully creating a Signature Egg

The Final Products beautiful eggs to enjoy!
They actually are more brilliant in real life.

This is something we do every year that the whole family looks forward to. Eggs are 99cents a dozen at the grocer so we splurge and boil up a bunch of them. Everyone has a signature style that they do with crayon or just the dye. We used to invite friends over before we had kids to d this as well. Expect we will again after the kids leave, but that will be a while yet.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Flowers

Look what is new in the garden.
Spring Iris, they are majestic!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Super Saturday

Wonderful warm day in western NY, clothes drying in the warm winds, raking leaves off the garden beds, awakening wooly bears, Fresh Pumpkin Muffins, First hot dog picnic on the Deck, Honeybees fast at work, its spring,its the weekend, all is well with the world.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Field Trip Friday

Relaxing on a swing at Beaver Meadow Nature Center North Java NY

Some of the Many many wind turbines we saw today on our drive through Wyoming County
They were everywhere. So big when you are up really close to them. So good to see Green efforts using our Natural Resources.

This beautiful Tree was standing here in 1779 - yep that is 230 years ago - there were some brave Soldiers from the Sullivan expedition commanded by General George Washington himself that lost their lives here at the Torture Tree after they were ambushed over at Boyds last Stand in Groveland NY This was the furthest west the Revolutionary War went. It was this expedition that led to Pioneers in this area and the discovery of the rich fertile soil. Don't you wonder what stories big old trees like this can tell? Everywhere we went today no leaves are out yet. But at the Nature Center finally heard Spring Peepers!!! such a sweet sweet sound!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

"Never do for a boy, what he can do for himself." Lord Baden Powell

Scouting plays a big part of our days. Teaching skills and Character building and leadership are but a few of the many things we all learn.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crazy Pets

So this picture is from a year ago. It is a common sight for Oren to get in the sink, upstairs or down. Cats are funny how they like to get in odd places that are confined, high and protective. Our other cat sleeps on our bed- which is an issue as he gets hair all over it all the time. Sleeping on chairs under the table. Oren this orange one will sleep right next to Edna the dog. Both our cats are from a no kill animal shelter. They were on the street, wild. They have both made fine adjustments to living with us. I don't care for the fur and litter pans but I can't imagine not living with a cat. Sleeping in the shower is a favorite spot of Sol and they both can be found to drink form the Toilet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Osprey Web Cam

Nesting season: It is almost upon us in the North East as the Songbirds are returning North.
Further south it is already there. Here is a cool Webcam on an Osprey Nest - they have 3 eggs they are hatching. The blog for it that you can connect to indicates that the babies may arrive by Easter.
The Books by Jean Craighead George about Peregrine Falcons go through the nesting/birth of Birds of Prey nicely. Frightfuls Mountain is one - it is a sequel to My Side of the Mountain. Get it on CD from the Library and listen to it as you drive around this spring, see if you have Falcons or Osprey in your area.
The Webcam is active between 6:30 am and 8:00 pm

Osprey Facts
Type: Bird
Diet: Carnivore
Average lifespan in the wild: 30 years
Size: Body, 21 to 23 in (54 to 58 cm); Wingspan, 5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m)
Weight: 3.1 to 4.4 lbs (1.4 to 2 kg)
Did you know? The osprey is one of the most widespread birds of prey and can be found on every continent, except Antarctica.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Spring

Such glorious sights to see each day as the daylight lengthens and Spring returns.
Gotta love it!

Science Olympiad

So this weekend was Science Olympiad, it is an event that Schools bring a Team to and can compete in about 20 events. Our Team had 10 kids and only Flowergirl as the only girl. Overall we finished in 6th place out of 24 Teams. Many of our members earned individual medals. It is very exciting to see so much excitement over Science, the often forgotten subject. Events included things such as Car of tomorrow, Wright Flight- gliders, Anatomy, Crime Busters, Reptiles and Amphibians, Trajectory, Meteorology. They prepared for about 4 months before this competition. Down time consists of Munchies , rounds of Apples to Apples and watching Wall-E . A fun day!! So much to learn.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Photo August 2008 Brewster, MA
Why is it that this thing we all have potential for being great often gets mucked up?
We are confident in what we have to share with others until someone throws in a wrench or questions what we have to offer?
What then? Dust off our shoes and continue? Often we really do know more than our audiences. We need to have a very positive outlook.

Unlike some interpersonal skills that are more innate- you either have them or not,
Self -Confidence can be grown.
You must take inventory of your self, what are you strengths and weaknesses?, What do you excel at? Set some goals, find others that have good self confidence and use them for Role Models. Practice an area that is weak. Get out there and do it!!!
Set some goals and see some results.
Are we really ever confident in parenting?
What are you confident in ?
I need to make a list for another post. have a good one.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Firsts

First Swim in the Creek
First laundry on the line - smells so good
First seedlings

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Birthdays

Today we Celebrated Grandma Toads Birthday after Church. Brunch, Bagels and doughnuts. Followed by a nice hike outside int the warm sunshine, down to the creek. Good to be home.

Sunday Peace

Ahh - the sign of a day well spent in the outdoors.Mud everywhere!!! Shoes, shirts, socks, hands, I guess i wouldn't have it any other way. We enjoyed a very Peaceful walk on part of the undeveloped Tree Farm. Heading down to the creek, skipping stones, throwing rocks, making discoveries of old junk. Rocks and used items carried home. sloshing feet in mud boots. Warm sunny skies - the sky was a brilliant Robins egg blue today. The Red wing Blackbirds were chirping up a storm!! Wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sights of Spring . . .Transformation . . .

Only one week until officially spring.
things that are changing;

skunks are out
more roadkill
winter aconites
few crocus
buds swelling
sap dripping
birds singing
birds returning
Easter decorations going up
fuzzy chickies are out
Easter egg dyeing
Green cookies
Sunny skies
Rainy skies

Contrasting with cool nights, freezing temps, sap that runs during the day and freezes in the spicket at night. Bright and pastel colors of flowers, nature, clothes.

Spring . . Transformation comes whether we are ready or not. I am ready. Are you?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just a thought Thursday . . . . .

I value the friend who for me
finds time on his calendar,
but I cherish the friend who for me
does not consult his calendar.
Robert Brault

On and Off the needles

This Hat is almost done- 2 more rows and given the cold snowy weather of today there will be lots of time to wear it still.

This has been off the needles for a while but I did not have the ends woven in, I finally finished that and wore it today! It is yummy warm and the colors remind me of the spring that is yet to be. A week from Saturday I think!! How will you celebrate it's arrival?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dinner Last night

German Puff Pancake

This is a family favorite, easy to make with Milk Flour Eggs
Served with sliced Lemons and Confectionery Sugar
Sometimes we saute Apples then It can be German Apple Pancake.
Paired with Fruit salad and sausages or such, always a hit.
I believe this is on the kids list of things they know how to make!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Maple Thoughts

Maple Thoughts

In his essay "Phases from Farm Life"
American Naturalist John Burroughs
says of Sugarmaking "Before the bud swells,
before the grass springs,
before the plow is started, comes the sugar harvest.
It is the sequel of the bitter frost; a sap-run
is the sweet good-by of winter."

-John Burroughs-"Phases of Farm Life"
From Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich

Maple Time is a sweet pleasure in life. It is another time,weather sensitive process. It cannot be hurried, it is time to sit, watch wait, keep the fire burning, whittle, knit, chat, split wood. It is a time like no other as it comes only once a year. It slows you down and gives you peace.
This is the start and finish of our efforts.
You must do this outdoors. You are essentially evaporating 40 gallons of sap for every gallon of Syrup. You do not want that moisture in your house! When you are at the very end- you must watch very carefully lest you not boil the sap over as we have had the experience on more than one occasion, that is bittersweet after hours of careful watch . . . . but the sweetness is like no other. So wherever you are - get out to a Sugar house this season. It is a timeless part of history. We are fortunate to still be able to enjoy. Another sweet pleasure is Sap Tea- taking a cup of warm sap as it is in the evaporating stage and adding a tea bag- you will have tea like this only once a year. Enjoy!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What I am loving right now . . .

Winter aconites again!
Warm sunshine on my face- but it is pouring rain today.
freshly baked Pizza
Good Wine
Fresh Parmesan cheese
First flowers of spring
Clean un-cluttered rooms
Quiet house
warm wool socks and sweater!
New books
Walking in the mild spring air
Maple sap boiling down

PS- went on a walk yesterday afternoon, the red-wing blackbirds at least the males are back, they were talking up a storm. Having a happy hour of sorts up in the tops of a yellow Birch. Spied a Oriole nest from last year - still swinging in the breeze!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Thoughts

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.
Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”
—Author unknown

I was first introduced to this quote in College- refer to it often as it is a premise in good teaching, It is not enough to just put information out there, they must know what and how to use it. There is also a marketing theory- they need to see it, hear it and experience it and the retention of the information will be exponentially greater.
So go forth and teach in a Hands on fashion. You will reap the benefits.
Photo July 2008

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The simple Womans Daybook ~March 5,2009

Please go to Peggy's to see all the Daybook Entries.

For Today...

Outside my window...Bright sunshine, cloudless sky and cold 15 degrees should warm up to 40 something today.

I am thinking... it will be nice when I totally understand how to get everything linked, uploaded etc...on this here blog and that I have more typing for Boy Scouts today.

I am thankful for...warm house, healthy bodies and jobs

From the kitchen... Bananas that need to be made into bread and muffins, spoiled milk

I am wearing... Old sweats/ T-shirt from exercising about to change to begin my day teaching Second Steps in Yoda's room

I am reading... Twilight, All minds learn differently,
I am hoping... to get a lot accomplished today-

I am creating... Card Swap for First Friday, Parent Handbook, Bookmarks
I am hearing... the dryer tumble and the water kettle on the wood stove sizzle
Around the house... pick up clean up, thank you notes

The most interesting thing I have seen outside right now . . . . Sap dripping Plunk plunk into our Buckets, love the Maple Season!
One of my favorite things... Earl Grey Tea in a big Mug
A few plans for the rest of the week... First Friday tomorrow, Mardi Gras for Middle school,

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... Oren and Edna CatNapping or Dog napping?? I don't know.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Art Everyday

Yes, I do think that Art should be part of everyday. What defines Art?
Is it as simple as what we choose to wear, how we do our Hair, our accessories?
What about artistically arranging food or the display on a table?
It would be best to be something created with our Hands and our mind everyday but some days we all know that there just is not time enough for that. The best days are when my fingers and hands are all covered with ink and paint or my clothes are covered with threads. This is good, this is art everyday.

Stamping at Ronald Mc Donalds House

Here are the cards that I designed to make with guests at Ronald McDonald's House last week. I find that designing simple cards is best. When they require only 1-2 colors of Ink that is good. Simple layout is also good for people that have never stamped before and it is easier on the prep work and supplies. I also like to design something that there can be individual creativity utilized in it. So when I use double sided designer papers they have multiple pieces to choose from, they become the artist and make the choices they want. Often the designs I make can be done either vertical or Horizontal so they again have some choice in what they are doing. Combine that with choices in words to use for greetings and they have completed a custom card for their personal use. It is very rewarding to work with the guests at RMH. They are stressed out and tired and often just like to watch or talk but every now and then I will have those that want to give it a try. They particularly want to make thank you cards for them selves. I am often making cards that the Correspondence Club will send out to every guest 6 weeks after they have left the house.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Here is the infamous Chocolate Wafer Cake for Yoda's 9th Birthday.
It is made with Nabisco Chocolate wafers and in this case Coolwhip but making your own Whip Cream is also yummy. You just spread whip cream between 2 wafers and repeat, then cover the whole thing with more whip cream and decorate as desired. this must be made in advance as it needs refrigeration time to get the wafers to soak up moisture from the whip cream and for the flavors to mix. It is also excellent with Strawberries or raspberries on the side. Now it is traditionally made in a log shape but recently we have stacked the wafers up vertically and made it into a round typical cake size.

Yoda's birthday this year was on a Greek Mythology theme. Trojan horse invitations, Spears and Shields for Play, Pin the eye on the Cyclops etc... We did a Mythical Gods treasure Hunt, looking for pandoras box. That went really well. So we did a kids Party at lunch time and turned around and did a family party at night. It was a full day for sure.

February Nature Quilt

Here is my February Installment in my series of "What does Nature look like this month?" I am going for the colors that are displayed not what happens in the month. Hence there are not valentines. February was definitely brighter, the days grew longer, much of the snow melted. The weeds are very golden in the sunlight. The greens are still quite dull. The skies were a lot bluer than the gray's of January. Next comes Mud and Maple season around here. March has arrived like a Lamb- but a cold one- only 20 degrees today.
March is usually very changeable and often our worst storms although short in duration occur in March.