Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Carnival Time



Well it is Fire Department Carnival time.
Every Fire dept. hosts a Carnival as a fundraiser.
Ours is now.
This year our Cub Scout Den is in charge of the Dunking Booth . . . the time this takes is immeasurable. The Boy Scouts run a Sugar Shack selling Maple Syrup and Maple Roasted Peanuts.
They all march in the Parade.
Sunday besides collapsing we must disassemble the dunking booth.
Then we rest.

Theres no place like Home

Our Humble home built in 1822 most likely as a log Cabin and then expanded into Plank wood. It was built in three parts, the center, the front and then the far back. The center section still has logs for rafters in the roof. There is a lot of post and Beam exposed in the stairway, bedroom and bathroom. I have been thinking and talking about the house history this week as a 4th grader choose our house to do a report on . I gave him as much as I know which is not much and a bunch of photos. We know this was an old Stone Quarry. We have all kinds of rock on the property and you can see where the hill is carved out next door. It was a big farm, barns across the road. 3 wells. We know where the outhouses were and have recovered some interesting things from the dump area. We wonder a lot of things- how many kids, animals, did house members fighting the Civil war? Where did they come from in New England? When you live in an old house there are always questions. All those that have come before - what did they think, what did they stand for,what hardships did they endure? What stories do these walls have to tell? What have they seen? We are Recycling, re purposing at its best, but we have no closets, no garage, damp basement and lots of insects!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Favorite Things

20 Of My Favorite Things from The Simple Woman

1. Color-
Green especially Lime/ Green apple
2. Dessert-Chocolate anything
3. Smell-Lilacs, Bread baking, Fresh mowed lawn
4. Flower-Coneflowers, Carnations,Zinnia
5. Animal-Pigs
6. Month-May
7. Beverage-Tea
8. Pair of shoes-Slippers
9. Snack-popcorn/ Pretzels
10. Song- Mary Chapin Carpenter
11. Book-currently... Summer World
12. Fruit-Strawberries
13. Hairstyle-No fuss style
14. Piece of clothing-Turtlenecks and wool sweaters
15. Store to clothes shop-Christopher & Banks
16. Season-Spring
17. Hobby-Fiber arts
18. Thing to collect-Fabric
19. Movie-An American President, Under the Tuscan Sun,
20. Restaurant- American Diner

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday


Baby Horse Chestnuts
They are all the little green peas like above my thumb.
Such a short time between pollination and fruit/seed creation.
We love our grand old chestnut trees.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A whole lot of Nothing!!!





A whole lot of nothing- that was the theme this weekend, we accomplished a ton but actually had time for a whole lot of nothing. Some leisurely open fire breakfast buffet cookers, fixing the lawn mowers, knitting, napping, movie watching, roasting gigantic Marshmallows over the open fire. Digging in the garden sitting under the Chestnut tree and listening to the hum of the buzzing bees as they pollinate the blooms. We worked hard as well, lawn and garden care, laundry, setting up the dunking booth, marching in the parade, planting flags. . . . in the end - it all looks good but ti was the Whole lot of nothing that was the best! Happy Monday to all.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weeds or beauty?





Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun
when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.
~Roy R. Gilson ~

Memorial Day



I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.





Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer Theme Days




What are summer theme days you Ask???
They are simply a day devoted to one particular topic.

Examples"
  • Fish
  • Ice Cream
  • Rainbows
  • Flowers
  • Mexico
  • Leaves
  • Colors
  • Things that Fly

Then there is:
  • A field Trip
  • Craft/Art project
  • Foods to go with theme
  • Books to go with theme
  • Other activity

So - Fish Theme
Go to Fish Hatchery or Pet store
Eat Gold fish, fish sticks, fish shaped cookies
Make edible fish tank
Print Fish
Fish T-shirts
Make a book about fish
Make Rianbow Fish
Fish windsock
Read:
One fish two fish
Little lost fish
Coral Reef
Rainbow Fish
Watch: Rainbow fish or other. .. .
Actually Go Fishing

When my kids were younger I did this quite often. Now they are older it is not frequent but they are a creative bunch and with some modifications it can still happen.
When we did Ice Cream day- we inventoried all the Ice Cream in the house adn they made a big poster with what was available just like at the Ice Cream store. We made homemade ICe Cream and foam Magnet Ice Cream cones.

Oh and I remember Watermelon day too!!
Not every day is a theme day but now and then keeps you focused gives you something to plan and look forward to! Kinda like Field trip Friday- we are going somewhere near or far but always an adventure!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday


View out my window this Wednesday Morning, Glorious it is. Perhaps not for the laundry that is yet to be hung. I love the farming seasons and living rurally to still appreciate that someone works very hard day and night to make us healthy food. The land is a rich resource that we need to treasure and not squander.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dragonflies



I think Dragonflies are magical.
They only live for a short time on the earth, but they live as a nymph for a long time in the darkness under water. You can tell the time of the year by what dragonflies you are seeing as like all things in Nature they each have their own time. I am not that good with identifying them as yet, but I try. This one was in my garden late yesterday. Flower girl found it, we wondered it if would spend the night there? It was a sunny but very cold day. I believe this is a female Common Whitetail ( Libellula lydia: Plathemis lydia) part of the Skimmer family. They are perchers, having short flights interrupted by perches on weeds or the road or such. They like to be near most any water source, mud, polluted or not. Looking again it could be an imature male whitetail or another type altogether. If you have mastered identifying birds then work on Dragonflies.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Baked Maple Bananas


Well time for some recipes this one we had tonight and got good review by all.

Baked Maple Bananas
2T butter or margarine
3T Maple Syrup
4 bananas but in half and then cut lengthwise
1T lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon optional

In shallow microwave dish melt the butter, add maple syrup adn blend well. Add the bananas, spooning mixture over them. Cook on high for 1 minute. Turn the bananas over and cook on high for 1 min. 30 seconds. Sprinkle lemon juice an cinnamon.
Serve Warm Serves 4

The Casserole dish is plum cleaned out, everyone loved this simple dish and good use of an over abundance of Bananas!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Field Trip Friday




Off to the Dentist and to Local Campout for this Friday!
Maybe the Lilac Festival for the non- campers we'll see!

This is a very lovely local spot that teh Boy scouts can go to. It is well preserved and relatively untouched.
There is a lot of poison Ivy there but you can get around it. last time I was there I saw a Great Blue Heron up really close.

The weather is not supposed to be terrific but adversity builds strength and teaches lessons. Cold and wet, you will learn what socks keep you the warmest.

I heard that Deep Fried Oreos are on the list for food/treat, that I can do without. I like simple foods but to 11-13 year olds I am sure that it si yummy!


Wherever you go or whatever you do this weekend, I hope it is terrific. Be sure to get outside even if the weather is not terrific- you will see or hear or smell something new!


These are photos from the rip to this location last year! ooh just gotta love it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What are we doing these days?

In the garden . . . . . weeding, planting perennials, getting pots by the doors ready,buying new plants, cutting back the grasses, spreading cocoa mulch

In school . . . . .Poetry units, division, raising butterfly's, Science Project, final art projects


In the kitchen . . . .making cookies,

We are reading . . . . Yoda- captain underpants Slugger- Biography on FDR Flowergirl- new Rick Riordan novel Mama- Dad- White City

In scouts . . . . going on a campout nearby with lots of poison Ivy, getting ready for the Firemans carnival,

With our Hands . . . . knitting a jacket, sewing, creating cards, making a book for Studio in Art- by Flower girl, Playing baseball for Slugger and Yoda and still working on Lifeguard class for Hiker.

What are we seeing . . . . new life everywhere, trees budding, flowers adding subtle color,

What are our plans . . . . Concert for Slugger, campout for Slugger, go see the Lilacs . . go see Star Trek movie, mow lawn, plant plants, teach Sunday school,

Life moves at a fast pace, trying to keep up with it all is a challenge, how do we do the things we love, do the things we need to do and keep balance?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Intentional


















Take Nothing for Granted.
Perform every act in Life as though it were your last.

~ Marcus Aurelius


What does it mean to be intentional, how often do we use that word or better yet live that word? Are you intentional in your buying habits? Are you intentional in your clothes selection for the day?
Are we intentional in how we spend our time?

Defined by Websters:

Intentional

In*ten"tion*al\, a. [Cf. F. intentionnel.] Done by intention or design; intended; designed; as, the act was intentional, not accidental.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

When something bad happens how often do we automatically think it is intentional vs. just an accident.

In our home we talk a lot about this. I choose to live the best I can by intention. Choosing carefully what and how I spend my time and allowing for the spontaneous to occur when it does. I try to get my children to understand the difference between accidental and intentional, it is harder than you would think. They always lean for intentional when 9/10 times it is truly accidental.
Intentional is really a word that you can own. I intend to . . . . . I will intentionally . . . . .
Being Intentional is important. As the quote says Perform every act as if it were your last, in otherwards "Do your Best" as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts would say. Life is short, we need to make all the days count, making good choices and living intentionally is certainly a good way to get started.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spring Creatures






Just as the Earth is waking up and putting on its spring best in color and style so are the creatures. The gold finches have gotten their coats back form the cleaners and are Bright and Beautiful. One of my favorite Authors for Nature Stories for Children is Thorton W. Burgess he is from Sandwich, Mass. He has a Museum, Nature center and jam kitchen there. His books Old Mother West Wind and many other super ones can be found on www.amazon.com We also really like The Burgess Bird Book for Children. Tells about all the Birds coming North, when they arrive and what type of Nest they build. Very Accurate in the information they give. I see Blue birds daily and have seen baby geese this week and Pine Siskins but no Mockingbirds as yet. Chatter the Red Squirrel was here for a visit, which reminds me of another favorite author, Beatrix Potter. She Characterizes the Red Squirrel as Squirrel Nutkin, a very busy fellow who bothers wise old Owl. Snails, slugs , worms well they are all about but there are not many stories written about them. Hope you are enjoying the new things that spring brings. getting out in the early morning is the best but any time will do, get out and enjoy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day 2009




Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep



All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother. ~Abraham Lincoln



A man's work is from sun to sun, but a mother's work is never done. ~Author Unknown




God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.
~Jewish Proverb

Mid- Spring






What is Mid - Spring?


Well it is that time when it is not quite summer yet but most of the Trees are leafed out, things are almost completely woken up. Days are warm, and nights are cool. Birds are active, they are singing a lot. Lawn needs to be mowed frequently, Baseball is in full swing, everything is nesting or has just had their young. Peepers are still peeping on warm nights. Dandelions are beautiful! Lilacs are in full bloom and the yard smells heavenly, the Lily of the Valley is almost out. Everything is finally green again. Only 41 days until the Summer Solstice!! Mid Spring we are indeed. I think a Fairy House is in order this week.
Other plans for the week, Trip to the art store, baseball games, lawn mowing, trip to Lilac festival, Swimming Merit Badge, Quilt Lunch at the Country Club, Knitting class, more nature and garden photos, spring tea!! Finish the Sachets for Mothers day!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Field Trip Friday


This Fridays Field Trip will be to the great Spring outdoors.





"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water-bugs, tadpoles, frogs,mud-turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, water-lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand snakes, huckleberries,and hornets: and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best of his education"


Luther Burbank

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Drawing skill or talent?

Many people, mostly adults say- "oh I can't draw", " I don't have talent for that" is that true?
What do you Think?
Here are links to two artists that think we all have talent. Mo Willems interview on NPR. Go take a look and Listen , it is only 5 minutes. Secondly is Danny Gregory - his website and his book The Creative License basically his premise is that we all drive cars and we get better the more we drive, the same goes for drawing, we all have the potential if we just harness it and utilize it. Now I will agree some people are gifted to a degree but I also think we all have talent we just need to practice and share it. What if we all drew something everyday in lieu of more time on the computer? Have you ever received an Illustrated letter? It is really something to behold. Pictures and words all on the same page. I like to not only give but receive them. Recording how you spend your time in drawing and words is significant. A drawing no matter how basic will bring you back to when you were there. My Slugger boy is on his way to Boston on a school trip, I hope he makes a few sketches but I am not sure that he will.
So much energy this morning as they were all getting on the buses. No goodbyes or looking back, just chatter and hurrying to get on the buses and get settled. The anticipation is always the best isn't it? To be young again. Rainy here, gray no sun today I am afraid! Cleaning and knitting are on the schedule . . . . Jack Johnson and Jimmy Buffet on the Tunes. Ciao!!




This is a drawing of Edna by Slugger, quite good.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Show me

Don't just tell me, Show me. I must say this a 1,000 times. What do I mean?
I mean if you tell me that you will be ready on time, that you will get out of bed, put away your clothes, feed the dog, pick up poop, be on time, get in the shower, help with dinner, pick up toys put wrappers in the garbage . . . . then actually do it, show me that you will indeed do it. You see in this life it is not good enough to just say that we will do it, we really need to be able to show others that we mean it and that we will follow through. Being Responsible is a very important characteristic to have. You need it to meet deadlines, finish projects, be where you say you will be and other things. It is like "Show me the money" don't tell me you have enough to do this or that prove it. I know it must seem trivial but it is a really important concept. If you tell me you have seen a special bird, will I believe it if I do not see it? maybe yes, maybe no but if I see it too, than I will believe it and you will become more credible. It is a good thing to be trusted and be able to be relied on. People like that. Interpersonal skills cannot be underestimated. They are crucial to every aspect of life. So learn to be responsible, learn to follow through and life will be kind to you. Don't keep telling me this will make a great garden, take the steps necessary to amake it a great garden!




Monday, May 4, 2009

April Showers bring May Flowers


Bleeding Hearts

Spurge from my Grandparents Farm also called Pot of Gold

Crown Imperial - bueaty of a bulb and the scent deters moles and other Bulb destroying varments.

Lilacs are a coming, a little more each day!!

There is so much happening outside right now it is hard to keep up. Everyday or night the Trees unfurl a little more. by weeks end we will have shade again. The flowering trees are fast at work. So many shades of pink and white. so many early spring wild flowers that blossum and then are gone. I totally love this time of year and wish it would last a little longer. So many adventures to go out and be seen, so many changes. So many good scents. Make sure you make room for outside time green time each and every day!! Love hanging that laundry out- gets you outside and it costs nothing to dry your laundry!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fabulous Friday


Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson



Weeds or Beauty?




I have been mowing the lawn a lot lately. The Riding mower is not operable . . . so it is the smaller Toro push mower with a lot of lawn to mow. The pull cord is giving my right arm a work out. . .
Anyway mowing is one of those activities that provides a lot of "think" time. " Think Time" defined as lost in thought, not concentrating on a thousand things so your mind can actually focus and tell you what you need to know. The view while mowing is rather lovely right now. All the trees are bursting into blossom and there are vivid yellow Dandelions all over the lawn. I love Dandelions. They are Edible, in salad, stewed or you can make wine from them. Kids love to pick them for Royal bouquets and necklaces . .. bees love to pollinate them, I wonder if there is such a thing as Dandelion Honey?
As I look at my weedy lawn . . . . as it has more than just gallant dandelions . . . I wonder what is wrong with all these "weeds" ? Do they not have a place in the Choir? What did our ancestors do with their lawns to prevent weeds? Did they not utilize the weeds in fact for some other purpose? Do we need chemical weed control? What does having a perfect weed free lawn really say about us, who we are? and how we spend our time? It makes me think about comments from other adults such as " I hope that student put in my child's class is not just another "filler", or my child is not used to being with that "caliber" of kids. As we talk of "Filler" and "Caliber" kids is that not like the "weeds" in my lawn? Are my beautiful Dandelions of a lesser Caliber or just "fillers"? What do you think? I think we had best check our tongues and think before we speak.


One never knows when that weed indeed becomes a Beauty or wins the Noble Peace Prize. Even the weeds have a purpose and a place. Let us not forget this, in this busy world of today.