Thursday, January 30, 2014


thyme in the winter



I recently happened upon a new idea, from a blog I started reading: rather than a new year's resolution (too late for that anyway), try a word for the new year.  So I have been thinking about what word I would like to dwell on in this coming year and I keep returning to "impermanence."   Things that are happening right now will not be happening forever.  It's a good thing to remember no matter how you are feeling.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

we needed a day at the shore

we're on our way now 
is this a jelly?  so beautiful and strange looking



we saw these small clear jelly blobs all over 

i like how the patterns in the clouds look like the patterns left by waves on the beach

patterns like these

Theo was sick on Friday, but by this morning he was feeling well and so we went to the Audubon Society's place in Milford.   This time Theo was noticing all the patterns on the ocean.  Theo has grown so much since we discovered this spot & it's nice to return to one spot over and over as a family.  Now Charles is starting to know and love the spot too.  I just love living a very short drive from the ocean.  Even in the winter the air off the ocean smells wonderful.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

thoughts on an off-day

Today was one of those hard parenting days.  I just didn't know how to manage the energy and emotions of my almost-5-year old. Sometimes I felt like I was parenting well-- other times, not  so much.  I think the key to so much parenting, at least with 2 rambunctious kids at 2 & 4 is trying somehow to keep control of my own emotional response to the craziness.  Truly, I feel angry when I see one of my boys push or hit or pull a toy away from his brother.  I definitely don't like it when someone tries to hurt me.  Managing my reaction to my feelings is hard.  I'm re-reading Thich Nhat Hahn's book You Are Here.  He writes about knowing that emotions will rise up, remain for a while, and go away.  He also talks about having compassion toward the feelings that come up.  For example, if I'm feeling sad or angry, instead of trying to stop that feeling (or feeling angry that I feel angry), have compassion toward that feeling. He says to "cradle" that feeling compassionately.

Sometimes I'm not sure I'm well-suited to being the full-time mama.  I do a lot better with everything (myself, my kids, the world) when I can be outside a lot. Today I took the kids to a store to get some lighting for our basement, which I am trying to turn into a more open and play-able place (it's not finished).  Even though they were great at the store, just having that task in the day and then the task of setting up the new lighting kept us inside a lot.  It's a tricky balance to get things done around the house that we need to do and still get the kids outside in the sunshine and air.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In our kitchen

We've been doing a lot of cooking and baking lately.  After the holidays I am usually ready to get away from sweets, but this year we really didn't have a very sweets-focused time.  I'd been craving pie and wanting to try an oil crust, since I don't like using shortening, and I don't do well with dairy butter.   We are having it for dessert tonight and I hope it is good!

Theo helped out a lot with slicing and mixing.

That's one mountainous apple pie, eh?

Crusty bread for dinner.

I wish all breads were as easy as this loaf here.  It's really basic (water, flour, salt & yeast) and not fussy about rising times and kneading.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


all bundled up for the 8 degree day
"I bent my shovel trying to dig!"

Back inside
Today it was so very cold outside that we couldn't stay out for long.  We tried blowing bubbles to see if they would freeze.  They didn't, but it was still pretty.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

icy winter day inside

bird watching with my boys in my big old bathrobe 

now in bloom

I didn't even know that Ken took that photo of us watching birds this morning, but there it is!  It does capture something special and morning-y.  This is kind of what I imagined parenthood to be long before I had kids.  Turns out it is like this, at least some of the time.  

Our paperwhites are so pretty.  Theo's nursery school sold bulbs as a fundraiser and I treated myself to some things I've never had.  Forced bulbs being one of them.  Striped squill (outside bloom for spring) is another.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

still enjoying our tree

Every year since we've been here we have gotten a Concolor Fir from Pinchbeck's in Guilford. They are so soft and pretty... almost blueish green.  Plus, they smell like oranges.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

At the Feeder

Seaside Sparrow 

Blue Jay
On Christmas Eve I put up our old bird feeders to see what would happen.  For years I've loved watching birds, and in college I took 2 advanced Ornithology courses-- easily two of my favorite courses as an undergrad.  We really didn't see too many birds before we left to visit family on the 27th, but by the time we returned, word had gotten out and we had birds!

I wasn't expecting to see anything *new* to me, but we have a regular Seaside Sparrow at the feeder--a first for me.  I haven't added anything to my life-list in years and it felt good to finally be at it again.  It's also pretty wonderful to look at everyday birds, like the Blue Jay, up close.

The kids are really loving it, too.  Charles just likes pointing and saying "birdies!," but Theo likes copying the names down on paper and making graphs and maps of the birds we have seen.

Here's what we have so far:
Downy Woodpecker
Dark-Eyed Junco
Seaside Sparrow
House Sparrow
Tufted Titmouse
Black-Capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Mourning Dove
Song Sparrow

So glad I put it up!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

into the new year & investigations at sleeping giant

For the past few years I've had some growing discontent with where we live.  Sometimes I have just found it frustrating to be in such a people-clogged area and sometimes it's made me deeply unhappy.  Over the fall we gave serious consideration to moving back to our old town and just dealing with the long commute for Ken.  But we're not going to do that right now (for a lot of reasons)--but maybe in the future.

So I'm going to make a better attempt here on this blog to record some of our moments here, where we are now, enjoying what is happening in the present.  I think it will be mostly photos I put up here, but it may evolve.  We are not living in the place we would most like to live, but it's a good place for what is happening now in our lives.  I want to focus a bit more on that in the coming year.

A good log to sit on.  We were trying to investigate why it fell. 

We found this interesting circular root-looking-thing.  It was not attached to the soil. 

Our paperwhites are growing!

Hmmm...  what is this thing?