Sunday, March 21, 2010

The sap is running

I took the girls to a maple sugar house today. It's been a funny year for sap because of the warm weather, or so I was told by Matt at Rathbuns in Whitehall, NY. We went for breakfast and to learn about their maple syrup production process. We got to watch the raw sap run in at the other end of this large hopper (above). Then it goes through four tanks, the last of which is the one you see on the right. Once it's done he opens a spigot and the syrup runs into a bucket. Then he takes it to another machine to filter it. Once it's filtered they put it in big 50gal drums to store until they bottle it as needed throughout the season.
These are bottles of each years samples going back to about 2002. There were a few samples from each year.

Friends are water for the soul

We spent the better part of the weekend in the Adirondacks with some very dear friends. Spending time with these friends always replenishes me. I must say I am more than a little envious that our friends get to live in such a heavenly place. But I am grateful that we get to visit them there.

We visited Essex farm where they get their weekly CSA. What a treat! We danced in puddles and visited with the animals and people who live, work and play there. I am only sorry I didn't get a photo of the egg pony. She carries the eggs in buckets on her back from the far out pastures where the chickens live. This farm is beyond unique. They use almost no tractor power. Instead they use several teams of draft horses to do all their field work. They are also organic. One weekly share which costs only $100 dollars consists of almost everything one needs to eat quite well in a week: including meat, veggies, butter, eggs, raw milk (all from the farm) and dry goods (ordered in bulk, not from the farm). I must add that I am hard pressed to remember another place I've been where absolutely everyone is so kind and gracious and welcoming.
This trepidatious interest in the cows came after the cows tasted a few of the children. No one really wanted to be licked by a cow again but their curiosity was piqued.
What this photo doesn't show is the mile where the kids were in the wagon. Did I mention it had a flat tire? How did we not notice that I ask you? Four kids can't weigh that much...
I just couldn't resist putting this photo in. We ate so well during our entire visit. Most of the food we ate came from Essex farm. I do love eating local.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Simple gifts are the best gifts, or catching rainbows

Today is the first day we've seen the sun in a week or so. It just so happens to also be my birthday. About a week ago, right after the sun left I put two prisms in our kitchen window. They came from my grandmothers house. My parents had just brought them to me after cleaning out her house. Well today they finally made their magic. I like to think these birthday rainbows are one last gift from my grandma. That is the kind of thing she would do. I think this will be my favorite gift today.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The List

Our little family moves in a little less than 13 weeks. Upon going through my unseemly work space the other day I located no less than nineteen projects that need to be completed. Be it mending, quilting or just barely started projects. Can I do it? Can I get all these projects done in less than 13 weeks? Let the challenge begin!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A tea party amid the chaos

Have you ever had one of those days where you just couldn't get ahead? The house was an absolute disaster. It wasn't cleaning itself and the girls were not giving me the chance to clean it. It was one of those days where they felt the need to squabble over every other little thing. Some time around 2:30 or so I gave up. The house could wait. The girls needed some attention. So we had a tea party in the middle of the living room, in the middle of the chaos of unfolded laundry and ruined couch cushion forts. This was about a week and a half ago. Funny how a little thing like a tea party can have sticking power. It has become the anchor in our afternoon. I don't know how long it will last but for now it is a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Christina Katerina and the Box

Upon finishing the book Christina Katerina and the Box for the second time I was asked for big boxes. "But I don't have any big boxes" I told Lil. "Well one from the basement then." That girl is far too observant for her age and she knows me too well. (I always have at least a couple boxes in the basement) So now my girls are decorating boxes in the kitchen. I do believe that is an indicator of a great book. One that gets carried positively into a child's play. Now I'm off to cook dinner while that positive play lasts.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"My beautiful Mama"

Tonight was one of those nights where I just wanted the kids to go to bed. I really needed some time to myself. And I was tired and cranky to boot. So naturally the girls would not go to sleep. Why does the world work that way I ask you? Anyhow, I was getting ready to pull out my hair when Lil finally fell asleep. Nonie however was holding out for sunrise. So I lay there next to her and told her it was time to sleep. She continued to kick off the covers and make chirping noises. In general just not settling down. I was really beside myself now. In fact I was broiling on the inside when she touched my face and said "My beautiful Mama". She said it a few times in fact. She puts beautiful in front of a word when she really, really likes something. Sigh.... the girl knows how to melt a cranky mama. And yet again I learn patience from my girls. They are an endless wellspring of lessons. Good night.