It’s a Boot-iful Thing

After many moons of trying to stuff my feet into shoes and boots that pinched, it finally dawned on me that my shoe size might have changed.  Apparently this can happen as you age and the arches and pads of your feet “settle.”  Who knew?  Sure enough, I’ve steadily gone from a 5 to 5.5 to 6 to 6.5 over the course of my adult life.  Now, I’m solidly a 7!  So, I’ve been slowly replacing some essentials– work shoes, flats, barn boots… and thought I’d take advantage of the end of season sales to get some pac boots.  I totally scored when I found this pair of Khombu Arctic 2 Boots.  They are rated for -20, completely waterproof, and cute to boot! (pun intended).  And just when I was thinking I’d have to wait until next year to really give them a work out, winter still seems to have plenty of snow in store for us.

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While I was at it, I also picked up a pair of these awesome Lucky Brand Fair Isle Slippers to keep me warm.

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My “Lucky” slippers– ha ha.

 

I have a feeling I’ll still be getting plenty of use out of both!

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Words

I’ve always enjoyed journaling, ever since I started in an old spiral bound notebook when I was 11 years old.  The following Christmas I was thrilled to get my first real diary (I know because it actually said “Diary” on the front 😉 ) …

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My first bonafide journal.

…and the rest is history.  Unfortunately, much like this blog, I haven’t been very consistent with keeping up with it.  Event journaling is easier… pregnancy, travel, knitting, gardening… but the day to day recording of thoughts or happenings often gets overlooked.

This year I thought I’d try something different and purchased a Moleskine pocket calendar. I got the idea because I was cleaning out a desk drawer, and came across a bunch of (pre-iPhone) old pocket calendars.  But as I was thumbing through them before they got tossed, I realized that by simply jotting down mundane appointments and activities, I’d inadertantly chronicled years worth of my past.. albeit very bare bones.  I did eventually throw them out, as there were many blank pages and indecipherable notes, but the idea had bloomed. It’s been working out great; without the pressure to write anything particularly long or poetic, I’m more likely to do it.    The entries are simple, but I like just being able to jot down as little or as much as I’d like, and embellishing if I feel like it; and because I’m not writing a lot each time, I tend to get more creative with what I do with each entry.

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I’m no artist, but these have been really fun to do and I think will make nice little memory books.  So… write! Record your days; you’ll be glad you did.  icon_mrgreen

No Winter Blues

Yep.  I’m one of those crazy people that loves the winter.  In fact, I love living in New England because I appreciate the beauty of each season, and just when I’m sick of one kind of weather, it changes.  I’ve never understood people that live in New England and then complain about the weather all the time.  In the winter they complain about the snow.  In the summer they complain about the heat and humidity.  So… why are you here?

Winter is my respite from the bustle of the other three seasons.  In some variation or another, in the spring I can be busy with seedlings, garden prep, chicks, and bees.  Summer is weeding weeding and more weeding.  Also vigilant bug and disease control since I garden organically and need to stay on top of it.  Fall is harvesting– from the garden as well as from the bees and putting both to bed for the winter.   Ah… winter, when I can indulge at last in being curled up in front of the wood stove,  hot mug of tea by my side and a basket of yarn at my feet, knitting away for hours.  Or enjoying a good book.  Or doing some kind of project– when I feel like it.  It’s like a mini-retirement every year.  LOL  Which reminds me… snow days!  Getting an unexpected day off of work due to a snow storm is awesome.  I  love being snowed in.   I love the winter sky at dusk and sunsets which, in my opinion, have a stark beauty that trumps any of summer’s.  I love breathing in biting air, refreshing my lungs and sinuses.  I love the quiet.  I love the light of a full moon on snow.

But, just when I’m starting to be done with of all that, spring waits right around the corner. 😉  But not yet.  For a few more weeks anyway, winter beckons me to be still.

me 2014

Here, There, and Everywhere

To say it’s been a while is a bit of understatement– my last post was over a year ago! So much going on; a little catch-up is in order.

Firstly, a couple of years ago I got a part time job. As the Peeps moved into more independent work I had more free time and started to look for something that might be a good fit, and I found it! I’m working about 20 hours a week for a little art gallery in our local village. It’s very flexible (I can make my own hours) and so works wonderfully for being a homeschool mom of teens.

Speaking of which, yes! Two teens! When did that happen?  This year Peep #1 is a sophmore and doing a lot of on-line and outside classes:

Online:

Bravewriter (Writing)
Geometry

Local Community College:
Chemistry

Other misc:

English
Biology 101 as a local marine research facility

At home I’m doing Oak Meadow Civics with him, but ultimately doing so many outside classes has really freed up my time. Oh! And, in the last year or so Peep #1 has really developed a passion for writing. This fall he attended the Unschool Adventures Writer’s Retreat in Crested Butte, Colorado, and loved every minute of it. This was his first extended stay away from home (a little over a month), and he had to navigate two airports (a change over) and manage his own time & money while out there. And you know what? He aced it! We are really proud of him!

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Halloween at the Writer’s Retreat

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The breathtaking view of Crested Butte

Peep #2 Is also doing the Biology and English classes, and an online Theatre Arts class through Curr-Click as well. At home we’re doing Oak Meadow Math 8 and Civics. She is hell-bent on going back to school next year (she will be a freshman) at the local high school. I have mixed feelings about this. I will definitely miss the homeschooling, and I have reservations about putting her in “the system.” But, she has always said she wanted to go to a “regular” high school. She has friends who go to the high school so she won’t be alone in that regard. And, she has always loved theatre, and this particular high school has an excellent drama department. In fact, when she was eight she auditioned and got a part in their production of The Music Man. Peep #2 is very social. She has a good sized group of friends (both homeschool and not), but needs more. So, we’ll see… I have told her she can always come back; whether it’s a day or a semester, if it’s not a good match, homeschooling will be waiting for us!

So… what else? Ah yes– in September we took a trip to France! We had such an amazing time. We spent a week in Paris at DH’s aunt’s apartment, sight-seeing around Paris. So, SO much to see and do, but I think we did pretty well and hit all the big ticket places. The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Bastille, Opera, Musee D’Orsay, Napolean’s tomb, etc etc etc. We also got to visit with DH’s cousins over dinner one night. Peep #1 had become friendly with DH’s cousin’s son, who is about the same age, when they were visiting the States last summer. So he spend the night and took the metro home the next day– again– a pretty cool thing to do considering the Metro, and the language, are unfamiliar to him.

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L’Arc de Triomphe!

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Taking a walk along the Seine.

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Tour Eiffel

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Lunch at Cafe La Source. Steak frites, of course!

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Peep #2 takes in the view of the square below from our apartment.

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We also came across this really cool sci-fi bar called “The Last Bar Before the End of the World.” Definitely my kind of place. LOL

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A message from the sidewalks of Paris. ❤

We trained down to DH’s family home in the country and enjoyed 5 days of relaxing before heading back to Paris for a couple of nights before we came home.

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The gardens there were bursting with a beautiful bounty!

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Here are some random shots of the property:

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Garden gate.

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Two towers. 😉

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Truly, this was the trip of a life time and I’m so glad we were able to swing it!

Last big thing… for me anyway… a year ago this past November I got an adorable Mini Cooper S. I have never loved a car so much and the Peeps are convinced I’ve gone over the deep end! LOL But it’s a blast to drive (6 speed manual supercharged engine) and yes, it is my official mid-life crisis mobile. Or it would be, if I were having a crisis. 😉

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MINI love.

That is all for now. I’m going to try to be better about writing here, but I’ve said that before… only time will tell.

Catching Up

Well, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus!  Though we officially started back with schoolwork this week, I haven’t quite put everything together to do a weekly report.  Instead I wanted to check in and post a few pictures from our 2010 Yule celebration.  This year we made cranberry, popcorn, and peanut garlands to hang on the bird feeders in addition to preparing a solstice cave and enjoying our delicious Midwinter Bread.  Here are some highlights:

Bounty for the Birds

Midwinter Bread

New Additions for Our Winter Nature Table

Solstice Cave

I love the simplicity of litte brown paper parcels, wrapped with pretty yarn

Festive Back Porch

Courtyard Entrance in Back of House, Decked Out for Yule!

Bringing Home the Yule Tree

Hard to believe we had absolutely NO snow on the ground on the solstice!  This was our solstice cave last year:

But we’ve more than made up for it since; there is at least a foot on the ground at the moment.  Anyway, that’s it for now; I’ve also updated the Needles page with current projects and pictures of some of my Yule gifts.  Hope everyone’s Holidays were merry and bright!

Goodbye, summer

This afternoon we went to the beach for what will most likely be the last time this season.  The beach is so beautiful this time of year.  Most of the tourists have gone home and it is peaceful there.  I especially love staying through the late afternoon into early evening; it’s my favorite time of day anyway, but particularly breathtaking on the water.  We’ll probably have plenty more warm, summery days to come, but the feel is very different this time of year.  The air is dry and the morning and nights cool… fall is definitely right around the corner!  For now though, one last parting shot for summer: