Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Sugar Maple

Nearly 200 years ago someone planted two sugar maple trees when our house was built. I can easily imagine the holes being dug and the saplings carefully placed.  They knew how much and when to water, those saplings really took off and grew steadily for so many years.  One tree was lost before we moved here, the stump is still visible.

The remaining tree was magnificent.  It was so real to me, I fell in love with it!  Like a person!  It was so historical...witnessing all the marvels of time.  I know I am not alone in this as my son Henry admits he has many tree friends.  Henry is a good friend to trees and people.

So as you can see above the tree had to come down.  Every bit of wind would take down a branch.  It was getting dangerous, even though it had cables running within it to kind of keep it together.

I watched as they took it down.  I felt some relief as I didn't realize how much I thought about it falling on the house.  Time sure changes things.  I wonder if someone said to the person who planted it if they thought it was too close to the house.  "Oh well, we won't have to worry about that...not for like 200 years"  Then they went in and had a good laugh about what it would be like in the 2000's.
It's okay they least we are smart about some things, like running water and electricity. We are lucky people to have showers built right into our houses with hot water even!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

silent night

It isn't exactly quiet here with all the kids home.  It is rather noisy and high energy, but now that the nine o'clock hour has hit and the little ones have been tucked into their beds with the visions of sugar plums (and legos) there is some warmth and magic brewing at the wonder of this night.  It is such a beautiful thing to feel and be a part of.

I wish so much for everyone to have a happy, warm heart tonight.  I lit a candle and gazed at the bright sky saying a thousand wishes and prayers.  I feel grateful to have so many people and memories to love.  Happiness to each of you wherever your little corner may be.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


   Another field trip to appreciate where we live.  Every little town has an apple picking sign at the corner.  This year has been a banner year for apples, the trees are so heavy with fruit.  We picked our bushel very quickly, we are more programed for berry picking which takes a good part of the day. I almost couldn't stop picking...I kept telling myself just one more (like a dozen times).
  We rode the tractor around which might have been the highlight for some people.  But for me?  Those trees! Those beautiful, colorful, trees!  The views were breathtaking.
  This was in Walpole, New Hampshire, a sweet, small, picturesque town.  We had lunch in a little tavern while the leaves blew around outside the big window.  Now I have no more excuses not to make applesauce, the last on my canning list. Hopefully I can wrangle up some helpers as chopping up a bushel of apples is not nearly as fun as picking them.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

petite cookies

I tried a cute cookie I saw on pinterest.  I'm not sure if it is my baking skills or the actual recipe...these were good but not great tasting.
My favorite part is the cute cookie cutters.  Each one is in two pieces, the face is pressed on while they are hot from the oven.  I bought mine on ebay, I don't see the same seller now but there are some cookie cutters here.  

It is a long four day weekend here, a perfect thing to have in the middle of October.  Lots of kitchen and craft time going on.  Happy fall wishes to you and yours!

Friday, October 9, 2015

the swimming hole in autumn

There is a lake nestled amongst the birch and pine trees very near our house.  As the crow flies it is just a minute away, but on a hot summer day as we drive a couple hilly and curvy dirt roads it seems to take a long 5-10 minutes.  There is no public beach but instead a worn spot on the edge of the road where a car or two can just squeeze in.  In summer we run from the car anticipating that first cool splash of water.  Then we sit on our float tubes and listen to the birds and insects announcing our arrival and how hot it is.  Sometimes I even bring a bar of ivory soap (it floats!) and wash my younger kids. There is a little bridge that they jump off of into the water.  I've done it twice, which is enough for me, don't-you-know.
The swimming days have changed into brisk fall days.  The bright daytime sun and crisp cool nights are magically transforming the landscape.  The leaves are putting on their best and brightest and I am part of their captive audience.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday nap

Sometimes the days are so busy, naptime becomes a relief.  I read through two chosen books and snug him in with his silkie.  A routine I have done thousands of times in my 23 years of motherhood.
I turn on the monitor, close the door softly and race off to whatever is calling my attention.

This day while peeking in on him the tender spot in my heart filled with love.  His pink cheeks so warm and sleepy...I just wanted to remember this moment forever! I realize to others he is just a boy, but to me?  A perfect little miracle child.

Friday, October 2, 2015

45 degree lunch


It's dark today with a cold misty rain.   Not a peanut butter and jelly kind of day.  It's a good feeling to be in the kitchen on days like this.  Much like curling up with a good book and a favorite blanket.  I'm reading The Visitors by Sally Beauman, it's about Egypt and I am enjoying it very much. But my book had to wait as the chilly house needed to be warmed with the smell of garlic and good food.

This is all very basic and I am not ashamed to say I eat some kind of version of this every week.  Today the base was quinoa, but it can be any kind of grain or carb...even a potato or a piece of flatbread.  After that is decided and cooking I chop as many vegetables as I can get.  Through the winter it will be anything in the crisper but now it is fun to pick through the garden and see what I find.  The garden is in a sorry state, I am picking the last of the vegetables. To make a heartier version you can also add canned beans or leftover winter squash. Or if you are like my husband and love cheese prepare as usual and instead of a bowl use a medium ramekin, top with a thick slice of cheese and toast it until it is all melty goodness.

quinoa cooked in a beef broth
green pepper
swiss chard

After that is combined and cooked in a skillet, I put it over the cooked quinoa and top with a spoonful of capers, fresh basil leaves and several thin ribbons of parmesan cheese.

And that is lunch here on a brisk New England day.  To make it even better Maggie is home and made gingersnaps.  It's officially fall!