Chris’s woodworking skills just amaze me. He is always bringing us home surprises from the wood shop. Lately it has been all things for the outdoors and garden. Some of my favorites have been hollowed out log planters, trellises made from twigs and vines, pieces of stumps to hang as planters or just to be beautiful, and the most recent and fun is our new tree swing. I am a woodsy kind of gal so bringing beauty from the woods into our urban style garden and yard brings me much joy. But what brings me even more joy is when he walks in from a long day with a big grin on his face and scoots me outside to see his next piece of art to add to our collection.
A few months back our dryer bit the dust. My first reaction was to scour Craig’s List. Then we had some family members who actually had a spare dryer lying around to offer. But then I realized that we could hang a laundry line and not get a dryer at all. So off Chris went to the hardware store to pick up supplies, and set up a pulley system line that can hold a large load of laundry. At first it took a bit for me to get used to the time and effort that hanging laundry takes. But now it is one of my favorite chores. I have been trying to slow down with things that I do around the house. To breathe and take things in. Hanging laundry has become a morning ritual now. As the chickens cluck at my feet and a little one hands me a clothes pin I hang yet another little sock or striped shirt and smile. The clothes and towels may be a little stiffer than from the dryer, but that fresh outdoor scent, the fact that we are saving quite a bit of energy, and the joy of watching the little ones run in and out playing peek a boo behind hanging sheets makes it all the worth while.
10 years ago today, on a rainy, misty afternoon, I married the man who I fell in love with 18 years ago, right out of high school. His wit, positive outlook on life, his amazing talents, and his natural nurturing Papa abilities, never cease to amaze me. He is my true love, my confident, my best friend, my Renaissance man, and can still make me laugh until I cry.
I find myself sometimes focusing on all the things I want to redo in my house, rather than focusing on all of the lovely things that I appreciate. This morning as I was working in the kitchen, I found myself looking around at my favorite room in my home. I noticed how many roles that it plays for myself and the family. It is where we spend a lot of time. When we first moved here 10 years ago we had to gut almost the entire house. With the carpentry skills of my grandfather and my husband, we transformed this space into my dream kitchen. It is a small home but surprisingly enough, the kitchen is a pretty decent size. Like the rest of our home we like to utilize as much space as possible. Above is a little photo journal of my favorite spaces…. A little nook for sitting and reading cookbooks and for others to keep the cook company. Many little nooks for play and pretend, a greenhouse window for plants, a baking center, a vintage stove that a family member was going to throw away, and a pantry which holds not only dry goods and dishes, but also shoes , bags and jackets.
When I look around and stress about updating with new colors and hardware, I take a deep breath, look around, and smile as a little one stands on her stool beating eggs and Papa sits in the chair telling me about his day as I cut up watermelon.
We are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood full of good community, friends, and neighbors. Hannah and Norah are very social beings, so it is so nice for them to be able to run out the door and have many friends to play with. We started a tradition a while back where rotating each week, one family hosts the group of friends for play and dinner. Due to obligations such as dance and music classes, the day has changed over the years. There was once “Magnificent Monday”, then Terrific Tuesday”. Then there was “Wild Wednesday” and now we are on to “Thrilling Thursday”. The girls always look forward to a fun filled late afternoon/evening. I love to think about the day when we are all a bit older and talk about these well loved traditions.
This past weekend we went to Assateague Island. What a beautiful place to camp… playing on the beach all day with good friends, and falling asleep to the waves. We did not see many wild ponies this year but there were several deer that were not at all afraid of people. The children had fun getting close and watching them munch on grasses. Banana boats were a hit for dessert on the campfire. Peel back a piece of peel. Scoop out a channel of banana and eat. Fill channel with chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, coconut, etc. Pull back peel and cover in tin foil. Roast on fire. Eat with spoon with much delight. The weather was perfect and everyone went to sleep at the end of the day a bit sun kissed and tired. We are still shaking the sand out of everything but look forward already to next year’s trip!
Went for a visit to our local Camphill Village with good friends where we wandered around visiting with the animals. There were baby lambs, goats, cows and chickens. We wandered through the CSA garden to see what was coming up. The greenhouse was full, and lush. We also stopped by the weavery and could not resist a handmade kitty and rabbit. We ended our visit with a yummy lunch. A fun day had by all.
The girls and Papa went to the beach this weekend. I stayed back for work but also found time to hang laundry, create some new gardening spaces, go to a movie, hang out with my mom and sister, and eat sorbet and raspberries for lunch. I am working at removing all grass from our property and have replaced it with rock walls, perennial plantings and stone paths.There is still a bit to do but I am having so much fun!
We all love our sweets around here. I like to make and have on hand a couple different healthy snacks when that sweet tooth hits. Here is one our favorites
1 cup of sunflower seeds (toasted)
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
6 tablespoons raisins
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Throw everything in the food processor and roll into balls and then roll balls in coconut. Pop them into the freezer. We love them frozen.
We have been having fun in the kitchen these days. We are trying to make as much as possible from scratch. Peanut butter, yogurt, hummus, nut milks, and salad dressings are some of the recipes we have played with this week.. Norah loves to cook. As soon as she hears me working in the kitchen she drags the stool over and asks “whatcha makin mama? Can I help?”