Monday, December 28, 2009
This is the view from the living room of the house we stayed in for Christmas weekend. How magical to have snow on Christmas. I drove up on thursday not thinking that the Blue Ridge Parkway would be snowed in. I got off of 81 in picturesque Raphine, Virginia and started heading up the Tye River Parkway. Vesuvius, Virginia was quaint with it's vintage christmas decorations. Up we went to see a crowd of people at the parkway entrance with coolers and cross country skis. I turned around having absolutely no idea how to get to Wintergreen. I called for directions and then imagined myself spiraling around the state, 81 to 64 to Charlottesville to 29. I reached the top of Wintergreen before nighfall, the view so impressive that the children were a bit afraid. Once in the house they were happy to explore all the rooms and choose their bunkbeds. Ella was enthralled with the deep blue and purple room with snowflakes, snowflake flannel sheets, pink christmas lights, and a tinsel christmas tree.
The kids loved tubing in the snowpark and snowshoeing around the house, and of course, their grandmother's cookies.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I just finished Ruby's silk and flannel blanket and her matroyshka doll. Most of the presents are wrapped, and I mailed my cards today. We are leaving in the morning to spend the weekend with John's family, and I'm packing holiday treats, a Rustichella d'Abruzzo panettone, prosecco, organic tangelos, and nuts in the shell. I'm taking salads and ingredients for some vegetarian main dishes. I went to the famer's market today, and I'm going to bake an apple pie in the morning.
John and I ran some errands today, and I experienced a christmas miracle. The last pair of snowpants in the New River Valley were chocolate brown and size 10/12. The girls and I arrived home in the dark and the boys had started a fire in the front yard and were looking at the moon through the telescope. The children planned our christmas eve eve feast for tonight. Grilled cheese sandwiches, mashed potatoes with rosemary and butter, and spinach salad with goat cheese, almonds, red onions, oranges, and raspberry hazelnut dressing. There were gingerbread men for dessert.
We'll be over the river and through the woods until sunday.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
What a fun weekend when we can't get in the car and drive anywhere. John has been the king of snowpants all weekend. He has been fearless on the the sled.
We made snowcream twice, and John said that he had eaten a cloud.
Today we made split pea soup with yukon gold potatoes and a whole wheat irish soda bread, the perfect dinner for a cold snowy night and tired bodies. Ruby sat on a stool outside of the oven watched the bread bake.
I finished one of my down to the wire christmas projects, a felted scarf, and although it was beautiful before it was felted, it now looks like a big long stuffed animal. I was planning on needle felting celtic spirals on the ends, but now I'm thinking of making some felted hedgehogs out of it in the new year. It fuzzed more than it felted. I'll start a new scarf next week.
I still have a blanket to stitch and a matroyshka doll for Ruby. Two waldorf dolls are in the works for John and Ruby, but they might not be under the tree on Christmas morning. Perhaps they will be tucked in their beds for Epiphany.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
So, we are supposedly prepared. I made two trips to the grocery store and one to the natural food store. Because it is Christmas I thought being snowed in should at least be extra special, so I stopped for raisins, soy chorizo, and organic leeks. I've got potatoes, the requisite milk, eggs, and bread, cheddar, chutney, butter, a veritable vegetarian pleasure dome.
I don't have whole cloves. I got oranges to make pomanders, and I have half a bottle of dusty old cloves. How much time can two kids spend outside in more than a foot of snow? Our boots aren't that tall. I have a big bag of cinnamon sticks to thread onto yarn for a garland, and there is popcorn to string.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This christmas tree is now in our living room. We woke to an ice storm but by afternoon everything was melted and we went out to claim our tree.
Ella served the coffee this morning wearing her candle wreath. We had blueberry cardamom challah by candlelight on a dark sparkly morning.
|'TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's,|
Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ;
The world's whole sap is sunk ;
The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compared with me, who am their epitaph.
Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring ;
For I am every dead thing,
In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness ;
He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.
All others, from all things, draw all that's good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have ;
I, by Love's limbec, am the grave
Of all, that's nothing. Oft a flood
Have we two wept, and so
Drown'd the whole world, us two ; oft did we grow,
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else ; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.
But I am by her death—which word wrongs her—
Of the first nothing the elixir grown ;
Were I a man, that I were one
I needs must know ; I should prefer,
If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means ; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love ; all, all some properties invest.
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light, and body must be here.
But I am none ; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
At this time to the Goat is run
To fetch new lust, and give it you,
Enjoy your summer all,
Since she enjoys her long night's festival.
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year's and the day's deep midnight is.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
We awoke to the first snow this morning. We headed out on the slippery interstate to take John to the stage show of Sesame Street. He was one starstruck four year old.
This afternoon I drove over to the Christmas tree farm for my last day of wreath making, and I'm driving a carload of them across the state tomorrow. It was cold and wet, but there was a pot of hot spiced cider, and the children were enjoying sledding. The farmers were packing up a hundred organic trees for a long drive to Florida tonight. My children played in our yard, and then their daddy let them drink hot chocolate in the bathtub.
I just lined the children's brown boots up on the steps and tucked in some St Nicholas treats. Ruby gets a wooden egg shaker, John and Ella both get crinkle cut Montessori child safe knives for cutting fruits and vegetables, and Ella will find a special purple beaded peace necklace in the toe of her boot. She has been feeling a little put out by the younger children lately. Hopefully finding a chocolate santa in her shoe will bring good cheer in the morning.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
They have camped their way down the west coast of the United States, flown to London, spent some time in Japan, and are now in Auckland, New Zealand. They are going to Southeast Asia, Nepal, Tibet, India, and Beijing, and then back to London for some backpacking around Europe.
This is putting a whole new spin on homeschooling. Roadschooling. It sounds amazing and wonderful.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
We are putting up our advent stockings this afternoon, and I'm furiously crocheting a snowflakey scarflet for Miss Ella. John has a new green gnome hat, and by morning he'll have a white wool felt beard to go along with it. Apparently, he is wearing it to school tomorrow.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Here is my little brother sweating over his bird. He brined it, draped it in pork fat, and smoked it. He wore overalls and did it beside his red barn with seven hound dogs barking at him. The turkey was a local, organic Bourbon Red, and it was absolutely the best turkey I've ever eaten. We also had some glazed tomatoes, irish rolls, cornbread and pecan dressing, wild mushroom gravy, roasted root vegetable mash, broccoli, corn pudding, cranberry sauce, and a spiced apple cake with caramel frosting.
I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. My brother and his wife do a nice job of it, keeping it low key and infusing it with a lot of good humor.
I am thankful.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We spent the afternoon at the christmas tree farm making wreaths for a school fundraiser. It is so beautiful out there in the country. Up on the hill among the trees, the landscape looks like a giant bowl. The kids loved being outside with friends and dogs. The drive out there is beautiful as well, rocky outcroppings along winding country roads and fields of cows and sheep.
There is a very old huge farmhouse for rent right down the road.
Monday, November 23, 2009
This sweet little stroller is from Nova Naturals Toys and Crafts, www.novanatural.com. It is for Ruby, but John is going to have his eye on this one as well. There should be three handmade dolls in there by Christmas morning.
We went out shopping this afternoon. John got some "dress ups" for Thanksgiving dinner a few days ago, and then Ella was jealous. We found her a great back dress, and Ruby got a red corduroy jumper. They are all looking forward to playing outside at Uncle John's and then dressing up for dinner. I'm just hoping for the one elusive photograph for our Christmas card.
John saw Santa today at the mall. Ella hid in some plastic trees while John climbed up on the sofa to wave into the Santaland. Santa of course waved back and John was on cloud nine. He is certainly a true believer. Ella believes in Santa Claus exactly the way she believes in Harry Potter and all things magical, but I have a feeling that this will be her last year.
I want to wrap gifts this way. The gift wrap from Tea contains a card suggesting ways to reuse your furoshiki.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
For the record, I've finished my Christmas shopping, but I'm in the middle of seven crafty works in progress.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
We headed out this morning with a picnic and a blanket for a walk in the woods and fields of Glen Alton in the Jefferson National Forest. The November sun had a definite slant at noon, but it was a warm gorgeous day.
Next we visited a local Christmas tree farm to learn to make wreaths for a school fundraiser. I didn't bring out my camera because I thought we'd be too busy, but we ended up hiking the fields and reserving our own tree. John had a hard time choosing a Christmas tree. He said he'd need one with a wide "underneath" to hold all of his presents. Then he didn't understand why we had to leave it in the field for a few more weeks.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
It's the hair. I love making the hair. It satisfies my yarn addiction. The skirt is made from the ends of some Mini Boden cords that Ella got for her birthday. Such a groovy little skirt. I love her red wool felt boots too. I know she went to a loving home today.
I did some great Christmas shopping at the school fundraiser. I loved buying handmade and local. I bought Ruby a beautiful little maple bowl, a book, and a sheep puppet. For John, a pirate puppet. I got Ella a handmade necklace and talked to a friend and art teacher about some watercolour lessons for her.
I love our little school.