Sunday, November 29, 2009

mister cow

mister cow, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

john and his bird

john and his bird, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

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.

thanksgiving 2009

thanksgiving 2009, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

ella miranda

ella miranda, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

all smiles

all smiles, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

the king of thanksgiving

the king of thanksgiving, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

hide and seek

hide and seek, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

out in the trees

out in the trees, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

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.

miss ruby, aspiring country girl

miss ruby, aspiring country girl, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

wreath making

wreath making, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Monday, November 23, 2009

santa has been working

santa has been working, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

This sweet little stroller is from Nova Naturals Toys and Crafts, 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.

Miko Floral Dress at

little kimono

Have you seen the little kimono dresses in a catalog called Tea. I've never ordered from them, but I've gotten a few catalogs in the mail, and I love everything about their clothes for boys and girls, the soft simple girl's kimono dresses, the indigo japanese prints, the robot motifs, and the Mt. Fuji graphics. The cover of their holiday collection features a girl holding a simple fabric wrapped bundle, and the inside cover says, " We love the traditional Japanese practice of furoshiki--the artful wrapping of specia gifts in large, beautiful swaths of cloth. This holiday eason, we're honored to share our Shinto Traditions collection, inspired by our visits to Japan. and to wrap things up in style, we're also introducing our own distinctive furoshiki gift wrapping."

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

speedy weekend

The whole thing flew by in a blur of plates of scrambled eggs, errands, the gym, balls of wool, late night internet shopping, food on the floor and fussing children.

For the record, I've finished my Christmas shopping, but I'm in the middle of seven crafty works in progress.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

teeny tiny twangy

teeny tiny twangy, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

glen alton

field, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

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.


cartwheel, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

blue day

blue day, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


stalk, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


handmade, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

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.

the doctor is in

the doctor is in, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

chocolate banana bread

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sucanat
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups lowfat buttermilk ( I used half milk and half fat free yogurt)
3 mashed bananas
2/3 cup olive oil ( it called for canola, but I don't ever buy it)
4 tsp vanilla

Preheat to 350 degrees and butter 2 pans or 24 muffin tins.
whisk dry ingredients, whisk wet ingredients, fold, pour, bake.
Bake large loaf pans one hour until toothpick comes out clean.
18-22 minutes for muffins.
Drizzle with melted bittersweet chocolate.
Children will swoon.

earth baby and her cat

2 girls, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We had a fun busy Halloween, and then all three children had fevers for several days. I wish I knew if it were H1n1 or not so that I could stop worrying about them. They were remarkably cheerful and active today, and we were baking and painting and playing.