Wednesday, November 28, 2012

oranges and reds

I noticed all the orange color in the kitchen last week and wanted to take a picture. I didn't even realize until later that there was a small runner coming through the kitchen. That is kind of the way it has been lately. That little hand often grabs an apple or persimmon.
Thanksgiving came and went, quite deliciously I must say. Here is my mother out in my brother's yard. He gets up at three am and smokes the turkey for twelve hours or so. Pair that with more side dishes than will fit on the table and a spice cake with caramel icing and you have quite a delicious dinner.

We are back to school this week, and Ella is working on two or three big projects at once. Christmas looms, and I'm trying to meet it with a sense of peace. We are trying to get a chimney added to our house and a woodstove installed before the first snowstorm. This photograph is of some seed pods we found while my friend Donna was taking some gorgeous pictures of the children at the Horticulture Garden. Is it a weed or a Truffula tree?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I walked to my neighbors house early in the morning a few days ago because she has a hummingbird still feeding at her feeder, and someone from the Maryland Banding Lab was coming over to identify and band it.  When I arrived he had the bird in a piece of stocking in the living room and was weighing and measuring it.  It weighed 3.3 grams. A penny is 2.5 grams. It is a female Rufous Hummingbird. She could hang around until January before she makes a dash for Mexico.


Last night we went out to see Lincoln, and when we pulled into our driveway a large bird flew right in front of us. We paused and it landed in the maple tree in our yard. It was a light colored owl. We watched it for a moment and then, afraid that we would scare the babysitter, pulled closer. It sat for a minute and then flew. We looked it up in the bird book, and it was a barred owl, often called a hoot owl.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


She is a voracious reader and crafter, but drops everything on the floor the moment she is finished with it. Right now she is watching cartoons with her baby sister on her lap. She likes archery and chickens and just finished an eight week life skills class at the Unitarian Church. She would be a vegetarian if bacon wasn't so delicious. She wants to save the world. She is learning to make injera and wat for a school project. She is teaching herself to draw manga characters. She wonders when I will let her color her hair purple. She is going to be Georgia O'Keefe for history night.

Today she was reading two books, Bud, Not Buddy and The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis and was astounded to find the exact moment the two books intersected.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012


My kombucha is probably struggling with the low temperatures in my kitchen this week, but I'm excited to be trying something new. After my big success with sauerkraut, I thought I'd continue my latest obsession with fermentation. It isn't really fermenting, but a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, hence SCOBY.  I like kombucha brews, so we'll see how this one tastes in a few days.


Next year we have to make our Halloween costumes early. I was racing the Hurricane and Appalachian Power to sew up a little yoda hat for John and a werewolf costume for Ella. Luckily, this little butterfly was easy to put together and made her oh so happy. Our power was out for about twenty four hours, and the kids carved pumpkins in their snowsuits in the middle of the kitchen floor.