Saturday, November 30, 2013


We had a great Thanksgiving at Uncle John's house on Thursday. It was the coldest one in many years, but we had sunshine and a huge bonfire. No one missed the turkey with the grilled pork and venison wrapped in bacon. My brother laughed heartily about the "local" venison as he nodded towards his backyard. My children had never tasted deer, so they had the full Pilgrim experience. They loved Aunt Shelley's pies and salted caramel sauce a lot. They think I need to learn to make my great grandmother's Irish rolls so that they can eat them every day for breakfast, and they have a newfound love of pickled quail eggs.

 The next day we walked my childhood paths and creek and gathered Christmas greenery before heading back to our mountains. Today we are going to the tree farm to cut the tree.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

crossing the atlantic

This is John's class today. Of course they aren't sitting in chairs. These Pilgrims are on ships crossing the Atlantic ocean, answering history questions to make their way slowly to the New World. Here they are at the end of the journey planning how they will live once they get off of their ships. What will they live in? What will they plant?

Amazing. Second. Grade.  Tonight John made a pueblo. He really wanted to make it life sized, but he couldn't work out the logistics. He mixed sand with the paint to make it more like adobe, and there are five twig ladders made with a hot glue gun. The boy loves a project.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


We are counting down the days until Friday and a week off from school.

Monday, November 18, 2013

the weight of November

I'm feeling just a little out of it as Christmas decorations start to go up in stores. It is time to carve out some space for the family to enjoy fall. I'm recycling toy catalogs as fast as they come in and taking deep breaths when people start talking about the gifts and the "stuff". Even now, people are feeling the weight of obligations.

I need to make some lists and check them twice as well. My Amazon cart is full, and there are recipes in my head. Portuguese fish stew. Caldo Verde with Sausage. A braided almond and cranberry loaf. I remind the children of what they have, an amazing school, music lessons, beautiful instruments, and rooms full of toys. I am hoping for a holiday full of family time, movies in front of the fire, walks in the woods, and a sparkling tree up through the kitchen rafters.

Sunday, November 10, 2013