Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

gingerbread houses 2014

 Ella's house

 Ruby's house
John's house

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

advent garden

We enjoyed a beautiful evening at the Unitarian Church last weekend. There was a large spiral of evergreens topped with crystals, fruits, eggs, and bones. The children walked the spiral and lit their candles in apple holders. They then placed their candle along the path as they walked back  through the spiral. We enjoyed carols and piano music, and Ella and her friends were guides for the young children who were walking the path. This was such a sweet gentle way to bring the children into the season.

The first light of Advent is the light of the stones,
That live in the seashells, crystals, and bones.
The second light of Advent is the light of the plants,
That reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.
The third light of Advent is the light of the beasts;
The light of hope that we may see in the greatest and in the least.
The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind
The light of love, the light of thought, to know and understand.
~Rudolf Steiner

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014


I didn't even bring my camera to Thanksgiving this year. It was cold, hailing, and thundering, so maybe that was best. We went to uncle John's, and there was some stress when the hail cooled down the turkey smoking in the backyard, but after ten minutes in the oven it was perfect. I do think we might have the most delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Last night we had a Narragansett turkey from a local farm, cornbread and pecan dressing, turkey gravy, shiitake mushroom gravy, collard greens, fresh homemade rolls, glazed tomatoes, root vegetable mash with parmesan, a salad with roasted butternut squash, lentils, and spinach, pimento cheese, deviled eggs, a dill crock of vegetables, and an apple cake with caramel frosting.

Today I have three huge cabbages to make into sauerkraut. I'm going to roast a turkey and make
turkey broth for soup this week. I'm ironing sheets and comforter covers, the turkey is brining, and the kids are doing homework. It is certainly buy nothing day here, but I'll need to get some milk. Hopefully that doesn't count.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sunday, November 09, 2014

minnie lee custard

I was searching for more information online about my house and found out that Lake Long's mother's name was Minnie Lee Custard. 1874-1943. Then I was looking through some of the old pictures and noticed the top of my house in this one.  That is Lake Virginia Long Smith (1907-1981) on the right, and I think that is Kelly James Thompson on the right. He was her son in law, married to her daughter Norma Francis Smith Thompson.

Saturday, November 08, 2014


The leaves are almost off of the trees, and we had a hard frost last night.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

sugar maple dryad

I think I love this tree as much as I love our house. I do think of it as the children's spiritual home. Certainly, it was the house Little John was most interested in when we came to visit this house a few years ago.
Ruby and Ella have been singing with the children's choir at church, and this past Sunday they had their first performance. This is her response when the whole congregation gave them a standing ovation.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

fast forward

We are three weeks into the school year, and I'm already figuring out how I'm going to live until the end of soccer season. There is no way we'll do spring soccer. I love my new job, but I still haven't figured out how make dinner or have any time for myself. I have to go to bed early to have a good day with a room full of three year olds.

As if having three kids with spelling words isn't enough, we do soccer practice two days a week, music on Wednesdays, soccer games on Saturday morning,  I'm teaching religious education at the Unitarian Church, and the girls have joined the Children's Choir.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

summer camp

Ella went to an engineering/ music/ art camp last week, spending the whole week in a gorgeous lab and performance space. We laughed that she went to "camp" and spent the whole week indoors. Her group created digital music using computer programing, up-cycled materials, and 3D printed elementsThe girls made their bodies part of the instrument as they wet their arms and made themselves part of the circuitry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

good boy

This boy is making tremendous strides. He just needed to go to school.

Monday, July 21, 2014

getting funky

I bought ten pounds of organic cabbage last week, and I turned four of them into kraut. Hard to believe that four whole cabbages fit in this crock, but now it has wilted down to about half. I hadn't had a chance to open it until today, but it looks good and smells, um. fermented.

I tasted some kimchi this week from Gnomestead Hollow Farm and Forage, but I haven't made any since early spring. I want to make the white pear summer kimchi from Edward Lee's Smoke and Pickles.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


grapefruit, apple, peach, spinach

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

pink grapefruit, beet, black grapes, and kale

Imagine how you would feel if you had this for breakfast. I've lost seven pounds and fit into some clothes I bought years ago and never fit into. It is the perfect time of year for this kind of eating.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

back porch breakfasts

I've had Vitamix envy for a year now. After my birthday I finally splurged on a refurbished one offered by Groupon. It has the same five year warranty as a new one, and I think the whole family is enjoying that we are whirling around in there every day. Sweet, fruity, and icy are no big deal, but I've been reading some recipes and making some green drinks (and burgundy drinks) for breakfast every day. I love the crazy healthy ones, so I pretty much drink an amazing salad every morning. The red one up top is beet, blueberry, dandelion, and cucumber, and the green one is pink grapefruit with spinach and mint. I throw in four or five ice cubes and it is a cold treat after my morning dog walk. I'm going to say something crazy. I could give up coffee.

Monday, July 07, 2014

good boy arlo

We had a dog professional come over to meet Arlo and talk about dog training.  He is going to dog school next week, and I think he's going to be just fine. He has a good soul, but he is just scared of everything.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

fresh cut

The first corn of season. I went to the farmer's market yesterday and came home with a dozen ears of corn, beets, cabbage, zucchini, basil, and freshly dug potatoes. I grilled some chicken thighs and legs and make a batch of pesto to drizzle over the grilled corn.  We ate outside and set off some fifth of July fireworks.

4th of july :: frontier culture museum in staunton

We aren't going on a big vacation this summer, so we are taking several "family field trips." I've been wanting to come to the Frontier Culture Museum since the first time I saw the sign from I-81, and we finally went on the 4th of July. We missed the pie eating contest, but the kids did the sack race, a seed spitting contest, and played games.  I wish we lived closer so that the children could do one of their camps.