It always happens with these longer days. I look at the clock and it's an hour or two later than I thought it was. I think of that which I was planning to make and panic. Yikes!  All that prep work and dinner is only 15 minutes away!

And then, sweet girl comes in and says "Mama, I help you".

Whenever I am not rushed, I always say "sure". But, you know, at this moment, I didn't have the extra time (or patience!) to have a two year old helper. 

She wanted to keep an eye on those onions that were caramelizing.

I initially went to say no, but then stopped. "Audra, what are the safety rules with cooking on the stovetop?"  Her answer indicated she was well aware of how to keep safe.

I parked my cutting board with the veggies right next to her, watched like a hawk and chopped while she safely stirred the onions.

It was then that I thought how worth it is, keeping them involved in the kitchen. She has cooked with me every day her whole life and has already learned so much. Yes it took me longer some days, but dinner was still consumed.  And this particular day? Dinner wasn't as late as I expected it to be. Her assistance was actually really helpful.
(Please note...I wouldn't say most kids her age are ready for this...but there just might be something in the kitchen that they are ready to learn along side of you.)



 A framed pic for sweet girl's room. Two books by Maine authors. $4.50
 Look at this John Deere lot!  $10 for all!  It's all put away for future holidays.
Camping spectacular. A sleeping bag, two child sized folding chairs.  $6.00.  Planning on doing some camping this summer. Who wants to join? Dads outside with the littles once they go to sleep far from our house so it feels like camping. Moms inside eating cake and sleeping in real beds.  Camping perfection, I'd say.

Gardening 2015: Take Two

It's been a month since my last post.
Gardening 2015: Take One

Although there's really nothing we've been consuming from said garden, a great deal of our time has been in this space.

It started when the snow was just about melted.  Four truckloads of brush I cut to burn. Thankful my husband helped me with this. I tell you, this evening was magical. Beautiful weather, sun setting, all of us together with a fire...

 What a frazzled mess...but just to prove I was there...
 And seedlings...oh those seedlings. My old tomato seeds certainly came.  I transplanted them and now have 22 6-packs or 132 seedlings of just tomatoes. Hoping for a bumper crop!

I also have peppers, basil, parsley, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, onions and greens up thus far. I have more cells filled with soil and plan to start a few more things.
 And soil! We've been improving it. Only my kids organize that which we add to the garden. Rabbit droppings, ashes, horse manure, chicken manure. We're getting there! 

I don't remember how many truckloads of manure we added, but it's a start.
 And that compost is all turned and ready to go for next year. I also cleared out a path to the back tree in this picture. It's sort of like the Hundred Acrewood, which is a perfect place for pretending.

Progress, that's where we are at!  This day will be coming oh so soon, and I cannot wait!

His project: Unpaper Towel/Stuffed Animal Blanket

I figured I ought to keep track of his projects as he learns how to sew.  These projects are simple projects for the beginner with a sewing machine. It's not my priority to make sure he learns how to sew ASAP, I'm simply following his lead. When he asks to make something, I'm helping him along. Not sure where his path will take him, but I'll bring you along!

His project #1: Pillow
His project #2: Dog bed
His project #3: Unpaper Towel/Stuffed Animal Blanket

It's an upcycled receiving blanket. A 12x12 inch square, sew right sides together, leaving a 2 inch gap. Turn right side out, press. Edge stitch to close. Zigzag at a diagonal to make sure the fabric sides stay close together.

I'm getting smarter. Much easier to sew at a child sized table.


Is that time of year that we're so excited to be outside that we're outside from just about sunrise to sunset.  The temperature is such that it's comfortable working.  Thus, the majority of our outside time is working. Getting the garden ready, spreading manure, cleaning out the barn, moving animals around, stacking wood, raking, clearing brush, putting the mower deck on the lawn tractor. This weekend, I somehow dried 8 loads of laundry on the clothesline (love the smell of lined dried). Of course the inside work is still there, so come sunset, we're still going strong. All work that leaves us physically exhausted, but happy.  It's so good to look back and think of the weekend and all that was accomplished. 

All this outdoor time is so good for our littles too. They imagined, set stages, dug in the dirt, played ball, drove trucks, played on their swingset, snuggled animals, collected bugs, worms and caterpillars, fed weeds to the animals, played in the mud and got dirty. Really dirty. They are exhausted, but happy. 

I am fairly certain I will be sinking into a deep sleep just a little earlier than usual tonight. I'll be dreaming pleasant dreams of life right here where we belong, at home.

Great parts of spring

There's so many great parts of spring, including...

Fresh flowers from our garden to our table.
 No coats.
 You can move around on our lawn without needing snowshoes.
 Outside after dinner.
 Did I mention no snow? While we do love snow and winter, we are fully embracing all the wonderful things spring has to offer.

Coastal Bliss

This is the time of year that it's too cold for tourists, but warm enough for us.  I love when we get the beaches to ourselves.

More signs of spring...


One of the very first purchases we made in this house was a wood burning insert. There's a fantastic woodshed attached to the house, but when we first arrived, there was nothing that took wood. Plus, a very old house without a secondary source made me nervous. Wise investment was the woodburning option, given we were without a furnace from October until January. Plus, there's no other heat like wood heat.

Using wood as pretty much the exclusive source for the majority of the house (we have a small useless propane decorative stove in the kitchen that costs a bundle to run), we found out exactly how much wood we'd go through.  It was about one 'row' in the woodshed. You can fit 6 rows in the woodshed.  We need heat for about 6 months of the year. Coincidence? I doubt it. I suspect the folks who lived here added the woodshed as an addition. I suspect they tallied how much wood they would need and built a shed to accommodate a winter's worth. Pretty neat, huh?

Most folks are winding down their heating season, but this is when it winds up for us! Since we're boring adults, a tax return means next year's firewood.  I'm thankful last year I ordered double what we would need on purpose.  Now, it's April and all of our wood for the winter of 2015/16 is dry and entering the woodshed. In fact, with my dad's help (first by fixing the wheelbarrow and then by throwing wood...thanks BOG!), we have 3 1/2 months worth already in there, most already stacked. It's so comforting to know that we have what we need for the next winter and it's going to be put away before the garden is at it's peak and my attention is needed for preserving. It's comforting to be planned ahead and ready.

Now that we have empty pallets, the first round of the 2016-2017 has arrived. You can guess what we will be up to in the near future!

(Bonus points if you can find the littles in this bottom pic.)

We're getting into the seasonal rhythm in this house, given this our 3rd spring here. I am thankful we are learning what we need and the rhythm now is starting to feel comforting and habitual. I must say I love love love love love living here. So thankful.

Earth Day 2015

At our fave place, Laudholm Farm.

 (His crown-the Earth he made with his hands wrapped around it.)
 Her crown, that she wouldn't wear.

 Love their little felted Earth and the big one we are trying to take care of.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...