Homeward bound

 What a trip! Maine to NY, the same route we've done oodles of times. This one? One to remember. 

We started off leaving a day early to surprise my dad.  I took a little snooze and when I woke up, I saw things I didn't recognize, including the sign that said "LAST EXIT BEFORE CANADA."  Somehow my husband keep driving and we ended up in Canada...without passports, birth certificates, dog health certificates and we had poultry across country lines. All not permitted! 45 minutes later, a visit inside two different customs buildings, we got papers and were permitted back in the United States. Such an adventure. 

We kept on moving and arrived finally at my home sweet home. 

We arrived to a snow covered cabin. All the cooking and baking is required to be done on the woodstove. The hot water is only on at certain times of the day. Apparel is t shirts because the woodstove cooks us too. Every knife is super sharp. A full view of the stars from my bedroom window. Morning walks with no vehicles. Wildlife outnumbers the people. Deer all over. Partridges drumming. Geese honking. Woodpeckers tapping. Owls hooting. Frozen frogs to thaw. Where there's nothing to do by wordly standards, but yet there is everything to do. Projects aplenty.  It's the town where some of my most favoritest people live, memories and stories get told wherever we go and the St. Lawrence River paints the most beautiful picture in my soul.  While I love my current house in Maine, a part of me will always love the very rural north country. 

(The tree I planted with my mom at the school)

Wander and Wonder Woods

 In effort to remember what I do for workshops, I'm aiming to keep better track. I seem to do things and re-do them a lot.  This was a four week series entitled Wander and Wonder: Woods.  We started the adventure circling up for a minute of silence and poetry.  We described our animal of that week with my trusty describing map. We read the book with the animal and went off to look at the habitat of the animal chosen. We came back, found the animals in the field guides and painted the made ahead sketches, using new watercolor techniques. My family really loved it and it seems that our friends did too.

I intended copying the sketches from this watercolor book for the kids to paint, which I did here...
But I found her artwork more abstract, so I went with my own sketches since I had a different vision.

Audra's fave.

MGV: Food Insecurity and Volunteerism


I've been accepted to and have commenced my training as a Master Gardener Volunteer.  As a part of my training, I'm required to keep journal entries. I figured I'd just add them here, thinking my readers may enjoy hearing what the program entails. 

The first module focused on food insecurity.  I must admit that I am very removed from this topic, having never experienced food insecurity myself.  I'm so fortunate that I grew up having plenty and also learned how to grow and raise my own.  My kids have had a similar childhood.  As a part of the assignment, we had to look up our county's status at Map the Meal Gap. You can look up your area.  In the county I live in (York County ,Maine), there were 19,670 people who experienced food insecurity in 2020, which is 9.5% of the population. In the county I grew up in (St. Lawrence County, New York), there were 14,660 people who experienced food insecurity in 2020, which is 13.5% of the population.  Food insecurity for our country is 11.8%. These are just alarming rates, especially considering all the food we waste.  These numbers are our neighbors! 

There are many things going on already to combat this. I was unaware of gleaning efforts in our town (Spillers Farm) that Master Gardener Volunteers participate in.  While I have purchased things for the food pantry here and there for a number of years, I have only dropped a load of produce I grew once and dropped off seedlings I started once. Once I led my 4-Hers to make cookies and donate.  I've also dropped off pumpkin bread at a homeless shelter a couple of times. I volunteered in a soup kitchen with my kids once. Tiny small things that are something, but not enough. I'm inspired to do more and do so regularly. I could do a much better job gleaning from my own garden. Before Covid, we had signed up to help at our local food pantry and no one showed up for that shift to put us to work. We did have a random person who gave us a tour, but I must admit that I was discouraged from that one non successful visit. I think it's time to try again. I have a personal goal for our family to do better this year in helping this food insecurity problem.  Something each month seems attainable.  I had the kids fill a bag at the grocery store this week and we just donated that.  Small things to spark a series of doing more to help in 2023.  If many of us work at this, we can make a difference. 

November Beach Days

" Hey Jackie, would you rather a hot summer's day with a beach full of umbrellas OR a frigid off season day with an empty beach?"   Glad you asked. Empty all the way. 


 Big kids wrapped up archery for the year. The both really enjoy it! While they are away, I get to listen to Anna-Kate talk the whole time. 

Queen Bee

We've had a week of Ms. Sleeper Inner waltzing downstairs when her feast is ready. I think when I'm a grownup, I'll go to her house and sleep in, expecting my breakfast (complete with homegrowns and homemades) to be ready and waiting in a timely fashion.  


Something to aim for...


When I grow up, I want to be like Adrian.  He sets his alarm, rises as soon as it goes off.  He goes to the bathroom, brushes his teeth,washes his glasses, makes his bed, takes care of his pajamas and gets dressed for the day. Then he goes downstairs, does his animal chores, puts on his reflector vest and takes the dogs for a morning walk in the back field.  Then he waves to the cars for a bit and comes in to help with breakfast and whatever else needs to be done.  If he sees the laundry needs to be folded or the dishwasher needs to be done, he'll do one of those before breakfast. I don't even have to ask. That's how he starts his day everyday.  He takes care of all his things and his room is always tidy.

You think that's great?  It's just as good at the end of the day too.  When it's bedtime, he tidily does his nightime chores. Then he writes in his journal about his day (he aims for six sentences an entry), does his devotions, reads his chapter, puts his glasses in the glasses case and goes to bed. Everyday. 

I'm just so impressed with how he is a well oiled machine. Even when the rest of the household is a chaotic disaster, he's our strong and steady. 


 Our annual after dark obstacle course. Every 4-Her contributes something to the course. Then we add some glow sticks and flashlights and do the obstacle course they created together.  They love it. Great memories for these kids! 

2022 Colonial Militia Muster and Market Fair at the Wentworth House

 We've been going a number of years...and I take so few pictures when I get around people! It was a good day with many of our friends.

Adrian was totally there too.  And the two of us.  I'm pretty sure this is Audra's fave event of the year.


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