Happy Halloween 2023

 Found in our home costumes this year: Marty from Back to the Future.  Mary Poppins and a Talkative Pirate. 

I used to make all the things for Halloween, but I am really embracing their own creative ideas now (AKA: I didn't sew the things they wanted me to).

As per usual, we use Halloween day as a day of service. We gleaned apples again at a generous orchard.  I think we personally picked over 400 lbs., much of it is designated for homeschoolers.  Below is about 1/3 of what we picked.  My kids have put in several hours gleaning over the month.

I have one who does the lifting and organizing. Always ready to carry the heavy loads so others don't have to.
I have one on tiptoes up in the tree reaching the tip top apples. This one is going to get so many apples in the bag it might burst.

I have one keeping everyone company, eating apples, talking up a storm. This one has one apple in the picking bag after a solid hour of picking.  

I have three who are truly united when we serve together. 

Old Gaol

 We had a treat of going to a history program at the Old York Gaol. Just about all the pics are of Anna-Kate because we were divided into groups and I was in her group.  It was a fascinating and fun day! 


 I always think that our yard is happiest when it's filled with friends.  I got zero pictures of my kids' carved pumpkins before they rotted, but I got a pic of all of us carving them.  And Adrian our fire tender.  Hoping for more fireside gatherings as the temps plummet.  

Unknown and Unexpected

 Yesterday started with notification that our homeschool co-op was cancelled due to what was going on in southern Maine.  My kids shifted between being confused, angry and wondering if everything was going to be closed forever. The rose of the unexpected start was that other friends were in the same boat, so we were oceanbound with friends.  The thorn from one of my kids was there was fear that the killer would shoot us while walking along the beach. How is this the world we live in now?!  Thankfully, I asserted that people who do heinous crimes are cowards who enter buildings and they aren't walking the coast identifying at the various species of ducks. 

The other unexpected was allllll those apples I was going to take to co-op ended up at my house.  We ended up being an apple pickup zone and the apples all have homes in treats and in bellies now, thankfully! 

Before bed, I learned that the suspect at large was located not alive, thus not a threat. While all of Maine exhaled a relieved sigh, there are so many pieces to pick up, things will never be the same.  In our farmhouse, the horrific events were probably brought up a dozen times this morning. Such small apple problems compared to what some are experiencing. A negative impact to varying degrees widespread. And so, what do we do as caregivers to these wee ones who have questions we do not understand and cannot answer?  We do the same thing we always do. We reassure and reassure.  We make food. We go outside.  We read aloud.  We give hugs and be the steady constant they need to calm their minds. 

Hard days

The hearts in Maine are heavy.  Maine is a large state, but the feel of being a Mainer is you're a part of a smaller, tight community.  An hour from our home was the tragedy. The personal stories are rolling out from a 'friend of a friend', simply horrifying. Schools were all closed here today and likely will be tomorrow.

What did we do? We served our community.  Because the helpers should be more active than the destroyers.  We gleaned nearly 300 pounds of apples (again) and had our homeschooling pals over to study slugs in our backyard.

Praying for those navigating their life after this tragedy. 


Happy Six and a HALF, Anna-Kate!


 Five and a HALF! 


Four and a HALF


 three and a HALF.

Here she's three

Two and a HALF

Happy 6 and a HALF to my Anna-Kate! 

My talker who definitely doesn't do self talk with just thinking. It's all aloud, all the live long day, and at night. You begin and end your day with books, and sometimes books in between.  You love to read and read everything you see. You love anything academic and are a quick learner. 

You love people, are eager to socialize and bring gifts. You also talk to your animals and bring them gifts.  Your pretend play is quite elaborate and all the little figures talk when you play. Even the flowers have opinions. 

You much prefer staff than to get anything for yourself.  You'd rather have help than do any sort of physical exercise on your own.  You leave stuff hanging around and assume 'someone' will just take care of it for you. 

You've always loved colorful foods and still do! You'd eat a salad before tacos.  Fruits, vegetables, colored popsicles or lollipops are always preferred over something boring colored.

You have definite options about clothing. You dress yourself and do quite well. You're usually the first one to the car.  

You don't like scary Halloween, especially creepy ladies. You have elaborate ideas for costumes. but usually you end up as a princess.  This year, you claim it's pirate time.  We'll see! 

You're full of energy, fun and noise.  You give the best hugs and compliments.  It's such a joy to be your mama. I love you Anna-Kate.  

Love, Mama



 The commuter rail, aquarium, picnic, TD Garden, Fauniel Hall, Quincy Market and that's all the Boston I want for a looong time.  Country girl through and through.



A huge insulated coat for my husband.  A brand new pack of dog bone cookie cutters with a recipe book. A wetsuit with a hat, gloves and booties. A sketch book that is blank inside. Four pairs of socks. $10.

Below: A cast iron dutch oven that is smaller than my other ones (yes, I absolutely need all the sizes) for $10.  And then a pattern, three pairs of jeans for Audra, Maine Bingo, Needles, Corny Humor for Adrian, Map puzzle and lincoln logs.  $7. 


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