November 21, 2014
November 17, 2014
My sewing machine and I finally reacquainted ourselves after many months of being apart. I found myself with a bit of free time yesterday, so I set to work on a quilt, a simple design with five inch squares made from scraps of cloth I had been saving from other projects. I sewed three quilts for my eldest children last Christmas, and I am hoping to get a few more done this year. My hope is to eventually give each of the Littles there own mama-made quilt. Little #7 specifically asked for his "own blanket," and I hope that he will be happy to find this quilt under the tree on Christmas morning. It felt so good to sew again, and I'm looking forward to carving out a bit more time this week to continue working on the first of many sewing projects of the season.
I want to take a minute to thank sustainablemum for the tip she left in the comments on Pressing Cider. It makes complete sense, and we are definitely going to give it a try next time.
"We were given a good tip from a local Apple expert. She suggested freezing the apples before pressing them, you get even more juice out of them. We tried it and it works. We pressed them from frozen although it is probably easier to slightly defrost them first." ~sustainablemum
November 13, 2014
Living in New England, where we experience all four seasons (well, many of us may argue that we really only have two seasons, winter and black fly season...), it's interesting how our bodies adjust, and we actually look forward to and crave the sights, sounds, textures, colors and feelings that accompany each approaching season. I don't decorate for each season, per se, but things around the house do change. As I was pulling out the wool blankets, I remembered how happy I was last spring to wash and store away the heavy quilts and down comforters and lighten and brighten the house for the warmer months. Now I am looking for ways to cozy things up, to make the house feel warm and festive for the many months we will spend inside. The walls in our Red Room are not nearly as oppressive to me now as they were six months ago. In fact, the red feels warm and inviting, and I'm relieved that I didn't change the color. The thrifted wool blankets that I picked up this summer have been a welcomed addition to the house this fall; both children and felines agree. A set of enamel mugs picked up a thrift shop are just the ticket for sipping hot chocolate, and two, thrifted, wool, throw pillows add a hint of cozy to the bedroom.
Although I favor summer, I am thankful for the opportunity to experience all four of our lovely seasons and the change each one brings.
Thanks to Little #1 for helping me with the photos.
November 11, 2014
Hubby has talked about and dreamed of pressing his own cider for years now, and he finally was able to do it this past weekend. The past few Sunday afternoons he has been in the barn building his cider press from a kit purchased on eBay a few years ago (I'm sorry I don't have a link for you.). Although he found things that he would change if he should build one again, the press turned out beautifully, and this past Sunday it was ready to go. The kids and he had picked drops from local apple trees (maybe someday we will be able to use our own), ones that would have been left on the ground to rot, and everyone was excited to see how the new press would work. In went the apples, round and round went the crank, down went the press, and, finally, out came the sweet liquid that all had been anxiously anticipating. Some enjoyed it cold; others drank it warm with a hint of cinnamon. We were able to press about half of the apples collected before darkness settled in, producing about a gallon of cider, and the rest of the apples will be pressed this coming weekend. Hubby finally accomplished his goal of pressing his own cider, and what a good feeling to, yet again, use the bounties around us that otherwise would be considered unusable (except to the deer and turkeys, of course, which we were obliged to leave some for).
I would like to thank you all for your overwhelmingly thoughtful and encouraging comments you left on my last post. Your kind words have inspired to me keep writing, regardless of how much or how frequent (or infrequent) it may be. I do hope, with the coming winter and many snowed-in days, I will slowly find more time for writing. Thanks so much for your faithful visits and comments.
November 6, 2014
I have missed you all! I'm sorry for my absence, but I have found it almost impossible to find the time to sit down and work on my blog. I decided last week to give the Littles a week off from their school lessons and allow myself some time to catch up on the mountain of things that I put off during our very busy soccer season. Many of the Littles were still waiting for me to pull their fall/winter clothing out of storage; actually, I had to pull mine out as well. A few bedrooms needed cleaning and organizing (Oh, what a job that was!), and two out-of-state trips to the Children's Hosptial with Little #6 were made. The yard and garden needed last bit tidying up before winter. I don't think we could have cut it any closer as we were raking up the last bit of leaves and tilling the garden only hours before wintry weather was upon us. A daunting pile of papers was finally filed, phone calls made, bills paid, and appointments were scheduled and rescheduled. It's amazing how quickly the little things add up when not attended to each day.
In addition to the many things that I wanted to catch up on, I felt a bit (okay, maybe more than a bit) discouraged, wondering if I could actually keep up with my blog. I've enjoyed this little space I call my own, this little diary of our life on the farm. I love being able to look back at our lives over the past year and have pictures and writings of the simple things that I normally might not have remembered or recorded. I also have truly appreciated the opportunity to "meet" others from all over the world and cultivate friendships with those I may never have met if it wasn't for the lovely little niche of bloggers that I have found and connected with through blogging. I have been discouraged about the amount of time, or rather the lack of time, that I have had for blogging. My content is lacking because I don't feel that I have material that is interesting enough to share. I feel that I have just been scurrying to keep up with everyday chores...dishes, meals, errands, dirty diapers, laundry...all, of which, are not very interesting. In addition, the youngest Littles have been doing a great job keeping their mama on her toes. We have a two, a three, and a four year old all who seem to be in the throes of the terrible twos...one just coming into it, and one that has been there a while and doesn't want to leave. I actually had considered giving up on my blog, but the thought made me so very sad. I just couldn't walk away from it. I wanted to stay connected to the friends I have made, so I've decided to keep writing, but taking it slowly, not pressuring myself to write on a schedule and allowing myself to be okay with fewer pictures or less words, remembering that simple is okay. I'm hoping with time we will get caught up here on the farm and fall back into a healthy rhythm (and maybe my four year old will decide he is too old be stuck in the terrible twos).
So, now that I have shared all of this with you (I wasn't planning on doing so), I want to get back to the original intent of this post. Sunday morning we woke to unseasonably wintery weather, our first snow storm of the season. Much hustling had been done the day before in preparation of the storm, so I was quite content to snuggle in next to the wood stove and take the first day off we have had in many weeks. I hadn't done much knitting since spring, except for the occasional row or two on the Little Bud's sweater. I needed something fresh to work on, and this cabled headband for Little #2 was just the ticket. I'm looking forward to catching up and enjoying more peaceful days in front of the fire with a knittig project in hand.
October 24, 2014
I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...
October 21, 2014
As I have mentioned before, October is a very busy month for us, probably the busiest out of the entire year. It's a different kind of month for us since one, two, or sometimes all of us leave the farm almost every day. The rest of the year is spent mostly on the homestead, learning and working, creating and playing. As a result, the activities of this month take a bit of juggling, a bit of planning, a bit of adjustment and a whole lot of working together to keep everything running smoothly. During this month much of our focus is on the necessities...laundry, meals, general picking up, school lessons, daily farm chores...but the bigger projects, the gardening, the deep cleaning, the buttoning down for winter, the leisurely moments spent at the sewing machine are all put on hold until this short busy season is over. Although we have fun, by the end of it we are all ready to get back to our simple routine on the farm and are happy that we don't run at this pace the entire year. I am excited to start sewing again, to finish Little #9's sweater, to purge and organize a few spaces in the house and make it feel cozy for the upcoming months. Little #3 said at the dinner table last night that she wanted the house to feel more "fall-like" because it still has the feel of summer. I, too, want that, and I'm excited that I'll soon be spending my time at home, doing the things that my heart is yearning for. Since this week ends our busy season, I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments this month.
Savoring the beautiful colors on all of our trips back and forth to town
Spotting a Mama deer and her baby in our travels and looking across the street to find...
...another mama and her baby
Cheering for Little #2 as she played her first year of high school soccer...
|Soccer moments captured by my eldest daughter.|
Noticing these Canadian geese flying south for the winter...
Snuggling with the newest members of our family...
Enjoying magnificent sunsets
Stealing one day for a family outing