Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blogging Break

on a crispy, November morning:
sparkling frost
and golden chickens
Until the flurry of my semester finishes up, December 4th. Because sometimes things just feel a little overwhelming around here. And I should probably prioritize housework and feeding my children wholesome meals over blogging. As for sewing? Knitting? No and also no. You can check my other blog, here, in the meantime. And here's a blog I am working on as a final project for one of my library classes.
We had a visit to the big city of Boston recently. To see a musical and have a little early celebration of a boy who will turn 11 very soon. The venue was as grand as their website is completely boring.
It was pouring rain.
We took the subway---always a favorite activity of Sylvan's---and I gave a suitably grave, growled warning to my boys that under. no. circumstances. should. either. of. them. touch. their. faces. at. ANY. POINT. until. their. hands. were. washed. (I am not a germophobe, really, but I also did not want to see my boys licking the metal railings either).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

playing around

cute little harbor
Have you heard about Tilt Shift Photography? Probably. I usually suspect I am the last to know about hipster things like this. Check out this link here for some fun examples. I tried it for myself (above) by using this online application, but you can also get an app for your iPhone (and since we have established your hipness, you probably have one of those). That song "Little boxes, little boxes, little boxes made of ticky tacky" is what goes through my head when I look at these.
And here's a harbor of another sort. One of our favorite ladies uncovered this childhood treasure from her mom's house. Something so simple and perfect that provided her and her sisters with many hours of entertainment: a simple cotton cloth, with blue parts for harbor and green parts for land, and some brownish parts for roadways; and lots of little wooden boats and barges and buildings and cars and buoys and churches and even a small evergreen. You know, like they put in harbors at Christmastime? See that blackish thing just off the pier? That's a whale! Love. It.
That's what I'm talkinbout when I say toys with play value: toys that are simple enough and open-ended enough to be manipulated in many different ways by small hands, day after day after day. As in, it doesn't need batteries and it withstands the test of time and many loving hands (and perhaps the occasional frustrated whing at your sibling). When we took little 2-and-a-half year-old Jonas to Italy with us we brought a small cigar box full of these small architectural block pieces, same vintage as the above; coupled with a few trucks and cars and plenty of gelato, it made for pretty sweet entertainment.
Oh yes, and it's hunting season here. So we wear our Blaze Orange hats, which is not in anyone's color palette that I know personally (certainly not mine), but it's a great thing to wear when you don't want your gorgeous afternoon hike to end in bloodshed. Also, we were on the "safe," "non-hunting" side of the mountain, but we took no chances that the hunters would stay on their side. Yes, Maine in November!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I *heart* Farmers Fare

Farmers Fare opened up this fall and has quickly become a stop on my grocery hunting days. They had this crazy marketing campaign when they were building their beautiful facility, this sign that said things like "Kids, Chaos, Beer" or "Bacon, Beans, and Dirt" and that's their main sign now, too. So you didn't necessarily know what was going on there, but it looked like it would be neat.
Well it sure is neat. Not only do a few of my favorite (and Sylvan's) favorite people work there, but it's all local Maine food, all the time. Local produce. Local fruit. Local dairy. Local ice cream. Locally-made chocolates (mentioned here). Local wines. Local meats! Onsite bakery. Cafe. A pay-it-forward ice cream sandwich case. L O V E I T.
In a beautiful facility, with staff who seem like they're having fun. And they're nice. Like Amy, who gave me a yummy recipe for a side dish involving a leek, delicata squash, and pak choi.
the cafe area, and yes there's WiFi
delicious treats
our favorite wheat bread
(gluten-free options available!)
Craig the butcher
Onsite butcher! Really. This might be my favorite part. Because there are other local butchers in the area, but they're really really off of my beaten path. And when you drive as much as I have to, I will be honest, I just never made it there. Farmers Fare is conveniently located on my driving route to town, on Rt. 90 in Rockport, just minutes from Rt. 1. These butcher guys are super nice, see how he even held up the tray of chicken breasts for the photo? They make a killer breakfast sausage, too.Did I mention there's a natural spring on the property, and it's OK to pump water from it into your own containers? I like the commitment to sustainability and local water sources this idea promotes.
gorgeous braising greens
They are always having tastings and farmers who come to give demos on cheese-making or talks on what they do.
yummy apples from Hope Orchards
Read more here. And here. And they're on Facebook too! Better yet, stop in to check them out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Hallow's Redux

Our annual magical walk through the enchanted forest at Merryspring Nature Center, sponsored by Ashwood Waldorf School, was held on a balmy, breezy, and eventually moonlit evening.
this masked beauty greeted us on the path
and pointed us on our way
Jonas, as the Goddess Artemis, looks to me like a regal Elf with his mighty bow.
Sylvan, a cowboy, who had a major crisis-of-costume about an hour prior to our leaving.
While I was trying to nap. It was a situation that needed a lot of finesse-ing on the part of Jonas and me. (Jonas did a better job. I wasn't in the mood for crisis at the last minute: You can be a cowboy. Or you can be a knight. No, you do not look puffy. Choose now.)
a spinster plies her yarn
a shy bunny peeks out at us

The tree spirits were especially lovely this year:
is this one sticking its tongue out at me?
This clown was very shy:
Mama Cowgirl and her Cowboy