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Archive for October, 2009

Worry Sack

I had an itch to embroider recently. It started out making a little embroidered mini-sachet to send with a custom order from my shop as a thank you. Then I liked it so much I wanted to make one for myself. And now I’m in the process of making one for L4, with L3 to have one soon there after. They are filled with organic flax seed and organic lavender (from my garden!) so that when I rub it between my fingers a soothing scent is emitted.  And I need that right now.  Poor L1 has succumb to the flu (though it seems to be seasonal, not swine!) and I’m flying solo with the parenting, taking care of him, and trying  to keep the rest of us well and sane.  🙂 So far, so good.

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Proud Moment

Team Kata 2

This past Sunday was the Youth Kata Challenge, a karate tournament that doubles as a fundraising event. It was an event only for children, and there was not sparring (“fighting”) involved, only kata, or moves that demonstrate what one would do if defending one’s self.

Team Kata 1

L3 competed in the Team Kata event (pictured above), the Bo Kata event (a weapons event), and Individual Kata event. While he medaled in the Bo Kata event, our proudest moment of the day was when he was presented with the Shotokan Award. This was given to the competitor voted as demonstrating the most sportmanship during the tournament, as decided by the participants, not the judges.

Shotokan Award

L3’s look of surprise and wonder and his appreciation, too, for this honor were wonderful. We are so proud of our boy, more so than if he had taken gold medals in all of his events.

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Wickham Farms 09-3

Wickham Farms 09-8

I’ve been going on field trips to this farm with my kids since L3 was three years old. This might be the last year of them. I’ve followed their classes as they run through the maze, learn about how pumpkins grow and deer don’t learn that they don’t like pumpkins, pick out their pumpkin from the patch, have snacks, see all the decorated pumpkins the farm has made. The field trip has changed over time (ex: apples now instead of donuts), but the pure fun of it hasn’t. I’m a little sad that this era is drawing to a close.  There are always new things to enjoy as they age, but those moments of pure joy in early childhood are so sweet.    Did any of you have memorable field trips like this when you were young?

Wickham Farms 09-4

Wickham Farms 09-5

Wickham Farms 09-7

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New Eyes

Exhibit A: Much-loved glasses, worn for 6+ years

L4 climbs around all the chairs
Exhibit B: Much-loved glasses destroyed by Jasper.  Is it because he loves me so much?

053

Exhibit C: New glasses, about which I’m feeling ambivalent at this point except that the lenses are SO CLEAN.

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Sweet Little Package

Upon returning home from our trip this weekend, I had a sweet little package from Julia waiting for me. Inside was the bag o’ buttons I had won in her give-away, as well as a note from her and some note-cards for me.

Package from AdirondackMama

L4 was eager to tear into the bag, so I had to convince her that we needed to wait until daylight to get a picture of the lovely buttons.  Meanwhile, she turned the bag this way and that, staking her claim.  And when it was time, she dove right into the button bonanza

Diving in the Button Bag

and extracted these:

L4 Button treasures

Since then she’s been sorting them out, examining the different shapes and claiming more for her own.  We’ve decided together that we’ll make a bag and decorate it with some of the buttons.  It will be a project for after I finish fulfilling a shop order.

What would you do with a pile of lovely, new-to-you buttons?

Thank you, Julia!

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We took a whirlwind trip to NH this past weekend, and the gathered feet (minus the children, whose can’t keep still) looked like this:

Socked Feet in NH

The last time they were together, the weather allowed for this:

Bare Feet in NH

Instead of playing badminton in the sun, toasting marshmallows by the fire and having “refreshing” drinks in the heat of the afternoon, we went apple picking:

Wench's apples

Have I mentioned how much we’re missing the apples from our tree this year?  However, the apples we picked are crisp and tasty.  And Tracey made us all (with help, I know, Al!) a wonderful apple crisp for dessert on Saturday night:

Inkwench's applecrisp

No matter the weather we play UNO, our own special kind.  We also have fermented beverages (the only time I usually drink any!), dream a bit about our future commune and discuss all manner of topics.  We left later than we should have on Sunday for the drive home.  It’s always hard to leave, but especially when our visit was so short.

It was the weirdest day for weather.  It started out overcast and drizzly as we left seacoast NH.  By the time we reached Worcester, MA, it was snowing a little, and when we reached the Mass Turnpike, this is what surrounded us:

Weather on the drive home from Nh

A little west of Albany the sky cleared, the sun came out, and the temperature was about 20 degrees higher.  Upon arriving home we found our house was only 51 degrees.  Guess it was cold here while we were gone, too.  We were forced to turn the heat on (missed that November 1st goal of mine again this year!).

Whenever our visits with far-away friends end I’m struck with the poignancy of the seemingly mundane: chatting while making meals, pointing out the scenery to one another, a yoga practice, a walk, swaying to favorite tunes together–all of these activities bring contentment.  Though from an outside perspective our mini-vacations might seem a bit ho-hum, I wouldn’t change them (except for the distance!).

What about you–what contentment are you finding in your everyday?

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So said Dr. Eric Post in an interview for NPR’s “Science Friday” in September of 2009 (and I thought it worked for Blog Action Day 2009). I was listening to this as I drove home from work. Not only did I find his research fascinating (you can find the interview here), but his take on action:

FLATOW: Mm-hmm. And I imagine, as people will ask, is there anything we can do to reverse this or slow it down?

Dr. POST: Reversing it is a tricky issue. I mean, that would require removing carbon from the atmosphere. I think slowing it down is more the approach we have to take. And, you know, what I tell students in my classes and what I tell my own kids is this is a matter of personal decision that we can make independently of policy changes. Sure, it’s nice to try to affect policy if that’s an interest to you, but you don’t have to wait for policy to make personal decisions to reduce carbon emissions for example. I think at this point with the Arctic responding as dramatically and as quickly as it is, it’s a matter of damage control.

You don’t have to wait for policy to make personal decisions. . .  It’s so true.  You don’t have to wait for our government to think long term instead of bottom-line.  You can do that right now.  Your contribution to damage control doesn’t have to be an expensive new hybrid car or solar panels or bamboo flooring in your home.  You could simply choose to make fewer trips in the vehicle you already have, take public transportation, walk, or ride a bike.  You can turn light switches and other power off when not in use, find old treasures to make the place you live a home, or make things yourself.  Grow your own food, try to get local and organic, plant a tree, eat less meat, use less paper products–the list could go on and on and on.  And I’ve talked about all of these actions before on this blog.  For me what it comes down to is what are you willing to do, to open your mind to, to recognize.  “Be the change you want to see in the world,” (Mahatma Gandhi) is a quote that resonates with with me for the topic of climate change.  Not only that, but share what you can and help others with it. Be a model to those in your life–maybe without the preaching in which I’m engaging in this post.  🙂 I’ll leave you with one more Gandhi quote:

You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.

Or, in this case, a result so profound that its reverberations will be felt by us all.

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