Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting crafty

Lately I have been feeling somewhat creative and have enjoyed some crafty projects of my own and with Joseph. It is very, very exciting for me that Joseph is old enough to do projects!!

I never really loved carving pumpkins and Joseph and knives don't really go that well, so these were our pumpkins this year. I made the funny eyes and mouths out of sculpey (with half toothpicks in the back) and then Joseph choose where to put them. The two painted pumpkins he made at preschool with his teacher, Sarah, and his friends. This is actually one of my very favorite things about his preschool--they do tons of crafts and creative activities. Sarah has way more experience and materials then I could ever have.

These are turkeys Joseph made at school. They were actually the party favors from our fall celebration.

As you can see our fridge is getting very full, with art from home, school, and story time. Every Wednesday Joseph and I go to story hour at the Middlebury library. This is one of my very favorite things to do with Joseph for many reasons, one of which is that each week Judah (the librarian) has organized and laid out all the materials for a great craft relating to the weekly theme. As we drive into Middlebury Joseph always talks about doing the craft and he runs right over when it is time. When we return home he heads right to the refrigerator to display his work. Sarah also sends home lots of projects. I am thinking about trying to find a wall somewhere to dedicate to displaying Joseph's projects.

They turkey shirt I made for Joseph!! I am very proud of this. It is my first attempt at sewing in a long time (therefore don't look too closely at the quality). Of course Joseph didn't appreciate it adequately and I had to force him to wear it. He only likes "baseball shirts " (any shirt that looks vaguely sporty). Tutorial hereif you want to make one:

I am planning on making some wreathes, and Brad has not stopped laughing since I came home with my supplies. He decided to make his own, with cedar branches from our land, to prove you don't need to buy materials. I love it and am very happy he is getting in on the crafting!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

May I suggest

If you need something to bring to your family festivities, I highly suggest pecan pie! It is soooo easy, yummy, and--for some reason--impressive. I have tasted MANY pecan pies in my life; during one particular trip to Texas with my father I pretty much lived on pecan pie. We traveled together around southern Texas, stopping at local dinners, BBQ joints, and restaurants of any kind as they appealed to us, and at each I ordered pecan pie. To be honest, I hardly tried anything else to eat. I was about 12 and you do weird things at that age. Anyways, in my very informed opinion, one of the best pecan pies is from the recipe right of the back of the corn syrup bottle (in case you didn't know pecan pie is mostly sugar of different forms) and this is the recipe I have been making for years.

Give it a try:

I'm still debating whether to reveal my crust recipe . . .

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Halloween was soo much fun for Joseph this year! I thought he was just adorable handing out candy. He was very careful to make sure everyone got some.

We spent quite a while trick-or-treating with Grandma and then Bob. He could have gone for longer--though some costumes and decorations did make him pretty nervous. He is still talking about the haunted house in the library we went to!

Back to handing out pictures. We had such fun!

These pictures are all from a Halloween photo shoot soon after, since I didn't get many pictures.

He was a singing cowboy with his harmonica. Even on the real Halloween he gave some performances!


About to get to eat the candy I bribed him with.

This is the preferred way of dressing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I wish

Tonight I saw the most amazing shooting star I have ever seen. For all my life I have wished the same thing on every shooting star (and birthday candles, at 11:11, and any other opportunity). This wish (which, due to my irrational and indulgent superstitiousness, I cannot completely reveal) has always been about me. Tonight, without even thinking, I wished the same thing, but for JOSEPH. Wow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Book Love

This is a list book list that circulated on Facebook awhile back. I found it quite interesting. My intention is to work on reading more of these. I have just begun 100 Years of Solitude (which, very conveniently, is also the next selection for my book club). (x indicates a selection I have read)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen -X
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte-X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte-X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell-X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens-X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott -X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk-X
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger-X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger-X
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot-X
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald-X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams-X
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll -X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis-X
34 Emma-Jane Austen-X35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein-X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell-X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood-X
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel-X
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen-X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley-X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov-X
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome-X
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker-X
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery-X
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams-X
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl -X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Grand Total: 36 !

How many have you read? Favorites? Dislikes? Omisions? Other thoughts . . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tractor show, hiking, driving around, and NH family visit

Farm and Tractor Field Days just down the road. Joseph got a nice ride there!

Raspberry Jam. Wish I had made more!

Snake Mountain with cousins--Joseph walked some of the way up, and ALL the way down! Well, ran might be more accurate.

Getting good and dirty

Sometimes we like to just drive around. Often we talk alot about architecture and I especially find what I call "sad houses" (or barns, schools, etc. . .) fascinating. These are once beautiful, amazingly crafted, abandoned buildings. Think of how much work went into this and the people who lived their lives here.

Abandoned stone school.

Vermont is beautiful.

Lots of fun with leaves!

We also had a WONDERFUL little family get-together in Manchester, NH. We stayed at a great hotel, visited lots, ate great food, and went to three museums!
SEE Science Center:

Lego model of the millyard area of Manchester

Everyone loved the robot arm.

We might have even gotten a bit competitive. . .

Cousin Ada and Joseph at dinner. This was a moment of calm. Not Joseph's best behaved day, but we pulled through. He was only under the table a bit ... (I swore I would never let that happen!)

Selma's 85th Birthday Dinner!!
(Bob, Selma, Ellen, Daniel, Peter, Marcy, Ada, Joseph, Ruth. Sad to miss Ethan, who is away at college.)

Another super fun museum where you get to touch everything!