Tuesday, November 29, 2016


We got our DIY on this past weekend and finally checked a kinda-big project off the list. Winter is coming (catch my weak pun in the title?) and with our first freeze already under our belts our well house was becoming a source of concern- it still didn't have a door.

No door = no freeze protection. No freeze protection = frozen pipes. Frozen pipes = no water to the house. We had to deal with that situation a couple years ago and lemme tell ya, it was no fun. At all.

So we got busy and fixed it right up.

It rained buckets the night after we finished the installation, and this coming weekend we will probably have another freeze... plenty of opportunity for our project to prove itself! We made it mostly out of scraps, leftovers, and improvisations, and if I do say so myself the result was pretty darn nice!

High five for home improvement! Now... which line item is next, dishwasher or wood shed...?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Leaf Pile

That was fun... and the best part was they raked them all on their own! We do love fall.........

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget 
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
-Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1963, JFK

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. May your expressions of thanks on this day carry on in your actions throughout the year, until we all gather around the Thanksgiving table again. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

In the Kitchen

For most of yesterday and what I anticipate will be the rest of today, you will be able to find us in the kitchen making good things to share with our family tomorrow. You will also find me in there long past the cooking fun washing all the dishes by hand, because our sweet dishwasher has graced us with a complete breakdown just in time for the holidays.

But no matter... maybe I can entice my helpers to stick around and dry them as I wash...

Murphy's Law, right?

Happy Thanksgiving prep, y'all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Right Now

Right now, I'm...

...fighting coughs, sniffles, sinus pressure, and sleepless nights. All four of us are congested and sooo tired of it (no fevers though, so at least there's that).
...falling a little behind in Positively Present's 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge because, you know, we're feelin' crappy (see what I've posted so far over on Instagram).
...slowly crossing things off my Thanksgiving Day prep list, and loving how helpful my Littles have been with the chores- Henry has vacuumed, Audrey has helped with folding and putting away laundry, and they both have done so well playing together without increasing the mess (much), which is the most helpful of all!
...planning on making a lot of bread and bread-based items today: rolls, sandwich bread, cinnamon buns, and probably more rolls.
...loving the mounds and mounds of turkey-type kid projects laying around right now, some from school and some made from paper scraps in secret, and many designated for sharing with family on Thursday.

Right now I'm living on coffee, tea, and expectorants, and despite all that I'm still finding myself surrounded by so much to be thankful for.

May we all see past the little stuff to the big picture and give thanks. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Visiting :: Ft. Worth Zoo (with Hen)

We ended the week last week with Henry's first field trip: the Ft. Worth Zoo. I finally got to put some faces to the names he's always talking about, meet some new parents, and watch my guy in action with his class...

...it was a good trip.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water,
and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. 
I come into the presence of still water,
and I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. 
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"The Trees Love This Weather"

While walking out to the chicken coop this morning, I was suddenly enveloped in a very vivid memory from my early childhood. I was standing in the driveway, listening to the cool breeze, the faint sound of rain dripping, and the birds chirping. I was smelling the damp earth, damp leaves, damp concrete.

Slowly, like a fog swallowing up the present, I became very small again. Straining to look up at my mom, I realize I am holding her hand and trying to see through my fuzzy hair pushed around my face by a wind breaker hood. I can hear the soft sound of the nylon (or whatever it was made of) swishing around my ears with our movement. We're walking along a quiet, wet street while cool, misty rain drizzles all around us. I smell damp earth, damp leaves, damp concrete. I hear the breeze through the lingering fall leaves in the trees, the rain dripping, the birds chirping. My mom is taking deep breaths, smiling. Then she says, "The trees love this weather." I remember wondering how she knew that, but I remember never doubting for a minute that it was true- of course the trees must love this weather. Clearly she did; she seemed so content to be walking out in it- out in the weather that was keeping every other person shut up in their houses.

Then the past swallowed that moment up again and I was back, standing in my own driveway, surrounded by dripping trees and chirping birds and solitude. What a peaceful, nostalgic, and strangely lonely feeling... to remember something so brightly and in the next moment realize how far away that moment really is, and how much has changed since then.

But I do believe that when this weather rolls in my mom is still just as happy to greet it... and I also believe the trees are still just as in love with it as she is... and thanks to her, this just so happens to be my favorite kind of weather, too.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Visiting :: Historic Denton

Audrey had her first of two field trips for this month, this one focusing on local government and the community. We visited Denton's historic courthouse, met the Mayor, walked through the courthouse's museum, and visited the Bayless-Selby House Museum and the Quakertown House Museum.

We're about two thirds of the way through Laura Ingalls Wilder's series (we just started Little Town on the Prairie), and the Bayless-Selby House was almost the right time period for what some people during Laura's time would have had. That part of the tour was easily our favorite, and Audrey loved it.

Little brother will be going on his first field trip this week at the same time Audrey embarks on her second, so the next post on visiting will be the Ft. Worth Zoo with Bubba!

(Loving that my girl might just get in to history the way her Mama already is!)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

10 Things

A few things on this gray and muggy Thursday:

1.Spring garden planning is in full swing right now, thanks to a weekend of quick and decisive destruction (bye-bye giant weeds, hello blank slate garden plot!). I'm being heavily influenced by this book, if anyone's interested.

2.We finally connected with someone to come cut hay in our field and take on the hay lease. It has made for much easier walking (now that the grass is short) and much fun on the bale left behind for us...

3. Is anyone participating in Positively Present's 30 Days of Gratitude this month? I'd love to see what you come up with! I've decided to follow the rules this year (first time evah) and am posting daily via my Instagram account. Come play along! (See my all-at-once-style previous challenges here: 2015, 2014, 2013)

4. My girl and I have started planning treats to bring to our family Thanksgiving meals, and this year I've decided to pass on to her my vintage Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book. It's so fun to see which recipes she's drawn to, and remember which ones were my favorites. I can't wait to see what she decides to make this year! (We have a right of passage in our family- you have to be six and able to read before you get to have your own recipe book; Bubba still helps but he doesn't get to have his own books and make his own plans until next year)

5. We've started experimenting with our beeswax and a lot of our inspiration has come from this helpful blog. Our most successful concoctions will become gifts this upcoming holiday.

6. I'm a bit obsessed with apples at the moment- which I don't feel bad about at all because they're in season and everywhere and cheap!- and am planning some apple pie making soon... but am also eyeballing this recipe and thinking I might just have to go back to the store for more. Oh how I look forward to when our own apple trees are big enough to produce apples!

7. My girl lost another tooth this week, and has started asking what will happen if she looses all her teeth all at once before the permanent teeth have a chance to grow back in (she forgets she has quite a few permanent teeth already). She has no interest in the tooth fairy and insists on storing her teeth for herself. I'm thinking she might need a little treasure box in her stocking for those she doesn't loose between now and then.

8. I've been scouring the interwebs for recipes using honey... both beekeeping clubs I belong to will be holding potluck meetings in December to celebrate the holidays, and I would love to bring something honey-centric. I have a few recipes bookmarked, but the search continues. Any recommendations?

9. As I have been writing this post, I've been hearing the weirdest scraping, dragging, whistling sound. It kinda sounded like it was coming from outside, but I just now realized: I've been hearing my cat snore. So there's that going on, too.

10. We had a "cold" front blow through last night which brought some much-needed rain but didn't cool things down much... I'm dying for temps that don't require the air conditioner so I can dive in to this hot drinks list and start working my way through it!

And that's about all on this dull Thursday morning! Now I'm off for more coffee and some pie makin'!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Ever since my kids' dance recital this past summer, they've been resolved to wear their costumes again for Halloween and trick-or-treat as clowns. No one really thought that was a great idea, especially with all the weirdness around clowns lately, but they could not be deterred.

We have a family friend who always throws a great Halloween party for the kids, and she hates clowns... but we finally had her convinced to allow my kiddos entrance into her party as long as they didn't come with their faces painted... but their costume choice was dreaded.

Well, without prodding- the night before Halloween- both of my kids suddenly changed their minds and decided they would not in fact be clowns, but instead dress as Charles "Pa" Ingalls and Laura Ingalls Wilder (we've been reading through the books for story time before bed).

Well, cool....... except way to give me some notice, guys.

Luckily I'd grabbed a dress for Audrey from the thrift store the year before that I thought looked like a perfect pioneer costume, but at that time she hated it. This year she thought it was the best thing ever, so for Laura all I had to do was make her a sun bonnet. For Pa I made some pants and a beard, and pulled a few other things from our dress-up stash and closets. Voila! Ingallseseses.

 When we arrived at the party there was much relief, and that yarn beard was quite a hit.

 These have got to be some of my most favorite costumes evah. I don't mind the last-minuteness of them at all.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween!