Thursday, December 13, 2018

Where You'll Find Me

We are almost halfway through December- one of the months in which I classically post almost every other day (and some years even more frequently than that)- and this year? This year I am writing my very first December post on the 13th. That's not to say that I haven't had anything noteworthy going on... what it really boils down to is that I haven't had the time or attention to spare for this space. It's a fact that's been looming like an elephant in the room for over six months- a fact I didn't want to face because I didn't want to let go of the idea of meditating on something, fleshing it out through my camera lens, and putting it down in well-thought-out and edited words. But today, on December 13th, I have to face it: I can't maintain this blog like I want to. Like I'm used to. Like it's always been. So for now, poetically at the conclusion of the year, I will conclude my efforts to maintain this blog and instead indulge in the less-demanding, more forgiving, and practically instantaneous real-time cyberspace of Instagram. Please pop in and find me there (@cleburneaggie), where I can so much more easily share our daily treasures and trials without the guilt that has come to haunt me with this blog. I will leave this blog up for posterity, though, and perhaps at a later date and under different circumstances I will revive it. Until then, though, we wish you happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!

Monday, November 26, 2018


This weekend we spent huge, vast, wonderful numbers of hours outside in our woods, working to cut back the scrub. We made better progress this time than any other time we've gone at it, and even found time to have lunch and dinner around the fire pit. Suka behaved, the kids behaved, we found mossy treasures and special rocks and a (good) snake, and then on Sunday night we came in early- chilled and smoky- took early showers, and read Harry Potter until bedtime. I couldn't have crafted a better weekend if I tried.

Hoping everyone found their own perfect version of weekending, too. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Meal Prep, Big Kid Style

It has become a fun tradition, as big holiday meals approach, to sit down with my kiddos and flip through cookbooks to pick something they each can make to contribute. They both love that responsibility- that sense of being in charge of something that's actually important- and as time passes the recipes they choose have become increasingly more complicated.

Henry especially seems to love being in the kitchen and in charge. Every Saturday morning (and some Sundays too) he makes scrambled eggs. It is a very serious process, and he serves them with pride. Lately he's been trying to crack the eggs with one hand, which has resulted in us all having a little extra calcium on the side, but how else is he going to become a one-handed egg-cracking master?

For our first weeknight of Thanksgiving break, they bumped it up a notch and decided they would make an entire meal. By themselves. Cooperating. Together.

They made beef stroganoff with rice and a spinach salad with apples and bacon bits. They also made their own fancy version of French dressing, and it was all pretty darn good!

Now we just need to work on the cleanup afterwards (because that little detail seemed to be immediately forgotten when the cooking was finished!), but all in all I'd call this an event worth repeating!

Great job, guys!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Too Late

It finally happened- our first hard freeze. Down into the 20's we went, and shortly thereafter came the end to the overwhelming tide of hot peppers and tomatillos. Regretfully, I realized a little too late that the low was going to be that low- and I did have a few tomatoes hanging on which I was sad to see go- but in a guilty way I'm a little relieved that my winter rest has arrived and the time has come to put the beds to bed (although it hurt my heart a little to see all that waste).

It took three trips with packed wheelbarrow to get it all cleaned up, then the rest of the day and countless more loads to get all the compost and manure filled in, but it's done! I'd like to see a top coat of rotting hay, but my back was O.U.T. out by the end of the mulching so that will have to wait.

Now if only I could get Suka to stop stealing the eggshells out of the compost....................

Monday, November 19, 2018


A whole week off, y'all. It feels so luxurious... and I'm determined to make the most of it, despite the allergy attack upon the whole fam. Errands, lunch out, playtime with friends? Yes, yes, yes! And maybe a little making and a little shopping and a little holiday gift planning... but first, a little baking!

Woodland creatures, fall leaves, and Star Wars characters, all frosted in red & green. Why? Because we can. And because it's Thanksgiving break!

Wishing everyone a sweet kickoff to the week!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ten Things

I have to admit, I am struggling to find the time, energy, and opportunity to sit down and create commentary on our days lately. After selling the majority of my day every Monday through Friday, I rush back home to get kids from school, then it's the usual homework-housework-dinner-bedtime routine and in the end, I am not left with much time for myself and the things I used to love spending said time on. Sadly, this little indulgence is suffering along with everything else, and it's a bummer.

But I'm here now, and here's ten things worthy of note lately-

1: it is chilly. In fact, I saw that we have been almost ten degrees below "normal" for the last couple days. It has made all our sweaters come out, and we had a fire in the wood stove all day Saturday. We even had hot apple cider for the first time this season, though Audrey wouldn't drink it because she said it smelled like Play Doh (I dunno?). I'm totally loving it, though. Real Fall, y'all.

2: I'm not the only one enjoying all that comes with a genuine autumnal cold snap- Rory has been a constant occupant at the foot of my bed, where all the extra blankets get thrown when alarm clocks start sounding and bodies start rising. He is a sucker for the fleece, and 9 times out of 10 you can find him in some sort of catball shape tucked in those abandoned folds. Lucky cat.

3: we rented a dumpster and finally cleaned up after the rebuilding of the chimney. We had an entire dumpster worth of debris and trash left behind after the demolition and reconstruction of our leaky, rotten chimney, and I'm proud to say everyone pitched in to get it all picked up and packed away. It's such a relief... you could see the trash pile from the driveway and it was a total downer.

4: for the first time since her stitches and staples and such came out, Suka finally got a bath and a good brushing (and then a nap wrapped in a fresh towel in the sunshine), and she smells so. much. better. That girl was getting pungent! What a relief!

5: speaking of Suka, she is scheduled to be spayed next week and we are all looking forward to that being over and done with. Per our vet's advice, we've allowed her to go through her first heat cycle before being spayed, and oh my goodness has that been a challenge. We're almost through it, though, and then we'll never have to worry about unwanted neighbor-dog attention again! Eight more days to go.

6: in other animal news, our feathered girls are going through their first molt, and oh my is it a big one! It looks like someone ripped open a feather pillow out there, and my poor Queenie seems to be hit the hardest of all of them. Don't you worry, though, she still struts around with a regal air, but it is not warranted at the moment. Her poor tail... but you're still beautiful on the inside, Queenie girl! I am really looking forward to them completing this cycle, I really miss those eggs... it's been more than a month since we've gotten a single one!

7: we've also stopped letting the chicken girls out of their coop during the day (for now) because we have a griffin-sized red tailed hawk who has somehow figured out how to get past the net and through the extensive canopy coverage of their yard and pick 2 hens and my rooster off at it's leisure. It doesn't make any sense, but since they've been cooped up (har har), they've been safe, so cooped they shall remain. Queenie is the loudest complainer, but it's the best I can do right now. Sorry, Queenie.

8: with all the usual harbingers of the season for us came strep throat, and we've had our littlest on antibiotics for the last several days. Brave little Henry missed a day of school to go get that dreaded swab down the throat, then went with me to my office so I could pick up my laptop and work from home so he could rest. He left me these little notes while I was getting things lined up before hitting the road for home, and I'm pretty sure they won't be erased for quite a while. They're my favorite office decoration now.

9: I will be off the whole week of Thanksgiving (yay!), and I'm carefully lining up projects and to-do lists for that precious time at home. At the top of the list is some QT with my sewing machine, creating new covers for the pillows my sneaky pup has all but destroyed. I decided to go a completely different route from the colors we'd been maintaining in there, and there will be some black this time around. It feels bold and exciting (and yes, I do realize I'm only talking about pillow covers, but still!). I'm looking forward to seeing them finished!

10: I have finally started taking our Christmas shopping seriously, and have surprised myself with a few flashes of genius for a couple hard-to-buy-for family members and now I am SO EXCITED I can't even stand it. Granted, there are more blanks on my list than there are great ideas, but the ones I've hit on...... yaaaaaaaaaasssssss. Can't wait to share.

And so I'm off to tackle the next line item on my to-do list and hopefully squeeze out another few minutes to pop back in here soon. Wishing all a great start to the week!

Thursday, November 1, 2018


I think every November first I start my first-of-the-month post with the exact same words: I can't believe it's already November. Seriously, though, where did October go?! Can we really be only a few short weeks away from Thanksgiving? (And are we really about to go through that stupid tradition of arbitrarily changing the time our clocks read, again?)

Ah well, I say bring on the deep fall traditions, and welcome, November!

Lucky for me, I happen to love long shadows, molting chickens, apple everything, and bringing out the long sleeves. Welcome, November, you are truly one of my favs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween

The rain held off for juuuuuuuuuuust long enough for us to make our usual rounds with our usual group and- as usual- get back home late to devour our loot and get to bed waaaay past bedtime.

It was a happy Halloween.

Wishing all the same!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Better Late Than Never

Before October is officially finished, I wanted to pop in here and share a few pics from Audrey's actual birthday party day. I realize I'm half a month late, but better late than never, right?

This one felt like a marathon, y'all, but she is fully celebrated and living her best 10-year-old life. Happy birthday, Audrey Grace!

Monday, October 29, 2018


With a break in the rain, a warm breeze blowing, and that golden autumnal light I love so well, we took our pumpkins out to the picnic table for their transformation today. This year was a big deal for us- my Littles carved their own 'lanterns, using real knives, all by themselves. (They also scooped out the seedy goo on their own, another first.)

I must say I was a bit worried- turning over sharp pointy knives to my kiddos, who are still so little in my mind. They were very responsible, though, and followed every direction to the letter. No one was even scratched, and they are so proud of their creations this year.

I must say, I love them... especially the eyebrows. Great job, my big Littles. Excellent job.

See our past Lanterns: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012