Tuesday, October 21, 2014


No one should be too surprised if this blog turns into a "how-to" survival guide for getting through the winter, for the next few months. A documentary of my attempts, the triumphs and the failures, and so forth.  That being said, if you have suggestions, things that have worked for you, or recipes to share, please include them in the comments below, and I will try it.

The past couple of mornings, it has been about 45 degrees when Sloane and I walk out the door to the car, and you should see Sloane's face when we get into the car. "It's cold, momma. My car is cold!" And then, "Oh my ear is cold", with wonder and concern on her face.  "Oh I know, bunny", I say, with utmost sympathy. "I'm turning on the heat. (And I'll remember to start the car earlier tomorrow, I tell myself)." 

"I'm not a bunny, I'm a puppy." She says back. And then, "I'm a big girl, too!"

These are the things I've been doing this week, which are my equivalent of being swaddled and rocked like a babe:

+ adding hot chocolate into my dark coffee
+ and then hot teas and/or hot water, all day long
listening to the entirety of Handel's Messiah at one time
+ keeping a snood on (a wonderful one hand knit by a wonderful friend, God bless her)
+ hand lotion and lip balm at my desk at all times, to be applied every 30 minutes.
+ eating a glorious banh mi to erase my memories of all the bad ones I had recently 
+ and true story, one of my dinners this week consisted of three chocolate chip cookies and a giant glass of almond milk. 

And then, 
I did one (underhand) unassisted pull up! I didn't think the underhand counted, but my coach says it did, so I'm gonna take it and be proud of myself. Yeah-uh.

Unrelated, but maybe sort of related, and to carry us into the picture portion of this post..... the main event at the apple picnic last week was this elephant that Sloane made at daycare. It is adorable: an elephant face made out of cardboard and where the trunk goes, a party blower thingie (is that the official name?) so that if you blow on it from the other side, the elephant 'trumpets' his trunk. The joy that the kids derived from this was awe-inspiring. 

It's still cold today, and it's so rainy and grey, but the lesson of the day is: it's the simple things. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I baked not one...not two.. but three things with apples in them this past week! I brought an apple spiced cake, an apple crisp and a French apple tart into existence. Of the three, my favorite was the tart and I'm going to do it again this weekend so be on the lookout. 

This was Friday (now it's already Monday, and yah I'm bummed about it) after a long week, but look at these faces! We had a little apple picnic on the porch while their parents were in the garage gym and we couldn't have been more pleased with ourselves.

The weekend commenced and that evening there was a birthday bonfire for Emily, errands and lunch the next day with Ken and Sloane, a visit to a harvest festival in the park, an engagement party for Chris and Caroline, church on Sunday morning followed by cooking aaaall afternoon for the week, and then dinner with the Clinch clan. 

Apple crisp with whipped cream, check.

Happy birthday Emily!!! 

This was such a lovely moment of being with my family, eating really good food (Indian) outdoors in the sunshine. 

This little pipsqueak and her stick, adventuring the afternoon away.

I posted this photo on Instagram with some brainstorming ideas of how to survive the colder, darker months. You guys, the oppression of these months is fully in effect and I'm trying to equip for battle. The strategy includes: being fireside, wool socks, fleece-lined tights, long underwear, hot teas (chai is my jam right now), fall and winter pies, all sorts of soups, supplementing with vitamin d3 and magnesium oil, sweating, snuggling, reading in bed, celebrating all sorts of things, moisturizing, and so on.....

Friday, October 17, 2014


We did it!! It was raining as we drove up but I'll take a rainy, foggy, muddy trip to the orchard over the supermarket any day.  Something about being on top of that mountain, plucking them apples off the trees and smelling the wet soil makes those apples tastes soooo dang good.  Apple picking is my favorite thing to do in the fall, and it makes me doubly happy to share that experience with Sloane!

It is so startling to look back to just last year, (this was her third time!), not just because we look slightly different but because I can see how much my frame of mind is changing. I like each year better and better as it goes... Isn't that something !



We ended that day, as all fall days should end, with a campfire.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


What is it about these weeks! I'm dragging, hard, through the work day and doing the thing where I am looking forward to the next weekend starting on Monday.  Each day, I feel the need to gather up the endurance of a long-distance runner...Heyo Wednesday. 

Last weekend, we finally got around to doing the thing that I love most about fall - apple picking! I'll post more pictures about that later (when I get my replacement charger in the mail because Rusty ate through mine, so my laptop, along with all my photos, are in slumber until a new charger revives it. RIP charger, RIP $80.)

For now, I wanted to share some wonderful things happening in the world of Sloane. After eyeballing and gifting it around, I finally got myself the "One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book", and I've been using it to jot down quick recordings of observations having to do with Sloane's adventures.

Here are a few selections, for your reading pleasure:

She says she is going to tell me a story and proceeds to simply list anything and everything she can think of and see around her: "Trees, sheep, Rusty, ball, deer, table, chairs...."

The next day, a development! She yells, "I story!", and then proceeds to scrunch her face up as she launches into her 'story' and I catch a few recognizable words here and there: "vroom...up there... fast.. no cry...all together."

It's bedtime and she climbs into the rocking chair with a book and surreptitiously, naturally, slips her hand into her front pocket and pulls out an imaginary morsel of food and slips it in her mouth, before opening the book to read.

I start saying bedtime prayers and she interjects with, "pray for cow, goats and pony."

After I close the door, I can hear her singing songs ("wheels on the bus") to her chosen stuffed animal of the night.

As soon as she hears me starting to unload the dishwasher, she runs over and asks to help. "Mom, this goes in there?" picking up a spoon and motioning to the utensil drawer. "Yes, it does." "Oh, okay!" She deftly puts each item away in the drawer, while on tip toes. 

"Mom, I squeezed orange juice at school!" 
"Oh nice! Wait, real or pretend?" I ask, not knowing if she knows the word.
"Pretend....Michael ate orange, Ms. Melinda said, 'No eat orange.' It's pretend!" 

Somewhere along the line, she started calling me "mom" in regular conversation. "Mom, I can't reach it!" It makes her sound so much older than she is. But when she wants to be comforted, when she sees me walk through the door to pick her up at daycare, it's still: "Mommy!" 

"I am so happy to see you Sloane!" I say, giving her a big squeeze. She beams back at me, understanding, and her face says, "Oh! I am loved."

There are plenty of times when she wants to be contrary, but I am constantly amazed by how well she listens, how much she understands, how much she wants to be on good terms with us, and how much she trusts us. I treasure this.