Wednesday, October 28, 2015
We picked a beautiful day to be in the pumpkin patch. I was sure it was going to be a muddy mess of rotting pumpkins. The pumpkins have been ready since the Labor Day weekend. We were pleasantly surprised though to find a good selection of very large pumpkins.
To be completely honest though, the pumpkin patch is for fun more than anything. We play in the hay, take pictures with the props, run in the weeds, try to carry the biggest pumpkin we can find and go for rides in the wheelbarrows.
Our pumpkins have been waiting patiently on our step to be carved. It's been raining lately so I didn't want them filling with water and rotten before the big day. I think tomorrow will be the night. Wish us luck!
Sunday, October 18, 2015
We have been very fortunate on the island to be enjoying gorgeous fall weather. It's been sunny and mild almost all month. We are busy making the most of it. We are trying to visit all our favorite outdoor places before the wind and cold return.
This past week we made our annual trip to see the salmon run. It's such an inspiring sight. They really struggle without discouragement to get to their spawning grounds. It was sad to see the stream so low though. We have not had nearly enough rain this year. Some parts of the stream were entirely dried up, others were too low for the salmon. The numbers of salmon recorded by the nature house on site are quite a bit lower than usual as well. Global warming is a tricky beast. It's hard not appreciate it for the warm temperatures and extended sunny seasons but we need the rain; the animals and plants need the rain.
There is always room for learning when we visit the park too. This time A took her leaf identification book. It's beautifully painted with watercolors and has a place in the back to record her findings. We were lucky enough to get it in an autumn craft swap I took part it. The park was covered with maple leaves so the kids collected them, made piles, used them as flags, left them inside little holes for animals to use. Autumn abounds with fun. We also learned a lot at the nature house. We found out what our wingspan would be if we were birds, held some antlers shed by the deer in the area, learned about the salmon life-cycle and life in the estuary. I always enjoy these learning experiences that I can share with my children.
Friday, October 16, 2015
We have been having a gorgeous Autumn. The sun still shines most days and the leaves are beautifully colored. As a Thanksgiving tradition we collect fallen branches to make a gratitude tree. Of course the day before we went to collect branches it had rained. Luckily it was also windy so we were able to find many (damp) branches. There were also many chestnuts on the ground so A took a basket to collect some. Anyone have some wonderful chestnut crafts for my A?
Our Thanksgiving was a day filled with family and good food. It was the first year that I did not eat turkey and to be honest, I didn't miss it a bit. We had vegan mashed potatoes, cheese perogies (made by my Ukrainian husband), kale salad, brussels sprouts with apples, cranberry and squash quinoa salad and pumpkin pie. It was a feast indeed.
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without some gratitudes and reflection. We are fortunate that's for sure. We have our health, our family, our safe home, our large garden, our chickens, our loving cat, we are both employed, our children have all their needs met, we are never hungry or cold. We are blessed and we are grateful.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Brave and true will I be
Each good deed sets me free
Each kind word makes me strong
I will fight for the right
I will conquer the wrong
This was our first year celebrating Michaelmas. As we did with Martinmas, we focused on the stories and the moral message of the holiday. I participated in a Michaelmas themed craft swap early in September which really got us in the mood. F got a sweet pair of dragon arm warmers, A got a dragon and St. George for story telling and we got a few other goodies for our table.
We picked up this book from the library (Trina Schart Hyman is one of our favorite illustrators) and used our dragon and St. George to act it out. Miss A decided however that our dragon is a friendly dragon who gives rides.
We talked a little bit about of inner "dragon". I think it's hard for my children to identify that part of their personality. However, this year I decided my inner dragon is my mama guilt. Since F's birth I've been carrying around a lot of guilt. I tell myself I'm too hard on my children, I don't give them enough of my time, I'm not meeting all their needs, I don't give them enough opportunities, and so many other negative thoughts that do nothing but bring me down. So I'm going to tell myself some kind words about myself and be strong so I can conquer my inner dragon.
Did you all get a chance to see that amazing Harvest Moon eclipse? We thought we had missed it but we managed to catch a glimpse as we were driving home for bedtime. So magical.