Sunday, October 26, 2014

we have a pumpkin problem

Hello. I am here today to talk about our pumpkin problem. You see, we have an absolutely ridiculous amount of pumpkins, especially for people who live on a sailboat. The kids LOVE pumpkins, in a deep, unnatural way. And I will admit I have a thing for them too. And this is the time of year when everywhere we go someone is handing us an orange, lumpy sphere of happiness. Every fall festival or homeschool outing or trip to get groceries somehow results in another pumpkin. The orange rascals are everywhere.









And so when we want to go sailing, we end up with a scene like this.




And that's not even all of them... sigh.

We made the grave mistake a week or so ago of heading out on a rough evening sail with all of the pumpkins in tow. One of the huge heavy ones went flying across the cockpit and nearly clobbered poor Naia. From then on I told Zach is was his job to get them all off the boat before we cast off. Well, almost all. Big Bertha stayed because honestly I think she weighs more than Zach does. She is the white gorda gourd under the fairy house in this photo...


Zach saw this set up at a local farm, and said, "Oh mommy can we build something like that on the boat?" Nooooooooooooooooo!


Some will be carved, some are just adorning the boat au naturel, some will become candles, and some I am giving away to unsuspecting visitors. Hello, welcome aboard! Can I offer you a pumpkin or a glass of wine or maybe a pumpkin?

And with each pumpkin acquisition of course comes the gratuitous pumpkin photos that every parent in America takes this time of year.




So, anyone have some pumpkin recipes they want to share ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Four


My wee girl is now four years old. She's spunky, sharp as a tack, loving, fierce, and curious. I love how she plays with insects, sings and sings, and talks the day away making up little stories. Oh the stories that go and go. Any two things become her characters, safety pins, crayons, grains of rice, they all get assigned roles and talk to each other quite dramatically. And the blurred line between make believe and reality always shows when she narrates herself through everyday activities.

"Mommy where are my shoes, I asked?"

"I don't want any carrots, I declared walking away from the table."

Her birthday was full of heavy rain and dark clouds, but my little sunshine didn't care a bit. She had everything she requested, just mommy, dada, brother, and chocolate cake, perhaps not in that order. We played, read stories, ate her favorite foods (black beans and more black beans), and watched a movie.



Doug carved out a fairy house from a pumpkin the night before that was waiting for her in the morning. I saw one just like it on Pinterest and left him to make it happen. He did a fabulous job, way better than I would have managed. And she was over the moon thrilled!






And Zach came  up with the idea of taking cicada wings (yeah we did just happen to have some laying around) and covering them in glitter and tape and leaving them out for her as fairy wings.


Once the rain stopped, we went for a little walk.


And we asked her what she wanted to do. "Mommy, I want to see something I have never seen before!" I love that idea! With only a couple of hours of daylight left, we bailed out the dinghy and hopped in for a ride into town to watch the Sailboat Show breakdown. So many boats moving around to oooh and ahhh at,. It was a mini adventure, just like her.



Happy Birthday Naia!

video




Sunday, October 05, 2014

Is it time now?

She knows the date, recites it dutifully when strangers ask. October 13. But time and dates and months are totally abstract to a 3 year old. What's not abstract are the signs in nature around us. She knows the change means it's coming. She opened the door this week and looked out across the creek at the trees on the far shore.

"The leaves are changing color! The leaves are colors now, they're turning red and orange and yellow. Is it my happy birthday now?"

Soon, baby girl, it's coming so soon.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just a bag full

The night before we had a talk. On the drive up I warned him once again. One small bag, I said. No wheelbarrows, no huge baskets full, nothing more than we can eat and use in a few days. Deal?

Past years when we go apple picking the boy child in particular picks and picks with the enthusiasm of a paid day laborer. But the thing is, aside from maybe a few sliced apples with peanut butter, he's not really an apple kid. He won't eat apple pie. He won't touch applesauce. He's not fond of apple butter. So why on earth are we picking all of these apples?  So I set a limit. And you know what? He listened.








We enjoyed the day walking the farm with friends, picking some tomatoes too. We talked to the animals and soaked in the sunshine.







And at the end of the day we had a small, reasonable bag of apples. Many were eaten, a handful were baked and filled with ice cream. Some were made into candles. We weren't drowning in apples. It was simple and reasonable and a perfect way to welcome fall.




Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dear September

Each day is full of sunshine, and lacking humidity. The days aren't too long or too short. The beaches are empty. The parks are quiet. The creeks and rivers are bustling as those who love the water try to get in as much time on the briny blue before the freeze sets in.  I look around and people seem quiet. Everyone seems to be staring into the sunshine, breathing deep, and saying thank you September.














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