Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Peacful Evening Bike Rides

Each clear spring evening after diner our family has been loading the bikes up in the truck and heading over to the Windham Rail Trail. Eddie just happened upon this place one day when out looking for a trail with Ellie. They came back so excited to tell Xavia and I that they had seen an otter, eagle, snapping turtle, and snake all in about one hour along this 3.5 mile paved trail. Needless to say I was eager to go see this place for myself, so we all went the next evening. What a great find! We've been almost every day since and I'm in awe each time by all the beautiful scenery and wildlife along this trail.









Awaken

This I wrote as a homework assignment that came out of class work on writing about a moment of realization. What was the realization? I also tried to transform this into the 6S from the last post.

The crisp spring air filled my sleepy lungs. I crawled out of my snugly bed and shivered in my white tank and short yellow sleep shorts. Tip-toe to the alarm to shut it off before it buzzes 5:55. I hear the hum of the refrigerator and feel the cold kitchen tile under my feet. I buzz around preparing his breakfast and lunch, taking care to add my little touches of love, the drizzle of honey on the sliced banana, the chocolate kiss in the brown paper lunch bag.

When he joins me in the kitchen I hand him his creamy coffee with a goodmorning peck on the cheek. I settle into the stiff wooden kitchen chair and wrap my hands around my own warm dark ceramic coffee mug at peace with the start of our day.

My Try At 6S

Routine
The awakening sun peeped through the blinds. I sucked in a deep breath and peeled myself from my cushy bed. I leep to turn off the alarm buzzing 5:55, excited to be up five minutes before him. In that five minutes I brush my teeth, wash my face, make coffee, toast, bag a lunch of ham and cheese, a water, a banana, a chocolate kiss, and an "I love you" note. The next five minutes is just about my favorite time. When we have each other in the silent of the morning coffee, before I kiss him and say "goodbye, have a great day!"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A "Sweet" Weekend



The four of us loaded in the van and followed the heavenly smell of steaming maple through the majestic north country of New Hampshire. This past weekend marked the traditional "maple weekend" in the state. Our family always enjoys a March visit to a sugar shack, but this was our first in New Hampshire.

Shortly into our drive we spotted the tin buckets hanging from maple trees on the roadside. One year, Ellie dipped her finger in one to taste and was surprised to find that the sap tastes much like water. There are a couple of sugar maples at our prospective new house and I hope for the girls and I to try out tapping them next season.




Our adventure brought us to Sugarmomma's Maple Farm (www.sugarmommasmaple.com), a small family home on a few acres with two Scottish Highlander bulls, a hen house, a pig and a sugar shack with a state of the art steamer. This amazing momma spends all of sugar season out in this shack loading wood for the steamer. In the off season she bottles, makes maple candy and even a maple hot sauce. This small family operation is the largest producer of pure maple syrup on the New Hampshire seacoast. Her story of producing one gallon out of her kitchen her first year to thousands just a few years later was inspiring to hear. This type of small family business pumps the true New England heart.

Believe it or not pure maple syrup, in moderation of course, has many health benefits. The sweet stuff is loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6. Swap it out for sugar or corn syrup in recipes and you'll end up with a healthier, more moist product. Sugarmommas site is loaded with tasty looking recipes. Just think of those strong beautiful maple trees. Doesn't it make sense that what they use for nutrients would benefit us too?

Thank you Sugarmomma for the great family adventure and a yummy pancake breakfast!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Going Green......homework gone wrong!


As part of my idea towards a move to a more tranquil life, I have been reading up on becoming more green. Yes, more green, because before we moved we hadn't been totally barbaric, we did recycle (for the most part), had a small 10 by 10 plot of a garden, plus raised chickens in the city! Still here in this tiny apartment, it's been very difficult, not to mention costly, to start being more green.

The latest book I read was The Essential Green You by Deidre Imus, it's a great book with a lot of important eco-information. She sites multiple resources that basically say we are being killed by toxins in foods, cleaning products, cosmetics, clothing, just about everything. In fact the book has got me quite paranoid. Where do I start, we'd go bankrupt trying to turn everything organic at once. I've got to take small steps.

My goals for now are to buy organic produce(and wash the non-organic stuff real well with purified water), look for healthy choices in cosmetics, and read labels to find what I need made from the least ingredients possible. We will all around try and use less and recycle more. I hope to succeed here and create larger, greener goals when we get into our new home. On the road to increased health, bodies, minds and spirits!



This post was in response to a homework assignment. I was supposed to think of a color before I went to bed last night (that was RED). When I woke up I was to record the first five things that I saw that were that color (Red- Spatula, Tooth-paste, green bag, crocheted shoe-laces, hand-soap) and then try and connect them in a narrative. What went wrong? I sat down to write and thought "green"!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Luck


The recent Saint Patrick's day festivities got me thinking about luck. Who has it and who doesn't and why? Lately, I've felt truly lucky in my life, but other's looking in might not see it that way. I think the biggest part of luck is attitude and belief!

At the top of my luck list, I am so very blessed to be in a loving relationship and have two wonderful daughters. Sure, there's been plenty of work in raising children and keeping that spark in our relationship, but there is so much more involved than work. There's that intuition in parenting, that magic in love, all thrown in at the right moments by luck!

I have this little skill bestowed to me by my grandmother where I'll just be strolling along and happen to glance down and find a four-leaf clover. I'd say I average finding about thirty in the spring and summer each year, and my grandmother did the same.Family and friends think it's just so strange, because they'll search and search and never find one. Do all these clovers make me a lucky person? No, I don't think so, I believe that comes from an innate attitude, an outlook that I am lucky and good things do happen every day.

In his book The Luck Factor, psychologist Richard Wiseman wrote about his study of four hundred self-described exceptionally "lucky" and "unlucky" people. His study came up with basic principles and characteristics of "lucky" people. Do you fit in?

*Lucky people tend to maximize chance opportunities
*Create, notice, and act on these opportunities
*Very effective at listening to their intuition
*Do work (like meditation) that is designed to boost their intuitive abilities
*Lucky people tend to expect to be lucky
*Create self-fulfilling prophecies because they anticipate positive outcomes
*Lucky people have an attitude that allows them to turn bad luck into good

Yes, that's me, always looking on the bright side with a positive attitude! I feel so lucky to be lucky! If you don't fit into these characteristics, work on it, you could just change your luck!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We're Moving!

It was a dreary October morning, I was working at our dining room table with my two daughters on a learning project, when the phone rang. My husband, Eddie, was calling from work. He said "I've got some shocking news.." His company was closing the plant that he had been working at for the past fourteen years! Luck lily, he had an option to stay with this New England business that he had put so much into. On the phone, he told me that he was given the option to move to their Dartmouth MA location, Londonderry New Hampshire, or else he could take a lay-off and get his resume out. He said "What should we do?" I said "We're moving to New Hampshire!"


After that morning, every minute since then has been a whirlwind! I instantly called our realtor and had her put our house up for sale. We lived on a main road, an actual state highway, in an urban city. By some miracle our house sold in twenty days and one showing! My girls and I worked tirelessly to purge our belongings and pack only the necessities into a POD. Meanwhile, Eddie started his job and stayed in a hotel. The holidays flew by, our families mourned us moving. All along we visited New Hampshire whenever we could and searched for a house to buy.

This economy is a "buyer's market" right? Well, sure it seems that the deals are abundant, but everything is in a "short sale". Our search is for a classic three-four bedroom with some local character. Maybe some land for a mini farm or a lake or forest near by. We've been bid out and sent through hoops trying to get the best deal on a number of short sales and foreclosure. Finally, we settled into a two bedroom apartment in a town close by to Eddie's new job. Well, sort of settled!

I was so quick to embrace our family's move here to New Hampshire because I saw a new life for us, a chance to throw our busy schedule to the wind and get back to the basics. I want my children to fall in love with nature here in this state loaded with mountains, lakes, and forests. Yes, we homeschool and lean towards unschooling ( http://www.unschooling.com/library/faq/index.shtml ) The girls and I knit, read, bake, and explore the outdoors almost daily, but I wouldn't say that we were "whole living" and I want that for all of us.

As of now, we are surviving in this apartment in this busy little city with three grocery stores and a Walmart. All of our hopes are holding on this cute little lakefront house up in the "backcountry". Keeping our fingers crossed that all the red tape of a short sale sails through the banks in our favor! For now we'll await the happy day that we hear the house is ours, or the disappointing news that we lost another one.
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