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into the woods

The weather here has been so weird.  One day we have coats, gloves and scarves on and the next we can go out in tshirts.   Even on the cold days though, the woods call us.  As soon as we have nothing else to do, my kids are out there,  with pockets to fill and Ronnie always with the leather satchel I made her as part of an indian costume a few years ago.  Had I known she would use it and love it so much, I probably would have made it a little fancier but she loves it just the same.  I try to follow as often as I can and it is such a balm to my soul.

So quiet and beautiful, our woods.  I wish everyone had such a great place to walk and think.  Out in the woods there are few distractions, just the sounds of everything that should be there.  Rustling leaves under foot, birds that never left for winter and the sounds of trees and wind when they meet.  A chance to find pinecones for firestarters and whatever treasure is waiting by the little creek or out on the path and the promise lurks underfoot, though we can’t see any signs yet that spring is really just around the bend.

We have made it through another winter and I think I will miss these quiet days when everything comes back to life.

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in preparation for advent

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The past few weeks around here have been a blur.  We have put everything to bed for the winter, garden is mulched and ready to sleep in the hopes of no weeds and easier prep time in the winter.  All the meat chickens are at freezer camp and we have another freezer full of deer meat given to us by our neighbors from right in our woods.  It is a good feeling I tell ya.  Good.  We are turning our attention to being inside and I am having more time to be on this computer and pull out some projects that have been waiting for my attention.

Fall has been so beautiful and I fear that I did not get one picture of it though I have not really looked through my camera and likely did.  Our woods are looking very different these days and its my favorite time to be there.  The leaves have all fallen and visibility goes way back into the woods.  The vines and brambles that kept us out all summer are gone and we can now walk anywhere back there and not just on the paths.  It has made for very entertaining hours these past few weeks.  We are soaking in every minute before Old Man Winter is upon us and we have to retreat inside.

We spent yesterday creating an advent spiral from materials we have right here (why not use what we have right?) and dipping candles to mark every night.  I fished out my candle wicks (and remembered the elderly lady who gifted it to me so long ago).  I will hopefully have the spiral finished up just in time to start the countdown tomorrow.  I haven’t painted one of my little people in years (do you remember those?)  and want to paint the Blessed Mother to go along with the candles each day.  So much to do.

Thanksgiving was nice.  Very relaxed.  So much in fact, that the turkey didn’t even go into the oven until 1 in the afternoon and we had quite a late dinner but fun and so much laughter.  I do prefer that to overly complicated celebrations with timelines.

I am going to miss the pumpkin spice essential oils blend that we have been mixing up here lately but the kids want some Christmas smells now so its time to break out the piney ones.  We also have a handful of small pumpkins that I need to turn into some kind of food and no idea if the ones sold at the stores for ornaments are flavorful.  Luckily, the big pumpkins on the porch were completely eaten by the chickens.  The day after halloween I saw them pecking at it and by the next day, two huge pumpkins were nothing but stalks.  Those chickens are great eating machines.  They have found the last source of wild berries outside and I find them perched up in that bush eating berries while the biggest girls, too big to get up off the ground really, wait for any to fall.  I am looking forward to those berries being gone though since I am sure those berries are causing our egg yolks to taste a bit off.

Today I will complete the spiral and the candles are hanging, waiting to be trimmed.  Tomorrow we start December and I need to get my gift list going.  What are you making this year for presents?  I can’t wait to hear.  I have been receiving lists from my little ones and everytime one of the big ones tells me of another request, I remind them to commit it to a list.  On paper.  Because momma brain.

Mateo has really taken to using his imagination and so now I must help him go and catch that swordfish, with his butterfly net that is living in our playroom.  See you a bit later.


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