moments from the week

Harvey and Zion standing on a wall with a lighthouse in the background

a visit to the coast

Moments from the past week.

Harvey at the picnic table at work on a wreath

wreath creation

the boys leaning against the outside wall of the Minuteman NHP

chillin at the NPS

the boys playing on and around the swing in our yard

just playing outside

Zion playing at a Pokemon event

Zion's first League Cup

more

blankets for the beds

Fall felt like it raced by this year; I didn't do lots of the things I had hoped to do. Now it's totally winter, and the year is still racing. But at least the boys and I caught up with one fall task this afternoon: mulching the garden. Since it wasn't only me being slow and out of it that delayed my fall tasks—the weather was a factor too—other folks are still doing leaf cleanup, and it turns out they're happy to give us their leaves! (I've never talked to anyone else who regrets having a yard that doesn't produce enough leaves...). We imported four bags today, which was just enough to cover the remaining beds. The boys aren't always up for helping in the garden, but they were enthusiastic participants in the work today. I think the way I described the project to Lijah was just the thing to get him interested—I said we needed to give the garden beds their blanket of leaves. All three boys also had fun using garden rakes, and miraculously nobody was injured. And now I can feel like the garden is ready for the winter, and check something off my endless to-do list. Up next in garden projects: ordering seeds!

no eggs?!

Our hens stopped laying for the winter a couple weeks ago, and I haven't totally gotten used to it. We've been buying eggs, but yesterday I used up the last three making french toast (Harvey's friend Jack slept over and we had to give him a good breakfast before we sent him off on the school bus!). We were planning to stop by the egg farm this afternoon on the way home from our outing, but then some friends said they could come over so we skipped the shopping in order to be at our house before them. And they stayed for dinner, which was great! But we still have no eggs. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact: I keep thinking of things to make and then remembering that, no, those things require eggs. Like, literally, I was shocked to realize our egg-less state two or three times in a ten-minute span. Tomorrow we'll get out to buy some. And the hens should be laying again in a couple months!

wreathing

Last year as part of our solstice celebrations we made wreaths, and I was pretty happy with how they came out. This year I thought I'd get a start on the process a little earlier, so we could be thinking about Advent too. And decorating the house for December is always nice too.

a hemlock wreath with red ribbon hanging by our front door

ever green

Our friends joined us for the making, which we did out in the yard under a beautiful sunny sky. All it took was hemlock and holly from our trees, some wire—more wire than you would have thought, but still not that much in the grand scheme of things—and some ribbon. The ribbon was the problem: we had to get some more from CVS, and while biking there was delightful their prices were less so. $1/yard is a bit steep for 3/8 inch polyester ribbon if you ask me. Still, I'm pleased enough with how all the wreaths came out, and spending four dollars on a 16-inch wreath is actually pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things. Plus we had fun!

Lijah smiling with his wreath around his neck

wreathed

Of course, we didn't manage to make the Advent/solstice wreath, the one to hold candles. And Lijah didn't finish the one he was making. He got too cold. More work tomorrow!

more

happy Hanukkah

Yesterday evening we traveled to Lexington to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with Leah's parents. It was a delightful evening. We did all the things: played dreidel, ate latkes and noodle kugel, and enjoyed a fire and the light of three menorahs (Zion didn't burn anything down when he knocked one over). The boys hunted enthusiastically for gelt, and were successful in proportion to their ages—and to the effort they put into actually hunting, rather than chasing their elders and whining. Suffice it to say that everyone got enough chocolate.

They also all got plenty of presents. Legos, stuffed Pokemon dolls, Pokemon cards for Harvey, and matching dragon onesie pajamas. No pictures of all three boys wearing them though, because Harvey's were mistakenly Adult XXL. He put them on anyways, but I told him he wasn't allowed to wear any garment where the crotch came down to his ankles. Oh! And they all also got coonskin caps!

I totally failed at being any part of the gift preparation myself, so I really shouldn't have gotten any presents myself. But I did! A book, some Pokemon cards, and a new food processor to replace my almost-broken-but-I'm-still-using-it old model. The only problem with that is I don't like change: I wish I could have the same one as before, but working! Why did they have to make the bowl release turn in the opposite direction? Why is the whole thing close to two inches taller? (I told Leah that when we replace this one in ten years we'll need to buy a new house, because the 2028 model won't fit under our kitchen cabinets). That said, I'm sure that the first time I use it to make bread crumbs and the blade doesn't immediately jump off the shaft I'll be completely converted. New is good!

Our Hanukkah is basically done for the year, but there are still seven more nights for folks who are really doing it right. Happy Hanukkah!

more