Monday, January 15, 2018

And still counting (11,415-11,435)

Moonlight Sonata on a foggy day
oh, the fog!
super mild temps
excitement, again

Chipotle carryout for dinner
a knit date with a friend's mom
her generous help and time with us
daikon radish at Wegmans
read alouds with Erin on the couch

hard candies for Lori
long thoughts on friends and friendships
sherbet orange primrose plants
tending sheets
unexpected snowfall

how bed feels after a hard day
how a pillow feels against my head when I feel done
pressing on
a fire in the fireplace

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Day story


Outside my window, a winter sunrise set in queue. It is a new year. It's brown on the ground, bare trees, gray skies and snow and ice patches here and there. Things melt slower in the woods. And nothing melts in below freezing temperatures.

Giving thanks for all things new. Through an Instagram feed, I discovered a book by Lara Casey called Cultivate. It's all about goal setting and life evaluation, which not only fits in perfectly with a new year, but fits in perfectly after this past year. The most eye-opening so far were the top three things I focused on last year: a slew of emotions bent on taking me down; my father's estate and my sister's health; pleasing other people (and not even my people: the chase of maintaining precarious relationships; the holding on to tasks so I wouldn't let other people down, no matter the cost; too many yeses and not enough no's. I started saying no around November. In December, I almost signed myself back up for the pony show, and then had to take back the thought.). I'm so glad for looking long at what the year was, setting a new focus and steps to make new progress. It seems outlandishly selfish to say that this year, I'm putting (myself-health-growth) in the top three. But there. It's said. Outlandish. I'm putting the oxygen mask on my face first this year.

In the school room, we are taking it back. Getting back on track from 2017's roller coaster. Pencils are sharpened. The phone is ignored. The books are open. The fire is warming. I'm looking forward and looking forward to teas and laughter and learning.

From the kitchen, lots of things. I revamped our monthly menu planner to include things from Wellness Mama and Against All Grain and Weelicious--healthier meals, lower sugar with a big focus on nutrition. We've drastically cut back on sugar and treats. I got a bread machine for Christmas (I had one I had to get rid of from the gluten days. I loved my bread machine, so it's nice to have a new one that has a gluten-free setting. Right now, I hear a buttermilk bread spinning away, and I take a sweet delight in knowing my kids are going to wake up to the scent of something yummy. Home, sweet home.).

I am quieting, planning, thinking, tending.

I don't want to forget the things that really matter. There are a lot of things that matter to me, but for now, I'm narrowing my focus to really grow a few areas.

I am reading too many things at once, but I am getting through them. A delightful time with Erin as we read The Green Ember together; lots of cookbooks for new dinners and new breads (hello sweet rice flour and buttermilk powder and new flour blends); books on health and immunity; Cultivate, a timely gift to myself; and all the great school books we have this year. I love homeschooling.

Around the house, just one project. Each month, I list a small to-do at the front of that month's notebook sheet of what I'd like to accomplish. This month, I'd love to finally paint our bedroom and bathroom.

I am hearing the hum of the heater. The crackle of a fire. The spinning of the bread machine. There's no place like home.

A view of my favorite things

the colorful silicone muffin cups

hat by Lanie, scarf by Ann

everything about this

screen-free living
Erin's art

At the table, a slow consideration and refocus. Lanie will be waking soon to join me for coffee and Spanish lessons, and a slice of warm bread. Life giving. It's Tuesday; it's a new year; and I'm taking it all back.

Monday, January 8, 2018

And still counting (11,401-11,414)

a quiet week
a slow start
hot tea
piano music in the rooms
warm fires in the fire places

visits with Lori
and chats too
games with the kids
books in the mail
a full fridge

a Sunday to read on the couch
time to think