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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! Wishing you all peace and love. Here in Maine we are beginning to have a white Christmas with the snow falling fast– stay cozy!

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Holiday Traditions

December 18, 2012

Holidays are for tradition. We carry on the the traditions we loved as children and we make new ones, too. One thing I do every Christmas is bake Italian Anise cookies from my grandmother’s recipe. This year I made a batch with my mother, which was a treat. They’re a labor of love {prepare the dough, chill, roll into balls with oiled hands, bake, ice each one with glaze and sprinkle it with confetti dots before glaze hardens, repeat}. This year we skipped the tree {I figured poinsettias and a wreath would suffice} but I wouldn’t even consider skipping the cookies!

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Cheers to holiday traditions and celebrating the joys of the season!

Lately…

November 27, 2012

A couple of weeks ago our rooster Ruby lost his voice. Then his breathing became very labored and he wheezed like a serious asthmatic.  It was kind of scary and also kind of nice and quiet! The guy at the farm store suggested a few things.  What we tried first did the trick–adding some Gatorade to the water source {and a good cleaning of their coop}.  Within a couple of days he was back in business, feisty and loud. Who’d have guessed some electrolites would bring a chicken back to glory?!

p.s. I recently went to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival hosted by Friends of Casco Bay. {The festival is making its way around the country, so check for dates near you.} 15 environmental films were selected from about 55 for viewing.  The films are short, between 4 and 18 minutes each.  Seeing people who are passionate about the world around us, who creatively deal with things like plastic litter, or lack of resources, and the respect they have for nature was very inspiring.  Here is one of my favorites:

Another film that will put a smile on your face can be found here. {It’s short & sweet and involves a genius solution for old plastic liter bottles as a source of lighting in villages without power!}

Nesting

November 11, 2012

The bluebirds have left their nests. They’re still around {sitings are rare}, but the boxes are no longer in use. We like to clear those out for them so in April when they return, moving back in will be easy work. {It’s always a good feeling to open it up and find only the remains of a nest, not of a bird.} We have about half a dozen boxes around our yard and it’s not only the bluebirds that lay their eggs in there, but they are by far our favorite!

Next spring they’ll completely rebuild their nests. They live in open fields like ours for several reasons; as insect-eaters they like to have a long view of an area for bug catching. Posts and small trees are ideal for keeping lookout. They nest in boxes, {which are in essence a man-made solution} but they prefer holes in trees on the edges of woods made by other animals {like woodpeckers and squirrels} but a bluebird can’t create that themselves so naturally they look for abandoned holes in trees and when those are scarce a box like ours does the trick. It’s fun to watch them flit around from box to box checking out the space– when they do move in it’s cause for celebration. Oh the little joys!

Movie Talk

November 9, 2012

Recognize this? Did you see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen? I really liked it! The plot was slightly out there, but it all managed to become something wonderful. A wealthy sheik has a vision of bringing the authentic salmon fishing experience that he loves so much to his native Yemen. Emily Blunt’s character Harriet is charged with organizing those who can make it happen, like fisheries expert Fred, played by Ewan McGregor. Overall it’s a story about faith and love and possibilities. And there is romance. It is all so sweet. Just see it.

As an aside, I’m obsessed with the pants that Harriet wore while in Yemen. They were smart looking outdoor pants with a bit of style and she wore them gathered up at the calf {obsessed all right}.  That is my struggle– finding a great pant to hike and hang out in that isn’t my current ugly pair that I want to burn. By the time I was finished raving about them Luke said he thought he needed a pair!  I’m telling you…Yemen pants need to happen. {This is the only pic I could find.}

snow covered plans

November 8, 2012

snowfall

Today we awoke to a snow covered ground. Most of us in the Northeast did. Something of a panic comes over me when the snow starts to fly; getting outside and getting together with friends becomes more of a concerted effort.  The best thing to do at this point is to plan fun winter-centric adventures {downhill and cross country skiing} and outdoor happenings {snow shoe and bonfire parties} because the worst thing you can do {hibernate, hide from the world} is so tempting when the temps are freezing and the sun sets around 5pm!

Right now there is talk of all of the above, and a monthly dinner night with a group of our local buds. Movie nights and sledding parties, too.  Pancake breakfasts should be on that list.  And of course the annual NYE Burn your Christmas Tree gathering at our place.  Hopefully that tradition continues. Right now winter doesn’t look so grim and I’m kind of looking forward to it!

Doesn’t this look like a great way to spend a wintery weekend evening?!

snowshoeing, snowshoeing, snowshoeing

Out and About

November 5, 2012

Over the weekend I packed each hour with good times and got out to play– had dinner with girlfriends at Boda {creative Thai deliciousness, just read this}, shopped for wedding gowns with my step-sister, mom, and crew {gorgeous girl, glamorous gowns}, Luke ‘got’ his deer and we hung it in the barn overnight {venison aplenty this winter!}, we hiked on a cool, tucked-away preserve with my father-in-law {fresh air, pretty sights} and had a yummy dinner prepared by my mother-in-law {pork, potatoes, & gravy–perfect for a cold fall day}.

Hope you all had a fun weekend, too!

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