Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
Here she is, warts and all:

Lucy enjoyed being a frog - or at least the attention she got. Somehow, every time I wasn't looking, her frog hat disappeared.
If you are interested in the frog hat - I can't take credit for it - but check out

ChickaBiddy Baby Boutique

We took advantage of early voting and did our duty (and our privilege). Lucy got her sticker and wore it proudly for all of five seconds. Then, off to let the grandparents see her on her first Halloween. Of course, they approved.

And one more thing, a spot I've been enjoying lately:

Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sewing, Rainy Days, Missing Chickens

What Halloween costume to choose for your child the one year you are assured a pick? Well, coming to a consensus was no easy feat around our house. However, taking into consideration mama's fragile grip on sanity, materials on hand - hence budget, Ms. Lucy will be a frog. The costume is nearing completion - to be ready for its debut Saturday at a friend's party.

It's raining today which means being inside. While there are so many tasks that need to be accomplished (simply reread the above), I was hoping to savor the last few moments of lovely weather as we did yesterday. Of course, there will be more, in North Carolina there are always more lovely days - sometimes even in January. (Though hardly ever in February.)

We've lost three more chickens. The rooster and two hens. Some predator grabbed them the night before last. And now there are three. You know it's bound to happen when you have chickens, you just hope it doesn't.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Turn to Dig a Hole

We lost another chicken. As Lucy and I walked to feed them yesterday afternoon, I noticed a motionless body, contorted with that glaze that death brings. Hopeful still, I walked closer thinking maybe the hen was just sleeping or hurt.

We don't know what happened, but it is possible that she was injured by a walnut and crawled back under the coop to pass. There was no observable trauma - so there's hope that she went peacefully.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apple Yummy-ness

Before it's too late, I thought I'd share something we enjoy every fall. Adapted from the wonderful (and out-of-print) Whole Earth Cookbook, here's a recipe that is simple enough for an everyday dessert and delightful in that simplicity.

Apples - around 8 cups.
1/4 lb butter - softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 375.
Cut apples into small 1/2 inch chunks. Place in casserole.
Drizzle honey over apples.
Combine butter with flour, sugar, and cinnamon until it resembles a coarse meal. Spread over top of apples.
Bake for about 40 minutes - until top is nicely browned and apples are tender but still crisp.


And here we are Sunday, making delicious crockpot greens and barbeque. Wes made a spicy-sweet cornbread to accompany our dinner and the apple dessert was the perfect ending.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Garden Walkabout

Though I love the fall - it also means the end of the gardening season. It brings a beauty all its own, and yet it means leaving the splendor of summer behind. This has struck me powerfully the past few times we've been out on our walks. I thought I'd share some images from around the garden.

Have a lovely weekend. I'll be sharing a wonderful apple-delight next time - while they're still at their peak.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Harvest time is coming to a close. It is one of those chilly, wet fall days that make me ready to hibernate. There are leaves plastered to the sidewalks. And, as I look up at the mountains they are gold, scarlet, evergreen.

I'm scrambling to make some preparations - certainly not all I had planned in this year of sleep deprivation, so much to do and never enough time. I am hopeful that I will find my stride soon.

Lucy is eating her vegetables:
Asparagus here. Despite my efforts to introduce her to many different foods, she still loves rice cereal best. I'm trying to take all the advice to shove new foods in her mouth with a grain of salt. Letting her explore the new tastes and textures is more important. Although I wish she'd truly enjoy all the fruits and veggies she's been offered. If you are looking for a good resource
for making your own baby food - it's easier and cheaper than you might think - along with many other tips and tricks, I love The Super Baby Food Book.

She does seem to love her carrots, especially as playdough.

These are the seeds from the giant butternut squash we harvested from our garden - ready to give us more beautiful squash next year.

Here are Lucy's two first pumpkins.

This time of fall makes me so grateful for the bounty of the land and the blessings and beauty of nature.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Prickly Business

It has been a few busy, sleep-deprived weeks here. We are trying Lucy on a new schedule - following Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution.

It seems to be working - knocking on wood with my fingers crossed. Lucy still isn't sleeping more than a few hours, but it is not constant nursing. She is teething as well - so that likely contributes to her trouble sleeping.

This weekend we gathered chestnuts. There are several trees in our backyard - I remember when I was little hating them because once they fell I couldn't go barefoot anymore. Especially frustrating in Indian Summer. These trees are Chinese Chestnuts. Wonderful, yes, but wouldn't it be great to have some American Chestnut trees? The American Chestnut Foundation's website

It was such fun to have the family working for a common cause - Lucy on my back and Wes finding chestnuts everywhere.

Speaking of Lucy on my back - she loves her carrier. Every time she sees it coming, she squeals, and claps and is absolutely delighted. Unfortunately, that is making it harder to get her on my back - she's a bit too excited.