the reason I walk

Last year winter seemed to drag on forever.  Strings of weeks of deep, negative temperatures and a debilitating first trimester weighed me down with a force so strong I wondered if I would ever hoist myself out.  This year, while it is still early, feels so utterly different.  Yesterday my Monday walk reminded me of how true this is.

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It was a lazy snow fall, one you never noticed was there at all until six inches had already fallen.  The blanket of white was so stark and wide, matching the sky with such exactness that my depth perception was all out of whack as I tromped up and down the rolling hills.  I had to stare down at the snow balls flipping off the toes of my boots drawing lines in the fluff a few feet ahead of me, just so I didn’t stumble.  There are 360 degree panoramas at the top of every hill, and when the sky is so grey and misty with a fresh set of flakes falling, and your eyelashes are coated in ice or sweat or a combination of the two, it so hard not to just whoop out loud.  Because really, it is that good.

My mind slows on these walks.  I start off with a stream of wonderings, ones I thoroughly enjoy I might add.. what to place in the garden this spring, when to order those meat birds, how many blueberry bushes our growing family requires, where I might build an arch, how to graft an apple tree…  and slowly, slowly I slip into a stomp, crunch, stomp, crunch rhythm that places me in the exact moment where I stand.  I get so hot I pull up the sleeves on my wool sweater to feel the cold on my bare arms.  The baby on my back is a heater good enough for most any temperature.  It’s so quiet out there.  So quiet I can hear my boys playing outside with the babysitter, echoing off the sides of these hills, for almost the entirety of my walk.  But just barely.  I am far enough away, to really feel away.  This is what I crave.  A bit of time where I answer to no one.  And what I get from these walks is even more than that.  I am permeated with a love for this land.  A desire to stay here, perhaps forever.  I become excited about my life in a way that the daily grind of diapers and meals and bottomless cups of coffee can’t give me.

Walking one day a week, just one hour.  It is not much, and if my sweet little babysitter wasn’t so crazy about horses I would have her come every day.  But, it is something.  Mondays.  They bring a lightness to my week that I can transfer over and over again all week.

And to bring a cuteness factor to this post….  I present you a sweet little Jasper Ray

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#49 Salt dough ornaments

There are certain days where you feel like beating your head against the wall.  Like somehow the pain and monotony and inability to feel or think of anything else will drown out your other thoughts.

And then there are days where you do it.

Yesterday was one of these days.  No naps.  No rest.  Lots of tears, and fighting.  Lots of “mine!”‘s and “no!”‘s and sad to say a few “damn it!”‘s, (both from myself and a little three-year old who damn it, picked up the habit).  Luckily, a responsible man walked through the door around five and took the reigns from this defeated mama.

Bedtime was dramatically easier with two adults on hand and no naps behind these boys of mine.  I decided to follow suit and hopped into a cozy bed cuddled to a fat cat, a tiny dog and a giant.  I set myself up with a hot cup of chamomile tea and my book.  Ahh.. the simple comforts of life.  I didn’t last long before my eyes got droopy and I dropped off to sleep…

and then?  I woke up.  In the morning.  We all just slept all night.  Oh the glory!  And what a difference some shut-eye makes!  So, today we took on the world!  We cleaned the coop!  And organized the yard!  And made garlands!  And cut mistletoe!  And made salt dough ornaments!  And just played in the rain!

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Ah… one day on one day off.. so is life I suppose.  Perhaps, this time I will be granted two in a row?  Come oooon thursday…

No Bake Salt Dough Ornaments

3.5 cups of flour

1.5 cups of corn starch


in a separate bowl mix

1 cup of salt

1 tablespoon glycerin or petroleum jelly

1.5 cups of very hot water

Mix the two together and knead for 10 minutes…

roll, cut, slice, and let dry. (and don’t forget to poke holes in them to hang)

paint with acrylics and dust generously with glitter.


then deck the halls.

let them work

The days are cooling down significantly, even in these parts of the world.  The sun is rising just a bit later.  And the bugs (for now) are at bay.  Oh, words cannot express my gratitude.  


And with that I have forgotten what it feels like to only want to hide from the sun.  To step outside and be sticky wet with a layers of mosquitoes and gnats gnawing away at your flesh, well?  It is a thing of the past.  How soon I forget…. But why not?  Why not just bask in the glory of this.

So quite clearly our time spent (enjoying) being outside has multiplied ten fold, at least.  I have noticed quite  a few changes among the facial features and the emotional well-being of my little ones (and myself too) with the change in the patterns of our days as well.

Outside.  It is a thing to behold. Outside there is no toy that must be aught after.  Outside there is always a “big job” or a “lot of work” to do.  Oh, this is something I encourage whether in doors or out of them.  But outside it always seems no one needs me to do a thing.

Suddenly cleaning the chicken coop is exciting.  Raking is so rad.   Just like that, out of the blue, we are gathering up sticks, knowing quite well if we don’t do it… Who will?  (A job is a job people)  Work.  Good old-fashioned work.  It is the thing small children thrive off of.

Outside I can sit and knit and answer questions and observe at such a joyously slow pace it makes my heart flutter.  Each boy has the ability to play at their own cadence.  And play hard at that.

Oh outside, how I have missed feeling so exceptionally fine.  With you.