Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"The Story of the Trees"

The oaks and the pines, and their brethren of the wood, have seen so many suns rise and set, so many seasons come and go, and so many generations pass into silence, that we may well wonder what "the story of the trees" would be to us if they had tongues to tell it, or we ears fine enough to understand. ~Author Unknown, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren, 1938

Years ago my ex husband and I traveled to Annapolis, MD for him to take his arborists license.  We walked the grounds of St Johns College identifing trees which would be on the test.  We came upon the Liberty Tree.  It was the first time I had thought about what a tree must have seen and heard in it's life time.  Then I had children and read them the stories of  The Little Tree Who Wished for Different Leaves and the The Giving Tree.  Since my whole family did tree work in one form or another, when a tree was cut down I only thought of it as a paycheck, lumber, or firewood.  
My younger brother still does tree work.  Along with tree removal, trimming and topping, he digs up trees and plants that are "blemished" or did not grow as fast as the homeowners expected.  He brings them home and transplants them in one of our yards  There have been dogwoods, arborvitae, blue spruce, crab apples, rhododendums and azaleas.  Some needed a little TLC but then ended up beautiful.  It has saved me a pretty penny and I am lucky to have this source available.
Along with the trees and shrubs he gave me, I have black walnut, hickory, butternut, apple, forsythia, elderberry, winterberry, nanking cherry, white pine, witch hazel and a chokecherry.  Recently I have been hearing alot of tapping.  Today, as I was perusing the seed catalogs I looked out to see this guy in the chokecherry.
This tree was already fighting what I think is black knot and for several years we had wrestled with the idea of removing it.  However, Spring comes, the leaves hide the cankers, it starts shading the back yard and we decide to keep it.

But as I sat there, I was very concious of the woodpecker wrecking havoc on the tree.  I went out to look and there are large holes in the limbs and upper trunk of the tree.  I don't need one breaking off in a wind/snow storm and hitting the cars or kids.  I guess Mr. Woodpecker was letting me know that this has to finally be dealt with - the tree's story has to come to an end. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Past

What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now. ~Author Unknown

Many moons ago the man had a relationship with a woman which produced a daughter.  They seperated and the woman and daughter went to Florida.

Fifteen years go by, the man is married with another daughter when Social Services contacts him for a paternity test for a child they have in foster care.  The DNA test proves that the child is indeed his daughter from the first relationship.  He wants to move said daughter into his present family but that relationship which was rocky to start with crumbled.  She did not want his past coming around and dirting her life.  So one child stayed in foster care and one went to private school.  The divorce was final and shared custody of #2 was decided.

This is where I enter the picture.  The man had #2 daughter every weekend so as not to disturb her schooling.  One weekend, he took #2 daughter to meet #1 daughter and had a great day.  Then one weekend we go to pick up #2 daughter and she is not there, the phone calls go unanswered and then phone is disconnected...she is gone.  Child support will not give out any information, said to hire an attorney to deal with the custody issues, which financially we were unable to do.

During this time the man was in and out of the hospital with back surgery.  He gets a phone call from Social Services saying #1 daughter has run away, has he heard from her?  We hadn't and kept in contact with the foster family until she was found.  Plans were made to visit but then the child support check was sent back.  When he called to find out why he was told that the foster parents had turned her back over because she didn't want to be there. #1 daughter was lost in the system and they didn't know where she was so had no place to send the money too.  He was so upset as he had only gotten to see her six times...not much to make up for 15 years.
Seven years go by not knowing where either of his children are.  During that time he became step dad to my children.  He was t-ball coach, batting coach, soccer coach, assistant girl scout leader, boy scout leader, taught the older two to drive etc etc etc.  All things he could have done for his own children.

Then we find out the ex had signed over guardianship to a woman in NC.  She was to send the child support to this woman to support the child.  When this didn't happen, the woman with guardianship contacted child support to have the money sent to her.  This is how we found #2 daughter. 

The man took time off work and went to NC to get reacquainted with his daughter. This being the daughter that he had seen everyday for ten years.  She wanted to stay in NC, didn't want to live with him and although he still had joint custody he decided not to fight it.  She was 17 years old and figured she had been thru enough and as long as he knew where she was and could have a relationship with her, he was okay.  Child support was re-routed and it was hoped that a relationship could be forged from the pieces. 

We mailed art supplies she needed,  birthday cards and packages, christmas cards and packages, sent $$ to have her own room built downstairs, sent flowers to the guardian on mothers days and Thanksgiving....and got nothing back.  We would leave phone messages and weeks would go by and we were told nobody answered the home phone so don't bother using it, we left emails and were told she never really checked them, we signed up for skyp so he could IM her because she didn't like AIM and she would sign off when he signed in or say she had to go do homework or eat dinner.  It was so frustrating watching him ache for a relationship and her block it.  She never mailed him or emailed him a fathers day card, birthday, Christmas...nothing.  No Thank You's verbally or notes for anything.

When she initiated contact it was to bitch him out "because the least you could do is pay child support" when her guardian screwed up her checking account so bad that she didn't realize there was over $500 in bounced check fees which were paid for by his child support deposit.  To her credit she did email him back to apologize.  She contacted him once more to get his financial information to go to college and then called to invite him to her high school graduation.  He took time off of work, went to NC, gave her money and got promised pictures. 

The next weekend was Father's Day...nothing.  He was so upset as it was a one sided relationship.  His child support payments ended.  She called in August stating she needed money as she was going to college.  He called back, got no answer so left a message.  She called again asking for money and he called back to find the number disconnected.  Since then we have not heard from her.  He gave up going on Skyp or checking her MySpace.

Saturday while he was at work the telephone rings, caller ID says the mans last name.  I answer and a girl says she is looking for the man and that she is not sure if I had heard about her.  I called her by was his first daughter.  She is 23 now with a six month old son and another on the way.  For the past five months she has been living 12 miles from us.  She said her mother had passed away, and seeing as how she didn't have family around when growing up she wanted her son to have some family.  She didn't have much information but had been trying to find the man for some time.  She did run away from foster care and stayed with friends until she graduated from high school.  She has been on her own since and she is a terrific mother. She had been told the man didn't want her and just wanted to know if that was a lie and if there was a chance he wanted to be part of her son's life.  We spoke for over an hour and then when the man got home we all met at a resteraunt.  Later we came home and talked some more.  Sunday we went to see her and her boyfriends house.

Monday she knew the man had a medical test and called to check up on him.    He has always wanted his children in his life but for more than just the paycheck aspect.  He had hoped and still hopes that when they grew up they would try to find him.  The man is cautiously optimistic now. He would love nothing more than a new relationship with his daughter and grandchildren.  And if the man is happy then I am happy. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Cooker

“Cast iron is so superior for cooking utensils to our modern aluminum that I not only cannot grieve for the pioneer hardship of cooking in iron over the hearth, but shall retire if necessary to the back yard with my two Dutch ovens, turning over all my aluminum cookers for airplanes with a secret delight.” ~Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, 'Cross Creek' (1942)

My parents received a complete set of stainless steel pots and pans as a wedding present and took care of them. These and her cast iron dutch oven and skillet were the only pans she ever had. When my first husband and I got married we got what we could afford which was the non stick. I thought this was going to be so much better than my mothers. I stuck things to the non stick. When his mother passed away we got her corning glass pots and pans…..well…..

Years passed, my cooking improved. I got two cast iron griddles from my grandmother’s house. One was 10 ¼ and the other was a 14 inch and both needed lots of TLC so the man took them to work and sand blasted them. I loved them but wanted a dutch oven. So my mother bought me a Vollrath cast iron dutch oven for Christmas one year….loved it. Then she went out and bought me the Lodge reversible cast iron griddle/grill. Later I acquired a 10x7 oval griddle a friend was throwing out!

When we were getting rid of the trailer we were living in to build our house, I packed everything away. And then things took A LOT longer than expected in the building area. I couldn’t remember where the dutch oven was so #1 daughter bought me a Lodge cast iron dutch oven. When we moved into the house and started unpacking it was like Christmas all over again as I found it all. And then the children started doing dishes. They would leave water setting in them and brillo them. Then they started cooking. Let me mention right here I love my children.

While we had company camping here, they used my two round griddles on the campfire. As they always cleaned up, I thought they had cleaned them and put them away but I found them while mowing. I love company too.
The only pans I had left in usable condition was a 10x7 oval griddle and the griddle/grill. I loved cooking on the wood stove with them. I loved owning something my grandmother cooked for my father on, I loved the forever-ness of them…I missed them. I begged the man to take them all into work and sand blast them. He put them in his truck and I waited. Months passed. Christmas came and #1 daughter knew I missed them so bought me a larger cast iron dutch oven with an enamel lining so I don’t have to season it or worry about the kids leaving it sit in water or scrubbing the heck out of it thinking they are helping. They did drop the lid on my stove and took a chunk out of the enamel top but we won’t go there. Just remember I love my children.

Last night the man came home with every single griddle/dutch oven completely new again. I was ecstatic! Yeah I am easily pleased. So this morning I put the lard I rendered to good use and started seasoning them. I can’t wait to reacquaint myself with them but that has to wait for another day as I am going out to dinner tonight.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Righting Wrongs

"Why is it that hate comes out so easily, It gets trapped inside.”

Sometimes life makes you feel like this air bubble under the ice


And that is how the man and I felt recently.

Add to that the fact that
1. both of us are stubborn,
2. we are not always the most diplomatic,
3. the children sense an non-uniform front and take advantage of that, pushing lots of buttons
4. when at this point we tend to make make stupid decisions while trying to avoid others
5. we both attack problems from different directions. Although slow to anger once there I am an in your face type of person. The man usually very vivacious, tends to become silent. He tries solving problems by doing long waited for chores….aka staying out of shot of me!

This could be a volatile mix but for the most part the man and I almost never fight. However, about every three years we make up for it by having a whopper… To the point that I would rather be living in the streets than married to this man much longer.

We are frick and frack, complete and total opposites. He is an extrovert and I am an introvert. He is a jokester and I hate to be the butt of the joke, he is tall and thin where as I am short and fat, he likes to be hot and I like it cooler, he falls asleep at the drop of a pin and I lie awake, he likes to sleep in and I am an early riser, he likes hot and spicy food and I see no reason to burn every taste bud off my tongue and call it dinner, he doesn’t mind being late and it grates on my very last nerve because there is no excuse for it when you know the time to be there before hand, he likes TV and I could cut the cable without even blinking an eye, I can eat a salad and call it dinner but there better be something that previously mooed, clucked baaed or oinked on his plate for him to do so, I like country music and classical rock and he will listen to heavy metal and whatever the kids are listening too now and trying to pass off as music, he loves watching Funniest Home Video's and I am horrified that people getting hurt is funny.

So you see how we can get to the breaking point. The past week, the honey-do-list was dwindling quickly.  Things were definitely politely icy around Happy Acres. 

We were heading full steam into a block wall when #1 and Sir T made their announcement. Shortly after they left for home on Sunday, we hit that wall. And the only reason I am not out on the street right now is because after all of that, I am madly in love this man and luckily he loves me too. We blow up, we pick up, patch up and make up.

I guess it took knowing we would be hearing… “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part”… real soon to finally push us to the point where we had to realize what was important. We tend to get so wrapped up in work, animals, kids and everyone else’s woes that we don’t have time to take care of each other.

You would think after years of this we would be better at it and recognize the early warning signs. But then I forgot to mention the one thing we do have in common…we are both dimwitted.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sir T and his Lady

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
~ Dr. Seuss

                                      Sir T proposed today!

 #1 daughter said yes!

Ring is gorgeous!

We are all happy!
Congrats Sir T and Lady T


“We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or tire...give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

~Winston Churchill quotes

I seem to have startitis.  I started a 3/3 rib shawl with the mohair that #1 bought me at Rhinebeck.  I started a sweater shawl I saw somewhere.  And I started a pair of mittens and only finished one.  I want to start working on the rug thing but wont until I finish the on going projects....why did I start them?  I think sometimes the ideas get bottlenecked between my brain and my hands.  I don't know what to work on so I start things hoping that is what it was.  Similiar to opening the fridge 10 times and still not finding anything that would tickle your tastebuds.

And let's not forget the fleece.  And I have spun what I washed originally.  I finally finshed washing it Thursday and got the combs yesterday.

Add to that there are things I want to do around the house.  I can not spackle a ceiling so I am waiting for it to be done so I can paint.  And there is a list of  things like that.

Oh well in the meantime, I look out and finally see sunshine.  Unbelievably it actually gives off a little warmth and the temps have gone up a little.  While out with the animals I thought of how often I had been sucked into the delusion of Spring at times like these only to have them dashed with another coldspell or snow.  So I just kept walking past the greenhouse and garden and came inside...they will be there still when the real Spring comes down the pike.

Until then I will go back to the projects started and finish them off since I have the tools...before I start another.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wood Anniversary

Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires. ~Charles Caleb Colton

Today is my blog's 5th anniversary.  Who "wood" have thought it!  Cyndy got me into this (like alot of other things) and at first I wasn't sure but it has been a hell of a ride.

2005 -we said goodbye to #1 when she went to Mississippi for training, I learned to knit,  knit my first pair of socks, got my first fiber animals (2 angora goats), went to MD S&W for the first time, my chickens hatched out chicks for the first time, went to MS to see #1 before she left for Iraq, she got to Kuwait on June 24, I went to Endless Mt for the first time, went to Rhinebeck for the first time, first Christmas without all my kids.

2006- bought my Ashford Traveller DT and carder, #1 son moved out on his own, got a new greenhouse, #1 came home on break, got a used Ashford Traditional cheap cheap, friend lost her son in Iraq, got two Finn ewe lambs, got a romanov wether, #1 came home from Iraq, spent my birthday in Puerto Rico courtesy of #1, mom had kidney removed and found out she had kidney cancer which had metastasized, did my first stranded hat, got my WoolieWinder, Denise needles and lots of knitting books, man started new job.

2007-I taught myself to knit in 2004 and learned I was knitting the wrong way and fixed it in 2007, made my first pair of gloves (other than sideways ones),  #1 son moved to NC, I had a mini stroke (TIA), #2 daughter broke her knee cap and got stitches in her knee,  #1 son moved back home and bough a motorcycle which he later flipped, knit the first of three hemlock ring afghans, got a Finn ram,  joined Ravelry, got married.

2008-knit with beads, did first sock with short row heel, lost my aunt, knit the ice queen both ways, experienced lambing season and subsequently gave my ram away, got a puppy, #2 son got lymes disease, learned to make bread, canned my first homemade sauerkraut,  truck hit by uninsured vehicle, first Christmas in the new house even though we were not moved in yet.

2009- moved into the house, #1 daughter moved back home temporarily, the man got in a fight with a rooster and the rooster won, we lost mom, #1 daughter moved away, #2 son started football and ended up with a mohawk, lost my uncle, hosted first Thanksgiving in the house, lost my cousin, hosted first Christmas dinner.

And in between, there was girl scouts, boy scouts, huge rotation of doctor appointments, soccer games, band concerts for #2 daughter with clarinet and #2 son with trombone.  We bought animals, sent some off to the butcher, lost some to fox/coyote, planted lots of seeds, harvested/canned lots of food.  I have screwed up and conquered...seen my kids do the same...and hope we learned from both. 

And since there is still breath in my lungs there is a long list of things I want to learn, (rugmaking and cheese making, being a few), I would love to have a dairy cow and I have a yard to landscape and....#2 daughter gets her license this year.  So even if nobody else read this it has been a great way to chronicle the the good and bad day to day events we call life.

Thanks Cyndy

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Canine Crew

"Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer."- Plutarch, Moralia

It is cold but thankfully it is not THAT cold here. I might be wimpy but I would think it is not "fit for man nor beast". The chickens have not ventured far from the coop and make short work of the warm milk and bread. In a "while the cats away the mouse will play" time the wild turkeys took advantage and ate their fill at the feeders.

The sheep and goat don't venture far from the barn and quickly belly up for feed and hay. The cat sleeps all day as close to the wood stove as she can get without becoming cooked. The dogs quickly go out, do their business and return scratching at the door to get back into the warmth.  And since I rarely have dog pics, I will introduce the canine crew.

Shadow is the old dame of our canine family. She is an 18 year old black lab X Springer spaniel with selective hearing. The man had her when we met and she is aptly named. I cannot walk out of her sight without her following me. If I walk into a room and turn to walk back out I have to wait for her to turn and then wait for her to walk. She is afraid I will change my mind again so keeps looking back over her shoulder after every step. I have fallen more times than I would like trying not to fall on her. She of course gives you an apologetic look and moves on.

As winters are long and we are easily amused, I sometimes walk in large circles just to see if she will follow...and she does. Other times I stand up and she stands up, then I will sit down just to see how many times I can get away with it before she gives up...I give up first usually. When you run she runs, her whole demeanor changes and she looks like one of the Lipizzaner horses. Her head goes up, her steps get high and her chest goes out...she actually looks young again.

When the younger dogs start playing, she stands up and starts barking at them. Every time she does it she reminds me of a frustrated school teacher with a class room full of rambunctious boys....scolding them and nobody listening. I know what she feels like because I could swear the kids are deaf sometimes.

I am surprised the makers of Rogaine have not found me and kidnapped her. I have never seen a dog loose so much hair and not be naked. You know at Christmas time when you go to a tree lot and then stomp the tree on the ground and all the needles fall off....well every time she stands up, she shakes and hair just drops off. She must some impressive hair follicles to keep up. My vacuum hates her.

The next fur ball is Digger, an eleven year old Keeshond. This is #1's favorite pooch. The man and I rescued her from the pound. She is a nipper though if things get loud so I am not sure what happened to her before we got her. She is double coated fur ball with the daintiest feet.  I have spun her fiber and made #2 son a pair of slippers from her. In the spring when her second coat lets loose, we go outside to brush her and if it is windy, it looks like she exploded all over the yard. Again we are easily amused.

She is the mouth of the canine family. Every time you tell her to go lay down or call her away from what she wants to do, like go in the trash can, she talks back. Usually it is just growl-ly low drawn out barks and if you continue talking to her she will continue to talk back. The man and her go round and round like this.

And the last is Cooper a one year old redbone hound. He was a mother's day present. #1 will tell you he is spoiled and she will say he is loved more and in some respects that is true. He is the only dog I ever had from a puppy.

He hates rain, is afraid of the dark and swears to God he is only the size of a Chihuahua which is very delusional of him as he weighs 110 pounds. This is the little man squeezing himself up small enough to lay on a hassock in front of the woodstove. 

And boy does his bark echo throughout the valley. At night he sits on the back porch, under the light and waits for sinister things like Bambi to come out of the woods. When this happens he starts barking, we open the door and his ass tries beating his head thru the door because sinister Bambi might pinch his butt! Then he spins around and gives several more deafening bellows from inside the house, sure that he has taught that Bambi a lesson.

So while some people will still go skiing, ice skating or ice fishing when it is only 3 degrees, I will remain inside with the canine and feline members of the family, laughing at their antics. All of us cozily sitting around the woodstove...until I get up and try to walk.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thump thump Thump thump

“Life is one of those precious fleeting gifts, and everything can change in a heartbeat.”

Heart or heartbeats have been on our minds alot recently.  The man and I celebrated our second anniversary and he still makes my heartbeat faster, which is a good thing.  However when the man's started beating wildly and he ended up in the hospital last month, we set to getting him set up with a regimen of doctor appointments.  He is just tickled pink about this!!!  Monday was his first appointment and so far he is the picture of perfect health. He has an appointment on the 14th where they will schedule him another and then if everything is okay he is free until next year.

Another thing that has us thinking of our heart is our WiiMii.  #2 daughter got Wii for Christmas.  She also received the Wii Fit.  On Wii Fit you set up a WiiMii (animated person that you design to look like you).  Now the WiiMii's all start out thin.  After entering your height, age and doing a few excercises it weighs you.  This will give you your Body Mass Index (BMI). This is the scary part as your WiiMii grows or shrinks with this info.  Suffice it to say mine grew....sideways.   Using this info and doing somemore balance testing you get your Wii Age.  I was scared because I sometimes feel real real old.  Oddly enough I came out 8 years younger than I really am!  I made #2 daughter come witness that little tidbit as they all came out older than their actual age.  Yeah Mii!

Not to be over confident (and to take my Mii down to a more svelte Mii) I started some basic strength training and yoga.  At first I thought this was slightly boring so I raised the reps a little and kicked my own ass.  This morning, I squated down to put wood in the stove and my legs screamed.  I guess the lunges actually were working!  Now to just keep it up.  I may not want to go back to being 20 but I wouldn't mind feeling like I was.

#1 daughter bought #2 daughter the first of the Vampire Academy books.  #2 fell in love with the characters and with another gift (Border's card) bought the rest of the books that are available.  I, of course, had to read them and have to agree her, they are better than the Twilight books.  Poor Rose had her heart broken. And now I have to read #2 son's books, the Shadow Children series which will probably tug at my heart more so than the vampire books.

And then hearts started being crocheted.

I saw these and saved the pattern for "later"...sometimes "later" never comes but this time it did.  Being in the duldroms somewhat in the knitting department and wanting to work with something other than gray wool,  I sat down with some leftover yarn and started crocheting.  They are a quick, mindless crochet and just what I need right now.  Once I get bored doing them I will send them to #1 as I doubt she has many Valentine's decorations.

But now I have to go warm the cockeles of my chickens hearts and bring them their morning treat....bread soaked in warm milk.  They love it and I love their eggs.  Win win situation.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Cold Gray January

"I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood." - Bill Watterson

I am not savoring a bad mood, but the cold, gray is making me savor the heat from the woodstove.  When we were designing the house I said my spot would be right by the woodstove.  My chair sits in a corner with windows on both walls so I have awesome views.  Sometimes it gets obnoxiously hot there and I am forced to grabbed whatever I am working on and move to a less scorching area.  But when the high temps are only in the teens, there is no place like my chair. 

I sat there yesterday while the menfolk (the man, sons 1 & 2, brother and nephew) were trying to act like a bunch of neanderthols and stood out on the ice in 20-30 mph winds in 16 degree temps trying to get a fish to eat a worm.  Of course when I got up to finish dinner they had no problem jumping in to my chair.

Now less my sitting sounds lazy I must defend myself and say that things get accomplished while I am ensconsed in my chair.  For instance, since the new year more of that beautiful gray wool was spun.  When the kids left for the bus this morning,  I finished carding up what I had washed so I am ready to spin some more. 

I have also managed to knit a pair of socks for a friend whom, if you ask her, has waited eons for me to make her another pair.  She is trying to stop smoking so I decided she deserved a treat and I knit her up a pair of socks.  She likes heavy socks to walk around her house in so I made her a pair from Patons Merino with #5 needles, easy one day socks.

While I was talking to  #1 daughter and telling her I was making that pair of socks, she informed me her (aka a pair she requested be made for a friend and then decided to keep for herself) socks accidently went thru the washer and dryer and now sat lower than no-see-ums. HINT, HINT, HINT.  So I just finished making her a pair of socks....I used some more Patons Merinos because #1 likes to keep her house cool so will appreciate the thickness of the socks.  They will be sent out today when the man gets home.

But now I think I have to grab something brighter to work on as the grayness is getting to be too much.  Oh wait, #1 daughter requested a pink hat, scarf and gloves...imagine that.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

The past year was extremely rough losing my mom and then my uncle.  The holidays loomed, our goal was to just get through them and to make them as good as holidays past.  Thanksgiving went fairly well and then Christmas Eve day I was informed of the loss of my cousin and getting through just got harder.  But we perservered and the holidays were professed to have been one of the best and that things just seemed "right".  I think it was because we took the time to appreciate each other and we were more intuned to each other - less of the flippant remarks which can unknowingly sting even when they weren't meant too.

And now a new year has been set before us, plenty of opportunity for us to continue to grow closer and to put more meaning into everything we do.

Because we didn't make it until the ball dropped, the New Year started fairly early.  I was up, had coffee, then started carding, spinning and then knitting a friend a pair of socks.  After the chores were done, the man and I left the kids at home and went out to breakfast...something that is basically unheard of for us.  Upon our return, #2 daughter and I spent the day dismantling and storing Christmas until the end of the year.  The man worked on organizing the basement and #2 son hauled some firewood.  Friends came for dinner and took #2 daughter home with them. 

#1 son called to say hello and talk me into letting #2 son go on Xbox so they could play together.  When they got on line, Sir T was on also and the three of them spent time playing video games.

A pretty boring beginning to the first chapter in our book but it was time spent together.  I can only hope the rest of the year follows suit.