On the Pond

Apr. 3rd, 2017 07:10 am
impossibleway: (The Little House)
In the Easter garden,
Gentle waters flow.
Birds are singing, winging, singing.
Buds their new life show.


~ Wynstones :: Spring

Knitted Ducks


Willow and I made these sweet little ducks from The Children's Year over the weekend.  I made the mama duck, of course, and I helped her stuff hers.  These may be my favorite of the knitted animals we've made, though Whiskers may tie with them.  In a similar mood, Willow named her duck Feathers.  Since they're so simple, I'll share the pattern here.

CO 20 sts and knit 24 ridges (a ridge for each 2 knit rows, so 48 rows) for the mama duck.  Bind off.  Fold in half, with the rows running parallel, and sew up, leaving the end open.  Stuff, sew up the end and make some stitches to create a tail.  CO 12 sts for the head and work 12 ridges.  Bind off and sew up similarly, pulling ther yarn to gather the end.  Stuff, and sew up the end, and then sew it onto the body.  Make a little felt bill and sew that on.  The young duck is worked in the same way.  CO 10 sts for the body and work 12 ridges.  CO 5 sts for the head and work 6 ridges.
impossibleway: (Children of the Forest)
Winter showers, winter rain,
Wash the Earth all clean again!

Wash the Earth all clean again!

~Winter :: Gateways

For all the rain we didn't have last Summer, we have had it since then end of November.  I've joked that we've moved to the English countryside.  It's drizzling nearly all the time and the sun does not stick around for long.  This rain, however dull it has become, has been so necessary to get us out of the drought.  We're now just abnormally dry!  Haha!  It feels abnormally wet.  It is a good thing, though, and I am thankful for the rain.  We have been enjoying the weather as much as possible and spending lots of time in the woods.  It does wonders for brightening spirits, which I have needed a fair amount.

Picnic

We took a picnic up to The Road on Saturday.  It's on state land above Hungry Mother State Park, just goes out and quits with a fire ring and some big rocks at the end.  We walked just a little way into the woods and found this very nice rock.  I took a wool blanket to protect us from damp spots.

Waterfall

As we ate, we heard a stream nearby.  This wasn't flowing during the Autumn months.  The children really enjoyed all the little waterfalls and pools.

In the Woods

They were content to roam freely while I did my own exploring and carried the picnic supplies back to the car.  There were a few flies and bees out!

Wet Moss

Walking back, I heard a continuous dripping--it was this moss on a rock on the hillside. It is so good to see things nice and wet again. It makes me feel so much more hopeful about our garden this Summer.

Winter Walk

Jan. 7th, 2017 06:28 am
impossibleway: (Winter Fields)
Rose red is the evening sky,
Milk white is the snow.

Hemlock Cones

Let’s go on our evening walk,
Do, do let us go.

Sledding

Tomorrow the sky may be dull and gray,
Tomorrow the snow may be gone.

Snowy Goldenrod

So let us go on our evening walk
In the last rays of the sun.


~Enki Grade Two Movement

Holly


Just one day later, Epiphany found snow in the air. There's more this morning, but there was just enough yesterday to soften the edges and send the children squealing down the hill on sleds. It's going to be terrifically cold this weekend, single digits for the lows and highs in the teens.
impossibleway: (A Winter's Solstice)
New  Year's Eve


New year, new year,
What will you bring?
Laughing, weeping, sowing, reaping,
All are on the wing.


~Eileen Hutchings, as taken from The Waldorf Song Book
impossibleway: (Wilson Bentley)
Christmas Star

In soft morning light,
The stars fade away.
The sun is awake,
This is a new day.

Awake! Awake!
Rise like the sun.
Awake! Awake!
The night is now gone.


Candle

The journeys of night,
They end with the day.
Angels guide us home,
For work and for play.

Awake! Awake!
Rise like the sun.
Awake! Awake!
The night is now gone.


~Enki Grade Two Transitions

Snow Outside

We began yesterday with a couple inches of snow and a power outage. Our little street, with its seven houses, doesn't have enough electricity running to it when the weather is extremely cold or hot. So, the circuit trips and we're in the dark. Here, of course, there are legions of candles.  Things were quickly put to rights again, though we kept the fire on the hearth.  We spent the evening reading Fireside Stories and lighting more candles.
impossibleway: (Advent Apple)
In the Advent garden,
Dark the night below,
Earth is waiting, waiting, waiting,
For the stars to glow.

~Winter :: Wynstones


Advent Spiral 1

Advent Spiral 2

Advent Spiral 3

Advent Spiral 5

Advent Spiral 6


It was a perfect night for spiral walk--the air was cold and frosty, the wind was calm, and we were all so anxious to go. Mike captured these memories for us, along with taking care of a baby doll.

The Spiral

Dec. 15th, 2016 06:02 am
impossibleway: (Advent Apple)
In the Advent garden,
Dark the night below,
Earth is waiting, waiting, waiting,
For the stars to glow.

~Winter :: Wynstones

Spiral CloseupWe spent our time outside after lunch yesterday, working on our Advent spiral.  This year, it's over at the Roland Estate, which seemed only fitting.  Having spent nearly all of this year looking after the place and enjoying the bounty of the small patch of land, I wanted to end with a memory.  Mike thinks that a magic fairy will swoop in and we will be able to buy the house and land, but I'm not so hopeful.  My only wish is that it will not be turned into commercial property like the stately home that stood next door.  So many mixed feelings, so many.  I don't have all the money or time or ability to take on a house and numerous outbuildings and a garage apartment with structural issues.  Anyway.

A spiral on the land that has come to mean so much to us, yes.

We used our extra Christmas tree branches, along with fresh holly, spruce cones, pine cones, spruce boughs, ivy vines, and bittersweet berries.  The grass was already covered in leaves and raking out the extras gave a nice effect. like it had been planned that way.  We still need to place a big log in the middle for the main candle, and I need to track down the stars.  I've got time, though, as it's going to be too cold today, Mike's playing a show tomorrow night and the weekend looks very rainy.  It's a spiral of found objects and Willow helped with the bulk of it.  It is nice to see this tradition taking shape and the care that she puts into it.  Even Laurel was cautioning me to be careful not to mess it up!

I don't know if we will share it with anyone this year, if anyone will bring lights and walk with us.  I've felt the strong need to simply be just us and choose not to entertain right now.  I have a secret hope that one of the grown children will be in town for Christmas, but that may be only a product of my busy, introverted mind.  I come up with all kinds of scenarious that never happen, conversations that never occur, you know.  Either way, this is a tribute to the people who made this place their home, the lights they brought with them, and the lights we carry out of the spiral of life.

Advent Spiral 2016
impossibleway: (Willow in the Sling)
The Goblin Cobblers

By night we work, we never shirk,
With needle and thimble and thread.
The cobbler's asleep, he must not peep,
But stay tucked inside his soft bed.


~ Gateways :: Wynstones
impossibleway: (Club Moss in the Leaves)
See deep in the mountains where the wind blows wild,
There sits Holy Mary and cradles her child.
She rocks the cradle with hands so white,
she needs but a touch for the babe so light.


~ Winter :: Wynstones

Fallen Tree

We had Christmas in the forest today, on the Two Ponds Trail.

Candlelabras

The running cedar was releasing its spores in celebration and the ferns were merry in the cold air.

Christmas Ferns

We even found a few stalked puffballs on the hillside, shining their colors like the sun.

Stalked Puffballs

Our hike was a cold twenty-nine degrees and we needed to keep our faces covered. The wind is strong now, bringing a terrible chill. It's a good day to roast several pumpkins and enjoy the sun blazing into the dining room. Laurel's taking a nap, so I think I'll fold some window stars.
impossibleway: (Mike Panorama)
Winter is dark,
Yet each tiny spark
Brightens the way
To Christmas Day.

Shine little light
And show us the way
To the bright, bright light
Of Christmas day.


~Wynstones :: Winter








So much light and darkness this time of year; so much joy and worry.  I'm trying to find beautiful moments every day.  It was a cold, wet rainy day.  Katherine and I took a high through the woods and we loved seeing the water drip from the trees.  I'm really struggling with my anxiety right now and just want to pull away from everything outside of home and family and nature.  Say a prayer for me, if you feel like it.
impossibleway: (Tulip Tree in the Hemlock)
Golden light is turning grey,
Mist begins to rule the day.
Bare their leaves, the branches lift.
Clouds of dead leaves earthward drift.
Deep below, deep below,
New life will spring!

~Enki Grade One Movement

There's been a big change in the woods since I was there on Sunday afternoon.  The treetops are no longer golden, as most of the leaves have fallen and those that remain are brown.  There's a new feeling in the air, even if it was unseasonably warm this week.  It's in the mid-sixties today, so that's much better!

Mushroom in the Leaves

We went back to Hurricane yesterday and took a walk on the Comers Creek Trail.
Arriving at the campground, the gate was locked and the place was empty!
Halloween is closing day for many things in our national forest.

Pine Needles

Never mind--a little extra walking was good for us!
We saw a very quiet Wilson's snipe and a very loud ruffed grouse.
Our sights were set on a bouncy fallen tree, having visited it last Autumn.

Trio on a Tree

I took photos of the stick gnomes (shop update Monday!), while the children played a little.
The last of the leaves to hang on are mainly these beech leaves.
They'll stay on until Spring, becoming ghosts of leaves over the Winter.

Beech Leaves

We walked a good ways, picking our way over the creek that is the trail.
Even with the dry weather, it was still plenty wet.  All those trees do a lot of sheltering.
I think the children enjoyed the challenge.  We are starting to become more adventurous.

Falling Leaves

This last picture has some falling leaves in it. It's so hard to capture them as they go; they are a treasure that must be seen in person.  You can see a change in the light in this picture.  I am so ready for cold, dark evenings!
impossibleway: (Tulip Tree in the Hemlock)
Red leaves and orange,
Golden and brown,
Leaves in the Autumn
Come tumbling down.

~Enki Kindergarten Movement

Red Leaves

The world is like a giant stained glass window these bright October days.  We've taken numerous trips through the mountains, with our guests and alone.  There have been quiet moments of wonder.  Every leaf really, really is a work of art, as trite as it may sound.  They feel especially glowing this year, even though we have been so dry here and the streams are so low.  I took another hike with Katherine yesterday and it was so nice, rather like a therapy session for both of us.  We find our common ground, mull over our differing situations, and ask reflective questions.  It is nice to do that, to have someone who is glad to put energy into relationship.  All my friends are so good to me and so dear.  Phone calls and walks and sweet e-mails are a wonderful way to refresh and renew.

It's been really full around here lately, too full for my comfort. I don't like going places all the time or running lots of errands. The children don't much like it, either.  While some people might say that it's simply the way the world works, I choose to disagree.  It doesn't have to be.  Though there are many things in life that cannot be helped and many concessions we must make, we're still well in charge of what we do with our time.  Here, we keep things slow and fairly quiet.  I feel the special need to really do that right now and as we move into Advent in four weeks.  We've had (and are having soon!) a lot of guests lately and it's worn on everyone.  We love these people, but developmentally, we need some space and time.  There's always some sort of skill to hone or hump to get over and it's so hard to do it with an audience.  I'm looking forward to some quiet--it really nourishes me and I feel so pleased that my children enjoy it, too.

I was doing some Advent reading last night, as I was too awake to fall asleep with Laurel.  Roan and Willow are on a rare night away, so I wasn't quiet so sleepy. ;-)  It was nice to get into a reflective mood and really consider what I want the next eight weeks to be.  Last year felt a little irreverent at times, honestly, and I had to just keep on with our family rituals, not feeling very sure anyone was following along.  I can see now that they were, that those are part of the collective memory of our traditions.  I am ready for this year to be very, very deliberate and a bit private.  We're already turning our thoughts to Christmas, with the few catalogs we get and by making some gifts.  The holly berries are red now, so there is the feeling that something of Christmas is already afoot.

Well, I suppose the day will start soon.  It's Halloween, so there's going to be some excitement today--pumpkins to carve, costumes to put on (even Mike and me!), a dark night to navigate.  And tomorrow?  A new month, a new mood, and a new movement circle that needs me to finalize it!  I wish you all a happy day!

Gold Leaves
impossibleway: (Club Moss in the Leaves)
Over branches without rest,
Runs the squirrel to her nest.
Gathering acorns every day,
Safe for winter, stored away!

~Enki Kindergarten Movement

Nature School this past week was Willow's pick, since it fell on her birthday. She wanted to go to the Snail Place, of course, so we went and worked on the den they are building.  It's time to get ready for Winter, especially if you go with the old idea of Winter beginning after Halloween.  The trees are losing lots of leaves now, so this was perfect for adding nice insulating siding to the walls.  Willow had the idea to put the leaves on and then hold them in place with more sticks, and we did just that.  The weather was cool, in the fifties and breezy, with intermittent rain.

Willow working in the den

Here, she was working on a carpet of leaves inside.

Gathering Leaves

This girl, she is a hoot.  So sweet and so wild.  So much perseverance.

Brother and Sister

The joy of siblings.

Acorns

I helped gather leaves, but I also picked up many acorns.
Bury me with a handful of acorns.

Birthday Girl

Birthday portrait.

Centipede Segments

The children discovered these segments of a centipede, I think, and they were fascinating. We always return home feeling right again and ready for lunch. I look forward to seeing what nature school will look like in the Winter. I envision lots of thermoses of hot chocolate and wonderful memories.
impossibleway: (Berries)

Come celebrate with joy and with spirit
Come celebrate this land
We have ploughed the fields and have planted grain, we’ll reap a mighty harvest
For the warmth of sunshine, for the summer rain
For the bounty of the earth, raise your voice and sing!

~Enki Festival Songs


Thanksgiving


We had a sort of family thanksgiving meal last night, made up of foods that we have put together over the Summer and Fall.  We had such a good year in the garden, and I spent a godo part of yesterday roasting and pureeing pumpkins for the freezer.

We all worked on our feast together, sort of like Little House Day from Martin and Sylvia.  We had the October beans that we grew in the garden annex, seasoned with bacon and onions.  I made biscuits with buttermilk I made and Carrie's lard she rendered.  Speaking of buttermilk--I made butter this week using local raw milk, two gallons.  If anyone ever tells you to churn raw milk without separating the cream first, run away.  Or say a prayer over your blender and set to work.  This was not a job for the beautiful Dazey hand cranked churn I got recently.  Anyway, I got the job done and we do have some nice butter.

There was raspberry and peach jam for the biscuits, with homegrown raspberries and peaches from the orchard.  I made blackberry cobbler from more of the buttermilk and the annex blackberries.  The cornbread was also made with the buttermilk.  You get the idea--buttermilk and quick breads and beans.  The food was largely free--the raw milk, the berries, the beans, the lard.  All that was paid was with our time and a few seeds.  It was the perfect meal for the big shift in weather that we seem to be having lately.  It was thirty-nine degrees this morning and I think our first frost is not far off.  We've got a wind advisory for today, just right for making the Molasses Festival a chilly affair.  Well, we won't be caught without hats, mittens, and coats today!

Biscuits and Jam

impossibleway: (Goldenrod Trailhead)
Michaelmas time! Michaelmas time!
Time is changing the guard of the world.
Deep in his heart, dauntless in mind,
The ploughman guards against time growing old.
He stands and studies the star-patterned sky,
Fixes each spark in his wishing-well eyes;
Stars, like seeds, strewn over the land
And under the plow by Michael's hand.

~The Waldorf Songbook

Michaelmas Daisies

The Dye Pot

Red Roses Bright

I don't think there is any celebration that I have looked forward to as much as this one, this year. It seems so poignant for this season of our lives. Every seasonal shift has been felt so strongly, especially the swell of heat and emotions during the Dog Days of Summer. Now, the darkness is creeping in so quickly and I found myself out in it last night, in my property management work (but, hey, that means my grandmother is touring Nova Scotia in her eighties!).  I felt so unseasy, I'll admit, and it seemed that every grazing deer wanted to cross the road as I drove home.  The light is really waning and we are building the fires within ourselves to carry us through the Winter months.  The focus during our school time, along with my own improving discipline, is so wonderful.  I have worked to make what we do this year be full of meaning and it truly is.

We did have a rough start yesterday, in case it sounds like the stars are always aligned.  I waffled around in my mind about how to handle it, and we kept on, with our hearts set on the dyeing I had planned.  We got through it and were so nourished by the daily rhythm and the simple work of collecting the last of the flowers and berries.  Pokeberries are on their way out around here, but we did our best with what was available to make a red healing silk for our basket.  The goldenrod was put in with some turmeric for dyeing our flying star balls.  Roan and I clipped the last of the Celosia for drying and found some wee red roses for our Michaelmas table.

Today, we'll work on puppet plays and grinding wheat for our dragon bread.  We'll have friends over tonight to celebrate and enjoy some good, warm soup.  It's chilly this morning, in the forties, and I'm wearing socks for the first time in a long time.  It feels so nice!  Time to warm up the apple doughnuts (which are heaven!) and make some Mexican hot chocolate.  Here's a different version of a familiar verse that the children and I have really enjoyed this week:

Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are!
Art a gateway in the sky?
Art a little angel's eye?
Shine your starry light to earth,
Bring a thousand stars to birth:
Stars in apples, seedpod, pear,
Stars on berries everywhere.
So you guard me near and far--
Twinkle, twinkle little star.

~Wynstones :: Autumn
impossibleway: (Autumn Fern)
We took a supper picnic yesterday, opting to stay home for the morning and quiet time.  As I've been in the mood to tie up loose ends with my sewing and knitting, the children have felt similarly.  They spent part of the morning cleaning their closet (yes!) and organizing their treasures.  You know, weed eater line, ring pop rings, Nancy Drew books, and postcards.  While my sewing was not accomplished, we did have a nice day and ended it in the woods at Elk Garden.  I considered what to call this place.  The marriage place, the place with big rocks, the cow place, the sap tapping place.  It has many identities in our memories, but it really is The Favorite Place.

Into the Woods

I packed soup, granola, raisins, cheese and pickles for us, and Willow packed for the dolls.  Roan insisted on carrying his pack basket, which was pretty heavily laden.  He seems up for taking on bigger tasks lately.

The Dolls' Picnic

Willow set up the dolls' picnic and I set up ours.  We all ate so contentedly and well.  The soup was potato, bean, and bacon soup from The Waldorf Book of Soups.  It's the best recipe in there, hands down, and it might be my new go-to for navy bean soup.  Willow just loved it, which is so rare.

Bouldering

After supper, it was time for bouldering.  There are plenty of them in the woods!  The children are becoming pretty good at it, I think, much more adventurous than me.  I had such a cautious childhood.

Golden Light

The sun was setting as we left.  How beautiful it was--the sun was so fiery and red, just perfect. It called this verse to mind, that I have shared before:

Little dark leaves, you are growing so old,
fading so gently from green to gold.
See how the sun in his splendor goes down,
and lovingly gilds you a glorious crown.


~Enki Spirals
impossibleway: (Goldenrod Trailhead)


Summer's leaving, light is weaving,
Through the shadows and the trees.


~Enki Grade Two


Roan and I spent time popping open the little seed pods for spotted jewel weed yesterday afternoon. Some of them were very ripe--just bumping them sent the seeds flying. When the seed pods have formed, Summer is over. It was a little bittersweet to have the children ask me if Summer was really done. Yes, it is. It's been a long one, and a hot one. We have had our trials by fiery sun and now we can take what we've learned into Autumn and Winter.
impossibleway: (Autumn Fern)

We are in for a spell of perfect weather now, every day luminous, every night brimmed with stars. Picnics at noon, supper by the apple-wood fire at night, a walk in the cool moonlight before bed.
~ Gladys Taber

That little quote from a Susan Branch book has forever framed my picture of September.  This is that interesting time of year when the hope (yes!) of Fall is so present.  The buckeyes are losing their leaves and the smaller trees and plants along the roadsides are blazing with color.  Acorns are starting to fall.  I think it's going to be a mast year.  I'm hopeful of collecting my own store of nuts for our play kitchen and school work.

It's supposed to warm up today and even be hot towards the end of the week, but right now, I'm wrapped in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate.  It is a luxury right now to have the air conditioners and the heat off.  You can get your final fill of Summer, and you can start thinking about sweaters and mittens, too.  I told the children that we will wait for the first frost for mittens, and I'm trying hard to wait on rubber boots.  It is so fun and so full at this time of year.

Mushroom

Here are some scenes from our last day of Summer "vacation."  I always laugh at that term.  When I was a teen, it was a vacation, but not any more!  There's garden work to do and canning and school preparations.  I could go on and on. . .

Warming Up

We went to Laurel Bed Lake, a guaranteed place to Get Away From It All.  My dear Laurel, she fell in her lake while trying to climb a fallen tree.  Thank goodness for a blanket in the car that I hadn't taken to the thrift store yet!  The weather was just warm enough to play in the water (and the water was finally warm), but it was just cool enough to chill a person.

Together

She has mastered the expressive face. Bless her cotton-picking heart.  She was soon right again and playing in the water.  The highlight of her day was the dead fish she and Willow found.

Last Picture

All the children have gained courage in water this Summer, Roan especially.  It has been interesting to see his hesitation and his feelings of triumph as he becomes more comfortable.  It may be that we will be ready for swimming lessons next year.

The Color

Little dark leaves, you are growing so old,
Fading so gently from green to gold.
See how the sun in his splendor goes down
And lovingly gilds you a glorious crown.


~Enki Spirals :: Grade One

Midsummer

Jun. 24th, 2016 07:00 am
impossibleway: (Barefeet)
Looking Out

Tomorrow is Midsummer Day.
The spirits of light all dance and play.
So join your hands and let us sing:
The sun, he is our shining king!


Wynstones :: Summer


We're planning a party and a jump over the fire this evening. We've had some wild weather lately, so fingers are crossed that the storms will hold off for today.  Our plans for Midsummer's Eve (yesterday) were changed as life simply grew too full.  I've told myself that there is always next year to do more and make those tiny cupcakes for the fairies.  I wish you all a happy day!
impossibleway: (Barefeet)
Turning the Hay

The farmer is busy, so busy today,
Trying to gather in all his hay.
So off to the hayfield hurry away
And see what we can do.

We rake and toss and turn the hay,
We pile the rick as high as we may,
We ride in the cart which takes it away,
There is so much to do.


~ E. Adams, as taken from Wynstones :: Summer

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