Saturday, December 26, 2009

Talkin' Cousins

More video fun... for our far-away nieces/cousins.... Bean trying out his photo-ID skills on the new Christmas pictures!

We'll see them soon... and maybe he'll know their names!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas Eve!

We are indeed still here! Solstice has passed and we're looking forward to lighter days. I've been dealing with cold/sinus/virus stuff for a full month now, going to bed early, it's been hard to get to the blog.

But we want to say Merry Christmas and share a glimpse of what we've been up to. Happy Holidays!

He started this yesterday, after a day of festive sledding at daycare. His first "song"! We're so proud.

This was something I meant to post a while ago... a solar-powered radio dance party in the driveway! A good use for a sunny day. Need more of those!

And Bean is a master with the shovel. We're in the midst of a pretty big blizzard right now, and he was out helping WF a couple times already.

We are grateful for all our blessings this year, and wish you all a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A New Train of Thought

Time for some new content. We have finally entered the world of Thomas the Tank Engine trains at our house. Bean has been playing with them at daycare, the library and even with some magnetic trucks at ECFE. He's been lining up cars at home and getting frustrated that they didn't follow each other. So, I finally broke down and opened the 3 trains we got from his cousins this summer (I was saving them till he was older). He immediately knew what to do!

A new train-lover is confirmed. We have a pillowcase from Savers with Thomas on it, and it was distracting last night when we were trying to go to sleep. "Choo-choos!" I didn't teach him that, just repeating him on the video. Soon after I took this, we were gifted with some outgrown trains from a friend; so we are well stocked. But I do forsee some train-heavy gift lists in future years, possibly!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Farewell Lutsen Cat

We had to say goodbye to a good cat soul today... Lutsen-cat, a patient, friendly, "involved" cat, aged 12. She had been battling diabetes for a while now, but was still patrolling the yard for mice and voles until a couple days ago. She took a turn for the worse rather suddenly last night, and we had to make the final vet visit this morning. She's at peace now, but we will miss her so much.

She came to live at this rural home about 11 years ago, shortly after WF moved in. She'd been a starving stray, and once she got here, started eating voraciously. Turns out she came with 5 free, bonus cats inside! She gave birth here and was a good mother to Schroeder (her spitting image) and 4 others who went to live with friends.

Lutsen has really been WF's shadow for a long time. She's always been here, longer than I have, sleeping on WF's chest or following him around, "helping" with projects. She would even follow us far into the woods while hiking; a bit like a dog in that way! I imagine she was a bit surprised to find herself in a household with a Baby Bean years later, but she was so patient with him. He loved her... his first real word was "Caaaaa" (he still doesn't pronounce the T) and his face just lit up when she'd appear. She never once scratched him, only mrrrr'ing in protest occasionally as he flattened her with his attentions or pulled her around by her tail. Poor Lutey; we tried to teach him gentleness, but especially since she didn't do much in return, it was hard. She was brave.

Lutsen was also our social ambassador; she'd jump into any available lap, stranger or no. She'd help repairmen if we didn't keep her away. She waited at the door each evening and rocketed out into the yard most days, or greeted you carside (or jumping INTO the car to say Hi). She was a great vole hunter. Yeah, I know, outdoor cats... but she was specific to her vole/mole/mouse prey, not going for birds, and her work helped save WF's beloved fruit trees. Leftovers went to the chickens. She loved being outside, and was patient with us forgetting to let her back in some nights. I fretted about predators, but she was pretty street (or woods)smart. She was very much part of the spirit of this place.

So farewell, dear Lutsen. Thank you for your patience and love. WF will especially miss you; I thank you for being there for him through some hard times, and for showing me that he was likely to be a good daddy (and we were right!)...he was so smitten and gentle with you. You were Bean's first cat, and have showed us that the long line of cat-loving men in this family will continue. We'll take good care of Schroeder.

Peace and purrs to you...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So, yeah. There's this thing in November, when some people try to write a novel in one month (NaNoWriMo) or make a blog post every day (NaNoBloMo). In the interest of being contrary, I am almost doing the opposite; writing NOTHING all month! Ahem.

Anyway. We are still here, occasionally wearing costumes, occasionally not. It's the dark time, sun-wise, so that makes life just a little more interesting when living off the grid.

For instance, we spend Halloween evening at the laundromat! Wheee! We had sheets and blankets to wash, and this is the only way. Luckily, Bean is young enough that Halloween doesn't mean much yet. So, we did get dressed up, attended the co-op party (Bean's highlight was either the music from Terrance and Kelly, or "sweeping" the empty aisles afterward. The boy does love a good broom!) and then headed out to wash. We don't get trick-or-treaters at our house, anyway, so we were not missing that part of the day. It was festive, in a laundry sort of way.

We did also visit with cousin A at the mall... an crazy thing, but fun to see a cute little ladybug. Bean wasn't quite sure what to think, but she liked him!

We've also survived a nasty round of stomach flu (worse for the adults than Bean) and... it was sunny yesterday, so I celebrated by having some toast... an extravagance not usually seen all winter.

Life is good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So, as WF said the other day, "He's learning the language!". I followed Bean around today with a pen in hand, and by the end of the day we had over 50 words! This includes "Zoop!" when looking at a big stew pot (who taught him that?), "Bear" when looking at a plastic honey-bear, water and bath when, well, taking a bath. We have juice, cup, spoon, fork, yogurt, corn, meat, booh-beh (blueberries), PEES (please) and pumpkin. We have cat, hat, boot, shoe, sock ("zock") and shovel. Shovel is quite emphatic while we are outside, or when Dada has been spotted carrying a shovel outside when Bean has not been invited to help. He loves to help with outside chores. Inside chores, too...he recognizes the fly swatter (runs around yelling "fwies!" (flies) and the "boom" (broom) is quite a hit.

I'm not sure what's average at this age, but it's fun to have this record right before he turns 18 months old. There's definitely some gears turning up there these days, and it's so much fun to watch!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Talking pictures

Another little sneak peak for the grandparents... and anyone else who cares to listen in. Adding new words every day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sneak Peek

So, we found this Tigger and put him to work raking leaves (at a friend's birthday party in town)...

A frog came along to help (a friend of a friend's son, not sure of his name...)

Luckily his tail didn't get in the way!

He had enough energy left over to do some reading afterwards...

And talk to a friend!!

Yep, I'm revealing Bean's Halloween costume early, but I thought the Grandparents who missed out on a visit today due to germs might like a sneak peek. He's too cute not to share. Very cuddly in this second-hand suit, too, I might add. He doesn't really seem to notice his new tail, etc, but did say "Cat!" when he first saw the costume. Yep, a few steps ahead from this first halloween!

This party was for a friend who is exactly 6 months older than Bean, turning 2 years old! That means in just 6 months, we'll be....Oh, my. Time flies!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

10-10 = Snow Start

So this was a suprise! I got home late last night to clear and starry weather (was out for a rare night with other moms sans kids; whoo!), and woke up to WHITE! SNOW! EVERYWHERE! Not the normal first snow for the year. A bit early (!!!!) but beautiful nonetheless. It took me a minute to figure out why it looked so strange; green leaves and white ground usually do not mix!

We went out before breakfast for a quick visit; Bean's first snow while walking and more aware!

First tromp through snow; didn't even stop to inspect it first; nothing phases this boy!

Oh, wait! Something's different, mom!

And what are these silly things you managed to sneak onto my hands? I'll take care of that!

Ohhhh... cold! Do not like this!

Oh, well, never mind... I'll just get on with clearing it for you....

The snow is mostly melted by now, but the forecast calls for more this weekend. Yikes. It's been such an odd weather year, but I guess we best embrace the cold. We're pretty well outfitted through fortutitious garages sale, Grandma shopping gifts and wonderful friend hand-me-downs (thanks for the snowsuit, Mary; great timing!). We're ready for more winter now; but maybe some true Fall, first?

Friday, October 02, 2009

5 Years

Went walkin' in the woods with my guys today... one tall, one not-so-tall.

It was a nice short celebration of 5 years together (married) for WF and I... it's been a good time, and now we are three!

We looked at the pictures from that day 5 years ago, sharing them with the new addition. He recognized pictures of "dada-papa"... Grandpa, I think. Fun to start sharing some of his family history with Bean, now that he recognizes pictures. Mind boggling, isn't it all?

Love you, WF... here's to many more 5-year milestones!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Great Great!

We had a great, short visit from Bean's Great-Great-Aunt (wow!) and her family, all the way from Seattle and California! Bean never got to meet his Great-Grandma; this is her sister, 12 years close as he can come on this plane. Big families mean all sorts of interesting age combinations!

We have many similar ideas about food, etc, and it was fun to share our new, zingy live kraut; Bean definitely impressed them with his zeal for the purple stuff!

In other news, we are still just muddling along, trying to kick some germs (currently colonizing my sinuses) and keep up with the house. No new action, just keepin' up. This is my first week of 3 day work in a while, so hoping that helps us feel a bit caught up. Fall is here; we've had touches of frost. Maybe a garden post (such as it is?) will happen soon...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Growing Up

We are here and growing every day. I'm still working in town, due to another temporary 3-day-a-week compromise that might run through the end of the year. Part time is ideal, so we'll ride it out. Just not as exciting as throwing myself into new pursuits more full-time just yet, but there are financial realities. Y'know.

But BEAN! The blog needs an update just to share pictures, as I've never gotten into a routine of sharing with relatives, etc. Just in the past week or so, I've been noticing the angles of Bean's face changing... the baby is departing and the little boy is emerging. It happens so fast; he's not even 18 months old, yet! Oh, my heart, he is going to be a flirt!

He can now crawl up on chairs and sit like a big person. He can really cruise on the driveway, almost running. He's doing puzzles somewhat accurately, and those words are coming! We see buses, ask for crackers (ca-cahs) and even point out chicken, ahh, droppings. "Poop!" What can I say? They are around, they get attention.

But he's not too big to still ride on Daddy's back to enjoy a woodsy walk. We are truly blessed!

Monday, September 07, 2009


Can a toddler subsist on sauerkraut alone? Sometimes it seems that Bean would like to try. He loves it!

But wait, he DOES eat some other good, summer foods....

It was a good summer last hurrah, and now we are starting on on the fall foods, some gathered right here at home...


Well, hello! I just wanted to check in a give a few updates, for those of you who are playing along at home.

My job, (or what the heck?): Yes, indeed, I finally made the leap last week. I sent a big serious letter to family members back in May giving my reasons for wanting to move on from my "good job" in town, but then was offered a temporary part-time situation, so I stayed. And tried to be happy. And tried to appreciate all the good things about that place. And so on and so on and BLAH! And now the part-time is ending, and I just am not ready or willing to do 5 days a week away from my home and son. Leaving feels good, even if scary from a financial standpoint. I've been agonizing over this decision for a very long time, and it feels SO good to finally have brain space again, not always thinking about what the right decision might be and what would this or that be like, or what. I realize I've made new challenges for myself, but I'm excited to face those new things.

Lyme Disease: I have just finished my antibiotics and feel much better. I'm slowly getting some energy back. Last week, I could hardly walk a mile without wanting to lay down for a quick nap. Today, I ran a ways and it felt really good. I've been motivated to get some exercise every day; trying to get back into it slowly. My rash is gone, but I still have a weird, peeling ring on my leg; ewww.

Our House: Yep, it is still tehnically "on the market", but we still have so much to do. We want to move to the Spiral Earth Land Cooperative, a group we are helping to form. They own land on the South Shore of Lake Superior, closer to the lake, near a wonderful sandy beach. We'd have to build our own home to live there permanently, so we'll have to sell this one first. And so, it may be a great, crazy adventure, but I'm feeling more energy these days (see job and lymes, above).

Bean: continues to be exceptionally cute, if I do say so myself, and into more things these days. He loves his grandparents and the great new (garage sale) toys they brought on their last visit. His words are increasing every day; Baby, Apple (with both syllables), No... it's a new world dawning, in more ways than one!

Monday, August 31, 2009


We topped off the weekend with a little beach ramble, and a ceremonial swim for me! Brrr...Zing! Washing off the past, and moving forward for new, good changes! I have officially given notice at my "day job" and am planning to focus more on our family, our place and our community. Brave and crazy all together, indeed!

My Weekend

I turned 37 this weekend. I am officially old. But I am going to do new things and appreciate this life!

Helping Bean make me a card...(the one way to be sure I'll get a card from my household, ahem!)

Contemplating my next steps...

Which serindipidously involved a rare lighthouse tower visit; yay!

And taking a break at Spiral Earth. More soon!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A New Road

So. Our house is for sale on Craig's List. I have very mixed feelings, to say the least. Feeling quite overwhelmed, actually. We're far from ready to really "show" it off to best advantage. But let's hope this leads us down a good, positive new path. Who knows...