Friday, February 25, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Barefoot Boy

This poem reminds me of my childhood. I hope that my child will live in the out-of-doors as fully as this.

The Barefoot Boy

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art,—the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye,—
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood’s painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Health that mocks the doctor’s rules,
Knowledge never learned of schools,
Of the wild bee’s morning chase,
Of the wild-flower’s time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell,
How the woodchuck digs his cell,
And the ground-mole sinks his well;
How the robin feeds her young,
How the oriole’s nest is hung;
Where the whitest lilies blow,
Where the freshest berries grow,
Where the ground-nut trails its vine,
Where the wood-grape’s clusters shine;
Of the black wasp’s cunning way,
Mason of his walls of clay,
And the architectural plans
Of gray hornet artisans!
For, eschewing books and tasks,
Nature answers all he asks;
Hand in hand with her he walks,
Face to face with her he talks,
Part and parcel of her joy,—
Blessings on the barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood’s time of June,
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming-birds and honey-bees;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade;
For my taste the blackberry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone;
Laughed the brook for my delight
Through the day and through the night,
Whispering at the garden wall,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides!
Still as my horizon grew,
Larger grew my riches too;
All the world I saw or knew
Seemed a complex Chinese toy,
Fashioned for a barefoot boy!

Oh for festal dainties spread,
Like my bowl of milk and bread;
Pewter spoon and bowl of wood,
On the door-stone, gray and rude!
O’er me, like a regal tent,
Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent,
Purple-curtained, fringed with gold,
Looped in many a wind-swung fold;
While for music came the play
Of the pied frogs’ orchestra;
And, to light the noisy choir,
Lit the fly his lamp of fire.
I was monarch: pomp and joy
Waited on the barefoot boy!

Cheerily, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can!
Though the flinty slopes be hard,
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat:
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prison cells of pride,
Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt’s for work be shod,
Made to tread the mills of toil,
Up and down in ceaseless moil:
Happy if their track be found
Never on forbidden ground;
Happy if they sink not in
Quick and treacherous sands of sin.
Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy,
Ere it passes, barefoot boy!

-John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807-1892

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Longies for winter

Have you ever seen a cuter kid? I certainly am biased, but just look at those blue eyes! This is Papa's wardrobe pick for this morning. P is ready for a warm summer day of haying in the field.

I had some trouble deciding on my next knit. Yes, I've got some UFOs in the closet, but I'd really wanted to start something new, that is quick and fun. As we begin to reach the other end of the winter, I realized that I still haven't knit any longies for Pieter. I couldn't decide between Pimp My Longies and Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Leggings, so I decided that I should do both. I'm starting with Pimp My Longies (how could I not with a name like that?) with some beautiful green Cascade 220 yarn that Gen sent my way recently. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Warm feet

I've started going to the rec center to exercise in the morning before Ben leaves for work. That leaves the boys alone to greet the day, which means it always is a surprise (to me) how P will be dressed. This one was too good to not share with you. Papa's only comment was "Well, I didn't want his feet to get cold."

Some have to rely on nature to provide warm feet during these cold winters. Simba, our Norwegian Forest Cat, braved the zero degree temperatures this afternoon.
The deer make their appearance every night in our backyard, checking out the compost for any goodies and the ground beneath the bird feeder for seed.  Below are their tracks on the left. Simba's are on the right as he strolls down to the spruce tree.  
On his way back up to the house, he makes a mad dash and bounds like a cheetah. Check out those prints on the right, crossing over the deer tracks. Not bad for an 18 year old cat!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Authentic Apron

Pattern: Blue Stem Apron, Blue Stem Studios
Fabric: Authentic by Sweetwater for Moda

Now that Cobblestone is off my back, ahem, finished, I can work on some quick projects. I just love this fabric - the color and design is perfect. The pattern was very easy, especially for a beginner like myself.  

I found the fabric at The Bakery Fabrics, a wonderful little gem in the Northern Black Hills, owned and operated by Anni Albright.  You can find her on Facebook and Ebay. Blue Stem Studios, run by Paula Ensz, is also based in the 1927 brick building that housed Tri-State Bakery for many years. Next time I visit I'll bring my camera to give you a peek at this neat old building!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Pattern: Cobblestone, Jared Flood
Yarn: Handspun Llama, Argentina
Needles: US 6 & 7

Finally a sweater for Papa. Ben found this yarn while plant collecting in Argentina in 2007. It has been marinating in my stash, waiting for the perfect project, and found it in Cobblestone. Ben likes his shirts nice and roomy, so I did the large size. It is a bit big on him, especially since llama tends to stretch and not keeps it shape as well as wool. Now that I have pictures of it, I might be brave and do a gentle wash cycle with it to "full" the sweater, but not quite felt it. That might give it just the right shrink. My only modifications from the pattern was to knit the bottom band in a size smaller needle. The pattern was a joy to work with - seamless and simple. I was hoping for enough to do Pebble for Pieter with the leftover skeins, but I'm not sure it will be enough. But, I do have another six skeins in natural! Perhaps a sweater for Mama?

Friday, February 18, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter reprieve

We have now had five days of 50-60 degree weather! We just can't get enough of it. Pieter and I have been out on many walks these past few days. Today we walked along the creek and soaked in all the sunshine we could.  The creek has lost it's ice and snow and is flowing fast from all the snow melt in the hills. A few windows open at home are letting in fresh air and the furnace is shut down. But, reality is coming tomorrow in the form of 35 degrees. In the meantime, we are loving it!
{Ponderosa Pine, Pinus Ponderosa}
PS: the bark smells like butterscotch!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The shaker

This simple shaker is one of my favorite kitchen gagets.  Perhaps the best tip I've received from my favorite bread book from King Arthur Flour, Whole Grain Baking, is to fill up a shaker with flour so that you can dust your counter top when kneading bread or rolling out pie dough or cutting yummy scones. I just pull it out of my baking cupboard whenever I need a bit of flour and don't have to dive into my big jug of it, which I leave in the freezer so it doesn't go rancid. It makes it so easy when I make 100% Whole Wheat Bread a couple times a week. Today was one of those days!

Friday, February 11, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wyoming in the winter

A friend of ours was visiting last week, so we went on a winter adventure to Wyoming to see Devils Tower.  On the way is the little place called Aladdin with a old country store. It was fun to see and reminded me of the country stores in New England. Upstairs held some antiques and I found a crock for my sourdough (more on that later). We continued on and saw a juvenile bald eagle eating a deer carcass (I'm abstaining from putting that picture up for the faint of heart).
The prairie dog town was blanketed with snow and quiet without a peep. On top of the snow covered town was a beautiful porcupine making its way across the field. Up at the tower porcupines have chewed the bark off of many of the Ponderosa pines for their winter food (see a picture of this from our fall trip). Every time we visit this place I am amazed at the beautiful lichen. 
{A great family shot curtsey of Stacey}
{Snow falling and starting to obscure the tower}

Monday, February 7, 2011

Clean up crew

Who says we need a dog to clean up the food that gets tossed down? These little guys take care of business!  We finally picked out names for these cuties. We decided to stick with our Swahili theme, so the one in the front is Paka (cat) and the one in back is Duma (cheetah). They are loads of fun and little cuddlers. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Icy walk

I loved yesterday's photo so much that I couldn't resist showing some more. Isn't it beautiful? We enjoy walks along the creek, no matter what the season. You can see in the second picture that the ice is forming from the bottom of the bed. Such an interesting phenomena. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

GIVEAWAY ~ FlowerFolk Herbal Skin Care ~

Today I bring you a giveaway from FlowerFolk Herbal Skin Care. In Owner Steph's words:

"Flowerfolk is a small, creative-spirited and environmentally-minded business that creates herbal skin care products. Based in Cambridge, MA, Flowerfolk makes simple, plant-inspired cosmetics that are formulated with organic ingredients and with an emphasis on familiar, North American-growing herbs. Flowerfolk seeks to enhance personal and collective well-being by creating thoughtfully-made herbal goods using business practices that improve the future, rather than endanger it.

I blog at FlowerFolk Herbs and have a shop on Etsy.  You can also find me on Facebook."

Missy: What inspired you to start your business?
Steph: I have always had an affinity for the plant world and its healing powers. In college and grad school I studied horticulture, botany and ethnobotany, while at the same time I learned more about traditional herbalism and its use of medicinal plants. Likewise, I've always had an interest in well-being and in being aware of the foods we eat, so over time this also translated into being aware of the body products we use everyday. I felt like my business would be a way of naturally combining all my passions while being able to help people become more aware of the cosmetic products they use on their bodies.

Missy: What herbs do you focus on using for your products?
Steph: I like to use common plants, ones that we can grow and see growing around us in our local environments. It is not necessary to use exotic plants from faraway places to experience the healing benefits of the botanical world. In fact, many so-called 'weeds' are some of our best medicines if we would only put them to use. For my products especially I use a lot of Comfrey, Rose, Calendula, Lavender, Sage, Chamomile and Peppermint among others. I use only organic herbs, cold-pressed oils, beeswax, clays and pure essential oils.

Missy: Tell us about some of the new products you are excited about?
Steph: I am now working on some body moisturizers/butters. There are so many beautiful plant oils that exist and I am experimenting with a few to find the right combination that will provide a nourishing balm for the skin. Outside of body products, I hope to offer beeswax candles and naturally scented soy candles in the near future, so I am excited about that!

For today's giveaway FlowerFolk Herbs is generously offering the following:

A $20 gift card to our shop!

In addition, FlowerFolk Herbs is offering 10% DISCOUNT to all readers until February 28.
Use ENDOFDAY coupon code.

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Thank you to FlowerFolk Herbs!
To enter, please leave a comment in today's post (one entry per person). Comments will close Friday at 5pm, MST. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator and announced here in this post Friday evening.

Comments closed! The winner is...
What great products and I love the packaging! Yay for Flowerfolk
Posted by: Peacock

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yarn + Kittens = Slow Progress

Progress on Cobblestone is slowly creeping along. I am just about at the yoke. Now that the kitties are out of quarantine, they tend to be glued to me if I am sitting down. They especially love it when I knit. I am having a bit of a hard time getting the yarn away from them!

When they are not cuddled up with each other, there is a bit of action to be had.
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