September 15, 2014

Roll over

All I wanted was to snap an updated photo of Trot and Huckle. but Huckle had other ideas.  I recently taught him to roll over so he felt inclined to show me what he's learned thus far.  What's funnier: Huckle's pride or Trot's indifference?


Our days are currently as packed as the jars I keep canning. Blanching and chopping (hence, my missing thumb) and gathering and freezing and drying and on and on and on.  This year I scored an extra bounty of tomatoes at a year sale (I was delighted!), and Champ scored a free dishwasher to replace our "exhausted by any effort towards washing" one.  That's what I call a great harvest season.   

      taking a break to look for gold.  They didn't find anything but more green beans.

This time of year I drink a whole lot of coffee; intently burning the candle down so that there is no such thing as an end.  Champ and I are about as exhausted as Huckle there most days, but if I'm to feel exhaustion this is the type I prefer: complete with nicks on my hands, lukewarm coffee on the counter, beet stains on all the dish towels, and a growing insurance that we will have produce readily available throughout the winter days.  The days when I certainly could bundle up and drive down a snowy road to the grocery store, but why?  Some folks preserve their food out of necessity- I'm not that by any means.  Other folks preserve food because while it's tiring, they find fulfillment and nourishment in it- that's kind of me.  A few folks put food by so that they can be lazy yet healthful all winter long- now that's me!  

September 12, 2014

Friday's finish

Let's get down to business!  The winner of the maple syrup giveway-chosen by is Pam B.  Yay and congratulations!!!!  I'll be contacting you to get that jug headed your way ASAP.

You know what?  You know what this week brought?

{Life in general}
- Bear's second week of school
- Ace testing positive for a decent amount of lead in his blood
- Mid Autumn Moon Festival
- chopping off some of my thumb while chopping cabbage
- Ace having his blood drawn again, this time in a lab
- Bear's root canal appointment
- soccer practice began for Bear
- Champ and I maintaining busy, busy schedules
- a somber, reflective Thursday for Americans

{Life extraordinary}
- a friend calling to arrange an extended visit here
- driving Bear to and from the bus becoming a welcomed routine
- Ace's second set of blood work coming back negative for lead
- getting stopped on our walk by a stranger complimenting Huckle and Trot
- I still have 5 fingers on my right hand
-  Bear's root canal turning, in the 11th hour, into only a bit of scraping and
    hollowing out
- finding hidden pockets of free time in scheduled days

God and I have been having some deep conversations these days: regarding my friends, my family, my life. I started off yesterday's chat with Him by saying "you know when last week in church that woman patted my sons' heads and said 'you are blessed'? Today I am beginning to understand what she already knows.  I'm aware that blessings don't always go hand in hand with lovely outcomes; yet while I can recognize that not all weeks will have happy endings, I am on my knees with gratitude that this one did."

Get out there and enjoy your weekend.  I'm not gonna have any trouble enjoying mine.      


September 08, 2014

The wait is over

a classic morning at the bus stop

The wait is over.  Bear is a newly minted a kindergartener.  He couldn't be happier.

He practically owns this year already, what with the confidence he's displayed this past week (cranky, mr. tired-pants has also been displayed, but we won't get into that!). Champ and I are delighted with his easy-breezy attitude towards it all, since it currently presents as an eagerness to learn and become part of the school community.  

If a swagger while stepping off the bus is a side effect then we won't call it cocky, rather an assured feeling of knowing he's in the right place, finding the right path each day within his new community of fellow learners.

last year's schultute

That's all I can say for right now without getting all reflective and sentimental, but even when wallowing deep in my Mama thoughts, I can recognize that this was a most lovely way for Bear to have begun his official school career.  Here's to kindergarten 2014!

ps: don't forget to enter the maple syrup giveaway!!!!

September 03, 2014

Giveaway Hooray!

Today I put Bear on the school bus for his very first day of kindergarten.  Now do you see why I timed this post laden, giveaway full, launch week so appropriately?  Kinda trying to keep parts of my brain from focusing too heavily on what is happening here.  Yes, yes even if it is a very good thing.  Anywho, more on that later since you are here for the giveaway after all, correct?!

I got two, count 'em two, giveaways for you.  First up, a free printable quoteboard designed by yours truly. To Kill a Mockingbird is my most favorite book of all time, Bear's journey to solidly following his own conscience began today: the combo seemed fitting.  Print out your free 8x10 copy of the quote here.

Before I get into the second giveaway, I've got a few other announcements regarding Any Given Moment's new look.  Do you like it here?  I sooooo do and the behind the scenes stuff is so so much easier now.  Let's all have a big round of applause for Rita over at The Coffee Shop Blog- I cannot tell you enough positive comments about how helpful she's been.  Thank you again Rita, for dealing with my fickle heart and my crazy schedule!!!!  The slideshow on my header, the organized layout, the page tabs, the LARGE PHOTOS are all thanks to her.  

A huge shout out to Coupons by I am ever so grateful to have them advertising on Any Given Moment (seriously, those coupons are pretty great!), especially since their funding made my work with Rita possible- hence a cooler blog for all of you.  Win-win-win.

What else?  Oh, I streamlined how to follow this blog, made it more mobile friendly, and added a photo gallery on the side bar labelled "The Latest Moments".  It will be my version of instagram, so check it regularly.  And then there are the super new tweaks.  I'll speak to them directly in the weeks ahead; in the meantime get ready for a little more action from Trot and Huckle, a few more pages turned during book reviews and discussions, and a bunch more free quoteboard downloads, because I adore you all. Thanks for visiting- and continuing to visit- this here space!

Did you guess the second giveaway yet?  MAPLE SYRUP!  Remember I live in Vermont?  AND I like pancakes.  Here's how to enter the giveaway for your own quart of locally sourced maple syrup:

All those new ways to follow Any Given Moment- well go ahead and use them!  Sign on to follow along, then leave me a comment telling me you've joined.  Have you been kicking around here for a while?  I am so appreciative for your company!  Leave a comment telling me what you plan to do with the maple syrup if you're the lucky winner.  The giveaway ends next Tuesday, September 9th. at 9am est.  Good luck. 

                    (the syrup was photobombed, so it should be extra tasty)


September 02, 2014

Travelling with kids: a few tips (and pairs of Minnetonka moccasins) I've picked up along the way

Vacationing with kids.  That's a weighted sentence to say the least. Thus far our travel has been limited to cars and so that's the framework for the tips I offer here.  If you are planning on flying somewhere well... how about you take me and my family along with you and then I can tell you how I'd set up some systems?

A few things that have worked for us, including a very Cape Cod specific, and kind of unrelated item... children's Minnetonka  Moccasins.  Weird I know, but listen the Cape is full of them!  

Look for those SURF/SAND shops that line each town.  The front entrance often look like the one that Bear's scooping out.  Stroll inside heading for the sale section (it's usually dusty) or the shoe section if the store has one, then put on your detective glasses and look around.  Before long the moccasins will begin popping up.  They will be disorganized and in wrong boxes.  Infant booties will be mixed with an occasional women's 7.5. (score!  I found a pair last year in Buzzard's Bay), some shoes will look like they are from an entire era ago, other's will look like they have only arrived there yesterday.  If you persevere, you will win big!  Minnetonka shoes for a fraction of the price- rock on!  This year Ace fell in love with a pair of white beaded moccasins; they make him look like a 67 year old blonde tycoon who owns a yacht, yet they somehow suit him.  Bear found a larger size in the style he favors.  Happy Hunting.

Before leaving on any trip I do two things.  First, I collect up any books we have that might be pertinent to where we are going: in this case I packed books with seashore/beach themes.  You could use library books if you are uber responsible.  I am not.  The books come in handy in a whole manner of ways: general independent entertainment- especially the car, as reference materials, and as humane restraints- such as when waiting in line for a table when dinnertime was oh so 2 hours ago.  The other thing I do is to cook up a few snacks to take on the road.  I think that a majority of families do this to some degree.  Our classic beach items (i/e don't melt easily) are hard boiled eggs, chex mix, ingredients for making daily sun tea, and hummus and pretzels.  I occasionally pack a flask of alcohol too because if we are talking kids here, some nights a small nightcap is simply perfect.  With these items I can offer an early breakfast if we are waiting on someone to wake up, or a filling snack at the beach when the ice cream truck is still 30 minutes away from arrival time.      

We stay at places with pools.  It makes life so much easier when waiting on the rest of your party, or if  plans change and you are left with down time, or if everyone just needs to feel rooted and not so on the go for little while.  The pool is the place to be.

We pack our own bathroom facility because you never know.  Or it's because Ace is toilet training and packing that thing enables him to be as independent as Champ, Bear, and I when in a motel room.  I will not answer why Ace parked his toilet in the doorway. 

This was the first year we packed a tent for sleeping arrangements- it worked out great!  Our issue always is that we are in a tight space; the boys need to go to bed, but it's early yet for Champ and I.  We found that if we tucked them into the tent all zippered up and then lowered the lights or the tv, they would have a sort of screen while Champ and I could sit back and relax.  I'll give you that the first night was a trial, but after that the system worked smoothly.  On the flip side, mornings were easier too because whoever woke first would unzip and crawl out of the tent, but the other was able to sleep on in his shaded nylon cocoon. 

How do you like to travel?

*pst!  See you back here tomorrow for the giveaway!*

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