Fly By Night

November strides by without a glance, wrapped in grays and browns and leaving half her clothes behind as she passes. They cover the land and join the leaves, now dry and dull, that stir with each wave of wind returned. Sunshine is worth more these days. We rejoice when it spills through the windows and, like orphans, we follow it from room to room.

At times, November seems a too-long month of too-little light. Too-cold house and too much dark. It's not all bad, though. There are other too-muches pleasanter, like these:

Too much tea, too much coffee, and too much cocoa
Too many blankets and too many sweaters
Too much sitting and too much reading-of-books
Too much water in a too-hot shower
Too many rosy faces painted by a too-strong wind
Too many canning jars stuffed with too much food
Too many floors covered with too much stuff
Too many rooms bursting with too much energy

And more for giving thanks:

The surprise of waking to find myself spread with sunshine;
Early morning light that sets dim corners on fire;
Five girls who fashion these days;
Little kicks within that startle me out of monotony;
The hope of new life;
Date nights; going steady; having a Heart;
Seasonal incentive for doing dishes-- it thaws out the hands!
Seasonal incentive for mopping the floor- company for Thanksgiving!
Seasonal incentive for eating candy- sacrificing my health for the children's sake!
Wind blowing every which way;
Lonesome honks; a sky-high parade; fall's fare-thee-well;
Migrating birds overhead, hundreds that rise and fall as one, that ripple and swell like a large, black sheet hung in the sky;
Those same blackbirds clustered in noisy traveling bands in the trees next to the house;
Winter sunsets splashed about;
Bent and crooked fences in fields now abandoned;
The elegance of trees in their bones, lined against a swathe of sky;
Dark nights and strewn stars with no competition but the moon;
The beauty of bare things.

Most of all, I'm thankful for endless new beginnings. They bolster each night and gird each morning. I daily fall; I hourly flop; so, these beginnings, I can't do without.

And there you have it.
Today's ramble to chug this train out of the station.

John needs his netbook (which hates me as bitterly as I hate it) for work, so I'm leaning on the internet whims of ye olde laptop, who connects one day out of five these days. Let's hope I finish posting snapshots before she finds out what I'm up to!
Here goes nothing...

All Five

These snapshots don't have a proper post, so I'm giving them one.

Luci caught with her hand in the peanut butter.

I suppose it's my fault for dressing her that morning.

Piper caught sleepy on the couch one morning.

Piper caught comfortably (?) asleep in the Moses basket one afternoon

Susannah caught holding Turkey. (I know what you're thinking, but we're not eating Turkey on Thursday. Plus, I warned them not to name the chickens...)

Annika caught reading in a sunbeam.

Bang-less Millie caught reading on the lonely loveseat.

Freshly be-banged Millie eating early morning muffins.

You'd Better

If you don't like October, I don't understand you. What's not to like about a bounty of backyard apples, a crazy dog,

gold dripping from every branch outdoors

and indoors,

and littering the ground,

storms that take us by surprise, and a rising wind that whips off leaves and turns us wild?

The last asters,

last leaves,

last berries,

and last lace.

Pears for show but not for eating

and showy pears for show AND eating.

It's all there to like, so we did.

Sunrise and Dew

In summer, the weeds reproach me with untamed boldness, in winter, with shriveled sadness, but in fall, their golden tangles are perfect.

See, fall makes everything beautiful, even a neglected garden.

Buried Treasure

I looked up one morning and saw a man riding a bulldozer past the kitchen window. Weird, huh?

We walked outside to find our lush lawn turned brown. This will hopefully keep our basement from flooding many times a year.

The girls had fun finding all sorts of treasure-- pottery shards, square nails, scraps of old tin, and more.

This was part of the "more"-- the girls' first encounter with a praying mantis.

Normally a bug/snake/creepy-crawler lover, Annika was uncertain. He reached her shoulder before I took pity. (Luci's concern here is the highlight.)

They all took turns passing him around,

before I held him

and set him free from scary, little girls.

The Boring End.

Love Hurts

I enjoy the bond that's developing between Piper and Luci. It's so sweet to watch.

Half of the time, anyway....


At the time I took this picture, I was thoroughly sick of canning, but I couldn't resist the contrast between rich purple grapes and white pears.

I'm a sucker for beauty, especially when it occurs in the only artfully cluttered spot in my house. (Note: I did not say the only cluttered spot in my home, simply the only "artfully cluttered" spot. Thank you, Abigail, for your honesty.)

More All Hallow's Eve

You've seen them already, but here are the gnomes (thanks to McGamma's clearance shopping after Hallowe'en last year),

Friendly, little gnomes, aren't they?

The Cowgirl, who shows off her mad riding skillz,

as well as her fetching grin,

Annie Oakley, who set the whole town on fire with her cap guns,

And NausicaƤ (of the Valley of the Wind) struck a familiar pose.

It's called, "Mildred, please stand still so I can take your picture."
"But what do you want me to doooo?"

Yup, do that. That's fine.

p.s. For those who wonder, NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind has been Mildred's favorite movie since she was five. The girls don't watch many movies, but this one has stood the test of time, and her allegiance is unwavering. That the dress is sloppily sewn goes without saying, but it's supposed to resemble this one she wears after the ohmu revive her.

p.p.s. We cut her bangs, for reals, but the rest of her hair is just tucked under in the back to make it look as much like short hair as we could.

I'm an Unsung Hero

I walked into the living room to discover a tragedy about to happen.

"NOOOOOOOoooo! Don't eat the apple!!!" I desperately cried.

Too late.

She must be an imposter, though, because she didn't seem any worse for the wear.


This year, October also brought snow (barely) enough for sledding.

The girls were ecstatic and jumped at the chance to check the mail.

Piper didn't even use that excuse. She just wandered out bare-legged and stood alone in her raincoat.

The next afternoon, there was still (barely) enough left for a snowman.