This weekend I sliced, boiled and smashed two bushels of apples into many containers of applesauce.  My freezer is full!  I love applesauce, and even though making it myself is a time consuming endeavor for a weekend each fall, the taste of sweet summery applesauce in the midst of February  is totally worth it. There’s always something therapeutic in squishing all the apple pulp through the strainer, and my kitchen smelled lovely.

Scenes from a Friday Evening Hike Close to Home

I love my city.  I love that this is less than five minutes from my house.

Oak Leaves

I am loving the baby oak tree in the corner of my yard.

A Mind of Their Own

I said to them, “Hey guys, you need to pick up the stuff in the front yard before it gets dark.”

They decided to WEAR all the things in the front yard while snacking on apples even though I was making supper.


I LOVE missing teeth, so I’m trying really hard not to be sad that this is my last baby to loose front teeth, and instead just enjoy the awesomeness of missing teeth.  The other front tooth is also wiggly, but not tremendously wiggly, so I’m really hopping that it comes out before the other one comes in.

Robin - October 11, 2017 - 3:50 pm

Oh, he is so cute with the missing tooth, I loved that time also. Not so much when I was a kid and went for a year without my front teeth, but now I love seeing it in kids. Tell him Hi from Farm Gramma

Little People


It doesn’t seem possible for the news to get darker every week, but somehow it does, doesn’t it?  And bit by bit, we are all getting more and more desensitized, and I think probably more and more glum, cynical and maybe more anxious all the time.

Even though this was a dark week, there were a couple of bright spots for me.  Working with my students at the piano always brings me joy. Also, on Wednesday it was walk-to-school day at our elementary school, and my kidlets always love walking all the way from our house to school on walk-to-school day.  It could be that it’s especially fun to walk downhill and not have to walk back up the big hill because they can ride the bus home at the end of the school day, but even more than that, it is just especially enjoyable to be outside on a beautiful fall (or spring) morning taking in the pop of the sunrise over Lake Superior from different vantage points here at the top of the hill, watching the first rays of sunlight stream into the forest, and meeting up with more and more families walking to school the farther down the hill we get.  Everyone converges onto the bike path and then all those bouncy kids spill out onto the sidewalk by the school, and a swarm of people end up crossing the intersection guarded by diligent fifth grade crossing guards doing a great job at their morning task.  All those kids are bouncing their way to school like only kids can do, because first graders just can’t help bouncing, can they?  We passed a house near the school where two people from my church live who have all grown children now, but lots of grandchildren, and they were out in their yard waving to all the bouncy little people on their way to school, taking in that tangible joy, because it can’t help but be contagious.

This week I started teaching preschool music and movement classes in assisted living centers, and this morning as I was leaving class, things were a bit crazy.  The ambulance had to come to pick up a resident who needed medical care, all the residents were late for lunch (and a bit grumpy) because they had to wait to use the elevator, and the caregivers were looking a bit frazzled.  I had to wait to use the elevator too, since I couldn’t maneuver my red wagon filled with buckets and boxes of instruments down the stairwell.  While I was waiting I offered to help the activities director move the furniture back to its normal place in the room we were singing in, and I said, “Thank you all so much for moving all this furniture for us each week so that we can come.”

She looked at me and said, “No, thank YOU for coming.  You probably can’t imagine how important having these kids come here is, especially on a week like this, because so many of these people just spend all day in their room in front of their television sets, since it’s hard for them to be active.  And they listen to the news all day long and just get more and more anxious and upset and depressed.  Getting them out of their rooms and into a community space where they are around joyous little people is exactly what they need.”

So, here’s my takeaway for the day:  If you feel a little glum this week, find some kids!  Just watch them bounce, run and laugh.  Even if they are having a temporary temper tantrum, they will probably make your life a little fuller, and a little better.  You can just ask them to jump in circles until they get dizzy, because that’s always entertaining!

Good Riddance to the Carpet!

I loved having the icky carpet out of my office so much that a few days later when Mr. SP spilled a large container of liquid onto the hallway floor outside the bathroom (I knew that wetness was damaging the floor) I decided to make him help me tear up the carpet in the upstairs hallway and down the stairwell!  Dr. Peds got home from a conference and helped with the hard part:  tearing out staples and the lath with the carpet tack.

Hooray!  Now we have beautiful wood floors in the hallway and the stairs.  OK, not everyone in the family is as excited about this as I am, and they do need some refinishing, but for now, I’m just so happy not to have that yucky carpet.  Beige carpet is just not a good fit for this large family where no listens to my rules.

My favorite part is where the wood of the stairs meets the wood of the hardwood flooring on the landing, and the curve of the bottom step onto the floor in the foyer.

The Sign of the Bat

Mr. TOF was super excited to go to the Lester River Rendezvous, which is a historical reenactment of a voyageur camp that happens at the end of September on the edge of town each year.  His first grade class has been learning all about voyageurs, and this kid loves a good thematic learning unit.  He has been super inspired by voyageurs for about two weeks, drawing pictures of canoes, pretending, even trying to come up with a voyageur costume of his own.  Every day has has arrived home from first grade with new facts to tell me about voyageurs.  I love it!  Saturday was a day filled with drop offs and pick ups for all of his big siblings heading to various places, so he and Dr. Peds headed off to the rendezvous with a neighbor, all by themselves.  He was especially excited to ride the train that shuttled people across town to the celebration.

He came home ready to tell me all about it, and sporting this awesome bat face painted on his forehead.  He was so proud of the bat and felt like a true superhero for the rest of the day.

This was his face when he learned that he would have to wash his face before church the next day:

K i d l e t   B l o g s
F r i e n d   B l o g s
I n t e r e s t i n g   B l o g s