A Month of Gratitude, #17-19

I am grateful today for:

17) The fact that I have never had to wonder whether or not I would be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. I have experienced financially rough times in my life, some that essentially cripple me with stress, but I have always known that I would have the ability to cook or enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. Going without that, on my favorite holiday, is something I cannot comprehend.

18) Modern medicine. As the weather gets colder, I tend to be prone to all sorts of respiratory bugs, and I am so thankful that we live in an age where we have medicines and treatments for many of the illnesses we suffer from. Earlier this year, my baby girl was hospitalized with pneumonia and influenza, and it was frightening enough to see her suffering so badly, but it was even more sobering when I realized that, had she simply been born in a different era, she could have died from these so-called commonplace illnesses.

19) Sunshine. Especially at this time of year, a peek of the sun through the clouds is one of the most calming things I can even think of–it’s a natural antidepressant, and I am so thankful for the days where I get to be out to enjoy being in the sunlight.

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A Month of Gratitude, #6

I suppose these daily gratitude posts are a blessing in disguise, really, as I have been in a terrible mood this afternoon, and I haven’t been feeling the most thankful, but because I set this as a daily goal, it has made me take a moment to reflect, even when I don’t want to.

Today, as silly as it sounds, I am thankful for color. And because I am not feeling overly talkative, and I really don’t think there is any better way to show it, I’m going to show it in photographs.

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Thank You, Farmers

Dear local farmers,

I wanted to say thank you at the close of this season’s farmers market and the CSA year.

Thank you for waking up before the sun each and every Thursday so my little family could enjoy the simple abundance that can only be found at a community farmers market. Thank you for keeping your costs low so that we were able to bring home bright, fresh produce each week. Thank you for answering my inane questions (“What IS that?”), for dealing with rude customers, the “bargainers,” the line-cutters, the unpredictable weather, and the unruly children (sorry), and also for helping my little ones learn that the market is a place of wisdom, perseverance, and kindness.

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My daughter with a sunflower, given to her by our CSA share farmer at the market.

Thank you for reminding me to appreciate the little things–a late summer bouquet of flowers, the glory of autumn’s pumpkins, the sweet newness of a baby goat exploring its big, wide world.

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Sugar

Sugar

Thank you for teaching me the value of leaving my comfort zone by enabling me to accomplish things I never believed I could do. Thank you for the encouragement to learn traditional arts and the homesteader’s way. Thank you for the strawberries to dehydrate, the apples to can and preserve, the flour to bake with, the lessons on soapmaking.

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applesauce

Thank you for teaching my family about community. Thank you for showing me the importance, and value, of community supported agriculture (our CSA). Thank you for the festivals, the hayrides, the walks along your fields for no good reason, the gatherings, the classes. Thank you for giving my family the joy that comes in knowing where our food comes from and allowing us to participate in it.

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Farm festivities.

Farm festivities.

Above all, thank you for providing my family REAL food, nourishment, sustenance, that we cannot find in equal anywhere else.

Thank you for the inspiration you have given me to do better, live better, FEEL better.

The Kids’ First Bike Ride, and a Recipe for Crescent Tarts

Yesterday, my children went out for their first bike ride. We took them up to the parking lot of the local middle school–my five year old on his new bike (was a Christmas present), and my toddler on her “new” (used) tricycle.

It didn’t quite go as planned. My son kept insisting that his bike pedals were broken, when in reality, it was user error, and my little girl felt it was more fun to push her trike than to actually ride it. But, one positive–they both loved their helmets. The baby didn’t want to take hers off until bedtime!

Here are some pics from our evening, and below them, I’m posting a recipe for tarts made out of crescent roll dough (another adventure from yesterday).

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Crescent Roll Tarts

On Pinterest, I saw this recipe (originally using Nutella), and I amended it to accommodate different fillings, as you will see below.

You will need:

-two rolls of crescent roll dough (with 8 crescents in each)

-cinnamon and sugar, mixed together for dipping

-desired filling (we used Nutella for half of them, and raspberries and cream cheese for the others)

Preheat oven to package directions. Prepare baking sheet according to package also. Unroll each crescent. Place a small spoonful of Nutella in the center of the unrolled crescent, or a spoonful of any other desired filling. For example, we used cubed cream cheese and a quart of raspberries in one batch (the raspberries were sweetened with a half cup sugar prior to use).

Roll up each crescent until the filling is covered, and a small tart is formed. Dip tart in cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake according to package instructions.

A-Hunting We Will Go….

One of the things that I love about photography is that is teaches me to look for and appreciate the little things, and that those small moments are often treasures.

My husband and I went out this morning to see what we could find–no plan, no direction, just exploring the land with our cameras. We went to a practically vacant “industrial park” to snap some photos. Here are a few that I came up with:

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