Friday, November 22, 2013

Dark Friday

For the second year in a row, Bill and I will be turning off our computer (which is also our TV and radio) during the week of Thanksgiving. It is a happy respite and digital detox that helps us recenter for the winter and reconnect with life off line. On Friday, we will also be leaving our lights off all day. This may be loosely based on Earth Hour, an international event where people turn off their lights for an hour on a specific day. Mostly, we do it because it is fun.

We have a collection of hurricane lanterns, a bunch of real books and a collection of board games. Also, we really enjoy spending quiet time together not just next to each other. When the computer is on it is an easy distraction, but when its off we don't even miss it.

We call this event Dark Friday, in contrast to Black Friday.

If you'd like to join us in spending the day after Thanksgiving continuing to be thankful for what we have, rather than battling to acquire more stuff, I'd love to hear how you plan to celebrate.

There are lots of people who will be celebrating in a similar way, but they call it Buy Nothing Day and it is an international event calling attention to rampant consumerism in the western world. If you'd like some more resources related to a low-impact holiday, check out Buy Nothing Christmas and Center for a New American Dream.  

I hope you all have a lovely, rejuvenating Thanksgiving full of the people and moments that matter.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh the weather outside.... creepy. We are currently in a high risk area for tornadoes today. This means there is a 30% chance there will be a tornado within 25 miles of any given location within the high risk area. We are also warned that there may be 50 mph winds outside of the main storm and hail.

Fortunately, we are prepared. We've got water and blankets and flashlights, batteries, storm radios... in the basement and all the animals are locked  up for the day. Last week Bill also cleaned out the garage, so our cars are actually in it for the first time since we moved in. This, we hope, protects them from hail and falling branches.

Also last week, Bill replaced a very broken pane in a living room window.

All the storm windows are shut, the kerosene lamps are full of oil and we are snuggled in for an afternoon of game playing and weather alert listening.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Winter Prep

It has been getting colder at night and we've all be preparing for the long winter. Wool socks have been washed:

Corrie and Sugar Pie are practicing snuggling for body warmth:

And squirrels are stashing walnuts in our woodshed:

In trees:

And on fence posts:

Totally secure. This must be a very trusting squirrel.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frosty Fall Morning

Lots of work was done around here this week, and I was going to tell you all about the wood hauling, garage cleaning and beer making (and smoke detector battery changing - change your batteries when you change  your clocks!), but when I went out to wake up the animals this morning everything was frosty and foggy. I thought you'd like to see that more than you'd like to see piles of wood, or de-walnut-shell-ified garage floors.

Martha, being dignified:

Rose has recently decided that people aren't all that bad and she'll now eat grain from  my hand, chew on my coat, and stare at me as if to say "why is there no grain in your hand?"

Kaylee started climbing on the straw bales again this week. Her ability to reliably climb was the last sign we were waiting to see for her full recovery. She's still a bit smaller than Saffron, but watching her jump on top of the Barn Mountain warms my heart.

Group shot! Everyone says "Good Morning."

"Now, feed us grain, Woman!"