Photos from Fall….

Just in the nick of time…here’s some fall photos 😉

Pumpkin patch 1pumpkin patch 2fall farmers marketpumpkin carvingfirst pumpkin carving!kalefall yield

Bye Bye fall…hello winter!

Claire

 

 

 

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Ideal holiday gifts

This is what many MANY people are getting from me this year!

You too can give this limited edition Hatch Show Print to your loved ones this holiday season for a $40 donation to Community Food Advocates.

Hatch Show PrintPeace,

Claire

 

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Winter

Though it was in the 70’s well into Dec, I now  know that winter is officially here the for the following reasons:

  • I have to cover my veggies at night,
  • I have to put on a coat to drop my daughter at school,
  • I have to scrape my car window off to see through it in the AM,
  • I couldn’t take out the recycling in flip-flops,
  • I realized my seat heater probably doesn’t work anymore in my old wagon, and
  • there are Christmas lights everywhere.

I kind of feel vindicated. Like at the end of the Grinch who Stole Christmas when the holiday happens despite the Grinchy theft of gifts etc. … The climate change and spring like weather couldn’t keep winter from coming!

While I’ve never been a fan go the gloomy dark days of winter, this year it feels like a relief. I was becoming disconcerted trimming my tree in shorts. (That was an experience I was saving for my twilight years in the Keys.) But fear not! Here she is! Winter. In all her glory. Colder than I remember and darker than I’d like.

Thanks mother nature!

Claire

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What’s on my mind…

As a good friend said the other day, I’ve been in a bit of a mental storm these past few weeks. I’m too busy with my multiple jobs to be as present as I want to be at home, and I’m too scattered to give anything the 200% I want to.

This is particularly frustrating because I’m always working on achieving life balance. However, does several part-time jobs, sleepless nights, a daughter who says, ‘but mommy…why are you going to work now? You just got home from work?!’ or a messy house and neglected garden reflect balance? Unfortunately, no. It seems my ‘working on it’ isn’t really working.

Well this week was the breaking point. I just got too tired and too overworked. I had a good cry, some wonderful talks with supportive friends, decided to take a break, and went right back to my ‘busy’ ways. Yeah. WTF. Did I learn nothing?!

It’s amazing to think how hard it is to break the cycle of no self-care. When I’m going going going it all feels so urgent that I don’t allow myself to ever stop and breath, meditate, take a yoga class, take a run…do ANYTHING for myself (unless you could the counterproductive eating of indulgent foods). After a while, it’s like a damn breaks and I can’t keep back how overwhelming it all feels. But then I seem to get right back in the cycle.

I want to stop this cycle from happening again, but I’m not sure how. When I don’t know how to do something the first thing I do is talk to friends and the second thing I do is read some books. I’m hoping some self-care learning and proactive planning to live the life I truly believe is good for me and my family can keep me moving in the direction of balance.

Here’s what’s on my bedside table…

 

 

What do you read to help you think about the importance of balance and work towards it?

Peace,

Claire

 

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Birthday #3 quickly approaches…

My little one will be 3 soon and I’m thrilled! Seeing her grow is such a joy. However, I was NOT feeling joyful about throwing a birthday party. I have been to a kid’s party about once a weekend since August when my daughter started school. While it’s nice to get out of the house, I’m not a huge fan of parties, small talk, or opening presents in public. SO….that being said, I was feeling a little intimidated about hosting EVERY SINGLE KID AND PARENT from my daughter’s class. Oi. My list of fears were as follows:

1) What would I do with 20+ kids at my house? It’s too cold to be outside. I don’t have a big open layout inside. Where would I put them all?! Is there time to renovate the whole house in three weeks to accommodate two dozen toddlers?

2) Is this going to cost a lot? I’m frugal and especially as we get closer to the holidays I need to be careful with my spending money….A rented bouncy house is $300, Installing a playground in our back yard is $700, Renting space heaters for the yard is $400, ….My pain and anguish….priceless?

3) Did I mention I didn’t know what to do with all those toddlers?

That being said, I broke down and rented a party space. There’s a climbing structure, an art area, and toys galore. They set up. They clean up. They provide the plates, cups, and balloons. All I have to do is bring drinks, cupcakes and decorations if I want more than balloons. Oh, and my kid too 🙂 $225. Done. I orderedit on the web, wrote an evite, and in 15 min my panic about hosting was gone and I could focus on fun stuff – decor.

Here’s my party supplies for our pinwheel themed party. Banner, cupcake toppers, and goody bags. *Sigh* I love crafting so much more than hosting.

Here’s the instructions I started with from the Oh Happy Day blog.

pinwheel bannerpinwheel party bagspinwheel cake toppers

Peace,

Claire

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Happy Halloween

I had to teach last night and I would just like to thank my students for being so SO great and all almost all showing up. It meant a lot to me because I’d have rather been at home with my little one, but the students were great and made it feel worth while.

I had the pleasure of carving a pumpkin with my little one for the first time this year. I learned the following:

1) Apparently I’d not carved a pumpkin in 8 years! Wow.

2) Carving a pumpkin is like riding a bike. It comes back to you.

3) Toddlers are fascinated with the goop inside the pumpkin, but really nothing else about carving a pumpkin. She spent most of her time drawing next to us while we carved.

4) Carving a pumpkin is hard! I had this great plan on paper and my pumpkin itself, while charming, is far from professional.

5) My little one loves toasted pumpkin seeds. Sweet! Another healthy snack for the list.

I found dressing up (a brown cat) to be a much bigger hit. As was passing out candy, trick-or-treating, and eating candy. She’s already planning her costume for next year…Batman. She’s a surprise a minute.

Happy Halloween!

Claire

 

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OK…

It’s been crazy around here since school started. Not only has my little one been transitioning to a new school, but I’ve been transitioning to teaching 3 classes at the university this year. Fun, but challenging. 🙂 Teaching is a very fulfilling activity, but it makes me stretch my brain creatively each time I embark on a new semester.

I did somehow manage to get my fall garden in…

fall garden

Carrots, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, Mustard Greens, Arugula, Kale and more!

I was feeling very good about my lazy hands-off organic approach to gardening until I got an infestation of caterpillars two days ago. How they snuck up on me I’ll never know, but one morning my kale was stripped to the bone.

Well, this gardener has officially gone from ‘lazy’ to ‘organic.’ I’ve spent the last two mornings picking off caterpillars. Yes. You heard me. I’ve gone from hands-off to IT’S ON! in 48 hours. Boom. Then I sprayed some neem oil, added a little plant tone and came back to pick some more. And in gratitude for my new found commitment:

New growth

bok choi!

 

Peace and picking off bugs,

Claire

 

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