Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for Local!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Today I'm thankful for so many things, my family's healthy, Music Man has a great new job opportunity, the fact that I have a job that allows me freedoms I might not have with a different job, a home where we are all happy and comfortable, new friendships made this year with people we have a lot in common with, old friendships that have been like rocks for me in this very challenging year...and the list goes on and on.

One of the other things that I'm also most thankful for is local food.  Once I took the plunge into local eating about 3 years ago, I've since researched sources for so much of what we need to eat locally.  It has been very heartening to me to find that there are still small farmers doing what they do to provide locally grown, more nutritious and in some cases organic food.  I find the quality of the food I get is so outstanding compared to what I was used to in the grocery stores.  No, I don't get one stop shopping, but what I do get is the relationship with the farmers, I can see the animals and how they live, I enjoy the benefits of organic in my own community and can swap recipes with these same farmers and other who purchase from them.  I also get the benefit of having the money I spend on the food stay within my own area. A win for everyone involved!

This year, I got our organic free range heritage breed turkey from a friend's farm a couple of miles from my home. I also served butternut squash with apples and maple syrup, all locally grown.  The organic blueberry pie above I made with blueberries that my family picked last year at Blueberry Bay, even the flour in the crust is from King Arthur, which is located less then 100 miles from my home.  The only things that weren't local in the meal were the lemon in the pie, the butter and the stuffing (which could have been local, if I had made it from scratch like I did last year!), though the sausage I mixed in was from the pig we bought from our friend's farm.  So yummy! 

The only thing we missed this year was the presense of any friends or family.  This is the first year in a long time that we've not shared the day with someone else.  It adds a wonderful factor to the day to share with others in the day of thanks.

Wishing you a local holiday for your family, ~Peacemom

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Breathe...just breathe...

I am so very happy to be able to report that Music Man has obtained a new job!  He will be working for a company that does solar installations on commercial buildings.  Not only is it a JOB, but a really COOL job!!  His official title is Solar Installation Designer.  Any job title that has the word solar in it, is okay by him.  Solar power has long been a passion of his and it's so awesome that not only did he finally get a job, but it's one he can contribute to the healthy future of our planet with.  We couldn't be happier, really.  Our long and unending prayers have been answered in a multitude of ways.  Thank you to all our family and friends who have been there on our side, rooting for us and praying for us.  We deeply appreciate your never-ending support.

And I am so very proud of my husband for never giving up the search, even when it was the last thing he wanted to  It's been a very tough 11 months, but he weathered it with as much grace as could be expected under the pressure of his feelings of responsibility for his family.  He is a hero to his children and myself.  You rock, Music Man.

And, I feel like I've been holding my breath since his phone call that told me he had been laid off again 11 long months ago. On Friday, another phone call from him allowed me to finally exhale and breathe in new air, new life, new hope. 

Just thankful to have another chance, ~Peacemom

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Turkeys, Birthday & Cupcakes

These are the little turkey cupcakes we came up with for Maestro's birthday.  As his actual birthday falls between Halloween & Thanksgiving, he wanted a Halloween themed birthday party and Thanksgiving cupcakes for his class.    So, I hunted around to websites to see what ideas were out there and came up with this one. 

We sure had a fun time shopping for the goodies to make them, then decorating them together.  He actually made the cupcakes all by himself ( I offered some help with the stand mixer and the in/out of the oven, but other then that he did it alone!), and was quite proud of himself.  I thought he did a great job!

So, we have a rafter of turkeys (it's really what they are called in a group, go ahead, Google it, you know you want to!) to please his friends in class with tomorrow.  And Little Red is NONE to happy that there aren't enough for him to have one as there were just enough cookies in the pack to make 20 cupcakes.  But, he's enjoying the left over candy corn!

Happy Birthday, Maestro!  8 years ago today, I wasn't yet a mother.  I was blessed to add you to my life and change it forever.  Music Man and I were very thankful to become a family with you and Little Red and tomorrow I celebrate your birth and the gift of you added to my life.  I love you, Yum....

~Wishing you the deep love for your child, ~Peacemom

Thursday, November 11, 2010

With Thanks

Today, Veteran's Day is one that has me torn.  As a Quaker, one of my deepest personal beliefs is pacifism.  So, the armed forces is something I struggle with personally.

But, as an American, I recognize that our country would not be the place it is today without our troops defending our shores.  There are many things about the military and it's actions that I can't agree with.  But, I'm able to take this on a more personal level as my nephew, Roberto, is in active duty in the Marines. He just came back from a long deployment in Afghanistan, having returned from a long deployment in Iraq before that.  I know the sacrifices my niece, Melissa and he have had to make.  They've been apart more of their 5 year marriage then they have been together because of his deployments.  The sacrifices on those levels sure become a whole lot more personal when you see it in your own family.  He's not one of a lot of faceless Marines to me, but he's the face of all the men and women in service.  The sacrifices they make for what they believe to be important is astronomical.  For that, I am grateful.

So, to all the servicepeople who feel called to duty to defend our country, I humbly thank you for your sacrifices.  It seems like it's insufficient, just a simple thank you.  But it comes from my heart and with deep respect for your commitment and sense of duty.  Thank you from this little family in New Hampshire.

Grateful and humbled, ~Peacemom

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


For whatever reason, Autumn is a time of deep reflection for me.  I'm not sure if that's true for everyone, but for me, it's a time to sit and think back on the year that's past.  To take stock in what has been great in the year and what has not.  As I'm reflecting on 2010, it's been one of almost constant stress for our family.  It started with Music Man being laid off again at the end of January and has not stopped since.

I'm not a person who likes to dwell on stress.  Generally, I acknowledge that it exists, solve the problems that I can and move on.  But this year has been filled with too many problems I just can't solve.  Can't get my husband a new job, can't sell the condex that's dragging us down, can't make a family member's battle with very rare cancer any easier, can't take away my husband's feelings of helplessness as he works every day to try to find a job, can't take away the problems my son is having with a bully at school, can't solve the money concerns that are coming more pressing as unemployment rolls on, can't remove myself from a physically unhealthy job right now, or the worry of health insurance ending soon....the list goes on and on.  I have spent many, many a sleepless night trying to work up solutions for these things.  So far, can't seem to do it. 

As a spiritual person, I have always believed that God does not give you more then you can handle.  This is the year that I have changed my mind about that.  I am most certainly dealing with a whole lot more then I can handle right now.  It's causing me to throw up my hands in despair a lot more often.  I guess the only choice I do have is the old saying, "Let go, let God"...if only God would pay the rent and make sure my kids have food and clothes, I could surrender to that.  But, it doesn't work like that, does it?

The picture above is one of the reasons I feel I continue each day.  My deep appreciation and reverance for nature, which is my church, is one of the things I turn to when I'm needing to feel closer to God.  I also sing.  Singing has a strange release for me that nothing else has.  As my friend Elsa will tell you, I've sung my whole life. It used to drive her crazy that I sang all the time.  But for whatever reason, it is a form of prayer for me, a release and a connection to something else.  I don't know why, it just is and has always been.  I have not been singing enough since Music Man and I have been sharing an office.  I used to put on music and sing when no one was home.  Now that we're sharing the same space all the time, I don't want to disturb him. So my pipes remain silent except on the rare occasion that I'm in the car alone.  Then it's full volume and singing at the top of my lungs, but it doesn't happen often enough anymore.  And alone time is preciously scarce, and I'm a person who really needs some alone, quiet time to be in my head.  I dearly love my family, but we all need some peaceful meditation time, don't we?

What do you do to rejuvenate when the stresses of life overwhelm you?  Is there somewhere you like to go, something you like to do to regroup and relax? 

Needing more to go right, ~Peacemom

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Hallow's Eve.....eeewwwwhhhhhooooo!

Here are my little ghostie Goblins on Halloween!  Little Red is of course, Spiderman.  I had to laugh, he kept saying he wanted to be Spiderman.  He has NEVER seen Spiderman in his young 6 years.  Too violent for our family taste.  So, I'm not sure which friend of his has a Spiderman obsession, but I'm thinking one of them must.  So, I kept telling him, you don't know who Spiderman is, him insisting he DOES TOO.  I didn't want to, but I caved and  bought him a Spiderman costume that I found at Big Lots. 

A few days later, I said to him, "Little Red, who did you want to be for Halloween?" 

He surprises me, after his vehement insistance that he wanted to be SPIDERMAN!, and says "I don't know yet".  This, after I already bought the costume, the little stinker. Which, I might add, I didn't want to buy in the first place (always, ALWAYS listen to your little inner voice, folks).  So I said to him, "Do you remember who you said you wanted to be?" 
"Nope" came the reply.  (GGGRRRRR)
So, I started to pull the costume out of the bag.  And I get it part way out and he's looking at it all befuddled.  "What's that?" he queries.  So, I pull out the mask, which as you can see is a dead giveaway. 
"Do you recognize it now?" I ask.
"What's that?" comes the reply.
Ummm...are we kidding?  I had tried and tried to tell him that he did not know who Spiderman is (I DO TOO!).  So, I said, "It's Spiderman, buddy". 
"That's not Spiderman" he firmly states.
"Oh but it IS,"  I tell him.  It was not until I showed him the package with the SPIDERMAN! label that he believed me.  And as you can see, he wore it whether or not he knew who that superhero was.  I was not going back to Big Lots!

Maestro wanted to be a mummy, so I spent almost 8 hours making an entire mummy costume from 3 yards of muslin and some thread.  He was so excited to have this costume and we all thought he looked great. 

We all had a fun time walking the dark street with the boys' Grandmother.  Halloween in our town is literally taken to an artform.  We even have one house that is owned by a retired professional opera singer who puts on a "Phantom Of The Opera" song every 10 minutes or so.  Hundreds of people walk along a 1/2 mile stretch of the oldest houses in town. 

Many decorate their houses to the nines, some have haunted houses in their barns or haunted corn mazes and the college even gets in on the act with a candy/water stop for the kids.  A local horse person dresses up like the headless horseman and gallops up and down the street (and it's a fantastic costume, too.  So very cool).

There is a huge pirate ship where the homes owners dress up like pirates and hand out the candy to all the unsuspecting kiddies. 

Our town takes Halloween to a whole new level!  Very fun and I've never seen anything like it in any other place I've ever lived.  A very fun Halloween indeed!