Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Little Archers

This was my oldest's birthday gift this year.  A compound bow.  Now, those of you that really know me, and know that I am a pacifist to the core may be surprised that I'm buying Maestro such a gift.  It really is beyond the scope of comfort for some, and I completely understand that point of view.  It took a lot of soul searching for me to get to the point to arming my kids.  But, perhaps if I explain my reasoning, you'll feel more comfortable, too.

As I grew up in a household that did not believe in hunting, it took me quite some time as an adult to come to the place where I am not only comfortable with the concept, but welcome it.  See, I got my first taste of venison cooked right and there was no looking back.   Being that I'm an omnivore, I felt it was not hypocritical of me to embrace hunting.  And the way I've come to see it is this.  These animals have lived free range lives, not confined, not "slaughtered".  They have picked at the berries and grass, they have eaten apples from the tree, leaving a path in the frost to the woods and basically lived life in a manner that is inherent to their being.  The way God intended them to live.  Yes, we are killing them to eat them, and this is not something that we take lightly, but they have lived in a way that honors their very spirit.  And let's face it, in the scheme of things, at least when they are killed in the wild, they have a fairly good chance of escaping that arrow or bullet all together.

(Let me just say first that I LOVE the tongue sticking out in this picture, he gets that trait from his Dad who does the same when he's really concentrating on something).  Being all that as it is, and me having two boys that are, well, boys, we decided it better to control their exposure to weapons.  Our boys are not allowed to "play guns", they don't shoot at each other with Nerf guns, they don't pretend to kill each other in any way. It is not allowed.  But, they do have what seems to be an inate curiosity about guns and weapons in general.  Because we've decided that we'd like our boys to be as self sufficient as possible as they become men, we've also decided that teaching them to be responsible with weapons and conscientous hunters is the best position we can put them in.  Music Man took the state hunter safety course this summer and learned a lot. So, when 4-H sponsored a shooting/archery sports instruction series, we enrolled Maestro.  Little Red is a year too young to participate, but if the funding is there for this course next year, he will be enrolled as well.  Maestro went to his first lesson last Saturday and had a great time and learned a lot.  It's a very worthwhile program, it runs every other Saturday morning from 8:30-12:00 at the Rod 'n Gun club here in town if you're local and interested. 
Because he's a little brother and, well, that's what little brothers do, Little Red needed to try out the new bow.  Now, there are a couple of things that inhibit him in this process, one that he's left handed and the bow is set up for a rightie, and the other is that he's not yet strong enough to pull the cord back far enough on his own to actually shoot the arrow.  A little help from Dad was needed.  I love his face in this picture, too.  He has just released the arrow and that's the expression that remained.

I also need to explain that the boys are never allowed to use these without either Mom or Dad being present.  They are off limits without supervision.  We're also contemplating getting Maestro a BB gun for Christmas for some target practice.  He was shooting .22's in class, so we think it will be a good intro for home.  I know all of you that know me can't believe I'm letting even a BB gun into my home.  Things changed when we decided to get more self sufficient, my mind set has evolved. 

Wishing you little marksman of your own, ~Peacemom

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Carrot Haul

This was the last of the carrot haul from the garden.  Normally, I would leave them in the ground, but in anticipation of moving, we decided to pull them and store them in the fridge instead.  Gonna be a ginger carrot soup in our future!  I've already harvested this amount of carrots, together with these,  from a patch of garden that was about 1' x 3'.  That's really productive for a such a small space!
I prefer to leave them in the ground and harvest them all winter, just put a nice deep layer of leaves on top and they won't freeze.  The longer they are in the cold ground, the sweeter carrots get.  These are very sweet indeed!

On another note, so weird to have the boys out in short sleeves on Nov 20th in NH.  Very discomforting, really.

Wishing you winter stores of your own, ~Peacemom

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Capris & Mucks

I know you Farm Girls are going to get why this is cool.  I discovered a few days ago that I can still wear my capri pants with my Muck "Chore" boots.  They are the perfect length to stay out of the way of these awesomely awesome boots for chores.
That is all for now.  Carry on.

Only time for fun brevity today,  ~Peacemom

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Little Teaser....

Remember when...it wasn't so long ago, but feels like an eternity to us...this was our little barn to be.
Oh, so many people told us we were nuts.  What were we thinking?

And, we'll agree it was, well, scary indeed. 
But then, our faith and lots of hard work on the part of everyone involved started to give it a glimmer of life.

The men doing the roof did some serious balancing acts, I admired their comfort and bravery at such heights.

We started to feel like it was not all for nothing.  We had a vision and believed it could come to life...the ol' behemoth WAS going to be resurrected.

And here we are mere days from getting a closing date, we knew it could be done. All the hours and money that has gone into saving her was all so worth it when we see from whence we began.  It's not quite done yet, but it's got such a great start. 

We can't wait to hear music rebounding off the beams and posts and friends and family gathered around to celebrate the saving of this little piece of humble American history. 

Our deepest and heartfelt thanks to our friends that have done so much to help, Gary, Laura and the Paul family, Julianna and the Dunwoody children for entertaining ours while we worked.  A labor of love for many, and our hearts will never forget the love shown to us by these people.  So much more was gained in this whole endeavor then just a house and barn needing attention, a home is being made and love has grown and we could never repay their selfless kindness.  Stay tuned for more to come...Soon, it will be our homestead and we can't wait.

Realizing the dream,  ~Peacemom

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So Saddened

I got the call from my sister last week.  She said my mother had just called her to tell her...then she said "I can't say it".  I asked "Is he gone?".  She answered sadly, "yes".  And so started the tears for both of us.  The man that I still consider my brother in law, even though technically, he's my ex-brother-in-law, lost his battle to cancer on Oct. 26th.  He and my sister did not make happy husband and wife, but they remained best friends even after they divorced, raising an amazing daughter together.  My sister has remarried to a great guy, but my ex brother in law never left our family, being embraced by my current brother in law and acting as a second dad to their daughter.   He attended many family functions and gatherings with the rest of us.  He has been in my life for 31 years-that's a very long time when you're only 43.

He was an amazing person, giving, loving and filled with grace.  I will dearly miss him and shed so many tears over the loss of him in the past week I'm still surprised there are any left when they unexpectedly fall.  His wake was really a wonderful testament to his life, so many people came to honor him and say goodbye to such a grace filled spirit. Each knowing him in their own way, all loving him and filled with great stories of times spent with him.  His daughter, filled with sorrow and her own grace, paid wonderful tribute to him at his funeral. There was not a dry eye in the place.  He was such a great father to her, she was incredibly lucky to have had someone so supportive, warm, loving and kind.  And did I mention he also had a fabulous sense of humor?  He had a laugh that was very distinctive and fun.  Music Man said at one point when we were gathered at my sister's home after the wake, that he could hear his voice and laugh in the crowd.  I agreed, it's just the kind of gathering he would have very much embraced, all of us together enjoying each other's company.

So, I find a hole in my life, that I didn't even realize before now, that he filled.  I will never forget the man he was, the member of our family he remained and his bravery in the face of a horrible disease.   Grant, I will miss you for the rest of my days, and I will try to live more in your spirit-enjoying life to the fullest whenever possible.  Godspeed to you, my friend, brother and inspiration.  No, I will never forget you. 

Prayers to our departed, ~Peacemom