Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Favorite Place on Earth

Farm Pond in Sherborn is one of my favorite places on earth. I won't go into detail about the place itself because if you've been there you already know. If you haven't been, then you should go.

My whole family grew up, and worked, at the pond and many of us learned to swim (and swim and swim) there. Everyone in my family loves Farm Pond (or Fom Pond as my mother refers to it)and we have brought our own children back there.

I was lucky enough to visit last week with my kids when my sister Kathy (known as Kitty to the kids) was in town. It was fabulous as always.

We went with Grandma, Kitty and cousin Zach (Kitty's son).

One of my favorite parts of the day was when my sister asked Dee what he was drawing in the sand. He said he was drawing the circles that he saw when he threw the rock in the water. Pretty cool.

What a perfect day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

OCTOBER Bragg Farm Maple Syrup

On our way home, we stopped for gas and coffee. Our car decided that it wasn’t ready to leave VT and started smoking. Our new (old) Eurovan that we bought last week. Sigh. We were fortunate enough to find a nice hotel room for the night in Montpelier, VT.

The next day Cameron went and had the car looked at and the mechanic decided we could make it home. So, we decided to visit Bragg’s Maple Farm in East Montpelier where they make syrup the old fashioned way with galvanized buckets and an old boiler for the sap.

When life gives you a broken down car, get maple syrup.

OCTOBER Ben & Jerry's Peace, Love and Ice Cream

A trip to that area of VT wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Ben & Jerry’s. It was rainy and cold but there was a still 20 minute line for ice cream. I went easy with lowfat yogurt, Cameron got Oatmeal Cookie Crunch, Taylor got Mint Chocolate Chunk and Brooke got Whirled Peace. Dee inhaled a Chunky Monkey cone and he was as happy as I had ever seen him.

OCTOBER Von Trapp Family Lodge

On the way home we decided to take the ferry home and drive through Vermont. We thought it would be fun to visit the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. When we heard we were moving to Europe we told the kids that we will visit the Alps in Austria where the Von Trapp Family was from. We thought we’d complete the story by visiting where they ended up. It is really beautiful there.

OCTOBER Our Last Day in NY

On our last day we decided to stay at the house and take a canoe and kayak trip. Dee started in the canoe with Brooke and Cameron and ended up in the kayak with Taylor and I. After Dee joined us in the boat we paddled over to see an old stone house and explore a tiny inlet. Brooke found a daddy long legs in the canoe and nearly capsized she and Cameron trying to kill it with her oar. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen until Cameron saw the “bear”. While Tay, Dee and I explored the inlet Cameron and Brooke were over looking at the stone house. I heard Cameron yell to me that there was “a bear, a black bear” in the woods. After a bit, the people who were taking the bear for a walk yelled to him that it was just their dog and not an actual bear. They tried to respond that although their dog was big their neighbor’s dog was even bigger and that their dog did waddle a little like a bear. I was laughing so hard that I could hardly paddle. Dee found it less humorous and was asleep through it all. We paddled back and played fetch with Kuro while I paddled Dee around for his afternoon nap. After Dee woke up, we went back to the cabin to warm up and eat lunch.

That afternoon we collected pretty leaves and pressed them so we can make some great autumn projects with them. After that we went on a fox hunt. I found a great box with pictures of a real fox on each side so I cut them out and Cameron went out and hid them. He made two different hunts. One was a hunt where they had to get to the next clue and look around to find the next clue that matched the picture. The other one they had to count their steps to the next place. It was so much fun to find the fox since it was so hard to find.

We went back to build a fire in the fire pit and eat dinner by the lake. Taylor wanted to try and paddle the kayak by herself so we let her take the kayak out herself.

She did a fabulous job, we were so impressed!

We ate dinner by the lake and made s’mores. It was perfect!

OCTOBER Penny and Tom

On Monday, my sister and Tom came to visit at our house where we laughed and talked and watched the kids play with Tom and Cameron. We got to see two Loons diving and calling to one another. After a bit, 6 little babies swam by in a group.

On Wednesday we got to go and visit them at their house. It was wonderful and beautiful. My sister has herbs drying that she has either grown or picked around her house. Her house smelled just like I want mine to smell. She made a tea that is great for winter. Her recipe is posted on the right.

I have been trying to learn more about herbs and their uses and a great book that my sister recommends is this:

Healing Herbs and Spices; Heinerman’s Encyclopedia
By John Heinerman

We tried to build teepees but it was too windy.

We went on a hike on their property and skipped stones in the river that runs right outside their house.

The day got colder and we went inside and had hot tea and cider. It was a great day.

OCTOBER Outdoor Playground at the Wild Center

We hope to build something like this for our kids at our next house.

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