25 October 2013 § Leave a comment

naval fleet | respitenew shoes | respitespanakopita | respitea piratey sort of day | respite first stew of the season | respite sorting buttons | respite morning knitting and coffee | respitepumpkins | respite afternoon mail | respitechili | respite


our days are filled with
small nothings that
actually make the best sort of life.


sunday walk

7 October 2013 § Leave a comment

wellies | respiterainy walk | respiterainy walk | respiteboys in the woods | respitebrothers | respite

Yesterday it rained, and rained, and rained
and then it rained a little bit more.
After awhile we decided we just had to get outdoors,
whatever the weather.
So we pulled on the wellies,
threw on our jackets,
and took a nice walk in the woods.

southwest soup

5 October 2013 § Leave a comment

southwest soup | respite

This is one of our favorite (easy) soups when the weather cools a bit.
We usually use leftover roast chicken,
but you could easily use raw
and cook the soup longer, or in a crockpot/slow-cooker.
I also don’t measure anything, just dump it all in
and it always turns out delicious.

Here’s the recipe, with approx measurements:

Southwest Soup
Serves our family of four, with leftovers

Using a 6qt stockpot:
Fill the stockpot 1/4 full with water
Add: 1 large (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 can (15.5oz) black beans
8 oz (1/2 bag) frozen corn
1/2 small green pepper, chopped
1.5-2 cups cooked rice (optional)
3 cups cooked chicken (tonight we used about half of a 3lb chicken)
Approx 2t-1T each: chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder
tabasco/cayenne pepper sauce, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

(This fills up the stockpot pretty well, you can use a larger pan, but I wouldn’t go smaller.)

Bring to a boil and simmer for at least a half hour.

Serve with tortilla chips, taco sauce, shredded cheese, or sour cream if desired.

painting (and concussion recovery)

24 September 2013 § Leave a comment

nature painting | respitepainting | respite painting | respite

Last week the eldest got a rather bad bump to the head,
which resulted in a mild concussion.
After some discussion and appointments with doctors and school
he’s staying at home whilst his head heals.

Finding slow-paced activities that entertain
an active and intelligent 8 year old
who is used to movement and mental stimulation
is a rather tricky business, so I thought I may chronicle them here.

Because he is able to walk without any issues
(no dizziness, nausea, etc)
we chose to do our annual apple picking
but kept the outing leisurely.
Making applesauce the next day -
the chopping and ladling perfect activities for not-too-much thinking,
and a cake made the day after that.
Again keeping busy, but little concentration.

Today he and I took Millie on a shortened distance, with more dawdling, walk -
gathering leaves, black walnuts, grasses, flowers, and seeds along the way.
Hours later we opened the new paintbox (surprisingly nice for the price!)
and painted “nature symphonies.”
Setting it aside when it was time to fetch the youngest up from school,
they both turned to it again,
after gobbling slices of cake and tea,
truly enjoying their careful, soothing, quiet work.

apple season

24 September 2013 § Leave a comment

picking apples | respitepicking apples | respitepicking apples | respitemaking applesauce | respitemaking applesauce | respitemaking applesauce | respitemaking applesauce | respiteapplesauce cake | respiteafternoon tea | respite

Almost every year we go to a local orchard to pick apples,
this year we went on the first day of autumn,
the branches almost breaking with the heaviness of fruit -
gala, golden delicious, macintosh, jonagold, empire.

A large batch of applesauce made while the crisp fruits are at their peak,
slow hours of chopping and simmering,
pressing and spicing.
jars lined up,
waiting to be eaten,
alone or turned into cake for tea.

a week of mornings

19 September 2013 § 2 Comments

morning walk | respiteFriday

saturday morning | respiteSaturday

sunday morning | respiteSunday

monday morning | respiteMonday

tuesday morning | respiteTuesday

red sky and rainbow | respiteWednesday


8 September 2013 § 2 Comments

birthday | respitesneaking a taste | respitebirthday | respitebirthday | respite

birthday | respite

Today our sweet youngest turned six.
We celebrated with sweets and treats and sunshine.

A visit to two different parks
A dark chocolate cake and chocolate glaze
with beeswax candles and washi tape flags
A gold paper crown :: made from sturdy scrapbook paper and this template
Some pirates or king’s gold from grandpa :: $1 coins
A boy-sized pirate mug (and fun birthday napkins!) :: from the beautifully illustrated Belle and Boo
A few other goodies including a wooden skittles/bowling set
and the yearly birthday book rounded out the fun.

Such a lovely day for a lovely little boy.


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