Riding Bikes on Flat Iron

About a month ago we found a few used bikes along the side of the road for Caela, Emeth and Annie. Caela’s had a flat tire, so we ordered a new tube. But the day we replaced it, she got a thumbtack stuck in it! Thankfully it was a “self-sealing” tire. And, wow, did it seal.

Everyday they’ve been going down to Flat Iron to practice riding. And they all learned!

Here’s the gang on their bikes (and scooter).

IMG_8150

I told them not to smile, and Talia took me seriously.

IMG_8153

Then, they each wanted an individual photo.

IMG_8160

“Is that the face you want to make in your picture, Annie?”

“Yes.”

IMG_8157

While they’re riding they’ll eventually head down to the garden to pick any remaining cherry tomatoes, kale, and Brussels sprouts. The last time we went we were surprised to find a sunflower! (I had forgotten I scattered leftover seeds earlier in the Summer.) Here’s Annie with her “Can I pick it?” face.

IMG_8165

This morning Emeth woke up before the rest. We walked down the hill to ride again, while the sun rose over the mountains.

IMG_8177

It was a beautiful morning.

IMG_8185

IMG_8186

IMG_8189

IMG_8188

IMG_8190

O.C. 2017

IMG_3162

Last week we went on vacation to Ocean City, NJ. We almost didn’t make it, though, because our van broke down the day before we were going to leave. Thankfully, our already booked mechanic took pity on us, and we were able to get an emergency fix!

Rache and I got to see the sunrise one morning before the kids got up.

IMG_3168

IMG_3255

Every morning we’d load up on pancakes, yogurt and berries, then head down to the beach. On Monday Grandma and Grandpa came for a visit. So did our friends Matt, Ev, Sto and Leo. It was great to have them all!

Every day was filled with digging holes, flying kites, building sandcastles, swimming, boogie boarding, working on our tans, and eating lots of food.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I got to take the kids down to Hoy’s Five and Ten. They all bought a stuffy and a rubber band gun.

Rache and I got out for plenty of walks while Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop watched the kids. We even got a photo shoot in.

IMG_3470

I impressed the kids with my jumping skills. Here a picture from this year and one from 2016.

IMG_3705
2017
img_4034
2016

 

IMG_3501

What’s been goin’ on?

IMG_2916

The kids have been enjoying harvesting, cleaning and sautéing kale. It will start with Talia asking Rachel or me, “Can I go down to the garden with you?” Then everyone will want to come. Then kale will be picked, along with any lingering cucumbers or zucchini, and plenty of sweet cherry tomatoes.

IMG_2917

Talia’s been waking up first. She does a great job mixing up the pancake ingredients, then cooking cute-cakes or snowmen in the cast iron pan.

IMG_2992

IMG_2995

Yesterday we visited Mt. Ascutney. We hiked through the woods to Mile Long Field. Micaela, Emeth and Anna ran through the woods with me, keeping a pretty good pace. Then we ran through the field. (They slept well.)

IMG_2962

IMG_2966

IMG_2979

IMG_2981

IMG_2987

We bought a house! Well, it’s under contract. In NJ. We’re looking forward to being back in the area, being closer to family and friends. Settlement is October 16. It’s been a wonderful eleven months in Vermont. There is much we will miss about this place. Mainly the beauty and solitude. But we know we’ll find these things in smaller, more diverse ways in NJ. We are so excited to finally own a house, and make a home, after all these years of renting. It was owned by an older woman who’s husband died, and she is moving closer to her children. They raised their five children there, and took amazing care of the house and property, down to the landscaping. We’re realizing what a blessing it is to move in to a house that doesn’t need any repairs (that we know of), and that we can start with cosmetic things, like removing wallpaper, painting, possibly ripping up some carpet, and just focussing on making it our home, inside and out.

I’ve been working on a number of creative projects for fun. Musically, I released a short album called Demos, Mixtapes and Besides, and an EP titled Memos and Asides.

The Yearly Ears Cover

The Yearly Ears Cover Memos and Asides

I’ve also been working on another one minute film project, which I’m really excited about. (One minute has proved to be a good goal so as not to get in over my head.) I should hopefully have it released within a week. These are being posted here.

I listened to a very inspiring interview with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky on The Tim Ferriss Show, which inspired me to keep going with these short projects. Always helpful to be reminded that it’s best to just be yourself when creating.

I’ve been focussing on a lot of one minute projects, like the music and visual pieces, but I recently completed a 24-minute project for a new podcast I started with my college roommate. It’s called All Things Deconsidered. It was so much fun to write, record and edit, and I’m having fun working on episode two. You can also listen on iTunes.

With all of these projects, both short and long, I’ve been trying to break down the steps by using a method outlined by the folks at Bullet Journal. This video breaks the process down pretty well. It’s been immensely helpful for organizing my thoughts, both personally and for my work.

I’ve been reading three amazing books:

  • The Meaning of Happiness – Alan Watts (I’m actually re-reading this one it’s so good!)
  • To Have Or To Be? – Eric Fromm
  • Concluding Unscientific Postscript – Søren Kierkegaard

At bedtime the kids have been asking to listen to Krista Tippett (On Being). Recommendations:

We’ve been enjoying The Olllam (yes, three l’s) and Dawn Landes and Piers Faccini’s Desert Songs.

 

In light of our recent big purchase, we’ve been watching the 1979 season of This Old House. The hat. The mustache. The enthusiasm. Goosebumps.

The kids have been enjoying watercoloring.

IMG_2950

IMG_2955

IMG_2949

IMG_2947

End of Summer

Playing Store

Hunting For Bears

 

Sparklers

Curtseying

Cookie Shop

Farmer’s Market

Morning Meditation

Ten Apples Up On Top!

Mirror Time

Summer Morning

Measuring

Eclipse

Tuckerbox

Learning to Ride

Harvesting From the Garden