Project 52.52 – At Home

I want to love the place I live:  the house, the town, the area, and the lifestyle. I’m hoping that Project 52 will… teach me what it means to truly feel that I’m “home.” – “Project 52.1 – Home,” published 12/31/11. Well, folks, it’s been a year since I started “Project 52, ” my multi-pronged attempt to keep writing, learn a few things about how to publish online, and find my place in this world. First, a hearty “thank you” to everybody who has taken the time to read any of these posts and an additional, “You’re the best” to everybody who left comments. You truly are the best, and I’m honored to have you in my life. While I cannot say that the project was a complete success (I learned a few things about how publish a blog, for example, but next to nothing about designing a great web … Continue reading…

Project 52.51 – The Horses of Christmas Past

With Christmas just two days away, I can’t help but think of Christmases past and some of the most memorable gifts received on those blessed days. There was a massive Webster’s dictionary, the “I want chocolate and I want it NOW!” mug, and a Kindle Fire – all of which I not only still have but which I use regularly, if not daily. And there were these: I have forgotten how young I was, probably seven or eight, but I’ll never forget the Christmas when my brother, sister, and I were gathered around the family tree and my brother was passing out the gifts. He scooted a mountain toward me. My eyes must’ve looked like glistening blue saucers. A whole pile of presents, for me?! It turned out, the presents were for everyone, but they were hiding something special underneath for me: a red and silver handmade, three-stalled stable that … Continue reading…

Project 52.50 – Frog Pond

It’s a rare weekend that the dogs and I don’t trek around the property, stretch our legs, look for tracks, hunt for mice… …ahem… No matter the weather, we trudge our way over uneven ground and poke our noses into the far corners of Mike’s family’s land. The fire pit, the Point, the Hill of Discontent – all frequent destinations. This weekend, it was the frog pond. Gifted with a few inches of snow, I put on my snow pants, boots, and chains and headed out to the place where in the spring such a din of amorous frog love songs serenade the night that it has been known to keep distant neighbors awake. This time of year, though, no frogs. This time of year, a blanket of quiet is pulled over the pond. The surface rests, cold and beautiful. Here are a few pictures of the pond and our … Continue reading…

Project 52.49 – Sherry and Sam

On the heels of Thanksgiving and moving into the depths of December, I’m still feeling pretty darned thankful. I’ve been living a blessed life. I’ve got a supportive family, loyal friends, excellent health, access to more food than I need, freedoms I take for granted, an amazing home, and steady employment. And I’ve got Sherry and Sam. “Mama Sherry” and “Papa Sam,” Mike’s parents, live at the top of the hill. From our kitchen window, we can see theirs, though we are too far away to wave to each other, and the Christmas lights that Sam puts on the trees outside their house twinkle and smile in the darkness as we enjoy them from the warmth of the barn below. I know a lot of people who moved as far away from their parents as possible, on purpose. While most people don’t move explicitly to get away from their parents … Continue reading…

Project 52.48 – Socks

The other day while decorating the Christmas tree, I had a flashback. While Mike and Scout sifted through boxes of ornaments and reminisced about the origins of each, I was transported back in time. Five, maybe six years old, I was mischievously jumping on the couch in my parents’ house holding a black and white stuffed dog. Threadbare and repaired many times by my mother’s magical sewing fingers, this poor thing had button eyes and a tail held on by luck. My memory is hazy but I seem to recall one lovingly resewn ear, then the other, mysteriously flying off onto the couch cushions (I’m sure I had nothing to do with it!), never to be sewn back on again. This dog, “Socks,” bald and earless, has been with me ever since, enduring moves and storage boxes, relegation to the back of closets and under beds. I’ve given away many … Continue reading…

Project 52.47 – The Tree of Awesomeness

Dorks

One of the things Mike and I were looking forward to most about our spacious living area was getting a badass Christmas tree. Our living room is massive and we wanted a “aesthetically proportioned” tree to go with it, at least for our first Christmas in the new space. The below photos chronicle highlights of us getting our first tree, one I am calling, “The Tree of Awesomeness.” You may have noticed that there is no star or angel at the top of our tree. That is because, even with the aid of a ladder and Mike being 6’7″, we can’t actually reach the top. We may need a cherry picker to accomplish that task. I was thinking maybe we could rig up some sort of rope and pulley system and lower Scout down, “Mission Impossible” style, but by the time we figure out the logistics, Christmas will be over. … Continue reading…

Project 52.46 – The New Kid

Some of you may remember my previous post, The River and the Road, and the picture of my poor front wheel drive Jetta stuck somewhat askew on the Hill of Discontent. It was late last year and I’d gotten about 10 feet up the hill before the tires couldn’t grip and the Jetta, try gallantly though it did for many tense moments, finally gave up and seemed to say to me, “Listen, woman, I am not The Little Engine that Frickin’ Could, Aw-right?!” and then it went slippy-slidey until I, too, finally gave up. We had a few of those days with me trying to back the car down the icy slope without going over the bank into the apple tree. Each time, the Jetta tried its best and showed one reason why I will always be a Volkswagen girl at heart – because Volkswagens have spirit. Still, the unavoidable … Continue reading…

Project 52.45 – First Snow

We finally got our first snow of the 2012 winter season. Moose is pretty happy about it. Misty, on the other hand, seems to share my sentiment, my “here we go again, didn’t we just do this?” feeling. It’s true, we did seem to just come out from the clutches of last winter when this winter arrived. That’s OK, with vistas like this, we will not complain.  

Project 52.44 – The Ol’ Girl

A few weeks ago, my cousin Virgil pointed out that I haven’t shown too many exterior shots of the barn. Of course, I live to serve, but it’s too easy to go outside, snap a photo, and be done. What is more marvelous is the before-and-after transformation of this place. Mike’s mom, Sherry, was kind enough to dig out some old photos (many, many thanks to her for that!) but, unfortunately, all photos of the barn in its original 1940’s glory were lost in a house fire. The photos below start at about 20 years ago (judging from the length of Mike’s hair!).   And, the “after” shots, the transformation from a slice of Americana to a vibrant and well loved living space. The family members who knew this barn back in its heyday (or, perhaps, its “hay days”) say “she ain’t what she used to be.”  Yes and no. … Continue reading…

Project 52.43 – Lists o’ Plenty!

To-Do List

I’m a list maker. Grocery lists, to-do lists, Christmas lists, life’s list of hopes and dreams, I’ve got them all going either on a sticky note on my desk, in my computer, or somewhat haphazardly written in my brain. I don’t even need a valid reason to start a list. Casually perusing an online article the other day, a suggestion by the author leaped off the page and grabbed my attention: “Make a list of your favorite foods.” I don’t actually need to make a list of my favorite foods. I know what they are, and yet I was inexplicably sucked in and immediately began listing my favorite foods in my mind, calling them out in a voice like Bubba in Forrest Gump naming off the myriad ways of preparing shrimp. Walnuts, Butternut Squash, Wild Rice, Sunflower Seeds, Popcorn… So why do I – or why do any of us … Continue reading…