Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall is officially here!

Last week one morning Ellery woke up shrieking in excitement that there was snow on top of the mountains. You would think the snow was right in our backyard with the way he carried on but it was just barely visible in the distance after a morning shower. The temps are lows in the 30's and highs in the 60's. I can finally break out my knitted sweaters and hats. It isn't quite mitten, glove, or scarf weather yet but I'm sure it isn't too far away. What fascinates me most about the weather is how well insulated this house is. It finally dawned on me last week that despite overnight temps in the low thirities that we were keeping a pretty steady indoor temp of around 66 without using any kind of heat whatsoever. In any house I've lived in I would keep the heater thermostat between 63 and 66. If the temps outside were that low the heater would be coming on fairly regularly just to maintain that temperature. Now I'm under no illusion that when it gets colder we won't be a slave to the propane but it's great that we haven't had to use any heating energy so far. I really believe that the large passive solar windows upstairs help to keep the house warm, even into the night hours. Downstairs is underground so of course it is cooler but still no need for overnight heating yet. Okay, so I have occasionally put on our fakey electric fireplace but more for ambience than heat, haha.

As the holidays loom ever closer we are looking forward to simple, old fashioned style Thanksgiving and Christmas. This will be our first Christmas away from home and we will miss our friends and family. At the same time though I am so excited that we won't have to get up early in the morning to rush around and see various families all day long in a mad frenzy. Top that off with the likelihood that we will experience our first "white Christmas" and I couldn't be any more excited. You have to understand too that I tend to tear up during those Little House On the Prairie style Christmas shows on movies where the family has a big meal and everyone gets one special handmade gift, usually knitted of course. There is so much more meaning there that is lost in today's commercialized spectacle that remains now. So I'm hoping we can capture some of that essence ourselves.

We have recovered from our recent canning rush and have been enjoying a lot of quiet time here. School has been going great with little distraction. We are wrapping up our first Old Testament block now and have really enjoyed it. Yesterday we made lentils with unleavened bread for dinner to go with our story of Jacob and Esau. We have made some beautiful crayon drawings inspired by the Live Ed curriculum as well as paintings. Ellery is learning to spin on a drop spindle and having a good time with it which relieves me since he was really not happy knitting. Cursive is coming along nicely. We've made a wool tree hanging out of branches and roving with a little basic weaving and some needle felted pumpkins for our nature table. I know, I know, pictures, right? Riki may be bigshot photographer but I'm considering getting a small camera of my own so that I can snap pictures of things we do without having to ask or wait for him to do it.

Every day I look out the window and think about how amazing our beautiful view is of the mountains and how incredibly healing this place is.