Friday, November 4, 2011

Our week in photos

My son in the front yard with my dear friend L.
Another week has flown right by. What a minute. Another year has flown by. My first born (and only) son turned four years old last week. What feels like a few months ago, I was changing diapers and dealing with midnight feedings.  Now, I have a walking, talking, amazing young boy sitting next to me on the couch who feeds and waters himself (most of the time).

who says you can't garden on your birthday!?
my grandmother's silver
To celebrate Bodie's birthday, we had a family gathering last Thursday evening. My amazing friend L. was in town for the weekend and helped me pull everything together. We spent most of the day rearranging the upstairs, setting two dining tables and prepared all sorts of savory, fall comfort food. The menu included bacon apple tarts, bacon wrapped waterchestnuts, apple pear salad, beef stew and cheddar biscuits. For dessert, a pumpkin spice shape with cream cheese frosting, shaped like a pumpkin, of course. Thank you, again, to everyone who attended. It means so much to us that you we're there to help us celebrate Bodie's special day.



A couple of days later, L. and I awoke early to go to the farmers market. We woke before sunrise, bundled ourselves up, and hit the square with thermal mugs in hand. We were greeted with warm smiles and friendly hellos at each stall we visited. I was in hog heaven ... the square was filled with pumpkins and gourds, from small, warty green ones to large, smooth orange ones. If I had a wagon, it surely would have been filled, since I have no impulse control when it comes to pumpkins. Once we completed a lap around the square and said hello/goodbye to the appropriate people, we set off to the airport for L.'s departure (or so we thought!).


The snow in New York City, L.s destination, kept her from making it any farther east then Detroit. So, seven hours later, we were welcoming her home again. To celebrate her return, we went and had sushi in Monona. We spent the evening secretly chucking about the waitress and trying not to drop dragon rolls into our cocktails. We spent the rest of the weekend catching up on the last few months, watching football and having an at-home fish fry. Eventually, on Monday morning, L. was able to fly out of Madison. We are all still in L. withdrawal and are greatly looking forward to her next visit.


After a few more days of work*, and running back and forth across southern Wisconsin, we arrive at today. I'm worn out, to say the least! I'm feeling a little bit rough around the edges. I need a message, a vacation and a cure for dog allergies. (Since none of those were instantly attainable, I settled on making a batch of ebleskivers, filled with leftover bacon-apple compote, and drenched in maple syrup. I swear, warm, homemade food can fix anything!)

the newest Hamstra
Which reminds me, did I mention, we adopted a dog this past week, too?! His name is Samson and he is a one year old golden retriever. He's been getting along famously with Harper and is quickly becoming Bodie's new favorite pup.

So, wish us luck! Maybe I can download an app on my new iPhone that can train puppies (and old dogs) (and little boys)!

*I cannot fail to mention this; I have been honored with the opportuninty to work at Fountain Prairie in Fall River. I've only spent a few days at the Inn so far, but I can tell already that I'm falling in love with the place. I'll be out there again tomorrow night to help prep a meal for Sunday, and even am helping plan an upcoming art show. This is the start of a pretty exciting chapter of my life. Hold on folks, it's going be a wild ride!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I went to the top of the world today, 
to see what I could find, 
and all I saw for miles and miles,
were things you left behind.
Your spirit was high up in the clouds, 
moving carefree through the sky.
Your voice whispered through the leaves,
saying 'sister, don't you cry.'
The river contained your courage, 
never knowing when to cease.
Even your laughter echoed
through a soaring flock of geese.

Your strength was in the trees,
growing taller every day
Your smile was in the sun, 
beaming down from far away.
In the sparrows you left curiosity, 
always seeming to ask us why.
And the hills held your ambition, 
reaching upwards towards the sky.
So even though you are now gone, 
your soul will never be, 
for I take it everywhere I go,
it is wild and 
it is free.

Written by Valerie Hein,
In memory of Benjamin Thomas Hein and Scott Thomas Peterson.