What to muse about today?

November 2, 2016 ~ Shoulder?

Nature Trail

Nature Trail

Today I was back on Sleeping Giant, this time on the Nature Trail, a self-guided walk, or rather, hike.  They had booklets at the main parking lot, so I grabbed one, checked my clue list for the letterboxes I was hunting for, and set out.

It was a fun trail, not too long – with super-fun trail blazes – an evergreen tree!  The hike starts off pretty level, and is easy going.  Eventually, it gets steeper and steeper.  Which was kinda fun today, it was mid-60’s!  November and 60’s!  And super sunny.  Just a lovely day for a walk.

The first box in the series was a bit tricky.  I got caught up with one of the former numbered trees instead of walking a bit further to the current number tree.

It was too warm for ice cream!

Ice cream melted in today’s heat!

But no matter, I eventually figured it out, and found one of the BEST letterbox containers I’ve seen so far.  A Talenti pot!  I may suggest using one of the few we have at home for Teagan to plant her letterbox in.  (She needs to plant make one to earn her Brownie Badge.  She knows the general area where she wants to plant it too).

Anyway, the Nature Trail was pretty fun.  The guide book was informative, pointing out interesting things along the way.  Several different types of trees, rocks, geographic and environmental features.



Trap Rock

Trap Rock

The stamps in the series were beautifully carved, and were coordinated to the locations on the trail where they were hidden.  One of the more lovely stamp series I’ve found so far.

It was a lovely day.


October 24, 2016 ~ Left Knee

Violet trail at Hobbomock's left leg

To Violet trail at Hobbomock’s left leg

Today I found a bit of time before grocery shopping to go to Sleeping Giant again.  The girls and I went hunting letterboxes on Sunday along the east end of the Violet trail.  We were looking for a box but had to turn around to get home.  Turns out we called it quits something less than a quarter mile before the clue.  Just around a corner or two.  Who knew?

I went back today, parked along a the red trail and quickly caught up with the violet trail and headed west towards the clue.  The trail and the glittering sun distracted me enough that I walked past the clue.  Walked almost a mile past the clue, not even worrying about it.  Eventually, I came to enough to realize that I should turn around and head back.  I decided that where the trail went over the giant’s knee was a good place.  A part of the trail that I probably shouldn’t be on alone.  I went halfway – because I could do it – then turned back.  I love that the trail goes over this jumble of boulders.  Can you see the three blazes?  the one at the bottom is an arrow, then there are two more.

I need to do this trail properly one of these days.



I had no problem finding my clue, once I was actually looking for it.  Lookie!  There it is.  The box was exactly where it should be and the stamp was beautiful.  Made the almost 300 foot ascent worth it.

It was really such a beautiful day.  The sun was just right.  Crisp air and leaves to shuffle through.

Falling leaves and sunshine

Falling leaves and sunshine

I’m lucky that I can find time to enjoy the outside.  I know the freedom won’t last much longer, nor will the weather.  But for now, I’m going to take advantage.


October 14, 2016 ~ Like a Fairy Forest


Green and Orange and Gold

Just about three weeks ago, Teagan and I went on a Girl Scout Letterboxing Adventure.  I’d always enjoyed hiking, walking through a forest, being outside.  As long as it’s not too hot.  Then it’s not fun at all, and I’d rather be by a pool.  But it was a lovely day, and combined with the treasure hunting aspect of letterboxing, we all had a fun time.


I’m not quite sure why it’s as fun as it is.  You go hiking with some clues and try to follow them to find a plastic box hidden under leaves and rocks.  The boxes are often dirty and there are spiders and bugs and stuff.  But it is like a treasure hunt.  Inside each box is a stamp, usually hand carved.  Often, the stamps are fun, sometimes they are beautiful. That’s probably why Teagan liked it, she had permission to get herself dirty and dig around for “treasure.”  I liked being outside and enjoyed the challenge of solving the clue enough that I didn’t mind too much.

For whatever reason she liked it, and I had enough fun to humor her when she asked to go again.   So I told her we would see what we could do, and looked at the websites listed on the simple logbook they gave us on our adventure. And I found letterboxes around us.  And more letterboxes around us. And it was more fun finding boxes “in the wild” instead of planted for a bunch of girl scouts to work on a badge for the day.

We all went letterbox hunting.  Even Stu tagged along, though I think he’s indifferent about it.


Ashin’s Log Book After Our Mystic Hunt

As Teagan, and I, both enjoyed it so much, I looked around for books for us to use as log books instead of pieces of paper. And once Ashlin expressed how much she enjoyed it, and how excited she was to make her own stamp, I ordered a book for her too.  She was very, very happy to get it and put her first stamp in it.

We’ve gone out almost once a weekend since then.  Sometimes even after school if the boxes are close by and the clues seem straightforward enough.

I’ve even gone out myself a few times.  I admit it.  I love hiking this time of year.  It’s just the right temperature – not too hot, not too cold – and the forests are almost magical.  Like today.  I went to a park not too far away – Alice Newton Street Memorial Park – and walked almost two miles looking for letterboxes.  I didn’t notice that I walked through lunch.  The park was so beautiful.  It felt cared for.  Not necessarily cleaned or maintained, but that it was groomed and encouraged to grow.  Almost magical.


Magical Forest

I have a few more boxes in my log book than Teagan, and of course Ashlin.  Some of the trails aren’t quite suited for a five year old, though don’t tell her that.  Some of the trails, like yesterday, although pretty, I wouldn’t want Teagan on either.


But trails like today, I would go on again, and again, and again.  Even though I have already found all the boxes that forest contains.





Panorama from the top of a cliff – Yesterday


Super tall cliff – Yesterday


July 20, 2014 ~ Canal

The tortoise and the hare

Today we went out with the girls.  They needed a bit of running around, energetic exhaustion.  We needed them to be entertained, and then tired.  After a bit of googling for local bike trails, we decided to try  a bit of the Hamden section of the Farmington Canal Linear Park.

After an aborted nap and a quick bite for lunch, we put the girls bikes and helmets in the trunk and headed out.  The girls were excited, they LOVE riding their bikes.  We found out that although Teagan can book on her bike Ashlin will end up winning, even with her short legs, as Teagan is too easily distracted by trees, flowers, bugs, the grass.

The park was very nice, once we got on the trail – we now know where to park for next time!  Lush and green, nice bridges and railings when needed.  It ran alongside the Merritt Parkway for a bit, so was a little loud, but eventually veered away.

Teagan impressed both of us, she was able to start her bike from a dead stop, even on a hill.  She could also get herself much further up hills than we expected.  Ashlin also impressed with her skill as well as with her stamina and perseverance.  We ended up walking/riding just shy of four miles – at least twice as long as they are used to.

We did figure out that we need at least one adult bike with us.  The girls get a bit too far ahead of us for comfort, with their unbridled enthusiasm.  Thankfully, we have one.  Though two would be even better!

We will go visit more of the canal when we can.

Goofing off on the bike ride


June 20, 2013



I love the garden.  I do try to get out as much as I can.  Not that I get to do all that much, a given, but it’s still fun.  And overgrowing.  Can you see how many black-eyed susans I’ll have soon?  I wish the wisteria would bloom, it hasn’t since we’ve moved in.

Hidden astilbe

Hidden astilbe

The bed under the kitchen window needs a lot of attention too. Though there is this lovely astilbe tucked away.



The hydrangeas are just starting to bloom. They are such a lovely shade of blue.

little suns

little suns

I planted this moonbeam coreopsis when we moved in.  There may be enough now to separate and move into a gap.  So cheerful!

Water lily

Water lily

Look!  The water lily is growing!  It’s not the floating flower, but the reddish leaf just to the bottom left of the flower.  (That flower is a float to help you find the plant if need be, before the flowers show up).  We put that in a week or so ago.  And there’s a bonus blurry fish!

Speaking of growing plants…



One of the sunflower seedlings is up already!! Teagan was so excited to see it, too. She had a good time watering the patch, and wanted to know why there weren’t any more. I told her that one was here early :D


April 1, 2013 ~ Car Talks

#goof with #bunny ears


This morning when Stu drove the girls into day care, he and Teagan had one of those talks.  One that when you hear about it, you really wish you had been there too.  This morning, it was scientific.  Teagan told Stu that there were two types of worms that come out when it rains.  One type the birds like to eat.  The other is a wiggly worm, but this one has feet.  The wiggly worms feet are so tiny that you can’t see them because they’re so tiny.  If you do see the feet, don’t tickle them! If you do tickle the wiggly worms’ feet, they will suck your bleed [blood].

Her mind works in the strangest ways, sometimes.  And often, blood is involved.


February 6, 2013

DeerThis morning as the girls were eating breakfast, we saw a large family of deer in the back yard. Teagan and Ashlin were thrilled!  There were at least five that I could see, and at least one in each girls line of view while they ate.  They meandered back and forth, up and down the hill.  They seemed generally calm and relaxed, for deer.  I’m sure they were a bit nervous, I’m sure, especially when they heard the girls squeal if they came too close.  They hung out there for a while, at least thirty minutes.  Long after Stu had taken the girls to day care.



Tonight at dinner, the girls were squealing over another subject.  Farts.  Miss Teagan was a bit gassy, but Ashlin kept taking the blame:

Sometimes they’re just too funny.


December 29, 2012

Snow Sisters

Snow Sisters

Wow.  Can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year.  This year has really flown by.

Today was a snow day!  Yay!  We were supposed to go home, have lunch with the ‘rents, get hair cuts, meet up with friends, have dinner with the gang.  The forecast changed plans.  We were expected to get about 6-8 inches.  Right now, I think we have a solid eight.  And who wouldn’t want that?

Earlier this afternoon, we all bundled up in hats*, coats, boots, mittens or gloves and headed out to play.  Or shovel the driveway.  The girls loved sledding down the hill in our yard.  They’re still small enough that it’s a good hill.

We started with the small sled, the one person sled.  Teagan LOVED it.  She wasn’t too sure last year, but she’s bigger now.  She didn’t want to stop.  Ashlin, I think, felt a little left out, and we dug out the bigger sled.  She was very reluctant to go down the hill with her sister and I, but eventually agreed.  She had fun!  Each time, she’d do a “no, no no” but as we started going down, she’d say “yay!”

Teagan enjoyed her hot cocoa today.  Last year, she wasn’t convinced it was a good thing.

I did spell Stu a bit, let him sled with the girls, while I shoveled.

It was a good day.  Even with some of the tears and occasionally turned-off listening-ears.  Both girls were tired, early.  Heaven.


* Somehow, I don’t have a hat!  Oh! No!


August 8, 2012


Tonight as we pulled into the driveway, Teagan asked to go see the sunflowers. Sure, why not?  It’s been about a week or so since we’ve seen them last.  I’m curious as well, to see how big they look now.

So big!

Last week, they were just about as tall as Teagan.  Tonight, they were taller! The tallest was a good six inches taller.  At least.  And all the soon-to-be  flowers were taller than my baby.  All but one, which is tucked away half under the rose bush.

I’m really amazed at how much they’ve grown over the past two weeks.  It really is astounding how fast, it’s not quite two months yet.  And if you take a close look, that flower head looks like it has seeds down inside.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they start opening by next week.

And there was a visitor too!  A katydid decided to share one large bloom with a spider.  Teagan loved it.



August 1, 2012 ~ Sunflowers

#sunflower budYesterday as we arrived home, we all went to look at the sunflowers.  They’ve gotten so big, they’re almost up to Teagan’s shoulders!  Teagan was quite excited, clapping and jumping around when she saw how big they were.   I took a little time to show her the bud, the proto-flower, explaining that it would get bigger and turn yellow over the next weeks.

They're almost as tall as Tea!Ashlin enjoyed the walk to the side of the house, even with the hill, and tried several times to escape.  She could have cared less about the sunflowers, they really didn’t excite her, even though they were taller than she was.  Then again, just about everything is taller than she is.  She would not stand still, her mind still on escape it seemed, while I tried to take a picture of the two of them in front of the sunflowers. I seem to be able to get a shot of one of the two of them looking good, the other looking goofy, or blurred. I can get great shots of just one of them, but never both at the same time. Oh well.

Maybe I’ll get a good shot with the new lens.  It was fun playing with it Sunday.  I even went out today to take pictures of the garden.  Yes, more pictures of the garden.  I’ll try to pull them off tonight, before I fall asleep, but it’ll probably be tomorrow.

Babies and sunflowers