Weekly Walk 8

This week is the tenth since the autumnal equinox and as predicted, it was once again our chilliest hike yet.


We went with our friend Linda again, and she’d heard it was the coldest day since March 29th of this year, back when we were still buried in snow. It was 20°F on our home thermometer when we left, and Linda said it read 26°F in her car when she arrived at the trailhead. So, chilly.

Luckily it was also sunny. We turned our faces into the sunlight and felt slightly warmer.


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Son by Lois Lowry

Son by Lois Lowry

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read The Giver and quite liked it. It seemed more nuanced than a lot of YA stuff. I like nuance.

When I read Gathering Blue and Messenger—both of which were less nuanced and had characters with less depth than those in The Giver—my interest flagged. But optimist that I am, I picked up Son both for closure and because I thought a great ending might redeem the whole series.

I was disappointed. Read More


Weekly Walk 7

Again this week—the ninth since the autumnal equinox—we had our chilliest hike yet. I wonder if each week is going to be chillier than the last for a while.

When we reached the trailhead bundled into our winter coats and hats and scarves and mittens, the temperature was hovering around freezing.


Two new things happened this week. First, we found ice on the river and plenty of frost on the ground.



Second, we were joined by our friend Linda, who pointed out many of the invasive plant species along the trail. This knowledge has caused a shift in how I look at our hike. Read More

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver
The Giver by Lois Lowry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Oh, Honey! Are you crying?”

My daughter nodded and sniffled as I sat down on the side of her bed and leaned over to hug her.

“Can you tell me what’s wrong?”

After a pause she said, “That book,” in a choked voice.

I knew she meant The Giver. We’d gotten the paperback as a freebie at her pediatrician’s office more than a year ago, and my 10yo had picked it up that morning and read the whole thing by bedtime, reading a bit here and there between her lessons.

“Oh, Honey!” I repeated. “It’s a pretty intense book, isn’t it?”

She nodded with her face hidden in my shoulder.

“Would you like me to read it tomorrow so we can talk about it?”

She nodded again. And so the next day, I read The Giver. Read More

Wordless: Swoop



October 2015


Weekly Walk 6

My spouse needed a ride to work today, so we dropped him off and then headed out for our hike on the way home.

It was our earliest, chilliest hike yet. When we reached the trailhead, it was just below 40°F, and although we warmed up after some brisk walking, our noses and cheeks remained rosy, and we exhaled misty clouds of water vapor.


It’s the eighth week since the autumnal equinox, and autumn feels like it’s winding down around here. Read More


Weekly Walk 5

In the midst of a full week—the seventh since the autumnal equinox—we squeezed in another walk.


The colors were more muted this week; more branches were bare. Only small patches of brightness punctuated the overall brown of the landscape.


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Wordless: Red


Hiking down Wachusett Mountain, Princeton, Massachusetts, September 2015

Bookends: October 2015


Last night, I strapped glow sticks to my wrists and took my kids around the neighborhood begging for candy. Now we have enough sweets to carry us to Easter (and beyond, if I don’t start throwing the candy away piece by piece).

Now it’s November, and I have only a little more than a month until I’m 39. It’s strange: this is the first birthday that’s snuck up on me. I’ve been so comfy being 38, and now all of sudden I have to say farewell to that age. Thirty-nine’s an okay age, though, I think. Thirteen times three and all. All the same, I think I’ll try to really enjoy what’s left of 38.

In any event, here’s what little I read in October…

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Halloween Pie 2015

Categorizing and graphing my kids’ candy haul has become an annual tradition. And my kids, as nerdy as their parents apparently, cheer more for making pie charts than they do for the candy itself.

Here’s how it all panned out this year:

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As in years past, my more-selective daughter had less variety in her candy bag than her brother did, but for the first time, my son has more total candy than his big sister.

Here’s the trend since 2013:

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 8.01.12 PM

Perhaps my son’s hands are closer in size to his sister’s this year, or maybe he’s less inhibited about displaying gluttony, or maybe people just like six-year-old sharks more than they do ten-year-old ninjas.

It’s also possible that our daughter’s relatively small haul is a reflection of her waning interest in trick-or-treating. As she said as I was tying the old t-shirt around her mouth and nose as part of her ninja costume, “I’m looking forward to trick-or-treating, but I’m just calm, not excited like I was last year.”

Then she added, once again proving that she’s my daughter: “And that’s good because I feel much better feeling calm than I do feeling excited. Feeling excited kind of makes my tummy hurt.”

Whether you like feeling excited or you prefer to feel calm, I hope your Halloween is as sweet as you’d like it to be!