Category Archives: Life Looks Like

Wood Chopping. Laughter. Tradition.


For the past three years we’ve been hosting what we affectionately call Wood Chopping Weekend (never minding that it only really lasts one day).Wood Chopping Weekend

It started because we needed help. Dan and I heat our home exclusively with our wood stove (in the living room) and the pellet stove (down cellar). We do have electric heat but haven’t used it since we moved in in 2008. We’re lucky that we have a lot of trees on our property, and those that fall are chopped and used for fire. It’s economical and efficient and it makes us very happy. But for the first few years of living in our home, Dan cut all of the wood for our wood stove alone. It took him weeks and while he would never once complain about it, I could see him wince at the aches and pains and I could see it wearing on him.

I can’t remember entirely how it came about, but I’m fairly certain it had something to do with my cousin Melissa’s then boyfriend (now husband) Daniel who remembered fondly his days of chopping wood with an ax back in his family home in Germany.Daniel Chopping Wood

With an offer to help, we turned it into a party, a full-blown event and the rest as they say is history. This year was a little less enjoyable for me because I was sick but we made the best of it and I’m so thrilled that we went ahead with it because of the memories made.

The day usually starts with some splitting and stacking. This year Dan had split much of the wood in advance because he had the time.

Ready to StackWe were all surprised when my 6 year old niece Riley got right in (without even being asked) and started helping out!

StackingThe wood is wheeled up onto the deck in the wheelbarrow and passed (assembly line style) over to the pallets where it is stacked and stored for each access. We have two sets of covered pallets- one outside the sliding door to the living room and one outside the back door.

Riley passes to Uncle Bob who passes to Joe who passes to Dan who passes to Dad. And Stacked!

Meanwhile, out in the woods, the boys are chopping wood just for fun.

IMG_5351My brother tries his hand at it.

IMG_5356Daniel is a pro! His first ax, affectionately known as Chuck Norris, has now been set aside (at least for most major log splitting) in favor of this beauty, Mr T.


IMG_5331There is still some more stacking to be done out in the clearing where more wood is kept (mostly smaller stuff, kindling etc). We had some little helpers in there early on, but the little guy bailed!

IMG_5370One of my favorite parts of the day was seeing the little boys imitate the big boys- using wood to “chop” other wood. They got the motion down that’s for sure.

Sweet HeartMeanwhile, Millie earned her keep just looking darn cute!

IMG_5295Usually at least one kid asks for a ride in the backhoe. Riley was a little unsure at first but she got up some confidence and ended up loving it!IMG_5304

IMG_5282She also has the “looking cute” thing down (even while getting her hands dirty)!


IMG_5386Soon enough the hard work is over and it’s back to the house for eating, drinking, playing and general merriment!

IMG_5362Including some chicken on the grill!

IMG_5404And cake for my Dad’s birthday!

It was a lovely day filled with people I love and traditions I hope we’ll continue for years to come!



Life Looks Like: Week 39

Monday | September 22
Project Life Remembering JustinTough day.

I packed up the pages that I put into the Project Life Album filled with wonderful thoughts and memories of my friend Justin and got them ready to display at his wake that night.

The LightTried to find the beauty in the world. Gorgeous sunlight.

Tuesday | September 23

image_2Big work project on Tuesday morning. Worked from 6a-10a and then left early for Justin’s funeral. The service was beautiful. And difficult. After spending time with my family and his, I came home and was inspired to just be outside. To breath some fresh air and clear my head. It was time to run!

RunningDecayI love taking in the beauty in our neighborhood!

Trees + LightAnd in our very own driveway.

Wednesday | September 24

Wednesday view from workBeautiful outside.

Messy insideWednesday at Work


Thursday | September 25

AccessoriesLoving gold + black. My Tan House Brook Shawl, Leather clutch. Ballet flats.

Train PlatformBeautiful texture + light on the subway platform

Cool Clavicle CoverKnitting on my Cool Clavicle Cover on the train.

Knitting in the Car WashKnitting in the car wash on the way home.

Friday | September 26

Blue Sky MorningBlue sky Friday Morning

Knitting at the Nail SalonMani/Pedi at lunch. Prime knittingtime!

Saturday | September 27

PretzelsOktoberfest! My friends throw a really fun Oktoberfest party every year.

Oktoberfest 2014My cousin Melissa & her German husband Daniel wear their authentic garb! So fun!

Sunday | September 28


My favorite day of the year! Apple Picking!

Though it was odd that it was so hot! It felt like we should be swimming, not picking, but we had so much fun anyways!Summer Apple Picking?

IMG_5092Getting all 7 nieces and nephews looking reasonably amused in one photo feels like a miracle! More on apple picking later this week!

Hope you had a good one.


Life Looks Like: Week 37

Fall shawl style: Tan House Brook Shawl

Finally starting to feel like fall here. Cool mornings. First day wearing a shawl this year! Rocking my #fallshawlstyleLeftovers Socks | Down Cellar StudioTime to finish up these socks.  Using leftovers is risky business. I played some yarn chicken on my Monday night commute (and won)!Yoga | Down Cellar StudioYoga’s place in my routine has been sorely missed since May. I so appreciate finding a new teacher I click with.

Down Cellar StudioTook advantage of a later commute and some quiet back roads, to capture the beautiful sunset light in my neighborhood.

Down Cellar StudioTest Run | Down Cellar Studio Time from cast off until first wearing? Approximately 16 hours.

imageI planned to redeem the $50 in GapCash before I forgot about it. I didn’t realize there was a big promotion of their fall line going on. I scored some free Pumpkin beer and 30% off! Score!

Fall Shawl Style | Down Cellar StudioAnother good morning for a shawl! This deep green is so versatile. [Don’t forget to share your fall shawl style pics on Instagram using #fallshawlstyle to be entered to win prizes]

Running Running progress. 1 mile. 10 minutes 10 seconds. Getting faster!

Train knitting Friday morning knitting + watching! Almost through the week!

imageFamily time on Saturday. A little soccer in my parents’ backyard after Garret’s first day of soccer practice. Riley was more excited about her “goal scoring dance” skills than fancy footwork.

imageWe saw Dolphin Tale 2 and then met my brother and sister-in-law for dinner. While we waited, we took the chance to get out some of the silliness before we went in. It was a lot of sitting for these little kiddos! They did great!

imageimageSunday late morning coffee run. Long-line-at-the-drive-thru-shawl-selfie!

imageDesign work in progress after caffeine sets in.

imageSunday 1:12p | Football knitting in progress [Go PATS!]

imageFirst rimmed, pumpkin beer of the season. My favorite: Shipyard

imageLots of first today: Some first crawling attempts too! Go Baby Ella!

imageYes, fall is upon us. The deer are getting darker. The fawns have lost their spots.

I’m enjoying fall into the rhythm of fall. Hope you had a good week too!