Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bits of December

I'm going to back-track a bit and start trying to catch up on the days and days and days...We were trying to remember something the other day and I turned to this blog to confirm and thought, shoot we are up a creek if we're hoping for any kind of record of 2016! 

What does it mean that I begin such a post with photos of kimchi in the making? Hm...Amidst the busy, appreciating the small details, like a brilliantly purple daikon radish.

We managed to have several game nights with our friends who are back for a few months from Maine. Gotta pack it in while they're here. The favorites right now are Codenames and Dixit.

Anything that can produce a laugh like this is a game I want to play again and again...

Mama and daughter 💚
The month was about wrapping up activities - Doctor Who history for Eliza (in her usual position on the futon, in pajamas, with Charlie mashed up as close as he can get), fiddle lessons, dance classes.

Sleepovers with besties
Fiddle orchestra!! I see you!!

The morning after Eliza's fiddle concert, we drove to New York City and landed at the home of the woman who married us sixteen years ago. Ah, to picking up the weaving of lives's been nine years, but who would know? More on that trip in another post. 

Instant kinship
January feels like a little bit of a lull between the outer galaxy of December and the resumption of Normal. Time to find the threads that you want to pick up and to clean out what you would rather stay behind. I am trying to be present to that in my days; December felt like a bit too much for me, and I noticed that I worked hard at staying busy with my hands and making lists in my head and on paper, in an attempt to not be still and feel how incongruous the cheer-making of the season felt to me, in the mess that is the world right now.  Sometimes the cheer works its magic and lightens the horizon for me, but I felt rushed this year to Get There, and never really caught up to the light. I'm giving myself January to find my footing, gather strength and see where I am. Taking stock through catching up will hopefully feel like fortifying the ground underneath me, remind me of the brilliant light that accompanies my days, whether or not I notice.

Monday, January 2, 2017

life is still happening

Thank goodness for new beginnings and the opportunity to start over. I have always wished there was more representation of families with older kids homeschooling; I've wanted to look ahead to how things might be, what our days might look like. It's always been helpful for me to know more of the how and the why of people making this choice for their lives.  Around here the number of kids staying out of school really dwindles around Eliza's age, and we were noticing recently that kids in their early teens aren't well represented out in the community either! They hit that independent age and aren't along for every family outing and errand. The middles have suddenly disappeared.

All this to say: I've let this space go silent, and maybe there's someone out there who would like the occasional peek into the future, so I'm making an attempt to come back here and represent one picture of Life as a family with no kids in school...

But it's been the holidays and so, please, enjoy a glimpse of that. 

It was the year of the magicicada, so it's fitting that our tree
had a stowaway or two!
Ani with "her baby".  I'll leave that for another post...

My dear family was here, as they have been for the last several years. We feel fortunate to not be traveling further than the livingroom futon this time of year.

Christmas Day snap-circuits. With pajamas.
My new moustache, from Ani

New games to play! Quelf, Exploding Kittens, Code Names, Sushi Go...

It was cold and a little rainy, until it was gorgeously sunny and a little warmer. Out to Lake Hope for a short hike and lunch at the lodge.

Our holiday was about a lot of hanging out, playing games and eating bags of clementines. The new year came with blue skies and an eerie lack of birds, which did not bode well for our "bird of the year" tradition. Not at the feeders, not flying by the was like the avian rapture, until we headed out at Dan's urging to a local ridge to take a sunny walk...ah! Yes. Of course. Geese just where we knew we'd find them, by the river, and for Ani, her first sighting of bluebirds! Lucky girl, with all that happiness to fill her year.

Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


magical puffball mushroom
Oh shoot. I completely missed October here. I'm going to blame it on being glamored by a new photo-taking phone and my complete inability to figure out how to manage the resulting photographs in a way that is conducive to sharing them here in this space!  Bedazzled by thousands of photos and no slick way as yet to move them about...I am a slow learner, so I will figure it out, but not in any short order. I've gotten these on by winking, pulling on my earlobe and looking sideways at the computer while crossing my fingers. And hey, it worked!!!

chickweed! Stellaria media

We are embracing the magic here these days. The magic of a Samhain day spent in the woods, marveling over all the greens and the critters in our path. The magic of a huge rock with a person-size hole in it, beckoning to be sat in. The magic of leaf pile and living walkingsticks and stories told out of doors.  Autumn songs, pomegranate seeds, slow walking and shuffling through the leaves.

Eastern American Toad
walkingstick and Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree

It was a month of making magic - costumes and parade puppets...


beak doctor, time travelers, a lovely piggy
YES! origami TIE fighters and the Deathstar
 It was our fourth year working on the Honey for the Heart parade, and it was a bit different.  The studio was located on campus, which resulted in more participation by students (I think) and a different level of participation for us and for much of the community. Ani was the most committed of us, and though we didn't make our own costumes, we had a hand in making different puppets and costume pieces - paper mache, painting, sewing, hot-gluing, drawing, tying balloons. When the day came, Dan was out of town for a different performance, Eliza wasn't feeling it, and Ani and I were so tired...but we rallied and walked uptown and found the joy!! We were so glad we put in the effort, there was such a warm happy crowd enjoying the fun.

that's us!!

The best magic not to be overlooked has been the juju of two sisters getting along, enjoying each other's company, getting better at learning to read each other. This is huge, my friends, and it warms my autumnal cockles.

sister magic
Uffda. I am feeling the pressure of so much catching up, the compressing of so many juicy days into a few phrases and photos! Maybe November will offer more corners of time to work on getting back into the groove...

(Never have I posted so many photos of myself in one post. What is happening??? I'm also taking
a class on herbs - a most transformative experience. Apparently.)