Friday, October 9, 2015

a bit of normal

Yes, this is symbolic of how out-of-control the end of summer, beginning of fall can feel to me!! Overgrown with morning glories - beautiful and abundant and maybe a little overwhelming?  This post is just to remind my future me that we actually did not spend the whole month of September playing golf or driving back to Wisconsin.  There was some "normal".

"Mama, do toads get rabies? This one is awfully docile. It's letting me pet it."

do you have a surface? could we use it? ours are a bit full at the moment.

A day at the Pawpaw Festival
yes, that's my kid trying to hit bubbles with her shoe.
designed by nature to make you feel so happy
I mean, really!!! In "socialization" training for zoos. 

an early birthday fete for me with my family and friends
Reading about gastropods, we decided we needed some up-front experience, so we found this sweetie in our backyard.  Its name is Limax maximus and it is neither male nor female (it's both!), but it is very curious. 

Oops.  I lost my job as slug-keeper after this escapade.

Ani's handiwork.

She decided she wanted to make some mushrooms, and I got to keep them.  Look at the gorgeous earthstar!! Swoon.

(Yes, slugs and fungi in my kitchen. I might be a challenging sort of person to live with.)

Eliza came down with a couple of books to add to the little library, and I just love them. Community art project!

"...draw what's on your mind. Then either give it to someone or put it
someplace where someone will find it. When full, please put it in the little library..."

This is how we spent several days, watching them pour cement for a new sidewalk.

Dan and Ani and I got out for a hike on our last day together before heading back to Wisconsin.  We were richly rewarded for entering the woods...

the Miyazaki character of the fungus world
Wolf's-milk Slime
I am not a fungus! I am a slime mold!!! I look like bubble gum!!

Great Blue Lobelia
a sea of something, covering the path

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Swoosh! It's Fall!!!

I have so much "catch up" to do, it's ridiculous, but life is moving at breakneck speed and it's all I can do to make sure we have clean clothes let alone chronicle it all here...but I'll get there. The girls and I drove back to Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago, under amazing autumn skies.  It felt like an accomplishment to be the one driving on this journey, and without much of the anxiety that often accompanies driving for me.  It was probably thanks to Roald Dahl (The Magic Finger) and Jane Langton's The Fledgling on cassette tape, and the masterful job Eliza did as Snack Master and extra pair of hands.  Whew. 

Our reason for returning was to get Eliza a little closer to meeting friends from Seattle, in the midwest for a wedding, who then took her home to the northwest with them for - gulp - three weeks. That is definitely fodder for another post. Meanwhile...Wisconsin. We had thought it might be a relaxed and "normal" week for us, with lots of time exploring outside, and reading Watership Down together, drawing, but it is so hard to be there, with so many loved ones around, and not see them all.  

On our way to see cousins we ran into this peculiar soccer game between waterfowl. I had to turn around to take this picture; I can't believe the Sandhill Crane population has increased so much that they are to be found right in the city. Amazing. And so beautiful.

baby bunnies

Obligatory posing for the grandparents. So awkward, so amusing.

"soooooo big!"

the best

We spent the equinox walking through the arboretum with my cousin.  We used to walk the prairie with my gramma; I love returning to see how it's changed.

ball o' burrs
 Another great day was spent with my niece who took the day off from school to ride the bus downtown to the campus and the art museum.

 So much to look at.  Those hands! They look almost like a photograph. The girls took their time.

Can you read her posture? "Wha----???"

Lunch at the food carts - more incredible art! - and some lounging about.  Not pictured: a birthday party for me at my cousin's with my mama, my cousins, my grampa and great aunt, and my sister and her family. A huge amount of love and celebration to end the week.

I left both girls behind for my drive home to Ohio.  Can you believe it? I had Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake on cassette from the library to accompany me, and I stopped halfway to see a performance of Steelhammer by SITI company, which Dan and I had seen in Louisville a year and a half ago. This time it was performed with live music by Bang-on-a-can Allstars, and was wonderful.  The whole trip was such a jigsaw puzzle of logistics, but it worked.  Ani stayed to visit with my mom, my sister drove Eliza to meet our Seattle friends, and I drove home to have a day of laundry and cooking for the next adventure: the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference. Go! Go! Go! Don't Stop!!!  The energy of fall is exhilarating...