Wednesday, November 9, 2011

squeezing it all in...

 We started off the fall with quite a bit of inside - more structure than we have previously needed, but it felt right and we were all enjoying it after the drifting waywardness and carpe diem of summer. In fact, I've written several posts that have remained drafts, about how structure has come into our lives in the form of Lessons - some maths, some spelling/cursivey/phonics reading-type lessons.  They're still there because somewhere in mid-October we had that animal drive to be Out while it is beautiful, and it has been BEAUTIFUL. sigh.
 It's all good - I probably don't need to tell you how much learning is going on "anyway" while madly writing spells or listening to the Fellowship of the Ring trilogy or counting money or playing a game with a hundreds chart and lots of beans. The structure came in response to some needs that were expressed (something about "Can we play school" and the choosing of new "school supplies") and it was totally successful (meaning it was not a struggle and we were all pretty happy about it) and I am confident that the pendulum will swing back that way come colder days.  Or not. The best thing about having a daily routine that involved sitting together at certain times of the day to approach a lesson was that we knew we would have that time together. Renee at FIMBY wrote something once about how structure for their family ensured that they were not just orbiting around each other, together, but apart through their days. I have definitely witnessed that orbiting happening in our days, and feel like "balance", when we strike it, is something in-between the random flow and the predictable gathering.
 Sunday the girls and I ran about outside and then came home to change clothes and head uptown for dinner and a piano recital. Dan missed the day, as he was traveling home from a Sound Symposium in Chicago, which also sounded like fun...
 It was a treat to be out - dinner? Like a date? Heck yeah!! The recital was at a coffee shop, and though Eliza chose not to perform, we were there to support the other players in her teacher's studio by sipping our steamers and listening to some really brave and talented kiddos.
SET before dinner
 Monday - again just gorgeous.  The girls were in farmer mode and harvested the scarlet runner beans off of our bird feeder (they're showing me how tall they've grown. I know, my girls... it is amazing...).
 While we were outside, a friend of ours (the woman who leads the womens' walks once a month that I've posted about) stopped by to say hi.  While we visited on the warm front steps, the girls went in and made lunch for us!! Salad for us, sandwiches for them. Wonderful. We all decided that we needed to go up to the Finger Rocks to check out the wahoo on the ridge, and we were off!
 I sometimes wonder if this is what the girls will remember when they are thinking about their childhood.  Hiking barefoot in the fall, squishing the mud, finding mushrooms, seeing fairies in the pink bower of leaves. I hope so.
Self-heal prunella vulgaris
 As if that all wasn't enough, Monday night we got to go hear some of our favorite music, with Dan: An Da Union, from Mongolia.  Their music is so out-of-sight, I will fail miserably in describing it, but suffice it to say that even with the daylight savings time change (grrrrrr), we all thoroughly enjoyed it, and Ani only fell asleep for the last two numbers (which was unbelievable, as they were AMAZING, with a horse-hoof beat at break-neck speed, drums and horse-head fiddles and whooping and all).  We saw them three years ago (I wrote about it here) and they were tighter and more professional and just filled the space with magic. The singing is largely throat-singing, the instruments are traditional mongolian fiddles and guitars and drums, and there is a flute - I have to try and tell you about this - there is a very handsome man who plays this flute and while we couldn't quite make it out exactly, it looks sometimes like he's playing it with his nose, and sometimes like he's throat singing into it and playing the flute, and it all sounds amazing and looks a little bewildering and goofy, and then he's back to playing his ring of sheep knuckles, looking very cool. (oh my gosh - you can see it for yourself: Anda Union has a little film on their website. Here are the galloping horses. Sigh. I think I'm a little in love with them.) 

We stayed inside today, dedicating some time to cleaning out, cleaning up, throwing out, moving around, trying to ignore Out though it is still beautiful. We listened to happy Mongolian music, singing our versions of their songs, over and over...


Stephanie said...

Life is good!

Together time is very important to me, too.
I don't much care what we're doing... going for a walk, playing games, reading, adventuring, baking, creating, thinking, learning... but I do want time for it--every day. :)

I miss them too much when we don't!

kelly said...

Lovely days....inside or out. I think you've got great girls there, lunch makers as well!

Snowbrush said...

Lovely photos.

We have self-heal here in Oregon too. I was just wondering if it's a native to North America, so I pulled the following off Wikipedia:

"Most are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but Prunella vulgaris (the Common Self-heal) is Holarctic in distribution, occurring in North America as well, and is a common lawn weed."

Gingkoes also grow here in Willamette Valley (at least where they're planted) as do nearly all Eastern and Southern US trees.

So, would you say that you're a big fan of Slim, or do you just like the name?