Thursday, July 28, 2016


Oh, Summer. You are so juicy. And hot. Really really really hot. It finally rained today, enough rain to cool things down by a few degrees and revive all living things.  Our walks have been relegated to dusk this past week, and Dan and I were treated to a mink sighting and some screech owl whinnies a couple of nights ago...everyone is glad for a bit of cool.

We don't formally school in the summer (when do we "formally" anything?!) - which is to say that we don't stick to a routine, which has its pros (more sleep for the teen) and cons (a bit of crazy for mom). I anticipated more routine to July, but with my grampa's funeral service we have only a couple of weeks, some of them with Dan gone, and so...Life. We embark on another trip north in a week, so we are mostly just enjoying our days as they are, which is probably just as it should be. It's working.

Here is essentially a slide show of the other things we've been up to this summer:

Eliza participated in two summer intensives with other high schoolers (gasp!) and college students: mask work and stage combat. She loved both of them.

She is so capable and game.  What a joy to experience as her mama.

*photo by J. Evans
With Dan's new job, we've been spending time up in Dublin and Columbus this summer, and we managed to be there for their Pride Parade. Yes!! It was such a great community event, and Eliza walked with the theater company who were promoting their next show, Tammy Faye's Final Audition. This was her crowd. It was hot, so sunny, but Ani and I were happy to watch for hours.

There was The Birthday - and bowling - and a visit from grandparents...

I just don't even know.  And yes, she approves the sharing of all the photos of her;)

catapult and felt balls

There's been so much reading - Dashner's Maze Runner series for Eliza, and The Sisters Grimm, whichever Harry Potter is in nearest reach, and Nancy Drew for Ani.  There's been some art-making, like these collage cairns.

And what is summer without bubbles? There are bunches of DIY bubble solution and wands on the interwebs, and we used this one which seems to work pretty well, though the bubbles couldn't get super big with just the Dawn soap we used. Well enough for an evening of merry-making! 

I love that these photos show the girls for the goofballs that they are.  How I love them so...So much time together, and we still really like each other. Feeling very very grateful!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

rabbit holes

We have our homeschool evaluation tomorrow. I've set us up for grand success, no stress necessary, but still the day has its own way of looming.  Today I should have been compiling, sprucing up, and spit-polishing our review of the year, and it started out that way, but...well, life took over. Specifically, we discovered yesterday that it was Take A Poet To Work Day today and , well, we love us some poets over here, so down the rabbit hole we went!  

Look! Poet puppets! Ready-made at!  No, I could not resist.  Ani and I then spent hours coloring, cutting out, and researching the poets. Mama, do you know what colors this poet liked? Do you know if they had dark skin? We looked up poems to write out on the back, because what is the point of sharing a poet if it doesn't come with some fabulous words? We read haiku, and the beautiful words of Maya Angelou.  I pulled out T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of  Practical Cats and Ani carried it around for two days, reading it aloud and to herself. T.S. Eliot, you get her!! 

"The naming of cats is a difficult matter, it isn't just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter, when I tell you , a cat must have three different names."

You know where this is going, don't you? She does live with theater folk...yes, we had to disclose that there is actually an entire musical devoted to the cat poems of T.S. Eliot!!!!! Blew her mind. Cue youtube. Book in hand, she watched through each one.

Dan took Will to work. Of course.

Mama did you notice that most of these poets are men? You know, that's funny, because the first REAL LIVE POET I ever knew was a woman, so I just assumed most of them were girls! We did have Emily and Maya and Christina Rossetti, but she had a point, and so I drew a sort-of-near likeness of that very same real live poet, the wonderful warrior poet, Wendy McVicker and we made her into a puppet. Sorry, Wendy; we love you!

The gang! Wendy, down right. We made a few, 'cause she was our favorite.
(Yes, besides T.S. Eliot.) (Wendy, maybe some cat poems? Hmmm?)
 And then, because it is much more fun to share these kinds of things, we jumped in the car and left them in a few places around town.  A few went into our little library (Hi Robert! Hi Wendy! Hang in there, Rumi!), and then some might have gotten hidden in the big library...

Who Has Seen Christina Rossetti? Neither I nor you...Nancy Drew, perhaps...?

...and we dropped Issa and another Wendy off at the local health food store.  They seemed to fit right in.
Don't worry spiders! I keep house, casually.

Well, I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.  See, I'm still not shining things up around here, I'm blogging about the rabbit holes.  Instead of figuring out how to show there is learning happening here, we just went with the learning. Yes!

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Speaking of poets, not many people knew that my Papa Marzo wrote poetry during his long life! Twenty years ago his sister Jean compiled a small booklet of the ones he could find - tributes to friends during celebratory moments in their lives, anniversary love notes to his wife, my grandma, Eliza, and thoughts about life.  My sister and I were asked to read two of them during his service, and I thought you might like to read them.


Friends are like the seasons:
they're sure and they're predictable.
We know that winter follows fall
and that spring with all its
promise is sure to come.

So it is with friends;
we have our seasons, too.
But in the end the underlying
love that has been dormant
blooms when we need it most
 and our lives are again entwined
with all the heartbreak
and the passion
that true friendship entails. 


As I approach the
I wonder,
Will I ever fathom the mysteries
That lie behind that wall.
Will there be a flash of light
when all
is revealed and
once again I face the friends
Who disappeared before my eyes
In the Horror that is 
Or, will I meet my mother who died
I could open my heart
To her
Because I was too young;
Not too young in years
but too young in understanding and 
Will I look down and see my children's
as they mature and contribute to the
Betterment of Man
and, will I smile at each accomplishment
and, will they know?
And, yes
Will I meet my Maker?
Lucky are they who are so well
grounded in their faith that
They have no doubts.
I wonder.

Marzo Bliss