Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer roadtrip...

Wisconsin, ho!
It was a looooong long day. But these girls are troopers, and really, as annoying as "how much longer??" is, there were no fights and only one meltdown, about 15 minutes from our final destination, when Ani decided that joking about town names ("Brodhead? Bra-head!" - yes, our humor sunk fairly low as the day drove on) pushed her over the edge. Finally to Gramma's house and some A/C and bed.

Today we had a blessedly quiet morning...Dan and Eliza played piano together for quite a while, and E. wrote a beautiful piece of music!  She told me "that music calms me" - I love to witness that element of other-worldliness that can happen with music - that piece that is neither the player, the instrument, nor the notes, but the Other thing that happens - the spiritual, the magical, the emotional...
 The afternoon was a burst of energy and play - swimming and picnicking with old friends...
...and so begins our summer adventure!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's almost midnight, we're leaving in the morning for a 2-week trip to see family, I'm jacked-up on caffeine, it's hotter than heck, though some rain blew through a few minutes ago and will start to cool things down any minute now...but somewhere in the past week, there are moments just not to be forgotten in the sandstorm that is summer, so here we go with a few visual reminders of it all.
Two! On the same day!! One hard-won and painful, the other a bite of corn-on-the-cob....What a beauty!  More artwork, this time painting and collage...the artists are on fire in this house.
A late-evening bike-ride to the garden last night, alone, in the golden beautiful.
This is the moment you don't want to be leaving your garden. So much promise, so much life.

After a day of lists and tasks and playing peace officer (not very well, I have to add), I was happy to have a reason to stop and relax for a bit this evening, in the cool air of a theater.  The program Dan has been working for all summer, as a theater artist and musician, had their culminating event this evening, as a part of a Final Fridays artwalk in the town just north of us. It was such a moving evening - I swung between laughing till my stomach hurt and then crying. I am such a sucker - there is nothing more touching to me than a group of kids singing "Imagine" - and singing it really beautifully - or reading their hopes for a better world scribbled across their palms, displayed in large black and white photos: Be Nice. Don't Litter. End war.  Don't fight.  No Biting. LOVE!
One of the projects was making music videos - from writing the songs, to coming up with story ideas, making the props, costumes, filming, was so impressive. And funny.
After a day of grouchiness and feeling a certain amount of hopelessness at the lack of patience and kindness in our house, it was really uplifting to come and witness this outpouring of creative energy and happiness. When asked what they learned this summer that they didn't know before, after a slew of diverse answers (drawing with charcoal! how to use a laptop!), one little boy said, "I found out it's fun to be me."  Right. On.
What are you learning this summer???

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

two days...

first, to the might have realized by now that "the woods" is another way of saying "with dearest friends"...
Here is the latest of hazards on the golfing green: wasps known as cicada killers.  Dan came running shortly after teeing off, to get me to come and see hundreds of these enormous wasps swarming over the grass.  Apparently they are usually solitary hunters, but there must be a nest there, and they were flying in a frenzy, not bothering the humans, but woe to the cicadas, which are equal in size to the wasps and are carried off by these little helicopters. Wow.
I also found my first hornworms, on E's tomatoes. The ones with the green horns are tomato hornworms, these with the red horns are tobacco hornworms, which unfortunately are not too picky when it comes to substituting tomatoes for tobacco.  We brought two home to over winter in their pupas...(Yes, everyone wanted to feed them to the chickens, but I can't resist the opportunity to watch...)
 Day two started with inspired painting. The night before, we visited one of Dan's fellow teachers from the summer arts program he is wrapping up this week.  As soon as we walked in the door, she was leading the girls to her art studio!! Paint, rollers, brushes, palettes...heaven. Eliza is asking for a home studio of her own, and we think we'll work on that in a couple of weeks when we return from visiting family up north. In the meantime, she is making do with the kitchen table.
My contribution to the art afternoon
 And off to our Farm Friends (we've got it all covered - we're the Townies, in the middle - the Woods Folk are to our Southwest, and the Farm Friends have the Northeast) for weekly potluck.  There was a lot to catch up on - new turkeys, a baby goat who they think was bit by a copperhead, a garden to wander through...
 This would be my Facebook profile photo, if I believed in Facebook.  I call it Tourist Among the Chickens. I was a little afraid that the chickens would jump on my head...
 The gaggle of 5 kids asked to go through the woods and down into the ravine to visit the creek and look for crawdads, by themselves. Off they went...After an hour had passed I asked Dan to slip off with me to just give a holler and see how they were doing, and they were already on their way back up the hill, soaking wet, happy, with a bucket of crawdads. I am so grateful for these wild excursions of childhood...
 The air is hazy and foggy from the heat and the tremendous rainstorm that had just passed looks dreamy to me...(there are wet clothes in the net!)
Oh, Summer.