Showing posts from August, 2013

Hosting Dinner and Stomping Grapes

It is Friday and friends are coming for dinner. I ask the children what makes a meal nice. I asked them why we like going to restaurants.  They are very very clean. There is always a bouquet of flowers There is a welcome sign There is a sign to the restrooms. There is a menu. The silverware is wrapped in a napkin. The food is served on nice plates. The food is not on the table it is brought to the table. "What is an appetizer?" "Can we make signs?" "I'll clean off the table." "Can I put a sign on the mailbox?" "I know where the flowers are." Friday afternoon turns into menu planning and cooking and sign making and setting up the place for a crowd. William keeps us on our toes with two steps forward three steps back. We don't get to the carrot cake, but there is nice ice cream and no one complains and the spaghetti is divine with fresh herbs from the garden. Basil. Oregano. Mint. Lot

Wassily and Osito

School Starts. Well, we pick up where we left off several months ago.  Wiggly and not sure what to do with ourselves, we dig into words and numbers and stories and some science and cooking. Some writing, some memory, some songs.  We go on a scavenger hunt for spiders and mushrooms and feathers.  They can read and skip count and tell time.  But we freeze when it comes to a pronoun and what "ment" means and why it is attached to words. They suddenly are tired and have headaches when we need to focus. They are not even sure about the art lesson on Wassily Kadinsky (thank you Clare for the idea!), but we stay on it and finish and William waits on a stool and doesn't touch his lunch until the others join him. They are proud of their art work and understand the abstract and know where Moscow is. Not close to us. . . .  We finish Julie of the Wolves and Amelia weeps and I hold her and we are torn with love and pain and a need for more of Julie, who isn&#

Brothers and Trains

Light and Shadow. Tinker with ISO and F something and flash and no flash and focus. The pictures are not perfect but I work on it. Focused. The trains bring focus. Miles of choo choo. Amelia says he doesn't go up the the tracks, just down. Not around, just down the hills, but he works at it. And when that isn't satisfying, he hides them away in a tunnel and wonders where they are happy for anyone to play a game of hide and seek the trains.  George Wilder joins in. Brothers and trains. They could run a depot. They could build bridges. Tracks. Engines. No space between them. A brother sandwich and no pushing or shoving, just brothers and trains.

Wilderness Whines

When the "but I want . . . " sirens wail and "just one more time. . . " voices ring in chorus, and the "when will we be there?" interrogations press hard against ear drum, we stop and talk about the power of wishing for something that isn't ours to have and how it is debilitating and hard and caused an entire nation to get stuck in a desert for 40 years and if they would have just seen past the "when will we get there" they might have enjoyed the journey and found glory waiting without so much turmoil. We are cuddled and there are lots of tears as I explain the weeding of the whine and how it must happen now. And suddenly I realize that perhaps I've been wandering around. Yes, I have. I am in a desert of whine. It is bedtime and we turn off the lights and pray for grace for the next day. The next day arrives quickly. I lace up and head out the door for a morning run and prayer. It comes to me as I put one foot in front of the

Falling Into Fantastic

Conversations among the children hum: This is my collection over here. Can I bring my collection over to the table? I have an idea, grab that end of the table. Oh yeah, we can have a little more space, Amelia? Okay, I will put this out. I am going to do something with this here. I am doing a show. We can’t let people know that we are here. These are my special ones. These are my special ones These are my not special ones because they are bent. They are talking about bottle caps.   We are camping. Sort of. We packed the car with curvy black boxes concealing an instrument assortment, a cooler with food, clothes, bathing suits and a few pillows. We didn’t have to bring much this time. The Spirit of the Sewanee Bluegrass Kids Camp is on again and George was asked to be an instructor. Instructors are placed in air conditioned cabins  -- a guarantee that William and I would tag along. Ours is a single wide. Clean and ai

Catching It With My New Camera

After some serious searching and considering and pondering and dreaming and thinking and weighing and pricing . . . pictures from my new friend -- Nikon D3200. Happy lady. The learning curve on this is going to be a bit nuts, but I’m willing to take it and go with it. I’m attempting to keep the setting on Manual instead of Auto but this makes the entire process of snapping some kid shots a bit challenging. The picture of the beans and okra drying for seed worked out great because they were not very wiggly at all. Wiggles and photography practice don’t work great, but time isn’t standing still, so off to chase it!