Sunday, December 21, 2008

White


"The meadows and far-sheeted streams
Lie still without a sound;
Like some soft minister of dreams
The snow-fall hoods me round;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence everywhere."

Excerpted from the song "Snow," by Loreena McKennet

Snow is falling steadily, determinedly, boldly. It's been falling for the past 48 hours or more. It's made our world soft and fluffy. It's made our world quiet. It's made our world insanely beautiful. I feel like I'm living a Robert Frost poem. I love it.

Funny. December is the darkest month with the shortest days of the year and I have come to find that it is my favorite month. Especially when it snows.

Esther and Isla love the snow too. Isla stood on the kitchen bench this morning and just stared quietly out the window at the floating flakes. Esther is digging holes, making angels and commenting on the lovely, soft silence.

She's at her friends house now. I escorted her down there through the meadow and down the steep hill that leads to their house. I was on skis and she walked, pulling her sled behind her. Once we got to the hill she got into the sled and let me pull her. The village below, through the falling snow, looked fake. Like a picture book.

I've skied up the road twice in the past two days. The snow is almost too deep to navigate in the meadows, but the roads are perfect. That is until the maintenance guys show up with their truck full of dirt and sand. Then all is ruined.

Until another hour or two later when another fresh coat of powdery bliss is applied. Vermont, like this, is like no other place. I'm feeling lucky and grateful again. Oprah would be proud.

wise old owl pinata

A few snippets from Esther's 7th birthday party. It's safe to say, we've brought another snow lover into the world.
Then end of a perfect birthday.
The guests are here.
Kamikaze Isla
After all the candy had been beaten out of the poor wise owl.
Enjoying a moment of undisturbed owlness.
Making the final touches.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Seven


Esther's turning 7 this week. Trying to explain how this makes me feel without resorting to a long string of cliches (even that is a cliche) is pretty challenging.

To think that I spawned this little creature, so fat and jowly, and oh my goodness all that hair, after enduring only 9 solid months of sheer misery is pretty cool.

That's it? That's all I can come up with: pretty cool?

Sometimes when she's not looking, I examine her face; scrutinizing, searching for something familiar. I often come up empty.

Where did she come from? Who is she? Is that my my mother in there? Her cousin Joanna? The only part of her I recognize is her nose. Her nose--the way it slopes down her face like an Olympic ski jump-- now that I can claim. Oh, and her tendency towards impatience and irritability? Yeah. I guess I recognize that as well.

The rest of it seems to be all hers. And it all suits her, really.
She's her own girl, that Esther. Happy Birthday, Possum.

New posts over at Momformation, here and here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

huntin' season


Suddenly we've all become extremely fond of red.
Even when we're safely ensconced inside our warm house, eating yogurt.
There's nothing like the starkness of November to bring out the beauty of dead Iris pods.
The brilliant orange light that preceded this scene by 10 minutes is what drove me outside. It wasn't the promise of a beautiful sunrise that made me run, but the way that light exposes the grungy fingerprints all over my windows, the dog hair on the floor and the embarrassingly thick layer of dust on just about every surface. In the end, I'm glad I went outside.

I don't know what it is, but I've been acutely aware of the beauty of my surroundings lately. It's almost as if I've unwittingly taken some sort of narcotic that heightens the senses.
It's particularly strange since I'm normally prone to sadness this time of year.

I've been taking fish oil supplements as well as Spirulina. My midwife told me that "super food" has been known to stave off depression. I'll try anything. So far it's working.

I've also been managing to find the almost constant humor in being the mother of an incredibly stubborn and frustrating three year old (that's a major redundancy, I know). Isla's way of thinking, the way she says "What's that is?", the way she is soooooo incredibly meticulous with her buttons and will spend 20-long-minutes trying to button her sweater just so, is entertaining me more than it makes me insane. Don't get me wrong, it does make me insane, but I always laugh when I relay stories to Ian. (There's most definitely a connection between this paragraph and the one that precedes it.)

And sitting at the dinner table, watching her dip Tings into her soup, one after the other, then put them down on the table, one next to the other, with no intention of eating them, just makes me chuckle. When it doesn't make me scream.

Okay so I'm kind of schizophrenic in my reaction to motherhood today. But isn't that the nature of being a mom?
More on that note, here and here.

Friday, November 07, 2008

leap of faith

ready
steady
go!
We discovered an exciting new game today: Oak leaf catching. It's kind of the autumn version of catching snowflakes on your tongue.

While walking home through the meadow from my mom and dad's, the air was filled with dancing leaves. Some were floaty. Some were like projectiles. All swirled, twirled, dived, ducked and eventually came to rest on the ground.

We chased the leaves until we were out of breath and giddy.

You had to have good instincts and even better luck to actually catch them. Esther was really good at it. Me, not so much. Isla just ran in circles shouting, "I got one, I got one." The power of positive thinking.

It was hard to tell if the leaves just couldn't hang on anymore, or if they chose to simply let go, take that leap of faith, and fly.

Most recent Babes' blog feature here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The scent of hope


I swear I could smell hope, mixed with wood smoke, in the air as I walked Esther to school this morning. It hung low, just below the hill tops, mingling with the early morning mist-- in no hurry to rise up and disperse.


I felt as if I was walking through a painting. Something from VanGogh maybe. Something colorful, yet stark and muted. Something incredibly romantic and provoking.

The trees are so dark without their leaves. The red of the barberry bush, no longer in competition with the bright foliage, stands out like a bold,opinionated statement. My eyes are thankful to rest upon these vibrant flashes of color in an otherwise brown, gray landscape.

And that hope smells good enough to eat.

Newish Momformation posts up here and here.

Friday, October 03, 2008

the color orange


I'm diggin' being a mom lately. Might have something to do with acceptance. Am I finally accepting this as my lot, my choice, my life? I'm good at it. I like my kids. We dance, a lot. We sing, a lot. We listen to music, a lot. We laugh, a lot. We cry too. Life is good. And so am I.
Funny to be feeling this way when the rest of the world is seemingly going to pot.

Sometimes I think we're totally naive. Ian's casual, "She'll be right, mate," attitude (he's half Australian) is starting to rub off on me. We're totally living hand to mouth. But it's working. For now.

And you'd never know I was a native Vermonter to see the tiny woodpile in front of our house. Despite the fact that we burn wood, solely, for heat. The wood's out there. We just have to go get it. "We'll get it done," says Ian. We will.

It's getting cold at night. There's even been talk of snow. The leaves have turned overnight. They're letting loose with one last cathartic howl. Fiery red, neon orange, electric yellow, livening up the mountains like a bunch of hippies who just don't want to wear that staid green business suit anymore.

I was growing tired of it too.

More to read about motherhood here, here and, it's true, here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stunned and humbled


What to think? What to say?
"The big wheel keeps on turning. On a simple line, day by day. The earth spins on its axis, one man struggles, while another relaxes."

This Massive Attack song just came to mind for some strange and random reason. Though, actually not so random, seeing as how I was brought to tears the other day by a picture in the New York Times depicting dozens of New Orleans residents, all black, nervously lining up to buy bus tickets out of the city before Hurricane Gustav hit. Also it is the 7th anniversary of 9/11. Massive Attack indeed.

It still feels a bit like a dream. I live in such a benign, Caucasian bubble here in the rural Northeast. Nothing really happens here. Hurricanes have turned into pesky rainstorms by the time they reach us, if they ever do. The last time we had an earthquake I missed it simply because I convinced myself it was our washing machine on spin that was causing the pots and pans to clatter so.

Avalanches? Hardly. The mountains aren't steep enough. Okay, there have been a few in Northern Vermont, but not the kind that wipe out villages and bury dozens of people. Tornadoes? Not that I know of. Volcanoes? Nope.

We did have a genuine burgulary in the neighborhood last week. This is so rare, most people leave their keys in the car and their homes unlocked, and, if you're me, even leave their purses in the car overnight. I know, I know. Stupid.

Except, my thinking is: The only truly violent crimes to occur around here, the kind that start with robbery and end in rape and murder, have been the result of some punk kid trying to break into a house to find the car keys or steal some money and the house's inhabitants have tragically tried to stop him.

To that, I say, "Take my car, take my purse, and be on your way."

Why on earth am I talking about this? It's a gorgeous September day. Much like it was seven years ago when, eight-months pregnant with Esther, I listened incredulously to NPR's coverage of the Twin Towers falling from the sky, another plane crashing into a field and yet another ramming into the Pentagon.

I sat at work, in front of my computer, unable to think of anything but what an irresponsible fool I was to bring life into this seemingly insane, sad world. I could think of nothing else. The scope of devastation was too vast to digest. I could only turn my intense sorrow inward and focus on the life inside of me and worry about what sort of world that life was going to encounter.

Now that life is here: six-years old, warm, brown-eyed and beautiful. Talking a blue, giggly streak about nothing and everything all at once; swooning from the infinite curious wonders of this world.

And I am stunned and humbled by the resilience of humankind.

New Momformation posts here and here for those of you looking to waste more time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

not too cool for school after all



I just recently penned a blog post over at Momformation, lamenting the fact that summer was ending and , most importantly, school was beginning.

I left no doubt that I was a rebellious school hater as a child. Not averse to learning, mind you, learning is everything, learning is life, but averse, almost viscerally, to the institutional setting in which most of our formal learning takes place.
So why don't I homeschool?

Exhibit A:
"Mommy, is The Wizard of Oz old?" Esther asked me at lunch today.
"What do you mean, Essie?" I responded. "Are you asking if the movie is old, or if the Wizard character is old?"
"The movie," she said. "Well that depends on what you mean by old," I said. "There's five years old, and there's 100 years old. The Wizard of Oz is considered to be an old movie."

"Well is the guy who wrote the story still alive?" she said, growing impatient with me.

"No," I said. "As far as I know he is long since dead." I said, impatient myself, mostly because I had no idea if what I was saying was true. "At least I assume he is," I added.

"Well if he was still alive," she continued. "How old would he be."

At this point I became the irritable, twitchy person I often am in these types of exchanges.
"Esther, if I knew that, I would have to know exactly when he was born, but I don't so I can't answer your questions, can I?"

Esther’s questions once soothed and interested me and made me proud. They still do, to a point. But now, often, as her little brain develops exponentially rather then incrementally, I find myself under fire from a constant, rapid -fire, barrage of seemingly unanswerable questions. Questions that leave me saying, "I don't know," at least 20 times per day.

And I can't help feeling inadequate, even when some of them, like "what's the smallest lake in the world?" are so incredibly random they should just make me laugh and wonder.

On that note. Esther is, and I am, soooooooo ready for school.

when you're mind's made up

We're not totally over it yet around here. As you can see, Glen Hansard still occupies our hearts and minds to an alarming degree. Isla will definitely be ready for the call when it comes.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Cher and Elton

I remember everything about how it felt to successfully fasten a towel to my head, just like my older sister, and pretend I had long luxurious hair down to there, for the very first time. Can you?



And this. This is a whole different kind of cool. Does she feel it, oblivious to the fact that her shades are upside down? Or do I just imagine I can see her feeling it?

More about life and longing here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Falling off

Watch and learn, Isla. Watch and learn.


The resident frog-catching Queen

Isla's favorite country taxi service.


I saw summer coming straight at me with her flowing mane, rippling muscles and wet, wild eyes, so I grabbed hold of that mane, swung myself up onto the heaving back and held on for dear life.

She hasn't yet stopped running and my hands are cramping. Perhaps I should just let go, and slip off into the tall, waving grass and watch her run into the future without me.

I don't want to think about First Day of School celebrations, or back- to -school shopping, or the morning battles that come with shoving your kid out the door before they are good and ready, or tardy slips for that matter. It's not even August, I know, yet I already smell that panic in the air.

Meanwhile there's a hay wagon parked in our meadow, left behind by the farmer. Often, on the way upstairs to bed, I catch a glimpse of it out the window, glowing in the moonlight. I stop for a moment to look at it and wonder where my sense of adventure has gone.

The wagon beckons to me, urging me to abandon my sensible grownup ways, grab a bottle of wine from the pantry, grab my husband, and head outside for a proper romp in the hay.

Then I sigh and continue up the steps and onto the bathroom to brush and floss before I retire to the guest bed where Isla lies waiting. I can hear Ian snoring deeply as I pass by his dark figure in what is supposed to be our bed. I can also hear Esther's childish breathing and make out her gangley, six-year-old body curled up into a comma-- her dark hair splashed over her face, and her arms reaching out towards her daddy.
More about Isla waiting for me, yelling "Mummy I neeeeeeed you," in bed here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

worm hunter

The hay's here.

Pink boots and a bag full of "rubber band Aids."

Random cabbage picture

I'm not sure if it's the heat or what but I can sit for hours here in front of this blank screen and wait for my brain to download interesting, eloquent insight to my fingers and nothing happens. Just like my computer does on occasion: I freeze and that little spinning, hamster wheel-like Apple icon just swirls and swirls and swirls without end, like a leaf caught up in an eddy pool.

And the heat might explain why I'm so irritable and discontented lately. Why I cried as I was cleaning up the kitchen the other morning and had a deja vu that wasn't really a deja vu at all but a hazy memory of doing the exact same thing-- emptying the dishwasher, emptying the dish drainer, wiping down the stove and stepping in puddles caused by my complete slob of a dog who can't seem to keep her loolly lips closed when she walks away from her water dish with her mouth full of water-- just 12 hours before.

All day long I keep hitting these doggy land mines and cursing as my own dirty, summer bare feet leave mini, foot-shaped mud puddles all over the kitchen. Mad I tell you. Mad.

And when I get really mad. I yell; something pathetic and self pitying, like "I never signed up to be a f-ing housewife!" or "My life is so completely senseless," then, overcome with the guilt of being one of those miserable, guilt-mongering, martyrdom embracing mothers you read about in books, I cry.

And when I cry, my two-year-old comes to my side, looks up at me with way- too- blue eyes, framed by way-too-dark and thick lashes and says, "You kyin, Mum?" while she pats my calf with her fat little hand.
"Yes, Isla," I say. "I'm crying like a baby, because I am a baby. Your mom's a baby, Isla."
"Oh dear," she says. "Don't ky baby."

I've written about this before, but the shame of being consoled by a child is like no other. It just seems wrong.

So I pick her up and tell her we're going outside to look for worms in the garden. The minute we get out there, the heat envelopes us and I remember why we were inside. But we forge on, moving slowly through the thick, moist air and in between the rows of Swiss chard and snap peas, in search of earthworms. In search of life just under the dry, crumbly surface.

I've got some newish posts up at Momformation here, here and here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

a horn to toot

Funny how I just recently wrote this gushing post over at BabyCenter about my perfect husband and suddenly the only thing gushing from me is a poisonous venom spawned from childish disappointment.

Honestly. You can play the grown up all you want; buy the house, reproduce, read the parenting manuals, pay the taxes, and attend friends for education meetings-- but the little kid inside of you never really leaves the building.

I'm at my worst with my children when I let my insecurities about their futures skew my vision of who and what they really are as well as what really matters. And it works the same way with husbands. You want so much for someone, or so you think, but how much of it is really about how who they are reflects back upon you?

I'm resisting the urge to go into any detail here. Let's suffice it to say, I married a man whose talents are seemingly boundless and whose voice rarely rises above a the gentlest whisper. What is wrong with that, you may ask? Well, people can't hear him.

Perhaps I should install a horn somewhere on his person, which he could toot when he was feeling bold. I bet he would just MacGuyver some sort of muffler for it so the sound wouldn't startle or offend anyone. Sigh.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Could Bob Dylan be the cure?

I've been actively seeking an antidote to my recent Glan Hansard addiction. Honestly, it has only gotten worse since I discovered a whole new slew of Frames songs that rock my gypsy soul.

I tried to listen to something other than my "recently added" playlist, which includes about 20 songs from The Frames, while on my bike the other day and I made it half way through Coldplay's "Clocks" (I know I could have done better than that, but sometimes my iPod is a beast to navigate). I made it about 2 minutes in before skidding to a stop, fumbling in my pocket and, like a junkie desperate for a fix, heading straight back to Glen and his fabulous friends.

When I finally found him and hit "play," his sure voice came breathing into my overstimulated ears, with the effect of rain on parched earth. "Come back. Show your face. Can't you seeeeee." "Ohh, I'm back," I said out loud, "I'm back."

What is this all about? Is this truly the best music I have heard in a really long time?
I've always been particular about my music. It all started with Neil, of course, where else do you start? then ventured on to plenty of other singer songwriters from there, mostly women, with Joni Mitchell and Bonnie as my pilots.

But, recently, since having kids, and most noticeably since discovering iTunes, I have strayed. While I still whip out the old CD's, I've gotten lazy. And, like anyone who subsists on too much fast food, my taste buds went off. I have lost touch with what's good.

I download generic stuff I've never even heard of, after listening to a 20- second clip, and it usually ends up being like candy: Tasty and satisfying first going down, then leaving a sickening aftertaste, and I can't figure out why I paid good money to ingest that garbage.

People hear my music playing on my iHome and say, "This is nice, what is it?" And often I say, "I don't know, something I downloaded from itunes." How sad is that?

No more sitting around studying album covers and lying on the floor letting good music and the story behind it take me where it will. No more smoking cigarettes late into the night and playing DJ for my friends.

Now I play DJ for my kids. But I've been diluted, big boxed, franchised, gentrified. That was until this curly redheaded Irish guy came along and put me on track again.

And back on track I truly am. Yesterday I downloaded 10 songs, none of which were from The Frames. 5 Bob Dylan songs and 5 Cat Steven songs. And I made it through almost an hour long bike ride without listening to one Frames song. Until the bitter end when I snuck in "Lay Me Down." Esther and Isla call this "The letter song."

That said. I've recently been reawakened by this talented Vermont singer songwriter, Anais Mitchell, as well.
Still writing over here. Oh yes, there's this and this as well.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The swell season, the seasick heart

We saw the Swell Season (Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard) at Radio City Music Hall last week. I am still listing a bit, as if I've been on the high seas and even though I'm now on dry land, I can still feel the rise and fall. The passion these musicians express through their music moves right through me--rearranging things, shaking things up as it flows on through.

The highlight of the night for me was, aside from Glen Hansard strumming with wings on his fingers and stomping his foot like a dog when you scratch his sweet spot, was Marketa Irglova inviting her sister up on stage to sing "Gently Johnny." Her sister appeared out of the dark seating area, retreated to a shadowy part of the stage, sang like a dutiful and beautiful angel with her big sister, then wandered off again, without fanfare, into the darkness.

Now I'm left to face the fact that I'm a middle-aged mother of two small children with nothing but two ticket stubs to Radio City Music Hall and some broken high heel shoes to remind me of that fleeting moment when I sailed into the mystic.

Now I'm back to being chief thing finder, knee-deep in crumbs, dog hair, and spilled milk. And I often find myself humming,
"Star star, teach me how to shine, shine, teach me so I know what's going on in your mind. Because I don't understand these people, who say the hill's too steep, they talk and talk forever but they just never climb."

"Mum, Mum, Muuuummmmmmm!" "I'm sorry, Possum. Did you say something?"

I've got new, related, posts up here and here over at BabyCenter.

YouTube video by fourteenacross

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

righteous babe

For Isla, painting is a full-body experience.


Time to work the soil. "Where'd my wormy go?"




I feel like I should talk about something of great importance here but I just can't seem to come up with anything. Between the earthquake in China and the, what was it, cyclone in Myanmar, and poor Eight Bells the mare, I can hardly stand to pick up a newspaper or turn on the radio. The death, destruction and mayhem is just too much for one sensitive mother in small town America to fathom.

An admitted Public radio addict, each time I have switched it on this week, I switch it off directly, but not before hearing a "death toll," be it in Iraq, China, Kenya or Kentucky. I find it so hard to concentrate on the big picture when news like this keeps assaulting my ears and senses. 20,000 dead in China. 20, 000! Mothers sent their sons and daughters to school, and they never came back.

I find it difficult to remain positive, hopeful, optimistic about life in general and what we are all doing here on this planet in times like this when we are getting bombarded with tragedy. I realize with life comes death and we all have to play our part, and the greatest changes come from taking small steps, but sometimes I feel impatient and want to know how to save the world, Now!.

A friend told me I was getting righteous in my blogs lately. Righteous. I'm not even sure I know what that means but if it means I'm voicing my outrage at the state of things, then, I guess I am.

Though I hardly think I am because I am too much of a cowardly approval addict to really be honest. And I have to ask: How could one not be righteous? How could I turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to what goes on in the name of humans being humans. How's that bumper sticker go: "If you're not outraged, your not paying attention."

Shit, maybe she's right. Motherhood has made me this way. I feel complicit in all things ugly and polluted. I want my children to be assured clean water and blue skies and green grass and happy, free-roaming creatures and people who are pure of heart. People who are kind.

But, most of all, I want them to be educated and enlightened and allowed and inspired to explore their passions. I don't want them to feel compelled to choose a college major according to how much money they might make or how secure a job they might get. I want them to be driven by nothing other than their genuine interests. Exactly as they are now. The thought of them slaving away at some dumb job simply to get health insurance saddens me.

Will this still be the case when they are of working age? If we moved to England where there is a national health plan, would they be less likely to feel squelched by the pressure for security?

So many questions. So late at night.

For a more gentle approach to life, look here and here, over at BabyCenter.

P.S. If anyone can help me with my banner, it's obvious I'm in dire need.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hooked on Mac

This is me on Mac. Not very attractive really.
And this, my split personality. If only there were really four of me. I could be out cultivating the garden and riding my bike, and folding laundry right now.

Cyber Overload

I can't keep up. I feel as if I have crossed a line. As if I have made some sort of Faustian deal with the devil. I have chosen to trade the sometimes dull, but very authentic reality with the very exciting and sparkly, essentially heartless virtual reality.

It is spring, beautiful spring. My garden is calling me. A wide swath of dry earth begging to be turned, nurtured, stroked and fertilized. I am sitting inside, cultivating my cyber existence.
There's always one more thing to do. One more thing to check. Isla sees this little MacBook open in front of me and comes running, waving her arms and shouting "Nooooooooo!" She is so right on, yet, I can't shut it. I can feel it humming beneath my fingertips.

Damn you, Bill Gates for providing me with that first joint in the form of my starter PC. And damn you, Steve Jobs for pushing me over the edge with this sexy little heroin laptop with wireless capacity.

And damn you, Blogger for your little "start your own blog, it's free" message. I don't come here a lot. But I think about coming here every day. Every day, I think, "I should update my personal blog. Oprah might stop in to read it."

And damn me for being so weak I can't resist any of it. The lure, the potential, the endless stream of information, feedback and immediate gratification it all provides.

But it's shallow, so shallow. And my muscles and lungs , eyes and ears are starving for the sounds, feels, sights and demands of the real world.

More rambling can be found here and here, over at BabyCenter.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Her good eye





I reluctantly handed over the camera to Esther on our walk the other day. Here is what she came up with. It's kind of a unique little peek into the mind of a six-year-old. Was she really looking when she depressed the button? Or was she merely pointing and clicking as she has seen me do. I like to imagine that she looked through the viewfinder until her eye rested on something that really pleased her, then she clicked.

She is an artist, my girl. She sees things, she observes, she retains details I never noticed in the first place. "Did you see that lady's nail polish?" She'll ask me while walking down the produce aisle in the supermarket?
Or, "I hate that look," she'll say when we're watching a movie and two people are falling in love. (Don't worry, it was Fiddler on the Roof. "What look?" I ask, feigning ignorance. "That look, when two people are real close to each other and they're thinking about kissing each other." She knows smarm when she sees it. And she knows what's lovely too.
I've got a new, Esther-worshipping post up here.

A sense of place





I'll never truly understand the powerful effect the sight of something as old and naturally beautiful as a stone wall running down a row of trees has on my psyche.
It makes my pulse slow, my breath get steadier and deeper, my mind calmer. It gives me hope and comfort. It gives me the sense that this is all meant to be. Me here in Vermont, the land of my birth, settled within mere double -digit miles from my family home. I've gone nowhere and everywhere all at once. And it's okay. It's okay.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I'm ready



That's grass under my feet. And it feels squishy. And, I might be imagining it, but I can smell the earth.






Isla is the only one disappointed we can't use these anymore.





Esther's self portrait. She's diggin' the squishy earth as well, but in a much less conservative way.
For more of Esther's take on the world, read this post, over at BabyCenter.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Earth Out


After participating, in our own small way, in Earth Out on Saturday night, Esther enjoyed it so much we had to do it again last night. A new tradition of bedtime by candlelight and wind-up flashlight is not such a bad idea. It definitely brings some drama and authenticity to reading Little House on the Prairie.

Isla is sitting next to me, flipping through the New York Times Style Magazine, singing "Baby Beluga," in the most innocent of voices. Her voice this morning was not so innocent when it was yelling, "Stop doin' the Yoga!" at me and tugging on my sleeve as I tried, desperately, to hold the half moon pose.

How things change from day to day. I document a much more successful, almost relaxing, yoga session here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why bother? Because.

You might wonder, why I bother to update this blog at all, since I only do so about twice a year. I wonder that myself. The thing is, I have this sense of obligation. This is where it all started, my obsession with documenting my rather pathetic life as a mother, and I feel somewhat loyal to this space. It's taken on the same importance as, say, for instance, the place I first kissed my husband, or where I was when I first realized I was pregnant. So, come back I do, again and again, just not regularly.

Despite the fact that the weather is colossally dreary, relentlessly raw and gray, sometimes raining sometimes snowing, but with no noticeable accumulation, I feel quite content here in my little house out in the cow field. Children are at Martha's, house is so quiet I can hear the ticking of the clock and the slurping of car tires passing by on our mud bog of a dirt road.

This morning, as Esther and Isla stood at the easel collborating on an acrylic paint masterpiece, I said to Isla, "Isla, you need to eat breakfast" and, without a moment's hesitation Isla said, "No. I need to paint." And that pretty much sums it up.

For more detailed information, look here and here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What a difference a week makes


Mother earth has had a melt down. There was no whining, no pounding fists or stomping feet, just a slow and steady transformation from white to brown, from cold to balmy, from ice to water.

I'm trying to flow with it. To resist the arrogant urge for control and let it happen. To recognize the cycle of nature and leave any and all Charlie Brown theory out of it. I could complain, but what good would that do.

I will take a lesson from Isla, who, at Martha's the other day, refused to heed the naysayers. She grabbed the rope attached to her favorite plastic sled and pulled it behind her as she trudged across the soggy meadow to the top of the sledding hill. There, she got into the sled and sat down, surveying the sodden grassy landscape before her. After making a few unsuccessful attempts to nudge the sled into motion, she stood up and climbed back out. Thoroughly convinced, she took up the rope and pulled the sled back to Martha's yard. That's my girl.

New BabyCenter posts are here and here.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year



2008 just came in with a fresh coat of paint. Looks happy. Looks new.
It's really brightened up the place.
Find out more here. And here.