Another dose of winter is on its way.
30 January 2008
It was such a strange afternoon and evening here, with a temperature drop of over fifty degrees in the span of a few hours. I had to run out in the evening, in the 16 degree weather, where I found the scarf and gloves I had abandoned in the car that same morning as the temperature climbed to above 70 degrees. I took my camera because I thought I might try some photos of the trees in the streetlights, bending and arcing and looking altogether displeased with the change of events. But by the time I got back from the gym, the warmth that I had created from within had dissipated and I was an iceberg again, ready to be in, and be warm and be home. I had no patience for the long shutter - so this is the best windy shot I've got. brrrrrrrr.
Earlier, inside, we countered the sound of whistling winds with the sound of busy creating. These were the finds in a bag of hand-me-downs from a co-worker. "Darling" little paint sets and enough post-it notes to keep this habitual scribbler and note taker happy for months. It's good to be in, and be warm, and be here.
27 January 2008
Most Sundays now you can come hear M and I play a little organ concert. If you're interested, I'll give you the street address and you can just pull up to the corner and roll down the windows a bit. When I say little, I mean little - just ten minutes or so, and just simple melodies - but for us it takes a bit of preparation. Between the two of us we have 15-16 years of piano lessons, but it has been awhile for both of us, and neither of us has any organ experience. So every Saturday night we are in the hymnal, practicing 3-4 songs, writing down and flagging tricky passages with penciled notes, and often times transposing those that fall out of the two octaves that play on the organ chimes and the two different octaves that play on the tower chimes - those are the ones that you'll be able to hear when you come to the drive-by concert. It's a fun little challenge for us, climbing into the cavernous organ area, blocked from view from everyone else, pulling and pushing in buttons and hoping to hit all the right notes. When your audience stretches for several blocks in all directions, there's just a little bit of pressure...
And then later in the day, a best friend arrived, and we had a little dinner party through the evening. The kids had a great time and played hard while the grownups sat and chatted. After they left we all crashed from the busy weekend - E was asleep before I made it down her stairs. It was a great way to finish off the weekend.
O tries out E's new camera.
26 January 2008
With the robotic vacuum going in the bedroom, the robotic child sweeping in the bathroom, Saturday was open for the two of us to just put our feet up and relax...
...and a new icing technique.
E gets in on the icing fun.
25 January 2008
Paper and popsicle sticks
e, 4 years old
18 January 2008
Scotch tape and popsicle sticks abound in this week's creations. She's lost a few of her "grasses" during the past week's performances, but there's only so much scotch tape can be called on to do.
23 January 2008
21 January 2008
Saturday morning, as the pancakes were filling the house with that Saturday morning smell, as the blueberries settled through the batter and grazed the skillet on the other side with a staccato of sizzles, as she puttered through the midst of the preparations as she always does - close and meandering, underfoot and brimming with ceaseless chatter, she began to say these words. They should have blended in with all the others, the instructions to the babies in their strollers, the request for juice in a particular color cup, the sing-song bits and clips of songs or books. But they caught my ear because of the way she said them - differently - and I know all these words that she speaks. I know them although I don't often listen. But I know them enough to know when they are new.
...I know you are asking today "How long will this take?"
More talk to the babies, and then a sing-song version of an unfamiliar tune with familiar lyrics,
...I have a dream...
...every hill and mountain...
...this is our hope...
So I asked. I asked her about the books that she had read, what she had talked about at school. She told us about the different drinking fountains, the different seats on the bus, the different schools. What power those stories must have had on her, at the age of four, sitting in that room of many colors. Did they look at each other, did they make the same impish, incredulous looks - the kind of looks they might exchange when the beanstalk grew out of those magic beans or the wolf landed in the boiling pot of water at the base of the third little pig's house? They are too young yet to be uncomfortable in these truths. More likely they are the stuff of tall tales, of ancient rules that make no sense to us today. They will grow. They will learn more. There will be times of discomfort, of realization, of awakening. But they are one more generation, and she brings me hope. And, as with everything else, a new perspective. She peppered the day and the weekend with more phrases, and I commented that they must have really talked and read and listened to a lot about this man whose name she repeated without an ounce of hesitancy. She shrugged, and replied, "I just really like his speeches."
Every year she spends the MLK holiday with her dad, downtown at the plaza in front of the courthouse, and inside the walls that heard the suit by Dred Scot and that of Virginia Louisa Minor, Suffragist, for the right to vote, and then through and under the symbol of westward expansion and the place where many gather to march again on this day each and every blustery January. This year, in her dad's absence - away on a trip, we got to go through this ritual, this time reaching the top of this monument that we can see from her third floor window. It was her first trip up this monument, and she was quick to find the Courthouse and the gathering crowd 630 feet below. It's a great tradition she and her dad have started, and her grandmother and I were lucky enough this year to be a part of it.
19 January 2008
Taking some time to jump on the bed this morning. Saturday feels different, it smells different, the later light looks different. I hope you took a few jumps on the bed, or maybe are even still stretching luxuriously under the covers.
17 January 2008
14 January 2008
landscape, mountains with a waterfall and a sunny, cloudy sky
tissue paper, acetate and mat board
e, 4 years
14 january 2008
It felt like Friday there for a second, didn't it?
Ooh, I wish, I wish, I wish.
Ooh, I wish, I wish, I wish.
Nope, just Monday. But Monday nights are fun around here. Dad plays in a weekly basketball game, and we girls get busy with the art supplies. And tonight we were inspired by the new weekly art projects posted on one of my favorite blogs, Bloesem Kids. Each week there will be new projects posted, and so far the first one was a wild success. So we figured out what a landscape was, talked a little about foreground, middle ground and background, and then dug into this book to "hunt" for examples...
Landscapes abound in these pages, many with tiny castles in the background and boistrous equine activity in the foreground. It was kind of hard to woo her away from the book and to the table but we got there.
Tearing of tissue insued, and the layering began, one sheet of acetate on another. Good times at the girls' night.
Because of our traffic woes on Saturday, and because we were itching for an adventure yesterday afternoon, we boarded the Metrolink downtown and ventured out the new line to take care of a few errands. We may not have saved a lot of time, but we saw a lot more, walked a lot more and enjoyed ourselves a lot more. Makes me long for the denser urban cities we like to visit a lot more. Perhaps we were a little odd - most in our area ride in from the suburbs to the activities and events downtown, and we were leaving downtown to shop in the suburbs - but it worked. And it will be a lot more fun when the temperature is about thirty degrees higher!
12 January 2008
...and the Friday night before...
We started the weekend off with a trip to the Magic House on the only night that we can really tolerate it in our "grown-up low threshold for noise and hubbub while carting around our coats and hers" state. Friday night around dinner time the place empties out, and it gets progressively quieter as the evening wears on. Without the crowds there is no need to hover in such a close proximity with the kid lest she be swept away in the tide of 43" people who alternate in their love for curving slides and sand play faster than, than...well, who am I fooling? My best analogy would be that of a four-year-old, and since that's where I started I'll leave it at that.
After crashing out that evening we woke up and continued with our New Year's Resolution to say "yes" to fun things that come our way, and "no" to the cleaning excuses. This resolution is made so much easier by the addition of a new family member, our robotic vacuum. We've yet to name him, but we are open to suggestions. So while we got ready for our day's adventures the robot took care of the breakfast crumbs. Lovely.
We then made a run through Starbucks because apparently I'm also trying to break some sort of record by going through five gift cards in less than one month. I'm doing a sporting good job of it so far. After fueling up with the black stuff we met E's best friend and his mom and watched a spectacular show that the kid's been talking about ever since. I could have watched this performer again, right there. Following the show we went to Fitz's for some ice cream and then hit a few specialty groceries for some ingredients for our dinner party tonight. Getting to these stores was no easy feat - with the shutdown of our city's major central artery for the next four years, all of the secondary roads have gotten very busy around here. And on the weekends they like to blow up the bridges which block even these secondary roads, so our five minute trek turned into a forty-five minute one. The kiddo crashed out, but woke up in time to dash through three stores in thirty minutes in hot pursuit of the elusive egg wonton wrapper and some good olives.
Well worth the trouble, and delayed in our preparation, we prepared dinner as we visited with best friends. The kids played, the grownups chatted and cooked, and in the end we feasted on warm olives and marinated cherry tomatoes, salads, sweet potato ravioli (with wonton wrappers instead of pasta dough - who knew?) with cream sauce and then lemon curd tart and coffee for desert. It was so nice to get back into the old cookbooks and try out a new one.
Round two of the dishwasher just sounded, and the last picture is of round three which we will load in the morning. A messy kitchen is a sure sign of good food and conversation and a nice ending to an all around great day.
11 January 2008
10 January 2008
We were here but our thoughts were with family members in the company of surgeons.
Taking the beautiful sunset,
Taking the beautiful sunset,