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Archive for the ‘Life chatter’ Category

Today marks day four of  “spring break” for the institution where I teach.  This year I have been reveling in a number of projects at a relaxing pace.  Yesterday L4 was sorely disappointed because I wouldn’t let her go play in the fickle, yet harsh weather.  To distract her I said, “Do you want to paint with me?”  This is almost universally greeted with shouts of joy and yesterday was no exception.

Box of Paints

She pulled out a canvas, brushes and her old paint smock.  Then she went to town squeezing out colors into her little paint tray while I pulled out a few muted shades and squirted a bit onto my tray and rolled the brayer through them.

L4's Pallete

L4 began dabbing colors about and painting the word “love” on her canvas.

L4's full canvas

I pulled out my canvas prepped from the day before with a symbolic-to-me collage.

Growth in progress

Side by side we sunk into our respective projects.  It was just plain good.  All too soon it was time to stop and put away our materials and get my girl out to her bus.  Just a day in a life, but it a happy one.

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Snap Pea Rosa 2

My ears aren’t cold outside anymore. Thanks, Amanda!

Snap Pea Rosa 3

I was able to use yarn leftover from other projects. Thanks, thrifty me.

Snap Pea Rosa 1

I took a picture of my face, full frontal view. I never do this. In fact, I like to avoid shots of my face altogether. You might have noticed that in this space. Thanks to my word for 2011, growth. (And thanks to L1, my personal Holly King, for giving me the gift of this word.)

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My son might like green hair, but we all like math in our house.  So much that we attended Math Night at the kids’ school.  It was fun!!  We had 3 different rotations during the evening.  At two of them we played games with the kids, adding twists to classic card games like War.

Math Night 2

The third had the kids in the library learning about the math books there and some websites with computer games and we were in the auditorium with the principal and vice-principle where they discussed tips and strategies for homework and gave us a fantastic list of resources for math literature and websites with age-appropriate learning games.

Math Night 1_1

The only downside was the time, as it went until 8 o’clock at which point my children become pumpkins.  Seriously, the last five minutes were excruciating.  We were playing cards and L3 got a gloating smile on his face when he won a round, which his sister immediately recognized and which immediately sent her over the edge of being tired into a place of where we wanted the ground to swallow us whole–until we started distracting her.  Thank goodness for distractions!  We made it out alive and home and everyone snuggled into bed without too much more fuss.  The blip at the end was worth the evening of fun with numbers.  What can I say?  We’re a family of nerds. 🙂

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Cool Kid

My boy, that is. He’s 9 and uses words like “sick” to describe something he likes and has an opinion on how he wants his hair cut now. This opinion includes wanting color in it. Not permanent, but color to accentuate the style. I will admit here and now that I love it. Despite the oppositional moments, it’s fun to watch him being his own person each day.

And the color? I always thought I wouldn’t want to color my own hair. But between my boy’s adventurous nature and the increasing number of silver strands in mine, I have been tempted. I’ll probably just keep thinking about it and not actually act on the impulse in my head that says, “you need streak of color to braid in!”

How about you, do you color?  Why or why not? Any gentle on you & nature options that anyone has tried?

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Oh, That Cat!

Oh, That Cat!

Loki is one of my favorite cats who has been in my life. He keeps us in laughter and snuggles, exasperation with some of his antics, and full of love for his very cat-ness. May you also have some comic relief today from him.

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Winter Riding

It’s January and my bike is sitting on the trainer in the living room, bike shoes at the ready. I will ride through out the winter without knowing how “far” I go, but I will still get sweaty and breath more heavily and it will feel good. This is part of my winter rhythm.

My winter rhythm also includes more time for my Etsy shop and creating in general as my teaching load always seems to be less in the spring. For instance, that skirt I designed back in November? It will be IS for sale in my shop starting this week. I’ll also be working on a winter version of this dress:

Boatneck Swing Dress

And maybe, just maybe I’ll finally get my web page made and “live.”

This is my winter: contemplate, create, plan for the growing seasons ahead, nourish the bodies and souls of my family and myself through warm comfort food.  I love living in a place with four distinct seasons.

How about you–what does your winter rhythm look like?

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Just like I wrote about here, we celebrated last night and this morning our annual ritual of dark and light with the advent of the winter solstice.

solstice eve dinner 2

A simple, favorite family meal was had, along with great conversation and words of love passed ’round the table. We even watched a deer pick its way through the remnants of our garden as we sat down to eat.  Those moments of togetherness fill my heart and helped me stay grounded in all the chaos that overly-excited and tired children bring to a night. But still–it was beautiful in its own way because it was OUR family’s night, not someone else’s far away that I don’t know or trying to make it something other than our own. (BTW–last night I found out that I am loved by all of my family for the food I provide. I never knew!)

Waiting for Sunrise 2010 2

We set an alarm to watch the lunar eclipse, but there was nothing to see here with thick cloud cover abounding.  It was disappointing, but we could see the diffuse light all about, reflecting off of the snow.  Or maybe it was the massive lights from our nearby grocery store?  😛 The morning was dark and cold, but we were merry and bright.  As is often the case in upstate NY in winter, the cloud cover blocked a view of the sunrise.  We watched the sky’s gradual lightening together and sang and drank our hot chocolate. It was hard sending everyone off to school & work today, but soon we’ll have many days together and visiting with others, too.

a light in the dark 2010

Wishing you and yours a happy winter solstice. May you find those moments of what is right and true for you and yours.

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