Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween

After a week of nasty, almost-snowing, definitely ugh ugh ugh why do I live here weather, October 31st dawned bright and warm and with that low golden light of late fall.
I went to the kids school for Parent Teacher conferences with the older kids teachers and came away feeling so good - they are academically strong, beloved members of their class communities. Picked the twins up from a playdate and took them to buy pumpkins, and went home to put on a pot of soup for friends joining us to trick or treat.















The front porch was deemed far superior to the kitchen for jack-o-lantern carving, so we took ourselves out and set to work.



















First you have to draw the face you want.














Then get someone bigger to cut the top off for you. You get to stick your hand in and scoop the pulp, separating the delicious seeds out to be roasted - a delightful/ yuck experience.



















Meanwhile, in back, have someone laying a fire for after it gets dark and you are done trick or treating and are ready to eat some serious candy and warm up.















Ta-da! A cat, a baby, and Pippi Longstacking, to be lit as you leave for trick or treating, to scare away the goblins.















Trick or treating in our town started before dark, so I was able to get some pictures. Pippi Longstacking and Mr Nillson, her monkey, almost filled a pillowcase full of candy in an hour and a half. Very dedicated.















This little trio, twins plus a friend, trooped about gamely braving spooky front walks, smoke machines and the friendly police man with his bowl of candy outside the station. Then we all came back home, ate soup, examined endlessly our stash and ran around madly, our sugar levels skyrocketing.

At ten, we left the big boy in charge and my friend and I stole off into town to see these guys play:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9OUqakSSyo

It was one of those immensly satisfying we almost stayed home but at the last minute decided to live a little events that turned out to be so much better than we could have imagined. Great day!



























Thursday, October 23, 2008

October
























































What happens when you raid the give away bags in the garage? Oh, the loveliest games...



























Monday, October 20, 2008

Days of Summer - Learning to Ride

video

With the help of a very patient big brother and sister and a watchful, if somewhat wary dog, the twins tackled riding without training wheels this summer.
Cakes got it pretty fast but the Bean, who is so quick with numbers and logic, seems to have the nutty professor in there somewhere because while riding she would space and start to look around. "Pedal!" we'd all be yelling but she wouldn't remember what she ought to be engaged in until the bike was wobbling to a halt, or worse.

So the Bean has still got her training wheels, with me trotting alongside for security, but Cakes flies off down the towpath now on her slightly too small bike, knees under her armpits like a circus bear, gamely pedalling behind Skaterboy for all she's worth. The Bean wouldn't know what to do with herself, I don't think, if she wasn't ambling along beside me, swerving and braking and chatting like a little wind up thing. I sometimes wonder if she didn't figure out not riding alone on purpose.





Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ah, boy

It's been much too long between posts. I intended to post a video last week of the kids but my computer died and its a $200 fix. Yikes! I'm borrowing this one, but there's no pictures on it.

I feng-shui-ed my house a couple of weeks ago, on the porch, late at night, with a bottle of red wine close by. And if I'm not mistaken the place where I spend most of my time - that is, my bed - sets me up to experience 'six setbacks.' It could be worse, but its not great.
How resilient am I? This since March...
1. Broken heart
2. Dead car
3. Eviction (later rescinded)
4. Computer failure as I try to build a website for a business
5. Green card expiration

...and now my Mum, hurt and too far away. I'm loath to count that as my own personal setback but I feel set back by it, the distance that I'm already all too aware of amplified. If I did count it though...would I be done? Could I expect the rollicking uncertainty of this year to subside? Mum, would you mind?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Days of Summer: Swimming

We have a lovely swimming hole near us in a Metro Park - it's called the Spillway Pool because it's at the base of a dam. The water is shallow enough to be safe, there's lifeguards, a sandy beach, and it's free.




















Cakes taught herself to swim this summer, and spent our days there diving and lolling about, convinced she has mermaid blood in her. After watching her for a while we started to believe she just might.





















The Bean isn't so keen to put her face under, and so spent most of her time on the beach luxuriating in the possibilities of sand.









































Days of Summer: Lemonade Stand

I really blew it in the blogging department this summer. I could blame single motherhood, work, housekeeping, too much cold beer and too many warm evenings spent on the porch instead of at the computer, and I will.
It was a lovely summer here in the valley, and I say was with my eye on the tree across the street, which has started to turn already. The kids start school next Wednesday, and fall is on it's way. So I thought I would at least do a little summer retrospective, while the days are meandering their way quietly into the next change.

A town where folks come to walk, run, and ride their bikes. Warm days. Cute little girls in sunhats selling lemonade with mint in paper cups.

A recipe for happiness all around. The town loved them, (our police officer handed them a dollar but declined the lemonade), the visitors loved them, and they made enough money to feel quite financially independent, at least for a purchase or two.

Signs were made.




















Everything was organized - table, bouquet of flowers, mint from the garden, a cigar box for the money.




















Signs had to be posted...




















...or even better held up high at the corners.




















Three happy, sticky, sunsoaked girls.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Graduates

Today the twins graduated from kindergarten with a ceremony that involved a performance of the songs their class learned through all the seasons of the year and then their dear and gentle teacher bestowing upon them a ceremonial award and the swords they sanded, painted and oiled after turning six. As they hung their teary heads, not wanting to leave her, she hugged them goodbye and lead them over a wooden bridge to me. She then rejoined the children who are staying with her another year, gathering them to her like a mother hen, and they all watched quietly as the handful moving to first grade went on ahead. I love the Waldorf kindergarten so much, and have for so long, that it's hard to believe I no longer have any children in it. I just always thought we'd be together.



















When we got home I flaked out on the sofa and had the girls show me their portfolios of just beautiful drawings and paintings. As they pirouetted about chattily I realised that the front door had fabulous light and color, and did a little photo shoot.
I love the American Gothic look of this picture - it's about as removed from a Waldorf kindergarten as you can get, but there is the sword. And the clutter? It's our life.

The rest of the pictures from this series are at my Flickr page, along with a series of my big girl with our new kittens, Oscar and Lucinda.

And now, to summer. Ah, yes.