Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Noticed It Was A Beautiful Day

It was good and bad and hard and easy. It was blue skies and gray.
And I look around and see what is left undone. It's okay. The children are
here. We found one little pumpkin holding on... just like us. It's alright.

Listening to Jason Mraz: A Beautiful Mess and Big Sur, Mason Jennings.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

TI, A Drink With Jam and Bread

Irresistibly bloggable. I would have been delighted to see this in person and I am very grateful to Gretchen for sharing this spoonful of sugar... a nice perk in my day.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Colors of Our World

Messes everywhere and so we begin where we may, and I say let us begin with the pieces. Crayon pieces here and there and everywhere. We gathered them all, or probably only most of them. We sat together and unwrapped broken Crayolas, sorting them into color groups and discussing our combination options. We experimented with mixes and gradients, with a bright pink and a bumblebee black and yellow. And we have no idea what the results will be when we pull them out of the oven. We've never done this before.

We're excited to see our creations. To color with them, and to share them as party favors for Maria's birthday party.

We're Listening To: Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," David Bowie, Eugene Ormandy and Philadelphia Orchestra. Last spring we watched a wonderful version of the story on PBS

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

It's November! That's Scary!

Other things that scare and dismay me...
I could not find the flour tortillas that I bought for Wednesday night's dinner. Turns out they were "hiding" on the kitchen counter.
Maria wore the same pumpkin outfit I made for William's first Halloween, 17 years ago! Where does the time go?!
We didn't have a fraction of the trick-or-treaters that we've had in years past. Now I am trapped in a house with 4 pounds of unclaimed chocolates!

Now for the stuff that bolsters and delights me...

Alex dressed as Dexter from "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." He planned this one for months and months.
With his thrift shop threads, a little hair gel and his retro ray gun, he was good to go. When the boys insisted I watch the movie, I should have known I would enjoy it, because
they are good judges of what I like, and I like good CG, and imaginative storytelling... like the kind you can find in a Hayao Miyazaki release. As I said before, Dexter is a good fit for Alex... those 2 inventive and morally courageous guys are a lot alike.

Another good match... Max as Young Indiana Jones. A scholar with adventure in his heart, eager to do what is right and be prepared for whatever comes his way! Max has been on a school break and he and I, with Maria, have been enjoying our own adventures together, like long walks, park visits, collecting pumpkins, reading "The Phantom Tollbooth," again, and having long talks about politics, elections, video games, lunch, housing. I don't know which of us will be sadder when he returns to school Monday morning.

Here's our pumpkin! She never had a doubt about dressing up as a pumpkin for Halloween. We had a long day, beginning with helping at the high school's pumpkin carving contest, then pumpkin carving at home too. Before it got too late, we lit a lantern and went outside for trick-or-treating.

Where does the time go? I certainly never thought we would pass 3 Halloweens in this house. And how can William be too old to dress up and trick-or-treat... nah, I think he'll join us again next year. It wasn't about maturity or other dull hang-ups like sophistication; it was about running out of time to do a good job. Maybe we should draw up plans today, because we don't want him to skip next year.

Time to swell with maternal pride.
They swapped favorites and the youngest 2 exchanged dyed candies for chocolates. They shared, sorted, and waxed poetic about caramels and Smarties, about peanut butter and almonds. They let Maria double trade and trade back. They gave William good stuff and implored him to join them next year. Max confided that it wasn't quite as good without William. Maria spent more time re-enacting trick-or-treating in the house than she did going around our block. There is nothing scary or distressing about these children. They are a pleasure to play with, and live with, and they made this another Happy Halloween.

We're Listening To: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra & Erich Kunzel, "Beware of The Blob." That's an Amazon link, but we bought the single from iTunes.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Maria and I love Elizabeth Mitchell. We found this beautiful artist singing with the equally lovely Lisa Loeb on Noggin. We love Noggin too, but you don't have to be a mommy or a two year old to enjoy the mellow and thoughtful lyrics and voices that mingle on "Catch The Moon." When Maria sees her daddy browsing the news on his laptop, she gets on his lap and asks for " 'ggin, 'ggin," so she can dance and sing along, and Geoff promptly brings up "Stop and Go" or "Catch The Moon." Around bedtime I like to play a variety of slowing down songs, including "New Morning" and "Free Little Bird." There is a lot of "kid music," available, but I like music that is enjoyable for all the family. I don't believe that what is produced for children must be inheritantly silly, full of rhymes or nonsense, extra loud or so *hip* it excludes children.

Maria and William are sitting together in a tent in the family room. He's teaching her how to cough with her hand over her mouth, and she is singing Raffi's "Mister Sun" for her big brother. Alex and Max did get a load of catch-up homework. Max has been telling me quite emphatically that he hates school and does not want to go any more. He's quite serious, and he is also quite seriously attacking his homework. He is researching and classifying the common swimming crab; did you know the common swimming crab lives in the northeastern Atlantic ocean?

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Thursday, April 03, 2003

More Lists, because I like reading other people's lists, because I am too frazzled to think in long sentences, because someone else got me started ("...if you had a 6 title video library...?") and because I love trivial and meaningless activities. So, in no particular order, and definitely not limited, here are some essentials:

Six Title Video Library...I guess I would have a circulating collection...I just know I will add more when I see other lists...

1. A Room With A View
2. There's Something About Mary
3. It's a Wonderful Life
4. Ghandi
5. Sponge Bob: Sea Stories
6. Frida
7. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (original animated)
8. Mississippi Masala
9. Women On The Verge of A Nervous Breakdown
10. The Empire Strikes Back
11. Monsoon Wedding
12. A Christmas Story
13. Smoke Signals
14. The Sound of Music
15. El Norte
16. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
17. Spy Kids
18. My Father's Glory + My Mother's Castle

Six CDs I Can Play Straight Through +12 more, because I can't count

1. Hawaiian Style Band: Hawaiian Style
2. Oingo Boingo: Dead Man's Party
3. Nat King Cole: The Unforgettable Collection
4. Los Lobos: Del Este de Los Angeles
5. Tino Rossi: C'est A Capri
6. Raffi: Bananaphone
7. Tish Hinojosa: Cada Nino
8. Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Enemble: Music For The Native Americans
9. A. Paul Ortega and Joanne Shenandoah: Loving Ways
10. Makaha Sons: Ke Alaula
11. They Might Be Giants: NO!
12. John Denver: The Best of John Denver Live
13. Robi Kahakalau: Sistah Robi
14. Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces
15. Linda Ronstadt: Canciones de Mi Padre
16. Patsy Cline: Greatest Hits
17. Rodgers and Hammerstein: Oklahoma!
18. Lullaby, a Collection
+ more, because I don't comprehend "limits"
19. Christmas Music, lots of it
20. Madness, English Beat, Tears For Fears, Bob Marley, Depeche Mode, Duran, Duran, Louie Armstrong, The B-52's, Talking Heads, Santana, Gipsy Kings
21. Jane Siberry and k.d.lang, singing "Calling All Angels"

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