"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Hurricane!

Somehow it is Wednesday already and we are busily clipping towards the weekend which suddenly is inches away! Nothing like having a hurricane over the weekend to make time really fly!

A view down our street.
Hurricane Sandy was mostly, luckily for us, a very exciting story. We heard the most terrific wind I've ever experienced outside our house Monday night but besides a few trees down we have had very little to disrupt our daily function. A was off work and spent some extra time playing at home with us, we did some yard work we meant to catch up on anyhow and we have spent some time yesterday and today calling friends to be sure all our folks are safe and sound. We even miraculously managed to keep our power through the whole storm. I am still shocked that that happened. I carried a candle around with me all evening and went to bed with one on my nightstand, just waiting for the lights to go out but we woke up in the morning with the bedside digital clock blinking merrily at us (there were lots of brown-outs in the night so it went on and off and on and off) but still very much there and alive.
The new ocean-front in our fair city.
We had no major property damage and have been checking to see if anyone we know needs a place to stay or a hot shower but so far people are just toughing it out, waiting to see who will be in it for the long haul.

Halloween festivities have officially been postponed by our mayor to make sure they can get downed wires taken care of before kids take the streets. Still weighing what to do about that personally. Our waterfront was pretty walloped and is quite damaged and flooded I hear but here, one mile in from the shore our own street is pretty sound, we all still have power and the extent of the damage is just trees down in yards. We might check around with neighbors and see if people feel like letting the kids troop around or if we will all wait with the rest of the city. There's some merit to both options. Will see what I find out later today.

Siding off the side of our house that the wind blew down against our front door.
I am off to call and email more friends as I work my way down the list of people I am checking on. Lots of non-answering still...several I am still wondering about and still lots of hot water and food to share if people need the help.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crutches No More

A is off his crutches, although not quite back to normal, which is a very lovely thing. No more fear of stairs, no more terrifyingly slow crosswalk use, no more jamming them into the mini-van like another slim, metallic person, and no more A tripping everyone in sight with his dastardly go-go-gadget metal arms....just kidding on that last one. :) It is very nice though. The others are real gratefulnesses and we are so glad to have life a tiny bit more usual again.

The weather has been lovely but I hear that a tropical storm...morphing into a hurricane is slowly working its way up the coast. Time to hunker down. I need to post our ancient metal fireplace insert on Craigslist and then have the chimney cleaned so that we can have fires on the hearth again while we sit huddled with a stack of reads. Ru is getting better and better at reading but it is a mysterious skill almost entirely confined to his "reading book" where I've been working with him.

He is just starting to experiment with muttering sounds under his breath in a forgotten corner of the house or in the inner reaches of the minivan when he thinks I am not listening. His brow puckers and he makes little staccato attempts at sounding out an advertisement for Reese's cups or the latest volume of Asterix and Obelix from the library. Its a tenuous dance. I love watching him teeter on the edge of discovering the world of print but I hate to let him wait too long or miss the opportunity when he doesn't accidently make it work for himself. How much to push and how much let it be organic? The age old question. Just how unschooler am I?

This morning I lost Nib for a bit and then finally he answered  my shouts and came tripping brightly down from the second floor. It took until lunchtime before I figured out what he'd been up to. We had a "picnic" lunch on the kitchen floor together (Mommy laziness trick!) and I noticed he'd neatly address stamped the soles of his feet. If ever lost....he'll be no problem to return...as long as he's turned upside down and examined barefoot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Learning How to Wiggle Our Ears

The giant maple tree in our side yard is fruiting out giant, slightly yellowed oyster mushrooms in a ruffled column high up on the trunk. We're finally getting a bunch of them after all summer without any luck, although unfortunately the tiny, rounded beetles that love oysters as well as I do did not go on vacation to Hawaii and so they are having themselves a buffet without so much as a by-your-leave. I wish I'd gotten a few of them too while they were still fresh and tender but I don't begrudge them their fair share of toughened, shoe-leather stage fungi. Nature is a beautiful thing, a little something for everyone.

The boys and I are watching a little How It's Made today. A fun rainy day indulgence. There are certain things I feel sludgy about my boys wading into for mindless entertainment (video games....argh!!!!) but I don't feel so terribly bad about this show. For one thing I also enjoy it so its more of a group activity and we stop it all the time to clarify points, quickly google rabbit trail questions (unschooling!) and add our comments which keeps it from getting too mind numbing. Today's clever piece of knowledge from the most recent episode:
Mainstream peanut butter contains trans-fats...they're added to make it a nice creamy consistency and be sure no oil rises to the top of the jar. "Natural peanut butter" is just peanut butter without trans-fats dumped in....and sometimes without sugar or salt.

I had no idea!

In other news...Ru has learned how to wiggle his ears! We're still working on tying his own shoes, reading smoothly, blowing bubbles from bubble gum and whistling but really, why get humdrum about life skills?!? He can learn those things later....when all the other chumps who never did learn how to wiggle their ears properly are trying to make up time. He's slightly magical really. I've asked him to give me ear wiggling lessons but apparently its a very subtle and mysterious art. He has yet to figure out how to explain what in the world he does to make them flap. Truth is, apparently..... he's not really sure. He says, "I just move my ear bones!" Duh.

Little Pom is grabbing things these days which is such a pleasing stage, so self-satisfied. He gloms onto handfuls of my hair, wads of clothing, things I'm trying to eat, ear bud cords, receipts and whatever else comes between his two grabbers. I think he loves the new power. Nothing like the ability to start controlling your own destiny...even if it starts in small territories like The Things One Chews On.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Moonshine

The giant pine in the yard next door is dropping gold needles down the driveway again. The gutters on that side of the house are softly filling up with yellow and I have been somewhat fretfully shifting piles of paper around the house looking for where in the world I might have put the business card of "Cesar" who came two years ago (I forgot last year) with his mustached smile and his cousin and cleaned the gutters. I think maybe I haven't looked in the junk drawer yet. What do you think? Is it there?

Last night while A put the kids down I unloaded our pumpkins from the back of the van by moonlight and arranged them on the front steps: soft, pleated orbs glowing there in front of the porch pillars. How in the world did there come to be six pumpkins on my front porch waiting for their respective owners to carve them into jack-o-lanterns? That seems impossible. Amazing how fact moves on without our real absorption in life. It takes a long time to understand and know a new person....I can't believe there are four little people who live in my care these days and that some of them have been here for years.

The maple in the front yard is starting to go from dark burgundy to a brighter flame scarlet. And the burning bush that has wedged itself into our hedge is already dropping its leaves on top of the pine needles in the driveway. Time to test-drive a few new recipes for pumpkin pie or roasted  meats, light some candles, boil some spices and orange peel and figure out how to seal our windows with that plastic film stuff I bought a few years ago and never manage to actually get up.

I wish you a few moments under the moonlight for pumpkiny reflection, a giant mug of tea and a slow, slow wind-up to the season of cold weather illness. My first patient is moaning on the sick couch behind me as I type with feverish cheeks. I am taking my cod liver oil and believing in mommy resilience. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


We're back from a breathtaking trip through the tropical islands of Hawaii....with four children and a spouse on crutches. Life is insane. Homeschooling is very occupying suddenly. The leaves are falling and blushing and glowing. I am feeling very busy and full and wondering how to shift things about and make a little bit of spare space. Space suddenly seems in short supply. Am mulling over more yoga, a permanent Sabbath day, quiet hours, early rising, group meditation and other ideas.

 And the camera has gone off with a friendly postman to a Canon hospital and will be laid up for four to six weeks. There are photos on my phone waiting to be collated and labelled and shared out with here floating in the universe but so far I have not got that far down the To Do List.

Am still stuck on #302 Do Laundry and will let you know when I manage to arrive at a further point.

Until then....xoxoxo