Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cower Not, Jedi!

These are Jack's latest Lego obsession. He calls them Jedi Huts.
He has run out of little square bases. Otherwise, he says, he would make a whole city of them. Each one is customized and has a lot of luxury details.

But my favourite is the simplest one, the one he made for "Luke's nephew". As Jack explained: "Most of them are open all the way across the front but this one - see? has this little bit of wall at the front that makes a little corner that you can cower in. I call it a Cower Corner."
Because everybody needs a corner to cower in sometimes, non?

Fear not the Rat, O Jedi but fear the Google Eyed Bookworm!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

snow splosions

Wow, that haiku from my last post is still really speaking to me. I just read from the point of view of writing report cards which is a really onerous task (that's my word of the week, onerous). Yes, onerous, except when I am actually writing them. Then I get into the flow of writing, saying things in just the right way, selecting words that actually mean something and I stop being stressed about it. Mostly, anyway. Thankfully the trend in reporting seems to be away from robot speak and back to talking about real live kids doing real live things. Anyhoo, the point is that when I stop thinking about the snow (i.e. onerous task) as a burden and think about it as something that I can and must own, it all lightens.

I have to admit that I really enjoy messing around with words, crafting the old sentences. So pickle me this, reader(s?). Do you have a word problem that needs solving? Send it my way. I'm your gal. After January 27th, anyway (Report Card Due Date.)
I was out in the snow tonight with the fam and was mostly lost in thought about the dance lessons that I'm working on for tomorrow. They are going to be about making dances about snow and winter poems, carving pathways in snow and space, and lightness, and bound and free energy (tobogganing!) and I am really excited about them. I found a couple of beautiful pomes in David Booth's anthology of poems for kids , Til All the Stars Have Fallen (which i love love). The poems are My toboggan and I carve winter by Jane Wadley and Winter walk in forest by George Swede. If I could build every lesson around a poem, I would.

I also remembered how much I like looking into my house from the backyard at night.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

hi, ku!

waga yuki to/ omoebo karushi /kasa no ue

'It's my snow"
I think

And the weight on my hat lightens.

-Kikaku, trans. by Alex Kerr

I have been enjoying following several beautiful blogs by friends, family and strangers this year:
(soulemama, PhilOlogy, and Life in Colour) and recently I have been missing keeping my own record here. My paper systems (ahem, I use the term "systems" lightly) are always so haphazard and difficult to maneuver. I like the clarity and linear nature of a blog, even while lamenting the slow death of cursive and the general unstinting shift from analog to digital.

So, I am moving back again to naming my own snow, the soft quiet white noise of my life, observed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

swing out

Summer is just around the corner. I'm taking the next 21 days to set the bit, habitwise. Hobbit and rabbit wise too. Moving and writing, sorting and purging, making way for crickets, sand and stars.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I was cleaning out monkeyboy's backpack this afternoon and underneath the NoFrills bag full of wet bathing suit and towel, crusty lunchbag and the collection of Sacred Scraps of Paper and Pebbles I unearthed a little notebook. It was the middle third of a cut up exercise book. There was only one thing written in it, on the first page and it was this:

"ToDay anD Every Day from now On Lets live in a way that Let's us find Powems."

YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! Let's do it!!!!!!!!!!!

I was only slightly disappointed to discover that monkeyboy hadn't come up with this on his own but I want to thank his teacher who sent it into his little brain and down his arm. I want to thank her in a big way.

Friday, April 2, 2010


This is the lonely first half of a pair of bunny slippers I am crocheting for my sister-in-law. I thought a snack might distract it from its singular existence.
I have always loved Easter. When I mentioned this to one of the other moms in the parking lot at the daycare, she seemed mystified. I could understand her disconnect. After all, what is there for a modern, secular person to love about Easter? Chocolate, ham, pots of tulips, bunnies, chicks, eggs, pastels? Yes, all of these things figured in my childhood experiences of Easter but these are not the only things I am nostalgic for. I was interested and moved by all of the church business of Holy Week: the palms, the supper, the passion, the joy at the end of it. My aunt would always come for the weekend and she brought with her attention and interest and left the scent of Anais Anais on my quilt. My mother always did a lot of special cooking around Easter. She always made eggy, braided Ukrainian breads and, once, sweet bun bunnies with icing. We ate the bunnies for breakfast with Champagne and orange juice. Our decadence was interrupted by the cat, bringing us a freshly killed mouse. For a few years she made Laura Secord style eggs, sugary fudgey on the inside and chocolate coated with our initial iced on top.
This bunny slipper picture reminded me of a certain quality to the light on Easter morning. I always tried to wake up early before everyone else and creep downstairs, following a trail of Smarties. One morning I woke up early enough to read finish the second half of The Stray, which had several great maps and a sad and mysterious ending. I remember once quietly singing Lord of the Dance to the rising sun. The melody is the same as the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts. I still love it. It always makes me feel that Easter feeling again, when I was awake and alone with the sun coming up, my family around me safe and sleeping and good food on the way.

Tis a gift to be simple tis a gift to be free
Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be
And when you find yourself in the place just right
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

Dance, dance wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
I will lead you all in the dance, said he.

See? Joy. Whatever spring rite you've got going on, I hope you feel it too.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

don't be a fool

April is almost upon me and I feel restless. Too bad there is no spring thaw a happenin'. With hardly any snowfall this winter there is nothing left to thaw. No river of ice to break up with a rifle crack. Is this how people who live in the temperate climes feel when spring comes, a bland easing in to a greener time? I don't think I like it. I heard the birds singing when I went out this morning and I liked that very much. I must have been missing them (the birds) because the window ledge in front of my computer desk is full of birds. My friend Becky, a pro-fessional bird girl, spotted no less than eight birds here:

I also got this very fantastic bike for only $35 at the Bibles for Missions thrift shop over the March Break. Jack also got a bike there for 5 bucks! (This thrift store is awesome. I nearly bought a fifties lace wedding gown for ten dollars but I knew there was no way i was going to fit into it - it had a teeny tiny waist - and it was still way too long for Sal. ) When I was loading this very heavy bike into the back of my car to take it home, I had visions of pedaling this baby down to the market and returning home with a basket full of bread and roses. At the time, I was ignoring the reality of the long steep hill that leads back up to our house from the market. And the singular nature of the gears. I took a spin around the block with Jack and was shocked to discover what felt like an intense grade on the last stretch coming up to our house. While walking, this incline was almost imperceptible but trying to pedal 50 pounds of British steel up it gave it a whole new seriousness. Smith took it for a spin next and promptly broke the chain by attempting to switch gears (folly). But I am still in love with this bike. It makes me happy to see it every time we pull into the driveway. I may even get the chain fixed before the snow falls again.