Wednesday, May 30, 2012

more babies...

Holy crap! Baby bunnies are cute!

5 baby bunnies appeared when Rob mowed over their hole this week.  Three hopped away and these two just sat there looking stunned.  I wasn't home, but by the time I pulled in the driveway the girls thought they were keeping them as pets.  They were heartbroken when I broke the news that we had to leave them out so their mother could find them.

Georgia found a toad, too.
A few heavenly hours of bunny holding came to an end when they put them out in a box with towels to wait for their mother (who I have seen hopping around the neighbor's compost). 

I was hoping mother would come while the girls were hoping she wouldn't.  The bunnies were gone in the morning and I hope they went back with mama and not to the jaws of the neighbor's cat.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hail storm

I drove to Randolph Vermont on Tuesday for my last day of work at VTC.  Two hour drive there, six hours of sitting in a meeting and three hour drive home because of torrential rain and hail partnered with dramatic lightening and thunder.

The hail was big and LOUD as it banged on the car.

I was glad to finally make it home, but my back felt weird and I felt that dizzy I've-been-in-the car-all-day feeling.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Puppies, chicks and kittens

Our friend's cat had kittens last week and we've got baby robins in a nest in the garage.  The girls have been checking on them all in their tiny hairless stage.

 Georgia came home and collected her creatures into nursing and hatching families.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Back porch

I am so thrilled with our back porch this year.  Somehow we got the plants planted, the new picnic table put together and new umbrella and chairs.  The old wooden picnic table was rotten so it would crumble when you sat on it.  We can actually eat out there now!
A man on the way to Vermont sells these birdhouses.  I have been coveting one for years, but I never have time to stop or cash or I don't want to deal with choosing the perfect one.  This time Lily and I were on our way home from violin and Lily had a $20 bill in her wallet for some collection of reasons.  She shouted from the back seat, "Stop Mama!  I have money you can borrow!  He's right there!" So we stopped when he was outside putting them away for the night.  I picked this one and Lily handed over her money.  The birdhouse-maker's wife is from Thailand and he told us that these are actually "spirit houses".  "In Thailand," he said, "People have these in front of their houses and it's where the ancestors rest.  Whenever you come or go you acknowledge the ancestors and ask them to watch over you."  He put his hands together in prayer position and bowed his head to the house.  Lily and I had just been talking about our ancestors and pondering who her great great grandmother was and how maybe we could do a family history project with grandma.  We looked at each other in amazement and took our lovely pine smelling spirit house home.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

bring you alive

This excerpt from a poem has been going through my head, popping in at odd times throughout the day.

"Anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you."

David Whyte from Sweet Darkness

Green growing things

Picadilly Farm open house.  Thousands of plants are green and luscious.

 I can't believe summer is coming and school is almost out.

Berries, basil and greens oh my!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Violin Recital

Lily and I take violin lessons every Monday. 
This was our third recital.  They are very casual and fun, but still I get nervous. 
Lily used to be a wreck and I'd have to cajole and encourage her, but this time she was glad to do it.
We played Red River Valley twice with our teacher, Lissa Schneckenurger, on the ukulele.

 During our other recitals I have been so fixated on Lily and her anxiety that I have totally messed up (Or I just flubbed up and blamed it on my kid..)  This time I pulled it off.  We went through the song twice without a hitch. 

Hooray!  Then it was time to jam.  Slowly.  Lily ran outside and played in the garden while I tried to keep up with the group as they played different song.

My mother was thrilled to see us perform and took lots of photos.  I wish I were better at playing, but I do love it, love the sound of the music and the way I have to use different parts of my brain to remember and play a song. 

It's a nice activity to do with Lily, too, especially now that she's more willing to practice.  It's fun to see how she learns and absorbs the information differently than me.  Soon Georgia's going to start, whenever she grows into Lily's first violin, so the adventure will start anew.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012


Rob declared one night from the bathtub that he would use some of his bike money to buy me a massage table.
Very very sweet.
He found one pretty quickly on craig's list and we brought it home.  It's lovely.  Made of sturdy wood with purple upholstery, easy to fold up and carry.  We had it downstairs, all of us taking turns with massages and naps until Cookie started to chew on the webbing underneath; so that's when I brought it up to my study.

One thing Rob made me promise was that it would not become a flat surface for crap.
I made that promise and then promptly broke it!
I thought cleaning out my study would take a day or two.  I was wrong.

You can see the head-piece of the massage table in this photo.  The rest of it is covered with large sliding piles of crap.

After a day of moving things around and throwing stuff out it pretty much looks the same!  Uggh.  Each item needs to be processed.  Years and years of neglect to now hold and decide its fate in a calm thoughtful way.  Papers, clothes, photos and stuff has built up in layers and layers like sediment.

So much to look through; baby pictures, drawings and notes from the children.  Stories I half started and never finished.  Articles I have printed out and never read.

My cds were stuffed in the closet sometime this year and I was going through them.  I found one of my old favorites.  Nancy Griffith's Other Voices, too and began to listen.  Songs I had forgotten about, but I knew all the words.  Songs from before I had children, when I was a different person, really, but also the same.  Desperados waiting for a train was playing on the way to the dump and I started to cry and couldn't stop.  I felt sad, so sad for the loss of the friend in the song, but also just sad.
Everything is transient.  My children are growing older.  I'm not having any more.  I'm getting older.  I need to make choices.  There's no time to do all I want to do; still I must keep moving forward.  Sad.

All from cleaning out a damn room (or trying to)  No wonder people hoard and can't get rid of stuff.  Going through and throwing out is saying goodbye, which is good for moving onward, yes.  But there is sadness and grief in letting go of all that needs to go.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


We were off to bustling Chinatown Sunday morning
Looking at the sidewalk markets is one of my favorite things to do.
An enormous mushroom and jelly-like roots.  Georgia was puzzled by Chinatown.  She had heard so much about it when we were planning the trip but somehow she thought it would be like a theme park or one big store.  Actually, I don't know what she thought, but she was disappointed.

These fish were still alive and the eels were wiggling in a slithery
 way and the cat fish's gills were panting.

A cool climby rope structure that Lily conquered.

We did some shopping and got really tired and were missing the dog and the sounds of birds (at least I was)  We skipped lunch and bought the girls each an Asian pear and headed back to the apartment.
Lily hailed a cab

The cabs have little interactive computer screens these days.  The driver took us over a bridge to the wrong neighborhood and I got in a fight with him.  (He said "You said beekman place not beekman street!" over and over in an angry yet pouty way that bothered me. I finally firmly said (OK, everyone else says I yelled), "No we didn't!  We said Beekman street!" and then I realized everyone else was looking nervous and then the cab driver growled, "Don't push me."
We were glad to get out of the cab.

Grand Central Station where they have an extensive food court.  Dinner and cupcakes were had and we readied ourselves for many more hours of transport.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Friday mid day we were heading to NYC but we weren't really prepared.  The week had been so busy I hadn't packed or thought things out.  After some mad dash cleaning out the fridge and packing we got started on the road late and then near Deerfield (20 minutes from home) I realized I had forgotten my friend's apartment keys at home, so we had to turn around.  No one was very happy with me!

We got trapped in terrible Friday rush hour traffic jams and Georgia got squirmy and foul, the Magic Treehouse book on CD was no longer amusing her.  It sucked.  It really sucked.  The traffic loomed in front of us so we pulled off the highway and took a train from Scarsdale into the city.  We were so late we missed the ticket booth where I was going to get tickets to Mary Poppins on Broadway and leaving the car also meant there was no chance of the Bronx Zoo on the way home and all my tasty gluten free snacks were left in my cooler in the car.  BUMMER!

We finally opened the door to the apartment at 9:15pm.  Home to train to subway to sidewalk to apartment took eight hours.  It was marvelous to be in our friend's apartment but there were paintings of skeletons and looming birds that frightened Georgia so she was a wreck.  She and I went right to sleep while everyone else went out to Chinese food.

Saturday morning crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was bright and sunny and made up for the heinous day of travel.  On the other side of the bridge was chocolate at Jacques Torres.  Even Lily, who is not a chocolate girl, liked the passion-fruit heart.

Then we went to a Carousel in Dumbo (a neighborhood in Brooklyn.  An acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) which was beautiful.

Then we took a ferry back over to Manhattan (Lily's favorite part of the trip)

We walked up to the Morgan Library where I wanted to see an art show.  On the way there someone was skywriting a message in the bright blue sky above us.  It was a long message, too long for us to stand and read, but this was the final image.

The Morgan Library

was having an exhibit called The Company of Animals.  The library is opulent and gorgeous, so my friend and I wandered through the rooms of books and treasures.  Rob and the girls were tired so they went back to the apartment.

Love this fireplace, imagine how magical it would look with a fire burning!

There was an exhibit about these beautiful cylinder seals that look like beads but are actually a tool to roll in wet clay and make a story.  This one is "Nude winged Goddess holding two gazelles, tree with bird and fish, two kneeling antelopes" was made of marble in 1600-1350 BCE)  So beautiful.

In the animal exhibit there was this model book that artists would use to draw/paint animals.  This one includes unicorns, which were still thought to exist in the 15th and 16th century.

An enormous crystal in a crystal shop.

Rob was back at the apartment trying to rest, "trying" being the key word.  So nice to have somewhere to settle in and relax mid day during a trip.

Out in the world again...
We bought Lily a roll of yarn for her finger weaving and they offered to put it in a ball with this ball winder, which was very exciting.

We were tired and Georgia and Rob tend to get overwhelmed by noise and people, but everyone we met was so friendly and helpful so we were all hanging in there.

We discovered a gorgeous community garden (We and other pedestrians were scattering off the street because a man and a woman were fighting and then one of them threw and broke a bottle.  Akk that was difficult to explain to the children.)  The garden had lush flowers, New York seems about a month before us; leaves and flowers are in full glory!

Eating ramen, Georgia finally got the fake mustache she has been wanting for some time.  The staff were very amused!

City at night from the balcony....