Sunday, March 30, 2014

Basement flooded

Arrrg! The frozen ground combined with all that rain gave us 1-2 inches of water in our basement for the first time in our 10 years here. Terrible! I am feeling foul about this eternal winter.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The whiteboard at work

Some gals must have come in and delivered quickly!  Usually the board doesn't have a sense of humor so this made me laugh.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Barred Owl

Has been hanging out above our compost pile for the last two days.  He's fluffy and relaxed, like a cat up there, pretending not to watch us as we dump the compost. I'm not sure if it is the compost or the rodents eating the compost that have brought Owlie to us, but I like having a sleepy daytime owl keeping an eye on things..

Monday, March 24, 2014

Violin lessons

Are a pleasing visual and auditory experience.  I love how Georgia lifts her heel off the ground when she is concentrating and playing.

The seedlings are getting bigger!  Surely there will be thawed ground to plant them in soon?

Lily getting ready to play.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


It was really running today.
And it was SWEET, yesterday it tasted like water, but today Rob exclaimed, "You could put this right on pancakes!"

Under the ground the water is getting pulled up the tree trunk.  Soon there will be buds and leaves!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring Equinox!!

Not quite as warm as I would like, but nice to see the water dripping off the pine needles.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another Greenhouse visit!

Lucky me, I went back to the Smith Greenhouse again this week. I met my wonderful friend, Kate, and we wandered through the rooms together, chatting.

The bulb show was over, but, (who knew?) the plants were still there and blooming, some looked a little tired, but it was still wildly beautiful and fragrant.  It gave me hope that spring would come.  Smelling the hyacinths is what did it.  It felt like proof and brought up such a visceral body memory of spring and warmth, I love how scents do that, go right to the brain.

The colors were very pleasing to the eye, too.  The volume and variety of flowers is really quite decadent.

This time we stopped and peeked into the horticulture classroom for the students.  I went to Smith and I LOVED my year long Horticulture class. It was intense and life changing. I got to learn about propagating plants and nomenclature. We had quizzes on the latin names of large groupings of plants. We grew things. It was amazing. I knew it was really special at the time and even then I wished I had more time to focus on each assignment, book and plant, but I was a busy girl.

Looking in this room now as an outsider, I felt a pang of envy. I wanted to be in there working on the orange tree or watching the progress of the seedlings. The layout reminded me of Harry Potter's Herbology Professor Sprout's Greenhouse. It is magical to be around plants, to see how they turn water, sun and dirt into green growing life.

This glorious variegated Ivy is so delicious to me. I remember loving the yellow tinged edges as a student. I've grown it twice from cuttings but I can't keep it alive. Seeing it growing so large in the greenhouse made me want to try again, but I'm still not quite attentive enough to keep any fickle plants alive at home.

Outside on campus this Magnolia bud is looking like a plush little rodent, hopefully it will crack open into a floppy fragrant blossom soon.  One of our assignments in the Horticulture class was to look at 25 different trees every week from winter to spring, watching the buds change and burst open and drawing and describing the transformation every week. I learned so much in that class and I would have missed it if I had tried to cram in all those pre-med classes I thought I should take. Hooray for the plants winning out!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ear's pierced

Big day for Georgia. She had been wanting to get her ear's pierced forever and we had said, "No no no no, not until you're 12." But then we realized we really didn't care that much. Lily, who is 11 and doesn't have her ear's pierced, advocated for Georgia to be allowed to pierce her ears because she wanted them so much.  There was really no reason anymore except the ideas I had been holding onto about girls not needing decoration to be beautiful and that ornamentation was for a later age when one had more sense than one has at 8 years old.  But hell. she loves to decorate herself and loves to get attention. Who am I to say that's wrong?
We made her work for it though. 25 marbles in the jar. That's a great deal of good behavior, patience and lack of swearing. For months. But it snowballed and she behaved better and better as the goal came closer and closer.

Sunday was the big day.
She got scared once she sat in the chair.
Then, OUCH. The look on her poor face!

Then she was done and very pleased with herself.
She keeps telling everyone she got her ear's pierced before Lily.
Lily rolls her eyes.
It's difficult to be the younger child.
Always doing everything after that older sibling.
So, Georgia is very proud of her huge cubic zirconia. She is cleaning her ears constantly and being very responsible.

Smith Greenhouse

Oh how I love the Bulb Show at Smith College. I missed it last year.  This year we tried to sneak in on the last day and it was packed; too packed.  But we were able to look around the other rooms.
These are my noncompliant family members in the photo department.  Smile!

 I can't believe we haven't been here before during this long cold winter!

What a gorgeous banana blossom. The green. The sun shining through the glass ceiling. The smells! Ahhhhh.

Lush flowers growing like hair above the fish pond, but no fish this time. Georgia was terribly disappointed, usually we see frogs and fish in the ponds but the pond was empty.  She did find tiny slimy snails in the muck and tried to make friends with them.

Orchids were blooming everywhere in this room and the Dr Seuss pitcher plant was pleasing, too.

The sensitive plant responding to Georgia's touch, like an animal.


is the Middle Eastern restaurant where we always used to go before we had children.  It's cramped and tight and the food has flavor, so we stopped going with children, probably after a screaming baby experience and yes, we have been back on a few dates, but not with the kids  This weekend was a huge victory because we brought the kids and they liked it! They ate the food. They drank the tea and we sat surrounded by people on all sides and it was OK. It was a big night.
Lily poured the peppermint tea with a tea leaf in each cup.  Georgia wanted nothing to do with the tea and she had to be cajoled into trying it; it was so sweet and so strong, of course she loved it.

Here's a pic of Rob and me. It is so hard to get a photo of us together without him making some obnoxious face. He was just about to make a face but Lily caught him before he made it.

Georgia did fall in love with the tea.
Everyone enjoyed their meal. Rob, Lily and I got chicken or falafel sandwiches but Georgia got a plate of gorgeous crepes with fruit, honey and powdered sugar. We'll definitely be going back!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ignite Your Power conference

Lucky me.  I got to go to a conference on Tapping/EFT this weekend featuring some of my favorite teachers.  Margaret M Lynch is a sassy fun coach who does helpful tapping videos that are fun and authentic.

She's from near Boston so she had a free conference on Thursday, Friday and Saturday about setting up your business and tapping to get rid of blocks that might be keeping you small.  She had great speakers and great information. It went 9am to 9pm and I was exhausted by the time I drove to my parent's house in Andover and fell asleep!

The skyline was lovely. 
The people were inspiring and friendly.
Sometimes I would get tired from talking to all the interesting people and I would just sit there and feel pleased that no one needed anything from me and there was no where else I needed to be.  Ahhhh.
Then we would have to make a video with a complete stranger and then review it. Yikes!

I was feeling all brave and social so I went up to Stella Orange, whose emails I read every week. She helps people write newsletters and has a really comical and reassuring style that I love. It was so great to meet her and see, in person, that same personality she reveals in writing.  She took a photo of her and me for her newsletter that I just got in my in-box today.
I feel a bit famous.


Here's Stella's website if you want to check out a really cool copywriting coach.

Here is the city at sunset.  I was on the phone with Rob in an empty ballroom watching the skyline come alive with lights; it was lovely.

This greeted me when I got home. I was so glad to see the family!  It really is good to get away.  And then to come home.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


It smells like spring in the house at least, with the paperwhites blooming.  The days are getting longer and I hear the cardinals singing their spring song in the yard.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Here are some brave beets growing in our gardening violin teacher's window. Aren't they bright and lively? Don't they give you hope for spring even though there's a foot of snow outside?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The pond froze over!

The pond at the golf course near our house actually froze over! And someone used a snow blower to make a rink.  We went down to play and fall with our friends. What a long cold winter this has been, but this was an exciting transformation to witness. Soon, (please soon!) it will be melted and warm and filled with enormous snapping turtles.

Monday, March 3, 2014

We're singing this song in our house.

We're enjoying Frozen quite a bit at our house.  Did you see it? It's fun and has a big theme of sister-love which suits us well.

Here's the video that Jimmy Fallon did on Oscar night. Georgia (and therefore all of us) watched it over and over and over.  It's great fun to see people making music with instruments from a kid classroom.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Crafts with Grandma

Here's Georgia and Grandma doing crafts together. My mother comes bearing supplies and she and the girls make glorious items like these fuzzy creatures in their colorful popsicle stick house.

Below they are using glue guns.  Whoever used a glue gun? I thought it was like a staple gun and avoided the whole idea.  But now everyone in our family is using this amazing tool to stick things together forever, like these shells and wood. We also used the glue gun on some winter boots and Rob borrowed it to do some work in his bike area.
Need to borrow a glue gun? We've got one.