Thursday, May 30, 2013

all the love

This weekend we got to hang with some of our Spring Kids crew. Even though we don't hang out every day like we did when they were babes in arms, it's always good when we are together. 

They weave in and out of rooms, chasing and following and leading each other. Inventing games that only they understand, and swapping loose tooth tales. They pause only for a few minutes, to shovel some food in their mouths and then continue on their way. 

And we boring stationary grown-ups sit and eat and talk, letting them run over and around us, until that last moment of goodbye when they wrap their arms around each others necks and squeeze tight, stumbling around and laughing in that moving motion of love that is their friendship. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yarn along- one down, one to go

            Well I finished one sock and I am determined not to succumb to second sock syndrome this time. Onwards!

As for the book, it is Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal which is a fun read. It takes the setting and character types from Jane Austen and adds just a touch of magic.

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Reading with Grandma Ann

                                 I have no idea where my kids got their interest in books. If only they
                                 had some role models.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the new domesticity and socks...

My sock is coming along. I think I'm in the homestretch now which is nice. I'm enjoying it and I think I have learned why I always mess up the gussets and how to avoid that in the future. Which is good, now I can have more sockfidence.

This week I read Homeward Bound by Emily Matchar which was a fascinating read. It's about this movement to embrace and celebrate the domestic arts again with cooking and crafting and blogging about it all. She covers the history of domesticity and then looks at how this recent resurgence of interest connects to the economy and parenting and gender roles and the internet. Her research is extensive and it's eerie how she seems to have read all the same books and blogs that I have read in the last year or so. In a time when most of the people I know are making jam and/or knitting and/or keeping chickens or bees in the city and at parties we all end up talking about our gardens, this book seems like a perfect depiction of our moment in time and culture. I also appreciate how she calls out the class issues in living this way and points out how very few people can make a living off their blog or etsy shop. Highly recommended.

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bike mania

                 We are in full-on bike mania mode these days. Mostly because my project with the PTA this year has been to help organize and plan Bike to School day and Walk to School day. We were lucky enough to get a grant this year so we've been able to do all kinds of fun workshops and assemblies at school to try and encourage kids to ride more often.

Over the weekend we had a bike Rodeo at the school and the kids learned safety tips and had their helmets checked and fitted and then got to ride an obstacle course on the playground.

It's been fun watching Unity and Brixton both get more comfortable with their bikes and Unity has ridden to school a couple of times so far. She gets tired but she keeps trying, and that in itself is pretty awesome.

Friday, May 17, 2013

the quilt again

So Chris started working on this quilt a while ago. A long while ago.
As in, this quilt predates Brixton. 

He actually got pretty far along but then hit a part that was a little repetitive and then stopped.
And you know, when you stop a complicated project like that, it's hard to pick it back up. 

Lately, we decided we're going to finish it together. It's much better as a two-person work, as they say in Montessori. So last night we were pressing and stitching together. And this thing is not going to be finished anytime soon. But, it's fun to have a project where we are working side by side. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


           This weekend I got to participate in one of the most beautiful traditions of Quakerism; a clearness committee. Any member of a Meeting can ask for one when they feel it's needed. My struggle was fairly small, I had been asked to serve on a committee for the organization that does our Quaker lobbying for the state. It makes sense that I was asked, I have the time and energy and this year I have been pretty involved with Quaker Lobby Day and following and advocating for some bills. But I wasn't sure and I didn't know how to be sure.

So, my clearness committee met. It was me and three wise women from my Meeting and we worshiped together and then they asked me questions. That's how it works, they are not there to give advice or tell me what to do, they are there to help me to find the clarity that's waiting for me. And it was good to figure out some things, to realize that just because an opportunity came asking doesn't mean it's my calling. That maybe it's for someone else, someone who would be excited about it, and that my service, my opportunity is something else, something that I will be excited about.

I am so thankful for the women and the learning and the respect and being able to be a part of this beautiful beautiful tradition.

Monday, May 13, 2013

camping indoors

We've had a string of lovely days lately, with long sunny afternoons turning into clear and bright evenings. Of course, the rest of my family would tell you that "it's hot. and we don't have air conditioning. and  I need ice water. and lemonade. and it's hooooooot." 

So last night the kids asked if they could sleep in their play tent. We were skeptical, but we let them try it.

As you might imagine, they did not fall asleep this way. But they asked to be transferred back to the tent after they fell asleep.

So they did get to wake up in the tent, on the living room floor. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

I'm turning 35

                 So, a birthday. It feels like crossing a threshold, moving to a new bracket.
Seems almost impossible sometimes, I think in my heart 25 doesn't feel that long ago. But then, I think about it, about my big house full of roommates and working two jobs and starting grad school and having no kids, and then it does feel that long ago.

My life, in a lot of ways, is so much simpler and calmer now. And I'm glad of it, glad of the peace of small things, glad of my communities that are so important, glad of holding on to the sacred bits all mixed in with the everyday.

So hello mid-thirties. Let's do this.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Happy Birthday Chris!!!

                        We love you!!!!

Monday, May 06, 2013

walking for water

Yesterday, during a gorgeous sunny day, we went downtown and walked around for a while. The walk was part of a fundraiser for Water 1st, an organization that builds water systems and toilets in Bangladesh, India and Ethiopia. Women and girls are almost always the ones who have to walk for miles to carry water back for their entire family's cooking and bathing needs. It often means that they can't go to school or do other kinds of work, and the water itself is often not clean and spreads disease. 

So, fixing that, it's a good thing. 

I was glad to walk with friends, glad to see our kids with their sweet signs, glad to raise money for this good work. 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

the family that gardens together

What's that old saying, "give a child a weed and they'll bring it in the house and put it in a jar of water, teach a child to weed and they'll weed your garden forever." Something like that, right?

Friday, May 03, 2013

Slug Traps

Unity's friend Ruth came over after school and what did they want to do? Set out slug traps in the garden and make the kids beds. Isn't it funny how kids really want to please an adult, as long as it's not their own parent? Unity would never have volunteered to do all that stuff were it not for the lead of her friend.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

On tangles and a fresh start

I've been having some knitting troubles for the past six or nine months. I was working on this one big project, a cardigan. I had such beautiful yarn and I was really loving it. Then on Ravelry I saw some adaptions of my pattern that I liked better. So I tried to add sleeves and change the decreases. It just kept getting worse. I ripped parts of it out and started over. I did this two or three times. Finally I gave up. I'm not ready to mess around with pattern adaptions, at least not yet. I started to frog the whole thing and the yarn got tangled and I couldn't even finish the dissolution of my project. 

I stopped knitting for a while. I was pretty discouraged. 

Lately I've been missing it, so I've started again. I tried to finish a second sock, that I had started a while ago, but then I realized I just needed a fresh project, a brand new start. So it's a sock but the first one and with new-ish yarn from the stash basket. I'm feeling ok about it, glad to be knitting again, hopeful about overcoming my mistakes and confusion this time. I have to remind myself that I've only been knitting for three or four years, and I still have a lot to learn. Everything helps though, even the disasters teach me.

For books,  I read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman over Spring Break. It came out a few years back but it's a super interesting and sad story about cultural misunderstandings and medicine and lack of communication. I think things in the medical culture are better now, at least I hope so. 

The other book is Circle of Simplicity by Cecile Andrews. Simplicity as a topic comes up a lot in my Quaker world, and this book is great for sparking discussion about how a simple life is not about giving up things but about gaining community and purpose and greater connections, both spiritually and in the natural world. 

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.