my week in pictures

April 13, 2018 @ 5:14 pm | Filed under: Assorted and Sundry, Photos

Some things I shared on Instagram this week. Lots of rain, but quite a lot of sun, too, and we even had short-sleeves weather one day. As for the rain, well, I’ve become a person who puts on her boots and gets out for a walk, rain or shine. Charlotte Mason would be proud.

(My hair, though. Hoo boy, my hair.)

Songs in heavy rotation on my walking playlist this week:

Anthem by Leonard Cohen (this version performed by Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen, which I adore beyond reckoning)
Life on Mars

Thursday (a scintillating post title)

April 5, 2018 @ 4:32 pm | Filed under: Assorted and Sundry

One of the talks I gave at the VaHomeschoolers Conference was about habit-building, so my own habits (good and bad) have been much on my mind—especially my lost habit of daily blogging. I’m rusty!

And a bit blank. I always feel like I have so much to say as I’m opening the tab, and then it all skitters away.

Well: there’s always notes about the day. We’ve had steady rain all day and I had to settle for only a short walk, not the long rambles I’ve been enjoying. This morning we meant to do some Serious Lessoning but instead I wound up showing the kids YouTube clips of 70s and 80s theme songs and other important pop culture touchstones. 😉 H.R. Pufnstuf’s opening remains as bizarre as it was when I was little, for the record.

I spent the afternoon working on my final issue of this year’s BraveWriter Arrow lineup: The Thing About Luck. And now I’m drying off from my walk and realizing it’s just about time to get ready for the next event on my list: a town hall with my state senator and representative. Time to put on my advocacy hat.

What was your Thursday like?

April. It’s April. It’s APRIL.

April 4, 2018 @ 5:22 pm | Filed under: Assorted and Sundry, Photos

Who, me in denial? Tax day around the corner, and deadlines not far behind?

Not to mention someone’s twelfth birthday coming up. TWELVE.

Things we did today:

• Fed the neighborhood goats, Woodrow and Grover
• Made a cloud in a bottle
German with Felix & Franzi

pretty in pink

March 30, 2018 @ 8:14 am | Filed under: Assorted and Sundry, Nature Study, Photos

Flew home from Virginia on Tuesday and have spent the week catching up on Everything. Catching up—and taking as many nature walks as humanly possible. Rilla and I have been casually tracking the waves of blossom here in Portland—first came the crocuses and hellebores; then the flowering plum and pear trees, with quince close behind; and now everywhere is a sea of daffodils and grape hyacinths, and the bees are tumbling in the cherry blossoms, and the first tulips are filling their cups with sky. When I left for my trip last week, Klickitat Street was a froth of pink and white, giving way now to a veil of soft green.

Why am I inside right now? Goodbye, I have to go for a walk. 🙂

Tree Mapping

March 20, 2018 @ 3:57 pm | Filed under: Nature Study

“You are doing TREE-mendous work!”

That’s what a neighbor said to us today when he and his dog passed us in the park where Huck, Rilla, and I were using printouts of the Portland Tree Map to identify the blossom-laden trees we’ve been swooning over these past couple of weeks. Does your area have one of these?

I mean, this is just heaven on a web page as far as I’m concerned. Whenever I move to a new part of the country I have a burning need to learn the names of All The Things as soon as possible. I’m a little slow out of the gate this time around, but then again I wasn’t exactly up for long leisurely walks last summer or fall. I was scrolling back through my Instagram the other day and came across a caption from October in which I talked about how happy I was to finally be able to take a walk around the block again. These days I’m averaging almost four miles a day—because spring.

“Children should be made early intimate with the trees, too; should pick out half a dozen trees, oak, elm, ash, beech, in their winter nakedness, and take these to be their year-long friends” (Charlotte Mason, Home Education, p. 52).

Happy First Day of Spring, my friends!

Roy G Biv, Portland spring edition

March 19, 2018 @ 10:43 am | Filed under: Nature Study, Photos

I’m heading to Virginia later this week for the VaHomeschoolers Conference. Excited! Swamped! Wondering if my tulips will bloom while I’m gone!

A Friday in March

March 9, 2018 @ 9:20 am | Filed under: Assorted and Sundry

Good morning! On my list today:

* a long walk
* Journey North Mystery Class
* Moomins and other readalouds
* poetry teatime
* German lesson
* painting lesson
* writing the next chunk of a BraveWriter Arrow
* ordering books to be sold at the VaHomeschoolers Conference I’ll be speaking at in a couple of weeks
* taxes, mutter mutter
* A bit of work on the current novel and oh dear there are about fifteen other things I should add to this list but let’s be reasonable. There are clouds to watch sail by.

Re my Portland pics on Instagram: Sometimes I worry they could be annoying to my dear San Diego friends but then I remember I did the same thing (only it was here on the blog, back then) in 2006 when we moved to California and I worried I was bumming out my Virginia friends with all the PACIFIC OCEAN-PALM TREES-NO MORE WRESTLING WITH CARSEAT BUCKLES OVER SNOWSUITS rhapsodizing…

…and before that I worried about my NYC friends when I moved to Virginia and went crazy over the Blue Ridge Mountains and redbud trees and monarch butterflies and fields of chicory like patches of sky in a meadow.

Then I remember that Anne Shirley loved Four Winds every bit as fervently as Avonlea. Hearts are big, with many rooms.

“If a kiss could be seen I think it would look like a violet.”

March 2, 2018 @ 8:19 am | Filed under: Family Adventures, Nature Study

March 1. Sunshine today! Went for a walk down Klickitat with Scott and then another longer one in the other direction with Huck and Rilla. Violets, grass daisies, daffodils, crocus in abundance. Pussywillows budding over a mossy stone wall. Still plenty of puddles for wading in, which was important because Huck wore his rainboots. Rilla exclaimed over each new patch of moss.

Found our first Portland geocache and stopped in the rock store to admire the thundereggs, geodes, shells, and fossils. Debated the merits of the hypotenuse (a slanting street, thick with cars, the shorter way home) versus the quieter, mossier, puddle-strewn right-angle lanes. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know which we chose.

Popped up on my FB memory feed today

February 23, 2018 @ 9:26 am | Filed under: These People Crack Me Up

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

So today Rilla asked if we could play a game where I pretend I’m her mommy. Um. OK. About ten minutes in, she said, “Can you pause the game for a second? I need to ask you a question when you’re my REAL mommy.”