This started out as a daily notes post for Bonny Glen Up Close, but then I figured ah, why not just stick it on the main blog. Sometimes I really don’t know where to put things.
I love at-home days. Yesterday we got out for a walk bright and early before it got too hot. (Except it wound up being a nice coolish day, not too hot at all.) I’m going to try really hard to make first-thing-in-the-morning walks a standard for our at-home days. Everyone had such a good time. Rose took along a notebook and made quick sketches of many of the plants I was photographing for the 100 Species Challenge. The little ones raced ahead after zooming Beanie, and I bit my tongue and tried not to holler at them to slow down…running down the sidewalk is a very good thing. It’s just that Wonderboy always falls (there’s a balance problem coupled with slow arm reflexes) and I’m afraid he’ll knock out more teeth.
But no falls yesterday. Just happy, running kids.
Lots of roses still in bloom in the neighbors’ yards, though in other yards the flowers have given way to the fat rose hips. Jane longs to make rose hip tea like the mice in Redwall. There’s a riot of blue morning glories everywhere, pouring over fences and retaining walls. Gorgeous. One kind of tree (as yet unidentified by us) has shed some brown leaves onto the sidewalk, but the rest of the deciduous trees are green, the maple leaves just barely tinged with color at the edges. The bush ice plants aren’t blooming now—I am slowly learning the seasons here. The lilies of the Nile are finished, just crisping stalks now, but the birds of paradise are in their pointy orange glory.
Home from the walk, drinks all round (Rose made lemonade), Mother Goose to the little ones while the big girls relaxed a bit. The two Iona Opie/Rosemary Wells Mother Goose volumes are in constant daily demand at the moment. Wonderboy has “his” (despite the inscription to Jane from her aunt and cousin) and Rilla has “hers”—both books are hers, says she. And when I’m not reading them Mother Goose, they’re bringing me various Wee Sing songbooks and requesting impromptu concerts of the entire book.
Usually our at-home mornings are full of read-alouds and languages, but yesterday was a busy-hands sort of day instead. Jane and I both have crochet projects going (both out of Vintage Crochet, a most yummy book). Beanie found a little square unlined notebook and made the most incredible thumbnail pencil sketches of undersea scenes…very detailed and full of tucked-away surprises like the wee “pistol shrimp” in a little cave. The dolphin leaping from the waves in a cloud of spray was a thing of pure joy.
Rose has joined Shakespeare Club and since we were finishing Act IV at her first meeting on Wednesday, she wants to go back to the beginning and read it aloud together as a family, to catch up. So during Rilla’s nap we passed round the scripts and read Act I, scene i. Beanie read Lucentio and did a bang-up job, I must say. Rose was Tranio and Bianca, Jane was Katerina of course, Beanie took Baptista, and I got to be the suitors. We wished Scott had been home to take a part. He hams it up so satisfyingly.
The afternoon filled up with books and games, and I finished three picot squares for my crochet project, and Rose and Bean played Sim City, and the little ones requested yet more Mother Goose. I grilled chicken on the George Foreman because the pilot is out on our stovetop and I haven’t yet figured out how to relight it. The Foreman probably made for tastier chicken anyway. Teriyaki marinade, yum. Couscous and peas. Everyone liked most everything, which is noteworthy.
Oh, and the pears we had at lunch! Our first of the season, perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious. We couldn’t get over them. Kept cutting and eating “just one more” until all but one of the bag I bought on Sunday are gone. They taste like early autumn.
I kept checking Google Reader for updates about Annika, who had a liver transplant yesterday. So far, so good, thank God.
The postman was weighed down with review copies of books today (best kind of mail day). A little appetizer cookbook I got through LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewers program, a middle grade fantasy novel called The Ark, The Reed, and the Fire Cloud, and—this was the plum; I’m so excited—Stephanie Spinner’s new novel, Damosel. It’s an Arthurian tale about the Lady of the Lake. Jane saw the cover and went Oooh, but I get first dibs.
Meanwhile, I have a pile of picture books en route to my local library branch: Cybils nominees.
Beanie gave me a piano concert in the evening while I worked on another picot square. She has reached the point, suddenly, of being able to really play. She’s flushed with the wonder of it: she is making music. This thrills her. She likes to experiment with the chord progressions she has learned, adding little tinkling melodies. I absolutely love it when a child reaches this stage.
The sun hasn’t come in to blind me yet this morning: must be an overcast day. Still dim in here though it’s after seven, and all the girls are sleeping late. I think Wonderboy just went to wake them up. Scott must be watching a YouTube clip; I’m hearing music from his computer, and his hands drumming on his knees. The crow is hollering from a telephone wire: Where’s my crusts of bread? Friday’s here.
Letters from Thailand: the First
Why I Read So Slowly
Made Me Smile
high-tide highlights, week of may 8