Friday, April 23, 2010

Ian Friday

I had to coax Ian into the house with the promise of cookies, which he could have only after he answered the following questions. He liked the cookies, but does not appreciate having to stand still to answer questions.


Reading: Lloyd Alexander's Book of Three
Watching: Pokemon, Black Cauldron
Eating: chili
Liking: going outside, playing, riding my bike, Clydefest, seeing the symphony on Wednesday
(At this point, he runs outside to stick a crushed water bottle over his back bike tire. He rides off, his bike making the most painful, grating, awful sound I've ever heard. He rides back and I ask him more questions. "What are some things you want, Buddy?" I ask, trying to stay out of his way. He rolls his eyes. "I'd like to stain the deck. I think I'll have to cut the grass this weekend, too," he replied. And then he fell off his bike. "HA!" I said. Parents always win. And so the questions continue...)
Wanting: To ride my bike, play in the grass
Thinking: the new Ben 10 is on tonight, thinking about reading my new books
School: Greek, Latin, archaeology class. I like it all.

(Sorry about not updating much this week. We really did go to Clydefest! And we saw the NC Symphony orchestra and make stuff and did things like we always do. It's been just fine. My computer is wonky and my router died, so I'm sitting in the floor against a wall so I can connect my husband's computer to the modem and LIFE IS SO HARD. I'll catch up soon.)
(Did I mention that I stopped buying chocolate and cookies and stuff because I thought it would make me thinner and happier? And now, all I have is two empty tubs of weird tasting, possibly European sugarless gummy candy? I am not thinner, and certainly not happy.)
(Did enjoy The Shaggs article at Sweet Juniper! today. A Music Tapes reference always makes me smile, too.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Solar Beat

A friend shared this link with me, and it's just the most beautiful & coolest thing. It was so nice and so soothing to wake up to on a quiet, foggy, peaceful morning, and I found myself getting excited to hear the sounds of Neptune and Pluto. (Hooray for including Pluto!)

Solar Beat from Whitevinyl

I was going to save this for later in the week, but I just couldn't wait. Hope you love it, too.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Allie Tuesday

This is what 8-year old Al is into this week. (It makes me miss being eight.)


(Paying-attention parent note: instead of "sleep," we say, "eat peeps." Happy?)

Reading: The Wizard of Oz
Watching: The Black Cauldron ("I like the creepy stuff," she says.)
Eating: spaghetti!
Liking: coloring, shopping with Daddy, looking for creatures (frogs, bugs, etc), ClydeFest, riding my bike
Wanting: a kitty and a turtle and another dog. To go to Kentucky.
Thinking: Ice Cream. Ponies.
School: I like fractions and our online archaeology class.

Thanks, Miss Kitty!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

simply honored. and so, so shocked.

I just want to say how very surprised and very happy I am to be part of the group of finalists for the Pioneer Woman's macro photography assignment. I love her challenges and have so, so much fun with them...they make me take the time to stop and look around more, search for textures and light and colors, and push my little Canon point 'n'shoot as far as I know how to take it. (Thank you, husband, for buying me the little p&s after I dropped and destroyed the camera you had just gotten me the week before. I couldn't have done it without the always-forgiving and generous you.) I absolutely love looking at all of the submitted pictures...some are just jaw-droppingly incredible...and I never imagined myself in the same league. (Still don't, honestly.) I'm so gleeful right now, I'm unbearable.

We're off to ClydeFest! I'll tell you all about it when we get back. Have a memorable, sunny, giddy weekend, y'all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


i knew there was somewhere we should be...

It was time for our car inspection, and it had to be done today. *Had.* TODAY. The DMV used to mail out somewhat helpful little reminders, reminders that would get stuck to the refrigerator before slipping down and under the refrigerator, but now our magnets are useless...the date is printed on the registration card. That would be very useful if we ever felt the urge to open the glovebox and actually look at the card periodically, but that's just ridiculous. So: Today. Jiffy Lube. Surly me. Three kids with three clipboards full of work.

While we were waiting in the oily, tiny waiting room, surrounded by crumpled USA Todays and watching endless loops of the local news, I tried to keep the kids focused and productive. I was a whirl of skirts and gentle orders.

Ian, you've already read about the Navajo? The story of Atalanta, too? Let me check your vocabulary sheet. Your math looks good. Now, just illustrate your numbers for Latin...septem of something here, octo somethingae here, etc, up to 10. Beautiful. Get busy.
Annie: Yay, lovely, your letters are gorgeous! Here's my iPod--pleasebecareful!--you can watch Super Why. (My offical title: Super Because I Said So. Har.)
Allie...summarize with *complete* sentences. Sound your words out, don't be in a hurry! Do those again, but with adjectives and adverbs, and for the love of Pete, capitalization!

I looked back at the middle aged, well dressed gentleman sitting behind me and give him one of those awkward, "Hyuck! What can ya do?" looks.

He looks back, cleans his glasses, and says, "Shouldn't they be in school?"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Folk Art Week, Part One: ClydeFest!

My kids have loved Clyde Jones's critters since they first saw one years ago outside the entrance of the NC Museum of Art. Once they spotted it, peeking out from between some tall-growing wildflowers, they had no interest in whatever was actually in the museum. Something about the creatures' almost-recognizable roughly hacked forms, their huge, fluttery, fake-flower eyes, and their coats of glitter over blindingly bright colors just make my kids swoon. (And why wouldn't they? Jones has attracted swarms fans to his critterful home in Bynum, NC, and the wooden animals have traveled all over the world. We're so lucky to live so close!)

(Close-up of Georgia artist Peter Loose's Clydemobile, taken at the folk art show in Fearrington, NC, February 2010.)

(The kids & Mr. Loose in front of the ridiculously awesome Clydemobile. Mr. Loose was wonderful in his own right, and kindly showed the kids how to play one of his beautiful handmade dulcimers.)

This weekend is ClydeFest!, and we've been excited about it for months. Allie had the swell idea to make critter shirts, so we spent this evening practicing our critter drawings before Sharpie-ing them onto a tee. Tomorrow (after our we garden with one of our homeschool groups!) we're going to add the eyeflowers, and then they'll be ready to model. The kids are very pleased.

(Allie adds spots to her dog/deer.)

We met Clyde a couple of months ago, and he gave the kids some very cool Clyde-art temporary tattoos. He was much more delightful than he looks in this picture, I swear. His art isn't for sale, either...he gives it away or donates it for children's charities. How amazing is that?

If you want to check out more Clyde (and you do!), here are some links:
ClydeFest 2010 (tons of links and videos here)
Cult of Clyde
Clyde Jones, Critter Artist
Roadside America: Clyde Jones's Critter Crossing

We're all going to watch Castle in the Sky before it's time for bed. You: check out Clyde.

perfect springy music to play while making t-shirts as the sun goes down...

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

these kids of mine, they can't be denied.

Annie's sitting in the floor. She's singing a Deerhunter song in her shaky, sweet, unembarrassed five year old voice. She's cutting out drawings of kittens and squirrels, bringing them to me behind her back and asking me to pick one. I win no matter which hand I choose.
Allie is across the room, playing with Playmobil. She sings along with Annie sometimes. Sometimes, she changes the words and drives Annie crazy. Together they make up a song about shopping at Target to the tune of "Helter Skelter." It makes me laugh, and I join in. Al brings me the scene she's made: a string of mortals trying to climb a rope to Mt. Olympus. The Playmobil girl on top is named Judy and she's going to get there first because Pegasus has come down from the sky to carry her the rest of the way.
"You DID it, Mom!" Ian yells. He's playing baseball on the Wii. The kids made a Mii of me (and a very cute one, too) and my batter hit a home run. He was sincerely happy for Mii.

I read a comment on a blog earlier that said, "Identities are temporary." It's taken me a long time to become comfortable with this present identity of mine: mom, homeschooler, wife. Not jetsetter, not a mover and/or shaker, not anything I ever spent my younger years dreaming about being. Pretty far from it, actually. It's only occasionally now (and not all the time) that I want to tell strangers that (in spite of the chattering kids, and the minivan, and the purse full of band-aids and tissues, and the house in the 'burbs with the weedy flower bed and the too-large swing set out back) I've been places and listened to really obscure music and interviewed bands and am kind of still cool waaaay deep down. I'm at this beautiful, magical place, though: I'm so totally content with this version of me. I like this identity so much, I wish it would never slip away. But it will, and the now-me is sad when I think about it. The young-me rolls her eyes and mutters about concerts missed, about selling out, about goofy kid concerns that are long gone. Hopefully the someday-me is saying that the next self, she'll be alright, too.

We had to go out earlier so the kids could spend the money they'd saved up. Someone on our street has put up a tacky black and gold sign for a local candidate.
"Someone's running for sheriff," Allie remarked. I nodded.
Her voice got low and drawly, and she said, "This town ain't big enough for the both of us."

Seriously, how could I ever want anything else?

Monday, April 5, 2010

built to spill, lizards, and punctuation

Holy cow, today is just beautiful. I'm sitting cross-legged on the back deck, still hot in the shade (but not minding too much), burning my toes on the hot wood, watching the kids chase a lizard through the trees. Built to Spill is playing on my computer, the songs drifting past me like the most laid-back, sighing breeze...soft, gentle, just loud enough for only me to hear. I read a nicely written post and of course I had to listen again, even though we were just playing the same thing this morning. The kids don't care, and it's so completely perfect for today.

We spent the morning doing the work I had prepared: fractions, Greek heroes, Latin, Custer's last stand, reading. It was when the kids started writing that things went awry.
"Didn't we spend, like, two weeks discussing proper punctuation?" I asked, using my super-serious Mom/teacher voice. The kids didn't even look up from their papers, writing away and ignoring capitalization, quotation marks, and commas like nothing had ever happened. I think they do this to get back at me for getting rid of cable on a regular basis and making them spend months studying the polar explorers. (Now that it's written out there like that, I think that's a definite YES.)
(Also, I hope they never read this blog. My own punctuation and sentence structure are pretty abysmal.)
"Fine," I said. "This is how we're going to do it. Quotation marks-Hey-comma-Allie-comma-would you get me a pencil-question mark-quotation-asked Mom-period."
Allie played along. "Quotation-sure-comma-Mom-comma-I'd be glad to-comma-quotation-replied Allie-peroid."
Ian giggled. "Quotation-gosh-comma-Mom-comma-this sure is stupid-exclamation point-quotation-said Ian-period."
"Quotation-Whatever works-comma-kids-period-whatever-works-period-quotation."

And that's been our day so far.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Hardships of Victorian Life, Pt. 2

"Al, your Playmobil pals look pretty sad. What are they doing?"

"They're getting ready to go to a friend's house. There's no TV at their house."

"That's tragic."

"It is."


"Please don't get rid of cable."