time to sleep

It is hard sometimes to find time to write. The time that I usually manage it is after the kids go to bed; the problem with that, though, is that after I finish bedtime I need a good long time to decompress from the busyness of the day and concentrate on producing readable English prose (and Lord knows I don't always hit the mark even then). So of course my own bedtime is delayed, sometimes past 11:00.

Which 11:00 may be a perfectly reasonable bedtime for some adults! I've heard that there are sometimes things showing on the television—dramatic events, sporting contests—that will keep viewers up at least that long. But I don't think it works for me in the long run. My average day takes a considerable amount of emotional energy and improvisational thinking, and I need my sleep. So I have a new regime, and no more late-night writing.

Except for Zion, we're all pretty much early risers in this household. This morning Leah was up first and out for a run at 6:00. Harvey got up a few minutes ago and is now reading out on the front porch using a headlamp. Lijah is eating his pre-breakfast muffins on the couch. Can I do the day's writing work before the sun rises and I need to start getting breakfast ready? Only time will tell. But it should certainly be easier after 8+ hours of sleep a night, for a change.

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moments from the week

Lijah sliding down the sandy concrete slope at the Kemp Playground, wearing and eye patch

pirate sand sledding

Moments from the past week.

Lijah looking up from the glowing iPad

sneaking some screen time

Lijah climbing a tall rope ladded structure

spider manning

kids roasting pears on sticks over a fire

roasting pears

Harvey and Lijah sitting by a fire in the dark

and just enjoying a fire

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the apple pie

Last year we got tons of apples from our Northern Spy tree. At the time I predicted, half in jest, that the bumper crop would mean slim pickings this year—in fact that's just what happened. Never mind, we got tons of Honeycrisps this year, which is what the people want, and there are enough Northern Spys to eat a few and make a couple of pies. I made the first one yesterday.

apple pie in process on the kitchen table

putting it together

I have to admit I didn't feel totally manly as I rolled out this particular crust; the refrigerator repair guys working a few feet away put me off my game a little bit. But the apples were good ones, and the pie came out wonderful. Even better, when time came to serve it there was also a cheesecake and a gigantic (and wonderful) carrot cake, so there was some pie left for me and the boys to have for breakfast this morning.

a slice of apple pie on the table

yum

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storm report

There was a storm last night. A "bomb cyclone", apparently, that brought 55mph winds to Bedford, along with some rain. It didn't feel entirely cataclysmic as we experienced it, though things crashing did wake me up once or twice. Our power went out between 1:00 and 4:30 or so, but really, who needs electricity in the middle of the night? It was back when it counted. And none of our plants or trees suffered at all.

But that's not to say we escaped entirely unscathed! Our storm door in front blew around and got a little (more) banged up. Some water came in one of the downstairs windows. And most startlingly, the back door blew open entirely and the kitchen floor got soaked, as did my backpack which I'd left by the door. I know, I should have put it away—but you still don't expect to suffer a deluge! The bag was soaked through, my Pokemon card case was wet through... luckily, the deck box itself within the case kept out the water so my favorite deck didn't suffer any damage.

Lots of folks had it worse than us. 45 percent of Bedford households were still without power at 6am, and the schools had a two-hour delay to let the DPW clear the roads. At Harvey's friend's house around the corner a tree fell on their car—luckily missing smashing it entirely, but it's still not something you like to see. Then today was cold and wintery. Summer is over.. the season of storms is upon us!

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poetry on his own time

This morning we went to a "poetry teatime". What a great idea! Tea and poetry are definitely among our favorite things. We were almost late because we were having so much fun reciting poems and song lyrics over the breakfast table. And I had to make muffins. Because I don't know that it's possible for homeschoolers to get together for anything without treats—thematically appropriate if possible. Three families came; that meant two kinds of muffins and some scones.

Harvey showed us something else about homeschoolers too. Despite having already read his chosen poem—"The Unicorn", by Shel Silverstein—out loud to his brothers before we went, he wasn't feeling it when it came time to present it to the group. Before we finished up he did read a shorter poem to everyone, but it wasn't until the kids he didn't know as well had left that he opened up and read "The Unicorn", plus a selection of other favorites. He does "The Unicorn" so good: certainly the most hip-hop-influenced delivery of that particular poem you'll ever hear from a child in Bedford.

The problem with school is that you have to do everything on somebody else's schedule. Do poems now. Don't do poems now, it's time for something else. Harvey was still reading from Where the Sidewalk Ends for an hour after the other kids were done with poetry and on to playing—mostly to himself, but sharing a few choice selections with me at the other parent there. Which was totally perfect for the way our time was structured... or un-structured, if you prefer!

Our host's younger daughter wasn't there: last week she started preschool, on her own strong request. So far she's enjoying the chance to be with friends in that environment, so even when offered the chance to stay home and be part of a totally awesome poetry/baked-goods extravaganza she told her mom she had to be at school. Clearly it suits some people better than others. I wonder if she'll keep liking it? And how much poetry do they do there?

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