posts tagged with 'excuses'

tonight I'm sleeping instead of writing

If you read this blog via an RSS feed or check in regularly—not likely, I know!—you will have noticed that recent posts have been showing up late. The fact is, I'm behind in my writing. I have lots of things I want to write about, but I keep failing to finish posts on time. The last couple nights I stayed up late to catch up from last week—that is, when I wasn't staying up late to get ready for a birthday party. I was delighted to get all that stuff about the end of school and Harvey's birthday down, dated retroactively... but now, after a full day, I find myself behind again! And so very, very tired. So instead of staying up past ten for a fourth night in a row, I'm leaving this note here—low content, but on time!—and I'll try and use tomorrow's writing time for the story about our trip under the highway, or the two waterslides the boys have experienced in the last week. As long as I don't have to take all of it helping the younger writers, that is. We've got a lot going on over here!

lost week

Last week was rough. On Monday morning—before breakfast, even!—I made a poor life choice going over a jump and smashed into a tree. Besides cutting up my face wonderfully, I did something to the nerves in my neck that left my hands numb and my arms sore. That slowed me down some, I can tell you! Then just as I was feeling better on Thursday it was time for our second Covid vaccine. Welcome, of course, but when I woke up on Friday I found that the post-vaccine fever had combined with the nerve damage to leave the about the most uncomfortable I've ever been. Sleeping especially has been really hard. And then on top of all that, adding insult to literal injury, the woodchucks and rabbits have been absolutely destroying the garden. It's extremely discouraging.

me, bloodied and bruised

trying not to let the bastards get me down

But we're alive, and enjoying seeing more and more friends in person, and I imagine I may one day start to feel better again. My shoulders don't hurt so much I can't type, at least!

entertainment

I was going to write something this evening after everyone else went to bed, but instead I just watched all the other videos from the Marsh Family. My mom clued me in about them a couple months ago, but aside from watching one on her phone I didn't get into them... my loss, because they're all really delightful! We spent some today working on our own rendition of "Have the New Jab"... we've got a way to go to reach their level of talent, but Zion can belt it out like Tess and Ella and in Harvey we've got a banjo-bass double threat. Is viral video stardom in our future? Well, probably not, because none of the boys actually want to be on camera. But we're looking forward to lots more fun listening to, and playing, these songs!

I'm not dead

When I stop writing in the blog it's sometimes hard to get going again. Here's what happened. With the election outcome in doubt, I couldn't focus on anything, and certainly not writing. Any time I sat down at the computer I was drawn inexorably toward checking the news, and then reading to the same contentless words over and over again. You know, there wasn't actually that much happening between when I voted on Tuesday and we heard the results the following Saturday... but people were happy to pretend there might be, and I was primed to listen to them!

Then almost immediately after we got the happy news about Biden's victory, we had a personal farm tragedy: the dogs got out in the yard unsupervised with the chickens and attacked them. They killed one right away, and wounded another very seriously. She lingered for almost two days in our little chicken hospital box, but there was nothing we could really do for her besides making her as comfortable as possible, and she died Monday afternoon. Goodbye, Brownie and Ramona: we all miss you. There were many tears shed. Then after that the rest of the week was pretty normal, but the psychological fatigue and inertia kept me from getting back into writing. What would I say?

So that's what happened. I plan on going back and adding photos for the past two Sundays I missed, and as Thanksgiving gets closer I'm sure there will be more things I want to write about. So I guess you haven't heard the last of me yet.

becoming that which I despise

In the past I've felt a little superior to people who put their bikes on the car to drive to the trail. Why do that?! A bicycle is a way to get places, I thought. Before the pandemic we went lots of places by bicycle, with some of our rides being fun and exciting and others just a way to get somewhere more quickly than walking. Now, though, there's basically nowhere for the kids to go, so all our rides are recreational, and we're kind of tired of the routes around here. So we're doing this.

two bikes in the trunk of the van

at least they both fit easily

That was yesterday afternoon, when Harvey and I drove to the Burlington Landlocked Forest. It's our favorite place to ride these days, as we develop our techical off-road skills. We're lucky to live near lots of varied and beautiful forests, but all the paths in our neighborhood are made by walkers for walkers (except for the ones made by four-wheelers, but that's another subject). In the Landlocked Forest we found a whole network of trails laid out by mountain bikers to follow delightful swoopy lines over the small hills. There's challenge too, since lots of the paths pick out the most tricky routes up steep slopes or along ridges. The forest isn't that big, but the landscape is wonderfully varied: smooth-floored pine woods, meadow, swamp (with long boardwalks to ride on!), rocky deciduous forest... and lots of little hills, up and down, up and down. On of our favorite spots that we did yesterday is a tiny valley where you ride a switchbacked path down one steep side, cross a bridge over a stream, and switchback right back up the other side. I wanted to stop and take a picture but it was incredibly hot and humid and, when we stopped for a second, crowds of bugs descended instantly. Better to ride than document, anyways.

Of course, we could ride there from home. We have done, once. But driving lets us really push ourselves on the trails: I could barely keep moving forward by the time we got back to the car. That's how we mountain-bike bros do it! I did tell Harvey, though, that we're working on getting stronger so we don't need to do the drive. It might be a while though... car-biking is so much fun!

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when do I do my writing?

Since it's the middle of May, we've started to step up our academic work a little bit. Got to have something for those portfolios! Harvey and Zion are both writing a little bit most days, and I'm actually kind of jealous. When is my writing time?! Some days I think I can write at the same time as them, but that doesn't work. Lijah isn't writing, so sometimes I'm doing something with him. More often it's dishes or making dinner or something else I'm trying to catch up on. Plus, it's not really that easy to get into the flow of composition when someone is asking you every one and a half minutes how to spell something. "Like it sounds! What do you have so far?"

I got lots to catch up on... Zion's birthday and birthday party, a big pokemon tournament we went to, homeschool outings—Easter!—so it's not like I'm hurting for subjects. I just need time when I'm not doing other things. It's kind of a busy time in the garden. Hey, I should write about that!

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nature photography

I really wanted to do the moments from the week post on Sunday, or at least Monday: we did so many exciting things last week that I captured on pretend film! Or at least one very exciting thing, a trip to Hartford so Harvey could compete with the nation's best in a day of Pokemon card battles. But my phone is not cooperating. It doesn't want to share its photos with my computer. I'm sure we'll work it out, but for now that's the hold-up.

However, I do own an actual camera. Quite a good one, actually, thanks to my family's generosity a couple Christmases ago. Only it's a little cumbersome, and also a little complicated... I confess that after a year and half I still haven't managed to read the manual enough to really bring out its best. Even with my lack of skill, though, there are definitely still some areas where it far outstrips my phone camera, and on our visit to the Acton Arboretum today it totally proved its worth.

pink flowers

May flowers

We'd never been before; I had no idea it was there, even. We went with friends from our homeschool coop, and had a great time. Besides the flowers, there were also turtles and frogs.

a frog

he liked the rain too

Pictures of humans will hopefully be forthcoming in the near future.

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many missing moments

the boys braving the wind on the breakwater in Provincetown

how far does it go?

Life got away from me a little bit. But while I didn't manage to get to the blog for the last month, that doesn't mean we didn't do anything; on the contrary! Here are some of the many moments from the past month.

Harvey looking at the Bewitched statue in Salem

Pokemon tourism in Salem

the boys at the breakfast table in sweatshirts

first chilly morning

the boys sitting on the curb making silly faces

waiting for the parade

Zion and Lijah standing on the chicken coop to pick crab apples

crab apple harvest

Mama and the boys trying to get into the wavey ocean

the fall ocean is a little rougher

the boys and friends pausing to look over the side of a wooden bridge

on a relaxed hike

Lijah in his leopard hat and mittens

he's a wildcat when it gets cold

Harvey under a big abstract sculpture at MIT

Pokemon tourism at MIT

a band member balancing a trombone on his chin

Honk parade!

Harvey playing foozball at a crowded party

foozball champ

Mama and Harvey swimming in Walden Pond

october swim

the boys on the couch Facetiming with Mama

Mama reporting in from Chicago

Zion looking bored playing Pokemon at Comicazi

giving competitive Pokemon a try

in the canoe on breezy Walden Pond

cold-weather boating

the boys in a stick house in the woods

human-size fairy house

the boys and a friend sliding down a rock on a woodsy hillside

natural slide

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final Discovery

The moments from the week will be a little sparse tomorrow because for a combination of reasons I took almost no pictures over the past week. That means we'll miss remembering—among other things—some beautiful sparkling sunshine, six boys on one couch playing Mario Kart, and our first at-home Pokemon tournament. But worst of all, I forgot to bring the camera yesterday when we visited the Discovery Museum and played in the old house for what may well be the last time ever.

See, after 35 years of delighting children of all ages from 1-8, the museum folks feel that they've outgrown the not-huge Victorian house where it all began. It wasn't enough to supplement it with an education space and a science museum for older kids and the best playground space ever—with the original museum feeling cramped and shabby (not to mention far from ADA-compliant) they plan to bring all the indoor exhibits together under one roof. That roof is currently scheduled to open February 10, at which point the house will be closed to the public forever.

Sad news. The museum as it is has a ramshackle charm that's really hard to find these days. All the exhibits are clearly made out of recycled material and things you can find at any hardware store. And the fact that they're sited in what's very clearly still a reasonably modest single-family home drives home the point that you, too, could be as creative if you cared to. What a discovery!

But times change, and Yelp reviewers in 2017 2018 demand flashier design and cleaner carpets (plus universally accessible bathrooms, for preference). As I wrote when I first learned of the proposed changes last year: given the fantastic success of Discovery Woods I'm inclined to give the museum leadership the benefit of the doubt. There will be wonderful things in the new museum when we visit it (in late February at the earliest!). But it won't be the same. We very much enjoyed our visit yesterday, and I really wish we had photos to prove it.

Instead we just have to remember things in our minds. Who even does that?!

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missing thousands of words

There are many things that are making writing hard for me these days, but one of them is not having a working camera. As you can see, when I'm blogging I think in pictures: first I see a moment I want to capture in a photo, and taking the picture I think of how I want to frame it in writing; then I use words to connect the different pictures together. Even when I just want to write some dumb thing about mowing the lawn, I really like to have an image to anchor my thoughts. With only my disgraceful phone camera available, that method of composition does not work.

So you miss, for example, the full details of how we deal with colder weather. Oh, how I wished this evening to be able to photograph Harvey's outfit this evening, chosen for cycling to the library in 40° weather: shorts, snow boots, an unzipped sweatshirt, and fingerless gloves. Super punk. I totally would have had some good things to write about that. Or, also on the clothing front, I could write about my disgusting work pants that I wear like all the time—but not without a picture of them.

You know, one thing that maybe doesn't need a photograph is the boys' obsession with the disposable plastic knives from the community dinner, how they must always have at least two as weapons, and how Harvey had his confiscated by a uniformed Air Force officer this evening. But now I'm too tired. Maybe another time.

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