posts tagged with 'excuses'

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!


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.


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


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?!


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.


today's excuses

I have things I'd like to write. Over the weekend I officiated a wedding at a farm on a lake in New Hampshire. Yesterday we spent the day in Lowell exploring canals and museums and trolleys. Plus all the things from last week and before that I don't even remember. But there's not much time, it turns out; not even after the party ends for the day.

the globe lights hanging over the empty picnic table

at the end of today

This evening we had nine adults and six kids (counting us all) over for dinner. I made chili, coleslaw, cornbread, and sourdough bread. Before that the boys and I cleaned the house (pretty much). Zion got stung by something so he couldn't do much cleaning. Before that we biked the nine-mile round-trip to the farmers market. That was after our lunch of hard-boiled eggs, cheese, roasted broccoli, and honey whole wheat bread hot out of the oven. We did school all morning (after chores and walking the dog around the block). Each of the boys wrote a story about the Lowell trip; Harvey drew a map of the living room; Zion counted dimes and pennies while Harvey timed himself on addition facts. When Harvey got frustrated he threw himself backwards and bumped his head pretty badly on the shelf. For breakfast we had biscuits and jam.

Somehow, in all of that, I didn't get a blog post written. Maybe I can copy Harvey's story in tomorrow. He's clearly way ahead of me.

Every season is busy in its own way. I'm delighted to be getting some serious time to do school with the boys, and to have the house cool enough to bake—you can tell how delighted I am by how I go on about it! Maybe once winter settles in we'll have more calm writing time. But I'm not ready for winter until I manage to do a couple building projects outside. So you can see there's a bit of queue. I want to write...


the state of the family, early September

When I look back at my photos from the last month and a bit I despair—so many adventures un-written-about! But then I look at the dirty dishes and adjust my priorities: an unusable kitchen is more serious than a blogging deficit any day, even if it does mean that Zion's "first day" of "school" has to wait to be described until we have a little more time—to say nothing of a terrific last full day of our August camping adventure and our lovely mini-vacation this past weekend.

But all hope isn't lost! Yesterday was the first day of the school year program at church, and I managed to make it all happen the way it was supposed to—a big load off my mind. Even better, Lijah went to his own Kids Church class happily (reasonably happily) and made it through the whole hour-and-a-half without needing us to rescue him! Actually, it seems like he loved it; it may be that he's been waiting his whole life for a chance to play with toys by himself, without his brothers bothering him. Sure, I wouldn't be surprised if we have to deal with some tricky drop-offs over the weeks and months to come—Harvey is in second grade and sometimes has tricky drop-offs, for goodness sake!—but it does feel like we're starting to turn a corner back towards being real humans who can have interests beyond surviving. I'm even working on building a third kid bed!

Maybe I overstate our difficulties: Leah is in the midst of painting the interior trim downstairs (not right this second, but generally) and I'm learning to play guitar, among other useful amusements. But those are only in spare moments amongst piles of laundry and kids' toys and assorted detritus. Just think what things'll be like when we don't need to read to Lijah for two hours every day! We'll be unstopable. And you'll get to read about that camping trip.


stolen moments

Leah and Lijah at the edge of the ocean, looking out to sea

peaceful escape

This time of year seems way too busy. Fun things, burdensome things, routine things—between working and starting homeschooling and never-ending chores in the house and garden there hasn't been much time for peace and reflection lately. So a quick overnight trip to the ocean was just what we needed.

Of course, we had to come back; and the stress and fighting started right up when we walked in the door. But there's fun times to look forward to this week, and maybe we can look at the photos and rocks we brought back with us to recapture a little of that wonderful vacation feeling!

I took maybe 150 pictures, and some of them aren't bad. I hope to write about our recent adventure, and lots more less recent, when I have a minute to think. Someday.



Can't write, sleeping.

being a toddler bed

I had plans for a blog post this evening, but instead spent 45 minutes holding a sleeping Lijah while Leah did real work. Such is the state of affairs around here lately: our almost-two-year-old can only sleep while touching another human. At least he's cuddly!