Tuesday, January 7, 2014

keeping quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms too much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm the whales
and the man gathering salt
would not hurt his hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems to be dead
in winter and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

~ Pablo Neruda

Monday, December 2, 2013

little wooden houses as waldorf classmate christmas gifts

Every year as we snuggle down during Advent and try to spend the long winter nights together with stories and baking and wholesome good work, we attempt to come up with a simple craft that we can create together for little classmate gifts for Christmas.  
(Spoiler alert, dear Waldorf friends, we've got a basket of these little houses coming your way on the day before winter break!)

This year, since we're still house hunting and living at my mum and dad's, we had access to some good tools and even better helpers.  Opa and his table saw started us off in our production by sawing a pointy edge from a regular ol' 2x4.  (Cost: about $3)

He then chopped it up into smaller pieces.

Then Naiya, Oma and I sanded down the rough edges.

Sanding can be messy business so we stood out in the 30-something degree weather smoothing down those splintery corners.

Back inside we mixed up a platter of rainbow goodness and set to work with our acrylics.

They sat on the table for a couple of days and got more and more elaborate with glitter, fancy paper and lots of painted embellishments.

We finished them off with a screw eye and bit of ribbon for simple ornaments we hope the kids will enjoy.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

the glory of the earth at rest

I wish I had taken a picture of the tree when all the leaves were still clinging to the branches.  Blanketing the ground, though, they're just as glorious.

We give thanks to the Earth and to Opa: Master Gardener Extraordinaire.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

where the columbia meets the pacific

Last weekend we took a little family day and headed out to Astoria on the Oregon Coast.  We'd never really explored this town before.  As usual, we had some letterbox clues to guide us to some fantastic locales.

At 600 feet above sea level, Coxcomb Hill is Astoria's highest point.  It has some really amazing views and is home to the Astoria Column.

"The story behind the Column, its deterioration and rescue by the Friends of Astoria Column, rivals the history it depicts." (from AstoriaColumn.org)

In addition to the history lessons and the awe inspiring views available here, one can purchase these fun balsa wood gliders for $1 at the gift shop and throw them off the top of the tower or down the grassy hill.

The woman at the shop said this now commonplace tourist activity began as a fundraiser and also as a way to keep people from throwing other things off of the tower... like bowling balls.   (Apparently, before the renovations and prior to the ground around the tower being cemented, the locals used to do this to see how far the balls would imbed themselves into the earth.)

We had a blast with just our little gliders for a couple of hours.

After a beautiful morning at the tower we crossed the Columbia from Oregon to Washington on the Astoria-Megler Bridge (the longest continuous-truss bridge in North America).  After driving up Hwy 101 we spent the rest of our afternoon at Cape Disappointment State Park.


The coast of Washington might just rival that of our home state.

It was an on-again, off-again, overcast, glorious day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

autumn garland

As in year's past, we've been collecting all the gorgeous colors of Autumn on our occasional nature walks.  We dipped our leaves in our crock pot of bees wax and, this time around, strung them together to display all their glory.

Oma and Opa's mantel was the perfect exhibition ground.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


"Mommy, why do they call it a tutu?...
                    Why don't they just call it a four?"

(And she hasn't even learned multiplication yet.)

Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

our old beloved house

For over ten years I have loved this old house.  We've made many changes over time, replacing most of the windows, adding skylights and a new roof, an entire bathroom (including claw foot tub) and the grand front porch.  We've stripped the beautiful moulding, re-finished wooden floors, re-tiled the fireplace and re-painted every white wall that was here the day we moved in.  In return, she's been quite good to us, considering she's over a hundred years old. 

We had talked about selling her for years.  She's too big for us really.  We're a family of three with one renter in the basement.  We'd like less house and more yard; more room for Naiya to play and RUN.  We'd like to be in a more neighborhood-y neighborhood.  A quiet street maybe or, in our wilder dreams, on a tiny farm.  So, we decided to take the plunge.  We put her up for sale.  
She was snatched up in three days.
At the moment, we're not sure where we'll end up.  And so the adventure begins...
Farewell, old house.  We're going to miss you...

Our basement apartment has helped us to afford our mortgage over the past decade and held close some dear friends.

Our back yard went through a number of incarnations over the years.  It began as a rectangle of cement, weeds and chain link fence.  Bits at a time we added raised beds, a play house, espaliar apple and pear trees, blueberry bushes, a pond (that came and went) and for three years hosted a small flock of hens.  In the end, it was a delightful lush getaway with a crazy volunteer squash taking over a big chunk of lawn and all of a small raised bed...

 Bye, bye garden.  So long dear house.  May you last one hundred more...
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