sneaking off

If you know us in real-life, or even in blog-life I guess, you know that Dandy is not a free-range kid. I always have to know where he is and what he is doing. If I don't, he gets himself into trouble. It's not a lot different from parenting a 4-year-old, only a lot taller.

Any way, he has been sneaking off for the last few days. You know where I find him?

On his bed. Reading.

Oh happiness and joy.

He is reading, for real, Harry Potter. Not pretending to read it, but really reading it -- able to correctly tell me what is happening.

He is in 4th grade; three years ago he spoke only Russia and read nothing but his name in both languages.

:: read the rest of sneaking off


We Who Are Your Closest Friends

We Who Are Your Closest Friends

We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
discontent and
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.
-- Phillip Lopate

:: read the rest of We Who Are Your Closest Friends


quickie update

Well we visited our excellent vet this morning who says that we have practically perfect cats and who mentioned that his lovely wife reads the blog which reminded me that I need to post so here I am posting.  So, here is my day:

  • kitties to vet
  • prepare and serve special meals for ailing foster hens: grated apple and carrot in yogurt, served slightly warm.
  • launch kids onto their daily chore and school lists
  • run errand for brother in exchange for a free massage
  • grade 27 items for World Lit class
  • grade 139 items for Eng 101
  • run laundry
  • make dinner for beloved niece who is blessing us with her presence this evening
  • pay bills at least to the point that the credit cards work again
  • supervise son as he does the seasonal clothes sorting
  • research spring trip to Mexico (that's the carrot that gets me to the end of the list)
That's all.

:: read the rest of quickie update


bursting my buttons with pride to be related to this one

My dear friend Sonya, curious about homeschooling I suppose, wondered what we were doing for Columbus Day. Would I teach my kids about Columbus as courageous explorer or obnoxious conqueror? Should he be celebrated or despised? What about immigration? Manifest destiny? read the whole article, and find out which of my clever relatives wrote it, over at Psychology Today . . .

:: read the rest of bursting my buttons with pride to be related to this one


We've been building

We built these lovely chicken nesting boxes:

And this nice chicken roost that swings out of the way for cleaning.

By "we" I mean the kids and I. Dandy helps hold things and Chickadee is a great bit girl (changing from the drill bit to the screwdriver bit). We built these two things without plans which is a big step up for us. Up until now I have depended on written instructions.

While we did this, Jamie ripped out the old interior walls of the creamery (the little building on the right), insulated the walls, installed plywood, and is building the partition that separates the chicken space from the storage part of the room. He is also building a cute wind-protection tunnel whereby they may enter and exit the hen-house (formerly know as the creamery). Dandy installed the trim work along the ceiling. He is right proud of this, as you can imagine.

:: read the rest of We've been building


yummy fall menu

Our dinner tonight was:

  • apple cider from our cider pressing at my parents'
  • borscht from our garden with sour cream and dill
  • dark dark rye bread with butter
  • gingercake with applesauce and whipping cream
Very simple. Very pretty. Very nutritious. Very filling. Very thrifty.

:: read the rest of yummy fall menu


happening right now at my house

  • My Dad is, with a lapfull of snoozing house-bunnies, supervising Dandy who is assembling Grandma's birthday gift: a new Radio Flyer red wagon with sides.
  • Chickadee is reading to said Grandma.
  • Apple cake is baking.
  • Dogs are snoozing in the sun.

I love days like this.

:: read the rest of happening right now at my house


I need to . . .

  • empty and sort my freezers.
  • grade 50 quizzes and write this week's quiz questions.
  • make soup.
  • process (pay, reconcile, dispute etc.) a month's worth off bills and E.O.B.s.
  • harvest, roast, shred, and freeze beets.
  • put away the summer clothes and get out the woolies.
  • revise the children's daily "to do" lists.

:: read the rest of I need to . . .


hope for America

DIY Chicken Coop!

me! me! me!

Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

:: click here to read my 8 things meme



older child adoption


top 10 posts



This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::