Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hello. I'm back. Not really listening to my inner shrieker saying, get the honey out of here and go take a bath.  Read a book. Stop researching homeschooling, stop reading blogs about other people's lives! Don't let yourself go. Go use your new pillow!

I remember watching my Dad read so many books. And my mother write and write and write. And my mother played the piano while I danced in the living room: the Pathetique Sonata by Beethoven. Can you believe we live only one life?  Can you believe that one life comes and goes, then its all over?  And there are so many blogs. There are so many people writing about how to live this one life. So many people writing with advice about how to get along, how to maximize each moment, how to accept failure and move on or how to prevent failure in the first place.  How to slow down and smell the flowers.

One reason I want to homeschool is because I might spend all of the time my kids are at school reading blogs instead of actually taking their advice.  My poor boy is sick with diarrhea. My girl is full of laughter and contentment. Do I have the balls to homeschool?  Do I have the courage to follow my instincts?  Please, allow this to happen. Don't force it. Allow it to come, to occur, to fruit.

All is well.

Goodbye.
 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 22, 2016

Hello blog.  Its nice to see you! I have missed you!  I have so much to tell you that I'm not sure where to start. Just so you know, if we do get back together, I am not going to spend a lot of time with you, like it was last time. And I will give myself to you not very often, and not necessarily thoughtfully, and I will not post you on Facebook.  I hope these parameters work for you, because they work for me and I'm kind of excited about it.

Lately, I've been writing in a free thought journal in the mornings, not every day but probably three to five times a week.  Its what keeps me sane and happy. This page is not the same thing, but maybe it will also keep me sane and happy.  My husband bought me a new computer last year right before I quit writing on these pages.  Ironic, huh?  And we moved from our house in the country to a house in town, and hopefully he won't read this, but I miss our house in the country, even though I didn't really like the house that much. It was a beautiful house. I just didn't like how when I looked out of the windows, I couldn't see the sky. Its a problem I have. I enjoy our new house. I enjoy being able to ride my bike to symphony rehearsals, and I enjoy driving about 20 minutes a day as opposed to 90 minutes a day.  Big difference.

I was thinking about my journal and wondering whether I had left it at the restaurant where we ate breakfast the other day, and I thought about how if anyone picked it up and started reading the pages, they would find a babble of words, like a bubbling creek, or a conversation in a foreign language. I had other thoughts that I cannot remember right now. You should always write down the thoughts you have when you first open your eyes in the  morning. Dammit all, I thought I would remember them.

Good bye for now.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Coffee Mug

Day 99: Feb. 28, 2014

Today's post is merely for the benefit of showing off my latest watercolor.  My poor friend who as of the middle of last night has the throw ups, as we call it around here, has influenced my inner artist.

And also, one benefit of having no goat fence is that whenever we go for a walk in the neighborhood, the goats come too. We are quite a scene walking down the road. The other day, we were walking along with our neighbor and her new puppy. We walked all the way to the intersection where another neighbor's horse hangs out, and we stopped to feed it some grass. The goats were right along with us, eating grass, hopping around when the puppy got too close. Then, another couple walks by. It was as if the goats could sense their lives would be better with these other, more sane individuals who had no puppy and no children to distract them from caring for the goats.  So they walked right along with their new mom and dad as if I and my kids never existed for them.  It was a little heart wrenching.

We got them back eventually.

Here's the watercolor.





Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Painting

Day 98, 2014

Painting is really hard but some people make it look really easy. My artist friend who I was with four months ago when this whole thing started is here again, and we're painting together. We're painting from the same still life. Uh, it turns out, I have no patience for finer details. My poor little drawing is so hideous. And his drawing is so beautiful! 

It turns out, I'm competing with my friend to make the more beautiful drawing.  They're not drawings, they're paintings.

Today's painting is bigger than my usual.  On nice paper that was purchased at the art store this morning.  See, my mind is on where my daughter will go to kindergarten next year, which makes it difficult to think fully about where to put the shadows and what colors to start with. Nonetheless, I am excited about the two watercolor books my friend found for me today, and the paper, and the new brushes.  Exciting days are ahead. 

Coffee: Wish I had had some caffeine today.

Watercolors:

 
 
 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Let's stay home, Mommy!

Day 98, Feb. 24, 2014

My three year old does not take transition lightly. I don't blame him. He lives in the moment and gets fully involved in what he's doing whether or not we have to go somewhere in two hours or ten minutes. At home, he's often happy to play by himself or with his sister for long periods at which point I can steal away to write, clean, sleep (not really.) I read somewhere recently (and I've heard this millions of times,) that less is more when it comes to parenting. 

Here are some of things we do when the kids have decided that mommy has had enough "less is more" time to herself:

1. Painting: We all enjoy it and its relaxing.  We do this at the kitchen table. There's never any mess because we're all super refined painters.  There's never paint smeared in people's hair or entirely up their arms, or kids running around smearing paint on the walls.  And we have lots of art to show for it hung on the walls in beautiful frames, and definitely not piled up in the art cabinet.

2. Play Doh: From the first day my daughter could hold the stuff in her hand and not eat all of it, we've been playing with it. We started out making snakes with colorful stripes. Well there's a snake on the box, so it was easy to come up with that one. This activity can keep us occupied for hours and we usually end up talking about pancakes and birthday cakes.

3. Dance Party: This requires massive amounts of energy which if you don't have, you still won't when you're done. Basically we turn on the music and dance around for a while. At some point and for some unknown reason, this activity evolves into sprints across the living room back and forth, back and forth until the end of time. At some further point it becomes "the flying game." The kids get tired and require that I hold their hands and "fly" them across the room as fast as I can.

4. Chase: There are rules. Only for me, though. Chase the kids into my son's room, hide my eyes while they bury themselves under a blanket. Say, "oh, there you are!"  Grab them, carry them both simultaneously into my bedroom and throw them on the bed. Repeat. (Have I mentioned that I plan on entering a body building contest?)

I'm sure its true that less is more. I hope I can strike a balance between structure and non-structure.  Between giving them my attention and letting them work it out themselves. Between helping them put on their shoes and letting them get it done on their own.

Coffee: homemade coffee with lots of chocolate today.

Watercolor:



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big

Day 97: Feb. 20, 2014

I remember my grandmother and grandfather's house well. It was a tiny house set back from the street nestled among Garden District mansions in New Orleans. The house was just a few blocks from my house and I could walk there easily.  Wednesday afternoons were the days I'd go there after school and about those days I can remember two things: saltine peanut butter crackers, and my grandfather sitting on the couch in the sun room under an umbrella, or watching TV and listening to the radio at the same time, or reading.  And its possible that every single time I saw him he asked me if I had my violin and would I play the Bruch violin concerto for him. I eventually did play that concerto, but I don't remember him being there to hear it.

I really wish my son could meet my Grandfather because I'm sure the two of them would hit it off. My Grandfather, (we called him Big) was a comedian. His jokes almost always involved word play and wry comments about life and society. My son is also a comedian. He likes to vary from the norm just to make people laugh. And he would have sat right underneath that umbrella as if nothing unusual were going on.

My grandparents used to yell at each other a lot, which seriously scared the crap out of me. I hope one day my mom writes down the story of her life living with them. Not an easy task, but it would be so interesting! At least to me.

Here' a dumb question, but one I've been thinking about for the past couple of days: If you had to choose between Nature and Culture, which would you choose? Like if someone sat you down and said, either you have to live in a cement city with all the music, art, and literature that you want, or you have to live (comfortably) in a pristine environment of natural beauty, without any of the items mentioned in the first scenario.  You could still use your brain in the second scenario, i.e. you could write, or make your own music (you'd have to make your own instruments.) I know, an idiotic question.  I'm not sure yet which I'd choose. My first instinct is to say Nature.

Coffee: N/A as of yet.

Watercolor:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Goats and other thoughts.

Day 96, Feb. 19, 2014

I enjoy February.  Its the month before March, which to me marks the beginning of Spring. I don't particularly enjoy March however, as the beginning of Spring doesn't really come until May or June in these parts. Usually, the temperature warms slightly, but the rain stays on, and at some point my kids demand to run naked through a hose no mater what the weather and then you know: all you can do is take what you can get where Spring is concerned.

I'm sitting in the woods watching the goats eat as I write this. I decided to experiment with hand writing my post for their sake. So they can eat blackberries and feel safe instead of hovering (and pooping) on my doorstep. If they had proverbial balls and any brains they'd hang out in the woods, eat their fill, and then go sit quietly in their little house until they were hungry again. Instead they hover and poop next to the front or back door and I'm going insane. Their movable fence is lying in a heap on the ground because the last time I went to move it, only a week after moving it from before, I gave up in a fit of drama and declared my love affair with the goats over. Here's the thing: they are very useful eating the blackberries, but only enclosed in a six foot fence, which is too cumbersome to be traipsing all over the mountainside once a week. So either we build something permanent and keep them as pets, or we call the experiment a fail.

As for hand writing my post, I'm enjoying it and according to the principal of one of the ritzy schools in our city, writing with a pen is the activity that most engages our brains in all of its neuron firing glory. Sounds good. I just like being in the woods as opposed to my messy house.

I was thinking today about how there was a time when people lived in the elements. No houses, computers or cars. No toilets or beds. They were hardened to the brutality of the cold and the wind, but softened by the sound of the creeks and the smell of the wet grass. I wonder when my kids will be old enough to go backpacking.  Maybe soon, because shoot, their favorite game is "trip." Or "fill a bag with stuff, march around the house, find a place to empty the bag, and then pretend to go to sleep."  Sounds a lot like backpacking!

Coffee: the day is young, nevertheless, I still have the cup. It served as a water cup while I was swimming laps.

Watercolor: