Pieces together


Work on the quilt is continuing. I’ve tried to use some time on Saturdays for the past couple weeks. My favorite part comes after you assemble all the squares: you try them one way…


…and another way…


…and shoo the dogs, cat, and kids AWAY from the designated floorspace so they don’t rumple the fabric with their wayward feet…


…and suddenly you like what you see. Or you sort of nervously think that would possibly work.

Life is like that, isn’t it: decision made by least amount of uncertainty rather than decisive preference.


It ended up being more colorful than I thought it would. Remarkably, it looks quite different viewed through the camera lens! The naked eye gave me a less unified impression of it, and not really what I had imagined it would look like. More like a map than a pattern? It pleased me that many of the cut up flowers looked like fish. – Katie


2nd Grade Author’s Tea


Corrie’s class had a very entertaining Author’s Tea in which each student read one of their compositions from the past year. There was poetry, animal description, fiction, personal narrative, and biography. One little girl peeking out from behind thick black bangs read a lengthy story featuring a plane crash AND a chase by wild tiger, which indicates a good imagination and a strong stomach, I think. Two boys read descriptions they had written of their own Dads, whom they really loved.  Easter Egg hunts were prominent, possibly appearing in 6 of 18 or so narratives.IMG_0470

Corrie read a poem she had written about her own classroom. Each child was introduced with a self-composed one-paragraph description, which was read aloud by the teacher before they took the podium, and Corrie’s began (in the third person): “Corrie wrote about her classroom because she loves school.” She read charmingly and clearly. – Katie



I recovered this chair with instructions, fabric, and a staple gun borrowed from a friend.


And THEN I got all enthusiastic and did it to a larger seat that had cushions. No staple gun: just an old fashioned fold-over of the fabric and three seams. Two on the sewing machine and one by hand. Being able to sew a straight seam on a machine is a surprisingly useful skill – it’s not fancy but it gives you a running start on lots of stuff. Note to self: must try to teach offspring to at least sew straight line. – Katie

The First Night We Heard Crickets


The first night we heard crickets

Scraping violins under children’s shouts

I washed 5 pairs of feet before bed

Cared not a fig for homework

Felt in my skin the joy of theirs

Tasting spring dirt. – Katie



IMG_0426Be the Thing You See

John Moffit


To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say
‘I have seen spring in these
Woods,’ will not do–you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.


Laundry help


Lily believes that laundry day is a show put on especially for her. Why else would one of those big ones get out all the soft draggy things, beautifully stinky with all the scents of the people she loves, and pile them into a nap nest just for her?

I get the dirty clothes out of myriad hampers and bins, I pile them on the kitchen floor, I spray and sort; and the comfy dog makes as many comfy arrangements as she can.


Sometimes the girls help me, which means seizing the Spray’n’Wash from where I left it and laboriously squeezing the sprayer until they have emptied the bottle entirely over entirely random bits of clothing. They ruffle with consternation when the bottle runs out. Oh, no! There is no more! How will we do laundry!?


Look at that sweet puppy face! In her opinion, the Spray’n’Wash messes up the lovely smells of sweat and souring food stains. Give her a nice snot-smeared sleeve every time. Maybe this time they won’t find out where she’s hidden the used underwear for some chewing later.


So as the girls spray she moves around to the opposite side of the pile. That’s the key: keep moving! – Katie

San Fransisco at Walmart


This is a poppy I bought at Walmart. Poppies! Why have I not tried them before? The Walmart garden center worker, sporting a vibrant grey ponytail, assured me that they are perennials and will come back if treated gently. But they only bloom once in spring – the rest of the year they’re just raggedy greenage. How do you think the plant makes more than one color of flower at a time?

It’s situated there between a nascent lily and a struggling gerber daisy than blooms but only in a very put-out manner. There’s a miniature pomegranate in back and a little rosebush to the right. The front beds beside the house are like a road map to my sporadic gardening forays.


The blooms are so beautiful. When James was sworn in as a lawyer his parents took all four of us to San Fransisco for the ceremony (he was licensed in the state of California) and in May there were poppies EVERYWHERE. So they look like San Fransisco to me.

I’ve been eying them all week wondering what part you have to eat to travel to exotic places in your dreams… – Katie

Austin Adventures


A few highlights from Abbey’s Austin trip.


The reviews were on the whole positive. The adventures included the Bob Bullock Museum, a guided tour of the Bat Bridge, the Capitol building, and the Dr. Pepper Museum, among other things. A couple of the tour guides were panned. (“I know tour guides, Mom, and he was a BAD tour guide. Every other word was “um” or “like”!”)


Does this make you think of the movie Stripes, with Bill Murray? Those faces are a little on the nonplussed side…


Can you see wings on them? I think this is what you call broadening your horizons. – Katie