Linden Tree

Linden Tree
Linden tree

Monday, March 28, 2011 marching on.

Well, March has come and gone. Both seemingly, as a lion, I might add. We have been busy cleaning and organizing inside, belatedly picking out seeds from a seed catalogue, and taking steps to ready our yard for future growing possibilities. We also baked cookies, played dress-up, put on a dance show, swam in the tub, and took as many walks as the weather would allow.  We had lovely visits from family and friends, saw snow and sun, learned the letters "J, D, and P" and camped out in the trenches of potty training. Perhaps that should read, camped out in front of either the bathroom or the washing machine.  How did you spend your March?

This giant pine was behind our home, next to our garden. It was removed, along with three other trees on our property. Although it was sad for all of us to have them taken out, we have plans for garden expansion and perhaps a few fruit trees. The latter was the only acceptable reason to the girls to take the trees out. They have declared that they each have enough savings to buy a tree of their own, a pear tree for Mathea and a plum tree for Mairi.


Down. Amazing what light came into my office window. And how many unnoticed cobwebs there were!

These little guys were in a nest at the top of this pine. The workers were able to keep the nest intact and not handle the babies, and after a few hours the mother squirrel returned and carried them off to a quickly made new home (sorry mama!)

After asking for french braids, she couldn't resist decorating the rest of her hair. Complete with a scrap of fabric used for a doll towel. She went to school this way.

Swimming in the tub. What else to do when you want it to be spring and it insists on snowing? Oh, I know, here are a few other ideas...

Have a dance party with your sister!  She put this ensemble together on her own, black boots and all.

Inhale tulips. The very essence of spring. Enjoy them. Love them. Sing to them. Bandage their leaves when torn accidentally.  Make them the best 6 dollars mom ever spent.

And make cookies. Chocolate cookies. The kind where little girls are allowed to lick the batter bowl clean. Twice.

And on days when the sunshine and wind allow, take a walk to the local park.  Bring a friend! 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We spend a lot of time imagining in our family.  The house is usually full of galloping horses, talkative puppies, painters, sculpters, chefs, storytellers, dancers, and yes, even princesses. We daydream of owning fish (more, different, and definitely some in Mattie's room), rabbits, chickens, horses (a frequent request really) and growing a beautiful and bountiful garden, of knitting something more complicated than a garter stitch scarf, of seeing a rare bird (or any bird these days). 

And right now, especially, we are daydreaming of spring. 

Here are a few of our week's imaginings...

A fairy out for a walk with her magic wand (an unsharpened pencil with an extra eraser on the wrong end).

Ice skating in the kiddie pool.

Being a grown-up. After finding some felted sweaters for crafting, she decided they were the perfect "old" clothes. And in fact, coupled with her present outfit of dress, tights, and sandals, did indeed make one wonder. Or reminisce. In any event, she was quite excited to be a "grown-up."

Dressing up not just as grown-ups, but as a grandma and grandpa. They were in this together.

Seriously playing grandpa. She found a "boy" voice and put a play cell phone in her pocket. However, minutes later, when she stood up and discovered her shirt was so long she had to waddle, she decided playing a penguin was much more fun (to the dismay of the grandma.)

Rye, trying to escape the confines of our garden...and winter.

Bulbs, imagining it is spring.

Just as we are trying to imagine we are done with winter. (The girls decided they were done with snow and tried to kick down the snow man.  I drew the line at a bucket of hot water.)

Happy daydreaming to you!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter Returns

Winter returned without a doubt on we took the opportunity to do the perfect indoor project....painting!  The girls painted letters to spell out their names to soon adorn their bedrooms.

Hand palettes are a preferred tool.  Who thought of a paper palette anyway?

Mattie and I made a rag wreath (I couldn't take the Christmas ones any longer and spring flowers seemed a bit premature!)

Maybe better saved for the Fourth of July?

With the onslaught of snow Friday and Saturday we were left a wonderful medium for a serious snowball fight around the garden, culminating in "Cinderella" winning over the "Beast" and ultimately two wet girls burrying daddy in the snow.

Even Tory enjoyed the snowballs!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Catching UP

Well, it's been a few more days than I had intended.  Here are some pictures of a week ago or more...

The only time the birthday crown was worn ON her birthday. Since then, she has worn it about the house like a normal accessory. (whew!)

Who wants to hear the horse music box? Why all the horses in the land of course (and perhaps a few fairies)!

Shoveling is hard work...digging a pass (like the Rocky Mountain Pass) is even harder!

Guess who?

Surprise!  (Playing bucket-head was far more fun than digging a pass.)

On top of the snowy mountain! (What a pose, huh?)

And now on to this week's fun...

This was the morning our 4.5 year old got up on her own, woke not a soul, dressed herself in her big girl clothes (please note the purple belt and baseball cap, key items in being dressed as a big girl) and then announced to everyone that the sun was up, so what was our problem?  (Before and since she has never, ever, gotten up and afforded her mom an extra second of sleep!)

Proud of the tower built for animals and dollies alike (managed by dumping the basket of blocks down the stairs for more efficient hauling.)

50 degrees you say? Let's walk -- dogs and binnoculars are all I need!

Seed pods, everywhere. Please note the petticoat-like layers in Mathea's dress. Brand new velour dress, two layered skirt, pants, and a new to her spring coat (layered over another). All clean and pretty. I had to beg her to wear water-proof boots and not some pink item.  She swore she would walk around every puddle.

Hmmm.  I suspect the entire month of March's pictures will look something like this.

She was joyfully exclaiming "spring, it's spring!" Heartbreaking. February in western New York.  Not so much.  But beautiful while it lasts.  (Oh, and did you notice the mud? Almost lost the boots at the bottom of the block.  Imagine suction and cries of "hold my hand!"  Yes, March will be interesting.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lulu the Traveling Emu visits Atlanta

Imagine my surprise when I opened up my Christmas present from Erica and the kids and found, staring up at me, a nice, fuzzy, bright blue emu (the head only, of course). While her primary function is to sneak into my suitcase and transport little notes and goodies while I'm traveling for business, it only seems appropriate that Lulu should have the opportunity to document her travels, obviously for the greater edification of emus everywhere. Toward that goal, I'm happy to announce that Lulu's first stop was to the National Archives Southeast Regional Center in Morrow, GA, tagging along while I was helping to present a two-day seminar. Unfortunately, Lulu wasn't able to bask in the normal comfortable temperatures of northern Georgia in February, as she apparently brought the snow with us from New York.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Spirit of a Week

So far, our week has been filled with lots of creating.  For fun, our bellies, and birthdays (with more birthday creations to come if we can squeeze it the very least cake!)

Clay. It was fun while it lasted. Then we had to wash the girls, the horses, the table, the chairs, the floor, the sink...need I go on?

Mathea sewing Mairi a costume...impressive patience by both.

Mathea's masterpiece, a butterfly for all seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter).

Painting linseed oil on the great trucks Papa Doug made, the dog bowl stand too.

Homemade bread, whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chili...and veggies, which obviously were not homegrown this time of year, but pretty, and what the girls had for dinner.

Birthday garland, crown, and gift bag, all reuseable for many years, inspired by "the creative family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections" by Amanda Blake Soule,  The fabric for the bag was a thrilling find at Goodwill, a beautiful linen with sparkly butterflies and flowers. Perfect. Both girls helped with the sewing of the crown, hence the perfectly imperfect embroidery.

Super Mathea...disappearing and reappearing the "horse chicken".  JR asked for a duck-goat, but apparently those are on back order.


Where in the world is Mairi?

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Heart

Soft, warm hands, delicate. Tiny fingers resting gently, perfectly, in my palm. That old, tired cliche so true.... How fast time flies, how quickly you grow. Three. Are you sure? 

You're sure. "I can do it!" is your M.O.  You're learning you don't always have to follow your sister and her designs, you too can wield some power. Testing the waters, trying new tricks, pedaling away...coming back for a red popsicle.  Fierce and stubborn, gentle and tender. Already embedded in a strong, beautiful sisterly truce.

I want to scream, "Slow down! Don't grow!" But I can't. I am too excited to watch you unfold.

As you whisper, "I love you Mommy" in the dark, I am amazed at how small and big you are. 

I love you too, Mairi, I love you too.