Friday, August 31, 2007

We're heading out to the Live and Learn Unschooling Conference, where there will be goofiness like this, but with lots more people.

We'll be back on the 12th. If you miss me while I'm gone you can read my sister's blog and remind her to take in my mail.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

GREAT Shadow Puppetry - The best bloopers are a click away
This enrages me.

It truly does.

Really, there's no need for fancy concealed tracking devices in blazers. Why not just stick those handy ankle monitors on the kids?

And at the end of the article: knife-proof uniforms?? Who the hell can look at the problem of children being stabbed by other children and think the solution is knife-deflecting clothing? And what the hell does it do to a child's Self to have to wear a knife-proof uniform every day?

Children are stripped of their dignity, their autonomy, their privacy, and their freedom, and people are shocked that they're angry and resentful and violent.

It's insane and infuriating and very, very sad.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm going to have to publicly threaten and bribe Karen more often! We had a fun day with her and Timmy on Friday, ending with a trip to the beach where we met up with new and old friends. My camera's in the shop, but Amy and Luis got some great pictures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In response to Timmy's mom's comment on my last post, I'm going to let a picture say a thousand words.

This quote was posted on the UnschoolingDiscussion list:

"There is, of course, this matter of being afraid to give freedom to young children. I believe they have that within themselves which makes it possible for them to meet the world and life, and interpret it more nearly aright than can we. They carry with them that inheritance of faith and imagination undimmed; and that tremendous surging desire to know, to see, to feel and to do, which is rarely betrayed. In our desire as adults to lay hold of a child's life, to grip it, mold it to our own values, we do unwittingly a great harm. We confront children with our own fears, our own lack of faith; to safeguard them we attempt to thrust between them and life those many false illusions which we have picked up in our own twisting, turning way. Children take a far more advantageous highroad. A free child is a happy child; and there is nothing more lovely . . ."

-- Ruth Sawyer, in her acceptance speech upon winning the Newbery Award for Roller Skates, 1936

We just got back from the park, where Maeve showed me her "moves".

Free. Happy. Lovely.

And quite dizzy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An open letter to Karen

My dearest Karen,

I want to thank you for the many years of friendship and sisterhood we have shared. As I told you many moons ago, when I met you it was as if I had been seeing the world in black and white and was now suddenly seeing it in blazing Technicolor.

There is one little problem I would like to bring to your attention. Knowing me so well, you have probably already made an accurate guess!

Yes, I'm afraid I'm feeling that when it comes to your darling baby, you're a bit of a hog. What will it take to get you to share him with me, wench?!? Must I go through with the plan the squirrel mafia has proposed? Don't think I won't do it. And don't think for a minute we won't post a chipmunk at your 'escape window'.

In the spirit of peace and love, I'd like to offer an alternative to the potentially messy 'Operation Rodent' :

In exchange for the opportunity to play with Timmy (by which I mean you actually set a date and time - NO TIME MAGIC), I am prepared to offer you one pint of Habanero Peach Preserves, lovingly prepared by myself just yesterday.

The choice is yours.

Love and kisses,


P.S. Thanks so much for suggesting I post open letters on my blog!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Of Muppets and Men (Part 1)

Rowan's not going to watch this, I think because for her some things are better left unsaid (or unseen).

I was a big fan of the Muppets when I was a kid (still am) and I remember wishing I could see what went on behind and under the scenes. So for me this was really fun to watch.

For Rowan, here's a favorite quote from Kermit:

"I don't know who Jim Henson is, but I've heard he has his hand in a lot of things around here."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

"Taking the kids back to school shopping soon? Here's one more item you can add to your "to buy" list: a bulletproof backpack."

"The backpacks weren’t due to go on sale until the start of the school year but Pelonzi brought the release date forward to Friday, days after a Herald review revealed how more than 500 weapons were recovered from Boston’s public schools in the past year."

Enough said.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dagny's not home, so I took over as temporary flower photographer.

I didn't see the ant on the orange flower until I zoomed in on it. Does anyone know what kind of flower that is?
Rowan and I get a kick out of the sundial at the park.

It was placed right next to a huge tree, so it spends most of the day in the shade.

This song is one of my favorites, which would make this very cool on its own, but check out the clothes, the hair, the equipment, the furniture, the colors!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

We planted twenty blueberry bushes (six varieties - yum!) in our yard last year, but since we have to wait for them to grow a bit we headed over to C.N. Smith farm yesterday for some pick-your-own fun. I seem to have some sort of blueberry picking addiction. I could stay all day, hunting for the best bushes and just the right berries. Rowan and Dagny think it's fun, but don't want to stay nearly as long. So they spent some time sitting in the car with Andrew - ac on and Highway to Hell blaring - and I restrained myself from filling the buckets to the very brim. All in all we came home with about 22 cups of beautiful blueberries.

Two cups went right into some Blueberry Honey Butter:

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1. In a saucepan, bring blueberries and 2 tablespoons of honey to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly for about three minutes or until mixture thickens and is reduced by half. Cool.

2. Add remaining honey. Fold in softened butter.

We prefer to blend everything together really well with our mixer rather than folding it in. The same recipe is delicious with strawberries too.

I'll be doing some canning tomorrow, assuming the berries don't disappear before then.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ingrid, then and now.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Recently Rowan and I made Mango Fruit Parfait, a recipe I had forgotten about for years and am very happy to rediscover.

The recipe couldn't be much easier. If you can cut up fruit and use a blender you can make a very pretty parfait. (And everybody loves a parfait. Just ask Donkey. They're delicious!) It's meant to be a dessert, but I love it on super hot summer days when I don't feel like eating much of anything.

I've made this in plastic champagne glasses from the party store for a baby christening. Very pretty. I've made it in big wine glasses for dinner parties. Very pretty. I've made it in our regular old kitchen glasses just for us. Still very pretty. Rowan assembled ours in a trifle bowl for my parents, the Dorseys, and my Aunt Cynthia.

The recipe is from the cookbook In the Kitchen with Rosie by Rosie Daley.

Mango Fruit Parfait

2 cups cubed mangoes (2 mangoes)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

24 strawberries, hulled

1 cup peeled and sliced kiwi (4 kiwis)

12 red raspberries

Put the mangoes and orange juice in a blender and puree until smooth.

Slice 20 of the strawberries, leaving 4 whole. Line the bottom of 4 balloon wineglasses with the sliced strawberries. Pour a thin layer of the mango puree over each to cover. Reserving 4 kiwi slices, layer the rest on top of the puree. Divide the remainder of the mango puree among the glasses. Top each with a slice of kiwi surrounded by raspberries. Make a slit in each of the whole strawberries and position 1 on the rim of each glass.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

This time Rowan and I doubled the recipe. We skipped the raspberries and added a lot of blueberries, which complemented the other flavors and the flatter shapes really well. I can't say that we've ever used fresh-squeezed oj. Maybe we'll try that next time, when, I hear, we will be giving bananas a go.