Friday, December 23, 2005
I'm looking forward to some quiet time--if that exists for a family with two children under five. My father's funeral was eight years ago today. It was such a cold clear day with Emily Dickinson and Dylan Thomas. Lawrence was reading Fern Hill behind the barn to practice. The priest was wearing lace, and the moss was very green in the cemetery. Joe Gallo was a baby, and Joan McLaughlin made everything seem somewhat normal. I only wish he could have held these children for one day.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
There is a small brown rabbit in our backyard sitting in the sun cleaning his ears. I wonder if he feels the turning towards spring.
Ella and I just took our first load of furniture over to Spring Street.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Doesn't this pretty much say it all! We are back. Ella is watching Winnie the Pooh and I'm having a Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout.
Ella went to the Nutcracker ballet on saturday. She remembered being there last year and noted some changes. However, this year she did not take a nap. She did some ballet shopping and is very interested in leg warmers.
She did much more than I did for the last four days. She was up baking after I had gone to bed and has a big box of beautifully decorated sugar cookies with icing, sprinkles, and candies. She travelled to DC to the train station, the Natural history museum, and the Zoo. On sunday she took an ice skating lesson for an hour and was quite pleased with herself. She can get right up when she falls down and can "talk the talk" of ice skating. It was wonderful to watch her concentrating so hard.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
We are about to have a playroom. Miracle. I think one of our first acts as homeowners will be to take carload of little furniture to the playroom. There is a playhut tent in the middle of the living room right now, and her dream was to make orange juice out of a clementine using her hands. Foiled again.
This afternoon J has gone to school and we are making a bird book of birds we see in our backyard. We have some "blank books" from great aunt Teri, about five or six pages with a square at the top for an illustration and lines at the bottom for the story, so we are drawing the blue jay, cardinal, and downy woodpecker. I think we might do better with paint because the white crayon is making her mad. She wants to make white spots or stripes over the other colors, and it just doesn't work. Conceptually, she just doesn't see that she can leave it blank.
Friday, December 09, 2005
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablepoon (3/4 stick) butter -- melted and cooled Preheat waffle iron to medium. In a small bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, molasses and buttermilk, then beat. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add to batter and stir until smooth, then add butter and combine. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter into very hot waffle iron and bake for four to five minutes. Serve hot with real maple syrup.
I saw this served with homemade chicken sausages made from ground chicken, diced granny smith apple, diced onion, sage, and fennel seeds.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
4 boneless skinless thighs or chicken of choice
4 inch long piece of ginger, cut the long way in thin pieces --sounds like a lot but it isn't
10 cloves of garlic, sliced or just crushed with knife
3-4 stalks of celery and leafy parts
3-4 carrots sliced
1 large can/box of chicken broth. I like the organic one
3 bay leaves
In a large pot put 1 teaspoon olive oil and lightly brown chicken. Throw in ginger, garlic, onion, peppercorns, salt. While still browning you can throw in celery and carrot as you slice it. Add bay and pour the broth in. Add about 2 cups water. Simmer slowly until chicken is done. Longer if you have time. Add parsley. Serve with jasmine rice cooked on the side. If you cook the rice in the soup it is good but you have to use more broth or water. Slice chicken if you like.
If you want something good and different add a can of lite coconut milk, a few handfulls of cilantro, and a few splashes of fish sauce. Some thinly sliced chili peppers are good too, especially if you have a cold.
Warm, homey, and good for the cold that ails you.
Chicken soup with ginger and garlic is on the stove. The clouds are rolling in for another snow and we just made "Chickadee Pudding" for the birds----lard or Crisco, rolled oats, cornmeal, orange bits, bird seed, peanuts, and peanut butter. We cut out oranges to make baskets to stuff the pudding in. E strung more cranberries for the birds, and we made our one trip outside for the day to hang them up.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Discovery Time- Nothern Lights mural painting, "How the Arctic Animals Keep Warm" book, sugar cube igloos, easel painting Arctic animals, Arctic tundra terrarium, Arctic food chain, investigating lichen.
Circle Time- dircovering the fragile ecosystems of the tundra that support an intricate web of life.
Small group time-Older group: Attribute Block game (comparing/contrasting sizes, shapes, and colors), Phonics workbooks (phonemic awareness and letter formation of -J, -F. Younger group: Introductioin to the letter -S, numeral sequence to 10 with dot to dot puzzles
Music and Movement- Arctic songs and fingerplays
Story- The Igloo, Amazing Arctic Animals, This Place is Cold, Tundra Discoveries, One Small Square: Arctic Tundra, Little Caribou.
Week 2- Feed the Birds
Discovery Time- making Chickadee Pudding, stringing berries, orange baskets, bird feeders from recycled materials, child sized bird wings, , drawing birds with guest artist Marylynn Intebetow, investigating bird's nests, recognizing and graphing birds that come to our feeder.
Circle Time- recognizing winter birds, discovering by beak and by foot shape a bird's dietary and habitiat needs
Small Groups- Older group-measurement (length), math workbooks, phonics workbook ( phonemic awareness and letter formation of -G and -H), writing and drawing in journals.
Younger Group- intro to the letter -G, color by numeral pictures
Music and Movement- bird songs and games
Story- Backyard Birds of Winter, Birdfeeder Banquet,Birdfeeders Kids Can Do, Chickadee Winter, Birds at My Feeder, The Late Little Robin, Bird Count, When Winter Comes
Week 3- Old Fashioned Games, Stories, and Toys
Discovery Time- making old fashioned toys including pom-pom bunnies, walnut shell boats, clothespin dolls, and folded paper toys.
Circle Time- Circle Games and Mother Goose Rhymes
Small Groups- Older group-measurement (weight and volume), math workbooks, phonics workbooks (F, D, and W)
Younger Group- intro to the letter R, ordinal numbers
Music and Movement- old fashioned skill games
Story- Tasha Tudor stories and The Tales of Peter Rabbit
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Thinking about the mama life and friends as well as well as Ella's new friendships. I think I'll add to this later. I'm thinking about fifties neighborhoods, backyards, coffee-talk, and the decline of civilization as we constantly move away from friends and family to pursue the education and jobs required to support and sustain us in this "mobile" society/economy.
I got an email from an old friend recently catching up about kids, etc. He was talking about his wife and boys and mentioned how " you moms always love to sit and gab on the playground". Do we? It is often kind of an awkward place.