Wednesday, August 30, 2006

dinner, three andrew weil books later

dinner, three andrew weil books later, originally uploaded by ellajohn. Quinoa, black beans with ginger and turmeric, and tomatoes with fat free cilantro yogurt.

Monday, August 28, 2006

my girl

my girl, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Another one of those pictures in which she is completely herself. You don't really know if she is going to burst into song or spit.

I'm finally caught up with Flickr after a few days, the dishes are done, and I'm headed up to watch a Six Feet Under. My mother watched two episodes with me last night and probably still hasn't recovered.


grandfamily, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Happy birthday to the granny in our family. She is turning twenty nine today.

the baby is one

the baby is one, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Granny had a three layer birthday cake, and the top layer was the babycake. I love this classic picture.

nora's carriage

nora's carriage, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

mark it with a b

mark it with a b, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

more bangin' and sangin'

We flew into town yesterday long enough to make a tomato sandwich and change the baby's diapers and then headed out to Floyd county to see Billy Jonas with Ella's friends Isaac and Emily and their folks. Emily knew all the songs and was not to be stopped when Billy called for audience volunteers to come up to the stage. It was smart and recyled and earth friendly and home grown, and I still have a few songs that won't leave my head.

Like this one. Called God Is In. I tried to make a smooth little clickable music link, but, um, it didn't work. Click around his website, and maybe your computer will sing it for you. Try Some Houses, too. For some reason it makes me cry, mostly on the inside. You might know I'm not all goddy. I tried to get married without that word mentioned, but the guy up front forgot his script and God snuck in somewhere. God, whatever, something. I liked this.

God Is In

God is in the child's eyes, see them wide, wondrous, wise • God is in the rain and snow, and each snowflake: this we know • God is in the trees and air; the rocks, the birds, the bees, the bears • God is in the clouds above; God is in each act of love • God is in the oceans deep, some say God goes there to sleep • God is in the mountains high, whistling a lullaby • God is in the darkest woods, God is in your neighborhood • God is in a place that's near; sometimes it's just not so clear • God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in God is in your strangest pleasure; some say God is into leather • God is into body piercing; in your nipple, lip, and nose ring • God is in your new tattoo, in your scars and birthmarks too • God is in your brand new nose in your control top pantyhose • God is in the latest fad, except for bungee jumping -- thats dangerous and bad • God is in your cellular phone, God will not leave you alone • God is in the internet, wondering why you're not there yet • God is in Vogue, and Spin, and Rolling Stone cuz God is IN! God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in ....God is in .... God is in God is in the Christian house; bread and wine and holy cross • God is in the Jewish home; shalom chaverim, shalom • God is in the Muslim, Allah hu akbar salaam • God is in the Hindu way, jai bagwan! namaste • God is in those dancing Pagans, in each drop of perspiration • God is in the Wiccan coven; twelve plus one -- a perfect dozen! • God is in the Druid's song, that's why they go on so long • God is in the Buddhist's chair saying "don't just do something -- sit there!" • God is in the Vatican; God goes there for vacation • God is in the Quaker meeting, sleeping 'til they start the singing • God is in your guru; how do you spell that? "Gee, you - are - you" • God is in the atheist, saying "yeah, I don't exist" • God is in the flowing Tao, then and now and now and now • God is in the Rastaman; I and I and on and on • God is in the Moonie wedding; who gets who -- begin the betting • God is in the Hare Krishna, rub their heads and make a wish now • God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in God is in your bank account, sometimes juggling the amount • God is in your ATM, counting bills and stacking them • God is in your college fund, laughing cuz it's gone gone gone • God is in your IRA, adding interest every day • God is in your pocket change, your job is giving it to strangers • God is in the beggar's cup; sometimes God just fills it up • God is in the empty hand, spent it all on cheap Almaden; • God was in the S & L's but left, that's why they went to hell • God is in the Wal-Mart; greets you with a shopping cart • God is in your old jalopy, makes it go when it should not be • God is in the Greyhound bus, sitting in back, watching us • God is in 'tourist class,' on a frequent flyer pass • God is in the pilot light; dancing through the night • God is in the radio, Wolfman Jack told me so • God is in the microwave, unless you try to use something metal -- then the microwave is the devil; also don't microwave with plastic wrap cuz it forms molecular bonds with your food and turns your intestines into Tupperware • God is in your Tupperware, but not the lids so buy some spares • God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in .... God is in God is in the ozone layer; holier and holier • God is in the atom bomb, or at least the atom bomber's mom • God is in Chechnya, Sobrenica, Slovenica, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovia, Montana, Oklahoma • God is incredulous at all the stuff we do to us • God is inspired by those who fly and those who try • God is insatiable so sing and dance way past full • God is in you and me, someday God will help us see that • God is in love with love so live and love and that's enough • God is inside of you and all you don't and all you do • God is in your greatest doubt, the jury's out, the doctor's out, but • God is in, God is in, God is in your darkest sin, and out and in, and out and in, and God is in .... Goddess in .... God is Zen .... Got us in .... God is in

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

war and npr

NPR news caught Ella's attention this morning, and she was aghast to hear that "someone in the Civilian Conservation Corps was KILLED down there." By "down there" she was referring to Hungry Mother State Park where we camped on our last vacation. We quickly assured her that this happened in another country. The news was referring to civilians in Iraq. That was the first time that she asked about the news on the radio, the first time that it caught her attention.
We spent the day here playing--there were six children. There was coloring , dress up, swimming, running games, and at one point Ella contemplated digging up the long dead cat to see what was up with her body. Uh, no. Jackie drove over with an ice cold cut up watermelon for the kids, and they spit seeds and let watermelon juice drip down their chests. At the end of the day I took all their pictures as they jumped from the large center stone in the garden wearing their bathing suits and capes, capturing them in midair while they were "flying".

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

dorothy, dorothy, dorothy

John, please remember to feed the fish tonight and thursday. They can have a pinch of brine shrimp as a treat as well. We spent the afternoon in Petersburg, and at times there were six children playing. Only one child was bashed with the hard plastic nose of Buzz Lightyear. Benny loved his apron, chefs cap, and pretend food, and Ella shared her scooter in the courtyard. She went to Ukrops with Ri and got mussels for dinner, very good with garlic, tomatoes, and white wine with garlic bread for dipping. That is one of Ella's favorite dinners here. For lunch she had curried lentils and brown rice. Her end of the day tired behavior has bordered on jackassery for two days. She tested me tonight in the bath by pouring water on my shirt and lost her bedtime story. Luckily, she'd had several other stories during the day, so she has almost met her 100 book goal (new books for the summer). Rambling.

Monday, August 21, 2006

east virginia

It is mighty hot here in east virginia. We make up for our lack of culture out along the blue ridge with a cool breeze and a nightly cooldown. Ella was out early in her gown, robe, fifites apron, and sporty sandals for a morning walk with her grandmother. She returned with a dead butterfly, a snail shell, and some seed pods from a tree that looked like thick english peas. Ah, the country life. Last night she ate a salad and a TOMATO. Tomatoes have always been declared disgusting. Still, she pronounced the zucchini "yucky" with a shudder for effect.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

stitching the chicken

We are in Fredricksburg having a three day triple birthday celebration; Lil John, Granny, and Rodger all have birthdays in August. Big John and I have narcolepsy. We thought we'd been decaffeinated, but that's not it. Perhaps it is keeping baby out of the three hundred and sixty two breakable tchotchkes in the living room turned playroom. The babies are having a wonderful time playing with their Granny. Tomorrow John is dropping us off at Ri's in our attempt to milk every little bit of fun out of the summer before school starts for Miss Ella on the sixth, not that preschool isn't the most fun thing of all. She'll be the oldest child in her oldest child in the school. I'm the one feeling intimidated by that fact.

I brought a few little sewing projects, but I haven't even managed to finish cross stitching a tiny little chicken. After that I'm making a backpack out of some too tiny Levi's of Ella's and stitching a flowery tablecloth and napkins for Ella's little table in the kitchen. I have this vision of a vintage "children's table" when she has friends over and also just to play with. She likes to set a pretty table. I'm looking for vintage juice cups with flowers; the table cloth and napkins are blues,greens, and yellows. Maybe some old Corelle flowery plates would work for children and have that fifties style.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Playtime at the House of Ride On Everything

This is the car that made John hyperventilate and attempt to fly. I put him in the car and all he could see was the tractor. I put him on the tractor and he would lean to get to the car.


trike, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


walker, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

A woman's place...

ella and alex, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

You so know I'm kidding, right? The yard is hilly and they were, albeit reluctantly, taking turns.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Giant's Dollhouse

We were driving over a foggy mountain yesterday when Ella says, "Do you ever feel like we all just live in a giant's dollhouse, and the big hand is making us do what we are doing? Do you feel that finger on the back of the car?" Strangely enough I've always felt that way.

Today we met Alex and Max at "Biscuit" Park to play. His mama brought bread and they fed the ducks in the river. We had lunch and then played at their house...bug video, fish video, playdoh,tools and safety googles, t-ball, bike, tractor, and pedal car. Baby John was hypervenilating to get in the pedal car. I think he feels like a boy over there, so many wheels to spin and great toys to play with. None of that pink glitter and constant talk of princesses.

The other day I found him sitting in the closet floor with pink dance tights wrapped around his shoulders and a washcloth on his head for a hat.

Monday, August 14, 2006


This morning Ella hiked with her friend Isaac. She is really at her best in a place like this, looking and watching and talking.
Later we met Sasha and his lovely mama and brother at the pool and played all afternoon. Dinner out with Daddy pretty much iced the cake, and Ella had to be carried from the car straight into her bed.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Shhhhhhhhhh! We are planning a party

saturday, october 7
dan zanes & friends
university of richmond modlin center for arts 28 w. hampton way, room t-107a richmond, va
box office:
804-289-8980, online & in person
Tickets on sale September 10, 2006 at 8:00pm. $12 per person.

We were thinking of an early dinner afterwards at the Thai Diner with singing and candles.
Shhhhhh, it is going to be a surprise, so don't tell Ella.
Cupcakes and Pinata monday after school at the Lark Lane Playground. 11:45.

Of course I think he sold out to Disney, but he has to pay for college too. He sold himself, but I don't think he sold out the music.

striped horned tiara wearing river girl

Saturday, August 12, 2006

ella under

ella under, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

She would take swimming lessons every day of the summer if we could. She has been looking forward to this week since last summer. After snorkling in the bathtub for a few weeks she is boldly dunking herself. Taking lessons with friends was especially fun for her.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy First Birthday John

just born, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Here he is one year ago tonight, ten pounds eleven ounces. He is walking and talking and always looking for Ella. His favorite toy is a giraffe on a string, and he loves beans and mashed potatoes. He doesn't ever sleep through the night, and he has seven and a half teeth. Remember the title of my weblog when I say he is most likely perfect.

I'm one year old today!

I'm one year old today!, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

watch me walk

watch me walk, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


john, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


talking, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

wooden pony

wooden pony, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

how did they know I love a monkey?


drum, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


paint, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


paint, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

flower family

flower family, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


John has taken the children to the library, and right now I'm vacuuming and sorting and dabbing at carpet stains with foaming spray bottles and taking out trash, but I had to blog that I was taken for my own children's grandmother for the first time today. Well, maybe the second. I was recently assumed to be my father in laws wife, but that was by a doddering older gentleman in a bee hat. Anyway, in my neck of the woods, as in many necks of the woods, I certainly could be my children's grandmother. What next?

x lily

x lily, originally uploaded by ellajohn. Because I have a four year old I see letters of the alphabet just about everywhere. Or maybe I'm just crazy.

Indonesian corpse flower

Indonesian corpse flower, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


emerge, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Corpse Flower

This is from underneath the flower looking up. We tried to go last night but didn't find it. Luckily, the flower bloomed today.


shares, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

monkey hats

matching monkey hats, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Slim 1991-2006

Slim was born in 1991 in rural Charles City County, half chow and half blue tick hound. When I brought him home from the pound he had chain marks around his neck. He was wary about people from the get go, but he loved to bark at trucks and sleep in the sun. He always made it clear that he really belonged to no one but would tolerate me because I brought home the Dog Chow. He loved biscuits and bones but hardly ever ate them. As if he remembered hard times, he always buried them for later.

In his middle age he enjoyed the run of a large yard and the companionship of a beagle named Teenie. I married and he got a running partner.He lived with two cats and was even known to give them a lick on the head every now and then. He flew to Portland with us and became an apartment dweller. He snapped at every smoker in the Park Blocks for a year or so. Ella was born and she would nap with her feet in his ear on the sofa. He knew how to take care of a baby. Walking him in the Portland rain became another story, and he flew back to the east coast. We sent him to the farm, but it really was a farm where he could run and live out his days chasing rabbits. That first farm was my brother's. They keep five or six dogs, and Slim just didn't run with the pack there. Then there was the incident with the mysteriously murdered poultry. He was later pardoned but was extradited to my mother's house.

He had some kind of spell about a year ago and hasn't been the same since. We think he was totally deaf, and he even hated to be brushed. Today he had another "spell", maybe a large stroke. My mother called the vet who wasn't availble until friday to euthanize him. Luckily, she lives in the remants of the country. Bill came over and shot the dog in the head and buried him. Sometimes you just don't know what a good neighbor will do for you. Now I've got to send him a thanks for shooting my dog in the head card. How's that for a Hallmark moment?

proof: the cheese stands alone

proof: the cheese stands alone, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

yoga princess

yoga princess, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

i hit my head

i hit my head, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Kids and Television on NPR

In case you missed the NPR segment on kids and television advertising, here is the link. We certainly have our share of requests for princess anything around here, and we don't watch any of those television shows. It is almost impossible to shield her from the Disney princess world when the other kids at school are wearing it on their clothes and playing it in their homes. Have you ever felt a Disney princess dress up? It is like wearing a plastic bag lined with chicken wire.

Ditto on that Bratz toothbrush in my downstairs bathroom. My new strategy is to not vehemently reject these objects that appear in my house. I think that makes them more enticing to her. She prances in front of me in her Hello Kitty shirt asking me how much I like it. I'll say, "I like cats." Whatever happened to rainbows and unicorns and kittens?

Floyd Fest

It just doesn't get much better than that. I mentally weighed sixteen weeks of Kindermusik with a weekend of bands, dancing, and music-making in Floyd in the mind of a four year old. You know who wins. John took his first unassisted steps. The weather was blissful; there was one shower and Saturday night people were wearing sweaters and jackets while most of America was sweltering. Ella got to play with a few friends and made some new ones. The June bugs were swarming on the cusp of August, and John and I talked again about moving to Floyd, homeschooling, getting real.

My favorite group of the weekend was Appalachian Roots. Simple. Real. I also really appreciated a Isaac's "sawhammer" as he strummed along to a sweet song in the shed near the tents.

I downloaded seventy pictures yesterday, mostly of the children. My posts have been short, inversely proportional to the time that John spends napping these days. Mobility has it's price as well.