Monday, February 26, 2007

First tooth

First tooth, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

This is the child who wouldn't pull out the loosest tooth I've ever seen. She waited. And waited. And waited another week, and this morning it fell out into her banana. She put in in her little tooth fairy box under her pillow, and I already exchanged it for a quarter. Next time I'm going to be more prepared with a new toothbrush and floss.

It is hard to believe she is so big. At the doctor's office the other day she was 48 inches tall and weighed 51.4 pounds. She has officially grown out of the 6x. Size 7 is apparently called tween. Thank goodness Hanna Andersson does not recognize the tween, and we have many more years of stripeys to go. Ella likes the way they feel and they don't have any labels on them. I'm trying to keep the children "unbranded" as long as possible. John called me a culture jammer when he saw me sewing a calico applique over a Tommy Hilfinger label on a pair of hand me down overalls. Not quite, but the inspiration is the same. Her current yen is to wear clothes that match her brother. She wants a navy blue sailor dress and she wants him in a sailor one piece. Always the stylist. She is a little fanatical, but I like her style. My main problems are her utter disregard for weather appropriateness. She has issues with layering because it causes bunchiness. The clothes must always feel smooth, hence our love for the Hannas. I never thought I'd be talking about clothes with a five year old, but she has had opinions for a long time. When she was about two she was riding in her stroller through the Gymboree in Portland when she reached out and grabbed a black velvet jumper covered in red cherries. Today, if she saw that in a size seven she would do the same thing.

Yes, of course I got the flu. The whole family, down for the count. John left sunday for a week of work out of town, so at the three of us have been spending lots of quality time on the futon in the living room. We have been drinking juice with reckless abandon and watching all that PBS Kids has to offer.

Friday, February 23, 2007

sick littles

sick littles, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

He has an ear infection and she has the flu. Daddy has it too. I had to make a chart for everyone's medicines, tylenol, etc because it was getting pretty confusing. I made soup and have been passing out lots of drinks, fizzy club soda with blueberry and pomagranate juice.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

stars in her eyes

button box, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


Thinking of Caroline Herchel (1750-1848)
astronomer, sister of William, and other

A woman in the shape of a monster
a monster in the shape of a woman
the skies are full of them

a woman 'in the snow
among the Clocks and instruments
or measuring the ground with poles'

in her 98 years to discover
8 comets

she whom the moon ruled
like us
levitating into the night sky
riding the polished lenses

Galaxies of women, there
doing penance for impetuousness
ribs chilled
in those spaces of the mind

An eye,

'virile, precise, and absolutley certain'
from the mad webs of Uranusborg

every impulse of light exploding
from the core
as life flies out of us

Tyco whispering at last
'Let me not seem to have lived in vain'

What we see, we see
and seeing is changing

the light that shrivels a mountain
and leaves a man alive

Heartbeat of the pulsar
heart sweating through my body

The radio impulse
pouring in from Taurus

I am bombarded yet I stand

I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-
luted that a light wave could take 15
years to travel through me And has
taken I am an instrument in the
shape of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind

Adrienne Rich
from The Will to Change

This has been a favorite for twenty years or so.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

tea for 2

tea for 2, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Monday, February 19, 2007

troll patrol

troll patrol reporting for duty, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


You are no friend. A friend wouldn't invalidate any feeling that I had, especially one written here. Come as you wish, take what you will, and let well enough alone. There is more to me than the sugar coating and the smiling photographs.. We all give up things to get where we are, and there is nothing wrong with wishing for a trip to Paris or a pair of shoes. I'm a girl for chrissakes. For the most part my clothes come off the five dollar clearance rack at Target or from the Thrift Store. I'm trying to lose weight. I want chickens. Sometimes the grass looks greener, if only for a second. This is my life.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

minus five

I just couldn't keep posting breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Gah, the boredom. I just don't even have that much computer time. I've lost five pounds. Hey, forty to go.

Last night I heard that some of my old women friends are going to Paris to celebrate their fortieth birthdays, and for almost twenty four hours I was pretty jealous. Then I did some reality math. They all have jobs, good ones. None of them have children. They have fancy shoes and seven hundred dollar coats. I have John and Ella. The math is pretty good. ( I really used to like shoes though).

Then to ice the cake I realized that I've been to Paris. It was fabulous, especially in the early morning when the sidewalks are all freshly washed.The bread is good, as are the french fries. I saw lightening strike the Eiffel Tower over and over from my hotel window. The insane walk the streets with vintage prams full of Barbie dolls.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


gracebiolin, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Miss Grace is two and a half. Time flies in a slow spinning fashion. I watched this one come into this world. Ella came to the hospital to meet the baby and, at two and a half herself, told Grace's mama that she needed to get up and dance around the room so that the baby could start learning how to dance. Apparently she is taking after her mama with the fiddle.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


garden, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

This morning mountaintown seemed to be dipped in silver glitter glue.The sky was gunmetal grey satin with bursts of blue, and every surface was coated with ice. It was almost like a christmas dream as the temperature much have hovered just at freezing during the night. The trees were dripping with actual icicles.

There was no school for Miss Ella today, but the roads weren't bad at all. I took the children out to get their daddy a Valentine, a violet orchid, and to get them out of the house so that he could get some work done. Upon our return he was asleep in the red velvet beanbag in the living room. The preschool cold seems to have gotten all of us this time.

The doll is named Garden. I suggested a flower name, Primrose or Bluet ( for the literary minded), or maybe Poppy. She said, "Garden". Sure. She needs a bit more hair and some clothes. Ella loved seeing her made and now she wants one that is "Japanese".

Ella ( and her daddy) got me some Lovely perfume for Valentines Day. I had been sniffing a paper adventisement for weeks, and it was starting to smell like paper. Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing a pink dress in the ad, and she looks like she is sitting on the toilet in the photograph. Next time you see the ad you will completely agree. Luckily, the perfume smells fresh and delicious. We had planned on taking Ella out to see a mariachi band tonight, but is is eight degrees and she is sick, so we had an italian picnic in the living room. Literally, roman style, with a big tablecloth. It was, like the perfume, lovely.

Monday, February 12, 2007


swing, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

at rest

at rest, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

18 months, dog drinks tea

18 months, dog drinks tea, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

John's half birthday was two days ago.

Day 10, the day eleven pounds of homemade cookies landed on my doorstep

breakfast: blueberry granola, half a banana, coffee
snack:oolong tea
lunch: tuna sandwhich on wheat, ten grapes, half a pear
dinner:hungarian cabbage stew, rice, light waldorf salad with apples, walnuts, raisins, and celery

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It took five years

Today we finally had a babysitter come over and keep the children for two and a half hours. It was lovely; she was lovely, and Ella wants her to come back tomorrow.


breakfast: bowl of lowfat yogurt
lunch: tofu, cabbage, and carrot stirfry with whole wheat noodles
dinner: mixed greens with grapefruit and edamame, oven potatoes, bread and cheese, pickles

Exercise: Wait for it.....I went to the gym and learned how to do all the machines. I actually like the ab machine. The bike was the hardest most boring ten minutes of my life. Then we walked downtown for a cup of tea, but the shop was closed. We went to the health food store and bought two drinks and two onions and walked back up the hill through the thin light and remnants of dirty snow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

February School

Family Farms
Discovery Time: classroom farmyard collage, mini farms
Circle Time: discussions of farms and farm animals around the world, including farm products such as milk, wool, eggs, and honey. Pick a class contribution to Heifer International
Small Group: subtracting by counting back and by using a number line, math workbooks, phonics listening practice and letter recognition, writing in journals.
Story: Beatrice's Goat, Until the Cows Come Home, Country Fair, In the Barn, Honeybees at Home

Next Week: The Earth Inside Out
Discovery Time: Earth layer mobiles, continents and oceans map, making metaphoric rock from bread and marshmallows, igneous rock from chocolate chips, sedimentary rock in a jar, making a crystal garden, sorting rocks by type.
Circle: A Journey to the Center of the Earth, types of rocks and their formation, continents and oceans
Small Group: Subtraction practice, math workbooks, phonics-initial consonants -m and -d, writing in journals
Story: What Under Your Feet? Earth's Story, Planet Earth: Inside and Out, Let's Go Rock Hunting, When You Find a Rock

A Rock'n and Round'n Crust
Discovery Time- Individual volcano models that really erupt, volcano painting, volcano "life cycle" strip poster, location fo the Ring of Fire on the globe and maps
Circle Time- Volcanos and earthquakes, film "Mountains of Fire"
Small Group: Subtraction number sentences, subtracting vertically, math workbooks, initial consonants -f and -g, writing in journals,
Story: Rocking and Rolling Volcanos! Mountains of Fire, How Mountains are Made, Magic School Bus Inside a Volcano, Rocks and Their Stories.

foodwatch friday and saturday

breakfast: one slice toast with neufchatel cheese and cherry jam, pomagranate juice
lunch: bowl of beans with sliced roasted chicken, lettuce, cactus, corn chips, and homemade salsa
dinner:big green salad, homemade cheese pizza
cheat: york peppermint pattie

breakfast: oatmeal with whole diced apple, cinnamon and honey
lunch: miso soup and four pieces sushi
afternoon: peanut butter sandwich
dinner: collard greens with sliced onions and cucumbers, baked beans, roasted potatoes

Thursday, February 08, 2007

valentine cloak

valentine cloak, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

"Since this has been the best day of my life I'm going to go out in the yard and get a snowball to keep in the freezer forever, OK?"

Who could say no to that?

Day 6

Breakfast: 2 slices whole grain toast with neufchatel cheese and black cherry jam. Coffee. Multivitamin
Lunch: 2 bowls of potato leek soup ( fat free and homemade), 1 slice of toast with 1 slice of cheddar and mustard, bowl of edamame
Snack: Whole grapefruit
Dinner: Romaine salad with sliced roasted chicken and homemade salsa, 1/2 cup kasha

spider witch

spider witch, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Foodwatch, Day 5

Breakfast: Organic oatmeal, black pepper and a tiny bit of parmesan. I know, savory oatmeal is odd. I also like it with apple cubes, walnuts, cinnamon, and honey. 3 cups of coffee, whole grapefruit, multivitamin

Lunch: cup of lentil soup, romaine salad with tomatoes, broccoli, onions, and tofu-miso dressing, one slice whole grain bread with one slice of cheddar and mustard, water.

Dinner: Cup of pasta with white clam sauce, 1/2 cup of green peas.

Snack: Green tea, whole grapefruit

Exercise: 30 minutes running around pulling a sled. Does that count? Weights.

feeding kermit at the library

feeding kermit at the library, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

He is full of little kindnesses.

John and I have been to story hour at the library lately. When Ella was this age she would cruise the room at the Portland Library and never listened to the story. John sits on my legs and watches the book. He especially loves any time that there is singing, and Miss Alison brought her guitar yesterday.

Speaking of libraries, our favorite librarian retired last wednesday. She was seventy.

mama pulls

mama pulls, originally uploaded by ellajohn.
We had about four inches of very dry snow last night. It was nice to have a day off in the middle of the week. (In case you don't know, Ella goes to a phenomenal preschool that happens to be located in another town 13 miles away. I seldom come home while she is there, so baby and I are out and about for three hours in the mornings.)
John just wanted to stare at the snow for a while. He loved the sled and was quite comfortable in his sister's arms. He would have loved to have gone even faster. While standing in the snow it was as though he wondered if it would hold his weight. When he fell down in it he was ready to go inside.


sled, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

fat and carbs, day 4

breakfast: granola, lowfat yogurt, and coffee with the fat free half and half, half gross, half better than skim.
lunch torilla, refried beans, sprinkle of cheese
dinner, pita pizza
later: 1 glass of shiraz

What have we learned here. I don't eat well when daddy-o is out of town. Also, I don't have a problem with sugar.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Wednesday Night

Mountain Women Rising shares the experiences of Appalachian women. The 45-60 minute presentation entertains audiences with poetry, prose, story and song and educates them on the Alliance’s quest for human rights, economic justice and safety for women and children. The performers come from various walks of life and bring their diverse ethnic and cultural experience together on stage to challenge stereotypes of Appalachian women.
Members of Mountain Women Rising are Gaye Johnson, a performer for over 30 years and a native of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains; Meredith Dean, a social activist from Southwest Virginia; Edna Gulley, a “welfare mother” from Clincho who developed and coordinated a community-based preschool program serving low-income children in her community for over 16 years; and Rema Keen, a writer, actor, activist and musician from Southwest Virginia.
The Appalachian Women’s Alliance is a movement of women and girls dedicated to taking action on social issues. Performance groups such as Mountain Women Rising educate, challenge and inspire women and men inside and outside of Appalachia to become allies against racism, violence against women and war.

Sweet Juniper's Alphabet Book

What an amazing book. Why aren't we all out there making books? Well, we are going to. Of course, read all of Sweet Juniper. And make alphabet books. Of course I bought it immediately. I'm worried about N is for ninja, but G is for gnome.

rainbow unicorn

rainbow unicorn, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


yogaman, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella got into my bed at 4:41. She said, "I'm here because I'm so snugalious". Great, snuggle up and go to sleep for one hour and sixteen minutes. Two minutes later she says I have bad breath. Two minutes more and she wants me to turn over so that she can breath. I say go back to bed. She is talking about nonsense and wakes up her brother in the next room. Not even five and we are up for the day. Between five and eight there are several episodes in which she tries to beat me down with her screams about what she is going to wear, what she is going to eat after lunch, and how many televison programs she is going to watch today. Also, she can brush her hair using only her mind.

foodwatch, day 3, oh hell, butter

breakfast: 1/2 cup granola with milk, 1.5 cups coffee,
playdate: 1/2 cup pineapple with yogurt (Annie Kay's--tastes homemade), cup of coffee, 2 bites banana bread
lunch: 2 pancakes, 2 chicken sausages, butter
dinner: small bean burrito, water

What an aweful food day when you see it on paper. Where are the vegatables? I'm am living on carbs and dairy products...and butter, milkfat, and chicken fat.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

foodwatch, day 2

Breakfast: 1/2 cup EATS granola, 1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt, 3 cups of great coffee with whole milk (it was the only milk we had)

Lunch: Veggie burger on whole grain toast with one slice of cheddar, mustard, and organic ketchup, 2 servings of homemade coleslaw(made with yogurt and reduced fat mayo), water.

Exercise: 30 minute walk, ten minutes weightlifting, short yoga ball workout
Snack: 2 pieces dried papaya, cup of hungarian cabbage soup, black tea

Atrocity du jour: I ate a handfull of cheese crackers while getting a snack for John

Dinner: takeout pad thai with shrimp, spring roll, half an apple, water

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I made some pancakes this morning and then went in the bathroom and weighed myself. Hope you were wondering what I ate for the rest of the day because I'm going to try to live blog my mouth for the next month.

Lunch: 2 corn tortillas with organic pinto beans and a sprinkle of cheddar, homemade salsa,
large salad with tofu miso dressing

Birthday party: water and half an apple
Dinner: Brown rice with tofu, peas, kale, garlic and ginger, completely unsatisfying.
Snack: whole grapefruit, herb tea
Exercise: mama related hauling of thirty pound baby


surf, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


cup, originally uploaded by ellajohn.