Sunday, August 29, 2010


trail, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

For many reasons we didn't venture out of the neighborhood this weekend, but I got to go for a solo bike ride this afternoon, and then I took the kids to the park to bike and skate on a shady trail.


john, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

sunday in the park

sunday in the park, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


At about eleven o'clock this morning John came to me to find out when this weekend was going to end so that he could go back to school. This afternoon he and I went to Lowe's together and for a bike ride in the park. He was wondering whether or not Santa Claus was visible or invisible, and he settled on the notion that he had a "stellascope". He thinks that the only people who have ever seen Santa Claus are the mailman and his friend Foster.

I went through all the kid's clothes today and put them all away. In the morning I'm labeling the little drawers so that everyone will start to put things in the right drawer. It isn't apparent yet, but I have decluttering plans going on all around the house. Some things went to the school yardsale, and I've been stopping by the thrift store dropoff regularly. I'm hoping things quiet down this week as the children settle into their school routine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

off to school

off to school, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

He was absolutely comfortable, had a great time, and can not wait to go back tomorrow.

mr bubble

mr bubble, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

new horizons

Tomorrow is the first day of kindergarten for John, and tonight, pretty much for the first time ever, he embraced soap. He took an up to the neck bubble bath to kick of the school year. Then he went around to each person in the house and informed us that he was "booked solid until the weekend".

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

cleaned out the pantry

Have you read that new study that connects a western diet with increased allergies, autoimmune disorders, and obesity. Apparently a high fiber vegetarian diet with a termite or two thrown in during the rainy season increases beneficial gut bacteria that can lead to better health.

I did some thinking and cleaned out the pantry. I've been struggling with Ella's desire to be a vegetarian surviving mostly on bread, cheese, and pasta, so we have been talking a lot about vegetables. She doesn't eat raw tomatoes. She doesn't eat eggplant, squash, or cooked mushrooms. Apart from that she is willing to try anything. On the positive side, she does like flavor. On sunday I made a mild buttery potato and pea curry and another dish with lentils, cabbage, and cumin. I served it with coriander chutney, and she loved it. The next night I made miso soup, and a stir fry with tofu, snow peas, broccoli, and spring onions. Another thumbs up. I think I'm going to get her a subscription to Vegetarian Times for her ninth birthday.

So what did I throw out? The marshmallows. Some out of date things. For the most part I just got organized and inspired. I want to take more control over what they eat when they aren't in my house. I'm even looking forward to lunch box season. Four days and counting.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

school picnic

school picnic, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella helped Ruby take a bath can get dressed. Then Ruby added a few accessories. It is about eighty six degrees.

some extra clothes

some extra clothes, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


river, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

john and ruby

john and ruby, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


dancing, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Friday, August 13, 2010


We are off the clean the school tomorrow, and next week's calendar has a flurry of meetings, so school must be imminent. I just ordered two pairs of tennis shoes from L.L. Bean, pink and brown for her and navy and green for him, both with bungees. I had forgotten that John will need outside shoes that he can get into and out of by himself. After today I'm thinking that he needs a seminar in how to wear a belt. He lost his pants several times. We also agreed that he'll remember to wear underpants to school every day...just in case.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


5 , originally uploaded by ellajohn.

five years old

jbp, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

John celebrated his fifth birthday yesterday with a trip to the lake with friends. For his special dinner he choose cheese pizza and a grape soda a local pizza joint. We came home to have a big mama made chocolate cake.

He is playing with his Playmobil knights and has been in full knight regalia several times. Today at the library we got six books about knights and castles. In twelve days he is going to kindergarten, and I'm wondering where all the time went. Luckily, when he grows up he is going to marry Ruby and live right across the street from me. He is going to be a farmer, and in the summer he is going to bring me the really good tomatoes every day.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Femivore's Dilemma

So I'm probably the last person to read the New York Times article, but I've been contemplating it's implications for quite a while. I'm planning my coup, ahem, coop.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The femivore

The title was just irresistible. Put on your big girl panties and get out there and farm. I've been wanting to read Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes.


oak, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I played under this tree when I was little. When I was older I used to get an old quilt, some saltine crackers, and a stack of library books and read for the entire day. The last time we visited Ella got out a quilt and did the same thing. If you've ever been to my house you've seen the big wooden bowl of acorns that I can never resist picking up even though I'll never make that many wool felted acorns in my life.

The tree blew over in the storm two weeks ago, and now is neatly stacked for years of firewood. They think the tree may have been a hundred and fifty years old and was seventeen feet around at the base.

My inner Druid feels sad about the loss of the tree, but I'm thankful it took the path of least resistance, falling on the garden instead of the house or barn.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


3, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Granny took the little people to Busch Gardens last weekend, and they are still busily memorizing how tall you have to be to ride every single ride. John discovered his love of roller coasters, but I like his word better, roller "toasters". He is a daredevil. He swears that he and I went upside down on the Grover coaster.

Today he got five shots and a blood draw for his kindergarten checkup. He didn't shout until the fourth shot. He is getting tall and skinny,and we are getting ready to celebrate his fifth birthday next tuesday. We will have the birthday ring and crown with breakfast, spend the day at the lake with friends, and then out to dinner with daddy. He is interested in being a knight, and he has a knight's costume to open from his grandparents. I got him a wooden shield with a dragon. I'm already excited about getting him one fabulous holiday gift.

Five. That was the fastest five years of my life.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


whirling, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

egg gathering

egg gathering, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


tractor, originally uploaded by ellajohn.