Sunday, May 24, 2009

EVPL, Living the Dream

Here are the things that I love and am going to miss about our library:

1. It is close to our house.

2. There are lots of branches for when we need to go to one that is not close to our house.

3. There are free programs for children all year long.

4. They don't make fun of me when I come in with a suitcase on wheels to check out books and movies and CDs.

5. They are patient with unruly children (uh, mine).

6. They do ILL for any ole person (like me).

7. The librarians remember who you are.

8. It's clean and smells like an invitation to possibility.

9. There are puzzles for Svea and a stool for Henry in his favorite aisle so he can reach the sports books on the top shelf.

10. There's a wooden boat with 2 levels for the kids to climb and play and shout, "Storm's a-comin"!"

11. It's free.

12. They do that canned food drive during the holidays where you can reduce your late fines with donated food.

13. They don't judge me when I have to pay for the most recent movie we lost. And if we find the movie within 2 weeks of paying for it, they refund my money. I think that's really nice.

14. The time Henry broke a DVD case and had to apologize to the librarian, they made a big deal out of his brave apology and a very small deal about the broken case, then whispered to me, "That'll be $1.50 for a new one." I love it.

The Five R's

About a year and a half ago, my dear friend Lauren bought Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love for me and Amber and it changed my life. Seriously. So much so that I don't even lend it out to friends; I only recommend it to them.

This year I read Gilbert's book The Last American Man, which also changed my life. This biography is about Eustace Conway who was committed to learning to live off the land entirely, moving into a teepee to hunt and gather at age 17. She chronicles his journey of survival, ultimately tracking human evolution as Eustace tells her when he is in his 40's that what he dreams about at night is having a family and walk-in closets. Hmmm.

Ironically, we lost power for a week the day after I finished the book. I was all gung-ho to learn more about living off the land and re-acquainting myself with survival skills deeply buried in my DNA, then we have no heat, no power, no Internet and you would think I lost half of my brain. Eustace would be so disappointed.
The book still shifted things for me fundamentally.

One of my favorite things that Eustace says to the high school groups that he speaks to goes something like this:
All of us know that we need to recycle. You know: Reuse, Reduce waste, Recycle. What they don't tell you is there are 5 R's and those are the last 3. The first 2 are RECONSIDER and REFUSE.

I love that.

In these days of packing and transition, I am amazed at the volume of the Totally Unnecessary that I own, and even more appalled by my attachment to these things. I wish I had heeded the wisdom of the first 2 R's.

On a somewhat related note, my Wednesday schedule this Spring has been to drop the kids at pre-school and head to the River City Food Co-op to pick up their cardboard recycling and wipe counters, sweep, set out produce, transfer olive oil, clean the nut grinder - whatever those lovely people had in mind.

I love this place: its art, its smells, its organic crunchiness that is rare in our part of town.

I have felt committed to not purchasing cardboard to pack our belongings, considering I fill my car on a weekly basis with the stuff:

I highly recommend the slow and steady way of moving that involves recycling cardboard. It also budgets you to pack a little every week (if you have the time, that is).

Cristine, the manager and dear sweet person that she is, agrees as she painstakingly commits to living a life with intention, exercising all 5 R's and breaking down all the boxes each week for me to load. She may, in fact, come up with a 6th R soon...

I, Husband's Productive Procrastination

Is "productive procrastination" an oxymoron?
Whatever, he's made a beautiful library table for his new office.
It all started like this:

and ended like this:

I have named it The Third Child.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Instead of Packing

Instead of packing and organizing, here's what I've been doing:

1. Lace pattern scarf for Neda
2. Front of Estes's Quilt
3. Back of Estes's Quilt
4. New Knitting Bag
5. Svea's new green dress (which she won't wear)
6. Napkin Borders for Baby Shower
7. Lollipop Tea Cozy
8. Svea's new cat dress
9. Margarita Pin Cushion

It truly is amazing what you can do when stressed and distracted...

The Big Change

We're going through a big change around here.
It has taken me about 59 tries to start this blog post. Here goes:

In a few weeks, we are moving from Indiana to Alabama.
This move embraces a lot of mixed emotions for us - A LOT - so this is my warning that I'll probably blog all emo-style for the next few months.

In all of the chaos of relocating, detaching from possessions, keeping a tight fist on friendships here with one hand and reaching forward flat-palmed with the other, here are the important things I have been worried about:

1. Will Kris or Adam win American Idol since surely Danny's votes will go to Kris, though Adam's voice and performance quality is stronger? (thankfully I don't have to fret this one anymore...)

2. What if we run out of soap?

3. What if Schnucks does another 10 or $10 offer on avocados in the next few weeks and I miss it?

4. What if my series recording for So You Think You Can Dance runs into a glitch and I miss one goofy audition before they get to Vegas?

5. What if I buy the wrong sunscreen and we get cancer from the parabens in the lotion instead of cancer from the sun?

That's just the Top Five List for this week.

As my mind circles all of the important things, I've been taking pictures of some of the places that I love here in Indiana.
Here's a shot of the outside of my favorite coffee shop:

And inside:

And my favorite barrista:

She is so kind to me, and allows me to mix my coffees from the carafes so it's perfectly dark and delish.
I don't even know her name.

This Face

Henry's new tradition is to draw a picture with markers before going to bed at night, and then tucking the paper under his pillow.

I love going in to check on him and slipping the paper carefully out to see what he was thinking about right before bed.

Lately he has been practicing drawing puppies and giving them each their own house and own sports equipment. He's been watching Air Buddies.

The other night, he turned over and I heard the paper crinkle and here's what I pulled out:

That face in the middle just kills me...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For Those of You With Absolutely Nothing to Do for About Nine Minutes

I put up a little video of Henry and Svea's Spring Program and Graduation on You Tube HERE.
It's only a selection of the songs since there was a little boy who kept sticking the back of his head in my camera, and because I thought I could spare you, for real.

There is a girl in Svea's class who is front row and center in a white dress with big pink flowers on it. I call her The Rock Star.  You can't miss her. She knows every word and dance move. Unfortunately, Svea is standing to the left of her and the Rock Star's big dance moves cover most of Svea and her Cinderella dress. I really don't think Svea cared a bit.

Henry is a row behind Svea and to the right. I don't think he cared much either. About any of the singing.

But since Tuesday, they have LOVED watching themselves on the computer and singing along. Thank goodness for You Tube. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Henry, the Graduate

Henry and Svea had their final Spring Program at Preschool this morning. Henry technically graduated as he is ready for kindergarten in the fall, and RDPS did a great job helping them feel proud of themselves and very, very important.
I'll tell you, if you want to see all the latest gadgets to record a moment, just get yourself to a preschool program and you will see every camera, phone, video recorder, touch and pod thingy. One kid had an iPhone in each hand taking pictures of his cousins singing about Five Little Hotdogs Frying in a Pan. It's a surreal experience.

Here's our little graduate (speaking of cameras):

Svea was not in the mood for a lot of singing today, but she was in the mood to wear her Cinderella dress for the program. I'm waiting on the You Tube video to load as I type this...more soon...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cowpoke Day 2009

Today was Cowpoke Day at Preschool.

I was not familiar with this tradition, so I was informed that it was a day the children could come to school dressed as a cowboy or cowgirl, there would be a "camp fire" in the Big Room around which the children would sit, sing, and eat pigs in a blanket and marshmallows.

Henry, Svea and I talked about it last night and they went to bed all fired up about dressing up this morning.

When Svea woke up, this was her version of a cowgirl, but you had to "just call her a PRINCESS."


Henry got all into it with his rope for the lasso and the bandana and the boots he outgrew a year ago but amazingly they did not hurt his feet. Here is his cowboy pose:

When I got to school to pick them up at the end of the morning, Henry had chocolate all over his face. He said, "Mom, we ate chocolate cupcakes, biscuits and marshmallows so I do not want to eat lunch, okay?"

Then Svea's teacher gives her a frozen pop thing - you know the kind that is like frozen kool-aid in a plastic bag - which she holds in her hand all the way home so it's more just hand-temperature kool-aid in a bag when we get there. Yum.

She asks me in the car, "What's in a strawberry?"
Me: Some Vitamn C and Vitamin A and some juice -
Svea: We drink juice in the Big Room at school!
Henry: Yeah! We do!
Me: And do you ride bikes in there?
Svea: No.
Svea: Oh. Yes we do.
Me: And drink juice?
Me: Hahahahahahahahahhahaha! Is that what the teacher says when she gives you your juice?
Henry: Yeah, they say that all the time.
Me: Hooray for Cowpoke Day then. Get what you get...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I Said, He Said, She Said

So I said, "Svea, are you sure you want to wear that Dora t-shirt over the tractor t-shirt that's over the white t-shirt?" And she said, "Yes, Mom. It's for safe keeping."

So I said, "Henry, if you wobble on that rock on one foot with flip flops on, you might fall in and that's okay but that just means you get wet. Because it's water." And he says, "I'm not gonna FALL." So then the lake says, "Spuh-lash."

So I said, "I, Husband, if they aren't doing anything wrong and they are just trying to make me crazy, can I still send them to Time Out?" And he says, "Of course."

So I say, "Did y'all have fun feeding the ducks?" And they say, "What ducks?"

Monday, May 04, 2009

Okagesama de Alicia

Flowering Tree

I take a picture of this tree every spring because it fills me with such joy. This spring a frost nipped many of the petals brown. I was actually thankful for the variation in color, as it made the untouched white appear brighter.


I am thankful for my brother and our re-connection. It's exciting to watch him come into himself and express his Truth through his art. This picture is from his first art show at the Herron School of Design. I tried to capture as many pieces as I could. The bench is front and center, as it is one of his (and my) personal favorites.

From I, Mollie:
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Okagesama Workshop!

Okagesama de Robin

...for mothers, children, grandchildren, and baby birds in the mailbox...

These pictures can be seen here:
1. Henry Building His House of Cards,
2. Svea Looking,
3. Learning To Use The Camera,
4. Mama!

And all of the Okagesama workshop photos are in this set.