Sunday, February 22, 2009

on the table


trying to return to my domestic groove... (aside from the prep work we are doing to remove - gasp! - 152 cubic yards - i think that is something like 4000 sq ft - could that be right?? - of asphalt from our neighborhood schoolyard next weekend! whoo hoo!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

week end


happy friday

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


my dad
27 september 1941 - 17 february 2002

5 months after e was born my dad died quickly and unexpectedly from complications during heart surgery. i often tell stories of him to my girls. of how funny he was (his love of riddles: "tree and a turd, tree and a turd, tree and a turd"). how he had this amazingly strong threshold for pain (how his pants were once on fire and he didn't notice). his twinkle (now in their eyes). his dislike of being late ("like a herd of turtles") and his love for all people ("be like the Lord and love them all).

Dad c.1948

there are some stories i don't know. i don't know much about the little boy in this photo - front row far left. my dad never spoke of his childhood. and to my regret, i never really asked. i suppose i thought i would hear those stories as he told them to my children. i have boxes of photos from my grandmother that i try and piece the stories from.

something in my heart tells me he didn't have a joyful childhood. he was born on a farm in rural Manitoba. farming was a hard life. they didn't have much. his sister died of cancer when she was 16. he had an older and a younger brother. his father died when he was young and he was raised after that in large part by relatives. my grandmother unable to manage the three boys i suppose. he never finished school. he always regretted that. he met my mom at a dance by a lake. sometimes he seemed very sad. i now know he suffered from depression. i never knew that story as a child.

i had a very joyful childhood. he was a huge part of that. i tell stories of camping trips. iceskating in our backyard. "secret" visits to the A & W after choir practice. and crawling into his lap when i felt low.

unconditional love of your children, the ability to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps", and kindness to your "fellow man" are things i take with me everyday because of him.

i miss you dad.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"If you need it get it. If you don't need it - forget it." -- Thelma May Beets b.1918

Over breakfast this morning I read my girls a really inspiring article in today's LA Times - memories of survivors of the Great Depression.

The children of those times learned things that they would remember for the rest of their lives. They discovered how to make endless pots of soup, how to use corncobs for fuel, how to make undergarments from bleached feed sacks. They learned the value of a wild imagination and honest neighbors.
They were good lessons.

You can read the article in its entirety here as well as images, and very moving audio from the interviews conducted.

Friday, February 13, 2009

birds of a feather


flattered and excited to see jumilla chooks feathers show up in this installation by one of our favourite artists!

lisa congdon's show opened last night in sf at BellJar and runs through march

as always her care toward installation looks to make this show one not to be missed. just wish we were closer...

chickens (and girls!) are very proud to be part of it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

bits and bobs



just a few things:

1. yes - the loom was on the sidewalk, as in, in the trash! hard to believe. i don't quite get it. it appears in perfect condition. they moved out and left a pile of stuff on the curb - stereo, which d snatched for his workshop and the loom, amongst other bits and bobs

2. i have joined the revolution. public school moms (and others too!) of california unite! will be bringing it to our school in a couple of weeks...

3. i have found organic chicken feed , milled in california - and this makes me very happy. i was having trouble finding any here - which i found odd. have yet to find a local distributor though, and hate the crazy postage fees on this. must rally our local feed shop to carry it

4. the organic feed milled in california reminded me of the blog i rarely pay attention to. it really is just a form of record keeping for me. i do find it interesting and strangely satisfying to map where our food is coming from. an archivist gene perhaps.

5. i am becoming obsessed with household budgets. historic and otherwise. do you have a budget template you use? (again - blame it on the archivist...)

6. i am enjoying posting a photo a day. and finding it quite a challenge. most of them are kind of crappy. but there are a couple i really like.

7. i taught a 45 minute sketch class to a group of 2nd graders yesterday. so much fun.

8. when will we in california move away from this notion of "gifted" and see the gifts in all... when you read a passage like this:
Gifted/Talented Programs creates high end learning opportunities which allow students to flourish in stimulating academic and social environments. In designing challenging educational opportunities, we strive to raise the floor, remove the walls and eliminate the ceiling on learning.
how can we not strive to have this expectation in every classroom?
oh, and how do these public eduction issues keep popping up again here? blame it on my mom ;)

happy thursday!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

oh schacht

down with colds and february malaise.

i was very excited to hear that california has stepped things up and is now (wait for it!) 47th in state per pupil spending for education. whooo hooo gov terminator! (you can add to those accolades that we are 49th in technology in our schools, and 49th in number of adults with a high school education!) wow. oh but wait. with the new proposed budget there would be $4 billion in cuts to education. alas our days in 47th place may numbered. 48th place, i guess we miss you. be back soon...

i hope i don't sound bitter. it has been that kind of week. (and it is only tuesday.)

on an up note. it has been raining. which makes me happy.

and i found this on the sidewalk the other day.

schacht table loom

yes. it is a schacht table loom. good stuff. will be taking my agressions out on heddles and stick shuttles before you know it...

Thursday, February 05, 2009


out of e's 2009 a - z - carried out with a small group of classmates working together - my favourites:

D - Dance

H - Help others

K - fly a Kite

L- Languages, learn new ones(so far she has had her friends teach her hello in Russian, Farsi and Filipino)

N - kNit


O - Organise a protest

we have been talking a lot about rights in our household lately. the kids have accompanied us to protests. and she has been studying the civil rights movement in class. her principal has changed some rules at school, to counteract lack of supervision on "the yard" and e and her classmates are not happy with the changes. her teacher suggested they do something about it. that they have the right to let the administration know how they feel. that is how things work in a democracy. they have started off with a petition, and will move on to protest if the need to, she says. they have a slogan. and signs. and are working on a song.

she has a lot of questions about rights and rules and government and democracy. the most beautiful part of it, i tell her, is that we have choices. we all have choices... we can (pretty much) live the way we wish to live. as long as we respect ourselves and each other in those choices, it all works out.

and forgive me here - but this issue sings loud in my heart...

we wouldn't want to lose those choices, would we?

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.


then sign

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

ay to zeeeeeeee


ABC's 2009
by D - with a caveat from me that while many of these appear not to make sense. they do. kind of. and are good to record for posterity. kind of.

Act responsibly
Bike to work
Create beautiful things
Eat healthy good
Fun with my family
Get to know my spouse better
Have a better outlook
Ignore the trivial
Live within our means
Make art that is important to me
Nose job
Play more
Quigley down under
Run with the bulls
Surf with the dolphins
Tell the truth (
Unclutter the house and garage
Voila! finish projects around the house
Walk-about and wander
eXperiment with music
be more Zen

and Hannah, good idea! I will post E's tomorrow...

Monday, February 02, 2009

eh to zed


back in the first weeks after the holidays, E's teacher had the class identify a goal for the new year using each letter of the alphabet. she of course sat her dad and i down to complete the same exercise. (she gave us each 1o minutes.) as i cleaned the pile of papers that accumulated over january i found them again. before i toss them, i thought they might be worth recording, so here is my list:

ABC's of 2009

Attend more museum exhibitions
Bicycle K to school at least twice a week
Cook more seasonal meals
Discover a new author
Enjoy more time with my family
visit the Farmers' Market regularly
Handwrite a letter
Investigate local hiking trails
Jog one mile
Knit socks
Limit computer time
Organize our photographs
play with Printmaking
find more Quiet time
Read daily (a book!)
finish unfinished Sewing
Tidy-up everyday (20 minute method)
Use what we have
Visit Galiano (at least twice)
Weave a table runner
eXperiment with my breadmaking
Yoga twice a week
get more Zzzzzz

tomorrow - the list from the american...

{articles like this make me proud to be canadian}